Referendums in Donetsk and Luhansk

Russia apparently wants to incorporate the “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk and the south-east of Ukraine as quickly as possible. At the same time, there are signs of preparations for mobilization – a risky response to the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Graffito for the murdered irregular leader Arsen Pavlov, known as Motorola, in Donetsk.

Darko Vojinovic / AP

So now everything should go very quickly. Within 24 hours, the question of how the Russian leadership intends to deal with the consequences of the Ukrainian counter-offensive has taken on new contours. Already at the end of this week – from September 23 to 27 – referendums on the annexation of the territories to the Russian Federation are to be held in the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as the Russian-occupied areas of Kherson and Zaporizhia in south-eastern Ukraine.