The Kremlin has ordered invading Russian forces to reach the administrative border of the Donetsk Oblast by Sept. 15, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko reported on his Telegram channel on Aug. 29.
“According to our information, a new fantasy has come from the Kremlin: an instruction to reach the border of Donetsk Oblast before Sept. 15,” he wrote.
He said that preparations to hold a sham referendum on accession to Russia have resumed again in the partially Russian-occupied oblast, with the invaders trying to form four election commissions – so far without success.
Ukrainian forces still control about 45% of Donetsk Oblast, with Russia haven’t made almost no progress in its attempts to advance further over the past two months.
“At the same time, the chairmen of administrative offices received instructions to clarify the personal data of Mariupol residents,” Andryushchenko wrote.
“Massive calls began to everyone asking if people plan to vote.”
According to Andryushchenko, the date for the sham voting has not been announced yet.