A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Army’s General Headquarters said that "due to the low voter turnout, election officials, accompanied by gun-toting Russian soldiers, carry ballots straight to people’s houses."
The international community has already denounced the plebiscites, as their results are believed to have been preordained by the Kremlin.
US President, Joe Biden, labelled the effort as "sham", assuring Ukraine that his country will never recognise the potential annexation, and pledged to "impose additional swift and severe economic costs on Russia."
Moscow's move is reminiscent of the 2014 referendum in Crimea, which the democratic world unanimously branded as illegal.
The Kremlin-orchestrated referendums are scheduled to run until Tuesday, 27 September.
Source: AP, PAP, Rzeczpospolita, Reuters