Russian dictator Vladimir Putin may announce the accession of occupied Ukrainian territories in his address at the Russian parliament on Sept. 30, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry.
Russia's leaders hope this announcement will be seen "as a vindication of the 'special military operation' and will consolidate patriotic support for the conflict," the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Sept. 27. However, “increasing domestic awareness of Russia’s recent battlefield sets-backs and significant unease about the partial mobilization” will likely ruin their aspiration, according to the ministry.
On Sept. 23, Russia's proxies in the south and east parts of Ukraine declared the start of pseudo-referendums on joining Russia. They plan to announce the results on Sept. 27-28, according to Russian state-controlled media.
Residents of occupied territories in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are reportedly being forced to vote for joining Russia in sham referendums.