Jennifer Jacobs at Bloomberg tweets: "Kremlin is denying it’s planning votes in Ukrainian territories occupied by its troops—even as officials on the ground work to conduct referendums by Sept. 15 on merging with Russia. Effort directed by Sergei Kiriyenko, Kremlin’s 1st deputy chief of staff"
- Recent comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov regarding the Russian invasion will have raised concerns in Kyiv and the West that despite major military setbacks and significant resistance from Ukrainian forces, Moscow's territorial ambitions lie beyond the Donbas.
- Alleged that there are already efforts by Russia to 'passportize' regions of southern Ukraine such as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia (conferring citizenship en masse by distribution of passports). Referenda on joining Russia (unlikely to be free or fair) seen as another means of legitimizing Russian annexation.