The referenda now taking place in Ukraine is of interest due to the consequences should the four oblasts vote to join the Russian Federation. If they do, then any military actions against Russian forces within the oblast borders would — technically — be an act of war against Russia proper.
Some may argue, as does Ukrainian President Zelenski, that the referenda are shams, but illegitimacy will be hard to prove if the outcome is consistent with historical trends, such as those the instant article documents.
Over the next few days we’ll be hearing eyewitness reports about the referenda from Ukraine. Some are already showing up on YouTube: