Residents of Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine are ignoring referendums organized by Moscow-appointed local governments, Ukrainian officials said Friday. However, as they also admitted, in some cases the residents of these areas are forced to vote. TASR received the report from the American television station CNN. Voting in the referendums in the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and in parts of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions began on Friday in the morning hours. Residents of the mentioned areas can decide by Tuesday next week whether they are for or against joining the Russian Federation. The referendums, which are not recognized by Ukraine or Western countries, will last until Tuesday. “This is not a referendum in the true sense of the word. This is an imitation. Local residents ignore it. Some people are simply forced to vote. There were buses of people brought from Crimea to cast ballots,” Ukrainian military intelligence official Andriy Yusov told CNN . According to its own statements, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has uncovered documents showing that the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) planned to expand the electorate by involving citizens under the age of 18. In order to strengthen control over electoral participation, the representatives of the DĽR decided that minors should be accompanied to the referendum rooms by their parents, guardians or representatives of children’s homes, the SBU added. Pro-Russian representatives in the occupied regions of Ukraine are enthusiastically promoting the referendums as a historic change, CNN notes. After voting in the referendum, the chairman of the self-government of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, appointed by Moscow, expressed his belief that as part of the Russian Federation, the region will be “protected in every direction”. “I feel respect and confidence that what we fought for for so long is finally coming true. This is a return home. A return to great Russia. History is being made today,” said the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) after casting his vote in the referendum ) Denis Pushilin.