Russia is reportedly looking to involve minors in referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine so that it can hide a "catastrophic" lack of votes, according to the Ukrainian government's security agency.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) wrote in a new report Thursday that it had intercepted documents detailing plans to have minors participate in the "fake" Russian referendums in the partially Russian-occupied eastern Donetsk region.
"Thus, the aggressors hope to expand the 'electoral base' of support for the Kremlin's project to join part of eastern Ukraine to the aggressor country," the report said, citing the alleged intercepted documents.
The documents show that leaders of the Russian-occupation administration in Donetsk plan to have local residents aged 13 to 17 vote in the referendum, the SSU said. It added that parents or guardians will have to escort their children to go vote.