Since the Russians' tactic is to instill fear in order to suppress resistance, their brutal behavior only achieved, according to Danil, that even those who might have been tolerant of the arrival of the Russians began to hate them.
However, there were not many of those who went to the polling stations which opened for the referendum. Although the occupiers organized a propaganda event at the Kherson Drama Theater building, where flags were flying and music was playing, and where people were brought by buses, according to Viktoria, there were still half as many people as before the performances.
According to Danil's description, voting in the referendum therefore usually went like this: two women took a box of ballots and walked with it from house to house, from door to door, accompanied by two men with assault rifles. Whoever opened the door was asked the question: “Are you participating in the referendum?”
If the answer was no, it was followed by: “I recommend you to reconsider”.
When someone asked what would happen if he voted against joining Russia, he replied: “I recommend you to reconsider again”.
“Everything went seemingly politely,” says Danil. As far as he knew, anyone who had resisted or claimed that the referendum was not legal, was picked up the next day and taken away. Taken to the basement, as they say.