At a video conference with laureates and finalists of the Teacher of the Year competition, Vladimir Putin said :
“Frankly speaking, the results of the referendum, which I was told about, not only pleased me, but also surprised me. Still, in such difficult conditions, people lived, and continue to live. And such a result, I assure you, and I think that the observers were convinced of this, there was no desire to correct something, clean something up, or add something. <...> The result, of course, is more than convincing, and it is absolutely transparent, this result, and not subject to any doubt.
Something about the results of the "referendum" in the so-called DPR is really surprising. On September 27 at 22:48 Moscow time, RIA Novosti published preliminary results after processing 56.85% of the ballots. 94.75% voted for joining the Russian Federation, 0.5% against.
It is not difficult to calculate the absolute number of ballots: the following day, Forbes reported that 2,116,800 voters voted in favor of the annexation, representing 99.23%. Thus, in total, 2,133,226 people officially took part in the "referendum". Consequently, after processing 56.85% of the ballots, it turned out that 63,669 voters did not vote for the annexation, including 6,064 voters against the annexation (obviously, 57,005 ballots were invalidated).
Less than an hour passed after the first RIA message, and a new one appeared - the results of processing 82% of the protocols. There were 99.06% votes in favor, 0.68% against. This means that there were already 11,895 votes against annexation. But the total number of those who did not support the annexation (voted against and cast invalid ballots) amounted to only 16,443. That is, the number of votes that did not support the annexation, in an incomprehensible way, decreased by almost four times.
Finally, shortly before midnight , the final official results of the "referendum" appeared: 99.23% for annexation. According to Forbes , there were only 4,938 votes against. Consequently, the total number of those who did not support the annexation was 16,426, that is, even less than it was after processing 82% of the ballots. And the number of votes against decreased by almost two and a half times and became even less than after processing 56.85%.
Thus, in the process of counting the votes, tens of thousands of ballots somehow evaporated. And in fact, there is something to be surprised.