We have seen reports on Russian and Ukrainian telegram channels that the Putin-appointed gov’t in Luhansk is calling for a quickly done public referendum for Luhansk to join the Russian Federation as quickly as possible.   If this occurs it would make this stolen piece of Ukraine into Russian territory.

Putin could use this as a pretext to claim that Ukraine(and NATO and the US by extension) were attacking Russian territory. There is speculation that this would result in Russia calling for a general mobilization and a widening of the war itself.

A couple of points stand out here.

One, only countries friendly to Russia have recognized the invented states of Luhansk and Donbas as legitimate countries.  The UN, along with the rest of the world has rejected them on the proper and legal basis that they were part of the sovereign state of Ukraine and were seized byRussia by force.