Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

29, the state-run TASS news agency said on Saturday, citing an unnamed source. * Ukrainian officials have said people were banned from leaving some occupied areas until the four-day vote was over, armed groups were going to homes to force people to cast ballots, and employees were threatened with the sack if they did not participate.


Reuters | Kyiv | Updated: 25-09-2022 13:23 IST | Created: 25-09-2022 13:19 IST
Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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Russia has sought to defend its seven-month old war at the United Nations, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying on Saturday that regions of Ukraine where widely-derided referendums are being held would be under Russia's "full protection" if they are annexed by Moscow. REFERENDUMS

* Russia launched the referendums on Friday aimed at annexing four occupied regions, drawing condemnation from Kyiv and Western nations who dismissed the votes as a sham and pledged not to recognise their results. * The Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, may debate bills incorporating the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine into Russia on Sept. 29, the state-run TASS news agency said on Saturday, citing an unnamed source.

* Ukrainian officials have said people were banned from leaving some occupied areas until the four-day vote was over, armed groups were going to homes to force people to cast ballots, and employees were threatened with the sack if they did not participate. * Reuters could not immediately verify reports of coercion.

* The votes in the provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were hastily organised after Ukraine recaptured large swathes of the northeast in a counter-offensive. * Ukraine, Western leaders and the United Nations condemned the votes as an illegitimate precursor to illegal annexation. There are no independent observers, and much of the pre-war population has fled.

RUSSIAN MOBILISATION * Russia's two most senior lawmakers addressed a string of complaints about Russia's mobilisation drive, ordering regional officials to get a handle on the situation and swiftly solve the "excesses" that have stoked public anger.

* The strongly pro-Kremlin editor of Russia's state-run RT news channel expressed anger on Saturday that enlistment officers were sending call-up papers to the wrong men, as frustration about the mobilisation announced on Wednesday grew across Russia. * The head of the Kremlin's Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeyev, said on Saturday he had written to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu with a request to "urgently resolve" problems of the mobilisation.

RUSSIAN GENERAL REPLACED * In another rare public sign of turmoil at the top in Russia, the defence ministry said on Saturday the deputy minister in charge of logistics, four-star General Dmitry Bulgakov, had been replaced "for transfer to another role".

FIGHTING * Ukraine and Russia traded accusations on Sunday of attacks on civilians in southern Ukraine.

* Ukraine's military said early on Sunday that Russian forces had launched dozens of missile attacks and air strikes on military and civilian targets in the past 24 hours. * Russia also used drones to attack the centre of the southern city of Odesa, Ukraine's military said. No casualties were reported.

* Russia denies deliberately attacking civilians. Its RIA state news agency reported that Ukrainian forces bombed a hotel in the city of Kherson, killing two people. Russian forces have occupied the southern city since the early days of the invasion. * There was no immediate response from Ukraine.

* Reuters could not verify either side's claims.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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