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Russia-Ukraine war live news: west rejects referendum results; Nord Stream ‘sabotage’ denounced


Key events

The governments of Bulgaria and Poland are urging any citizens that remain in the Russian federation to leave urgently. That may be in anticipation of border crossings becoming much more difficult as routes out close, and more people flee forced mobilisation in Russia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria said in a statement on Tuesday that it “calls for refraining from traveling to the Russian Federation and recommends that Bulgarian citizens in the Russian Federation consider the possibility of leaving the country as soon as possible, using currently available means of transport”.

The Polish Foreign Ministry has made a similar statement, Polish outlet TVP reports, saying flights with Russia had been suspended and encouraging any remaining citizens to get out:

In case of a drastic deterioration of the security situation, the closure of borders or other unforeseen circumstances, evacuation may prove significantly impeded or even impossible…

We recommend that the citizens of the Republic of Poland who remain on the territory of the Russian Federation leave its territory using the available commercial and private means.”

Russian authorities say they are establishing checkpoints at some of Russia’s borders, to forcibly mobilise Russian men who are seeking to avoid forced mobilisation by fleeing the country. Russian minister of internal affairs for North Ossetia-Alania Andrei Sergeev said on Telegram that “the influx of light vehicles moving towards Georgia is seriously increasing” and that a “mobilization point of the military registration and enlistment office will be deployed at the checkpoint in the near future”.

Thinktank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) also cited social media footage showing Russian military vehicles moving toward the border, reportedly to establish the mobilisation checkpoint.

Other detail on reported Russian attempts to force fleeing men into the the army, from ISW:


The Russian Ministry of Defence denied rumours on September 27 that Russian officials asked the governments of Georgia, Kazakhstan, and other states to forcibly extradite Russian men fleeing mobilisation back to Russia. Kazakhstan’s internal affairs minister, Marat Akhmetzhanov, told reporters that Kazakhstan would only extradite men who had committed a crime that is also illegal in Kazakhstan and were placed on an international wanted list but did not explicitly refute the rumour.

The United States will introduce a resolution at the U.N. Security Council calling on member states not to recognise any change to Ukraine and obligating Russia to withdraw its troops, U.S. ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

We are putting forward a Security Council resolution to:

– condemn Russia’s sham “referenda”
– call on Member States not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine
– and obligate Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine

— Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) September 27, 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country will introduce further sanctions against Russia in response to the “sham” referendums held in occupied Ukrainian regions. Trudeau said the country was “actively engaging with our international partners and allies to ensure a united rejection” and that the country intended to “impose new sanctions on the persons and entities complicit in this latest attempt to undermine principles of state sovereignty”.

Summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine. I’m Tess McClure and I’ll be with you on the liveblog as Europe wakes up. It’s 7.30am in Kyiv. These are the latest developments:

  • Poland’s foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, has said Nato’s response to any use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine should be non-nuclear but “devastating”. His comments come after Dmitry Medvedev, the hawkish deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, again threatened the west with the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, saying: “Imagine that Russia is forced to use the most formidable weapon against the Ukrainian regime, which has committed a large-scale act of aggression, which is dangerous for the very existence of our state. I believe that Nato will not directly intervene in the conflict, even in this situation.”

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukraine will “defend” its citizens in Moscow-held regions that authorities have claimed voted in favour of merging with Russia. Zelenskiy said in a video on Telegram: “We will act to protect our people, both in the Kherson region, in the Zaporizhzhia region, in the Donbas, in the currently occupied areas of the Kharkiv region, and in the Crimea.”

  • Kremlin-backed officials in the four Ukrainian regions holding “referendums” claimed victory on Tuesday amid international condemnation of sham ballots.

  • Western countries have denounced the results. The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said the west would never recognise Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory, which he called part of a “diabolical scheme” by Moscow. Nato denounced the referendums as a “sham” and “violation of international law”.

  • European leaders have said sabotage is the most likely cause of leaks in two Nord Stream gas pipelines between Russia and Europe, after seismologists reported explosions around the Baltic Sea lines. Denmark’s military issued an image of gas bubbling at the surface of the Baltic after the “unprecedented” damage to the pipelines.

  • The European Commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen, threatened the “strongest possible response” to any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure in the wake of the Nord Stream damage. Swedish police said they had launched a preliminary investigation into possible sabotage. Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has called the leaks “an act of sabotage” that “related to the next step of escalation of the situation in Ukraine”.

  • President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to address both houses of the Russian parliament on Friday and may use the address to formally announce the accession into Russia of the Ukraine territories that held referendums, the British Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update. Putin said on Tuesday that Russia wanted to “save people” in the territories.

  • The United Nations human rights office has said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a wide range of human rights violations – including extrajudicial killings and torture – that could amount to war crimes, and had caused a dire rights situation. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report that it was particularly concerned about torture and ill treatment of detainees by Russian forces and affiliated armed groups, but that there had been rights violations by both sides.

  • Georgia and Kazakhstan said that tens of thousands of Russians had flooded into their countries from neighbouring Russia as military-aged men avoid military call-up following Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation.

  • Moscow said it would not request the extradition of Russians travelling abroad to avoid being called-up to fight in Ukraine.





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