Russian President Vladimir Putin sends new recruits to the front without preparation. Experts say the soldiers are no more than “cannon fodder”. Meanwhile, Russia is setting up border checkpoints to prevent more men from fleeing. what happened tonight
The Russian army is pushing new recruits into war with no preparation – or with a day’s preparation. This emerges from an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). A newly recruited soldier, assigned to the 1st Armored Regiment, said in a video that he would not receive any training before he was due to fight in the Kherson region from Thursday.
Russia is already trying to fill up several units that are currently deployed in Cherson or the Kharkiv region – and are severely depleted – with new recruits, according to the “ISW”. Russian opposition media outlet Mediazona reports that new recruits for the 237th Tank Regiment are being sent to the Donbass front after just a day of training.
The “ISW” experts write that new recruits with a day or two of training in the Russian army are unlikely to help. In the past few days, voices have repeatedly been raised saying that Putin is burning the new soldiers as “cannon fodder” if he sends them to Ukraine unprepared.
According to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia has started to set up checkpoints at the borders. This is intended to intercept men of mobilizing age who want to leave the country. An official in the North Ossetia region (near Georgia) said on Tuesday there were plans to set up such checkpoints “in the near future”. The “ISW” reports that videos show how military vehicles are heading for the Russian-Georgian border.
At the Russian-Finnish border, secret service employees are said to be comparing the names of those leaving the country with the draft list and arresting those men who are on the list. So far, however, there is no independent proof of this.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) reiterated that the sham votes in eastern Ukraine made no difference to Germany. “We will not accept the results of these sham referenda and will continue to support Ukraine with undiminished strength,” Scholz told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Wednesday).
With a view to the partial mobilization of the Russian reservists ordered by Putin, Scholz also said: “Putin is lining up mistakes after mistakes”. The Russian President “could end this war immediately by withdrawing his troops and then engaging in talks with Kyiv”.
Despite the sham referendums held by Russian occupiers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced the recapture of affected areas of his country. “This farce in the occupied territories cannot even be described as an imitation of referendums,” said Zelenskyj in his video speech on Wednesday night. “We are moving forward and liberating our country!”
Shortly before, the occupation administrations deployed by Moscow in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as in Cherson and Zaporizhia in the south, had said that the people there had allegedly voted in favor of joining Russia, some with more than 99 percent approval.
In a video address to the UN Security Council, Zelenskyy also said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Annexion is the kind of action that puts it alone against all of humanity. A clear signal is now needed from every country in the world.”
After counting all the votes, 99.2 percent of the voters in Donetsk agreed, said the occupation administration there. According to Russian information, it was more than 98 percent in Luhansk, more than 93 percent in Zaporizhia and more than 87 percent in Cherson. Thus, an unprecedented annexation of the territories is likely to begin in the coming days.
The mock referendums, which have been held for a total of five days since last Friday amid widespread international protest, are not recognized worldwide because they were held in violation of Ukrainian and international laws and without minimum democratic standards. In the past few days, observers had pointed to numerous cases in which residents of the occupied territories had been forced to vote.
In a next step, it is expected that the occupation administrations deployed by Moscow will officially apply to Kremlin chief Putin for admission to Russian territory. Before the start of the sham referendum, Putin had emphasized that the areas would then be completely under the protection of the nuclear power Russia.
The Federation Council – the upper house of the Russian parliament – could decide on the accession of the occupied territories to Russia next Tuesday, according to Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko. The next scheduled meeting is scheduled for that day, Matviyenko said on Tuesday, according to Russian agencies.
The US is preparing a UN resolution against the Russian sham referendums. Ukraine’s fight is also a fight for the values of democracy, said US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, at a session of the United Nations’ most powerful body in New York. “Therefore, we will introduce a resolution condemning these sham referendums, urging member states not to recognize a changed status of Ukraine, and obliging Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.”
A vote in the Security Council will almost certainly fail due to Russia’s veto, but could allow conclusions to be drawn about the degree of Russia’s isolation. After that, the resolution should go to the UN General Assembly with 193 member countries for a vote.
In the dispute over the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine, the state-owned company Gazprom threatened sanctions, including a delivery stop. Gazprom has been pumping less gas through the attacked country since May as part of the Russian war against Ukraine. Both sides hold each other responsible for the lower quantities. “Services not rendered by Ukraine should not and will not be paid,” Gazprom said.
After the conclusion of the sham referendums in Russian-occupied Ukrainian areas, the Kremlin is also likely to speak in Moscow. It is expected that Russia will soon annex the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Cherson and Zaporizhia after the referendums, which violate international law and the results of which are not recognized internationally.
Read the September 27 Ukraine update here
With a partial mobilization of the Russian armed forces, Kremlin chief Putin wants to bring about a turnaround in the war against Ukraine. Men are being rounded up across the country and sent to the front. But instead of patriotism, horror is spreading among the people – and resistance.
Putin has called for partial mobilization. But there are many indications that Russia is assembling a mass army. Is that purposeful? No, military experts believe. One historian even believes it will spell the end of Russia as we know it.
After the so-called partial mobilization was declared, thousands of Russians tried to leave the country. Yuri Rescheto reports from Riga.