Russian media have announced what will happen after the fake referendums in the occupied territories. Lavrov accuses the West of “grotesque” fear of Russia. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war in the ticker.
10:19 p.m .: German intelligence services have informed the Chancellery about the nuclear danger in the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia. This is reported by the news portal t-online, citing internal documents from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.
Accordingly, a risk analysis for the release of radioactivity in Zaporizhia was presented to the Chancellery in the so-called intelligence situation on September 6th. The emergency management system for Germany was also a topic in this context.
Participants in the round include the presidents of the German intelligence services and Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt.
6:28 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has made it clear that he takes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats seriously. “Maybe it was a bluff yesterday. Now it could be a reality, ”Zelenskyj told the US broadcaster CBS News in an interview published on Sunday, according to the translation. Zelenskyy referred to the skirmishes around the Russian-occupied Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia and said: “He (Putin) wants to scare the whole world. These are the first steps in his nuclear blackmail. I don’t think he’s bluffing.”
Putin announced on Wednesday the mobilization of 300,000 reservists for the war of aggression against Ukraine – he also said: “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will definitely use all available means to protect Russia and our people. That’s not a bluff.” Observers saw it as a threat to use nuclear weapons.
US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told the broadcaster on Sunday that the US government had told the Kremlin “directly, privately, at a very high level” that any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences for Russia. Russia had also been warned that the US and its allies would respond decisively.
4:37 p.m .: British Prime Minister Liz Truss has asked Western countries not to be provoked by Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We shouldn’t listen to his saber-rattling and empty threats,” Truss told CNN in an interview broadcast on Sunday. “Instead, we must continue to sanction Russia and support the Ukrainians.”
If Putin were to succeed, it would not only send a terrible message to Europe and pose a major threat to the Ukrainian people themselves, Truss said. “It would also send a message to other authoritarian regimes around the world that it’s somehow acceptable to invade a sovereign country.” That’s why it’s so important that the West continues to act as one.
Putin has realized that he will not win the war, but that he made a strategic mistake by invading Ukraine. That is the reason for his actions.
3:15 p.m .: Despite Serbia’s good relations with Moscow, the government in Belgrade will not recognize the results of the sham referendums in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said this at a press conference in Belgrade on Sunday, Serbian media reported. Recognizing these sham referendums “would be totally against our national and state interests, the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity and the inviolability of borders,” the minister said.
Selakovic was referring to the parallels between Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the Kosovo problem from the perspective of Belgrade. Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic recently pointed this out at the UN General Assembly in New York: “What is the difference between (sovereignty) Ukraine and Serbia? The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia have been grossly violated and you, or at least some of you, have legitimized and internationally recognized that,” Vucic said.
The former Serbian province of Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. This is not recognized by Serbia, but by most other countries. On the subject of the Ukraine conflict, Vucic maneuvers between Russia and the West. He accepted UN condemnation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine but opposed sanctions against Russia.
1:17 p.m .: According to the will of the federal government, EU citizens should no longer be allowed to sit on the supervisory boards or executive boards of Russian state-owned companies. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (online edition), this is provided for in a position paper by the federal government. It lists Berlin’s wishes for the new EU sanctions package against Russia and was sent to the other EU governments.
It would then no longer be possible for someone like former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) to have been the head of the supervisory board at the Russian oil company Rosneft for years. The EU recently announced a new round of sanctions after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered partial mobilization in the war against Ukraine.
The German government’s position paper justifies the proposal to ban EU citizens from posts in Russian state-owned companies by saying that this is “strategic corruption”. Offering supporters “well-paid posts in the management bodies” of state-owned companies has “long been an important element” of Moscow’s efforts to exert political influence in EU countries, according to the newspaper in the position paper.
Sunday, September 25, 8:50 a.m.: The political scientist Max Fras from the “European Institute” published a telegram message from several Russian media outlets, including “Meduza” on Twitter. This is intended to show how things will continue after the mock referendums in the occupied Ukrainian territories.
According to this, the result of the “referendum” is to be announced on September 27th. A day later the Russian borders close. On September 29, the occupied territories are to be officially declared Russian territory. On September 30th there will be a speech by Vladimir Putin.
The UN general debate this year is dominated by the Ukraine war, which escalated further this week due to partial Russian mobilization. The Russian Foreign Minister had already given a speech to the UN Security Council on Thursday, raising serious allegations against Ukraine – and left the room after his speech.
Lavrov accused the US on Saturday of trying to “turn the whole world into their backyard.” “After declaring itself victorious in the Cold War, Washington has almost risen to become an emissary of God on earth, with no obligations other than the sacred right to act with impunity anywhere, anytime,” he said.
He also defended the so-called referendums in four Russian-controlled areas in Ukraine for annexation by Russia. Only people claimed the land “on which their ancestors have lived for hundreds of years,” Lavrov said. “The West is now freaking out about the referendums.”
Kyiv and its western allies have criticized the referendums in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions as sham referendums. A connection of the four Ukrainian regions to Russia as a result of the “referendums” is condemned by the West as illegal. US President Joe Biden threatened Russia with tough sanctions in the event of annexations on Friday.
7.30 p.m .: The Russian authorities have confirmed a “significant” increase in cars coming from Russia at the border with Georgia after the announcement of a telemobilization. “There is a significant rush of private vehicles,” said the Interior Ministry of the Russian border region of North Ossetia on Saturday. Accordingly, “around 2300” vehicles were waiting to pass a border crossing. The ministry called on people to refrain from traveling to Georgia.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilization of hundreds of thousands of people. The announcement has prompted an exodus from Russia. The search query “leave Russia” was searched 100 times more than usual on the morning of the announcement, according to data from Google Trends.
Most direct flights to countries with no visa requirements for Russians are sold out, prices have risen enormously. There was also an increase in the number of cars on the borders with Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Witnesses reported hours of waiting at the border crossings.
Saturday’s comments are the first official confirmation from a Russian authority of an increase in departures. On Thursday, the Kremlin dismissed reports of able-bodied Russians fleeing as “false”.
5 p.m .: In the Yakutia region in Siberia, the head of the republic, Aissen Nikolayev, admits that mistakes were made in the military district offices. Men were drafted who did not fall under the mobilization. “Reservists were drafted incorrectly, they have to be sent back. Work has already begun,” said Nikolayev.
In the social networks in Russia there are numerous cases in which fathers of large families, men without combat experience or older and chronically ill reserve officers report that they have been drafted. Nikolayev said that the decisions of the military commissariats need to be better checked.
Meanwhile, thousands continued to flee the country to avoid conscription. The head of the Russian republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus, Ramzan Kadyrov, called those leaving the country “lazybones”, “useless” and “cowards” who should leave because they could only harm the army.
4:26 p.m .: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an amendment to the law on Saturday that provides for up to ten years in prison for soldiers who desert or surrender to the enemy during mobilization. According to the Kremlin, Putin signed another law granting Russian citizenship to foreigners who have served in the Russian army for at least a year.
Moscow is currently looking for men to serve in Ukraine. Putin had only announced a partial mobilization of hundreds of thousands of people on Wednesday. This represents a major organizational challenge. The reservists must be called up from all parts of the great country, equipped, taken to training centers and then to the front lines.
12:50 p.m .: Exactly seven months after the start of the war against Ukraine, Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov has been removed from office in Russia. Officially, the Ministry of Defense justified the step in a statement on Saturday with Bulgakov’s transfer “to another post”. His successor is to be Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, who previously headed the national center for defense management. In the future he will be responsible in particular for the logistics of the army.
Mizintsev is also known abroad: he was held responsible for the heavy attacks on the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol, which was captured by the Russians at the end of May. According to Ukrainian sources, thousands of civilians were killed and much of the city was destroyed during the week-long siege. In Great Britain, Mizintsev, also known as the “Butcher of Mariupol”, is therefore on a sanctions list.
After recent defeats, Russia’s military leadership around Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has recently come under criticism, including in circles close to the Kremlin.
Note d. Red.: In a previous version it was said that Mikhail Mizintsev, the “Butcher of Mariupol”, had been released. That was incorrect, Misinzew is supposed to be the new man in the post. Please excuse the mistake.
9:35 p.m .: A planned meeting between Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the Russian chief diplomat Sergey Lavrov in New York has burst. “After they asked their questions about negotiations with Sergei Lavrov on the fringes of the UN General Assembly and received a proposal for a date from the Russian side, the EU delegations disappeared from the radar,” criticized the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on her Telegram channel on Friday .
The 42-year-old apparently also referred to an initiated conversation between Baerbock and Lavrov. In the run-up to the general debate in New York, there had been contacts between the local delegations. The German Press Agency learned from diplomatic circles that it was about the possibility of a conversation between Baerbock and her Russian counterpart on the security of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. The meeting did not take place.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been heavily contested in recent weeks. The plant was hit several times, which increased international concern about a nuclear accident. An observer mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was able to visit the nuclear power plant in early September. However, the majority of the experts left on the same day, only two IAEA employees remained on site. The shelling of the nuclear power plant then continued. The nuclear authority called the risk of accidents “significant” in their investigation report and recently called for a protection zone to be built around the power plant.
He is not sure “whether the current sanctions are the best. Especially since the high energy prices are not due to them,” said the formerly richest person in Russia. “Because this is not the first wave of sanctions, and the most destructive sanctions are anyway those that Putin himself introduced as a reaction.”
Friday, September 23, 8:50 a.m.: Green Party politician Anton Hofreiter claims that the federal government is banning Spain from supplying battle tanks to Ukraine. Hofreiter said in an interview with “Spiegel” journalist Markus Feldenkirchen: “Spain would very much like to deliver Leopard 2 tanks, and that is prohibited by Germany.” Hofreiter continued: “I have very, very reliable information from the Spanish government. “
SPD man Ralf Stegner immediately contradicted Hofreiter’s account: “That’s Spökenkiekerei, as they would say in the north. The Spanish government expressly does not want that.” Hofreiter replies: “Of course they want it.” But Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would not say so publicly because he is also a social democrat like Chancellor Scholz.
7.30 p.m .: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the West of direct interference in the war in Ukraine because of its arms deliveries and support for Kyiv. “This policy of wearing down and weakening Russia means the West’s direct interference in the conflict, making it a party to the conflict,” Lavrov said on the situation in Ukraine at a UN Security Council session in New York on Thursday.
The position of those states “that are pumping weapons into Ukraine and training its soldiers” is particularly cynical, he added. The goal of this support is obviously to delay the fighting “for as long as possible, despite the casualties and destruction,” he said. Russia began its war of aggression against the neighboring country almost seven months ago.
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