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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Global Sep 27, 2022 22:02
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

(Reuters) - An ally of President Vladimir Putin issued a stark new nuclear warning to Ukraine and the West on Tuesday as referendums billed by Russia as a prelude to it annexing four Ukrainian regions entered their fifth and final day.

ENERGY

* The Kremlin did not rule out that sabotage could lie behind in two Russian natural gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark as European countries scrambled to investigate.

REFERENDUMS

* Ukrainians who help Russian-backed referendums to annexe large swathes of the country will face treason charges and at least five years in jail, Ukraine's presidential adviser said, as voting in four regions entered its last day.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to announce the accession of occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation during his address to parliament on Sept. 30, the British Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.

NUCLEAR THREAT

* Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev said the U.S.-led military alliance would not enter the conflict in Ukraine if Moscow fired a nuclear weapon there, for fear of a nuclear apocalypse. It was the latest such warning from Moscow as it prepares to annex territory in Ukraine.

* The use of nuclear weapons is a question of global security - this is no longer just about Ukraine, presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak told the Swiss Blick newspaper.

* Employees of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power station in southern Ukraine are trying to leave the region, Ukraine's general staff said, without saying how many or giving any further details.

FIGHTING

* Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the military situation in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region as difficult and said late on Monday that it was the country's "No. 1 goal" because it was also Russia's No. 1 goal.

* Ukraine also reported fierce fighting in Kherson in the south, where it is trying to cut off Russian occupying forces.

It was not possible to verify the battlefield reports.

RUSSIAN MOBILISATION* Kazakhstan is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of Russians who have fled their homeland since Moscow announced a military mobilisation last week, officials say, but the Almaty government has no plans to close its border.

* Thousands of Russians have also fled into Mongolia to evade conscription to Ukraine, putting further pressure on the government in Ulaanbaatar and its efforts to distance itself from the conflict.

QUOTE

"If other countries would attack Russia, we would fight for our country. But why are we going to Ukraine? For what?" a young Russian man who identified himself as Aleksey said in Mongolia.

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
 

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