Russia-Ukraine news latest: Putin warns of more land grabs after four regions annexed

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Zelensky claims Russian occupiers ‘trying to escape’ liberated Ukraine regions

The Kremlin hinted that it could have plans to annexe more regions of Ukraine.

It comes after Vladimir Putin signed a law to incorporate four partially-occupied regions of southern Ukraine – the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – into Russia.

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It’s the biggest expansion of Russian territory in at least 50 years.

Kyiv said the act was of a “collective madhouse” at a time when Russian forces have been fleeing front lines.

But the Kremlin suggested it’s eyeing up more regions to “reclaim”. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that Russia will “keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia”.

He did not specify which Ukrainian territories Moscow is considering taking next and he would not say if the Kremlin planned to organise more “referendums”, that Western allies of Ukraine have condemned as “illegal”.

Also on Wednesday, Putin ordered Russia to take control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Russia’s nuclear power operator Rosatom said it would transfer all the existing Ukrainian employees to a new Russian-owned organisation.

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Kyiv has urged Ukrainian workers there not to sign any documents handed to them by Russian occupiers.

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Zelensky warns winter will be difficult

Volodymyr Zelensky has said his administration is preparing for the approaching winter season and that he is aware of Russian soldiers invading Ukraine also preparing for the harsh weather.

“I had a very substantive meeting in the afternoon regarding our preparations for the winter season. We are fully aware of all risks. And we know that the occupiers are also… preparing for winter,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Wednesday.

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He said that scenarios are being worked out at all levels of government to protect people.

“We speak honestly: winter will be difficult. But in order to endure it, we accumulate gas, coal and everything else that is necessary. We are working to be ready. And it is important that our partners approach this period with the same preparedness,” he said.

Mr Zelensky sought cooperation from his Ukrainian allies and said: “The more we do together now to bring peace closer, the more we cooperate and put pressure on Russia, the safer this winter can be for all of us in Europe.”

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Overnight shelling sets Zaporizhzhia city on fire, casualties likely – official

The Ukrainian city housing the country’s largest nuclear facility has been shelled overnight causing multiple fires, regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said.

The Russian shelling destroyed and damaged several residential buildings, the governor said early today.

“As a result of the enemy attacks, fires broke out in the city. There are possible casualties. Rescuers are already pulling people out from under the rubble,” the official said on Telegram.

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Ukraine retakes more territory annexed by Russia in last 24 hours

Volodymyr Zelensky has said his Ukrainian forces have retaken more settlements in Kherson, one of the partially Russian-occupied southern regions that Moscow claims to have annexed in illegal referendums.

In the last 24 hours, he said, “settlements of Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka and Petropavlivka were liberated from the sham referendum and stabilised in Kherson”.

The movement continues, he added.

“Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. And more and more citizens of Russia are realizing that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war,” the Ukrainian president said in his late night address.

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Ukraine’s foreign ministry calls for sanctions against Rosatom

The Ukrainian foreign ministry is calling on its allies in the West to sanction Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom.

It comes after Vladimir Putin ordered Russia to take control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, located in one of the four regions in southern Ukraine that he recently annexed.

Rosatom, also known as Rosenergoatom, said it would transfer all the existing Ukrainian employees to a new Russian-owned organisation.

But Petro Kotin, the boss of Ukraine’s state energy agency, announced he was taking over the plant that was captured by Russian forces in March, following the launch of the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

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The European Union has approved a fresh package of sanctions against Russia that includes a price cap on oil sales.

Top Russian energy official and deputy PM Alexander Novak said a price cap on its exports will backfire and could lead to a temporary cut in production.

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Russia lobbies for secret UN ballot on its Ukraine annexation

Russia is lobbying for a secret ballot instead of a public vote when the UN General Assembly next week considers whether to condemn Moscow’s move to annex four partially occupied regions in Ukraine.

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Ukraine and its allies have denounced the so-called referendum votes in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as illegal and coercive.

A resolution drafted for the assembly drafted by Western nations condemns Russia’s “illegal so-called referenda” and the “attempted illegal annexation”.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia

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(AP)

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia wrote in a letter to UN states, seen by Reuters, that the resolution was part of a “clearly politicised and provocative development aimed at deepening the divide in the General Assembly and bring its membership further apart.”

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He argued that a secret ballot was needed because Western lobbying meant that “it may be very difficult if positions are expressed publicly.”

Diplomats said the General Assembly would likely have to vote publicly on whether to hold a secret ballot.

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Russia ‘appoints official to oversee annexed territories’

Russia has reportedly appointed an official to oversee the recently-annexed regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine following “illegal” referenda.

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Kremlin-aligned media outlet RosBiznesConsulting reported that Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin appointed Vadim Vasiliev as the official for overseeing the “development of new territories”.

He has also been appointed the deputy minister of construction, housing and utilities of the Russian Federation.

Irek Faizullin – the minister of construction, housing and utilities – reportedly said that 116 new employees joined the department this week.

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Russia warns of more land grabs after four regions annexed

The Kremlin hinted that it could have plans to annexe more regions of Ukraine.

It comes after Vladimir Putin signed a law to incorporate four partially-occupied regions of southern Ukraine – the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – into Russia.

It’s the biggest expansion of Russian territory in at least 50 years.

Kyiv said the act was of a “collective madhouse” at a time when Russian forces have been fleeing front lines.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

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(Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via Reuters)

But the Kremlin suggested it’s eyeing up more regions to “reclaim”. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that Russia will “keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia”.

He did not specify which Ukrainian territories Moscow is considering taking next and he would not say if the Kremlin planned to organise more “referendums”, that Western allies of Ukraine have condemned as “illegal”.

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‘You’ve lost,’ Zelensky after ‘Russia deploys Iran-made drones’

Volodymyr Zelensky said that no weapon, even the Iranian-made Shahed drones, will help Russia win the war.

In his nightly address, the Ukrainian spoke in Russian to make his statement to the Russian occupiers.

It comes after drones – known as HESA Shahed 136, or “kamikaze drones” – hit a building overnight in Bila Tserkva, about 45 miles (75km) from Kyiv – according to the Kyiv region’s governor Oleksiy Kuleba.

Mr Zelensky said: “These Iranian Shahed drones with which you are trying to bomb our cities, such as Bila Tserkva … won’t help you anyway. You have already lost.

“You’ve lost because even now, on the 224th day of the full-scale war, you have to explain to your society why all this is needed: this war, the false mobilisation and self-destruction of all the prospects of your people.”

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Volodymyr Zelensky said using Iranian-made drones won’t help Russia

(Office of the President of Ukraine)

He went on: “When people feel they are right and when they are on their own land, they themselves know everything. They do not need fanatic lectures on ‘alternative history’ and political information sessions every day.

“ … Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. And more and more citizens of Russia are realising that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war. It’s obvious who will win”

Ukraine has reported a number of Russian attacks with Iranian-made drones in the last three weeks, but the recent strike on Bila Tserkva has been the closest one to Kyiv.

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Iran denies supplying the drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented – Reuters reported.

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Russia anti-war TV reporter confirms she has fled house arrest

A Russian TV journalist who shot to fame after staging an anti-war protest during a live broadcast has confirmed she has escaped house arrest over charges of spreading fake news.

In March, just weeks after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Marina Ovsyannikova staged a walk-out in front of studio cameras during an evening news broadcast on the flagship Channel One.

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She held up a homemade placard that read, “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you”.

Despite receiving a hefty 30,000 rouble (£460) fine for her demonstration, the 44-year-old has continued her opposition to the war.

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US agents ‘suspect Ukraine involved in killing of Daria Dugina’

American intelligence agencies reportedly suspect that parts of the Ukrainian government authorised a car bomb attack near Moscow that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, in August.

The US had no involvement in the attack, did not know about it ahead of time and would have opposed the killing if it had been consulted – officials said, according to the report by The New York Times.

The officials reprimanded their Ukrainian counterparts over the assassination, the report adds, that killed the 29-year-old TV commentator.

Nationalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin at a ceremony for his daughter Daria

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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It’s believed that Ms Dugina’s father Aleksandr Dugin – who has called on Russia to intensify its invasion of Ukraine – was the actual target of the attack and that the operatives who detonated the car bomb had believed he would be in the vehicle with his daughter.

When asked about the US intelligence assessment, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, reiterated Kyiv’s claims that Ukraine’s government was not involved in the killing.



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