Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

Despite criticism, Russia is pushing ahead with its annexation plans with mock referendums in the occupied part of Ukraine. A rhetorical exchange of blows takes place on the UN stage. The developments at a glance.

In four of Russia Occupied Ukrainian territories are making final preparations for mock referendums on joining Russia. The votes under martial law in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia are scheduled to begin today and have no chance of broad international recognition.

With the partial mobilization she initiated, the leadership in Moscow is now also encountering resistance in her own country Ukraine tried to stoke up: President Volodymyr Zelenskyj called on the Russians in his daily video message to protest against the mobilization and to evade conscription.

"Protest! Fight! Run away! Or go into Ukrainian captivity! These are the options for you to survive," Zelenskyy said in his speech, which was delivered in Russian. According to him, 55,000 Russian soldiers have already died in Ukraine Moscow there are almost 6,000. Zelenskyj appealed to the mothers and wives of the conscripts: "Do not doubt that the children of your state's leadership will not take part in the war against Ukraine. Protect those who make decisions in your country their children. And your children will not even be buried."

Addressed to his own compatriots explained Zelenskyj, the mobilization in Russia is a sign of the strength of Ukraine. With the decision, the war for the Russians will no longer be just an event from television, but will move into real life. For the Ukrainians, on the other hand, nothing will change, they will continue to fight for the liberation of their country, he was convinced. With a view to the UN General Assembly, the Ukrainian President explained that Ukraine is now supported by an even larger circle of states in the international community.

Diplomatic exchange of blows at the United Nations

Meanwhile, verbal clashes between Russia and Western-backed Ukraine continued in New York, where Zelenskyi had delivered his speech to the United Nations the day before. Moscow has no interest in peace talks and is "only looking for a military solution," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the UN Security Council. He accused Russian diplomats of an "extraordinary amount of lying". Referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who entered the room about 90 minutes late at the meeting on Ukraine and then left again immediately after his speech, Kuleba said: "I also noticed today that Russian diplomats are fleeing just like Russian ones Soldiers."

Lavrov, in turn, accused the West of direct interference in the war 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 and makes it a party to the conflict," Lavrov said during his brief appearance at the UN Security Council session. The position of those states "that are pumping weapons into Ukraine and training their soldiers" is particularly cynical. The aim of this support is obviously to delay the fighting "for as long as possible, despite the victims and the destruction," said Lavrov.

Kremlin denies higher figures on mobilization

It is true that many people in Russia have already received their draft notice. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied reports that up to a million reservists could be called up. The Internet portal of the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta", which has since been discontinued in Russia, wrote that President Vladimir Putin gave the Defense Ministry a free hand to mobilize given up to a million men. This is in point 7 of Putin's decree on Wednesday. This item was missing from the publication and was classified as "For official use only".

In its report, the newspaper, which operates from exile, referred to alleged sources in the Russian presidential office. Peskow himself said on Wednesday that the said paragraph of the decree was about the number of reservists. However, it is true that 300,000 men should be called up, as announced by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In view of the mobilization announced by the Kremlin, many young men are trying to break away from Russia. In addition, there were protests in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and other cities in the country against the forced service with weapons - and hundreds of arrests.

The CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen sees Putin under massive pressure at the latest with the partial mobilization in his own country. "I would say the stage has been reached that his authority is crumbling," he said on Thursday on the ZDF program "maybrit illner". "He has now scared his own people, the young people." Putin's system reveals military and political weaknesses, which could ultimately lead to "diplomacy once again regulating conflicts and not weapons."

120,000 conscripts drafted

In addition to mobilizing reservists, Russia has also begun calling up recruits for ordinary military service, which is customary once every six months. This time 120,000 conscripts were drafted. "Citizens called up for military service will not be called upon to take part in the special military operation in Ukraine," said General Staff representative Vladimir Tsimlyansky. The Kremlin persists in its line of officially calling the war a "military special operation." According to Tsimlyansky, conscripts whose term of service is about to end will also be released and sent to their hometowns. In Russia, regular military service lasts one year.

That will be important on Friday

In the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, forced votes on joining Russia will start on Friday. They should be completed by Tuesday. However, basic democratic principles are disregarded and there are no independent international observers present as a supervisory authority.


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