Russian “referendums” in Ukraine, which could lead to Moscow annexing 15% of the country’s territory, were supposed to end on Tuesday. Voting in the eastern regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia began on Friday and was dismissed as a sham by Western countries, which vowed not to recognize the results.
The Kremlin said that they had not made a decision to close Russia’s borders as the first post-World War II mobilization prompted some to flee.
On Monday, the pressure in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline mysteriously collapsed. Authorities in Germany are trying to find out what caused the sudden drop in pressure in the defunct pipeline, and a representative of its operator said it could have been a leak.
A Russian man shot and killed the head of a local draft board in a Siberian town after telling him he would refuse to fight in Ukraine. The video shows a gunman dressed in camouflage shooting the official at point-blank range as other potential recruits for the Russian invasion flee the room.
Long queues of cars have formed at the border crossing between Russia and Mongolia, people continue to flee from the Kremlin’s order to mobilize. The head of the checkpoint in the city of Altanbulag said that more than 3,000 Russians entered Mongolia through the checkpoint since Wednesday.
The NATO Air Force conducts exercises over the Baltic Sea. Member nations, including Britain, Germany and Italy, took part in military exercises both over water and on land to strengthen the defense of the east.
The Netherlands has increased its military support for Ukraine. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also announced new sanctions in response to the mobilization and referendums in Russia.
The US has promised to provide Ukraine with $457.5 million in civil security assistance. The support was aimed at “saving lives” and “strengthening” law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, State Secretary Anthony Blinken said.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church says that Russian soldiers who died on the battlefield will receive absolution. Patriarch Kirill, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and a staunch supporter of the invasion of Ukraine, said “sacrifice washes away all sins.”
Britain has introduced 92 new sanctions in response to “fake referendums” in Russia in Ukraine. The package of fines targets those behind the fake votes, as well as oligarchs and board members.
Germany is debating whether to give asylum to Russian war refusers. Interior Secretary Nancy Fazer said the country is potentially willing to grant protection to deserters who face consequences for refusing to fight, but each case will be decided on a case-by-case basis for security reasons.
The UN Atomic Energy Organization declares its readiness for negotiations on the creation of a protective zone around the Zaporizhzhya NPP. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency met with the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine at the UN General Assembly last week to discuss the possibility.
The US has warned of dire consequences if Russia follows through on its thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons. Anthony Blinken said any use of the weapon would have a “catastrophic” impact around the world.
Congressional spending bill negotiators agree to include nearly $12 billion in new military and economic aid to UkraineA source told Reuters about it on Monday. The funding requested by the Biden administration would include $4.5 billion for Ukraine’s defense capabilities and equipment and $4.5 billion for direct support to the Kiev government, the sources said.
Ukraine claims that some Russian conscripts from the Kremlin’s mass mobilization are sent directly to the front line without training. These are both newly conscripted to Crimea and conscripts in the Luhansk region who received summonses in recent days.
Vladimir Zelensky has promised to liberate the entire country if Russia insists on a supposed referendum in the occupied regions of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine stated that the Armed Forces of the country will reject the Russian troops and respond “to every blow of the aggressor”.