The Russian land grab continues with forced voting….
The fiughting continues ….
The exodus of Russian males from the country continues also….
(Some countries will no longer accept Russian’s fleeing)
Putin keeps changing his generals…..
Here’s what we know:
The fighting continued even as Russian proxies in four Ukrainian provinces began what Western officials have called “sham” referendums to join Russia.
Moscow has threatened to annex Ukrainian territory and defend it as Russian land.
Referendum voting is carried out ‘under the muzzle of machine guns,’ Ukrainian officials warn.
Russia’s defense ministry shakes up its leadership.
The line at Georgia’s border with Russia is 2,000 cars long.
Zelensky tells Ukrainians living under occupation to avoid conscription ‘by any means.’
Defying travel warnings, Hasidic Jewish pilgrims flock to Ukraine.
The exhumation of a mass burial site in Izium is complete, with 447 bodies recovered.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law penalizing service members who leave their posts. The amendments, toughening the penalties for desertion, looting or “voluntary surrender,” were rushed through parliament Tuesday and Wednesday and are also designed to deter Russian contract soldiers in Ukraine from refusing to fight. Previously, soldiers could legally repudiate their military contracts. Under the new mobilization decree, military contracts have been extended indefinitely.
- Anger is flaring as Russia’s mobilization affects minority regions and protesters. Despite official assurances that it is only a partial mobilization to help the war in Ukraine, the initial process has sparked fears that far more soldiers could be sent to fight than the 300,000 first announced, The Washington Post reports. Rights groups and activists expressed concern that the call-up was disproportionately targeting ethnic minorities in remote or impoverished parts of Russia, far from Moscow.
- Ukrainians should report those who “help conduct this farce,” of referendums, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday in his nightly address. He also claimed that Russian forces sought to mobilize Ukrainians to fight their countrymen. “Sabotage any activity of the enemy,” he told residents in Russian-held territories, appealing to them to provide information about “bases, headquarters, warehouses with ammunition” if they are forced into Russian military service.
- The referendums, illegal under international law, will run until Sept. 27 in the separatist Luhansk and Donetsk territories in the east, Kherson in the south and parts of nearby Zaporizhzhia. There is little doubt that the announced result will overwhelmingly favor becoming part of Russia. When the Kremlin annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after a disputed vote, it claimed that nearly 97 percent supported joining Russia.
- The Kremlin has pledged to swiftly accept the regions into Russia after the vote. Moscow will consider Ukrainian attempts to retake the territory “as an attack on its lands in case of a positive decision in the referendums,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
- Moscow said it would exclude some employees in sectors such as information technology and finance from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization of reservists, which has prompted protests and traffic jams along some of Russia’s borders.
- Half of Russia’s 5 million police and law enforcement officials should be drafted, Chechnya leader and close Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov said Saturdayin an apparent sign of concern about the quality of draftees called up in Russia’s mobilization drive. “Even if we exclude reservists from the equation, we still have a colossal staff of employees who, one way or another, have good physical training and weapons skills,” he said, referring to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations and the nation’s many intelligence, enforcement and policing agencies.
- Russia replaced its deputy defense minister for logistics of the armed forces with Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, Russian news agencies said Saturday, citing the Defense Ministry. Mizintsev gained the moniker “butcher of Mariupol” and faced Western sanctions for his role in the brutal battle for the Ukrainian port city.
- Two Americans freed from months of Russian captivity in Ukraine arrived in New York on Friday. Alexander J. Drueke and Andy Tai Huynh were met by a State Department representative at the airport, according to Drueke’s aunt….
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday offered guaranteed protections to Russian soldiers who surrender amid the conflict between the countries after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was calling up 300,000 reservists to replenish Russian forces,” The Hill reports.