Ukraine LIVE: 'Thousands into meat grinder!' Kremlin critics rage at Putin mobilisation

Olivia Stringer

Foreign Secretary says UK will never accept results of sham referendums

The UK’s Foreign Secretary has said that the UK will never accept sham referendums, following announcements that the self proclaimed People’s Republic of Donestk and the People’s Republic of Luhansk plan to hold referendums on joining Russia.

James Cleverly said Vladimir Putin’s “referendum playbook” was a “blatant sham designed to seize Ukraine’s land”.

He added: “Any votes held at the barrel of a gun cannot be free or fair.

“We will never recognise the results of any sham referendums or attempts to annex Ukraine’s sovereign territory.”

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Putin’s nuclear threat hides ‘genuine weakness’ says former NATO chief

Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats hide “genuine weakness” a former NATO Secretary General has said.

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen told the BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme he thinks the threats are “bluster”.

He added: “I think it hides a genuine weakness now in the Russian position in relation to what is happening in Ukraine.

“I think we are going to hear the rhetoric stepped up, because on the battlefield they don’t seem to be able to make the progress that they claim.”

He added: “It’s much more dangerous than it was in my time. Russia was on side with us, Russia was a partner with us, we were doing good business with President Putin. I signed the Rome declaration with him in 2002, which said that individual countries had the sovereign right to make their own decisions on security.

“But, in the meantime, a lot has changed including the psychology of the man in the Kremlin. So, it’s a much more dangerous world when somebody so mercurial as President Putin can be taking these kind of life and death decisions for his country, and indeed for the world.”

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Zelensky says he is ‘sure’ Ukraine will liberate its territory

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is “sure” that Ukraine will liberate its territories after President Putin announced partial mobilisation of Russian troops.

Speaking to Bild, Mr Zelensky said that Russia is determined to “drown” Ukraine in blood, “including the blood of its own soldiers”.

However, he added that he does not believe that Russia will lose nuclear weapons and warned the West not to be blackmailed by Putin.

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Control of terrain MAPPED

Below is a map detailing the latest developments for Russian and Ukrainian forces in terms of terrain, courtesy of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

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All plane tickets from Russia to visa free countries sold out

All plane tickets from Russia to visa-free countries have reportedly sold out following Vladimir Putin’s announcement of partial mobilisation of Russia.

All plane tickets from Russia to visa-free countries are sold out, @ru_rbc reports. I wonder what the ratio of male to female passengers is.

u2014 Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) September 21, 2022

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What does Putin mean by partial mobilisation?

In a televised address on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation of Russia.

Later, Russia’s minister of defence, Sergey Shoigu confirmed that the partial mobilisation will involve Russians with military experience.

He said that 300,000 reservists will be mobilised.

However, Mr Shoigu said that they will not all be mobilised at once but according to need.

He added that students will not be conscripted.

Addressing the move in his speech Putin said: “We are talking about partial mobilisation, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military speciality and relevant experience.

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Pope says Ukrainians subjected to ‘monstrosities’

Pope Francis has said that Ukrainians have been subjected to “monstrosities” and “torture”.

Speaking at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said he had recently spoken with Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, his charity chief who is delivering aid in Ukraine.

He said: “He (Krajewski) told me of the pain of these people, the savage acts, the monstrosity, the tortured bodies they find.

“Let us unite with these people, so noble, and martyred.”

Pope says Ukrainians subjected to ‘torture’ (Image: Getty)

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Putin wants to ‘smear hundreds of thousands of people in blood’ says Navalny

Jailed Kremlin opposition politician Alexei Navalny has spoken out after Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation in Russia.

In a video recorded in jail and published by Mr Navalny’s lawyers, he said: “It is clear that the criminal war is getting worse, deepening, and Putin is trying to involve as many people as possible in this.

“He wants to smear hundreds of thousands of people in this blood.”

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What is a HIMARS?

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) has been credited with stopping Russia in its tracks, with retired US Army General Mark Hertling last month describing the missile system as a “game changer”.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the mobile platform can either be equipped with six guided rockets which have a range of roughly 40 miles, or one Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which has a range of about 185 miles.

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Slovakian PM condemns ‘psuedo referendums’

Slovakia’s Prime Minister has said that he strongly condemns Russia’s pseudo referendums on occupied territories of Ukraine.

The self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) have said they want referendums on joining Russia from September 23 to 27.

Eduard Heger said that the annexations of both regions are “illegal” and “cannot be accepted”.

He tweeted: “I #strongly condemn Russia’s pseudo referendums on occupied territories of #Ukraine. It’s an illegal annexation, which can’t be accepted. We reiterate our #support for Ukraine’s full territorial #integrity and #sovereignty!”

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Mass protests to break out across Russia

Mass protests are set to break out across Russia, following Vladimir Putin’s announcement on partial mobilisation.

Until now, Russia has refused to call its invasion of Ukraine a war and has instead labelled it a “special military operation”.

Russian pro-democracy youth group Vesna is organising protests across Russia, following the announcement.

In a thread of tweets, the group announced the locations of dozens of protests across the Far East, Siberia and the Urals, adding that the locations of protests in central Russia would be released later.

It added that the protests will take place at 7pm local time and encouraged people to “spread the word”.

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u2014 u0414u0432u0438u0436u0435u043du0438u0435 u00abu0412u0435u0441u043du0430u00bb ud83dudc9a (@vesna_democrat) September 21, 2022

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Dutch PM says Putin’s actions are ‘sign of panic’

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that Putin’s nuclear threats and sham referendums are all “signs of panic”.

He added: “‘His rhetoric on nuclear weapons is something we have heard many times before…It is all part of the rhetoric we know. I would advise remaining calm.”

Dutch PM Mark Rutte on Putin’s nuclear threats and sham referendums says they are a ‘all a sign of panic’. Rutte adds: ‘His rhetoric on nuclear weapons is something we have heard many times before…It is all part of the rhetoric we know. I would advise to remain calm.’

u2014 Joe Barnes (@Barnes_Joe) September 21, 2022

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What is the Donbas?

The Donbas region of Ukraine refers to the old coal and steel-producing areas in the east.

The regions, Luhansk and Donetsk, run from outside Mariupol in the south all the way to the northern border.

Russia formally recognises these breakaway areas as independent from Ukraine.

Russian forces seized more than a third of the area after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Donbas is predominantly Russian-speaking and Putin has repeatedly spoken about “liberating” it completely.

Despite sharing a language, these areas are no longer pro-Russian.

Defence specialist Konrad Muzyka, head of Rochan Consulting, said: “Mariupol was one of the most pro-Russian cities in Ukraine and to level it is beyond my comprehension.”

What is the Donbas? (Image: Getty)

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Russian mobilisation is ‘another humiliation’ for Putin

Russian mobilisation is “another humiliation” for Russia Former Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said.

He told GB News that it is also “an admission that he’s losing the war”.

u2018This is another humiliation for President Putin.u2019

Former Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind says Russian mobilisation ‘is an admission that heu2019s losing the war’.

ud83dudcfa Freeview 236, Sky 515, Virgin 604

ud83dudcbb GB News YouTube:

u2014 GB News (@GBNEWS) September 21, 2022

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Ben Wallace says partial mobilisation is ‘admission Russia is failing’

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said that Russia’s announcement of partial mobilisation is an admission that Putin is failing.

He said: “President Putin’s breaking of his own promises not to mobilise parts of the population and the illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine are an admission that his invasion is failing.

“He and his defence minister have sent tens of thousands of their own citizens to their deaths, ill-equipped and badly led.

“No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, the international community are united and Russia is becoming a global pariah.”

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Russia likely to have moved submarines from Crimea to southern Russia – MoD

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is likely to have moved its KILO class submarines from their home port of Sevastal in Russian annexed Crimea to Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia, the UK Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update.

The MoD said that this is “highly likely due to the recent change in the local security threat level in the face of increased Ukrainian long-range strike capability” adding that “in the last two months, the fleet headquarters and its main naval aviation airfield have been attacked.”

The MoD added that guaranteeing the Black Sea Fleet’s basing in Crimea was one of Putin’s motivations for annexing the peninsula in 2014.

It said: “Base security has now been directly undermined by Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine.”

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Russia’s latest losses

Russia has lost 55,110 troops since the beginning of the war in Ukraine since February 24, according to the latest estimates from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Armed Forces also estimate that Russia has lost 2,227 tanks and 253 planes.

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Putin ‘speeding up the collapse of his regime’ with partial mobilisation

Vladimir Putin is “speeding up the collapse of his regime” with partial mobilisation in Russia, an expert has said.

Anders Aslund, author of “Russia’s Crony Capitalism” said that “if Putin fears that Russia will fall apart, it is likely to happen.”

He added: “As the flawed strategist Putin is, he is speeding up the collapse of his regime by calling for partial mobilization.”

Putin’s appeal to the Russian Federation (note not to its people) is completely confused. While its essence is imperialist & colonialist, Putin now talks about “necessary, steps to defend the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia.”

u2014 Anders u00c5slund (@anders_aslund) September 21, 2022

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Mobilisation shows ‘signs of weakness’ in Russia, says US ambassador

Mobilisation and “sham referenda” are signs of “weakness” in Russia, the US ambassador to Kyiv has said.

In a tweet following Vladimir Putin’s announcement of partial mobilisation this morning, Bridget A. Brink said: “Sham referenda and mobilization are signs of weakness, of Russian failure.

“The United States will never recognize Russia’s claim to purportedly annexed Ukrainian territory, and we will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Sham referenda and mobilization are signs of weakness, of Russian failure. The United States will never recognize Russia’s claim to purportedly annexed Ukrainian territory, and we will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.

u2014 Ambassador Bridget A. Brink (@USAmbKyiv) September 21, 2022

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Putin announces partial mobilisation in Russia

In a rare televised address this morning, Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation in Russia.

Until now, Russia has called its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation”.

However, Putin said that mobilisation will begin today as it is necessary to “liberate” the Donbas.

He said that people living in the Donbas: “do not want to be under the yoke of neo-nazis.”

Putin said the aim of the West is to “weaken and destroy” Russia.

He also accused the West of “engaging in nuclear blackmail”.

In response to this, he said: “I tell the West: we have lots of weapons to reply, it is not a bluff.”


Putin says the aim of the West is to ‘weaken and destroy’

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Desperate Putin pulls fighters from Syria as ranks pummelled by offensive

Vladimir Putin is pulling paratroopers from Syria in a desperate attempt to replenish troops in Ukraine, Kyiv officials reported on Tuesday. Russia is struggling with a shortage of troops and has suffered heavy losses in recent weeks after Ukraine launched a number of counteroffensives to take back territory.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that due to these shortages the 217th Paratroop Regiment would be transferred from Syria to Ukraine.

In a daily operational update, the General Staff said: “Due to the unsuccessful conduct of hidden mobilization measures, the military-political leadership of the Russian Federation has decided to withdraw units of the 217th Paratroop Regiment from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic and beyond Preparations to roll over to Ukraine.”

This comes as Putin announced partial mobilisation in Russia, in a rare televised address on Wednesday morning.

He said Russia’s aim is to liberate the Donbas.

Olivia Stringer

Good morning

Good morning, I’m Olivia Stringer and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Livstringer_