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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 218-219 [29-30.09.2022, 10.00 am]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk, Maryana Zaviyska, Anna Dovha

Pseudo-referenda.

On September 28, the Russian occupation authorities in the partially occupied Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia regions appealed to the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to consider the issue of joining the captured territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation. Russian authorities implausibly claimed that each sham referendum received between 87 and 99% approval from Ukrainian residents. On the night of September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decrees to recognise the so-called independence of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, as a follow-up of the sham referenda. Also Putin is going to take part in the signing ceremony of the so-called ‘agreements’ on the accession to Russia of the occupied territories of Ukraine, where the fake ‘referendums’ were held. According to the report of the Institute for the War Study, Putin follows a similar approach as to the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

On September 28, Ukraine convened an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council in connection with Russia’s holding of pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories. Most of the member countries of the Council of Security strongly condemned the so-called referendums. India and China did not condemn the ‘referendums’, while calling for ‘peace’ and ‘dialogue’. UN Secretary-General António Guterres commented on the sham referendums that ‘they cannot be reconciled within the framework of international law.’ At the same time, the EU strongly condemned the sham referendums as well and stated that ‘the EU does not and will never recognise these illegal ‘referenda’ and their falsified outcome.’ 

In response to Russia’s sham referendums, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would introduce new sanctions. Also, the European Union will apply the sanctions against all temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine that apply to Crimea annexed by Russia.

Partial mobilization.

In the Russian Federation, since the beginning of the announced mobilization, more than 100000 people have been already drafted into the army, out of the previously announced 300000. At the same time, during the week of ‘partial mobilization’, more men left Russia than were deployed for the war in February. 

In reaction to the men fleeing the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he supports opening Germany to Russians fleeing mobilization. Meanwhile, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, appealed to the residents of the Russian Federation: ‘Surrender, or fight on your streets.’

Cities under attack.

Kharkiv region. During September 29, the Russian occupiers continued shelling the civilian population of the territories adjacent to the contact line and the border with the Russian Federation. At night, Kharkiv was shelled. As a result, infrastructure facilities were damaged. During the day, 7 people were hospitalized with injuries in the Kupian district. A 26-year-old man was injured in a mine explosion in the Izum district.

Mykolaiv region. At night on September 28, the Russian invaders launched missile attacks on Mykolaiv. An industrial zone was struck. On the night of September 29, the settlement of Berezgnehuvate was shelled. As a result of shelling, a warehouse building was destroyed. Private houses, trade facilities and private enterprises were also damaged. In the evening, Mykolaiv was attacked. The Russian invaders hit near a public transport stop. 2 people were killed and 13 people were injured as a result of the shelling. 

Dnipropetrovsk region. At night on September 28, the Russian military fired at Nikopol district. More than 10 high-rise buildings and private houses, a lyceum, a bus stop, gas piper and  6 power lines were damaged. At night, the Russian invaders launched a missile attack on Kryvyi Rih district. One missle hit a grain processing enterprise. At night on September 29, the Dnipro was bombed. As a result, 3 people were killed, 5 people were injured, around 60 private houses were damaged and a few private houses were completely destroyed. At the same time, the Russian invaders shelled Nikopol district. Industrial infrastructure was damaged in Nikopol. 10 private houses, farm buildings and cars were damaged in the Chervonohryhorivska community. In the morning, the Russian invaders shelled the industrial infrastructure in the Kryvyi Rih district. 19 employees of the enterprise were injured and the administration building was damaged

Zaporizhzhia region. On the morning of September 28, the Russian occupiers attacked the city of Huliaipole. A building that had the status of a historical monument was ruined. At night on September 29, the city of Orkhiv was shelled. Private houses were damaged. On September 29, Russian forces shelled a humanitarian convoy of civilians. Peoplewere waiting in the line to leave from Zaporizhzhia region to the temporarily occupied area to evacuate their relatives and to deliver humanitarian aid. 23 people were killed and 28 injured. 

Chernihiv region. On September 28 and 29, the Russian military fired at the border areas of the region with mortars.

Sumy region. On September 29, the Russian invaders shelled at the border areas of the region. As a result of the shelling, three people were injured and one person was killed, 5 private houses were damaged. 

Human rights.

In the de-occupied territories of the Kharkiv region, the facts of the deportation of people, mainly children, from the territories of the region are confirmed. Also, at least 20 torture chambers have already been discovered in the liberated territories of the Kharkiv region. In general, the investigators of the National Police have already recorded 582 war crimes in the territories of the region liberated from the Russian occupiers.

On September 29, as part of another exchange, Ukraine returned six people from Russian captivity: four marines and two civilians.

The monitoring mission created by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, which was supposed to investigate the terrorist attack in Olenivka, never arrived in the the Olenivka prison.

Dmytro Lubinets, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada, reported that the Russian  military did not give the personal hygiene products, water and blankets to the Ukrainian captives and also subjected them to beatings and torture.

Foreign policy.

The US Embassy in Moscow urged its citizens not to visit Russia, and those who are currently there to leave immediately. The same statements were issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania and Latvia asking their citizens who are in Russia to leave the country. Italy followed with a similar announcement, calling its citizens to leave taking into account difficulties of the travel connections and limitation of air space connection, that is currently present. 

Also, taking into account the need to prevent possible threats to the internal security of Latvia, the government declared a state of emergency from September 28 to December 26 at border crossing points and a number of border regions. At the same time, Finland is going to close its border to Russian tourists on September 30. The country’s government believes that the entry of Russian tourists to Finland threatens the country’s international relations.

The newly elected Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni stated that Ukraine can count on her loyal support for the cause of freedom of Ukrainian people. 

On September 29, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He asked the President of the Russian Federation to give a chance to negotiations with Ukraine.

German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to abandon the idea of using nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine. Meanwhile, the former Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel called on the international community to take the recent statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously and not to perceive them as a “bluff”.

Energy security.

The Prime MInister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal reported that an agreement was reached with IAEA Director General Raphael Grossi on increasing their mission at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

On September 29, Sweden reported a fourth gas leak from the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. In regard to the gas leaks, Joseph Borrell stated that damage to Nord Stream 1 and 2 are not a coincidence. The Minister of Defense of Estonia reported that the blasts of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines could have been carried out by Russia to divert the attention of the international community from Ukraine. At the same time, NATO issued a statement that all currently available information indicates that the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in international waters in the Baltic Sea is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. Meanwhile, security measures at the nuclear power plant were strengthened in Sweden after the gas leak in the Baltic Sea.Bloomberg reported that the 700-meter wide pool of bubbling water in the Baltic Sea caused by the rupture of the Nord Stream gas pipelines points to a climate disaster. 

European security officials observed Russian Navy ships in the vicinity of Nord Stream pipeline leaks that are likely caused by underwater explosions, according to CNN. There is also information that Russia probably bombed the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines using an underwater drone. Bloomberg reported that the 700-meter wide pool of bubbling water in the Baltic Sea caused by the rupture of the Nord Stream gas pipelines points to a climate disaster.

Economic security.

Ukraine received EUR 500 million in grant aid from the EU. The funds will be directed to ensure the financing of the most urgent state expenditures, in particular in the social and humanitarian spheres.

Exports of Ukraine to EU countries exceed the pre-war level. The trade activity of Ukrainian exporters was facilitated by the abolition of quotas and customs duties by the European Union, the ‘Solidarity Lines’ initiated by the European Commission for Ukraine, and the strengthening of the capacity of the customs infrastructure. However, Russia’s war on Ukraine will cause the latter’s economy to shrink by nearly a third in 2022, according to the latest forecast by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. At the same time, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shnihal stated that damages caused by the war amount to almost 350 billion dollars and are 1.6 times the GDP of Ukraine.

Sanctions.

The state-owned banks of Turkey İş Bankası and Denizbank, following the private ones, refused to work with the Russian payment system Mir. The banks left the system after the US warned of sanctions against financial institutions that use the Mir payment system.

On September 28, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, together with the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, presented a new package of sanctions aimed at Russia. 

Digital security.

The META company liquidated the largest and most complex Russian propaganda network during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russian social network VK has been removed from the App Store. Other services of the Russian social network and the Mail.ru program also disappeared from the store. Apple explained that they blocked VK services in the App Store because their owners are under British sanctions.

Infrastructure.

Canada will provide assistance in restoring Ukraine’s railway infrastructure. A joint contact group will be created to solve logistical problems for expanding the carrying capacity of Ukrainian railways.

Awards.

On September 28, the Time magazine published a list of Time100 Next young leaders, which this year included three Ukrainians: Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, mathematician Maryna Viazovska, and Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov.

Reading corner.

Statistics.

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Thank you for supporting Ukraine! Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!

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