As referendums end, Russia issues new nuclear warning to Ukraine and the West – National

An ally of President Vladimir Putin issued a new nuclear warning to Ukraine and the West on Tuesday as referendums touted by Russia as a prelude to annexing four Ukrainian regions entered their fifth and final day.

Moscow’s latest attack came as European countries rushed to investigate unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea, which will hamper efforts to restart the main line bringing Russian gas to Germany.

The Kremlin, which blamed technical problems on earlier cuts to Russian gas supplies to Europe, said it could not rule out sabotage, but did not say by whom and called for an investigation .

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Ukrainians fear suffering, political repression awaits them amid referendums in Russia

Russia’s confrontation with the West has driven up global inflation and deepened energy and food crises in many countries since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, which was met with harsh Western sanctions and Russian retaliatory measures.

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Tuesday’s nuclear warning by Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, is one of many issued by Putin and his associates in recent weeks.

Analysts say they are designed to deter Ukraine and the West by hinting at a willingness to use tactical nuclear weapons to defend newly annexed territory, where Russian forces have faced heavy counter-offensives Ukrainians in recent weeks.

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Man appears to shoot Russian enlistment officer amid anger over Putin’s mobilization order

Man appears to shoot Russian enlistment officer amid anger over Putin’s mobilization order

Medvedev’s warning differed from previous ones in that he predicted for the first time that the NATO military alliance would not risk nuclear war and would not go directly to war against Ukraine even if Moscow hit Ukraine with nuclear weapons.

« I think NATO would not directly intervene in the conflict, even in this scenario, » Medvedev said in a message on Telegram.

« Demagogues across the ocean and in Europe are not going to die in a nuclear apocalypse. »

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Voting on joining Russia in four Ukrainian regions partially controlled by Moscow – Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia – has entered its fifth and final day. The West has said it will not recognize the result of what it considers illegal mock referendums.

Russian government officials have repeatedly warned they could use nuclear weapons to defend the new territory if Kyiv forces, which already control part of it, try to take what Moscow says it will soon see as its own. sovereign territory.

NATO and the United States have not publicly specified how they would react to a Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine, but White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS on Sunday that Washington explained in Moscow what he described as « catastrophic consequences ». for Russia.

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Man shoots Russian enlistment officer preparing for war in Ukraine as protests rage

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Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick that Ukraine was preparing for the possibility of a Russian nuclear strike, but said it was up to nuclear-weapon states to deter Russia .

« …Where exactly should we evacuate people in case of a Russian nuclear strike against Ukraine? » He asked. « That’s why the use of nuclear weapons is a global security issue – it’s not just about Ukraine anymore. »

Podolyak said in the same interview that Ukrainians who helped Russia organize the annexation referendums would be charged with treason and at least five years in prison.

« We have lists of names of people involved in one way or another, » he said, adding that Ukrainians forced to vote would not be punished. Ukrainian officials reported that ballot boxes were taken from door to door and residents were forced to vote in front of Russian troops.

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Ukraine envoy calls for force against Putin’s threats

Ukraine envoy calls for force against Putin’s threats

None of the provinces are fully under Moscow’s control and fighting is ongoing across the frontline, with Ukrainian forces reporting more advances since routing Russian troops in a fifth province, Kharkiv , at the beginning of the month.

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Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that Putin was likely to announce the occupied regions’ membership of the Russian Federation during a speech in parliament on September 30.

Ukrainian and Russian forces were locked in heavy fighting in different parts of Ukraine on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said the eastern Donetsk region remains his country’s – and Russia’s – top strategic priority, with ‘particularly heavy’ fighting engulfing several towns as Russian troops attempt to advance to the south and west.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regional governor, said three civilians had been killed and 13 injured in the Donetsk region in the past 24 hours.

Clashes were also reported in the northeastern Kharkiv region, at the center of a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month.

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And Ukrainian forces continued a campaign to keep bridges and other river crossings out of service in order to disrupt supply lines for Russian forces in the south.

A Reuters reporter in the city of Zaporizhzhia saw a huge crater next to a restaurant on the island of Khortytsia and workers untangling power lines and trees. The restaurant owner said no one was injured during the night strike.

Ukraine’s air force said on Tuesday it shot down three Iranian-made drones operated by Russia after an attack on the Mykolaiv region.

Reuters could not immediately verify reports from the battlefield.


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