Russia-Ukraine conflict newest updates: Kyiv says residents coerced to vote as Moscow holds ‘referendums’ in elements of Ukraine

Russia-Ukraine conflict newest updates: Kyiv says residents coerced to vote as Moscow holds ‘referendums’ in elements of Ukraine

Key occasions

Luhansk city pressured to vote, says governor

Serhiy Gaidai, Ukraine’s governor of Luhansk, mentioned that within the city of Starobilsk, the inhabitants was banned from leaving and folks had been being pressured out of properties to vote within the “referendum”.

Within the city of Bilovodsk, an organization director instructed staff voting was obligatory and anybody refusing to participate could be fired and their names given to safety companies, he mentioned.

Reuters couldn’t instantly confirm reviews of coercion.


Hi there and welcome again to the Guardian’s persevering with reside protection of the conflict in Ukraine. I’m Adam Fulton and right here’s a abstract of the most recent key developments because it approaches 8.40am in Kyiv.

  • The UN has mentioned its investigators have concluded that Russia dedicated conflict crimes in Ukraine, together with bombings of civilian areas, quite a few executions, torture and horrific sexual violence. The staff of three unbiased specialists had launched preliminary investigations wanting on the areas of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy areas, the place they had been “struck by the big variety of executions within the areas that we visited”, and the frequent “seen indicators of executions on our bodies, akin to fingers tied behind backs, gunshot wounds to the top and slit throats”.

  • Lengthy strains of autos continued to type at Russia’s border crossings on the second day full day of Vladimir Putin’s army mobilisation. The president’s announcement of the primary mobilisation for the reason that second world conflict has led to a rush amongst males of army age to depart the nation, with some males ready greater than 24 hours or resorting to utilizing bicycles and scooters to skip the miles-long queue of visitors jams. Site visitors into Finland throughout its south-eastern border with Russia continues to be busy, the Finnish border drive mentioned.

  • Finnish ministers on Friday night introduced that the federal government would prohibit Russian vacationers from crossing its borders over the subsequent few days. “The aspiration and objective is to considerably scale back the variety of folks coming to Finland from Russia,” president Sauli Niinistö instructed state broadcaster Yle.

  • The US is ready to impose further financial prices on Russia at the side of American allies if Russia strikes ahead with Ukraine annexation, the White Home mentioned on Friday. Russia has been planning what the US has described as sham referendums in parts of japanese Ukraine in what’s seen as a step towards annexing these territories.

  • So-called referendums are beneath approach in areas of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops, with residents instructed to vote on proposals for the 4 Ukrainian areas to declare independence after which be part of Russia. The polls in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces are because of run till Tuesday and look like a skinny try to offer cowl for unlawful annexation of the areas by Moscow.

  • Some residents are ignoring the vote, Andriy Yusov, a Ukrainian defence intelligence official, instructed CNN. Ukraine’s state safety service has claimed the so-called Donetsk Folks’s Republic, held by Russian-backed separatists, deliberate to permit youngsters aged beneath 18 to forged their votes.

  • The “referendums” have been extensively condemned within the west as illegitimate. Britain’s ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, described the “sham referenda” as “a media train” by Russia, for whom the outcomes have been “nearly definitely already determined”. Nato described the “referendums” as Moscow’s “blatant makes an attempt at territorial conquest” and mentioned they don’t have any legitimacy. G7 leaders mentioned they’d by no means recognise the “sham” referendums in a joint assertion.

  • Ukraine mentioned on Friday it had shot down 4 Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones utilized by Russia’s armed forces, prompting president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to complain that Tehran was harming Ukrainian residents. Ukraine and the US have accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia, one thing Tehran has denied. Zelenskiy had requested his international ministry to reply to using Iranian gear, spokesperson Serhii Nykyforov mentioned.

  • Russia will proceed its communication with the United Nations a few deal to export grain from Ukrainian ports however says concrete outcomes are wanted, Tass information company cited a senior official as saying on Friday. It additionally cited the deputy international minister, Sergei Vershinin, as saying Russia had a constructive evaluation of the UN’s efforts to renew the export of Russian fertilisers.

  • Ukraine’s armed forces mentioned it has liberated one other settlement within the Donetsk area and improved their positions across the japanese city of Bakhmut. The village of Yatskivka in Donetsk area is now in Ukrainian fingers, in response to Oleksii Hromov, deputy head of the operations directorate of the overall workers of Ukraine’s armed forces.

  • China’s international minister has instructed his Ukrainian counterpart that the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of all international locations have to be revered”. The assembly between Wang Yi and Dmytro Kuleba passed off on the sidelines of the UN basic meeting in New York, and was the primary since Russia invaded Ukraine. Kuleba mentioned Wang had “reaffirmed China’s respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

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