Day 214 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Lavrov Didn’t Rule Out Nuclear Weapons to Defend annexed Ukrainian Territories
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Lavrov did not rule out the use of nuclear weapons to defend annexed Ukrainian territories
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference in New York that the regions of Ukraine, where referendums on joining the Russian Federation are being held, will be under Russia's "full protection" if they are annexed, Reuters reported, quoted by BTA.
Lavrov made these statements after his address to the UN General Assembly.
"After these referendums, Russia will naturally respect the expressed will of those people who have been suffering from the harassment of the neo-Nazi regime for many years," the Russian foreign minister said.
Asked whether Russia would have grounds to use nuclear weapons to defend annexed regions of Ukraine, Lavrov replied that Russian territory, including territory "additionally inscribed" in the Russian constitution in the future, "is under the full protection of the state."
"All laws, doctrines, concepts and strategies of the Russian Federation are in force throughout its territory," he said, referring specifically to Russia's doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons.
On Thursday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, warned that all weapons in Moscow's arsenal, including strategic nuclear weapons, could be used to defend territories annexed to Russia.
Commenting on Lavrov's statement and Russian President Vladimir Putin's earlier statement that he was not bluffing about the use of nuclear weapons, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called their words "irresponsible" and "totally unacceptable."
"Ukraine will not surrender. We call on all nuclear powers to react immediately and make it clear to Russia that such rhetoric puts the world in danger and will not be tolerated," Kuleba tweeted.
Reuters: Dissatisfaction against mobilization in Russia is growing
Dissatisfaction is growing in Russia with the chaotic partial military mobilization, which aims to provide 300,000 reservists for the "special military operation" in Ukraine, Reuters notes in its article on the subject.
The editor-in-chief of Russian state broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonyan, who is a staunch Kremlin supporter, expressed anger today that the armed forces were sending summons to the wrong people.
"It was reported that conscripts can be recruited up to the age of 35, and conscripts are sent to 40-year-olds. They make people angry, as if on purpose or out of malice. It's as if the conscripts are sent from Kyiv," Simonyan wrote in Telegram.
Criticism from official supporters of the Kremlin is almost unprecedented in Russia since the start of the invasion of Ukraine seven months ago.
In another rare public sign of trouble, Russia's defense ministry said today that Deputy Minister Dmitry Bulgakov, who had been in charge of logistics, had been moved to another post. The communiqué did not elaborate.
Russia's first mobilization since World War II, announced on Wednesday to support a floundering "special military operation" in Ukraine, has sent many men of military age rushing abroad and raised concerns among the general population. Over 1,000 people were detained during protests.
Formally, there are millions of men who served in the barracks and reservists in Russia. The partial mobilization decree published on Wednesday does not contain criteria for which of them can be sent a summons. Officials said 300,000 soldiers were needed, with priority given to people with military experience and specific skills. The Kremlin denied claims by two foreign-based Russian media outlets - Novaya Gazeta Europa and Meduza - that the real goal was to secure more than 1 million people.
However, reports have come from many places in Russia that conscripts have been sent to men without military experience or past the age of conscription.
The chairman of the Kremlin's Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, announced publicly that he had written to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu asking him to "urgently solve" the problems related to the mobilization. He reported several cases of summonses being sent to non-military nurses and midwives, as well as summonses being served at 2 a.m., "as if they think we're all trying to hide from this ". Fadeev also expressed dissatisfaction with the way exceptions are made.
Yesterday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that specialists in the field of new technologies, bankers and journalists in the state media will not be mobilized. That has sparked particularly strong resentment among ethnic minorities in remote, economically impoverished regions of Siberia, which have long provided a disproportionately large share of professional soldiers in the ranks of the Russian army, Reuters noted.
Long queues of cars have been winding along Russia's borders with Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Finland and Georgia since Wednesday. Many fear that the Russian authorities may ban them from leaving the country. The Kremlin, in turn, dismissed reports of a mass exodus as exaggerated.
Former Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, now chairman of the World Mongolian Federation, promised a warm welcome to those Russians fleeing military service and appealed directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war. The Mongolian peoples in Russia "have been used purely and simply as cannon fodder," Elbegdorj said in a video message, wearing a yellow and blue ribbon, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
"Today you are fleeing brutality, cruelty and possibly death. Tomorrow you will start fleeing your country because of the dictatorship," he addressed the Buryats, Tuvans and Kalmyks - Mongolian ethnic groups in Russia.
The partial military mobilization and the hastily organized so-called referendums on joining the Russian Federation in the occupied Ukrainian territories came against the backdrop of a rapidly advancing Ukrainian counter-offensive, which recaptured areas in the northeastern Kharkiv region.
The anti-war group Vesna called on social media for new protests after more than 1,300 demonstrators were detained in 38 Russian cities on Wednesday, according to independent monitoring group OVD-Info.
Hundreds arrested in successive protests against the mobilization in Russia
Hundreds detained after successive protests against the partial mobilization in Russia. More than 700 people were arrested in 32 settlements.
There are reports that arrested men are given call cards at police stations. Yesterday, President Putin signed decrees increasing the penalties for absenteeism and desertion. The general who until now led the logistics part of the military operation in Ukraine was also dismissed.
And in his midnight address, President Zelensky called on the mobilized Russians to surrender in order to stay alive.
Again Russian rockets on Zaporizhzhia, there is a dead woman and more wounded
Russian invaders have hit Zaporizhzhia again, rockets exploded in several areas of the regional center and villages around. A woman died, 9 people were injured.
Earlier, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, Alexander Starukh, reported three injured, destroyed infrastructure facilities, and a substation was left without power in some of the areas.
A fire broke out in a residential building.
At the beginning of September, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that over 7,000 civilians were killed and 5,500 were injured in enemy shelling.
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