The Moscow-announced so-called referendums in the occupied Ukrainian territories on whether to join Russia are to take place from 23 to 27 September. Russia’s plans were vehemently condemned by Ukraine and the Western countries. The EU stated it would not recognize the results, and that the EU countries were preparing a new package of sanctions against Russia.
“I urge Russia: This is a war you will not win. So end the war. Stop the suffering in Ukraine. Stop sending more of your own citizens to their death. Stop your sham referendums, which are as unlawful as the war they are supposed to legitimize,” said Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in an address to the UN Security Council. Together with other diplomats, Baerbock levelled sharp criticism at Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for walking out of the UN Security Council meeting immediately after making his own speech. Once again, Lavrov accused the West of direct interference in the war by supplying Ukraine with weapons and training the Ukrainian army.
Addressing the UN Security Council, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated: “Every council member should send a clear message that these reckless nuclear threats must stop immediately (…) The very international order that we have gathered here to uphold is being shredded before our eyes. We cannot – we will not – allow President Putin to get away with it,” the US Secretary of State said.
Vadym Skibitsky, a top official from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry stated that Vladimir Putin was seriously considering the beginning of nuclear war. In an interview with the British ITV he stated that the consequences of applying tactical nuclear weapons could affect Poland, the Black Sea region, Turkey and Bulgaria.
Anonymous hacker group say they have hacked into the website of the Russian Defence Ministry and have published the names of all 305,925 Russians subject to mobilization. The names on the list show that the first people to have been called up are from the distant parts of Siberia, Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin said, in a video address, that the situation in Donetsk was extremely difficult, and that a Ukrainian counteroffensive was possible soon.