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CDS Daily brief (23.09.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

The exhumation of the bodies from the mass burial site in Izyum has been completed. Work continued for a week without interruption. 447 bodies were removed from the graves, including 215 women, 194 men, 5 children, and 22 military personnel. In addition, the remains of 11 people were found, whose gender cannot be determined at the moment, Head of Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration Oleg Synehubov said. Most of the bodies have signs of violent death, and 30 have signs of torture. There are bodies with ropes around their necks, tied hands, broken limbs, and gunshot wounds. Several men have amputated genitalia.

Law enforcement officers discovered 18 places in Kharkiv Oblast where the occupiers tortured Ukrainian citizens and established the identities of more than 1,000 Russian soldiers who committed crimes in the occupied territories, First Deputy Chief of the Main Investigative Department of the National Police Serhii Panteleev said.

A torture chamber and a mass grave were discovered in Kozacha Lopan, Kharkiv Oblast, Chief of the National Police Ihor Klymenko said. Investigators will arrive there shortly. According to the local residents, the occupying forces took some of the captives with them as they were retreating to cover up crimes.

Two Iranian kamikaze drones that flew from the sea destroyed the administration building in the port of Odesa today. One person was killed, Operative command South reported.

On the evening of September 23, air defense forces shot down 2 Shahid-136 kamikaze drones over Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. One drone fell into the private yard, starting a fire. Six people were injured, and one person was hospitalized, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Council, Mykola Lukashuk, said.

The Russian military fired at the city of Zaporizhzhya and the Zaporizhzhya district in the early morning hours of September 23. A civilian object and several houses were hit; three people were injured.

The head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, said that in the morning the Russian forces shelled the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets. In Marhanets, two people, a man and a woman, died. According to preliminary information, 9 more were injured, 3 of them were retrieved from under the rubble.

On September 22, the Russian forces shelled Sumy Oblast 11 times, wounding four civilians, Dmytro Zhivytskyi, head of the Sumy Oblast, reported. Two dozen houses and seven vehicles

were damaged. Two businesses, a school, a kindergarten, and a village cultural center were also damaged.

The SBU is investigating more than 1,600 cases of collaborative activity, and 420 people are already awaiting court verdicts, SBU spokesman Artem Dekhtyarenko told at a briefing of representatives of the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine.

According to the data from the Latvian Revenue Service, as of September 22, 6,565 Ukrainians are officially employed in Latvia, and another 181 citizens of Ukraine have registered economic activity.

Occupied territories

The occupation authorities in Crimea said that men who wanted to leave the peninsula could do so only upon obtaining permission from their military commissariat.

Today in the morning, the Russia-installed authorities of the occupied parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts said they had started the sham “referenda.”

Serhii Haidai, the head of Luhansk Oblast Military Administration, said that the “voting” organized at people’s homes had started in the occupied part of Luhansk Oblast. People with guns accompany the so-called election commissioners; there is no confidentiality of the “vote,” and the paperwork is filled out in the open in people’s homes and yards. If residents refuse to open the door, they are told that the “commissioners” will break in. The names of those who mark “no” [for joining Russia] are recorded in a notebook. It’s possible to “vote” without proper identification. Haidai believes that Russians go to the homes to look for male residents under the guise of so-called “referenda.”

A representative of the Russia-appointed occupation Zaporizhzhya authorities announced today that for some time after the farse “referendum,” until Russia admits the territory, it will be independent. The name of the Oblast is not going to change. “Everything is done according to federal constitutional law No. 6 “On the admission of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and the formation of new entities within the Russian Federation – the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol” – he said.

Operational situation

It is the 212th day of the strategic air-ground offensive operation of the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine (in the official terminology of the Russian Federation – “operation to protect Donbas”). The enemy continues to concentrate its efforts on establishing full control over the territory of Donetsk Oblast, organizing defense and maintaining control over the captured territories, and disrupting intensive actions of the Ukrainian troops in certain directions.

The enemy fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces along the contact line. The Russian military takes measures to regroup troops and constantly conducts aerial reconnaissance.

The Russian military continues striking Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and the homes of the civilian population. The threat of Russian air and missile strikes persists throughout the entire territory of Ukraine.

Over the past day, the Russian forces launched 4 missile and 27 air strikes, and fired more than 75 MLRS rounds at military and civilian targets on the territory of Ukraine, violating the norms of international humanitarian law, the laws, and customs of war.

More than 45 Ukrainian towns and villages were affected by enemy strikes. In particular, Pechenihy, Pryshyb, Yarova, Spirne, Vesele, Bakhmut, Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Kostyantynivka, Neskuchne, Poltavka, Yehorivka, Bezymene, Kryvyi Rih, Bilohirya, Zaporizhzhya, Bilohirka, Pervomaiske, Mykolaiv, Ochakiv, Vysokopillya, Sukhyi Stavok, Myrolyubivka, Novohryhorivka as well as areas around Shalyhine, Myropilske, Volfyne and Yizdetske in Sumy Oblast.

The Russian forces continue to suffer losses, in particular among their leadership. According to available information, the commander of the 144th motorized rifle division of the 20th combined arms army, Major General Tsokov, was wounded as a result of an attack in the area of Svatove. He was evacuated on September 20.

Between September 19 and 20, 105 bodies of Russian servicemen arrived at the military hospital in Rostov-on-Don, and preparations are underway to receive another 200 bodies soon.

To replenish manpower losses, the Russian military continued forced mobilization in temporarily occupied territories. Thus, in Horlivka, on September 19, representatives of the 1st Army Corps detained and took ten men to military service, regardless of their age or health condition.

Between September 18 and 20, representatives of the Russian PMC unsuccessfully tried to recruit prisoners in the Luhansk pre-trial detention center.

As part of implementing “partial mobilization” measures, the occupation authorities of Crimea announced that most reservists are planned to be recruited from among the employees of private security companies with military service experience. In Sevastopol, some businesses have already been instructed to prepare lists of all employees meeting the requirements.

There is also information about the early graduation of the final year cadets of the air defense military academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Smolensk and their subsequent assignment to positions in the military.

The Russian military leadership plans to hold a meeting with citizens who are in reserve at the base of the Moscow combined military command school between September 26 and October 24.

From September 26 to October 4, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus command plans to rotate the personnel of at least three of the seven BTGs from the grouping deployed near the state border with Ukraine. In addition, most likely, within the next week, the command of the

Belarus Armed Forces plans to increase its number to eight BTGs with servicemen of one of the battalions of the 120th separate motorized rifle brigade.

In the Volyn and Polissya directions, SOF detachments from the 5th separate SOF brigade of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus are deployed and operating, particularly at the state border crossing.

Aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces hit 25 areas of the Russian manpower and military equipment concentration and 6 positions of anti-aircraft missile systems. In addition, Ukrainian air defense units destroyed a Mi-8 helicopter and 9 Russian UAVs in various directions.

Over the past day, Ukrainian missile forces and artillery have inflicted fire damage on 6 enemy command and control points, 4 areas of personnel and military equipment concentration, 3 air defense positions, 3 artillery positions, and 3 ammunition depots.

The morale and psychological state of the personnel of the invasion forces remain low.

Kharkiv direction
  • Zolochiv-Balakleya section: approximate length of combat line – 147 km, number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 10-12, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 13.3 km;
  • Deployed enemy BTGs: 26th, 153rd, and 197th tank regiments, 245th motorized rifle regiment of the 47th tank division, 6th and 239th tank regiments, 228th motorized rifle regiment of the 90th tank division, 1st motorized rifle regiment, 1st tank regiment of the 2nd motorized rifle division, 25th and 138th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 6th Combined Arms Army, 27th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Tank Army, 275th and 280th motorized rifle regiments, 11th tank regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division of the 11 Army Corps, 7th motorized rifle regiment of the 11th Army Corps, 80th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 14th Army Corps, 2nd and 45th separate SOF brigades of the Airborne Forces, 1st Army Corps of so-called DPR, PMCs.

The Russian military fired tanks, mortars, and artillery of various calibers in the areas around Dubnivka, Hoptivka, Vovchansk, Kamyanka, and Kupyansk.

Over the past 24 hours, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas around Kupyansk. Ukrainian forces succeeded in breaching Russian defenses along the line that runs near Dvorichna to go around Kupyansk from the north and force the Oskil River, threatening Russian positions east of the area. Ukrainian forces have taken positions east of Dvorichna and are fighting in Tavlizhanka.

The Russian troop grouping, which withdrew from Kharkiv Oblast of Ukraine to the territory of Belgorod Oblast of the Russian Federation, continues to conduct hostilities against the Ukrainian Defense Forces (the front line is actually the state border of Ukraine). At the same time, they are trying to intensively restore combat capability, formally being in the first-line reserve. In particular, there are two BTGs of the 138th separate motorized rifle brigade, one from the 25th

separate motorized rifle brigade of the 6th combined arms army, three from the 18th motorized rifle division, one from the 11th tank regiment of the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet, one from the 80th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 14th Army Corps and one from the 61st separate marines brigade of the Northern Fleet.

At least half of them lost up to 30-40% of personnel and regular combat equipment, and the military units of the 11th Army Corps suffered the most significant losses.

In total, up to eight BTGs are concentrated in Belgorod Oblast, of which five or six are relatively combat-capable. In addition, two rifle battalions of the mobilization reserve of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR were also deployed to the territory of Belgorod Oblast. After the battles in the northeastern part of Kharkiv Oblast, they were practically incapacitated due to significant losses and the personnel’s low morale and psychological state.

Kramatorsk direction
  • Balakleya Siversk section: approximate length of the combat line – 184 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17-20, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.6 km;
  • 252nd and 752nd motorized rifle regiments of the 3rd motorized rifle division, 1st, 13th, and 12th tank regiments, 423rd motorized rifle regiment of the 4th tank division, 201st military base, 15th, 21st, 30th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Combined Arms Army, 35th, 55th and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 3rd and 14th separate SOF brigades, 2nd and 4th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Army Corps, 7th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian Defense Forces with tanks, mortars, barrel, and jet artillery in the areas of Mayaki, Mykolaivka, Dibrova, Kryva Luka, Pryshyb, and Siversk.

During the day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas around Spirne.

Ukrainian troops continued to attack Lyman, broke through Russian defenses in Ridkodub, Karpivka, and Korovyn Yar, and continued to advance on Drobysheve. In addition, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces advanced north of Lyman.

Russian troops shelled Yatskivka and Koroviy Yar, trying to prevent Ukrainian units from gaining a foothold on the new frontier.

During the last three days, using the railway line to Starobilsk, the enemy moved in three echelons of no less than 110 wagons with materiel items for the needs of the Svatove grouping units (military units of the Western Military District that retreated to Luhansk Oblast). Some supplies continued to Novoaidar; of them, at least 40 railway tanks with fuel and lubricants (a total of up to 2,400 tons of fuel and lubricants were delivered).

Donetsk direction
  • Siversk – Maryinka section: approximate length of the combat line – 235 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 13-15, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 17 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 68th and 163rd tank regiments, 102nd and 103rd motorized rifle regiments of the 150 motorized rifle division, 80th tank regiment of the 90th tank division, 35th, 55th, and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 31st separate airborne assault brigade, 61st separate marines brigade of the Joint Strategic Command “Northern Fleet,” 336th separate marines brigade, 24th separate SOF brigade, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 15th, and 100th separate motorized rifle brigades, 9th and 11th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, 6th motorized rifle regiment of the 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian military fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna, Zaitseve, Vesele, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Krasnohorivka, Opytne, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka.

During the day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Mayorsk, Zaitseve, Avdiivka, Novomykhailivka, Odradivka, Opytne, and Kamianka. Ukrainian troops made a controlled withdrawal from the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut and blew up the bridge across the Bakhmutka River.

Russian troops are fighting in Zaitseve and Odradivka, stormed Novomykhailivka, and continued strikes along the contact line around Bakhmut in the Avdiyivka-Donetsk area. Territorial defense of the so-called “DPR” claimed that its units took control of Zhovanka.

Zaporizhzhya direction
  • Maryinka – Vasylivka section: approximate length of the line of combat – 200 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 11.7 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 36th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 29th Combined Arms Army, 38th and 64th separate motorized rifle brigades, 69th separate cover brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, 5th separate tank brigade, 37 separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 429th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 136th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 58 Combined Arms Army, 46th and 49th machine gun artillery regiments of the 18th machine gun artillery division of the 68th Army Corps, 39th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 68th Army Corps, 83th separate airborne assault brigade, 40th and 155th separate marines brigades, 22nd separate SOF brigade, 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, and 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

Vuhledar, Zolota Nyva, Neskuchne, Vremivka, Novoukrayinka, Velyka Novosilka, Mala Tokmachka, Nova Tokmachka, Mali Shcherbaky, Zelene Pole, Zaliznychne and Rivnopillia were affected by the Russian fire.

The enemy continues to build up its grouping in the Vuhledar area. At least two BTGs from the 6th motorized rifle division of the 3rd Army Corps began to advance in the Novopavlivka direction from the training and exercise center “Kuzmynskyi” (Rostov Oblast, Russian Federation). One BTG from the 54th motorized rifle regiment of the 6th motorized rifle division concentrated in the area of Novomayorske, and another BTG from the 10th tank regiment of the 6th motorized rifle division was deployed in the area of the Olhinka village.

Another enemy BTG of the 54th motorized rifle regiment should be expected to be loaded and sent to the Novopavlivka direction tomorrow.

The 3rd Army Corps headquarters, including its forward C2 point and command post, and the 7th separated signal battalion of the 6th motorized rifle division are deployed in Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russian Federation. However, they are not prepared for march.

Kherson direction
  • Vasylivka–Nova Zburyivka and Stanislav section: approximate length of the battle line – 252 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 27, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.3 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 114th, 143rd, and 394th motorized rifle regiments, 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 57th and 60th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division, 51st and 137th parachute airborne regiments of the 106th parachute airborne division, 7th military base of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 16th and 346th separate SOF brigades.

Ukrainian troops continued to strike at the Russian troops and equipment concentrations, control points, logistics hubs, and vehicles in Kherson Oblast.

Russian troops continued strikes on Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv Oblasts. They used the Iranian Shahed-136 UAV to attack civilian infrastructure in Kryvyi Rih.

Kherson-Berislav bridgehead
  • Velyka Lepetikha – Oleksandrivka section: approximate length of the battle line – 250 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 22, the average width of the combat area of one BTG –11.8 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 108th Air assault regiment, 171st separate airborne assault brigade of the 7th Air assault division, 4th military base of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 429th motorized rifle regiment of the 19th motorized rifle division, 33rd and 255th motorized rifle regiments of the 20th motorized rifle division, 34th, and 205th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 224th, 237th and 239th Air assault regiments of the 76th Air assault division, 217th and 331 Air assault regiments of the 98th Air assault division, 126th separate coastal defense brigade, 127th separate ranger brigade, 11th separate airborne assault brigade, 10th separate SOF brigade, PMC.

Russian military shelled more than 20 towns and villages.

Ukrainian troops struck Russian positions and equipment concentration in the area of Nova Kakhovka, Beryslav, and Lviv, along the Dnipro River and within 50 km east of Kherson.

Russian troops redeployed air defense units to Beryslav.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

The forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to project force on the coast and the continental part of Ukraine and control the northwestern part of the Black Sea. The ultimate goal is to deprive Ukraine of access to the sea and connect unrecognized Transnistria with the Russian Federation by land through the coast of the Black and Azov seas.

Currently, there are 15 enemy warships at sea providing reconnaissance and blocking shipping in the Azov-Black Sea waters. Up to 28 Kalibr missiles on four carriers can be ready for a salvo.

After the stormy weather, the danger of mines persists on the coast of Odesa Oblast. On September 22, servicemen of the mobile demining group of the Ukrainian Navy neutralized a sea mine that was washed onto the coast.

4 enemy submarines of project 636.3 currently in the Black Sea are at the port of Novorossiysk due to the fear of attack.

Russian missile and artillery attacks on Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Ochakiv continue. The Russian military uses S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, MLRS, and artillery. On September 23, the Russian military attacked Odesa with Iranian Shahid 136 kamikaze drones for the first time. Ukrainian air defenses shot down six drones. At least two hit their target.

Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 10 Su-27, Su-30, and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved. The Russian Federation is intensifying aviation use in the south of Ukraine and the Black Sea.

“Grain initiative”: on September 23, 11 ships departed from the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and the port “Pivdenny.” They have 201,000 tons of food on board for the countries of Asia and Africa.

Bulk carrier ZEKO Y departed from Odesa port, MERRY M, LADY AYANA, MO GAN SHAN, TZAREVICH, GUDENA, NIL DEMIR, SEA DOVE departed from Chornomorsk port, and FORTUNA, GEM STAR, MAVKA departed from Pivdenny port. Since the departure of the first ship with Ukrainian food, 4.58 million tons of agricultural products have already been exported. A total of 203 ships with food for the countries of Asia, Europe, and Africa have left Ukrainian ports.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 23.09

Personnel – almost 55,060 people (+550);

Tanks – 2,254 (+18);

Armored combat vehicles – 4,796 (+20);

Artillery systems – 1,355 (+14);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 326 (+8); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 170 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,659 (+29); Aircraft – 254 (+1);

Helicopters – 219 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 950 (+9); Intercepted cruise missiles – 240 (0);

Boats / ships – 15 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the President’s Office, called pseudo-referendums held by Kremlin-appointed authorities in the occupied parts of Donbas, Kherson Oblast, and Zaporizhzhya a “propaganda show.” He stressed that no legal act called a “referendum” takes place in the occupied territories; there is just a “propaganda show for z-mobilization.”

The Pechersk District Court of Kyiv allowed the detaining of former Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn Hryshchenko and the former Minister of Justice of Ukraine Oleksandr Lavrynovych, suspected of treason. The suspects are currently hiding outside of Ukraine, and the court’s decision enables the prosecution to initiate the procedure for their extradition. According to the investigation, in April 2010, the suspects, acting to the detriment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defense capability, and state and economic security of Ukraine, in violation of the Constitution and legislation of Ukraine, without actually reviewing the draft agreement extending the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea and without conducting a mandatory legal examination, agreed to it with no reservations.

International diplomatic aspect

“Based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,” Erik Mose, an UN-mandated investigation body, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The members of the Commission “were struck by a large number of executions in the areas that they visited. The commission is currently investigating such deaths in 16 towns and settlements.” The commission’s report highlighted several areas where Russian activities had been particularly harmful, including general, indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, executions, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, the commission reported that Russia’s “use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas is a source of immense harm and suffering for civilians” and that many attacks “had been carried out without distinguishing between civilians and combatants,” including with the use of “cluster munitions or multi-launch rocket systems and airstrikes in populated areas.” The commission will next turn its attention to “filtration” camps in Russian-occupied territories.

Several months ago, the US and 37 other countries invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism to examine Russia’s adherence to its OSCE Human Dimension commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms. As a result, the expert mission found that a decade of legislation in Russia “has completely changed the scope of Russian civil society, cutting it off from foreign and international partners, suppressing independent initiatives, stifling critical attitudes towards the authorities, silencing the media, and suppressing political opposition.” The report also makes clear that Russia’s “repression on the inside and war on the outside are connected to each other as if in a communicating tube.”

Though the report shows the suppression of rights and freedoms by Putin’s regime, one shouldn’t omit the role of Russian society for a social contract includes two parts – the government and society. The totalitarian nature of the current regime is a partial result of the society that didn’t oppose the first signs, and the following worrying trends of Putin’s regime metamorphose into a de facto fascist state. The time when a protest was risky, but there were chances of success is lost. Now, Russians face the dilemma of being fined, bitten, imprisoned, or sent to Ukraine to kill Ukrainians and die in the senseless war.

“I don’t have a rational explanation. It seems to me that this is a combination of resentment, a strategy of hegemony in the region and, I would say, the consequences of COVID-19, isolation,” the French President explained his reading of Putin’s decision to start the war.

“Macron astonished us at the beginning of the crisis with his, to say the least, unique and critical statement that Putin should not be humiliated and offered an exit ramp. Such statements were disastrous and deeply harmful”, said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO secretary- general. He believes that Macron’s diplomatic efforts in response to the war in Ukraine were a failure and “deeply harmful” for Kyiv. But later, the French President recalibrated his message and stroke a firmer tone against Moscow. He stated that peace talks can only work if Ukraine’s “sovereignty is respected, its territory liberated and its security protected,” while “Russia must now understand that it cannot impose its will by military means.”

“Putin was pushed by the Russian people, by his party, by his ministers to come up with this special operation,” said former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. He believes that Putin’s goals were replacing [democratically elected] President Volodymyr Zelensky with “a government of decent people” and then getting out “in another week.” A right-wing coalition, including Berlusconi’s party, is expected to win a majority in both houses of parliament and form the next government. Along with the Hungarian government, headed by another friend of Putin, these two might undermine the united stand of the EU on Russia. Hungary’s governing party plans to poll Hungarians on whether they support EU sanctions imposed against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

While Vladimir Putin was addressing the nation with the “partial mobilization” news, Moscow’s church patriarch was cheering up would-be-mobilized, blessing them for the war in Ukraine. “The fear of death drives the warrior from the battlefield, pushes the weak to betrayal and even to rebel against brother. But true faith destroys the fear of death. And remember that if you laid

down your life for the Motherland, for your friends, then you will be with God in His Kingdom, glory, eternal life,” said patriarch Gundyaev. A few months ago, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban saved Kirill Gundyaev from getting into the EU sanctions list by threatening to block a restrictive measure package.

The Finnish government decided to place “significant restrictions on the issuing of visas to Russian citizens and on their entry into the country to prevent serious damage to Finland’s international position.” So, Finland joins the Baltic states in safeguarding its security and, indirectly, making fleeing Russians realize their responsibility for the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine. At the same time, German politicians from most political parties agree that Russian deserters are welcome in Germany. The German government is now seeking consensus with its EU partners on how to deal with the situation to find a “viable solution,” said the government spokesman.

Yet, the traffic-light coalition postponed a vote on the resolution called “Defending peace and freedom in Europe — supporting Ukraine resolutely with heavy weapons now,” aimed at providing Ukraine with tanks and other weapons badly needed to expel the Russian invasion forces out of the Ukrainian territory.

Russia, relevant news

The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitriy Peskov, said that the Constitution of the Russian Federation would immediately come into force with regard to the occupied Ukrainian territories where sham voting [“referenda”] is held. According to him, Russia will consider Ukraine’s attempts to return the occupied lands after the so-called “referendum” as an attack on the territory of the Russian Federation.

At a meeting with the operational headquarters for the so-called “special military operation,” the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, said there would be no mobilization in Chechnya. He explained this by claiming that during the war in Ukraine, the republic “overachieved the plan.”

The American packaging manufacturer Ball Corporation, which accounted for 70% of the aluminum beverage cans production on the Russian market, sold its Russian business to the local “Arnest” group for $530 million, Ball Corporation said in a statement.

The Japanese automaker Toyota stops production in Russia after 15 years of operation. According to Kommersant’s interlocutors, the automobile concern could not arrange the supply of components to the Russian Federation. The company, however, will stay in the market and continue providing service to Toyota owners. The Uzbek unified banking processing center UZCARD said that the Russian card “Mir” service has been temporarily suspended since September 23 “for technical reasons.”

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