Here is the situation as it stands on Saturday, October 1.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of territory seized in his invasion in four regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia – amounting to 15 percent of total Ukrainian territory on Friday, saying the people there will now be Russia’s “citizens forever”, while Kyiv said it would continue its fight to retake occupied land.
- Ukraine, Western countries and the United Nations have denounced Russia’s move to annex, calling the referendums a “sham”.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said his country is submitting an “accelerated” application to join the NATO military alliance after Russian leader Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation.
- Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution introduced by the United States and Albania condemning Moscow’s proclaimed annexations, with Russia’s strategic partner China abstaining from the vote.
- Putin, without providing evidence, blamed the United States and its allies for blowing up Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea after a sudden and unexplained gas leak, leaving Europe racing to secure its energy infrastructure and supplies.
- US President Biden said it “was a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies,” adding that Washington and its allies would send divers to find out what happened.
- The ruptures on the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline system have led to what is likely the biggest single release of climate-damaging methane recorded, the United Nations Environment Programme said.
- Norway has announced it will receive help from the United Kingdom, Germany and France to patrol the seas around its oil and gas platforms, following major leaks as Europe steps up energy security amid sabotage allegations.
- At least 30 civilians were killed and almost 100 wounded in what Kyiv said was a cynical Russian missile strike on a convoy of civilian cars in southern Ukraine, on the edge of the city of Zaporizhzhia.
- Russian forces in Ukraine were potentially on the verge of one of their worst defeats of the war after Ukrainian troops captured two villages close to the eastern Russian-occupied stronghold of Lyman.
- Kyiv said it was ready for talks with Moscow, but not while Putin was president.
Aid and sanctions
- The US Congress has approved $12.3bn in aid to help Ukraine battle its invasion by Russia which includes $3bn for arms, supplies and salaries for Ukraine’s military.
- The US announced a new round of sanctions against hundreds of Russia-linked firms and officials over Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territories, which President Joe Biden has called a show of “contempt for peaceful nations”.
- The United Kingdom has imposed new sanctions on Russia in response to its formal annexation of swaths of Ukrainian territory, including measures directly targeting the governor of its Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies