December 9, 2022

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War day at a glance: Moscow will no longer allow Russians to leave the country – referendum causes mass exodus from Cherson

Battle Day at a Glance
Moscow will no longer allow Russians to leave the country – the referendum causes a mass exodus from Cherson

Ukrainians are fleeing towns and villages under Russian rule in droves as four Ukrainian separatist leaders in Moscow plead for annexation of the occupied territories. Fear of military service again prompts thousands to leave Russia. Moscow stops issuing passports and announces ambitious goals to conquer eastern Ukraine. But it is there that the next defeat threatens the Russian army. A look at the 217th day of the war.

After the referendum: Eyewitnesses speak of empty villages

In view of Russian preparations to annex parts of Ukraine, according to eyewitnesses, a flight starts from the affected areas. In particular, refugees in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhia expressed fear that a recruitment drive into the Russian military would begin there immediately. “There are completely deserted places,” said one man, as he and his family left Cherson through the last Russian checkpoint. “Whole villages are falling apart.”

Another father from Cherson spoke of a line of cars whose end could no longer be seen. Because of the referendum, 70 percent of the people are moving away, he said. The 48-year-old salesman said local schools have been instructed to hold classes in Russian from next month. She does not want her 13-year-old son to return to her school. “You can imagine how I feel right now,” he said. “As soon as we passed the checkpoint, my first photo was of the Ukrainian flag. I’m happy.” Information from the occupied territories could not be confirmed.

Separatist leaders have personally appealed to Putin for a rapprochement

In four regions of Ukraine – Luhansk and Donetsk, in addition to Kherson and Zaporizhia – Russian-appointed officials held referendums on union with the Russian Federation. According to final results released Wednesday night, 87 to 99 percent voted for the merger. Later that day, the administrators of the four Russian-appointed regions said they had personally addressed applications for accession to President Vladimir Putin. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow said that steps will be taken soon to fulfill the aspirations of the four regions.

On Red Square in Moscow, large video screens read: “Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, Kherson – Russia!” The regions together correspond to the territory of Portugal and make up 15 percent of the national territory of Ukraine.

Kyiv: Referendum “null and void”

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv said the referendum was invalid. You will continue to fight for the liberation of the territory. “Forcing people in these areas to fill out certain documents at gunpoint is another Russian crime of aggression against Ukraine.”

The European Union and the United States introduced new sanctions against Russia. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We do not accept any fake votes or annexations in Ukraine and are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this escalation.”

The Secret Service expects Putin’s speech on Friday

According to earlier information from the British Secret Service, Putin will announce the addition of the areas in a speech to parliament on Friday. His government could then present the Ukrainian counterattack as an attack on Russia. Putin said last week that he was prepared to defend his country’s “territorial integrity” with nuclear weapons.

Kremlin: “We want all of Donetsk”

However, Russia does not control all of the claimed areas. About 40 percent of Donetsk is under Ukrainian control, and the province is fiercely contested. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian presidential office, said the special operation should continue until Donetsk is fully captured.

Russian troops threatened to surround Lyman

In the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Russian troops are openly threatened with encirclement by the Ukrainian army. Russian war correspondents in the afternoon reported successful Ukrainian advances northeast and east of the small town of Lyman. If the settlement of Dorske is recaptured, the Russians threaten to cut off the lines of communication from Lyman to Kreminna and Svyatov in the Luhansk region. The streets are already under Ukrainian artillery fire.

Moscow stops issuing passports

Considering the mass exodus of young Russians abroad, the government in Moscow stopped issuing passports to Russians conscripted into military service. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin have asked their own citizens holding dual passports to leave the country immediately while transportation is still available.

North Ossetia closes border by decree

The Russian republic of North Ossetia, which borders Georgia in the Caucasus, imposed entry restrictions. By decree he made it difficult for cars to drive in the direction of Georgia from other Russian regions, the president of the republic Sergey Menzhajlov wrote in a telegram. “In the last two days alone, over 20,000 people have crossed our border into Georgia!” Menjajlo said.

Nord Stream Leak: Russia Suspects Biden

The West continues to blame the Kremlin for the three spills at Nord Stream pipelines. According to a newspaper report, Russia may have secretly dropped explosive charges from an underwater drone into various parts of the pipeline.

The Russian government has indicated that the United States was behind the bombings. US President Joe Biden may have ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “The President of the United States must answer the question of whether the United States has carried out its threat,” wrote Maria Zakharova on the Telegram online service. “Europe must know the truth.” Washington called it “absurd”.

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