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Latest Ukraine updates: Lavrov slams West for Russophobia

  • In a UN General Assembly speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has criticised Western nations for their “grotesque” fear of Russia, telling the United Nations that such states were seeking to “destroy” his country.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signs amendments toughening punishment for voluntary surrender and refusal to fight by up to 10 years in prison just days after ordering a partial mobilisation.
  • Moscow has announced the replacement of its highest ranking general in charge of logistics amid a mobilisation drive for the Ukraine military operation that revealed widespread logistical problems.
  • The five-day voting process in Russian-backed referendums continues in the occupied Ukrainian areas of eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions as well as Kherson and Zaporizhia.

At least 747 protesters arrested in Russia

At least 747 people have been arrested in fresh protests in Russia against the partial mobilisation ordered by Putin.

The human rights portal ovd.info reported arrests in a total of 32 cities across the country. These are only the men and women known by name – there could be considerably more people in custody, it said.

At least 380 arrests were reported from Moscow and 125 in St Petersburg.

Zelenskyy tells Russians Putin knowingly ‘sending citizens to their death’

Zelenskyy has made an appeal to Russians, saying their president was knowingly “sending citizens to their death”.

Zelenskyy called on Moscow’s forces to surrender, saying: “You will be treated in a civilised manner … no one will know the circumstances of your surrender.”

It came just hours after Russia passed a law toughening punishments for voluntary surrender and desertion.

  • In Russia’s far east, fear and defiance against military call-upLong queues form at Russia’s borders as men try to leave the country as they fear being called up to fight in Ukraine.Read the story by Niko Vorobyov here.police apprehend Russian protestersPolice officers detain a man following calls to protest against partial mobilisation announced by the Russian president in Moscow [File: Alexander Nemenov/AFP]

Russia says it had ‘no choice’ but to take military action in Ukraine

Lavrov has said at the UNGA that Moscow had “no choice” but to take military action in Ukraine.

At the heart of his address was a claim that the US and its allies are aggressively undermining the international system that the UN represents – not, as the West maintains, the other way around.

“The future of the world is being decided today,” Lavrov said, adding, “the question is whether or not it is going to be the kind of order with one hegemon at the head of it.”
‘Significant’ influx of cars trying to cross from Russia to Georgia: Ministry

Russian authorities have said there is a “significant” influx of cars trying to cross from Russia into Georgia, days after Russia announced partial mobilisation.

“There is a significant congestion of private vehicles… around 2,300” waiting to pass one checkpoint along the border, said the local interior ministry in a Russian region that borders Georgia.

The ministry urged people “to refrain from travelling” in the direction of Georgia. It added that movement at the checkpoint was “difficult” and that additional traffic officers had been deployed.

The introduction of partial mobilisation in Russia on Wednesday sparked a new exodus out of the country.

Source: Aljazeera