Kremlin to announce annexation, fourth gas leak discovered near Nord Stream, and Dugin to be sanctioned by EU

30 September, 02:40 PM

Newsletter by Romeo Kokriatski, Managing Editor, New Voice of Ukraine, Friday, September 30th, 2022

•    The Kremlin plans to announce their claimed annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories today.

According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the announcement will be accompanied by a “voluminous” speech by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has emphasized that Russian annexations will not change the current course of Ukrainian liberation. He has noted that official annexation will render negotiations impossible.

Video of day

•   A fourth gas leak from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines has been discovered.

The Swedish Coast Guard reported the discovery. In total, two of the four leaks are located in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone. Investigations are underway, the Swedish government stated. NATO has called the damage to the pipeline “sabotage”, and stated that it has committed to prepare for, deter, and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors.

•   The sham Russian referendums in occupied Ukraine have no legal value, according to the UN.

During a press briefing, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seemingly dropped the usual diplomatic approach taken by international diplomats, and adopted a stronger tone against Russia. “I want to underscore that the so-called “referenda” in the occupied regions were conducted during active armed conflict, in areas under Russian occupation, and outside Ukraine’s legal and constitutional framework,” Guterres said.

•   Newly announced HIMARS for Ukraine may not arrive for a few years.

18 new HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems, earmarked by the U.S. for Ukraine, are being ordered from the manufacturer directly, a Pentagon spokesperson clarified at a recent briefing. This means that they may not be ready for delivery for a few years. However, the official stressed that this doesn’t mean an end to HIMARS deliveries for Ukraine from existing U.S. military stocks, though he did not specify any such deliveries at the time.

•   The newly proposed eighth sanctions package from the EU may contain personal sanctions against ideologue Alexander Dugin.

Dugin, a proponent of the so-called “multipolar world” and the “Eurasianist” theory – characterized as fascist by numerous academics – is under considering for sanctions, given his strong support for Russian imperial ambitions and its war against Ukraine. The United States has already included him in the sanctions list of persons guilty of Russian aggression against Ukraine. He is also included in the list of those who pose a threat to the national security of Ukraine and in the Myrotvorets database.

•   Hungary has again blocked attempts to include the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in the sanctions list.

This is the second time the government of Viktor Orban, a noted admirer of Putin’s, has blocked Vladimir Gundyayev, aka Patriarch Kirill, from inclusion, stating that "no religious leader should be included in the sanctions list.” Gundyayev, a close ally of Putin’s, has consistently supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine and reportedly told Russian soldiers that "sacrifice in the course of carrying out your military duty washes away all sins.”

•   International payment systems agree to limit transaction commissions for Ukraine.

According to an agreement signed by leading money transfer firms, their payment systems will limit the commission for transferring money to Ukraine to 3% of the transfer amount. Visa, Mastercard, Wise, Extrabanca, Ria Money Transfer, Small World, and TransferGo have all agreed to this limit. These reduced tariffs will be valid for nine months from the date the agreement is signed. Tariffs will then be reviewed in accordance with the current situation.

•   Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky has lost his lawsuit to regain control of the head office building of Privatbank.

In a final ruling by the Supreme Court’s Court of Cassation, the appellate court’s ruling was upheld, confirming that the building will remain property of the bank. Kolomoisky still has another 500 open lawsuits involving Privatbank, which was nationalized following the discovery of a $5.5 billion hole in the bank’s books during his ownership of it – Kolomoisky is believed to be responsible for the missing funds, as a result of fraudulent lending to other Kolomoisky-owned companies.

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•   Ukrainian exports to Europe have nearly recovered, but global exports are still halved compared to the pre-war period.

According to Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka, “exports to the EU amounted to 90% of the level of exports recorded in August 2021.” However, total exports globally are still only about half of their pre-war levels, he added. “If in January-February, Ukrainian monthly exports reached the level of $6 billion or more, now we are reaching the level of $3.4 billion — this will be the result in September,” Kachka noted.

•   The day’s long read: Russia's Obscene "Referendums"

Yale professor Timothy Snyder talks about the consequences of treating Russia’s sham referendums as legitimate, and explains how these referendums should actually be treated.

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