Russia’s pre-determined referendum results, newly mobilized Russians on the battlefield, and Georgia sees influx of Russian draft dodgers

29 September, 02:35 PM

Newsletter by Romeo Kokriatski, Managing Editor, New Voice of Ukraine, Thursday, September 29th, 2022

•   Russia has presented its pre-determined results for its sham referendums.

Russian puppet authorities claimed that over or nearly 90% of the population in Ukraine’s occupied territories have “voted” for annexation to Russia. Numbers of 98.42% were invented for Luhansk Oblast, 93.11% for Zaporizhzhia Oblast, 87.05% for Kherson Oblast, and 99.23% in Donetsk Oblast. All of these reported “results” are simply made up by the Kremlin, and do not correspond with the actual attitudes of the population in the occupied territory.

Video of day

•   Following this announcement, the puppet authorities have “appealed” to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to “consider joining these territories to Russia.”

•   Newly mobilized Russian conscripts have already been deployed to battlefields in Ukraine.

That’s according to presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych, who noted that some of these forces have already been captured by Ukrainian troops. “Some of them were killed, some are already in captivity. Everything is very fast. Their fate is sad because they are not allowed to prepare at all,” he said.

•   New Italian PM Giorgia Meloni has stated her support for Ukraine.

Meloni, whose politics have been characterized as neo-fascist due to her political upbringing in an organization founded by Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s chief-of-staff, said that she was loyal to the Ukrainian cause. Other far-right parties in Europe, such as Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland and France’s Front National, have notable ties to the Russian dictator, and have expressed pro-Russian stances.

•   Russian national fossil fuel company Gazprom has threatened to impose sanctions on Ukraine’s Naftogaz.

This is due to an appeal filed by Gazprom at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, which Gazprom has characterized as an “unfriendly” move. In practice, this will mean a ban for Gazprom to fulfill its obligations to the Ukrainian company regarding the agreements concluded, including the implementation of financial transactions.

•   This conflict has sparked fears in Europe’s natural gas market, spiking prices up nearly 20%.

•   Damage to the Nord Stream pipelines may have rendered them permanently unusable, the German government says.

As a result of leaks to both lines of the Nord Stream-1 pipeline, and one line of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, saltwater corrosion may soon render the pipelines unrepairable. While the reason for the damage has not yet been fully determined, a series of explosions along the pipeline’s route have been fingered as the direct cause, causing the EU to claim that the pipelines were sabotaged.

•   The Biden administration has requested an additional $35 million in funding for Ukrainian nuclear security.

According to a CNN report, these funds would be included in an upcoming $12 billion military aid package to Ukraine, and be earmarked for the purchase and maintenance of additional sensors, data assessment and analysis, as well as providing the National Guard of Ukraine with protective equipment at nuclear power plants.

•   The European Commission has presented its proposal for an eighth package of sanctions against Russia.

Notably, the proposal includes a recommendation to expand the list of sanctioned Russian nationals with 30 more individuals, trade restrictions, and a cap on oil prices. EU nationals would also be prohibited from sitting on the boards of Russian state-owned companies, among other new restrictions.

•   The day’s long-read: How the "referendum" in the "LPR" actually looked like - eyewitness reports

NV spoke to eyewitnesses in the occupied territories about how Russia actually conducted its staged referendum, who described scenes of voting at gunpoint, intimidation, and the lack of even the appearance of legitimacy.

•   Don’t miss: Ukrainian government promises to reduce its share in economy, but it’s increasing it instead

NV Business analyzes the current state of Ukraine’s privatization processes, and notes that many of the government’s actions are likely to lead to an increase in the state’s share of the economy, rather than the opposite.

•   NV interviews: Georgian journalist the on influx of Russians dodging mobilization

Thousands of Russians have fled their homeland to avoid being called up as part of Putin’s new mobilization drive – and many have ended up in Georgia. NV spoke to Georgian journalist Marta Ardashelia to discover how Georgians are handling this influx.

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