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Ukraine war live: EU accuses Putin of ‘dangerous gamble’ after his nuclear threat and


Putin making a ‘very dangerous nuclear gamble’, says EU

Vladimir Putin is making a “very dangerous nuclear gamble” and must “stop such reckless behaviour”, an EU executive has warned.

European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano added that the “sham, illegal referenda” planned in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia this weekend would not be recognised.

Stano told reporters:

Putin is doing a nuclear gamble. He’s using the nuclear element as part of his arsenal of terror, it’s unacceptable.

EU member states have held discussions on how to respond to the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine, he continued, warning Moscow that there would be “consequences from our part”.

The US president Joe Biden is addressing the UN general assembly where he described the “brutal needless” war in Ukraine as one that was “chosen by one man” – Vladimir Putin.

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Putin “shamelessly violated” the core tenants of the UN charter by ordering his troops to invade Ukraine, Biden said in his first speech to the UN since Russia invaded its neighbour in February.

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Biden said:

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This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Wherever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe… That should make your blood run cold.

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A country “cannot seize a nation’s territory by force”, he continued.

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Ukraine has the same rights belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine who will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression, period.

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It is just past 6pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand:

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  • Vladimir Putin has announced a partial mobilisation in Russia in a significant escalation that places the country’s people and economy on a wartime footing. In a highly anticipated televised address, Putin said the “partial mobilisation” was a direct response to the dangers posed by the west. According to the decree signed by Putin on Wednesday, the contracts of soldiers fighting in Ukraine will also be extended until the end of the partial mobilisation period.

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  • The Russian president also threatened nuclear retaliation, saying that Moscow had “lots of weapons to reply” to what he called western threats on Russian territory. He added: “It’s not a bluff.”

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  • Shortly after Putin’s announcement, the country’s defence ministry, Sergei Shoigu, said 300,000 Russians would be called up as part of the mobilisation that will apply to “those with previous military experience”. The Russian government will announce “very soon” which categories of citizens will be exempted from the mobilisation of reservists to serve in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

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  • Putin’s speech was swiftly condemned by western leaders. Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg criticised the Russian leader for using “dangerous and reckless” nuclear rhetoric. Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz described the announcement as an “act of desperation”. A European Commission spokesperson said Putin was making a “very dangerous nuclear gamble” and must “stop such reckless behaviour”. Putin’s announcement is a “clear admission” his invasion of Ukraine is failing, Downing Street said. The British Foreign Office minister Gillian Keegan called the Russian president’s speech an “obvious escalation”.

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  • Lithuania’s defence minister Arvydas Anušauskas has said the country is to put its rapid reaction force on high alert, as the mobilisation will also occur on its border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. “Since the Russian military mobilisation will also be carried out in the Kaliningrad region, ie in our neighbourhood, Lithuania cannot just watch,” Anušauskas said. Latvia’s foreign minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said his country will not offer refuge to any Russians fleeing Moscow’s mobilisation of troops.

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  • Putin’s decision to announce a partial mobilisation sent shockwaves across Russia, with the war set to enter the household of many families across the country. The Russian anti-war movement Vesna has called for demonstrations in cities and towns across Russia at 7pm local time (16:00 GMT) on Wednesday in protest against mobilisation. “You don’t have to die for Putin. You are needed in Russia by those who love you. For the authorities, you are just cannon fodder, where you will be squandered without any meaning or purpose,” Vesna said in a statement.

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  • Nearly all flights out of Russia were sold out just hours after Putin declared a partial mobilisation of reservists. Flights from Moscow to the capitals of Georgia, Turkey and Armenia, all destinations that allow Russians to enter without a visa, were sold out within minutes of Putin’s announcement, according to flight sales data. Direct flights from Moscow to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan also became unavailable.

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  • The Russian stock market tumbled after Putin’s speech. The Russian president’s announcement sent the Moscow stock exchange’s MOEX index plunging by as much as 10%, marking a second day in falling stocks. On Tuesday, the rouble-denominated MOEX index fell by 8.7% to hit its lowest point since 16 August.

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  • Putin’s televised address to the nation came a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold “referendums” this weekend on becoming part of Russia. In his speech on Wednesday, Putin said he would support the votes scheduled for this weekend to join Russia in the parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions that are under its control. Kremlin’s plans to annex four regions are likely to further escalate the war following Ukrainian recent successes on the battlefield.

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  • Russia fired a series of long-range missiles at Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv early on Wednesday, hours after the Kremlin announced plans to annex Ukrainian territory and to carry out a partial mobilisation. Explosions were heard across Kharkiv at around 2am. At least one missile struck a high-rise apartment in the western Zalutino district. Ten residents were injured.

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  • Joe Biden will use his speech at the UN to rally the world to stand firm in the face of Russian plans to hold referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine and possibly introduce widespread conscription. Biden’s speech on Wednesday morning will be followed a few hours later by a video address delivered by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said there was a shrinking likelihood of holding talks with Vladimir Putin to end the war, adding that it could only happen if the Russian leader withdrew his forces from Ukrainian territory. In an interview with Bild TV, the Ukrainian president urged the west not to be blackmailed by Putin’s threat of nuclear retaliation, and warned that to do so would invite Russia to attempt to take more territory.

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  • Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal has met with new British prime minister Liz Truss at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York. Truss said she reaffirmed Britain’s “steadfast support” for the Ukrainian people, while her foreign secretary James Cleverly is expected to condemn Russia’s aggression in Ukraine when he meets his Moscow counterpart Sergey Lavrov at the UN security council on Thursday.

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Hello everyone. It’s Léonie Chao-Fong still with you today with all the latest from Ukraine. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter or via email.

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Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said there was a shrinking likelihood of holding talks with Vladimir Putin to end the war, adding that it could only happen if the Russian leader withdrew his forces from Ukrainian territory.

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Zelenskiy said that Ukraine had no influence on when Putin’s rule in Russia would end but wanted to speak to Moscow from a position of strength.

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Reuters reports the Ukrainian president was speaking via a translator in an interview with Germany’s Bild TV. He also repeated calls for Germany to supply weapons and air defence systems to Ukraine, saying they were needed to save lives.

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Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has criticised Vladimir Putin for using “dangerous and reckless” nuclear rhetoric.

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Reuters reports Stoltenberg said nuclear war must never be fought, and that Putin’s speech indicated that the war was not going along to his plans, and that his words were an escalation but not a surprise. The Nato leader said Putin had miscalculated in Ukraine and made a mistake. Arguing that Russian troops are ill-equipped and lack proper command and control, Stoltenberg said that the presence of more troops would inevitably escalate the conflict.

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He promised that Nato will make sure there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about the seriousness of using nuclear weapons. He stated that so far Nato had not observed any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture. Six months ago, just three days after the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine commenced, Putin order his nuclear forces onto high alert.

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During an interview with Reuters editor in chief Alessandra Galloni he added that Nato has provided unprecedented support to Ukraine, and was in close dialogue with the defence industries to ramp up the production of weapons and ammunition.

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Stoltenberg also said that he hopes that the war in Ukraine will end at the negotiating table, but that it has to be an acceptable outcome to Kyiv.

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Vladimir Putin’s announcement of partial mobilisation of Russia’s military reservists is a “clear admission” his invasion of Ukraine is failing, Downing Street has said.

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Britain will continue to support Ukraine in the face of “this assault on their sovereignty”, a No 10 spokesperson said.

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She said:

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Putin’s speech this morning and his move to mobilise the Russian population are a clear admission that his invasion is failing.

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The UK alongside our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government’s reprehensible actions.

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Nearly all flights out of Russia were sold out just hours after Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilisation of reservists.

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Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for Aviasales, Russia’s most popular website for buying flights, after Putin’s announcement sparked fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave the country.

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Flights from Moscow to the capitals of Georgia, Turkey and Armenia, all destinations that allow Russians to enter without a visa, were sold out within minutes of Putin’s announcement, according to Aviasales data.

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Within hours, direct flights from Moscow to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan had also stopped showing up on the website. Some routes with stopovers, including from Moscow to Tbilisi, were also unavailable.

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The cheapest flights from Moscow to Dubai were costing more than 300,000 roubles (£4,320) – about five times the average monthly wage.

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Vladimir Putin is making a “very dangerous nuclear gamble” and must “stop such reckless behaviour”, an EU executive has warned.

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European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano added that the “sham, illegal referenda” planned in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia this weekend would not be recognised.

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Stano told reporters:

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Putin is doing a nuclear gamble. He’s using the nuclear element as part of his arsenal of terror, it’s unacceptable.

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EU member states have held discussions on how to respond to the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine, he continued, warning Moscow that there would be “consequences from our part”.

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Read More: Ukraine war live: EU accuses Putin of ‘dangerous gamble’ after his nuclear threat and

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