The upper house of Russia’s parliament has voted to approve the incorporation of four occupied Ukrainian regions into Russia, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it seized from Kyiv since staging its latest invasion of Ukraine in February. In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the state Duma, Russia’s lower house, yesterday. No lawmakers in the lower house voted against the bill either.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a decree formally declaring the prospect of any Ukrainian talks with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin “impossible”. The decree formalised comments made by Zelenskiy on Friday after the Russian president proclaimed the four occupied regions of Ukraine were to become part of Russia.
Russia, however, no longer has full control of any of the four provinces it claims to annex, after Ukrainian troops reportedly advanced dozens of kilometres in Kherson province. The Russian military has acknowledged that Kyiv’s forces had broken through in the Kherson region. It said the Ukrainian army and its “superior tank units” had managed to “penetrate the depths of our defence” around the villages of Zoltaya Balka and Alexsandrovka.
Russia’s retreat from Lyman has sparked vociferous criticism of the handling of the war on Russian state television. Vladimir Solovyov, host of a primetime talkshow on state TV channel Russia 1 and one of the Kremlin’s biggest cheerleaders, said on air on Sunday. “We need to pull it together, make unpopular, but necessary decisions and act.”
Lyman’s recapture by Ukrainian troops is Russia’s largest battlefield loss since Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in September.
Russias’s ministry of defence spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, said Russian troops had occupied what he called a “pre-prepared defensive line”. His are an admission that Ukraine’s southern counter-offensive is dramatically gaining pace, two months after it began.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has claimed that in the last 24 hours two people were injured on the territory it occupies, and 13 houses and 12 civil infrastructure were damaged by fire from the Ukrainian armed forces.
A Russian court has fined the streaming service Twitch 4m roubles (£60,000/$68,000) for failing to remove an interview with a Ukrainian political figure. The court said the interview violated Russian laws on the spreading of fake information.
North Korea has become the only UN member state apart from Russia to recognise the “results” of the Moscow-backed “referendums” in the occupied areas of Ukraine.
Diplomatic relations between Russia and Japan continue to deteriorate. Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has ordered a Russian consul in Sapporo to leave Japan by 10 October.
Elon Musk has prompted an online row with Zelenskiy after he asked Twitter users to weigh in on his ideas to end Russia’s war. In a tweet, Musk suggested UN-supervised elections in four occupied regions that Moscow has falsely annexed after what it called referendums. Zelenskiy responded with his own poll. “Which @elonmusk do you like more?,” he wrote, offering two responses: one who supports Ukraine, or supports Russia.
That is it from me, Martin Belam, for now. I will be back later on. Rachel Hall will be with you for the next few hours.
Diplomatic relations between Russia and Japan continue to deteriorate. Reuters reports the Japanese foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, has ordered a Russian consul in Sapporo to leave Japan by 10 October.
Japan’s decision comes after Russia’s FSB security agency said last month that it had detained a Japanese consul in Vladivostok for suspected espionage and ordered him to leave the country. Japan denied that the diplomat was a spy, and alleged that the consul was mistreated while in Russia custody.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a decree formally declaring the prospect of any Ukrainian talks with Vladimir Putin “impossible”.
“He [Putin] does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” Zelenskiy said on Friday.
Clause one of the decree, which was prepared by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine on 30 September, reads “[Ukraine decided] to state the impossibility of conducting negotiations with the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.”
Here is a picture from earlier in the day as Russia’s Federation Council approved legislation to annex four occupied areas of Ukraine.
The governor of Kursk in Russia, Roman Starovoyt, has posted to Telegram in an attempt to reassure residents that the partial mobilisation in the region is being carried out in accordance with law. He writes:
Partial mobilisation activities are taking place as planned. We are closely monitoring that everything goes according to the current legislation and the selection criteria that Russian President Vladimir Putin named. We work out individually all the complaints that come to the administration. At the moment, we have 149 appeals, 71 have already been considered. In total, 45 decisions have been made in the region to cancel the mobilisation. We will continue this work.
A Russian court has fined the streaming service Twitch 4m roubles (£60,000/$68,000) for failing to remove an interview with a Ukrainian political figure, the Interfax news agency reported.
Russian authorities said the interview violated Russian laws on the spreading of fake information.
Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The Russian RIA Novosti news agency is carrying this summary of what the annexation means legally according to the treaties Russia claims to have conducted with the four occupied areas of Ukraine, the so-called People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR), and the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. It writes:
The borders of the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, connected with the territory of other countries, are the state border of Russia. Until 1 January 2026, all four new subjects have a transitional period to resolve issues of military duty and military service. Within the same time frame, the issues of integrating new regions into the economic, financial, credit and legal systems of Russia, as well as into the system of government bodies, should be resolved.
Russian legislation and other normative legal acts are effective in new regions from the day they are accepted into Russia. Normative legal acts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions are not applied if they contradict the constitution of Russia. Official documents of the DPR and LPR are valid until the end of the transition period or the adoption of Russian relevant legal acts.
The governments of the DPR and LPR will continue to work until the formation of new cabinets of the acting heads of the republics, the governments of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions must form acting governors in accordance with Russian law.
Citizens of Ukraine, other countries and stateless persons residing in new regions are recognised as citizens of Russia, except for those who within a month declare their desire to retain their existing citizenship or remain stateless.
Russia guarantees all peoples living in new regions the right to preserve their native language and create conditions for its study and development.
Russia and North Korea are the only UN member states to so far recognise the “results” of the “referendums” staged by the occupying authorities in Ukraine.
The upper house of Russia’s parliament has voted to approve the incorporation of four occupied Ukrainian regions into Russia, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it seized from Kyiv since staging its latest invasion of Ukraine in February.
In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the state Duma, Russia’s lower house, yesterday.
Reuters reports the documents now pass back to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin’s final signature to complete the process of formally annexing the four regions, representing about 18% of Ukraine’s territory, in a move that is unlikely to be recognised legally outside of Russia itself.
Russia does not fully control the territory it is claiming to annex.
Here are some of the latest images that we have been sent from Izium in Ukraine over the newswires.
Maksym Kozytskyi, the governor of Lviv in Ukraine’s west, has posted a status update to Telegram to say that no air raid alerts happened overnight in his region. He said that in the last 24 hours there have been 145 people arriving in Lviv from the east of the country on evacuation trains, and that 552 people evacuated into Przemyśl in Poland on four evacuation trains.
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