What happened in the Russo-Ukraine war this week? Catch up with must-read news and analysis

Every week we cover the essentials with our coverage of Ukraine From war news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinions.

Annex

In a major escalation in the seven-month-old war, Vladimir Putin on Friday signed papers marked illegal The occupation of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansky,

In response, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky declared that Ukraine was Applying for NATO membership officially, adding that it was taking this “decisive step” to protect the “entire community” of Ukrainians. He promised that the application would be “fast”.

In the Grand Kremlin Palace, Putin signs “accession treaties” – In defiance of international law – formalizing Russia’s illegal annexation of four occupied territories in Ukraine, the largest forcible acquisition of territory in Europe since the Second World War. it came on the heels of Kremlin-orchestrated fake referendum in areas.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the merger “has no legal value and should be condemned”. NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, described it as “the most serious escalation” since the start of the war, while G7 foreign ministers said “Russia has a new low point in blatant violations of international law”.

isobel koshivo And Andrew Roth covered A four-day fake referendum in Russian-held territories concluded on Tuesday And as predicted, the results reported by Russian state media showed overwhelming support for Russia to join.

Putin has said he is ready to “protect” those areas using all available means, indicating he will be ready to nuclear attack support To stop Ukraine’s efforts to liberate its sovereign territory.

zelensky Said that Russia would not get any new territory. “Russia will involve itself in the devastation it has brought to our country’s occupied territory,” he said. “We will act to protect our people: both in the Kherson region, in the Zaporizhzhya region, in the Donbass, in the areas currently occupied by the Kharkiv region and in the Crimea.”

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Hours before Putin’s signing ceremony, Russian military killed dozens a missile attack On people waiting in cars in the city of Zaporizhzhya to go to Russian-occupied territory so that they can bring family members back to the frontline.

Women hang Russian flags at their shop in Luhansk a day after Ukraine's four Moscow regions voted on a referendum to be part of Russia.
Women hang Russian flags at their shop in Luhansk a day after Ukraine’s four Moscow regions voted on a referendum to be part of Russia. Photo: AP

‘Terrorist state’ and tighter sanctions

Politicians across Europe warned Suspected sabotage of two Nord Stream pipelines could spark a new phase of hybrid war targeting weak energy infrastructure to undermine support for Ukraine,

as Philip Olterman Large amounts of natural gas, reported from Berlin pouring into the baltic sea Through three separate leaks since Monday on two Nord Stream pipelines built to deliver Russian gas to Europe. Seismologists recorded the explosion In Swedish and Danish waters where the pipeline passes through Bornholm Island on Monday morning and evening, this suggests the leak was intentional.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the leaks were due to “sabotage”, while Latvia’s foreign minister, Edgars Rinkowice, posted on social media that it appeared “we are entering a new phase of the hybrid war”. are”, without naming anyone. He believed that was responsible.

The Kremlin has dismissed the details of the Nord Stream leak as “stupid and absurd” as a Russian “terrorist attack”. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that Russia intends to convene a UN Security Council meeting on the damage to two Nord Stream undersea gas pipelines.

File photo of sections of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline stacked in Denmark.
File photo of sections of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline stacked in Denmark. Photograph: John Randris Hansen / Ritzou Scanpix / AFP / Getty Images

The head of the Ukrainian Presidency’s office called for a broadening of US and European sanctions targeting Moscow following the conclusion of an official report prepared by an international working group. Russia must now be declared a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

Andrey Yermak, the second most powerful Ukrainian government official after President Volodymyr Zelensky, talks with the diplomatic editor Patrick WintourLater Ukraine Accused Russia of sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines. The allegation adds to its claim that Russia has shown all the characteristics of a terrorist state under US and international law.

Such a designation, so far opposed by the US administration, would allow the imposition of secondary sanctions supporting any entity or individual business or government bodies of Russia, including state-owned banks.

Yermak praised the current sanctions, but said the effect was not conclusive, adding: “It is often said that money is like water: it always finds a way to flow. To counter this, the West has to face the existing sanctions. needs to be doubled.”

It comes as the EU proposed an eighth batch of sanctions to “pay the Kremlin” for escalating the war against Ukraine. Jennifer Rankin reported on proposals in Brussels which Includes a promise to limit the price of Russian oil and impose further sanctions on hi-tech trade such as some chemicals and aviation components.

Von der Leyen says Russia has intensified aggression to “a new level” sham referendum in Russian occupied territory, partial mobilization orders and Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons. “We are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further increase,” she said.

Some Russians ran away from Putin’s draft – but not all

While tens of thousands of Russians queue at the borders to escape the country’s first mobilization since World War II, others have accepted and even accepted the call-up.

“When the Motherland calls, you have to answer,” said 27-year-old bus driver Ilya pajotra sawyer Later being called,

In stark contrast to the miles-long lines for exits, there are videos of men across the country, to the applause of their wives and mothers, boarding buses that would take them to training centers, which are likely to be one-sided for many. travel for

“The nation is divided, and the mobilization has exacerbated the existing division,” said Denis Volkov of the Levada Center’s independent voting agency. “Western-oriented, more modern, part of the urban population wants to leave and is against the draft. But there is still a large group of men who will not survive the draft. They are often less educated, poorer and more dependent on the state.”

At the Verkhni Lars border crossing in Georgia, Daniel Boffi Some of those he met trying to evade the draft, including a Moscow lawyer, Alexandra, 37, told him: “We’ve given up our house, our car, our life—everything.”

Looking down from the top of her young child’s blond head, throwing a stone at her feet, Alexandra explained that she, her husband and son drove more than 20 hours from the Russian capital before dumping their car in the southern city of Vladikavkaz. Driven on time. and to cross the border on foot Georgia,

“We walked 25km (15 miles) to the border with our four-year-old son, between cars in queues, with no space and lots of smoke.” When asked what they would do next, he replied: “I don’t know, we don’t know.”

After Alexandra and Artyom cross into Georgia.
After Alexandra and Artyom cross into Georgia. Photograph: Mari Garshaulishvili/The Guardian

Alexandra’s husband, Artyom, 41, who works in radio technology, was at least clear why they were there, with thousands of others among the mountains on the Georgian side of the Verkhny Lars border point, blinking in the hot sun. “We didn’t want to be part of the war,” he said. Alexandra said: “My husband was born Ukraine, He can be mobilized and fight the Ukrainians.”

The couple and their child, with only four small bags to their name, left to be surrounded by hordes of taxi drivers who gather at the crossing daily, charging exorbitantly for the three-hour drive to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. Huh.

This family is tired and bewildered Georgia Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelouri said on Tuesday that only three out of 10,000 Russians were entering the country daily. Through Verkhni Lars, a bundle of gray buildings and alleys sandwiched in a gorge in the mountains that serves as the only formal crossing between the two countries.

reporter Jedijah Otte speak to Three men who told why they won’t fight in UkraineWhat are their attempts to survive the draft and what the future holds.

Fears of mobilization this week led to a sharp increase in demand for private jets as wealthy Russians look for a way out of the country. Travelers are said to be heading mainly to Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.which allows visa-free entry to Russians, pajotra sawyer writes. They are paying between £20,000 and £25,000 for a seat on a private plane, while renting an eight-seater jet ranges from £80,000 to £140,000, several times more expensive than the usual fare.

“The situation is absolutely insane at the moment,” said Yevgeny Bykov, director of broker jet company Your Charter. “We will get 50 requests in a day; Now it is around 5,000. ,

After a Russian cluster bomb attack

Elena Bulkhina was on her way back to her medical clinic when a cluster bomb sounded in the sky. There was an explosion, then two seconds later a series of explosions, as if deadly shrapnel were swirling in the air. Doctor Bulkhina dropped herself to the ground. As a second bomb exploded, and then a third, she reached the basement of her workplace.

not everyone is so lucky, our correspondent luke harding The once peaceful village Hrushivka, about 8 km from the border line in the northeast, was attacked by Russia on Tuesday afternoon. Some locals stood next to the generator, where they were able to charge their phones and check emails. Pensioner Nikolai Kolyenko was sitting on a bench outside his house. It was cloudy.

Bench shows flowers planted by residents near the spot where cluster bombs killed two people on Tuesday
Bench shows flowers planted by residents near the spot where cluster bombs killed two people on Tuesday Photograph: Elena Bulakhtina

The fragments of the bomb killed Kolyenko. A woman in her fifties, Vera Shevtsova, also died. “We couldn’t do anything for them. The old man has suffered multiple injuries from shrapnel. We left him. Those are our triage rules,” explained Bulkhtina. Instead he helped live. One of them seriously injured 10. Also involved was the one-year-old boy Andrey Sednyuk, who was hit in the head with a metal cover.

A building full of screaming children and desperate adults. “All I knew was that I was treating a boy in a green hoodie. He was barely breathing. A fellow bandaged his head. We had nothing for the kids. Miraculously He had a tube about the size so that we could intubate him. We didn’t have oxygen so ran our ventilator on room air. It was the best we could do for him,” she said.

The episode was terrible. And what you might call worldly. It was common in the sense that Moscow has been dropping cluster bombs on civilians Since the start of his full-scale invasion, more than six months ago. The tragedy in Hrishivka was, on a microscopic scale, an echo of Mariupol’s horrors, where Thousands died this spring Under rockets and air-launched missiles.

Read full story at the guardian.com

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