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Live blog: Putin ally backs separatist votes to annex parts of Ukraine

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Live blog: Putin ally backs separatist votes to annex parts of Ukraine

Russia‘s ex-leader Dmitry Medvedev hails proposals by Moscow-backed separatists and says such referendums will change the path of Russian history, as fighting continues in Ukraine for the 209th day. Officials in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces, including the two breakaway Russian-backed regions of the Donbass — the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics — have stepped up preparations for long-discussed votes to join Russia in a coordinated move. (AA) Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Russia ex-leader says Donbass vote would bolster Ukraine mission

Russia's former president has said if Ukraine's breakaway regions vote to join Russia, it will allow Moscow to utilise its full military capability in the Donbass region.

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Dmitry Medvedev, who is also a former prime minister, said that ballots in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk republics to integrate into Russia would help protect residents of the east Ukraine region by expanding Moscow's military mandate.

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“Encroachment into Russian territory is a crime and if it is committed, that allows you to use all possible force in self-defence,” Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia's security council said on social media. Medvedev said the votes would correct “historical justice” and be irreversible.

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That is why these referendums are so feared in Kiev and in the West. That is why they need to be carried out

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia‘s former president and prime minister Russian-backed separatists in Kherson say they will hold vote on joining Russia

Russian-backed officials in the Kherson region of Ukraine say they have decided to hold a referendum on joining Russia and have urged the Kremlin to give its permission as soon as possible, the separatist head of the region has said.

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In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-appointed head of Kherson, said he hoped Kherson would become “a part of Russia, a fully-fledged subject of a united country.” 

Russian forces control around 95% of Ukraine's Kherson territory in the south of country.  Saldo did not name a date for the proposed vote

Putin blasts US attempts to preserve global domination

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blasted what he described as US efforts to preserve its global domination, saying they are doomed to fail

Speaking while receiving credentials from foreign ambassadors to Moscow, Putin said that “the objective development toward a multipolar world faces resistance of those who try to preserve their hegemony in global affairs and control everything — Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.”

He added that “the hegemon has succeeded in doing so for quite a long time, but it can't go on forever…regardless of the developments in Ukraine.”

The Russian leader described Western sanctions against Russia over its action in Ukraine as part of efforts by the US and its allies to strengthen their positions, but charged that that they have backfired against their organisers and also hurt poor countries

McDonald's re-opens in Ukraine, but for delivery only

McDonald's in Kiev has re-opened for the first time since Russia's offensive, a sign life was returning to normal in the capital after nearly seven months of fighting

The US burger chain said in a statement earlier that after talks with Ukrainian officials, security specialists and suppliers it would re-open at first for delivery only

AFP reporters on Tuesday saw a queue of delivery company employees outside one of restaurants waiting to collect orders. “In October, these three restaurants will fully re-open along with McDrive and express windows,” McDonald's said in the statement

Thirteen people killed in series of explosions in east Ukrainian city of Donetsk pic.twitter.com/QS7ffwalDp

TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) September 19, 2022 Ukraine, using captured Russian tanks, firms up its lines

Ukraine is now deploying captured Russian tanks to solidify its gains in the northeast amid an ongoing counteroffensive, a Washington-based think tank has said, as Kiev vows to push further into territories occupied by Moscow

The Institute for the Study of War, citing a Russian claim, said that Ukraine had been using left-behind Russian T-72 tanks as it tries to push into the Russian-occupied region of Luhansk

“The initial panic of the counteroffensive led Russian troops to abandon higher-quality equipment in working order, rather than the more damaged equipment left behind by Russian forces retreating from Kiev in April, further indicating the severity of the Russian rout,” the institute said

Hungary says EU should not consider new sanctions against Russia

Hungary's foreign minister has said the European Union should not consider new sanctions against Russia as that would only deepen the energy supply crisis and hurt Europe

“The EU should … stop mentioning an 8th package of sanctions, should stop flagging measures that would only further deepen the energy supply crisis,” Peter Szijjarto said in his statement

Russia's Black Sea fleet is relocating some of its submarines, UK says

Russia's Black Sea fleet has relocated some of its submarines from port of Sevastopol in Russia-annexed Crimea to Novorossiysk in Krasnodor Krai, the British military has said

The relocation is likely due to the recent change in the local security threat level in the face of increased Ukrainian long-range strike capability, the Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on Twitter

“In the last two months, the fleet headquarters and its main naval aviation airfield have been attacked”, the Ministry added

Russia weighs hike in taxes on oil, gas: Kommersant

Russia is considering raising taxes on the oil and gas sector in order to plug the 2023 budget gap, the Kommersant daily has said, citing sources familiar with the discussions

The government wants, in particular, to raise the export duty on gas to up to 50%, start levying a duty on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and raise domestic gas prices so that companies pay more in minerals extraction tax, the paper said

The finance ministry has also proposed hiking the oil export duty and increasing state revenue from the oil products trade

Eight more grain ships leave Ukrainian ports under Istanbul deal: Türkiye

Eight more ships have left Ukrainian ports under the landmark Istanbul grain export deal, the Turkish National Defence Ministry has said

A ministry statement, which did not disclose the ships’ points of departure or destinations, said the shipments from Ukrainian ports are continuing as planned

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an Ankara-brokered agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the RussiaUkraine conflict erupted in February

Türkiye works to solve RussiaUkraine hostage crisis — Erdogan

Türkiye is working to resolve a hostage crisis between Russia and Ukraine to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“We are now working to resolve the hostage crisis. We are taking steps and we have reached a certain point. On the other hand, we took the steps regarding the grain corridor,” Erdogan said in an interview with the US TV show PBS NewsHour

“I had extensive meetings with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin in Uzbekistan. I realised that they are actually trying to finish this as soon as possible,” he said, noting that the hostage crisis is a huge problem for both sides

“At this point, for example, an agreement has been reached on the exchange of 200 hostages,” Erdogan said

Türkiye is mediating a prisoner swap deal between Russia and Ukraine and 200 hostages will be exchanged upon the agreement, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an interview with PBS NewsHour pic.twitter.com/UOY3yJUU9U

TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) September 19, 2022 UK to provide at least $2.6B Ukraine assistance — report

British Prime Minister Liz Truss will tell world leaders this week that the UK will next year match or exceed the 2.3 billion pounds ($2.63 billion) it committed to support Ukraine’s efforts against Russia in 2022, the Financial Times reported

This comes as British politics returns to centre stage on Tuesday after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, with Truss flying to her first major summit in New York

For live updates from Monday (September 19), click  here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies