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Russia-Ukraine latest: Possible annexation and military draft coming

Putin suspected to annex, draft causes Russians to flee, possible sabotage of two major pipelines and increased aid — here’s what’s going on in the Russia-Ukraine war

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Workers hang Russian flags at an apartment building in Luhansk, Luhansk People’s Republic controlled by Russia-backed separatists, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Voting began Friday in four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia.

Associated Press

Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, the war has escalated. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced a partial mobilization of the military which would draft up to 300,000 citizens.

Ukraine has been able to liberate several cities from Russian forces, but will face more opposition with the draft. The country says it will need more foreign help to defeat Russia and drive them out of the country.

The draft has led to several protests and Russians leaving the country to avoid the draft.

Last week, Russia launched referendums to annex the four occupied Ukraine regions. The four-day vote was used to survey Ukrainian views on joining Russia, but has been dismissed by Ukraine and Western nations as a sham, per Reuters.

Here are the latest updates on what is happening in the Russia-Ukraine war.

At a glance:

  • European officials are investigating gas leaks that are allegedly due to Russian sabotage.
  • Referendums end and Putin is likely to announce a formal annex this week.
  • Russians flee the country after draft announcement and others rage in protest.
  • The Netherlands, the U.S. and the U.K. increase aid and support for Ukraine.

Officials investigate gas leak sabotage

Recent gas leaks in two pipelines running from Russia to Germany have raised suspicions about possible Russian sabotage. The pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, run through the Baltic Sea. Footage of the leak was released by Danish authorities on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, Polish Prime Minster Mateusz Morawiecki is blaming Russia for the leaks and believes it is an attempt to destabilize Europe’s energy security.

Morawiecki and Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredricksen have both suggested it could be an act of sabotage by Russia, and authorities in Germany, Denmark and Sweden are investigating the leaks, per The New York Times.

Putin may announce a formal annex of Ukrainian territories

Referendums end Tuesday in Ukraine, and the Times reports that the results show that a majority of Ukrainian residents in occupied territories voted to join Russia. However, the referendums have been universally dismissed and labeled a sham.

According to CNN, the voting results were “probably decided long before any ballots were cast.” The votes were called by pro-Russian officials and won’t reflect the actual view of Ukrainians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is suspected to formally claim Ukrainian territory in an address this Friday.

The Guardian reports Putin will address Russian parliament on Friday and the British Ministry of Defence says there is a likely possibility he will use this address to “announce the accession of occupied regions of Ukraine.”

Annexation will require parliament’s vote to be official.


A group of Russians walk after crossing the border at Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia in Georgia, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Long lines of vehicles have formed at a border crossing between Russia’s North Ossetia region and Georgia after Moscow announced a partial military mobilization. A day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to bolster his troops in Ukraine, many Russians are leaving their homes.

Zurab Tsertsvadze, Associated Press

Responses to Russian draft

Russian citizens are continuing to leave the country after Putin’s partial mobilization announcement.

Foreign aid

Several countries are increasing aid and support of Ukraine. Here is what we has happened so far:

  • The United States announced it will be giving $457.6 million to Ukraine for civilian aid.
  • Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that country will be increasing military support for Ukraine.
  • Russia faces increased sanctions from the United Kingdom.