On Monday, a young man shot a Russian military officer at point-blank range at an enlistment office, in an unusually bold attack that reflects resistance to efforts by Russian leaders to mobilize hundreds of thousands of men make war on the Ukraine.
The shooting comes after scattered arson attacks on enlistment offices and protests in Russian cities against the draft that have resulted in at least 2,000 arrests. Russia is searching to reinforce his army as his Ukraine offensive has stalled and sapped their forces.
In the attack in the Siberian city of Ust-Ilimsk, local resident Ruslan Zinin, 25, walked into the enlistment office saying “no one is going to fight” and “we are all going home now,” according to media reports. local. .
Zinin was arrested, and officials promised harsh punishment. Local authorities said the military commander was in intensive care, without giving further details. A witness quoted by the local news site said that Zinin was in a room of people called to fight. Troops from his region were scheduled to head to military bases on Tuesday.
Concerns are growing that Russia may attempt to escalate the conflict, including the potential use of nuclear weapons, once it completes what Ukraine and the West consider illegal referendums in parts of Ukraine under its control.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said 60 minutes the Kremlin has a nuclear “chain of command,” but it is unclear whether anyone would say “no” to Russian President Vladimir Putin if he decides to launch a nuclear weapon.
“And that is the Achilles’ heel of autocracies anywhere,” said the Secretary of State said. “…Usually there is no one who has the ability or the will to speak truth to power. And part of the reason, I think, that Russia has gotten into the mess that it is in is because they don’t there’s no one in the system to do it effectively.” tell Putin that he is doing the wrong thing.”
Blinken called Putin’s rhetoric “irresponsible,” adding that the United States had expressed concern to Russia over his threats.
“We’re focused on making sure we’re all acting responsibly, especially when it comes to this kind of loose rhetoric,” Blinken told Pelley. “We have been very clear with the Russians in public and also in private to stop loose talk about nuclear weapons.”
The vote, in which residents are asked whether they want their regions to become part of Russia, began last week and ends on Tuesday under conditions that are anything but free or fair.
Thousands of residents had already fled the regions amid months of incessant fighting, and images shared by those who stayed showed armed Russian troops going from door to door to pressure Ukrainians into voting.
“Every night and day there is unavoidable shelling in Donbas, under the roar of which people are forced to vote for Russian ‘peace’,” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko said on Monday.
Russia is widely expected to declare the results in its favor, a step that could see Moscow annex the territory and give it a pretext to defend it as its own territory under the Russian nuclear umbrella.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that no date has been set for the regions’ recognition as part of Russia, but it could be a matter of days.
On Monday, Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, held an unannounced meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi, saying they were ready to cooperate with the West, “if they treat us with respect,” Putin said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Putin had told Turkey’s president during their meeting in Uzbekistan last week that Moscow was ready to resume negotiations with Ukraine, but had “new conditions” for it. a ceasefire. The minister did not elaborate on the conditions.
The Kremlin last week announced a partial mobilization, the first since World War II, to add at least 300,000 troops to its force in Ukraine. The move, a sharp departure from Putin’s earlier efforts to portray the war as a limited military operation that would not interfere with the lives of most Russians, proved unpopular at home.
Thousands of men of fighting age flocked to Russia’s airports and land border crossings in an effort to avoid conscription. Protests erupted in various parts of the country, with Russian media reporting a growing number of arson attacks on military enlistment offices, including one that hit the southern city of Uryupinsk on Monday.
Meanwhile, the first batches of Russian troops mobilized by Moscow have started arriving at military bases, the British military said on Monday. In an online intelligence briefing, the British Ministry of Defense said that tens of thousands had been summoned so far.
Under normal circumstances, two battalions are deployed while a third stays behind to train. But in the Ukraine war, even the third battalion is being deployed, weakening that training, the British Ministry of Defense said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy he said in a Facebook post on Monday that the Ukrainian military is boosting efforts to recapture “the entire territory of Ukraine” and has drawn up plans to counter “new types of weapons” used by Russia, without elaborating.
An overnight drone strike near the Ukrainian port of Odessa sparked a massive fire and explosion, the military said Monday. It was the latest in a series of drone strikes on the key southern city in recent days, hitting a military installation and detonating munitions when it hit. Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze and nearby civilians were evacuated, the Ukrainian army’s southern command said.
New Russian shelling hit the area around the Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant, according to Zelenskyy’s office. The cities near the station were attacked nine times in the last few hours by rocket launchers and heavy artillery.
In the city of Izium in eastern Ukraine, which Russian forces abandoned earlier this month after a Ukrainian counteroffensive, Margaryta Tkachenko is still recovering from the battle that destroyed her home and left her family on the brink of starvation. .
With no gas, electricity, running water or internet, he said: “I can’t predict what will happen next. Winter is the scariest. We don’t have wood. How will we heat?”