After the illegal annexation of several areas by Russia, Ukraine reports further successes in its counter-offensive. The army has recaptured five other places in southern Ukraine, the head of the presidential office, Andriy Yermak, wrote to the Telegram news service on Tuesday. According to experts, the Ukrainian counter-offensive is causing enormous problems for the Russian units on several fronts.
"Ukraine is dictating the pace at the moment," a representative of Western security circles said in a briefing to journalists in London. Some Russian units are under so much pressure that they feel compelled to withdraw - sometimes against the will of the Russian leadership. With regard to the possible use of nuclear weapons, the Western official said that there were no signs that Moscow was preparing such a step.
Previously, video recordings of a Russian freight train had caused speculation. Among other things, the media speculated that the vehicles transported on the train could belong to a department responsible for the maintenance of the Russian nuclear arsenal. There was no evidence for this.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and has since annexed four areas in southern and eastern Ukraine. On Friday, President Vladimir Putin signed the internationally unrecognized accession treaties with the occupiers deployed by Moscow. After Russia's State Duma, Moscow's Federation Council also ratified the incorporation, which violates international law, on Tuesday. Putin still has to sign the annexation law before it comes into force.
London: Russia overwhelmed with equipment and training of recruits
British military experts also see problems on the Russian side - Moscow is therefore no longer able to provide sufficient equipment and military training for a large number of recruits. One indication is that the draft cycle is set to start a month later than usual this year, according to the UK Defense Ministry's daily briefing on the war in Ukraine. The annual call-up of around 120,000 conscripts in Russia differs from the recently decided partial mobilization of reservists.
According to official reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to draft in around 300,000 reservists in order to hold the occupied territories after the Russian army was defeated in Ukraine. He had therefore ordered partial mobilization, which caused panic among many Russians - many left the country.
Fear of war service - 200,000 Russians traveled to Kazakhstan
Russia's neighbor Kazakhstan, for example, reported that more than 200,000 Russian citizens had entered the country since the partial mobilization almost two weeks ago. Since September 21, 147,000 Russians have left the ex-Soviet republic, Interior Minister Marat Akhmedschanov said, according to the Kazinform state agency. The minister did not comment on the background.
Shoigu: More than 200,000 Russians have already been drafted into military service
Moscow, on the other hand, sees the partial mobilization as a success: According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, more than 200,000 people have already been drafted. "The training takes place on 80 training sites and in 6 training centers," he said in Moscow, according to his ministry.
Shoigu said authorities have been instructed to provide recruits with the necessary clothing and equipment and to brief them. According to Schoigu's account, many volunteers have volunteered. He did not name numbers. Nobody should be rejected "unless there are serious reasons".
Meanwhile, Ukraine banned - as announced on Friday - negotiations with Putin. A corresponding decree by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was published on his website on Tuesday. This was preceded by a decision by the Security and Defense Council.
In the first weeks of the war, there were talks between Ukraine and Russia, mainly at negotiator level. After the increasing successes of the Ukrainian army, Kyiv has practically ruled out negotiations before the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.
More grain for Russia due to annexation
Meanwhile, Russia is expecting a higher grain harvest after the annexation of eastern Ukrainian areas, which was classified as illegal under international law. "Taking into account the arable land there, I think that Russia would store at least five million tons of additional grain. That should also be the case with other crops," said Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev, according to the state agency TASS.
Patrushev expected 150 million tons of grain this year - 100 million tons of it wheat. That would be a record. Russia is one of the most important exporters worldwide - like Ukraine. The neighboring country, which was attacked by Russian troops, had repeatedly accused Moscow of bringing grain from the occupied areas in eastern and southern Ukraine into its own country.
UN General Assembly to discuss annexation
In an emergency session, the UN General Assembly is to deal with the illegal annexation of parts of eastern Ukraine by Russia. This emerges from a letter from the largest UN body to the 193 member states.
According to diplomats, during the consultations starting this Monday at 9 p.m. German time, there will also be a vote on a resolution condemning Moscow's actions. It was initially unclear whether the vote would take place on the same day because of the potentially large number of speakers.
Video streaming service Twitch fined in Russia
The Russian judiciary fined the video streaming service Twitch for spreading alleged false information about the war in Ukraine. A court in Moscow set the amount of the fine at four million rubles (around 69,400 euros), as reported by the state news agency Tass.
Specifically, it is about an interview with the advisor in the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Oleksiy Arestovych, who is said to have made misleading statements about air raids on the Odessa region in southern Ukraine. Twitch was asked to delete it.
Lauterbach: Germany is not a party to the war, but on Kiev's side
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has qualified his statement that Germany is "at war" with Putin. The Federal Republic is "of course not a war party," but "still fully supports the Ukrainians," said the SPD politician on the RTL/ntv program "Frühstart". This also included arms deliveries. "We are not at war, but we support Ukraine to the best of our ability," Lauterbach said.