Here is the situation as it looks on Saturday, October 1.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proclaimed the annexation of the territory that was seized when he invaded four regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia — which accounts for 15 percent of Ukraine’s entire territory, and said that the people there are now Russia’s “citizens” will be forever,” while Kiev said it would continue its fight to recapture the occupied country.
- Ukraine, Western countries and the UN have denounced Russia’s move towards annexation and described the referendums as “fraud.”
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country was filing an “expedited” application to join the NATO military alliance after Russian leader Vladimir Putin declared annexation.
- Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution introduced by the United States and Albania condemning Moscow’s proclaimed annexations, with Russia’s strategic partner China abstaining from voting.
- Without providing any evidence, Putin accused the United States and its allies of blowing up Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea following a sudden and unexplained gas leak, leaving Europe struggling to secure its energy infrastructure and supply.
- US President Biden said it was “a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies,” adding that Washington and his allies would send divers to find out what happened.
- The breaks in the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline system have led to what is probably the largest single release of climate-damaging methane, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
- Norway has announced that it will receive help from the UK, Germany and France to patrol the seas surrounding its oil and gas platforms after Europe increased energy security amid allegations of sabotage, had major leaks.
- At least 30 civilians were killed and nearly 100 injured in a cynical Russian rocket attack on a convoy of civilian cars in southern Ukraine on the outskirts of the city of Zaporizhia.
- Russian forces in Ukraine may have been on the brink of one of their worst defeats of the war after Ukrainian troops captured two villages near the Lyman fortress occupied by eastern Russia.
- Kiev said it was ready for talks with Moscow, but not while Putin was president.
Aid and sanctions
- The US Congress has approved $12.3 billion in aid to help Ukraine combat its invasion by Russia, which includes $3 billion for weapons, supplies and salaries for the Ukrainian military.
- The US announced a new round of sanctions against hundreds of Russian-affiliated companies and officials over Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territory, which President Joe Biden has described as a sign of “contempt for peaceful nations.”
- The UK has imposed new sanctions against Russia in response to the formal annexation of parts of Ukrainian territory, including measures directed directly at its central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina.