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Ukraine news latest: Putin ‘has annexed more than 15% of Ukraine’, claims Kremlin – but Zelensky’s forces on the march

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RUSSIA claims it has formally completed the annexation of 15% of Ukrainian territory as Vladimir Putin completed legal paperwork today - but Ukrainian forces are continuing to make successful incursions to reclaim land that previously belonged to them.

The regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have now been formally absorbed into Putin's regime, according to the Kremlin, as Putin looks to legitimise his war in Ukraine.

Western governments and Kyiv said the moves breached international law and were coercive and non-representative.

Despite the brutal invasion, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's troops continue to fight back.

Zelensky announced that his army has liberated "dozens" of Ukrainian settlements, as it continues its counter-offensive.

Read our Ukraine-Russia live blog below for the latest updates...

  • Lauren Cole-Lomas

    Reactor to be restarted at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

    International Atomic Energy Agency previously announced that all six reactors of Europe's largest power plant had been shut down.

    It has been confirmed that one is back up and running.

    In a statement, the IAEA said: “Senior Ukrainian operating staff informed IAEA experts present at the ZNPP that preparations are underway to start unit 5 at reduced power to produce steam and heat for the needs of the plant.”

  • Louis Allwood

    'Ukraine continues to make progress'

    In its latest analysis, the Ministry of Defence noted that Ukraine has continued to liberate land from Putin’s forces this week.

    The statement reads: “Ukraine continues to make progress in offensive operations along both the north-eastern and southern fronts. In the northeast, in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine has now consolidated a substantial area of territory east of the Oskil River.

    “Ukrainian formations have advanced up to 20 km beyond the river into Russia’s defensive zone towards the supply node of the town of Svatove.

    “It is highly likely that Ukraine can now strike the key Svatove-Kremina road with most of its artillery systems, further straining Russia’s ability to resupply its units in the east.

    “Politically, Russian leaders will highly likely be concerned that leading Ukrainian units are now approaching the borders of Luhansk Oblast, which Russia claimed to have formally annexed last Friday.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Head of UN's IAEA on way to Kyiv

    The head of UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, is heading to Ukraine to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

    Rafael Grossi said that "the need for a Nuclear Safety and Security Protection Zone" is needed urgently.

  • Louis Allwood

    Russia hints 'certain territories will be returned'

    Dmitry Pesko the Kremlin spokesperson has suggested that some territories within the four regions in Ukraine that Russia has annexed may be returned.

    According to Russian media group RBC reports Mr Peskov said: "Read the order. There is legal wording there. In general, of course, there we are talking about the territory in which the military-civilian administration operated at the time of admission [to Russia]. 

    "But I repeat once again: certain territories there will be returned , and we will continue to consult with the population that expresses a desire to live with Russia."

  • Louis Allwood

    Russian sub spotted in chilling satellite pics

    Satellites have spotted Russia's massive mega submarine.

    Belgorod has now been spotted in satellite pictures by expert naval observers operating in the Barents Sea - a part of the Arctic Ocean.

    The relatively shallow waters are key proving ground for Putin's navy with the sea's coasts belonging to Russia and Norway.

    Pictures first released by naval warfare researcher H I Sutton show the submarine surfaced in the Barents on September 22.

  • Louis Allwood

    Russian troops face being encircled

    Thousands of Russian troops face being encircled on the west bank of the Dnipro after the only bridges across the four-mile-wide river were blitzed with US and UK long-range rockets.

    Moscow's RIA Novosti state media outlet quoted Kherson official Kirill Stremousov as saying troops were "conducting a regrouping in order to gather their strength and deliver a retaliatory blow.”

    Russian troops are expected to fall back to the Inhulets river, just a few miles east of the city.

  • Louis Allwood

    Zelensky vows ‘we do not stop’

    A village of Snihurivka had been freed by Ukraine's armed forces and President Zelensky hailed it a "fast and powerful advance in the south".

    He said: "Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian sham referendum this week alone.

    "In particular, according to the military reports from the Kherson region: the settlements of Lyubymivka, Khreshchenivka, Zolota Balka, Bilyaivka, Ukrainka, Velyka and Mala Oleksandrivka, and Davydiv Brid were liberated from the occupier and stabilized. 

    "And this is far from a complete list."

    He added: "Our warriors do not stop. And it's only a matter of time before we oust the occupier from all our land."

    The President met with his top military advisors today to discuss the "further liberation of Ukrainian territories."

  • Louis Allwood

    Putin makes 'corrections' to the partial mobilisation

    Vladimir Putin has made "corrections" to the partial mobilisation drive announced last month after signing a new decree.

    He informed teachers on state television, that the decree would defer conscription for additional categories of students.

    This would mean that those enrolled at accredited private universities, and certain postgraduate students would not be conscripted.

  • Louis Allwood

    Italian Air Force scrambled to intercept Russian fighter jets flying into Nato airspace

    Four Russian warplanes have been intercepted after they flew into Nato airspace.

    Italian Air Force fighter planes were scrambling after Putin's jets were detected straying into airspace belonging to Poland and Sweden from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

    Rome sent four Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Poland as part of a Nato air policing mission back in July - with the warplanes stationed at Malbork Air Base.

    Nato and Russia remain at loggerheads over Putin's war in Ukraine - with Moscow continuously raising the spectre of a wider conflict if the West continues to help Ukraine.

  • Louis Allwood

    Man facing serious criminal charges after reports claim he avoided mobilisation 

    It has been reported by human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov that a 32-year-old man in the city of Penza is facing serious criminal charges for refusing to sign call-up papers following Putin's mobilisation.

    The charges carry a possible two year prison sentence.

    This is the first known criminal case against a man accused of avoiding mobilisation in Russia.

  • Louis Allwood

    UK's MoD release intelligence map

    The Ministry of Defence have issued their latest intelligence map suggesting that there is "likely Ukrainian advances" towards the port city of Kherson.

    Russia are currently focusing their advances in the Donbas region following their recent loss of Lyman.

  • Henry Moore

    EU announces new set of sanctions for Russia

    Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter today to announce the 8th set of EU sanctions for Putin's Russia.

    This comes just days after the dictator announced the annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

    These sanctions centre on placing a cap on Russian oil.

  • Henry Moore

    Ukrainian energy company claims it will control Zaporizhzhia power plant

    Contrary to the reports from Russia today, Ukraine's state energy company, Energoatom, claims it will be in control of the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

    “All further decisions regarding the operation of the station will be made directly at the central office of Energoatom,” Energoatom chief Petro Kotin said.

    “We will continue to work under Ukrainian law, within the Ukrainian energy system, within Energoatom.”

  • Henry Moore

    Ukraine's counteroffensive continues in northeast and southern regions

    In its latest analysis, the Ministry of Defence noted that Ukraine has continued to liberate land from Putin’s forces this week.

    The statement reads: “Ukraine continues to make progress in offensive operations along both the north-eastern and southern fronts. In the northeast, in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine has now consolidated a substantial area of territory east of the Oskil River.

    “Ukrainian formations have advanced up to 20 km beyond the river into Russia’s defensive zone towards the supply node of the town of Svatove.

    “It is highly likely that Ukraine can now strike the key Svatove-Kremina road with most of its artillery systems, further straining Russia’s ability to resupply its units in the east.

    “Politically, Russian leaders will highly likely be concerned that leading Ukrainian units are now approaching the borders of Luhansk Oblast, which Russia claimed to have formally annexed last Friday.”

  • Henry Moore

    Kyiv hands out anti-radiation meds as nuclear fears rise

    The city council of the Ukrainian capital has confirmed that anti-radiation pills are being shared with its citizens.

    The pills will reportedly contain potassium iodine, a chemical that blocks the absorption of radioactive fallout.

    Click here for more information.

  • Henry Moore

    Zelensky meets with top military officials to discuss 'further liberation of Ukrainian territories'

    Today, Zelensky met with his top military advisors to discuss the "further liberation of Ukrainian territories."

    Discussions also centred on "stabilizing the situation in the newly de-occupied areas."

    This comes as Ukraine liberates "dozens" of settlements from Putin's forces.

  • Henry Moore

    Recap: What did Liz Truss say about Ukraine in her Conservative party speech?

    Here is what the PM said about the war in Ukraine today.

    "The Ukrainian people aren’t just fighting for their security, but for all of our security. This is a fight for freedom and democracy around the world.

    "Putin’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory is just the latest act in his campaign to subvert democracy and violate international law.

    "We should not give in to those who want a deal which trades away Ukrainian land. They are proposing to pay in Ukrainian lives for the illusion of peace.

    "We will stand with our Ukrainian friends, however long it takes. Ukraine can win. Ukraine must win. And Ukraine will win."

  • Henry Moore

    CIA boss brands Putin 'dangerous and reckless'

    If Russian President Vladimir Putin is cornered, he could become “dangerous and reckless,” said Bill Burns.

    Putin has “gotta be concerned, not just about what’s happening on the battlefield in Ukraine, [but] what’s happening at home and what’s happening internationally,” Burns told CBS.

    He went on to discuss China backing out of its previous “friendship without limits” pledge after denying Russia military aid.

  • Henry Moore

    Liz Truss slams Putin in Conservative party conference speech

    The PM vowed to support Ukraine for "however long it takes" in her speech today.

    She branded the invasion of Ukraine "illegal" and slammed the annexation of 15% of the country.

    Mrs Truss has been firm on her pro-Ukraine stance since taking on the position of Prime Minister.

  • Henry Moore

    Europe's largest nuclear power plant will be supervised by Russian occupiers

    Following the annexation of the Zaporizhzhia region, its nuclear power station will now be operated by Russian forces.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry announced the decision today, according to Reuters.

    Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will reportedly visit Moscow in the coming weeks, to discuss the plant.

  • Henry Moore

    Russian anti-war journalist escapes house arrest

    Marina Ovsyannikova made headlines for staging a walkout during a live news broadcast earlier this year, wielding a sign that said: "stop the war."

    In August, the journalist was placed on house arrest until October 9.

    Now, Mrs Ovsyannikova has revealed she has escaped this arrest.

    “I consider myself completely innocent, and since our state refuses to comply with its own laws, I refuse to comply with the measure of restraint imposed on me as of 30 September 2022 and release myself from it,” Reuters reports she said on Telegram.

  • Henry Moore

    Irishman killed fighting for Ukraine

    Rory Mason, 23, was fighting in Kharkiv when he was killed on September 28.

    Talking about the tragedy, Rory's devastated dad Rob released this heartbreaking statement: "Rory was a private young man of drive, purpose and conviction.

    "Though we are deeply saddened at his death, we are enormously proud of his courage and determination and his selflessness in immediately enlisting to support Ukraine.

    "Rory was never political but he had a deep sense of right and wrong and an inability to turn the other way in the face of injustice.

    "He had a long-standing interest in Eastern Europe, in travel and in learning new languages, including Russian."

    Click here to read more.

  • Henry Moore

    Partial mobilisation a 'fatal error', former ambassador says

    The former British ambassador to Yugoslavia and Russia, Sir Andrew Wood, has slammed Putin's decision to partially mobilise the Russian reserve forces branding it a "fatal error."

    He told Sky News that the decision to call up an extra 300,000 troops was “chaotically ill-done”.

  • Henry Moore

    'Dozens' of Ukrainian settlements liberated in recent days, Zelensky reports

    In his nightly address on Tuesday, President Zelensky noted that "dozens" of settlements, claimed by Russia during last week's annexation, have been taken back.

    He said: "The Ukrainian army is carrying out a pretty fast and powerful advance in the south of our country as part of the current defence operation.

    "Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian sham referendum this week alone. In Kherson region, Kharkiv region, Luhansk region and Donetsk region altogether.

    "In particular, according to the military reports from the Kherson region: the settlements of Lyubymivka, Khreshchenivka, Zolota Balka, Bilyaivka, Ukrainka, Velyka and Mala Oleksandrivka, and Davydiv Brid were liberated from the occupier and stabilized. And this is far from a complete list."

    The President went on to say: "Our warriors do not stop. And it's only a matter of time before we oust the occupier from all our land."

  • Henry Moore

    Russian state media shares annexation statement signed by Putin

    The Russian media outlet Tass has shared some of the documents signed by Putin today, officially absorbing Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson into his regime.

    "The boundaries of the new subjects of the Federation, as follows from the treaties, will be determined by the boundaries that “existed on the day of their formation and acceptance into the Russian Federation,” the statement reads.

    "Until the election of the heads of the new regions, in accordance with Russian law, they will be led by temporary acting officials appointed by Putin."

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