This is the current situation on Friday, September 23.
- Four regions of Ukraine controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces hold a referendum on Friday when it joined Russia, a move widely condemned by the West as illegal and a precursor to illegal annexation.
- Voting in the provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, representing about 15% of Ukraine’s territory, took place from Friday to Tuesday. Incorporating four regions into Russia, Moscow can justify military escalation when necessary to defend its territory.
- World leaders gather in United Nations General Assembly in New York called on Russia to be held accountable for human rights violations in Ukraine.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov protect “special military operations” and accused Ukraine of committing crimes.
- Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said any weapon, including strategic nuclear weaponscan be used to protect territory annexed to Russia from Ukraine.
- Some Russians of military age have gone abroad to escape their country biggest drive since World War II. Airfares from Moscow skyrocketed. The Kremlin said reports of an exodus were “exaggerated”.
- The Russian military says about 10,000 volunteers have enlisted without waiting for a call-up.
- At least 1,300 people opposed the draft some have been detained and some have been given enlistment papers while in custody, a human rights group said.
- Russian-installed separatists say at least six civilians were killed and six wounded in a rocket attack on a market in central Donetsk.
- Regional governor Oleksander Starukh said Russian forces had hit several towns, including Zaporizhzhia, where about 10 shells were hit. There were no reports of casualties.
- The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said Russian mortar shells had killed two people and wounded six in the town of Toretsk in Donetsk.
- In the Russian-administered southern city of Melitopol, an explosion hit a crowded market. The city’s exiled mayor said it had killed three soldiers.