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Day After Illegal Annexation, Russia Loses Key City

Russia says it has withdrawn its troops from Lyman, in Ukraine's Donetsk region

(Newser) - Russia said Saturday it has withdrawn its troops from the once-occupied city of Lyman, as Ukraine's eastern counteroffensive recaptures more territory. Russia's Tass and RIA news agencies, citing the Russian defense ministry, made the announcement, per the AP . Lyman is in the Donetsk region, 100 miles southeast of...

Putin: 'Will of Millions' That We Annex a 5th of Ukraine

Ukraine, West don't recognize 'sham' referendums on Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin's announcement on Friday wasn't an unexpected one, but it's one that is already receiving international pushback. The Russian president informed the world that his country would be annexing four regions of Ukraine—Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south—after...

Russia Prepares to Formally Annex 4 Ukraine Regions

Kremlin says move will happen Friday

(Newser) - Russia confirmed on Thursday it will formally annex parts of Ukraine where occupied areas held Kremlin-orchestrated "referendums" on living under Moscow’s rule that the Ukrainian government and the West denounced as illegal and rigged. Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a ceremony on Friday in the Kremlin when...

Russia Claims Huge Majorities Voted for Annexation

Medvedev repeats nuclear threat, taunts NATO

(Newser) - The results of the widely condemned referendums in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine are in—and according to Russian state media, all four regions voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia. State media said 98% voted in favor of the measure in Donetsk and Luhansk with 93% in favor in the...

New Twist May Raise the Stakes in Ukraine War
New Twist May Raise
the Stakes in Ukraine War

New Twist May Raise the Stakes in Ukraine War

Separatist regions to hold quick referendums to become part of Russia

(Newser) - It's no secret that Ukraine's military has been making big gains against Russian forces, gains that have Ukrainian officials talking about forcing the Russians out completely. Now, however, comes a potentially major wrinkle. Amid the Ukrainian military surge, four regions at least partially controlled by Russian troops plan...

'Sham' Vote Begins: 'Do You Wish to Secede From Ukraine?'

Ukraine denounces 'propaganda show'

(Newser) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the "sham referenda" as voting in Russian-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine began Friday. The ballots being distributed in four regions asked, "Do you wish to secede from Ukraine and create an independent state that will enter the Russian Federation?" per the New York ...

Ukraine, Russia Point Fingers After Shelling Kills POWs

Separatists say shelling killed 53 Ukrainians who were captured in Mariupol

(Newser) - Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine said Friday that a Ukrainian attack with US-supplied missiles on a separatist eastern region hit a prison and killed 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were captured in Mariupol—but Ukraine blamed the attack on Russian forces. The attack with HIMARS multiple rocket launchers on the...

US Fighter Captured in Ukraine Speaks—Freely or Not

Alexander Drueke 'doing fine' in solitary confinement, though with supposed regrets

(Newser) - One of two US fighters captured in Ukraine says he's "doing fine" despite facing possible execution . Alexander Drueke, a US Army veteran from Alabama, spoke with his mother in a Friday phone call shared with the Washington Post by his family. It was their fifth call since Drueke...

Governor Urges 350K to Flee Donetsk

Russia has stepped up offensive

(Newser) - The governor of the last remaining eastern province partly under Ukraine's control urged more than 350,000 remaining residents to flee as Russia escalated its offensive and air alerts were issued across nearly the entire country. Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said that getting people out of Donetsk province is necessary...

3 Foreign Nationals Sentenced to Die for Fighting Russians

Donetsk court found 2 Brits and a Moroccan to be mercenaries, not soldiers, in 'sham judgment'

(Newser) - Two Brits and a Moroccan who fought against Russians in Ukraine have been sentenced to die. A court in Russian-controlled Donetsk in east Ukraine delivered the sentence Thursday after what onlookers call a "show trial" meant to mimic war crimes trials against Russian soldiers in areas controlled by Ukraine,...

Zelensky Says Major Russian Offensive Has Begun

He says 'battle of the Donbas' is underway in eastern Ukraine

(Newser) - The long-expected major Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine is now underway, with Russian forces trying to push forward along a front around 300 miles long, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday. "We can now say that Russian forces have started the battle of the Donbas, for which they have...

Putin: Russian Troops Will Take Action in Eastern Ukraine

Biden says US and allies 'will respond in a united and decisive way'

(Newser) - Update: Vladimir Putin announced early Thursday local time that a special military operation would take place in the separatist region of eastern Ukraine known as Donbas. The Russian president said his country has no plans to occupy Ukraine, per CNN . But he said his troops will take action and any...

Putin Orders Russian Troops Into Eastern Ukraine

'Peacekeepers' will be sent to 2 territories the Kremlin recognized as states Monday

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine early Tuesday local time—hours after he declared that Moscow was recognizing two breakaway territories in the country's east as independent states. Putin ordered Russia's defense ministry to send troops to Luhansk and Donetsk for "peacekeeping operations," the...

Putin: Russia Will Recognize Breakaway Ukraine Regions

Move raises tensions even higher

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin has said he's not planning to invade Ukraine. The Russian president has, however, decided to recognize two breakaway regions in the east of the country as no longer being part of Ukraine, a move that raises fears of an attack even further, the Washington Post reports. Leaders...

War-Torn Ukraine's New Woe: Trapped Miners

One confirmed dead in underground explosion

(Newser) - An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn in war-torn eastern Ukraine today, killing at least one miner and trapping more than 30 others underground, rebel and government officials say. The explosion at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk, an eastern city under separatist control, occurred more than 3,280...

Report: Ukraine Used Widely Banned Weapon

'NYT,' Human Rights Watch see evidence of cluster munitions

(Newser) - Cluster munitions are banned across many countries, but the Ukrainian military appears to have used them in rebel-controlled territory, the New York Times reports. Donetsk, which is home to a million people during peacetime, likely saw attacks on Oct. 2 and 5, leaving six wounded and one Red Cross worker...

As Ukraine Truce Hangs on, EU Rolls Out New Russia Sanctions

Ceasefire between rebels, Ukraine barely hanging on amid reported casualties

(Newser) - A ceasefire between Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels is hanging on by a thread after a weekend of reported shelling and casualties, but the EU warns that sanctions against Russia will be put in place as early as tomorrow, reports the BBC . The Kremlin said the proposed sanctions—which may include...

Prisoners Break Out as Ukraine Fighting Rages

Government steps up Donetsk offensive

(Newser) - More than 100 prisoners have fled a high-security facility after it was hit by shelling in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, local authorities say. A jail riot was precipitated by a direct rocket hit that claimed the life of at least one inmate, says a city council...

On the Ropes, Ukraine Rebels Blame Russia

Putin strangely silent as Ukraine toughens ceasefire demands

(Newser) - Separatists in Eastern Ukraine are starting to complain that Moscow has sold them out, as they prepare for what the New York Times is declaring their "last stand." As they retreated toward Donetsk yesterday, insurgents blew up two road bridges and a railroad bridge behind them. An emboldened...

Ukraine Rebels Regroup After Losing Key Stronghold

'We will drown these wretches in blood,' warns Donetsk rebel leader

(Newser) - Discouraged but defiant, pro-Russia separatists vowed to keep fighting the government in Kiev from the largest city in eastern Ukraine, where they regrouped yesterday after being driven out of a key stronghold. At a rally in a central Donetsk square, the rebels were cheered on by thousands of supporters waving...

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