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Russia-Ukraine War – News from Reuters – 29.09.22

President Vladimir Putin will sign formal documents tomorrow proclaiming Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions, as Moscow rushes to lock in territorial claims that the Ukrainian army is threatening to reverse on the battlefield. Ukrainians are fleeing from the Russian annexation - while they still can. We look at what happens now. The United States will in coming days impose economic costs on Moscow as Biden administration officials look to the finance and energy sectors for future sanctions action. EU leaders will discuss next week what the bloc has denounced as sabotage on the subsea Nord Stream gas pipelines, an EU official said, adding that the incident had changed the nature of the conflict in Ukraine fundamentally. Russian IT professionals are moving abroad en masse to avoid military mobilization, industry leaders have warned, despite official assurances that key technology workers will not be called up to fight in Ukraine. Here's what you need to know about the conflict right now.


Sept 29 (Reuters) - Russia was poised to annex a swath of Ukraine within days, releasing what it called vote tallies showing overwhelming support in four provinces to join it, after what Ukraine and the West denounced as illegal sham referendums held at gunpoint.


REFERENDUM


* On Moscow's Red Square, a stage with giant video screens has been set up, with billboards proclaiming "Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson - Russia!"


* The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament said it could consider the incorporation of the four regions on Tuesday, three days before Russian President Putin's 70th birthday.


* Residents who escaped to Ukrainian-held areas in recent days have told of people being forced to mark ballots in the street by roving officials at gunpoint.


* The United States said it would impose new sanctions on Russia for the referendums and the European Union's executive proposed more sanctions, but the bloc's 27 member countries will need to overcome their own differences to implement them.


FIGHTING


* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would need to keep fighting until it had taken control of all of Donetsk. Around 40% is still under Ukrainian control and the scene of some of the war's heaviest fighting.


* Ukraine's armed forces conducted strikes on Russian forces in four areas near the city of Kherson as part of their counter-offensive, while its aircraft hit six targets, said the Ukrainian Armed Forces southern command.


* The United States is preparing a new $1.1 billion weapons package for Ukraine that will be announced soon, U.S. officials said.


GAS LEAK


* Sweden's coast guard discovered a fourth gas leak on the damaged Nord Stream pipelines this week, a spokesperson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.


* The European Union promised a "robust" response to any intentional disruption of its energy infrastructure after saying it suspected sabotage was behind gas leaks discovered this week on subsea Russian pipelines to Europe.



Compiled by Michael Perry, Robert Birsel




A Russian serviceman addresses reservists at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops, aimed to support the country's military campaign in Ukraine, in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

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