A young man shot a Russian military officer at close range outside a recruiting office on Monday, in an unusually daring attack that reflected opposition to the Russian leadership’s efforts toto go to war against Ukraine.
The shooting comes after scattered arson attacks at recruitment offices and protests in Russian cities against the call that led to at least 2,000 arrests. Russia isto strengthen his army as his offensive has stalled and has sapped its powers.
In the attack in the Siberian town of Ust-Ilimsk, 25-year-old local resident Ruslan Zinin walked into the recruitment office and said “no one will fight” and “we will all go home now,” according to local media. .
Zinin was arrested and officials swore harsh sentences. Local authorities said the military commander was in intensive care with no further details. A witness quoted by the local news site said Zinin was in a room with people summoned to fight. Troops from his region would go to military bases on Tuesday.
Concerns are growing that Russia may want to escalate the conflict — possibly including the use of nuclear weapons — once it completes what Ukraine and the West consider illegal referendums in parts of Ukraine under its control.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinkenthe Kremlin has a nuclear “command structure,” but it’s uncertain whether anyone would tell Russian President Vladimir Putin “no” if he decides to launch a nuclear weapon.
“And that’s the Achilles heel of autocracies everywhere,” the…. “…There is usually no one who has the capacity or the will to tell the truth to power. And part of the reason, I think, Russia has gotten into the mess it is in, because there is no one in the system is to effectively tell Putin that he is doing the wrong thing.”
Blinken said Putin’s rhetoric is “irresponsible” and added that the US expressed concern to Russia about his threats.
“We’re focused on making sure we’re all acting responsibly, especially when it comes to this kind of loose rhetoric,” Blinken told Pelley. “We have been very clear in public and privately against the Russians to end the loose talk about nuclear weapons.”
The vote, asking residents if they want their regions to become part of Russia, began last week and ends Tuesday, in conditions that are anything but free or fair.
Thousands of residents had already fled the regions amid months of incessant fighting, and footage shared by those left behind shows armed Russian troops going door-to-door to pressure Ukrainians to vote. to release.
“Every day and night there are unavoidable shelling in the Donbas, to the roar of which people are being forced to vote for Russian ‘peace’,” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko said on Monday.
Russia is widely expected to declare the results in its favor, a move that could allow Moscow to annex the area and give it the pretext to defend it as its own territory under the Russian nuclear umbrella.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that no date has been set for the regions’ recognition as part of Russia, but it could be a matter of days.
On Monday, Putin and Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko held an unannounced meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi and said they were willing to cooperate with the West — “if they treat us with respect,” Putin said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that Putin had told the Turkish president during their meeting in Uzbekistan last week that Moscow was ready to resume negotiations with Ukraine but had “new conditions” for a ceasefire. The minister did not comment on the conditions.
The Kremlin last week announced a partial mobilization — the first since World War II — to add at least 300,000 troops to its force in Ukraine. The move, a sharp shift from Putin’s previous attempts to portray the war as a limited military operation that would not interfere with the lives of most Russians, proved unpopular at home.
Thousands of combat-age men flocked to airports and Russian border crossings to avoid being drafted. Protests erupted in several parts of the country and Russian media reported an increasing number of arson attacks at military recruiting offices, including one that hit the southern city of Uroepinsk on Monday.
Meanwhile, the first Russian troops mobilized by Moscow have started arriving at military bases, the British army said Monday. In an online intelligence briefing, the British Ministry of Defense said tens of thousands had been called up so far.
Under normal circumstances, two battalions are deployed while a third remains behind for training. But in the war in Ukraine, even the third battalion is being deployed, weakening that training, the British Ministry of Defense said.
said in a Facebook post Monday that the Ukrainian military is making efforts to take back “all of Ukraine’s territory” and has drawn up plans to counter “new types of weapons” used by Russia, without elaborating further.
A nighttime drone strike near the Ukrainian port of Odessa caused a massive fire and explosion, the military said Monday. It was the latest in a series of drone strikes on the main southern city in recent days, hitting a military installation and detonating ammunition when it struck. Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze and civilians in the area were evacuated, the southern command of the Ukrainian army said.
New Russian shelling hit the area around the Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant, according to Zelenskyy’s office. Towns near the station have been shelled nine times in recent hours by rocket launchers and heavy artillery.
In the city of Izium in eastern Ukraine, where Russian troops left earlier this month after a Ukrainian counter-offensive, Margaryta Tkachenko is still reeling from the battle that destroyed her home and left her family starving.
With no gas, electricity, running water or internet, she said, “I can’t predict what will happen. Winter is the most terrifying. We have no wood. How are we going to heat?”