Salem Radio Network News Friday, December 9, 2022

World

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

(Reuters) – Moscow was poised on Wednesday to annex a swath of Ukraine, releasing what it called vote tallies showing support in four partially occupied provinces to join Russia, after what Kyiv and the West denounced as illegal sham referendums held at gunpoint.

REFERENDUMS

* Final results of referendums in four occupied regions of Ukraine showed huge majorities in favour of joining Russia, Russian-installed officials said. Kyiv and the West regard the referendums as illegal shams.

* The Russian-installed leaders of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces have formally asked President Vladimir Putin to incorporate their territories into Russia.

* The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament said it could consider the incorporation of the four regions on Oct. 4, three days before Putin’s 70th birthday.

* The United States will introduce a resolution at the United Nations Security Council condemning the referendums, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. said.

* The European Union executive proposed an eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including tighter trade restrictions, more individual blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries.

* The United States will impose further sanctions on Russia as it looks to the finance sector and Moscow’s ability to produce energy, the U.S. State Department’s head of sanctions coordination said.

* The European Union executive proposed an eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including tighter trade restrictions, more individual blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries.

LEAKING GAS PIPELINE

* Europe is investigating what Germany, Denmark and Sweden said were attacks that caused major leaks into the Baltic Sea from two Russian gas pipelines at the centre of an energy standoff. Officials did not say who they believed may be responsible.

* European officials said they would respond robustly to any attacks on their energy infrastructure.

* Germany officials believe the two Nord Stream 1 pipelines could be permanently disabled if they are not quickly repaired. One of two pipelines making up Nord Stream 2, which never opened for commercial use, is still functioning.

* The Kremlin said any suggestion Russia was behind the attacks on its own pipelines would be “stupid”.

* Norway said it would deploy its military near oil and gas installations following the attack on the pipelines.

FIGHTING

* Three explosions were heard, then electricity cut out in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, a Reuters witness reported.

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

RUSSIAN MOBILISATION

* The number of Russians entering the European Union has jumped after a partial military mobilisation ordered by Moscow, and illegal crossings are likely to increase should Russia decide to close the border for potential conscripts, EU border agency Frontex said.

(Compiled by Grant McCool, Cynthia Osterman, Peter Graff)

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