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A defiant Putin proclaims Ukrainian annexation, vows to win war
By Jonathan Landay

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A defiant Vladimir Putin proclaimed Russia's annexation of a swathe of Ukraine in a pomp-filled Kremlin ceremony, promising Moscow would triumph in its "special military operation" against Kyiv even as some of his troops faced potential defeat. The Russian president's proclamation of Russian rule over 15% of Ukraine - the biggest annexation in Europe since World War Two - was roundly rejected by Western countries, with the United States and Britain announcing new sanctions.

It comes as Russian forces in one of the four regions being annexed face being encircled by Ukrainian troops after Putin ordered a massive mobilisation drive to get hundreds of thousands of Russian men to the front. In one of his toughest anti-American speeches in more than two decades in power, Putin signalled he was ready to continue what he called a battle for a "greater historical Russia", slammed the West as neo-colonial and as out to destroy his country, and without evidence accused Washington and its allies of blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

By Zoe Strozewski | Newsweek

A recent series of explosions in Crimea has spurred Russia to shuffle some of its planes and Black Sea Fleet troops out of the occupied peninsula, according to a Ukrainian military intelligence official. Vadym Skibitsky, a representative for the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, told Krym.Realii in a report published Wednesday that the redeployed Black Sea Fleet personnel were sent to the Russian port city of Novorossiysk. Skibitsky said that those personnel "are not directly involved and have auxiliary functions" in the fleet.

The redeployed Russian aircraft were sent to airfields in Russian territory, he said. Skibitsky added that the directorate cannot rule out the possibility of some warships and supply vessels also being moved from Sevastopol, Crimea's largest city and a major Black Sea port, to Novorossiysk to "avoid getting hit." Ukraine's defense ministry has previously said that Russian planes and helicopters were being moved either deep into Crimea or into Russian territory in the wake of the explosions.

By AMIR-HUSSEIN RADJY

A young woman climbs to the top of a car in the middle of Mashhad, a conservative Iranian city famed for its Islamic shrines. She takes off her headscarf and starts chanting, “Death to the dictator!” Protesters nearby join in and cars honk in support. For many Iranian women, it’s an image that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago, said Fatemeh Shams, who grew up in Mashhad. “When you see Mashhad women coming to the streets and burning their veils publicly, this is really a revolutionary change. Iranian women are putting an end to a veiled society and the compulsory veil,” she said.

Iran has seen multiple eruptions of protests over the past years, many of them fueled by anger over economic difficulties. But the new wave is showing fury against something at the heart of the identity of Iran’s cleric-led state: the compulsory veil. Iran’s Islamic Republic requires women to cover up in public, including wearing a “hijab” or headscarf that is supposed to completely hide the hair. Many Iranian women, especially in major cities, have long played a game of cat-and-mouse with authorities, with younger generations wearing loose scarves and outfits that push the boundaries of conservative dress.

Access Online

The cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death has been revealed. On Thursday, a document was published by the National Records of Scotland which lists that the late monarch’s death was due to old age. According to an expert from an entry in the Register of Deaths, Her Majesty died on September 8, 2022 at 3:10 PM at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96. Her daughter, Princess Anne was listed as the informant on the document and according to the Daily Mail, they presume that just King Charles and Princes Anne were by their mother’s side when she died.

By Katie Bo Lillis, Natasha Bertrand and Kylie Atwood, CNN

CNN — European security officials on Monday and Tuesday observed Russian Navy support ships in the vicinity of leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines likely caused by underwater explosions, according two Western intelligence officials and one other source familiar with the matter. It’s unclear whether the ships had anything to do with those explosions, these sources and others said – but it’s one of the many factors that investigators will be looking into. Russian submarines were also observed not far from those areas last week, one of the intelligence officials said.

Three US officials said that the US has no thorough explanation yet for what happened, days after the explosions appeared to cause three separate and simultaneous leaks in the two pipelines on Monday. Russian ships routinely operate in the area, according to one Danish military official, who emphasized that the presence of the ships doesn’t necessarily indicate that Russia caused the damage.

The mass exodus out of Russia shows no signs of easing as hundreds of thousands of Russians scramble to flee across Russia's borders. In Georgia, the mass exodus of men, alone or with their families or friends began shortly after President Vladimir Putin called for 300,000 more troops. Since then, cars have been forming long, snaking lines. The mass exodus comes on the heels of what the White House is calling a sham referendum in occupied parts of Ukraine. Putin is expected to use the results to declare the regions are now part of Russia as early as this Friday.

Sam Meredith

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimatum to the West drastically increases the risk of a nuclear conflict, analysts and campaigners warned, with world leaders denouncing what they describe as “reckless” and “irresponsible” threats. Speaking in a rare televised address Wednesday, Putin called up extra forces for the war in Ukraine and warned that if the territorial integrity of Russia was threatened, the Kremlin would “certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It is not a bluff.” It was widely interpreted as a threat that Putin is prepared to use nuclear weapons to escalate the war following a string of Ukrainian successes. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday doubled down on the Kremlin’s nuclear posturing, saying that any weapons in Russia’s arsenal could be used to defend its territories — including strategic nuclear weapons.

By Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he understood that Xi Jinping had questions and concern about the situation in Ukraine but praised China's leader for what he said was a "balanced" position on the conflict. Russia's war in Ukraine has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the global economy into uncharted waters with soaring prices for food and energy amid the biggest confrontation between Moscow with the West since the Cold War. At their first face-to-face meeting since the war, Xi called Putin his "old friend" after Putin said attempts by the United States to create a unipolar world would fail. "We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis," Putin told Xi. "We understand your questions and concern about this. During today's meeting, we will of course explain our position."

By Tiffany Terrell | Raw Story

Halfway through his invasion of Ukraine's sixth bloody month, Russian President Vladimir Putin's grip on power in Moscow is imploding as scores of Kremlin officials are calling upon the 69-year-old autocrat to quit. Putin had anticipated his February 24th "special military operation" to be a cakewalk through the Russian-controlled East into the Ukrainian capitol of Kyiv. But with the aid of a Western coalition led by the United States, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's unshatterable resistance campaign has decimated Putin's combat forces and depleted his military's offensive capabilities.

More than 30 Russian municipal deputies have signed a petition calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s resignation. “We, the municipal deputies of Russia, believe that the actions of President Vladimir Putin harm the future of Russia and its citizens,” a translation of the petition reads. “We demand the resignation of Vladimir Putin from the post of President of the Russian Federation!” In the open letter to Putin, deputies from Moscow's Lomonosovsky district recalled that Putin's leadership began with "good reforms" but that as time marched onward, “everything went wrong.” Even Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin’s key ally in Chechnya, has started lobbing criticism at Russia’s military.

Renée Camus

It must be difficult to be a monarch, for many reasons. Not only are you overseeing a country, but you've got the eyes of the entire world watching your every move. Particularly at times of difficulty, whether showing anger, dealing with scandal, or in mourning, the last thing you need is social media giving a big reaction to a small movement.

Such is the case with King Charles, who lost his dear mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8. Given no time to mourn, he has already been sworn in as the next monarch, and made an impression with his first official speech, per Town & Country. "Queen Elizabeth was a life well-lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing," he said. "That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today." As he expressed his grief, he promised to uphold his new duties as king, stating, "I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love, as I have throughout my life." He also stated that his parents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, will be laid to rest in "a little over a week's time," and he used the speech to give his son William the title Prince of Wales. The King even sent love to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

By Brandon Gage | AlterNet

Halfway through his invasion of Ukraine's sixth bloody month, Russian President Vladimir Putin's grip on power in Moscow is imploding as scores of Kremlin officials are calling upon the 69-year-old autocrat to quit. Putin had anticipated his February 24th "special military operation" to be a cakewalk through the Russian-controlled East into the Ukrainian capitol of Kyiv. But with the aid of a Western coalition led by the United States, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's unshatterable resistance campaign has decimated Putin's combat forces and depleted his military's offensive capabilities. Casualties have climbed into the tens of thousands. Numerous allegations of genocide committed against Ukrainian civilians have flooded international watchdog organizations. The global economy has suffered major setbacks. Europe quivers on the brink of potentially multiple atomic disasters. And Moscow's finest are either bogged down or on the run.

By Michael Holden

BALMORAL, Scotland, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, the nation's figurehead and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96. "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family," the new king, her eldest son Charles, said. "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world," the 73-year-old said in a statement. read more

Yvonne Lau

Last week, the world’s seven most advanced economies agreed to impose a price cap on what they’d pay for Russian oil in a bid to hamper Russia’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by saying the price cap is a “stupid” idea. Russia will simply “freeze” European countries if Western nations impose a price cap on Russian oil, Putin said at an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, arguing that it will simply drive up worldwide energy prices and deprive Europe of the energy it sorely needs. Countries that import Russian energy “are in no position to dictate their will. Let them come to their senses,” he said.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, global energy prices have soared owing to trade and production disruptions. Yet the Kremlin has raked in $157 billion in the past six months from fossil fuel exports—with EU nations importing 54% of this amount—according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. The West aims to reduce Russia’s energy revenues through a price cap, while hoping to avoid a supply crunch in an already tight market.

Alex Stambaugh Julia Horowitz Michelle Toh
By Alex Stambaugh, Julia Horowitz and Michelle Toh, CNN Business

Hong Kong/London CNN Business — The West’s biggest economies on Friday agreed to impose a price cap on Russian oil in an attempt to reduce Moscow’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine without further stoking global inflation. Finance ministers from the G7 group of countries — the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom — said they would ban the provision of “services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally” above the price cap. That could block insurance cover or finance for oil shipments. The maximum price would be set by “a broad coalition” of countries, they said in a joint statement. It would take effect alongside the European Union’s next batch of sanctions, which include a ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil starting in early December.

By Paul Kirby

The chairman of Russia's Lukoil oil giant, Ravil Maganov, has died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, reports say. The company confirmed his death but said only that Maganov, 67, had "passed away following a severe illness". Russian media said he was being treated at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital and died of his injuries. Maganov is the latest of a number of high-profile business executives to die in mysterious circumstances. Investigating authorities said they were working at the scene to establish how he died. Tass news agency quoted sources saying he had fallen out of a sixth-floor window early on Thursday morning, adding later that he had taken his own life. Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Lukoil board called for the conflict to end as soon as possible, expressing its sympathy to victims of "this tragedy".

Holly Ellyatt, Amanda Macias

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission has arrived at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after a delay lasting several hours due to shelling around Enerhodar, where the plant is located. Ahead of the visit, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said the mission was aware of “increased military activity in the area” but was determined to press ahead with its plan to visit the facility and meet personnel there. Earlier, the country’s state nuclear power company said the plant’s fifth reactor has been shut down as a result of the shelling. Meanwhile, Russian forces are concentrating their efforts on restoring supply lines and keeping a hold on captured territories in Ukraine, the country’s armed forces said in an operational update Thursday morning.

By Felix Light

Sept 1 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is to miss the funeral of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, denying the man who failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet empire the full state honours granted to Boris Yeltsin. Gorbachev, idolised in the West for allowing eastern Europe to escape Soviet communist control but unloved at home for the chaos that his "perestroika" reforms unleashed, will be buried on Saturday after a public ceremony in Moscow's Hall of Columns.

Rachel Treisman

In Pakistan, deadly flooding from an unprecedented monsoon season has destroyed lives, livelihoods and infrastructure, in what its climate minister has called "a serious climate catastrophe." Some 33 million Pakistanis have been affected by the flooding since it began in June. It has killed more than 1,100 people — including hundreds of children — and the death toll is expected to rise. More than a million homes, 2 million acres of crops and some 3,000 miles of roads have been damaged. Half a million people are now in displacement camps and many others are without shelter at all, scrambling just to get to higher ground. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's minister for climate change, told Morning Edition on Thursday that an area bigger than the state of Colorado is currently submerged, with entire towns and farms underwater (the flooding has also created a massive inland lake that is visible from space, according to satellite imagery).  


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