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Joe Biden promises ‘fast and hard’ response if Russia annexes Ukraine

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US President Joe Biden warned on Friday that Russia would pay “quickly and seriously” if it uses “fake” referendums to annex territories belonging to Ukraine.

“The Russian referendums are a farce, a false pretext for trying to annex parts of Ukraine by force, a blatant violation of international law,” Biden said in a statement.

“We will work with our allies and partners to impose rapid and severe additional economic costs on Russia,” he added.

The referenda started this morning in Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and will last five days.

Ukrainian authorities say people are voting under threat of punishment.

On the other hand, the chairman of the Russian parliament (Duma) justified the referenda as “the right to self-determination of peoples enshrined in the UN Charter“, Viacheslav Volodin urged in a message posted on Telegram.

The European Union has also already said that it will reject the result of the referendum on the annexation of territories, whatever it may be.

“The whole world has heard Putin’s latest statement about his plans to hold fake referendums as a prelude to an illegal annexation that will never be recognized,” said the head of European diplomacyJosep Borrell in New York.

*with AFP

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More than 530 bodies were exhumed in the Kherson region – Obozrevatel

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Ukrainian authorities have exhumed more than 530 bodies of civilians in territories reclaimed from Russian troops in the country’s northeast since the start of its military counteroffensive, Kharkiv police said on Thursday.

We counted and removed from the liberated territories the bodies of 534 civilians, including 226 women, 260 men, 19 children and 29 more people whose gender has not yet been established,” said Sergey Bolvinov, head of the Kharkiv police investigation department, at the conference. presses.

Bolvinov said the figures included bodies exhumed in the woods near Izyum, where about 440 unmarked graves were discovered after the Russian withdrawal on September 16.

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Ukrainian authorities also say they discovered dozens of alleged torture chambers and detention centers where prisoners were held in inhumane conditions.

This was announced on Wednesday by the National Police of Ukraine. investigates 928 alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops during the occupation of Kharkov.

Russian forces are accused of numerous abuses in the territories of Ukraine under their control, in particular in Bucha near Kyiv, where the corpses of civilians were found after their withdrawal from the area in late March.

Moscow denied the commission of these crimes and considered the discovery of bodies in Izyum a lie.

Having received Western weapons, Ukrainian troops launched a counteroffensive at the end of August, which allowed them to return part of the territories under the control of Moscow.

The Ukrainian army has already recaptured most of the Kharkiv region in the northeast and is now advancing in the east of the country, where it recently recaptured the Limansky railway junction, and in the south, where it aims to capture the city of Kherson. .

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“Ukrainian armed forces have liberated more than 400 square kilometers of the Kherson region since the beginning of October,” said Natalya Gumenyuk, spokeswoman for the military command in the south, quoted by the French news agency AFP.

Kherson is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia annexed at the end of September as part of the invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 this year.

In addition to Kherson, Donetsk, Lugansk and Zaporozhye regions were annexed to Russia, where the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is located.

The Moscow army said this Thursday in its daily report that “the enemy is removed from the line of defense of the Russian troops” in the Kherson region.

According to Moscow, Ukrainian forces deployed four tactical battalions to this front and “made several attempts to break through the Russian defenses” in the Dudchan, Sukhanovo, Sadok and Bruskinskoe areas.

Information about the course of the war disclosed by both sides cannot be immediately verified independently of each other.

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22 children among 34 killed in Thailand kindergarten attack | Thailand

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At least 34 people, including 22 children, were killed this Thursday in an attack on a kindergarten in the Thai village of Uthai Sawan in Nongbua Lamphu province in the northeast of the country, which also injured more than a dozen people. Among the dead were two-year-old children and a teacher eight months pregnant.

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30 km advance in Kherson and “significant victory” in Donbass. How did the last victories of the Ukrainian counter-offensive turn out?

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Follow all the news of the war live on the Observer.

The announcement of Russian partial mobilization, the formalization of the annexation of four Ukrainian territories and the threat of the Poseidon nuclear submarine. All these events of recent days show a stronger reaction from Russia and escalation of tension wars in Ukraine. However, almost nothing has changed on the ground since the beginning of September, and Moscow has failed to break Kyiv’s winning streak. Ukrainian troops keep reaching important successes in the counter-offensive in the south of the country and near Lugansk in the east.

It is increasingly likely that Kherson, one of the first cities captured by Russia at the start of the invasion, will soon be back under Ukrainian control. Moscow should not responsiveness strike back soon as the measures recently announced by Vladimir Putin are not yet in effect take a few months until they bring practical effect. For example, with regard to partial mobilization. Soldiers must be trained before they go to the front lines.

Ukraine wants to take advantage of this fact. To that end, he is following the same communications strategy as last month to catch Russian forces in error. The representative of the Ukrainian military from the southern region, Vladislav Nazaro, called for “silence”. “Don’t even report positive news about the actions of our units. Endurance and strength are the secret of our constant movement to victory”, these person in charge, quoted by El País. Paradoxically, Russia revealed the situation on the ground, namely the withdrawal of its troops and the advance of Ukrainian forces.

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