Ukraine news LATEST: Russian reservists told ‘playtime’s over’ as thousands flee Putin’s brutal mobilisation policy

AS thousands flee Russia, a chilling video has emerged showing reserve troops being warned that ‘playtime’s over’ by their new commanding officer.

In the video, shared on Twitter by ABC reporter Patrick Reevell, recently recruited Russian reservists are seen being told that “playtime’s over” by their new boss. Responses from these new recruits seem mixed, as some sit in solemn quiet while others shout in protest at their new leader.

This comes as thousands of Russians flee Putin’s brutal regime, amid plans to conscript a further 300,000 troops to serve in the Ukraine war.

Over 6,000 Russians attempted to cross into Finland today, leading the nation to introduce new visa restrictions.

Putin ordered the mobilisation of Russian civilians on Wednesday morning, in a “chest-banging” speech on TV in which he also made a thinly veiled threat to nuke the West.

Read our Ukraine-Russia live blog below for the latest udpates…

  • Ukraine shares heartwrenching image of freed POW

    In a tweet by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, a startling image of freed POW has been shared, showing just how brutal Putin’s invasion has been.

    “Ukrainian soldier Mykhailo Dianov is among the fortunate ones: in contrast with some of his fellow POWs, he survived Russian captivity,” the tweet reads.

    “This is how Russia “adheres” to the Geneva Conventions. This is how Russia continues the shameful legacy of Nazism.”

  • US secretary of state accuses Russia of ‘shredding’ international order.

    Speaking at UN security council, the US secretary of state Antony Blinken accused Putin of destroying international order “before our eyes.”

    “We cannot – we will not – let President Putin get away with it,” he went on to say.

    “If we fail to defend this principle when the Kremlin is so flagrantly violating it, we send the message to aggressors everywhere that they can ignore it, too.”

  • Finland to introduce visa restrictions for Russians

    Announced today, Finland will introduce entry visa restrictions for Russians looking to enter the country.

    This comes as thousands flee the at-war nation after Putin introduced a WW2-style mobilisation of troops.

    Over the last two days, thousands have attempted to enter Finland in an attempt to escape Putin’s draconian policy.

  • Evidence of war crimes in Ukraine, UN reports

    UN investigators have said that war crimes have been committed in the Ukraine conflict.

    They claim that this is due to Russian bombings of civilian areas, numerous executions, torture and horrific sexual violence.

    The head of a high-level Commission of Inquiry told the UN Human Rights Council: “Based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine.”

  • Russia could use ‘sham’ referenda to ‘escalate the war in Ukraine’

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the “sham” referenda taking place in Ukraine today could be used as a pretence to escalate the conflict.

    “That’s exactly what we need to be prepared for, that Russia will use these sham votes to further escalate the war in Ukraine,” Mr Stoltenberg told CNN

    “But these votes have no legitimacy, and of course don’t change anything,” he added.

  • Zelensky hits out at Russia, declaring it ‘hates freedom’

    Ukraine’s President Zelensky has said that “the world sees” that Russia attacks “freedom, respect and life” as Putin continues to launch attacks on Ukrainians.

    President Zelensky said: “Russia caused a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine as it hates freedom.

    “But the world sees what Russia attacks & what Ukraine defends. Freedom, respect & life.”

  • Ukrainian official blasts sham referenda as ‘propaganda’

    One of President Zelensky’s advisors, Mykhailo Podolyak, has hit out at the sham referenda taking place in Ukraine today.

    Calling these votes “propaganda”, Mr Podolyak called for the immediate release of all captured Ukrainian territories.

    “Today, there is no legal action called a “referendum” in the occupied territories,” he said on Twitter.

    “There is only – 1. Propaganda show for z-conscription. 2. The territory of Ukraine that needs an immediate release.”

  • In pictures: Russian reservists are sent to war

    Following Putin’s announcement of “partial mobilisation”, thousands of Russian men have been forced to board coaches and planes to Ukraine.

    Pictured below, Russian reservists gather outside a stadium converted into a recruitment centre.

    Around 300,000 extra troops are expected to head to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

  • A visual look at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

    The Ministry of Defence has provided a new update on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, highlighting many of the gains Zelenky’s troops have made in recent weeks.

    In many of the red-shaded, Russian-controlled, areas, sham referenda will take place this week, as Putin looks to consolidate his gains.

    Despite Putin’s decision to send in 300,000 extra troops this week, Ukraine continues its advance in Kharkiv.

  • G7 will launch new sanctions following Russia’s sham referenda in Ukraine

    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said the G7 will not recognise Russia’s planned referenda in captured Ukrainian regions.

    These referenda have been deemed a “sham” by Western governments, as most captured Ukrainian areas have very few people left in them to vote.

  • Macron calls Putin’s recent declaration a ‘mistake’

    Speaking to CNN, the French President slammed Putin’s decision to “partially mobilise” Russia’s reserve forces.

    “A few months ago Vladimir Putin conveys a message: ‘I was aggressed by NATO, they triggered the situation and I just reacted.’ Now, it’s clear for everybody that the leader who decided to go to war, the leader who decided to escalate is President Putin,” Macron said.

    Macron is just one of a slew of world leaders to criticise Putin in the last two days, following his chilling announcement on Wednesday morning.

  • ‘Sham’ referenda begin in Ukraine

    Russia has begun carrying out its “sham” referenda in captured Ukrainian territories, Sky News reports.

    Taking place in areas such as Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, these so-called referenda will see falsified voting take place for the regions to join with Russia.

    Reports have suggested the outcome of these referenda has been planned in advance, with Putin desperate to consolidate his gains in Ukraine.

  • Russian official claims Putin did NOT threaten nuclear war

    Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov has dismissed claims that Putin threatened the west with nuclear war during his declaration on Wednesday.

    According to Reuters, the Russian official said: “We are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons.

    “The criteria for their use are outlined in Russia’s military doctrine. We hope the Biden administration is also aware of the danger of an uncontrolled escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.”

  • ‘Playtime is over’ Russian reservists told

    In a video shared by ABC’s Patrick Reevell, recently recruited Russian reservists are seen being told that “playtime is over” by their commanding officer.

    Responses from these new recruits seem mixed, as some sit in solemn quiet while others shout at their new leader.

    On Wednesday morning, Putin announced the “partial mobilisation” of Russia’s reserve forces, an act that will around 300,000 new troops join the war in Ukraine.

  • Ukraine continues push in Kharkiv, but battlefield remains ‘complex’

    Ukraine has continued to secure key locations in Kharkiv, according to a recent statement by the British Ministry of Defence.

    This latest update says: “In the last three days, Ukrainian forces have secured bridgeheads on the east bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv Oblast. Russia has attempted to integrate the Oskil into a consolidated defensive line following its forces’ withdrawals earlier in the month.

    “To the south, in Donetsk Oblast, fighting is ongoing as Ukrainian forces assault the town of Lyman, east of the Siverskyy Donets River, which Russia captured in May.

    “The battlefield situation remains complex, but Ukraine is now putting pressure on territory Russia considers essential to its war aims.”

  • Zelensky has said Russia ‘hates freedom’

    Ukraine’s President Zelensky has said that “the world sees” that Russia attacks “freedom, respect and life” as Putin continues to launch attacks on Ukrainians.

    President Zelensky said: “Russia caused a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine as it hates freedom.

    “But the world sees what Russia attacks & what Ukraine defends. Freedom, respect & life.”

  • Dmytro Kuleba meets with China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

    Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has met with China’s counterpart Wang Yi.

    They discussed relations between the countries and China reaffirmed their “respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

    Dmytro Kuleba also said how China spoke of its “rejection of the use of force as a means of resolving differences”.

  • Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speak on phone

    Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have spoken over the phone following the prisoner of war swap.

    They expressed their satisfaction over the deal between Moscow and Kyiv, the Kremlin said Friday.

    During a phone call the Kremlin said they had “satisfaction in connection with the transfer to Saudi Arabia of foreign citizen prisoners of war… that took place with the personal mediation of the crown prince.”

  • Over half of anti-war protesters in Russia are women, report claims

    According to the independent monitoring group OVD-Info, over half of the protesters arrested in Russia were women.

    Wednesday saw 1,300 Russian arrested for protesting Putin’s draconian new mobilisation policy.

  • UN investigateors claim war crimes have been committed

    UN investigators have said that war crimes have been committed in the Ukraine conflict.

    They claim that this is due to Russian bombings of civilians areas, numerous executions, torture and horrific sexual violence.

    The head of a high-level Commission of Inquiry told the UN Human Rights Council: “Based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine.”

  • Liz Truss slams Putin

    She blasted: “We have seen Putin desperately trying to justify his catastrophic failures.

    “He is desperately trying to claim the mantle of democracy for a regime without human rights or freedoms.

    “And he is making yet more bogus claims and sabre-rattling threats.

    “This will not work. Ukraine is strong.”

    Ms Truss hailed the “brave, dignified” First Lady, Olena Zelenska, who she met last night in New York, and insisted: “We won’t rest until Ukraine prevails.

  • ‘Ukrainian suicide drone’ washes up on beach

    A vessel widely believed to be a Ukrainian suicide drone has washed up near to a Russian naval base.

    The vessel was found in Omega Bay, by the port of Sevastopol, which is home to Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea fleet.

    The drone is thought to be among several donated to Ukraine by the United States in bid to help turn the tables on the large Russian navy.

  • Ukraine release latest figures on Russia’s losses

    Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence claim that a further 550 troops have been eliminated.

    They claims that a further 18 tanks and 20 armoured combat vehicles have been destroyed.

  • ‘Sham referendums’ to take place today

    Putin prepares for “sham referendums” as four areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia are to vote from today until Tuesday.

    Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces are set to vote from today in “referendums” to join Russia, a move that has been challenged by the West.

  • UK’s Ministry of Defence intelligence update

    Fighting is ongoing as Ukrainian forces continue their counter-offensive, pushing back Russian forces.

    The Ministry said: “In the last three days, Ukrainian forces have secured bridgeheads on the east bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv Oblast.

    “Russia has attempted to integrate the Oskil into a consolidated defensive line following its forces’ withdrawals earlier in the month.

    “To the south, in Donetsk Oblast, fighting is ongoing as Ukrainian forces assault the town of Lyman, east of the Siverskyy Donets River, which Russia captured in May.”

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