Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 216

As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 216th day, we take a look at the main developments.

Here is the situation as it stands on Tuesday, September 27.

Fighting

  • Ukrainian and Russian forces were locked in heavy fighting in different parts of Ukraine as Russian-organised referendums in four regions Moscow hopes to annex drew to a close.
  • Ukraine’s president and security chiefs met to plan ways to counteract Russia’s use of “new types of weapons” after Moscow stepped up attacks in the Odesa region using Iranian combat drones.
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the military situation in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region is difficult and described it as Ukraine’s “No 1 goal” – because it was also Russia’s No 1 goal.
  • Ukrainian forces continued their campaign to cripple bridges and other river crossings to disrupt supply lines to Russian forces in the south.
  • Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted he founded the Wagner Group private military company in 2014, the first public confirmation of a link he has previously denied and sued journalists for reporting.
  • UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said he is ready to hold talks in Ukraine and Russia this week on setting up a protection zone at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine that he often says is needed urgently.

Referendums

  • President Vladimir Putin is preparing to formally annex approximately 15 percent of Ukrainian territory after referendums on joining Russia in areas controlled by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists.
  • Putin is likely to announce the accession of occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation during his address to parliament on Friday, the UK defence ministry said.
  • The UK also announced a new package of sanctions linked to what it described as Moscow’s “sham” referendums.

Russian mobilisation

  • Thousands of Russians have fled into Mongolia across its northern frontier in a bid to evade conscription to Ukraine, reports said.
  • Kazakhstan’s president says his country will ensure the care and safety of Russians fleeing a “hopeless situation” as Russian men fled the military call-up.
  • The Kremlin has acknowledged that some military call-ups had been issued in error.
  •  Russian men are fleeing into neighbouring countries to avoid being called up to fight in Ukraine.

Economy

  • Negotiators in the US Congress agreed to about $12bn in new aid to Ukraine, a source familiar with the talks said on Monday.
  •  Ukraine urged the European Union to support its plans to make the emergency paths for grain exports through the bloc permanent.
  • Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban sharply criticised EU sanctions on Russia, which he said have “backfired”, driving up energy prices.
  • A senior OECD official said the Russian economy is taking a “huge” hit from sanctions.

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