Russia, US fail to agree on ASEAN statement; Moscow for…

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the United States and its allies, saying on Sunday that they “insisted on absolutely unacceptable language regarding the situation in Ukraine.” He said the United States had succeeded in splitting the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and accused NATO of stepping up its activities in the region.

Russia refuses to describe its invasion of Ukraine as a war, calling it a “special military operation” instead.

Main developments

On the ground

Russian forces are gathering near Melitopol, a town about 200 km east of Kherson, the Ukrainian General Staff said in its regular Facebook update. These troops fortified the city along its perimeter, preventing civilians from approaching its airport.

Meanwhile, the Russian military presence is diminishing near Kakhovka on the left bank of the Dnieper, with local residents reporting only minimal numbers of Russian troops in the towns. Ukrainian forces recaptured 179 towns and villages over 4,500 km2 area along the right bank over the past week, according to the army’s southern command.

Authorities have urged residents of Kherson and the rest of the liberated region to continue evacuating to safety as the threat of Russian attacks persists, Yaroslav Yanushevych, the region’s Ukrainian governor, said on Telegram. Russian forces shelled civilian areas in Kurakhove and a hospital in Toretsk in the Donetsk region, with no casualties, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

Ukraine limits power supply

Ukraine introduced emergency limits on electricity supply in seven regions and the capital Kyiv on Sunday, utility company Ukrenergo said on Telegram. The power outages were caused by fallout from Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and the need to repair power lines.

Putin calls for law change to punish army critics

Russian President Vladimir Putin tabled an amendment to the citizenship bill which was approved by parliament at first reading. Tass newswire reported that the amendment, if passed, would allow the withdrawal of acquired citizenship from those who discredit the Russian military, call for violation of Russia’s territorial integrity or participate in the activities of organizations undesirable non-governmental. Tass quoted Vasily Piskarev, head of the State Duma commission to investigate foreign interference in Russia’s internal affairs.

Ukraine closes Kherson for entry and exit, official says

Authorities have banned entry and exit from Kherson and introduced a 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew as part of “stabilization measures” in the newly liberated city, Yaroslav Yanushevych told TV, the Ukrainian governor of the region.

Russian forces left mines in all critical infrastructure objects in Kherson, he said, adding that authorities were looking to open up the city in the coming days.

Zelensky claims that Ukraine is expanding its control over the Kherson region

Ukrainian forces regained control of more than 60 settlements in the Kherson region on Saturday evening, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message.

He warned residents to be aware of the risk of unexploded ordnance and booby traps, saying police had cleared more than 2,000 pieces in the area, including mines and unexploded shells. Departing Russian forces destroyed a wide range of infrastructure, including water, electricity, central heating and communications, he said.

Putin, Raisi discuss deepening Iran-Russia relations

Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi discussed strengthening political and economic cooperation, including in transportation and logistics, during a phone call, according to a Kremlin statement.

Separately, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency claimed on Telegram that a deal was struck this summer to supply Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia.

Georgian leader says more than 700,000 Russians have fled through her country

Some 710,000 to 720,000 Russians have left the country via Georgia since Putin announced a mobilization of reservists, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said in an interview with Radio France Inter.

About 600,000 people moved to neighboring countries and European Union states, while those who remained in Georgia were mostly young, middle-class and highly educated, she said.

“Putin is doing all the wrong calculations and making all the wrong decisions,” Zurabishvili said. DM

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