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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for joining us

    Today's live coverage has been brought to you by Charley Adams, Jasmine Andersson, Yaroslav Lukov, Sam Hancock, Adam Durbin, Aoife Walsh, Rachel Russell and Ruchira Sharma.

    The page was edited by Alex Kleiderman, Andrew Humphrey and Nathan Williams.

  2. What's been happening today

    We're winding up our live coverage of the events in Russia and Ukraine for the day. Thanks for joining us.

    Here's a quick summary of the day's key events:

    • President Vladimir Putin formally declared four regions of occupied Ukraine are part of Russia
    • In an angry speech in Moscow, Putin blamed the west and said the United States had created a "precedent" by using nuclear weapons at the end of World War Two
    • He declared people living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia would become Russian citizens forever, after making their choice in recent so-called "referendums"
    • The move has been widely condemned by the international community, with many condemning the "sham" votes and stating they will never recognise the annexation- similar to that carried out by Russia in Crimea in 2014
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to oust the Russians from all of his country and asked Nato to speed up giving it membership of the defensive alliance
    • After the annexation, the UK and the United States both announced new sanctions against Moscow
    • A motion commending the annexation, proposed by the US at the United Nations Security Council, has been vetoed by Russia - a fellow permanent member of the international council
    • Meanwhile, Ukraine's military is reportedly making progress in re-taking Lyman, a key city in Donetsk
    • And at least 30 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a Russian rocket strike on a civilian convoy in Zaporizhzhia
    Map showing areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia
  3. New weapons shipment for Ukraine next week, pledges US

    The US military delivering an earlier shipment of weapons to Ukraine
    Image caption: The US military delivering an earlier shipment of weapons to Ukraine

    The US will announce a new weapons shipment for Ukraine next week, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said.

    There will be "another announcement of immediate security assistance" he told reporters, noting that the US government had also just pledged a longer term delivery of weapons to Ukraine, including 18 new Himars multiple rocket systems that must first be manufactured.

    The move reinforces comments made by Sullivan earlier this week, as he warned that the US military in Europe is ready for "any contingency".

  4. Norway considers ban on Russian tourists

    Norway may impose a ban on Russian tourists, Norwegian Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl has said.

    It comes after Finland's government said it would significantly restrict Russian tourists from entering the country from Friday.

    "We will close the border quickly if necessary, and changes can come at short notice," Mehl says in a statement.

    "There have been few arrivals in Norway compared to Finland, and the situation is different here."

    Norway would station a helicopter with sensors as it sees an increased risk of illegal border crossings amid Russia's mobilisation.

  5. Free sheep for families of Russian servicemen

    The families of people mobilised for Russia's war with Ukraine will be given a free sheep, in one republic in southern Siberia.

    Families of these men, in the Republic of Tuva, will also receive 50kg of flour, two sacks of potatoes and an unspecified amount of cabbage.

    Vladislav Khovalyg, the head of the region which shares a border with Mongolia, issued instructions to the municipal administrations - independent news website Kholod Media reported on 30 September, quoting the region's official website.

    The cost of transportation will also be covered by the authorities, the report added.

    The Republic of Tuva press service said 91 sheep had already been delivered to the families of mobilised soldiers.

    The official website said: "With the joint efforts of the authorities and active residents, the relatives and friends of the servicemen and they themselves should feel that they will not be left alone with everyday problems."

  6. Russian troops ordered to source own first aid - UK MoD

    Medical provision for Russian combat troops in Ukraine is probably getting worse, according to the latest briefing by the UK Ministry ofDefence.

    Some newly mobilised soldiers have even been ordered to source their own first aid supplies, and have been advised that female sanitary products are a cost-effective solution.

    "Russian troops' lack of confidence in sufficient medical provision is almost certainly contributing to a declining state of morale and a lack of willingness to undertake offensive operations in many units in Ukraine", the UK MoD says.

    "Some Russia troops have obtained their own modern, Western-style combat torniquets but have stowed them on their equipment using cable-ties, rather than with the Velcro provided - probably because such equipment is scarce and liable to be pilfered," it adds.

    "This is almost certain to hamper or render impossible the timely application of torniquet care in the case of catastrophic bleeding on the battlefield."

  7. UN Security Council opens session on annexations plan

    The UN Security Council has opened a session on Russia's annexation plans in Ukraine.

    The US proposed the resolution, condemning Russia's referendums and illegal seizure of four areas of Ukraine.

    "This is exactly what the Security Council was made to do. Defend sovereignty, protect territorial integrity, promote peace and security," the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said at the start of the meeting.

    But Russia, also a UN member, vetoed the resolution of condemnation.

    China, Brazil and India abstained on the vote.

  8. UK defence secretary meets Ukrainian counterpart in Kyiv

    British defence secretary Ben Wallace travelled to Kyiv this week to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, to discuss Ukraine’s ongoing offensive to recapture and liberate territories annexed by Russia.

    The pair discussed the the effectiveness of soldiers trained by the UK and other partners, the next steps in the war, and what further support the UK can provide, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

    "I was delighted to have visited my good friend Oleksii Reznikov in Kyiv this week to discuss more military aid and help to Ukraine," Wallace said.

    "Our support to their fight against Russian aggression goes from strength to strength and will continue all through 2023 and beyond."

  9. Russian-installed Kherson official dies in missile attack

    A Russian-installed security official in the Kherson region has died in a Ukrainian missile attack, a pro-Kremlin journalist has said.

    The security official, Alexei Katerinichev, was the first deputy head of the "military-civilian administration" (VGA). The reporter, Alexander Malkevich, was a Russian Public Chamber member and journalist.

    In a Telegram post on Friday, Malkevich said Katerinichev, was killed as a result of a "terrorist attack" by guided missile.

  10. What will annexation mean?

    Paul Kirby

    Europe digital editor

    Ukrainian soldiers ride a tank in Donetsk region on September 25, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine
    Image caption: Ukrainian gains in the east are a setback to Putin's declared annexations

    Now that Russia's president has signed an accord to annex four Ukrainian regions, how will it work – when those areas are not fully occupied and in the middle of a war zone?

    When Putin annexed Crimea in 2014, the international community didn't recognise that either but there was no front line on the peninsula.

    Donetsk in the east is only 60% under Russian control, and in Luhansk Ukrainian forces are said to have encircled thousands of Russian soldiers in the strategically significant town of Lyman.

    The question is: how will Putin seek to defend his annexed territories? The Kremlin says Russia will treat all of the Donetsk region as part of Russia, while those areas not under occupation will have to be "liberated". As for the south, he is unable to define where Russia will draw its new borders.

    Putin is trying to mobilise enough Russians to protect front lines that stretch more than 1,000km (620 miles) and he's spoken of using all means at Russia's disposal.

    That obvious nuclear threat is dismissed by Ukraine's president as a constant threat from Moscow. But it is clear Putin wants to deliver a strong message to the West: if your weapons target occupied regions, Russia will see that as a direct attack on its territory.

    Read more on this here.

  11. We are not going to be intimidated by Putin - Biden

    Joe Biden

    We're getting a little more from US President Joe Biden now, who says America and its allies "are not going to be intimidated by Putin, his reckless words and threats".

    Speaking at the White House about the annexation, Biden says: "The United States is never going to recognise this. And quite frankly, the world is not going to recognise it either.

    "He can’t seize his neighbour's territory and get away with it as simple as that. And we’re going to stay the course."

    Quote Message: "America is fully prepared with our Nato allies to defend every single inch of Nato territory, every single inch. So, Mr Putin, don't misunderstand what I'm saying: Every inch." from Joe Biden US President
    Joe BidenUS President
  12. Putin cannot change borders with a stroke of the pen - Dutch PM

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has joined fellow Western and EU nations in stating the Netherlands will never recognise the annexed Ukrainian regions as being part of Russia.

    Speaking on news programme RTL Nieuws, Rutte said they will never accept the occupation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson or Zaporizhzhia "just like the Crimean annexation".

    "The world will not accept Putin pushing recognised borders with a stroke of the pen", he said.

    Rutte added that the West will "continue to put pressure on Russia in every possible way" to stop the Russian president's "war machine" - emphasising his support for the EU's sanctions package that is currently being worked on.

  13. Thirty dead after Zaporizhzhia convoy strike

    James Waterhouse

    Reporting from Zaporizhzhia

    We have an update on the missile strike on a convoy of vehicles near Zaporizhzhia this morning.

    Thirty people have now been confirmed killed, Ukraine's national police has said.

    More than 88 are reported to have been injured in the attack.

    Damaged cars after missile strike
  14. No plans for Putin to visit annexed regions - Kremlin

    We're hearing that Vladimir Putin is not yet planning to visit the four Ukrainian regions he formally annexed on Friday.

    Asked by reporters if this was in the pipeline, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave a vague response, citing work that still needs to be done.

    "Not yet, there is a lot of work to be done but over time it will certainly happen," he's quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

    Earlier, in his signing-ceremony speech, Putin claimed the results of so-called referendums in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were the "natural right" of those who voted. The West has branded them shams.

    Parts of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia remain under Ukrainian control, so it's not yet clear how Russia intends to clarify certain borders.

  15. Zaporizhzhia strike victims given psychological support

    Destroyed vehicles at the scene in Zaporizhzhia, where a convoy of civilians was struck by a Russian missile

    Ukrainians caught up in Russia's rocket strike on a humanitarian convoy in Zaporizhzhia earlier today are being treated for psychological damage - as well as physical.

    The country's Ministry of Internal Affairs says specialists from the Main Department of the Emergency Services of Ukraine were on hand at the scene of the blast "providing psychological assistance".

    The most recent death toll, issued by the office of President Zelensky, estimates that at least 25 civilians were killed and 50 wounded.

  16. Three things of note in new US sanctions

    Barbara Plett Usher

    State Department correspondent

    The US has imposed sanctions on hundreds of people and firms connected to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Three things jumped out at me:

    • The targeting of the military industrial complex - 14 people were sanctioned including international suppliers. This continues efforts to cripple Russia’s ability to make weapons
    • The threat to “impose costs” on any country that backs the Kremlin’s annexation moves. Very few would, but the idea is to isolate Russia on the world stage, and G7 allies are on board
    • The targeting of financial officials, including the governor and deputy governor of the Central Bank, because they’ve helped buffer Russia from the impact of sanctions so far

    It’s clear that initial rounds of sanctions haven’t hit Russia as hard as the administration predicted.

    Hence the focus on depriving Putin of what he needs to fight and fund the war. Trying to curb his oil and gas profits is next on the to do list.

  17. Mass of flags but little atmosphere in Red Square

    Will Vernon

    Reporting from Moscow

    Red Square

    A concert in Red Square was organised by the authorities to mark what the Kremlin calls the "incorporation of the new territories into the Russian Federation", but what the rest of the world calls annexation of parts of Ukraine.

    The intention of this event was to try and demonstrate that there is a high level of support for the President, the annexation of Ukrainian territory and for the so-called special military operation.

    Looking out over Vasilievsky Descent, the lower part of Red Square, there is indeed a huge number of people attending - a mass of Russian flags and people huddled in winter coats.

    But the atmosphere does not appear to be one of joy or celebration. I'd describe it as limp - even miserable. People mostly aren’t chanting, clapping or singing. Many looked unhappy to be there.

    Red Square

    Ahead of the event, there had been reports of people being paid to attend or being bussed in. Undoubtedly there were some in attendance who had gone voluntarily to "celebrate" the annexation.

    But we spoke to many people who confirmed that they had been brought on buses as organised groups from towns outside of Moscow. Most were public sector workers. A lot of people we tried to speak to didn’t want to chat. They refused to say why they were there. One woman didn't know what the event was about.

  18. France joins chorus of condemnation

    France has joined the countries in refusing to recognise the "illegal annexation" of the four areas of Ukraine by Russia.

    In a statement, the Elysee Palace says French president Emmanuel Macron "strongly condemns" the seizure of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

    The statement describes the act as a "serious violation of both international law and Ukraine's sovereignty".

    "France opposes these annexations and stands alongside Ukraine to recover its full sovereignty and its entire territory in the face of Russian aggression," the palace adds.

  19. Russia's annexation a 'new low point' - G7 ministers

    Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions is a "new low point" in the war, say G7 foreign ministers.

    In a joint statement, they said that nuclear rhetoric would not prevent or deter them from supporting Ukraine for as long as is necessary.

    "We will never recognise these purported annexations, nor the sham 'referenda' conducted at gunpoint", said the top diplomats from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US, UK and the EU.

    They said they would impose further restrictions on Russia and said the seized lands were an integral part of Ukraine.

  20. Putin appears on stage at Red Square concert event

    Vladimir Putin (centre) on stage at Red Square concert event on 30 September 2022

    Returning to the concert being held in Moscow's Red Square - and President Vladimir Putin has made an appearance on stage.

    The event is being held to mark Russia's announcement of the annexation of four Ukrainian territories.

    The president was joined by other Russian leaders, and they all sang the national anthem, as crowds could be seen waving flags.

    The concert was broadcast live on state TV .

    "Russia does not only open the door to our brothers and sisters but it also opens its heart to them. Welcome home," Putin said, using a short speech to echo previous claims made by him to justify the invasion of Ukraine.