Latest Developments in Ukraine: Sept. 23


For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

3:03 a.m.: The latest Ukraine assessment from the Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said Ukrainian forces likely continued limited counteroffensive operations along the Kharkiv-Luhansk Oblast border and continued attacks toward Lyman on Sept. 22. Russian forces, meanwhile, conducted limited ground attacks along the front lines in Donetsk Oblast.

2:13 a.m.: The Associated Press reported that voting began Friday in Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia.

The Kremlin-orchestrated referendums, which have been widely denounced by Ukraine and the West as shams without any legal force, are seen as a step toward annexing the territories by Russia.

1:18 a.m.: Germany is ready to take in Russian deserters, ministers signaled Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported, amid reports of people fleeing the partial mobilization ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

“Deserters threatened with serious repression can as a rule obtain international protection in Germany,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, according to excerpts from an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Separately, Justice Minister Marco Buschmann tweeted that “apparently, many Russians are leaving their homeland — anyone who hates Putin’s path and loves liberal democracy is welcome in Germany.”

Germany has taken in around a million Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion, but also welcomed Russian dissidents.

12:02 a.m.: The Czech Republic said Thursday it would not issue humanitarian visas to Russians fleeing their homeland to avoid mobilization, taking a different stance than some of its European Union peers.

“I understand that Russians are fleeing from the increasingly desperate decisions taken by Putin,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said in a statement obtained by Agence France-Presse.

“But those who are running away from their country because they do not want to fulfill a duty imposed by their own state do not meet the criteria for receiving humanitarian visas,” he added.

Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse.

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