Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Russians who have been drafted as part of the partial mobilization to not join the invasion force in Ukraine.
“It is better not to take a conscription letter than to die in a foreign land as a war criminal,” he said during his nightly address late on Saturday.
Zelenskyy also pledged to protect Russian soldiers who voluntarily surrender, saying they would be treated “in accordance with all conventions” and that they would not let it be known that the soldier had surrendered voluntarily.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed into law an amendment to the criminal code to increase jail time for those found to have committed voluntary surrender.
The Ukrainian president also slammed Russia’s “criminal mobilization,” saying “Russian commanders do not care about the lives of Russians — they just need to replenish the empty spaces left by the dead, wounded, those who fled or the Russian soldiers that were captured.”
Here’s a roundup of other news from or concerning the war in Ukraine on September 24.
Pro-Russia officials says Ukraine behind strike on Kherson hotel that killed two
Two people were killed in a missile strike that hit a hotel in the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson, pro-Russian authorities have said.
An official said that pro-Russian former lawmaker Oleksiy Jouravko was one of those killed. Authorities said Russian media were also in the hotel during the strike.
“Today, at around 05:30 (0230 GMT), the Ukrainian armed forces fired a missile on the Play Hotel by Ribas” the regional Russian-controlled administration said in a statement.
“According to preliminary data, two people died in this terrorist act. Rescue workers are still combing the rubble to search for victims.”
Kherson is one of the regions where occupying forces are carrying out a so-called “referendum” on whether regions of Ukraine should join the Russian Federation.
Odesa once again under fire from Iranian-made drones
Ukraine said on Sunday that Iranian-made drones were once again used overnight in a strike on the southern port city of Odesa.
“Odesa was attacked again by enemy kamikaze drones,” the Ukrainian army’s Operational Command South said on Facebook.
“The enemy hit the administrative building in the city center three times,” it said, adding that one drone was shot down and no casualties had been reported.
The strikes come two days after a similar incident left two civilians dead and resulted in Ukraine downgrading Iran’s diplomatic presence in the country over its supply of weaponry to Russia.
Long queues at Finnish border continue to grow
A 500-meter (0.3 mile) long queue had formed at the important Vaalimaa crossing on the Russian-Finnish border on Sunday morning, according to Matti Pitkaniitty, head of the International Affairs Unit for the Finnish border guards.
Finland saw a total of 8,572 Russian citizens cross into the country on Saturday, up from 5,286 a week ago, Pitkaniitty said.
Most Russians were entering with Schengen visas for other countries and thus were just passing through. But Helsinki has said it plans to impose an entry ban, even for tourists with Schengen visas.
The border has seen an uptick in crossings since Moscow announced its partial mobilization of hundreds of thousands of men to be sent to fight in Ukraine.
ab/wd (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP, EFE)
The post Russia-Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy urges Russians to defy ‘criminal mobilization’ appeared first on Deutsche Welle.