Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 215 of the invasion

<span>Photograph: EPA</span>
Photograph: EPA
  • A Russian man has shot the leader of the local military draft committee in a Siberian town after telling him he would refuse to fight in the war in Ukraine. The incident took place in the city of Ust-Ilimsk, a town of about 85,000 people in the Irkutsk region in Siberia. Video showed the gunman, dressed in camouflage, firing at the official from point blank range as other potential draftees for the Russian invasion fled the room. Reports say that at least three shots were fired.

  • Protests against the Vladimir Putin’s partial military mobilisation order appeared to continue on Sunday in the Russian republic of Dagestan, with videos showing standoffs between police and the public. Video footage posted on social media showed police arresting demonstrators protesting against the order to draft 300,000 more Russians to the army for the war effort in Ukraine.

  • Long queues of vehicles were at border crossing between Russia and Mongolia on Sunday as people continued to flee the Kremlin’s mobilisation order, AFP reported. The head of a checkpoint in the town of Altanbulag told the agency that more than 3,000 Russians had entered Mongolia via the crossing since Wednesday.

  • Sergei Tsekov, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has called for the Russian border to be shut “to ban anyone who is of military age from traveling abroad”.

  • Ukraine’s armed forces general staff has claimed some Russian conscripts from the Kremlin’s mass mobilisation are being sent directly to the frontlines in Ukraine without training. Amid warnings from the UK’s Ministry of Defence and other experts that many of those conscripted were likely to get little meaningful training – and faced the risk of “high rates of attrition” when deployed – men recently mobilised by pro-Russian occupation officials in Ukraine were also being readied for the frontline. Those included newly drafted personnel in Crimea as well as conscripts in the Luhansk region who have received draft summonses in recent days.

  • The Russian news agency RIA Novosti is carrying some turnout figures for the widely derided “referendums” in occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson which began on Friday. The figures suggest that turnout has been sufficient for the proxy-Russian authorities to declare them legitimate, ranging from 77% in Donetsk to 49% in Kherson.

  • Pro-Russian authorities have claimed that in Rubizhne in occupied Luhansk, a polling station had to be moved to a reserve location after shelling from Ukrainian forces hit the school where it was due to be held.

  • Energoatom, the state-run nuclear enterprise in Ukraine which manages nuclear power stations including the occupied plant at Zaporizhzhia, has accused pro-Russian forces within Zaporizhzhia of staging the appearance that staff voted in the widely-condemned referendum being held in the region.

  • Oleksandr Stryuk, Ukraine’s mayor of Sievierodonetsk, has decried what he called the “lie and propaganda” of the “referendum from the Russian Federation”, accusing pro-Russian forces of bussing people in from Crimea to vote and to stage propaganda photographs.

  • Serbia will not recognise Russian annexation “referendums” in occupied Ukrainian areas. The Serbian foreign minister, Nikola Selakovic, said the referendums “completely contradict our state and national interests, our policy of dealing with territorial integrity, sovereignty and the principle of inviolability of borders”.

  • The UN’s atomic energy watchdog said it is ready to hold talks in Russia and Ukraine on setting up a protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said he met the foreign minister from both countries at the UN general assembly last week to discuss the possibility of a protection zone.

  • Two drones launched by Russian forces into the Odesa region in Ukraine hit military objects causing a fire and the detonation of ammunition.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed to liberate the entire country as Russia pressed on with its supposed referendum in occupied areas of Ukraine and so-called election workers accompanied by masked gunmen knocked on doors to get people to vote. The Ukrainian president said the country’s armed forces would throw out Russia’s forces and retaliate against “every strike of the aggressor”. He vowed that Ukraine would regain control of the southern Kherson region and the eastern Donbas, saying: “Every murderer and torturer will be brought to justice.”

  • Ukraine’s president renewed calls for western allies to cut Russian banks from Swift, the global banking system that allows banks to send messages to each other. “If we cut Russian banks from Swift, we need to cut all Russian banks from Swift,” he said.

  • Zelenskiy has also claimed in a US television interview that Ukraine has discovered two more mass burial sites containing the bodies of hundreds of people in the north-eastern town of Izium.

  • Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has said explicitly for the first time today that he had founded the Wagner mercenary group and confirmed its deployment to countries in Latin America and Africa.

  • Moldova’s president Maia Sandu has said that her country may revoke the citizenship of those who go to fight for Russia in Ukraine.

  • Belarus leader, Alexander Lukashenko, met Putin on Monday in Sochi.

  • Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán has suggested he will hold a “national consultation” on EU sanctions against Russia, saying “The sanctions were introduced in an undemocratic way, because it was the decision of the bureaucrats in Brussels, for which the European people are paying. We need to know the opinion of the people. For the first time in Europe, in Hungary, we will ask for the opinion about sanctions.”

  • Japan will ban exports of chemical weapons-related goods to Russia, and is “deeply concerned” about the possible use of nuclear weapons, chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Monday.

  • The United States and its allies will act “decisively” if Russia uses a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the US national security adviser says, reaffirming the Biden White House’s previous response to mounting concerns that Vladimir Putin’s threats are in increased danger of being realised. Jake Sullivan told CBS on Sunday: “We have communicated directly, privately and at very high levels to the Kremlin that any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the US and our allies will respond decisively, and we have been clear and specific about what that will entail.”

  • The UK prime minister, Liz Truss, has said its allies France and the US should continue to support Ukraine in the face of the Russian president’s increased threats and his military call-up. Truss said Vladimir Putin was escalating the war because he was not winning and had made a mistake.

  • Thousands of Hassidic Jewish pilgrims flocked to central Ukraine to mark the Jewish new year on Sunday, ignoring international travel warnings as Russian forces attacked more targets from the air. The pilgrims, many travelling from Israel and farther afield, converged on the small city of Uman, the burial site of Nachman of Breslov, a respected Hassidic rabbi who died in 1810, Associated Press reported.

  • The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK has issued a plea for continued “generosity” and “patience” from those offering a home to refugees in Britain. Vadym Prystaiko said Ukraine needed “much more” help from the UK as the country fought Moscow’s invasion, with the Kremlin’s military call-up amounting to “something formidable”.

  • Israel will treat 20 Ukrainian soldiers who have been injured in the war with Russia, according to the Israeli ambassador to Ukraine. The first two patients would arrive on Sunday for treatment at Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv, envoy Michael Brodsky said.

  • Aiden Aslin, one of the five British nationals released by Russia last week, has given his first media interview after returning to the UK. He told the Sun on Sunday that he was kept in solitary confinement for five months and “treated worse than a dog”.