- Ukraine Threatens Russian Gains On Battlefield
President Vladimir Putin will sign documents on Friday proclaiming Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, as Moscow rushes to lock in territorial claims that the Ukrainian army is threatening to reverse on the battlefield.
The move, one of the legal steps Russia says will lead to the formal annexation of 15% of Ukraine’s territory, confirms that Putin is doubling down on his war against Ukraine despite suffering a major military reversal this month.
The annexation, after what Kyiv and Western countries say was phony referendums staged at gunpoint on Russian-held Ukrainian territory, has been rejected in the West as an illegal seizure of land captured in war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky summoned his security and defence chiefs for an emergency meeting to be held on Friday and promised a robust response to a step he says has killed off chances of reviving peace talks.
The votes “are worthless and do not change reality. The territorial integrity of Ukraine will be restored. And our reaction to the recognition of the results by Russia will be very harsh,” Zelensky said in a statement.
Washington and the European Union are set to impose additional sanctions on Russia over the annexation plan, and even some of Russia’s close traditional allies, such as Serbia and Kazakhstan, say they will not recognise the move.
Putin’s annexation ceremony will be held in one of the Kremlin’s grandest halls with the pro-Russian figures Moscow considers to be leaders of the four Ukrainian regions — Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia says the referendums were genuine and showed public support for the move.
After days of speculation over exactly how Russia would mark the annexation, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed some details of the ceremony on Thursday.
Agreements “on the accession of new territories into the Russian Federation” will be signed “with all four territories that held referendums and made corresponding requests to the Russian side,” Peskov said.
A big concert will be held on Friday on Moscow’s Red Square, where a tribune with giant video screens has already been set up, with billboards proclaiming “Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson – Russia!”
Peskov did not say whether Putin would make an appearance at the concert. He did so at a similar event in 2014 after Russia proclaimed it had annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Putin publicly backed the annexation plans in a speech last week in which he also announced the call-up of hundreds of thousands of Russian reservists, and warned he could use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory if necessary.
With tens of thousands of Russian men fleeing abroad to escape Putin’s military call-up, Finland shut one of the few remaining routes to Europe, saying it would no longer let Russians enter by land with EU tourist visas.
The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament has said the chamber could consider the incorporation of the four regions on Oct. 4, three days before Putin’s 70th birthday.
Firefighters and Ukrainian army soldiers search for bodies of people killed during a Russian attack, among the remains of a building beside a TV tower, in the recently liberated town of Izium.
A view shows banners and constructions for a stage ahead of an expected event, dedicated to the results of referendums on the joining of four Ukrainian self-proclaimed regions to Russia, near St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia September 28, 2022.
What Russia is billing as a celebration comes after Moscow has faced its worst setbacks of the war, with its forces routed in recent weeks in Ukraine’s northeast.
Some military experts say Kyiv is poised to deliver another major defeat, gradually encircling the town of Lyman, Russia’s main remaining bastion in the northern part of Donetsk province. Its fall could open the way for Ukrainian forces to launch attacks on swathes of territory that Russia now aims to annex.
“The situation looks increasingly precarious for Russian forces in Lyman as Ukrainian forces are about to cut them off,” Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister, said on Twitter.
“Another painful defeat for the Russian invasion forces is looming.”
Kyiv has so far held back from disclosing details of the situation in Lyman. Russia’s Defence Ministry said a day earlier that a Ukrainian offensive on Lyman had failed, with 70 Ukrainian soldiers killed.
Russian government officials have said that the four regions will fall under Moscow’s nuclear umbrella once they have been formally incorporated into Russia.
The United States has unveiled a $1.1 billion weapons package for Ukraine that includes 18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, accompanying munitions, various types of counter drone systems and radar systems. The announcement brings the U.S. security aid to $16.2 billion.
Mystery continued to swirl over an apparent attack on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines under the Baltic Sea, built to carry Russian gas to Europe though already shut.
At least three explosions which sent hundreds of thousands of tonnes of methane gas jetting to the surface this week have left the pipes severely damaged, possibly permanently. Sweden’s coast guard said it found a fourth leak.
Western countries have called the incidents sabotage while stopping short of openly ascribing blame. Russia, which has denied involvement, said the incidents looked like acts of state-sponsored terrorism and the United States stood to gain.
An EU official said the bloc’s leaders would discuss the issue next week, adding that the apparent sabotage had changed the nature of the conflict in Ukraine fundamentally.
NATO said the explosions looked like a reckless and irresponsible act of sabotage, and that any deliberate attack against infrastructure of countries in the Western alliance would be met by a “united and determined response”.
CNN, citing three sources, reported that European security officials had observed Russian navy support ships and submarines not far from the sites of the Nord Stream leaks beforehand.
Asked for a comment on the CNN report, Peskov said there had been a much larger NATO presence in the area.
Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States
The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.
The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.
In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.
Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”
“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.
“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.
“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”
Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”
Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life
Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.
Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”
Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.
The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.
While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.
According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.
The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.
“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.
“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”
Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.
Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.
The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.
Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).
Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks
The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.
The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.
Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.
CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.
Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.
DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.
Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.
Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.
Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.
ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.
CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.
CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.
The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.
CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.
- Source: Independent