Ukraine Russia war – live: Powerful blasts precede Nord Stream pipeline leaks as European nations warns of ‘sabotage’


Anti-mobilisation protestors in Russia shout ‘we are not meat’

European leaders say they suspect sabotage in the big leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines – the two natural gas lines running from Russia to Germany underneath the Baltic sea – as the continent’s standoff with Russia on energy continues.

Poland’s prime minister suggested Russia had taken the move to escalate its punishment of European countries for their opposition to the war in Ukraine. The US said it was ready to stand by its European partners.

And Denmark has said it believes “deliberate actions” caused the big leaks in the pipeline running from Russia to Europe, as it warned ship traffic to avoid the region.

A leak in the pipeline had been detected southeast of the Danish island Bornholm.

According to seismologists, a powerful explosion preceded the leaks. Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said that as per the clear assessment by the authorities, “these are deliberate actions – not accidents”.


Men try to flee to Georgia to avoid Russian mobilisation

Private cars swarmed the Verkhny Lars border crossing in Georgia where Russian men are reaching to escape Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation order.

A line of private vehicles leaving the country in an attempt to gain access to Georgia and Mongolia, where visas are not required for entry, has stretched more than 10 miles.

“With this mobilisation, it’s just becoming a bigger, large-scale war that is totally not justified. It wasn’t justified before and it’s not justified now. And it won’t come to anything good,” said Misha, one such man entering Georgia.

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Russia claims victory in Ukraine ‘sham referendums’

Three parts of occupied Ukrainian territory have chosen to join Russia, local pro-Kremlin officials in the regions announced, after five days of voting that Kyiv and the west condemned as “sham referendums”.

Moscow-backed separatists said on Tuesday that 93 per cent of ballots in Zaporizhzhia were cast in favour of Russian annexation.

The counts in the southern Kherson region and the eastern Luhansk region were similarly one-sided, they claimed.

Voting started in the provinces of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia last Thursday, shortly after a series of humiliating military setbacks for Moscow.

In recent weeks, Ukraine has recaptured thousands of square kilometres of land, most notably in the northeast regions of Kharkiv – representing a major shift in the course of the war.

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Huge explosions detected close to Russian gas pipeline after leaks caused by ‘sabotage’

Seismologists recorded powerful underwater explosions in Denmark and Sweden before the discovery of gas leaks in major Russian gas pipelines to Europe.

The announcement of the explosions came after Denmark’s prime minister claimed the leaks may have been caused by sabotage.

“There is no doubt that these were explosions,” Bjorn Lund, a seismologist at Sweden’s National Seismology Centre told SVT.

If the explosions are linked to sabotaged leaks, it could dramatically escalate European concerns over the supply of Russian energy to the continent, which many nations remain reliant on despite a scramble to find other sources since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Good morning, welcome to our coverage of the Ukraine war on Wednesday, 28 September.

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