Ukraine war: Lavrov walks out of UN security council; Russians flee country to avoid military draft – live

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, walked out of a UN security council meeting after accusing Ukraine and its western allies of “impunity” in Donbas.

Ukraine and its allies were attempting to “impose on us a completely different narrative about Russian aggression”, Lavrov argued.

Lavrov was nearly 90 minutes late for the security council meeting and appeared to want to leave as soon as he finished speaking.

Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly, speaking at the council meeting after Lavrov, said the UK would support Ukraine all the way and for as long as it takes.

Cleverly said Russia had tried to “lay the blame on those imposing sanctions” and that “every day, the devastating consequences of Russia’s invasion become more clear”.

Cleverly said of Lavrov:

He has left the chamber, I’m not surprised. I don’t think Mr Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this council.

“He has left the chamber, I’m not surprised, I don’t think Mr Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this council” says Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, following Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov walking out of the meeting.https://t.co/X3flQUCiPZ

📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/8pymw5lIqw

— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 22, 2022

Boris Johnson has said the UK must be prepared to give “more military assistance” and “more economic support” to Ukraine.

Speaking to the Commons today, the former prime minister said it was “more vital than ever” that Britain has “the strategic patience to hold our nerve” and ensure that Ukrainians succeed in recapturing their territory.

Johnson added:

If Putin is going to double down on his aggression, then we must double down in our defence of the Ukrainians, and we must be prepared to give more military assistance and more economic support.

Thousands of men across Russia have been handed draft papers after Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilisation.

First video showing called-up men in Moscow saying goodbyes to crying mothers. Similar scenes unfolded in hundreds of Russians cities and towns today. Some Moscow reservists I spoke to say they are also leaving for training tonight, likely will be on the frontlines in ~2-3 weeks pic.twitter.com/xhBMNT5Oiv

— Mary Ilyushina (@maryilyushina) September 22, 2022

Among those who have been called up since the Russian president’s announcement yesterday include Russians detained while protesting in cities across the country, the OVD-Info rights group said.

One protester in Moscow was told they faced a 10-year jail sentence for refusing to receive an enlistment order, it said.

In a statement, OVD-Info said:

Information was received from 15 police departments that the detained men were handed a summons to the military registration and enlistment office.

Another demonstrator told the Moscow Times that male protesters were given draft papers at the police station. She told the paper:

There was a military recruiting officer who gave the detained men draft notifications. When the first person was asked to go to a separate room, we did not understand what was going on — but when he returned with a draft slip, we just started crying.

Earlier today, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declined to deny reports that some protesters had been given draft papers, saying only: “This is not against the law.”

The Ukrainian journalist Nataliya Gumenyuk has written for us today about how Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation will make the war real for thousands of Russian families, and proves it is failing to hold the frontline.

Ukrainians feel hope, not fear, she writes.

Instead of thinking about Putin’s speech, many Ukrainians celebrated the exchange of 215 Ukrainian prisoners of war that took place on the same day. Among them were Azov battalion fighters, members of the the national guard, the head of the Mariupol patrol police, and a nine-months-pregnant paramedic who had spent six months in prison.

Exhausted, thin, and wearing the same clothes they had on when captured in May 2022, many had a chance to call their relatives for the first time in months. “The best soil in the world,” one of the fighters said, kneeling down and kissing the land.

Read the full story here:

Russians fleeing the partial mobilisation ordered by Vladimir Putin will not be issued with humanitarian visas by the Czech Republic, the Czech foreign minister, Jan Lipavský, said.

In a statement obtained by Agence-France-Presse, Lipavský said:

I understand that Russians are fleeing from the increasingly desperate decisions taken by Putin. But those who are running away from their country because they do not want to fulfil a duty imposed by their own state do not meet the criteria for receiving humanitarian visas.

Earlier today, Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, suggested that Russian deserters may be able to obtain protection in Germany.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, walked out of a UN security council meeting after accusing Ukraine and its western allies of “impunity” in Donbas.

Ukraine and its allies were attempting to “impose on us a completely different narrative about Russian aggression”, Lavrov argued.

Lavrov was nearly 90 minutes late for the security council meeting and appeared to want to leave as soon as he finished speaking.

Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly, speaking at the council meeting after Lavrov, said the UK would support Ukraine all the way and for as long as it takes.

Cleverly said Russia had tried to “lay the blame on those imposing sanctions” and that “every day, the devastating consequences of Russia’s invasion become more clear”.

Cleverly said of Lavrov:

He has left the chamber, I’m not surprised. I don’t think Mr Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this council.

“He has left the chamber, I’m not surprised, I don’t think Mr Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this council” says Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, following Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov walking out of the meeting.https://t.co/X3flQUCiPZ

📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/8pymw5lIqw

— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 22, 2022

Speaking at the UN security council meeting, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, accused Vladimir Putin of having “shredded” international order “before our eyes”.

Russia’s president had added “fuel to the fire” by announcing mobilisation and planning “referendums” in occupied Ukrainian territory, and must be held to account for his actions, Blinken said.

We cannot – we will not – let President Putin get away with it.

Blinken said it was critical to show that “no nation can redraw the borders of another by force”, adding:

If we fail to defend this principle when the Kremlin is so flagrantly violating it, we send the message to aggressors everywhere that they can ignore it too.

International criminal court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan has said there are “reasonable grounds” to believe crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed in Ukraine.

Speaking at the UN’s security council, Khan said the ICC investigation priorities were intentional targeting of civilian objects and the transfer of populations from Ukraine, including children.

Hours after Vladimir Putin shocked Russia by announcing the first mobilisation since the second world war, Oleg received his draft papers in the mailbox, ordering him to make his way to the local recruitment centre in Kazan, the capital of the ​​Tatarstan republic.

As a 29-year-old sergeant in the Russian reserves, Oleg said he always knew that he would be the first in line if a mobilisation was declared, but held out hope that he would not be forced to fight in the war in Ukraine.

“My heart sank when I got the call-up,” he said. “But I knew I had no time to despair.”

He quickly packed all his belongings and booked a one-way ticket to Orenburg, a southern Russian city close to the border with Kazakhstan.

Map

“I will be driving across the border tonight,” he said in a telephone interview on Thursday from the airport in Orenburg.

“I have no idea when I’ll step foot in Russia again,” he added, referring to the jail sentence Russian men face for avoiding the draft.

Oleg said he was leaving behind his wife, who is due to give birth next week.

I will miss the most important day of my life. But I am simply not letting Putin turn me into a killer in a war that I want no part in.

The Kremlin’s decision to announce a partial mobilisation has led to a rush among men of military age to leave the country, likely sparking a new, possibly unprecedented brain drain in the coming days and weeks.

The Guardian spoke to over a dozen men and women who had left Russia since Putin announced the so-called partial mobilisation, or who are planning to do so in the next few days.

Read the full story here:

The Finnish government is considering ways to sharply reduce Russian tourism and transit through Finland, the country’s prime minister, Sanna Marin, said.

Her remarks came after the Finnish border guard said traffic arriving at the country’s eastern border “intensified” overnight after Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation.

Some 4,824 Russians arrived in Finland via the country’s eastern border on Wednesday, an increase of 1,691 compared with the same day last week, it said.

Traffic at the border remained elevated on Thursday but was under control, it added.

Incoming traffic at the eastern border increased during the night. Traffic has increased compared to previous weeks, but the amount is still small compared to the time before the pandemic. Our resources are sufficient and the situation is under the control. #Finnishborder pic.twitter.com/B7GfUQyZti

— Rajavartiolaitos (@rajavartijat) September 22, 2022

The situation at Finland’s borders has not changed alarmingly in recent days. Incorrect and misleading information is circulating in social media. We will regularly post about the situation on this twitter account in the coming days. #Finnishborder pic.twitter.com/Jng6BhDs35

— Rajavartiolaitos (@rajavartijat) September 22, 2022

At the Vaalimaa border crossing, roughly three hours’ drive from St Petersburg, three lanes of cars each stretched for 300-400 metres at around 1.15pm local time (1015 GMT), a border official told Reuters.

A couple of hours later, traffic had quietened with cars stretching over three lanes for some 150 metres, according to a Reuters witness.

Cars queue to enter the Brusnichnoye checkpoint on the Russian-Finnish border in the Leningrad region.

Russian deserters fleeing the partial mobilisation ordered by Vladimir Putin may be able to obtain protection in Germany, the German interior minister has said.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Nancy Faeser said:

Deserters threatened with serious repression can as a rule obtain international protection in Germany.

She added:

Anyone who courageously opposes Putin’s regime and thereby falls into great danger, can file for asylum on grounds of political persecution.

Following Putin’s mobilisation announcement yesterday, Latvia’s foreign minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, said his country, which borders Russia, would not offer refuge to Russians escaping mobilisation due to “security reasons”.

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Carol Avanci