Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Moscow [Russia], September 24 (ANI): Moscow will be facilitating access to Russian citizenship for foreigners who enlist in its army to fight Ukraine.

A separate law signed on Saturday facilitates access to Russian citizenship for foreigners who enlist in the Russian army, following the mobilisation designed to increase the ranks of the army fighting a military operation in Ukraine, reported The Straits Times.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed amendments toughening punishment for voluntary surrender and refusal to fight by up to 10 years in prison, just days after ordering a partial mobilisation.

Moscow replaced its top logistics general after a series of setbacks as Kremlin-held regions of eastern and southern Ukraine voted for a second day on becoming part of Russia, reported The Straits Times.

The changing of the guard comes amid the major mobilisation drive by Russia after the Ukraine invasion revealed widespread logistical difficulties, with Kyiv reclaiming lost territories.

Russia's invasion and recent gains by the Ukrainian army in a lightning counter-offensive have laid bare important logistical flaws with some analysts seeing logistics as the weak link in Moscow's military, reported The Straits Times.

"Army General Dmitry Bulgakov has been relieved of the deputy minister of defence" and will be replaced by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, aged 60, the defence ministry said.

Russia's partial mobilisation announced on Wednesday will likely be one of his first big logistical challenges with the hundreds of thousands of reservists being called up needing to be equipped and trained before deployment.

The voting on whether Russia should annex four regions of Ukraine started on Friday, dramatically raising the stakes seven months after the Russia-Ukraine war, reported The Straits Times.

US President Joe Biden has dismissed the referendums as a "sham... a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law".

For four days, authorities are going door-to-door for four days to collect votes. Polling stations then open Tuesday for residents to cast ballots on the final day. Results are expected as early as late Tuesday or Wednesday.

The snap referendums were announced just this week after a Ukrainian counter-offensive seized most of the northeast Kharkiv region - bringing hundreds of settlements back under Kyiv's control after months of Russian occupation, reported The Straits Times.

Irpin, close to the capital, was recaptured after weeks of fighting and residents have rallied around to start rebuilding before winter sets in. (ANI)

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