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Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that he had signed a decree on partial mobilization from Wednesday, saying he was defending Russian territories and that the West wanted to “destroy” Russia. Follow the day’s events on our live blog. All times are in Paris time (GMT+2).

8:15 am: Putin announces partial military mobilization in a televised speech

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he signed a decree on partial mobilization from Wednesday, saying he was defending Russian territories and the West wanted to destroy the country.

In a televised address, Putin said his goal was to “liberate” the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, and that most people in the region did not want to return to what he called the “yoke” of Ukraine.

Putin also accused the West of engaging in nuclear blackmail against Russia and said Russia would use “all available means” to protect its territory. He said Russia had “plenty of weapons to respond” to what he called Western threats.

He said a partial mobilization of Russia’s 2 million reservists was “fully suited to the threats we face, namely protecting our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, ensuring the security of our people and the peoples in the territories liberated”.

2:52 a.m .: German chancellor at the UN: Putin must recognize that he cannot win in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin will only abandon his “imperial ambitions” which risk destroying Ukraine and Russia if he recognizes that he cannot win the war, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said in his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

“That’s why we won’t accept any peace dictated by Russia and that’s why Ukraine must be able to repel Russia’s att*ck,” Scholz said.

The return of imperialism, with Putin’s war on Ukraine, has not only been a disaster for Europe, but also for the rules-based global peace order, the Chancellor said. He called on the UN to defend this against those who would prefer a world where “the strong rule over the weak”.

2:24 a.m .: Japanese PM denounces Russian invasion of Ukraine in speech at UN

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as destabilizing the international order in its heart and said the rule of law , not coercion by power, should prevail.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is conduct that flouts the philosophy and principles of the UN charter… It should never be tolerated,” Kishida said.

Kishida, from Hiroshima, the first city to suffer an atomic b*mbing, also denounced the threat of nuclear weapons by Russia.

1:33 am: US official warns of ‘increased consequences’ if Russia annexes parts of Ukraine

There will be heightened consequences if Russia were to annex parts of Ukraine, a senior US State Department official said on Tuesday, as Moscow-installed leaders in occupied areas of four Ukrainian regions planned to organize referendums on joining Russia.

“We have made it clear that there will be increased consequences. We have … a number of tools,” the official said.

>> Russian invasion of Ukraine is a throwback to ‘age of imperialism’, Macron tells UN

12:30 a.m.: Zelensky hails Western support against planned referendums in Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed Western allies for their condemnation of plans by authorities of pro-Moscow Ukrainian regions to hold referendums on joining Russia

“I thank all of Ukraine’s friends and partners for their massive and firm condemnation of Russia’s intentions to hold even more pseudo-referendums,” he said in his daily address.

12:15 a.m.: African Union chief warns against pressure to choose sides in Ukraine

African Union Chair Macky Sall said on Tuesday that Africa “does not want to be the breeding ground for a new cold war”, alluding to mounting pressure on the continent’s leaders to choose sides in the war in Ukraine.

Many African countries are heavily dependent on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine. Amid market shortages, Russia’s foreign minister has sought to paint the West as the bad guy, blaming it for rising food prices. Western leaders, meanwhile, have accused the Kremlin of cynically using food as a weapon and waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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