September 29, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Andrew Raine, Melissa Macaya and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT) September 30, 2022
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1:54 a.m. ET, September 29, 2022

Former Premier League soccer player Diniyar Bilyaletdinov summoned to fight for Russian military

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, center, celebrates after scoring a goal on April 9, 2011.
Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, center, celebrates after scoring a goal on April 9, 2011. (Rui Vieira/PA Images/Getty Images)

Former Premier League soccer star Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has received a summons from Russia’s military registration and enlistment office, his father, Rinat Bilyaletdinov, told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. 

Bilyaletdinov, who made 59 appearances for English club Everton, is a Russian national and member of the country's Tatar ethnic minority group.

“Diniyar really received a summons. It’s hard to talk about emotions, because he didn’t serve, although he did military service, but it was specific, with a sports bias. That was 19 years ago,” the player’s father said. 

Rinat Bilyaletdinov argued that his son was incorrectly summoned as he is older than the cutoff age.

“The law still says – to call people up to 35 years old, and he is 37, so there is some kind of inconsistency. Now it will be found out whether this agenda is correct or it was sent early. Anything can happen. If there was a general mobilization, then ask questions. In the meantime, the president has established a partial one, everything should be in accordance with the law," he said.  

Some background: Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens, in an effort to bolster the Kremlin’s faltering invasion, following Ukraine’s gains in an ongoing counteroffensive. 

As part of the mobilization efforts, Russia will call up 300,000 reservists, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

Putin moved to amend the country’s Criminal Code over the weekend and strengthen punishments relating to military service during times of mobilization, martial law or wartime, with Russians who fail to report for duty now facing up to 10 years in prison under the new regulations.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov joined Everton in 2009 and played with the English Premier League side for three seasons. He played 46 matches for the Russian national team, scoring six goals and helping them win the bronze medal in the Euro championship in 2008.

2:06 a.m. ET, September 29, 2022

Pentagon announces extra $1.1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

A Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) is seen at Fort Drum, N.Y., on Aug. 29.
A Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) is seen at Fort Drum, N.Y., on Aug. 29. (Pvt. Mason S. Nichols/U.S. Army)

The US Department of Defense has announced an additional $1.1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine.

The extra funds will come under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, meaning the money will be spent on manufacturing and providing new weapons to Ukraine. These weapons will not come directly from current US stocks of weapons.

Eighteen High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and “associated ammunitions,” are included in the package.

The package also includes 150 Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, 40 trucks and 80 trailers to “transport heavy equipment,” and additional radars for Unmanned Aerial Systems, among other items.

The US has committed “more than $16.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine,” since the Russian invasion began in February.

12:52 a.m. ET, September 29, 2022

Ukraine claims Russian mobilization in some regions is sweeping up all men "of a certain age"

From CNN's Tim Lister and Denis Lapin

The Ukrainian military claims that in some parts of Russia, the entire male population within a certain age range is being included in the partial mobilization ordered by President Vladimir Putin last week.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said Wednesday that the "so-called partial mobilization measures are ongoing in the Russian Federation and parts of the regions of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia."

"In remote settlements of the Russian Federation, the entire male population of a certain age category is subject to mobilization, despite a lack of experience of military service and combat experience," it said.

The General Staff claimed that there are some cases of parents with several children and men over age 60 being mobilized for military service.

CNN cannot verify the claims, but Russian commentators and some regional officials in Russia have complained that the mobilization is poorly organized and has included the drafting of men specifically exempted from the decree.

The General Staff also said that "the lack of readiness to implement mobilization measures was noted at assembly points in the Belgorod and Rostov regions," both of which are close to the Ukrainian border. 

"Thus, newly arrived personnel must purchase winter uniforms and protective equipment at their own expense," it claimed.

CNN has reviewed a number of videos in the past few days showing Russian soldiers complaining about their lack of equipment.

1:20 a.m. ET, September 29, 2022

New EU package of sanctions against Russia will target more than 1,300 people and entities

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Sarah Diab in London

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is seen during a meeting at the Kremlin on December 11, 2019. 
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is seen during a meeting at the Kremlin on December 11, 2019.  (Pavel Golovkin/Pool/Reuters)

A new package of sanctions against Russia proposed Wednesday by the European Commission will target more than 1,300 people and entities, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

"This list targets key decision makers, oligarchs, senior military officials and propagandists responsible for undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity," Borrell said during a news conference in Brussels.

According to Borell, the new sanctions will target "those involved in Russia's occupation and illegal annexation of areas of Ukraine,” including “the proxy Russian authorities in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and other Russian individuals who organized and facilitated the sham referenda in these four occupied territories of Ukraine." 

Borrell said sanctions would include high-ranking officials in the Russian Ministry of Defense — including Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu — and those supporting the Russian Armed Forces by providing military equipment and weapons.

"We also continue to target actors who spread disinformation about the war. In particular, those spreading false information and donating funds to the Russian occupied areas," Borrell said.


The EU foreign policy chief added that "a lot has been done already" in terms of economic actors but that other non-Russian entities that may be “participating in the circumvention of sanctions” might be targeted too.

Borrell finished by noting that the EU will "extend the geographical scope of the restrictions applying to Crimea, to the Donetsk and Luhansk, that were approved at the beginning of the year. And this will cover all non-governmental control areas of Ukraine, including the oblast of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson which are not part of Donbas and were not part of the previous decisions."

12:52 a.m. ET, September 29, 2022

US officials say it's unlikely Putin will use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine — but the threat has "elevated"

From CNN's Katie Bo Lillis and Natasha Bertrand

US officials believe that the likelihood Russian President Vladimir Putin will use a tactical nuclear weapon in his struggling war in Ukraine is perhaps the highest it has been since Russia invaded in February — but is still not probable, multiple officials familiar with the latest intelligence tell CNN.

The intelligence community is closely watching for any signs that Putin's calculus has changed after the Russian President was widely perceived last week to be escalating his past threats to use nuclear weapons.

The threat is certainly "elevated" compared to earlier in the year, according to multiple sources. The United States in recent months has been privately warning Russia not to take such a catastrophic step.

But so far, there are no signs that Russia is imminently planning their use and the "general assessment hasn't changed," one source familiar with the intelligence said.

Several US defense officials, who said they see no indication at this time of Russia moving nuclear weapons around, said it's likely the US could detect movement even of smaller tactical warheads.

More background: Officials have long believed that Putin would only turn to a nuclear weapon if there was a threat to his own position, or if he perceived an existential threat to Russia itself — which he may consider a loss in Ukraine to be.

Some Russian military analysts believe that Putin's mobilization order may in fact decrease the short-term risk he will turn to a battlefield nuke because it will prolong his ability to sustain the conventional war.

The general sense inside the US government is that the threat is higher than before is based primarily on Putin's rhetoric and analysis of his mindset amid Russian losses in Ukraine, rather than any hard intelligence that Russia is more seriously weighing the nuclear option, according to two sources familiar with the intelligence.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed reporting to this post.