September 30, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Andrew Raine, Sana Noor Haq and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 6:14 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022
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5:26 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Russia vetoes UN Security Council resolution that condemns annexation and calls for withdrawal from Ukraine

From CNN's Mick Krever and Richard Roth in New York

Russia on Friday vetoed a resolution at the United Nations Security Council that would have condemned Russia’s claimed annexation of four Ukrainian regions after so-called referendums on joining the Russian Federation.

The referendums have been universally dismissed as “a sham” by Ukraine and Western nations.

The resolution would have denounced Russia's “organization of illegal so-called referenda in regions within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders” and declared that the referendums “have no validity.”

The resolution would have also called on Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

Russia was the sole country to oppose the resolution.

Ten countries voted in favor: Albania, France, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Four countries abstained: Brazil, China, Gabon and India.

Speaking ahead of the vote, the US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield – who tabled the resolution along with her Albanian colleague – said it was aligned with the Security Council goals of defending sovereignty, protecting territorial integrity and ensuring peace and security.

“We’re talking about a UN member state, a Security Council member, attempting to annex part of another through force,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “The outcomes of these sham referenda were predetermined in Moscow, and everybody knows it. They were held behind the barrel of Russian guns.”

Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said the results spoke for themselves.

“The overwhelming majority of those who voted supported the integration of these regions into Russia,” he said.

4:55 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Danish police to set up a team with Germany and Sweden to investigate Baltic Sea gas leaks

From CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite

The release of gas from a leak on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, on Wednesday.
The release of gas from a leak on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, on Wednesday. (Swedish Coast Guard/Handout/Getty Images)

The Danish police has started an investigation into the gas leaks in the Baltic Sea and will “soon” establish a joint international investigation (JIT) team consisting of relevant authorities from, among others, Germany and Sweden.

The Danish Police "expects the JIT to be established soon, but it is still too early to state a date," it said in a statement on Friday. 

"Until a JIT has been established, there will be a close cooperation with relevant foreign authorities, including Swedish and German authorities, on the basis of the general rules concerning international cooperation on investigations," the police also said.

Some background: Western nations have said leaks in two Russian gas pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, are likely the result of sabotage.

On Monday, leaks were discovered in the pipelines, prompting investigations by European authorities that determined powerful underwater explosions had occurred just before the pipelines burst in several places.

The pipelines were created to funnel gas from Russia into the European Union, and were controversial long before Russia waged war on Ukraine, largely because of fears around European reliance on Russian energy.

Experts also say the explosion could release an “unprecedented” amount of the greenhouse gas methane and be enormously damaging to the climate.

Read more here.

3:21 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Obstacles to NATO accession will disappear "as soon as Russia loses," Ukrainian official says

From CNN's Mick Krever in London

A top Ukrainian official on Friday said that any obstacles to Ukraine’s NATO accession will disappear “as soon as Russia loses” – a tacit acknowledgment that alliance members are unlikely to agree on admitting the country while it is at war with Russia.

“As soon as Russia loses, after that, there will be no obstacle for Ukraine to join NATO,” Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the Office of the Ukrainian President, said on Ukrainian television. “Those countries that are currently in doubt, after our victory, will be the first to vote” for Ukraine’s accession.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his country is applying “under an accelerated procedure” to become a NATO member, while acknowledging that accession would require the consensus of all members.

Podolyak said that the membership application marks “the beginning of a new era for Ukraine.”

“We rejected any formal or informal agreements that we have neutral status, non-aligned status. The President clearly demonstrates that there is only one route for Ukraine, which our partners will support,” Podolyak said.

And meanwhile, he said, Ukraine’s efforts on the battlefield would continue.

“A counteroffensive continues on the Donetsk direction and in the southern direction,” he said. “Russia is not able to stop the Ukrainian Armed Forces except solely by the number of its people who are ready to lay their heads on Ukrainian soil.”

3:03 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Putin signs decree on routine autumn conscription

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a decree on routine autumn conscription — in this case, 120,000 Russian citizens aged 18 to 27.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported, according to Russian state news agency TASS, that the autumn conscription had nothing to do with what Russia calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine. 

The serving conscripts will be dismissed after their mandatory service and sent back to their places of residence, according to TASS.

2:36 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Iranian drones that Russia obtained have had numerous failures in battle, US defense official says

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

The US has seen evidence that Iranian drones that Russia is using in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have had "numerous failures” on the battlefield, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker told reporters during a briefing Friday.

“We have seen some evidence already that the UAVs associated with the transfer from Iran have already experienced numerous failures on the battleground, on the battlefield. in Ukraine,” Baker said.

Baker said these drones don’t represent a big technological step for Russia in the conflict.

“I think that the idea that they represent some technological leap ahead, frankly, we’re just not seeing borne out in the data,” Baker added.

More background: In late August, the US assessed Russia was in possession of weapons-capable Iranian drones, Biden administration officials told CNN. The Russians picked up the drones from an Iranian airfield and transported them back to Russia in cargo planes in mid-August, the officials said. Russian officials began training on the drones in Iran in July, CNN reported,   

2:28 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Baltic states say they support Ukraine's NATO application

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania said Friday they "fully support welcoming Ukraine into NATO as soon as possible."

Their respective foreign ministers — Urmas Reinsalu, Edgars Rinkēvičs and Gabrielius Landsbergis — shared similar messages on their Twitter accounts.

"Ukraine's inspirational bravery can only strengthen our alliance," they all said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his country is applying “under an accelerated procedure” to become a member of the defense alliance.

2:29 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Situation in Lyman is "grave" as Ukrainian forces look to encircle town, separatist leader in Donetsk says

From CNN's Denis Lapin in Kyiv

The situation for pro-Russian forces in the Ukrainian town of Lyman is “grave,” the head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic said on Friday.

"The situation remains grave,” Denis Pushilin said, quoted by the DPR’s official Telegram channel. “Our forces are withstanding the onslaught, reinforcements are being brought up"

Pushilin was in Moscow on Friday to attend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claimed annexation of four partially occupied Ukrainian regions, including Donetsk, where Lyman is located.

Lyman has been almost entirely encircled by Ukrainian forces.

2:29 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Ukraine claims it captured village of Drobysheve, which neighbors key Donetsk town of Lyman

From CNN's Denis Lapin, Victoria Butenko and Mick Krever

Ukrainian forces on Friday claimed control over the village of Drobysheve in the eastern Donetsk region, the settlement that neighbors Russian-occupied Lyman.

“The future of the world is no longer decided in the Kremlin,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Drobysheve is just about 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the north of Lyman. In a video, Ukrainian forces are seen celebrating, holding a Ukrainian flag in the town center.

“Today, on September 30, the AFU, namely the 81st Independent Airmobile Brigade, liberated Drobyshevo. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!” the defense ministry said.

Lyman has now been almost entirely encircled by Ukrainian forces. Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic – which today in Moscow claimed to have joined the Russian Federation – said Friday that the situation in Lyman “remains grave.”

2:58 p.m. ET, September 30, 2022

Putin says "victory will be ours" at concert after declaring annexation of Ukrainian regions

From Uliana Pavlova

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen set at Red Square in Moscow on Friday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen set at Red Square in Moscow on Friday. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will be victorious during a celebratory concert at the Red Square in Moscow on Friday after he declared the annexation of four regions of Ukraine. 

“We have become stronger because we are together. With us is the truth, and indeed, the power! And that means victory! Victory will be ours!” Putin said.

Putin gave a speech following the claimed annexation of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine. 

“For decades, they tried to eradicate the historical consciousness of these people, to destroy their traditions, to forbid them to speak in their native language, to forbid their culture. Nothing worked,” he said. 

“And that's why we say Russia not only opens the doors of our native home for our brothers and sisters, it opens its heart to them. Welcome home!” Putin said to the cheering crowd. 

After the speech, Putin was joined on stage by the four Russia-appointed leaders of the four regions: Denis Pushilin, Leonid Pasechnik, Yevgeny Balitsky and Vladimir Saldo. Together, they sang the Russian national anthem joined by a choir of artists from Russia and annexed regions who performed at the concert as the crowd waved Russian flags. 

People wave Russian flags during the concert at the Red Square in Moscow on Friday, September 30.
People wave Russian flags during the concert at the Red Square in Moscow on Friday, September 30. (Contributor/Getty Images)

How Ukraine and Western nations are reacting: Members of the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – and the European Union have vowed to never recognize Russian sovereignty over the regions and to impose sanctions on Russia.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called the move a “farce” in a pre-recorded video statement released shortly after Putin’s speech and vowed that “the entire territory of our country will be liberated.”