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What happened today in brief — 20 September

Novaya Gazeta Europe
  • The “heads” of the self-proclaimed “LPR” and “DPR” as well as the occupation “authorities” of Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions announced today, 20 September, that they would conduct referendums on joining the Russian Federation. The “referendums” will take place from 23 to 27 September. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that the country would not recognise them.
  • Russia’s State Duma approved a bill on introducing amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to which such terms as “mobilisation”, “martial law”, and “wartime” will be included in the new version of the code. It will now include two new articles: “On voluntary surrender into captivity” and “On looting”. The lawmakers also plan to introduce harsher punishments under the article “On unwarranted leaving of unit or place of service”.
  • Ten Russian citizens were unable to enter the territory of Estonia on 19 September, reports Estonian newspaper Postimees, citing shift commander of the Narva border checkpoint Jaanika Karp. One of the reasons was the newly introduced ban on entering the country for Russian citizens holding the tourist Schengen visas.
  • The Moscow government is planning to open a military service recruitment centre for foreigners that want to receive Russian citizenship under a simplified scheme, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in a post on his blog.
  • Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s lawyer was prohibited from bringing documents to meetings with Navalny, while the politician himself — from “even listening to what is written in any documents”, Navalny said.
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