Ukraine war latest news: referendums to start in occupied regions; Zelenskiy urges Russian protests

Preparations underway for voting in four regions of Ukraine under Moscow’s control; Ukraine president tells Russians facing mobilisation to protest, fight back or run away

Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 212 of the invasion ‘It’s a 100% mobilisation’: day one of Russia’s drive to build its army

The conscription drive underway in Russia is “unlikely to generate effective soldiers and is prompting significant domestic backlash for little gain,” thinktank the Institute for the Study of War has said in its latest Russian offensive campaign assessment, released a few hours ago.

According to the ISW and Guardian reports, Russian authorities have already begun breaking their commitments to restrict conscription to men with military experience, and not to draft Russian students. Footage out of Russia shows military police pulling students from lessons, reportedly for mobilization, ISW reports. In Moscow, hundreds gathered to protest after Putin announced the mobilisation. Police officers reportedly began giving draft notices to all those they detained.

Summons delivered to eligible men at midnight. Schoolteachers pressed into handing out draft notices. Men given an hour to pack their things and appear at draft centres. Women sobbing as they sent their husbands and sons off to fight in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The first full day of Russia’s first mobilisation since the second world war produced emotional showdowns at draft centres and even signs of protest, while it appears Russia could be considering far more than the 300,000 new conscripts claimed by the defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.

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