Four areas of Ukraine controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces are preparing to hold referendums on joining Russia, a move widely condemned by the West as illegitimate and a precursor to illegal annexation.
* Voting in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, representing around 15 per cent of Ukrainian territory, is due to run from Friday to Tuesday. Incorporating the four areas into Russia, Moscow could justify military escalation as necessary to defend its territory.
* World leaders gathering at the United Nations General Assembly in New York called for Russia to be held accountable for human rights violations in Ukraine.
* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended the war and accused its neighbour of committing atrocities.
* Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said any weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons, could be used to defend territories incorporated into Russia from Ukraine.
* Some draft-age Russians headed abroad to escape their country's biggest conscription drive since World War II. Prices for air tickets from Moscow rocketed. The Kremlin said the reports of an exodus were "exaggerated".
* Russia's General Staff said some 10,000 volunteers had enlisted without even waiting for their call-up papers, Russian news agencies reported.
* At least 1300 people protesting the draft were detained, and some were handed enlistment papers while in custody, a rights group said.
* Russian-installed separatists said at least six civilians had been killed and six more injured in a missile strike on a market in central Donetsk. A Reuters reporter saw five dead and several wounded.
* In the Russian-held southern city of Melitopol, a blast hit a crowded market. The city's exiled mayor said it had killed three soldiers.
* Russia's military fired nine missiles on the city of Zaporizhzhia, hitting a hotel and a power station.
"The intention of fomenting of this conflict by the collective West remains unpunished. Of course you won't punish yourselves here," - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN General Assembly
"The very international order we've gathered here to uphold is being shredded before our eyes. We can't let President Putin get away with it" - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the UN General Assembly
* "In the end, getting a fine or a few days of arrest is better than getting a funeral." - Russian anti-war protest movement Vesna (Spring).
Australian Associated Press
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