Skip to content

Ukraine war live: '2,000 Russians detained' in protests against mobilisation; Putin allies concerned by 'excesses' of military call-up

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges Russian troops to surrender, saying the Kremlin's commanders "do not care about the lives of Russians"; defence secretary Ben Wallace says the UK will increase the size of its spending on the armed forces by at least £52bn.

Why you can trust Sky News
Ukraine War Diaries: Sitting room soldiers, solidarity and a second Bucha

Military volunteer, Seva, greets news of the Russian mobilisation decree to call up of 300,000 army reservists with glee.

Thousands of miles from home Oksana finds an unexpected show of solidarity.

And in Kyiv, Ilyas reflects on the recent grim discovery of mass graveyards in liberated lands close to Kharkiv.

Ukraine War Diaries uses first-person audio, recorded on the ground in Ukraine, to give an intimate day-to-day perspective of life in a war zone.

Russia 'shoots down eight Ukrainian kamikaze drones' around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Ukrainian forces have continued attacks around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the south of the country, according to Russia's defence ministry.

It said Ukraine had launched eight "kamikaze drones" at the facility.

Russian forces shot down all of the drones outside the territory of the power station, it added, and radiation levels remained normal.

Reuters said it was unable to verify the reports.

Protesters in Russia's far east chant 'no to genocide' as they show opposition to partial mobilisation

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in a central square in Russia's far eastern city of Yakutsk to protest against President Putin's order for a partial mobilisation of 300,000 reservists for the campaign in Ukraine.

The protesters performed a traditional Yakut circle dance known as "osuokhai" and chanted "no to genocide".

They fear the reservists are being sent to their deaths as Russia has suffered big losses in the war.

Footage showed some of those who joined the rally being detained by police and put on to buses, local news outlet SakhaDay reported.

Putin allies concerned by 'excesses' of military mobilisation drive

There have been reports that people with no military service have been issued draft papers for Russia's partial mobilisation.

This is despite defence minister Sergei Shoigu's guarantee that only those with special military skills or combat experience would be called up to support the campaign in Ukraine.

Now Russia's two most senior lawmakers, both close Putin allies, have addressed complaints about the Kremlin's mobilisation drive, ordering regional officials to get a handle on the situation and quickly solve the "excesses" that have sparked public anger.

Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of Russia's upper house, the Federation Council, said she was aware of reports of men who should be ineligible for the draft being called up.

"Such excesses are absolutely unacceptable. And, I consider it absolutely right that they are triggering a sharp reaction in society," she said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

In a direct message to Russia's regional governors - who she claimed had "full responsibility" for implementing the call-up - she wrote: "Ensure the implementation of partial mobilisation is carried out in full and absolute compliance with the outlined criteria. Without a single mistake."

Meanwhile, Vyacheslav Volodin, who is the speaker of Russia's lower chamber, the State Duma, also expressed concern in a separate post. "Complaints are being received," he said.

"If a mistake is made, it is necessary to correct it... Authorities at every level should understand their responsibilities."

Also, the strongly pro-Kremlin editor of Russia's state-run RT news channel has expressed anger that call-up papers were being sent to the wrong men.

"It has been announced that privates can be recruited up to the age of 35. Summonses are going to 40-year-olds," the RT editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, railed on her Telegram channel.

"They're infuriating people, as if on purpose, as if out of spite. As if they'd been sent by Kyiv."

Some 300,000 Russians will called up to serve in the mobilisation campaign, say officials. The Kremlin has twice denied it plans to draft more than one million, following two separate reports in independent Russian media outlets.

UK defence spending to be raised by at least £52bn in response to Russian aggression - Wallace

The UK will increase the size of its spending on the armed forces by at least £52bn in response to Russian aggression, the defence secretary has said.

Ben Wallace also confirmed new prime minister Liz Truss is sticking to her campaign promise of raising defence spending by 3%.

In his first interview since Ms Truss entered No 10, Mr Wallace told The Sunday Telegraph that the military is "actually going to grow" as a result of the spending increase which he said has come after decades of "defending against cuts or reconciling cuts with modern fighting".

He added the pledge amounted to an annual defence budget of about £100bn by 2030 - an increase of £52bn on the current sum which the defence secretary called "huge".

Mr Wallace went on to praise Ms Truss for the funding boost and also hit out at ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Treasury over its "corporate raid" of the armed forces since the 1990s.

Russia's National Guard could be reinforced amid partial military mobilisation

British military intelligence reports Russian nationalist politician Aleksandr Khinstein has called for the partial mobilisation of the country's military to be extended to the National Guard (Rosgvardia), in what appeared to be a new indication of the pressure that Russian forces are facing.

"With a requirement to quell growing domestic dissent in Russia, as well as operational taskings in Ukraine, Rosgvardia is highly likely under particular strain," the UK's Ministry of Defence said on Twitter.

"There is a realistic possibility that mobilisation will be used to reinforce Rosgvardia units with additional manpower."

The National Guard answers directly to President Vladimir Putin and was created in 2016 to fight terrorism and organised crime.

Freed POW says his Russian captors 'punched him on nose' when they found out he was British

Aiden Aslin has spoken of his time being detained by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine - and says he was punched in the face when they first found out he was British.

Mr Aslin was one of five Britons released this week as part of a prisoner swap that saw dozens of POWs exchanged between Ukraine and Russia.

He had been captured alongside compatriot Shaun Pinner by Russian forces who accused them of being mercenaries and was subsequently threatened with death by firing squad after appearing at a Russian-backed court.

Read more in the story below:

'More than 2,000 detained' in Russia after protests against mobilisation order

Yesterday we reported on protests in Russia against President Vladimir Putin's plan to mobilise hundreds of thousands of reservists to support its military campaign in Ukraine.

Independent monitoring group OVD-Info has now said more than 2,000 people have been detained across the country for demonstrating against the draft, including 798 people in 33 towns.

OVD-Info reported that some of those held were children.

Frustration with the Kremlin's partial mobilisation has even spread to pro-Kremlin media, with one editor at the state-run RT news channel complaining that problems such as call-up papers being sent to the wrong men were "infuriating people".

The defence ministry said about 300,000 people would be summoned to active duty, but the order left a door open to many more getting called into service. Most Russian men aged 18-65 are automatically counted as reservists.

On Saturday, police were deployed in force in the cities where protests were scheduled by opposition group Vesna and supporters of jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny.

They moved quickly to arrest demonstrators, most of them young people, before they could hold protests.

There were also demonstrations last Wednesday, which saw more than 1,300 arrests.

Eastern and southern Ukraine hit by fresh attacks

Ukraine and Russia have traded blame for missile strikes and shelling in various parts of the south and east, according to Reuters.

Ukraine's military said Russian forces had launched dozens of missile attacks and air strikes on military and civilian targets, including 35 settlements, in the past 24 hours.

Russia also used drones to attack the centre of the southern city of Odesa, Ukraine's military said. No casualties were reported.

Russia denies targeting civilians.

Its RIA state news agency reported Ukrainian forces bombed a hotel in the city of Kherson, killing two people. Russian forces have occupied the southern city since the early days of the invasion.

RIA also said Ukrainian forces shelled a granary and fertiliser warehouses in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region.

Neither side's claims have been verified by Reuters.

Lavrov says any annexed regions in Ukraine would have Russia's 'full protection'

Vladimir Putin's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said the four Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine where referendums are under way would be under Moscow's "full protection" if they are annexed by Russia.

Voting is taking place until Tuesday in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south on whether they should join Russia.

Mr Lavrov was speaking in a news conference after addressing the United Nations General Assembly.

Asked if Russia would have grounds for using nuclear weapons to defend annexed regions of Ukraine, Mr Lavrov said Russian territory, including territory "further enshrined" in Russia's constitution in the future, "is under the full protection of the state".

"All of the laws, doctrines, concepts and strategies of the Russian Federation apply to all of its territory," he said, also referring specifically to Russia's doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons.

Ukraine and western nations have said they will not recognise the results of the votes.

Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Russia's statements on the possible use of nuclear weapons were "absolutely unacceptable" and Kyiv would not give into them.

"We call on all nuclear powers to speak out now and make it clear to Russia that such rhetoric puts the world at risk and will not be tolerated," Mr Kuleba said.

Ukraine has requested an urgent UN Security Council meeting over the referendums, accusing Russia of violating the UN Charter by attempting to change Ukraine's borders, foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said on Twitter.