Zelenskiy Says Intense Fighting Showing ‘Positive Results,’ As West Responds To Putin’s Nuclear Threat

Ukraine’s president said late on September 25 that there was fierce fighting taking place on the front lines of its 7-month-old defense against Russia’s invasion but that Kyiv was seeing “positive results.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s battlefield assessment came after he warned in a broadcast interview earlier in the day against dismissing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats as Moscow’s forces lose ground.

Meanwhile, new British Prime Prime Minister Liz Truss downplayed Putin’s recent statements as “saber-rattling” and “bogus threats,” and U.S. national-security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington had outlined to Moscow the “catastrophic consequences” it would face if it used nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy claimed gains against Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk, northeastern Kharkiv, and the southern Mykolayiv and Zaporizhzhya regions.

“We have positive results in several directions.” he said.

Russia and its separatist allies in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya regions of Ukraine have been holding votes on possible independence and union with Russia that they call referendums but Kyiv and many in the international community have said are a sham.

The votes are scheduled to conclude on September 27.

They were announced amid Ukrainian counteroffensives in northeastern and eastern Ukraine that Kyiv has said have wrested back thousands of square kilometers this month.

Putin and other Russian officials have suggested the votes will result in an irreversible transformation of those areas to make them part of Russia. And Putin suggested this week that Moscow could use all means at its disposal to defend them.

After his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked if Moscow would have grounds for using nuclear weapons to defend the annexed regions.

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