Kyiv and Moscow traded blame for shelling in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region on Saturday.
Regional governor Oleksandr Starukh said on Telegram that Russian forces launched “a massive missile strike” on the region from about 10 planes, wounding at least three people.
Russia’s RIA state news agency, citing unnamed sources, said Ukrainian forces shelled a granary and fertilizer warehouses in the region.
Reuters was unable to verify either sides’ claims.
Lavrov, in a news conference following his speech to the assembly in New York, said the Ukrainian regions where votes are underway would be under moscow’s “full protection” if they are annexed by Russia, including with nuclear weapons. Read full story
The Group of Seven industrialized economies have said they will not recognize the results of the votes.
Ukraine 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.
Putin on Wednesday ordered the country’s first mobilization since world war two, an announcement that saw some Russian men headed swiftly to the borders, with traffic at frontier crossings with Finland and Georgia surging and prices for air tickets from Moscow rocketing.
More than 2,000 people have been detained across Russia for protesting the draft, including 798 people detained in 33 towns on Saturday alone, according to independent monitoring group OVD-Info.
Frustration has even spread to pro-Kremlin media, with one editor at the state-run RT news channel complaining that problems like call-up papers being sent to the wrong men were “infuriating people.”
When asked on Saturday why so many Russians were leaving the country, Lavrov pointed to the right of freedom of movement.