Latest Developments in Ukraine: Sept. 21

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

3:20 a.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called for a “dignified way out” of the seven-month crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported.

Erdogan has been working with both Moscow and Kyiv to try and find a diplomatic solution to the war.

He spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone moments before addressing the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly with an urgent appeal for peace.

“Together, we need to find a reasonably practical diplomatic solution that will give both sides a dignified way out of the crisis,” Erdogan told the United Nations.

He said a lasting peace must be based on protecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

2:06 a.m.: Slovenia will transfer 28 Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine in an armaments swap deal with Germany, Berlin said Tuesday, amid heavy pressure for Europe’s biggest economy to supply battle tanks to Kyiv, Agence France-Presse reported.

Ukraine has repeatedly sought Leopard battle tanks from Germany to aid in its counter-attack against Russia, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has so far refused.

Berlin has instead struck deals with third countries, which transfer heavy weapons to Ukraine in exchange for receiving supplies from Germany.

In exchange for the 28 M-55S tanks, Germany will transfer 40 military trucks along with other supplies to Slovenia.

Germany has already struck similar deals with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Greece.

1:18 a.m.: Russian stocks plunged to their lowest in a month on Tuesday as Moscow reignited martial law fears with new legislation and plans to hold referendums on Russian-controlled regions in east Ukraine advanced, Reuters reported.

Stocks hit their lowest since mid-August, with the dollar-denominated RTS index down 9.2% to 1,155.1 points as of 1542 GMT. The ruble-based MOEX Russian index was 8.7% lower at 2,218.0 points, earlier sinking to 2,171.92 points, its lowest point since Aug. 16.

Russia’s parliament on Tuesday approved a bill to toughen punishments for a host of crimes such as desertion, damage to military property and insubordination if they were committed during military mobilization or combat situations.

“Indices are clearly collapsing amid fears around the risks of mobilization and martial law,” said Tinkoff Investments analyst Kirill Komarov, adding that Tuesday’s collapse would likely be the MOEX index’s sharpest drop since June 30.

12:23 a.m.: Russia is stepping up “nuclear blackmail” by bombing the site of Ukraine’s Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant, its director Igor Polovich said Tuesday, according to Agence-France-Presse.

With Monday’s strike in the southern Mykolaiv region “the second phase of their nuclear blackmail has begun,” Polovich said.

Attacks around nuclear facilities in Ukraine have spurred calls from Kyiv and its Western allies to demilitarize areas surrounding the complexes.

AFP reporters on Tuesday saw a deep crater strewn with shell fragments a few hundred meters from the Pivdennoukrainsk plant during a press trip organized by the Ukrainian nuclear energy agency Energoatom.

Pivdennoukrainsk is the third nuclear site to be affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine launched in late February.

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