Putin delays surprise speech; Germany's Scholz says Russia needs to understand it can't win in Ukraine

This was CNBC's live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine. See here for the latest updates. 

Putin calls up 300,000 reservists and Russians protest, leave the country
Putin calls up 300,000 reservists and Russians protest, leave the country

Russian-backed officials in several parts of Ukraine have announced plans to hold referenda on joining Russia. Ukraine has slammed the upcoming votes as fake attempt to legitimize Russia's invasion and slammed the prospect of "sham" ballots.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Russian producers of military equipment to up their production and supplies to Russian troops. Putin was also set to give a major speech to the country on Tuesday — only to later postpone it until Wednesday without explanation.

Meanwhile, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin needs to recognize that he can't win the war, according to a report from Reuters.

"This is why we will not accept any peace dictated by Russia, and this is why Ukraine must be able to fend off Russia's attack," the chancellor said, Reuters quoted Scholz as saying.

Germany has contributed significant assistance to Ukraine but has been criticized for not giving the country more of its advanced weaponry.

The war "isn't going too well" for Russia, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley said from Poland, adding that this could make Moscow's reactions less certain and that U.S. forces in Europe need to maintain alertness.

Blinken calls Russian referenda attempts a 'sign of weakness' and a 'sign of Russian failure'

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about US policy towards China during an event hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2022.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken slammed the Kremlin's attempt to hold a referendum in parts of Ukraine and called the move a "sign of Russian failure."

"We've seen reports that Russia is now considering proceeding with these sham referenda in Ukraine, something we said that they were going to do for many months," Blinken told reporters on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

"That would then lead to them claiming the annexation of Ukrainian territory," he said, adding that if the referenda proceeds, the United States will never recognize the outcome.

"The sham referenda and the potential mobilization of additional forces isn't a sign of strength. On the contrary, it's a sign of weakness, it's a sign of Russian failure," America's top diplomat added.

— Amanda Macias

'Polluters must pay,' U.N. chief says, urging global leaders to tackle climate change

Steam rises from cooling towers of the Niederaussem coal-fired power plant by twilight on January 11, 2022 in Niederaussem, Germany.
Andreas Rentz | Getty Images News | Getty Images

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said developed economies should impose an additional tax on the profits of fossil fuel firms and those funds should be diverted to countries affected by climate change.

"Our world is addicted to fossil fuels, it's time for an intervention," Guterres said.

"We need to hold fossil fuel companies and their enablers to account. That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution," he added.

Read more here.

— Amanda Macias

'The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything,' Ukraine's Kuleba says

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba attends a joint media briefing amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine 14 September 2022.
Nurphoto | Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of the high-level General Assembly in New York City.

The meeting between Thomas-Greenfield and Kuleba, their second since Russia's war broke out in late February, comes as the Kremlin attempts to hold referendums in Russian-controlled Ukrainian cities. The move is expected to set the groundwork for Russian troops to annex additional parts of the country.

The White House said the outcome of the votes in Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk will likely be manipulated in Russia's favor and will therefore not be acknowledged.

"The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything," Kuleba said alongside Thomas-Greenfield.

— Amanda Macias

Nine more agricultural vessels approved to leave Ukraine

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying Ukrainian grain, is seen in the Black Sea off Kilyos, near Istanbul, Turkey August 3, 2022.
Mehmet Caliskan | Reuters

The organization overseeing the export of agricultural products from Ukraine said it has approved nine more vessels to leave the besieged country.

The Joint Coordination Center, an initiative of Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey, said that the vessels are carrying a total of 200,701metric tons of grain and other food products.

The ships are expected to depart on Tuesday and are destined for Germany, Bangladesh, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey.

— Amanda Macias

Biden taps Lynne Tracy as next American ambassador to Russia

Lynne Tracy
U.S. State Department

President Joe Biden has tapped State Department veteran Lynne Tracy as the next American ambassador to Russia.

Tracy, who speaks Russian, currently serves as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, a neighbor of Russia.

She previously served as the second-highest official at the American embassy in Moscow.

Tracy will replace John Sullivan as head of the embassy there.

- Dan Mangan

Putin postpones surprise speech to Russians for unknown reasons

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of government via a video link in Moscow, Russia August 31, 2022.
Gavriil Grigorov | Sputnik | via Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin failed for unknown reasons to deliver a nationally televised speech that would have been his first since the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

Putin has postponed the speech, which was expected to discuss the situation in Ukraine, until Wednesday, according to a Telegram post by Sergei Markov, a former advisor to the Russian leader,

"Go to sleep," wrote Margarita Simonyan, the editor of RT, a Russian state media outlet, on her own Telegram account.

- Dan Mangan

Turkey's Erdogan offers to broker deal between Moscow and Kyiv to secure Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 20, 2022 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara is willing to help broker negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in order to restore security to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The facility, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, was forcibly taken by Russian troops in the early days of the Kremlin's war in Ukraine. Both Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of shelling and subsequent damage to the facility.

Erdogan said that Turkey's role in the Black Sea Initiative deal, which helped open three Ukrainian ports for agricultural exports, is an example of how Ankara can help address concerns around Zaporizhzhia.

"As a result of the intensive efforts we carried out together with the Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres], we made sure that the Ukrainian grain was able to reach the world through the Black Sea," Erdogan said before the international forum.

"A similar approach can also be displayed regarding the crisis at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, which concerns the safety of the entire humanity," he said, without providing additional details.

— Amanda Macias

Mass graves in Izyum, Ukraine, may be ‘worse’ than in Bucha, Biden adviser says

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks to the media about the war in Ukraine and other topics at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2022.
Leah Millis | Reuters

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said his Ukranian counterparts tell him the mass graves discovered in Izyum, Ukraine, after Russian forces were pushed out, are in some ways "worse" than those discovered in Bucha.

Sullivan said he was briefed on the situation when he spoke with his counterpart, Ukrainian chief of staff Andriy Yermak.

"He gave me a report about what the Ukrainians were discovering around Izyum, and he put it quite bluntly: He said that this is in some ways worse than Bucha, and we will see more of these as we go, as Ukraine de-occupies towns that have previously been occupied by Russian forces. We are finding increasing evidence of these mass atrocities."

— Emma Kinery

Ukraine says Russian referendums will destroy possibility of negotiations to end war

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a news conference, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, August 23, 2022.
Gleb Garanich | Reuters

Any referendums on joining Russia in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories would destroy any remaining window for talks between Kyiv and Moscow, Ukrainian publication cited the Ukrainian president's office spokesman as saying.

"Without the referendums, there is still the smallest chance for a diplomatic solution. After the referendums - no," quoted Serhiy Nykyforov as saying.

He made the comments in response to Russian-installed officials in four occupied Ukrainian regions announcing plans for referendums over the next week on formally joining Russia.

— Reuters

Blinken meets with Turkish counterpart, hails work on grain exports

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York, United States on September 20, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Blinken thanked Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for Ankara's work in securing a sea corridor for Ukrainian agriculture products.

"I want to particularly praise the work that Turkey has done to help establish the grain port on the Black Sea that is allowing desperately needed food to get out of Ukraine and to the people who need it," Blinken said, according to a State Department readout of the meeting.

"I'm grateful for the work we're doing together as NATO allies and partners, many security challenges that we're facing together," he added.

— Amanda Macias

Russian attempts to hold a referendum in parts of Ukraine will not be acknowledged, U.S. says

Russian President Vladimir Putin, flanked by military officials, marks the Defender of the Fatherland Day in 2015 in central Moscow.
Sasha Mordovets | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The Biden administration said Russian attempts to hold a referendum in parts of Ukraine will not be acknowledged and will not deter the U.S. and its allies from supporting Kyiv.

"It's part of their playbook and it's something we saw in 2014," Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters during a daily briefing when asked about the potential referendum.

"They will use that as a basis to try and legitimize further annexation," he said, adding that the outcome will not distract the U.S. from its mission to support Ukraine.

At the White House, national security adviser Jake Sullivan called the referenda an affront to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We know that these referenda will be manipulated," he said, adding that the "United States will never recognize Russia's claims."

— Amanda Macias

Zelenskyy talked about 'current security issues' with Turkey's Erdogan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a tweet that he discussed "current security issues" in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The tweet followed an interview Erdoğan did Monday with PBS NewsHour, where he said Russia must return all land it has occupied, including Crimea.

Erdoğan is one of only a handful of world leaders with continued ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told PBS in an interview outside of the United Nations in New York, that when he met with Putin in Uzbekistan last week, Putin gave him the impression he was "willing to end this as soon as possible." 

'Our world is in peril,' U.N. chief says in opening General Assembly address

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2022.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave a somber assessment of global affairs in an opening address of the annual high-level gathering in New York City.

"Our world is in peril and paralyzed," Guterres told world leaders attending the 77th United Nations General Assembly, which returned in person for the first time in three years.

"We are gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction," he said, adding that the international community "is not ready or willing to tackle" these challenges.

In addition to Russia's war in Ukraine, the U.N. chief urged global leaders to address the looming climate crisis, gender inequality and extreme poverty. He also pushed them to invest in policies that promote peace around the world.

— Amanda Macias

WNBA players skip Russia in the offseason with Griner in jail

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, looks on inside a defendants' cage before a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia August 2, 2022.
Evgenia Novozhenina | Reuters

Brittney Griner's highly publicized legal woes in Russia and the country's invasion of Ukraine has the top WNBA players opting to take their talents elsewhere this offseason.

For the past few decades, Russia has been the preferred offseason destination for WNBA players to compete because of the high salaries that can exceed $1 million – nearly quadruple the base salary of top WNBA players -- and the resources and amenities teams offered them.

That all has come to an abrupt end.

"Honestly my ti