India strongly calls for immediate cessation of all hostilities, violence in Ukraine
India on Thursday told the UN Security Council that the need of the hour is to end the conflict in Ukraine and return to dialogue and said the nuclear issue is a particular anxiety, underlining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion to Russian President Vladimir Putin that this cannot be an era of war. ”The trajectory of the Ukraine conflict is a matter of profound concern for the entire international community. The future outlook appears even more disturbing. The nuclear issue is a particular anxiety,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the 15-nation UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine Fight against impunity’.
Russian anti-draft protesters being ordered to enlist
Some Russians detained while protesting against President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation have been handed draft papers while in custody, the OVD-Info rights group said on Thursday. Since Putin on Wednesday announced the first large-scale mobilisation in Russia since World War Two, flights to leave the country have sold out and protests have been held. OVD-Info said at least 1,310 protesters had been detained, and some had been presented with summonses to enlist. The Russian law provides for lengthy, years-long prison terms and hefty fines for those dodging the draft without legal grounds for exemption.
Ukraine, US energy ministers discuss sanctions on Rosatom - Ukrainian energy ministry
Ukraine’s energy minister German Galushchenko discussed the possibility of sanctions on Russia’s nuclear power supplier Rosatom with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at takls in the United States, Ukraine’s energy ministry said on Thursday. "German Galushchenko emphasized that the Russian state corporation Rosatom takes direct part in the aggression against Ukraine and covers up acts of nuclear terrorism," the ministry wrote on its website.
Poland distributes iodine pills as fears grow over Ukraine nuclear plant
Poland, concerned about fighting around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, has distributed iodine tablets to regional fire departments to give to people in the event of radioactive exposure, a deputy minister said on Thursday. Iodine is considered a way of protecting the body against conditions such as thyroid cancer in case of radioactive exposure. Shelling at the site of Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant – has damaged buildings close to its six reactors and cut power cables, risking a nuclear catastrophe that would affect neighbouring countries. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the shelling around the plant.
Uzbekistan warns citizens not to join foreign armies amid Ukraine conflict
Uzbekistan’s state prosecutors warned citizens against joining foreign armies after Russia offered fast-track citizenship to those who sign up and Ukraine said it had captured Uzbeks fighting alongside Russians. Those fighting in military conflicts abroad faced criminal prosecution under Uzbek law, the Central Asian nation’s Prosecutor General’s office said in a statement late on Wednesday. Russia’s parliament passed a law this week offering fast-track citizenship to foreigners who join its army, part of a broader drive to strengthen the military amid the stalled Ukrainian campaign which also included partial mobilisation.
In Ukraine's retaken battlefields, soldiers recover bodies
The four soldiers lay in the grass, sleeping bags and cans of food, some opened, scattered around them. The men had been dead for months. This region near the Russian border was the site of fierce battles for months during the summer. Only now, after Ukrainian forces retook the area and pushed Russian troops back across the border in a blistering counteroffensive, has the retrieval of bodies scattered across the battlefield been possible. The area was of strategic importance as its high ground is among the positions where Russian artillery could easily strike Kharkiv, Ukraine’s hard-hit second-largest city, said Col. Vitalii Shum, deputy commander of the 3rd Brigade of Ukraine’s National Guard, whose team has been collecting the battlefield dead — both Ukrainian and Russian — for days.
Five UK prisoners released by Russia arrive in Britain
Five UK prisoners of war who were released by Russia as part of an exchange with Ukraine have arrived in Britain, non-profit organisation Presidium Network was reported as saying by the BBC on Thursday. The five are Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill.
Blast hits Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Melitopol on eve of referendums
A blast hit a crowded market in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol on Thursday, Ukrainian and Russian-installed officials said, on the eve of referendums that could see four regions effectively annexed by Russia. Ukrainian and Russian-installed officials traded blame for the explosion. Melitopol’s exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov said the attack had been deliberately staged by the occupying Russian forces in order to accuse Ukraine of terrorism. Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian-installed local administration, said the attack had been carried out by Ukrainian special services to intimidate civilians ahead of the referendums.
Russia confirms 55 servicemen freed in prisoner swap with Ukraine
Russia’s defence ministry said on Thursday that 55 of its servicemen had been returned to Russia in the largest prisoner exchange deal with Ukraine since the start of the war. In its daily briefing, the ministry said the fighters – from Russia’s armed forces and its proxies in the Russian-backed separatist regions of eastern Ukraine – had been transported to Russia by a military plane and were currently undergoing health checks. The swap was brokered by Saudi Arabia and comes just before referendums in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia that are likely to pave the wave for Russia to formally declare the annexation of more swathes of its neighbour.
French President Macron says goal is to obtain negotiated peace on Russia-Ukraine conflict
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the goal remained in place over obtaining a negotiated peace in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Macron also told French TV station BFM TV that France wanted Ukraine to resist attacks from Russia and for Ukraine to recover its sovereignty. Macron said earlier this week that plans announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare a partial military mobilisation linked to the war in Ukraine were a ”mistake” and will further isolate the country.
G7 countries agree on unity in Ukraine support, says Japan govt
Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies confirmed in a meeting in New York on Wednesday their cooperation in extending support for Ukraine and responding to food and energy security, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. The development came after President Vladimir Putin announced Russia's first wartime mobilisation since World War Two and moves to annex swaths of Ukrainian territory, and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
Russia were excluded from the qualifying draw for the 2024 European Championship with the national team still banned from all competition until further notice following the country's invasion of Ukraine, UEFA said on Tuesday. However, Belarus -- which has been a key staging area for the Russian invasion -- were included in the draw though UEFA said they cannot be placed in the same group as Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Mariupol defenders, Putin ally in prisoner swap
Ukraine announced a high-profile prisoner swap early Thursday that was the culmination of months of efforts to free many of the Ukrainian fighters who defended a steel plant in Mariupol during a long Russian siege. In exchange, Ukraine gave up an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Volodymr Zelenskyy said his government had won freedom from Russian custody for 215 Ukrainian and foreign citizens, with the help of Turkish and Saudi mediation efforts. He said many were soldiers and officers who had faced the death penalty in Russian-occupied territory.
As Putin escalates Ukraine war, China stands awkwardly by him
Xi Jinping is unlikely to abandon his "old friend" Vladimir Putin, even as the Russian leader's decision to send thousands more troops to Ukraine and his nuclear threats strain Beijing's "no limits" partnership with Moscow, experts said. China will instead dig in on its awkward stance of calling for dialogue and peaceful resolution while refusing to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, they said. On Thursday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that China would to stick to an "objective" and "fair" position.