The most important events of the war in Ukraine:
08:03 | ISW: The Kremlin deliberately made two moves on the same day
The Kremlin tried to cover up a prisoner-of-war exchange with Ukraine by carrying out the exchange on the same day as a “partial mobilization” was announced, the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says in its latest review.
According to ISW, the decision was made because the exchange of prisoners of war is “highly unpopular among Russian nationalists and bloggers”, and the Kremlin has come under fire for it. And since the exchange of prisoners took place on the same day as the announcement of the mobilization, the latter received more attention and dissatisfaction from the population of the Russian Federation.
Analysts note that the Kremlin openly does not comply with the promised conditions of partial mobilization. Kremlin quotas are likely to force local authorities to mobilize men regardless of their military status, and may encourage disproportionate mobilization of ethnically non-Russian and immigrant communities.
The announcement of a partial mobilization and the apparent disregard even for the mobilization parameters dictated by the authorities may anger interested sections of the Russian public that were previously more tolerant of the Russian invasion of Ukraine when it affected their personal interests less.
Protests in Russia against mobilization:
07:32 | Many exchanged Ukrainian prisoners were tortured – Ukrainian official
Many Ukrainians exchanged in the largest prisoner swap with Russia were brutally tortured, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, said Thursday.
Ukraine announced on Wednesday that it had recaptured a record 215 prisoners in a prisoner swap with Russia, including soldiers who led the defense of the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol, a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.
“Many of them were brutally tortured,” K. Budanov said at the press conference. He did not detail the marks of torture.
“The physical condition of some of the returned Ukrainians is more or less normal, apart from chronic abuse in bad conditions,” Budanov said.
07:00 | Zelensky urges Russians to protest mobilization
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi on Thursday called on Russians to resist the partial mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin, which has already sparked protests and a new wave of exodus.
“55 thousand Russian soldiers were killed during these six months of war, V. Zelensky said in his statement. “You want more?” No? Then protest. Resist. run away Or give up [ukrainiečių kariuomenei].”
“You are already complicit in all these crimes, killing and torturing Ukrainians.” Because you kept quiet. Because you are silent,” V. Zelenskis said.
“And now it’s time for you to choose: for men in Russia, it’s a choice to die or live, to become crippled or to preserve health.” For women in Russia, the choice is to lose their husbands, sons, grandchildren forever, or to try to protect them from death, from war, from one person (V. Putin).”
06:39 | Bloomberg: EU countries want to impose upper limit on Russian oil prices within weeks
This information appeared in the context of the eighth package of sanctions against Russia being prepared by the EU.
As Bloomberg interviewees noted, despite new efforts by the European Commission and some member states, the plan faces many obstacles and a positive outcome is not a given. It is noted that decisions on sanctions require unanimity and are particularly difficult in this situation, as each EU member has its own energy needs.
Representatives of EU member states will meet with the European Commission at the weekend to discuss new sanctions, which could include additional sanctions on individuals and sectors such as technology and luxury goods, in addition to restricting oil supplies.
06:10 | Politico: Tank supply to Ukraine stalled due to logistical problems
The US and Germany are delaying the delivery of modern M-1 Abrams and Leopard tanks to Ukraine due to maintenance and logistical issues, Politico reports, citing its sources.
“The more modern American-made M-1 Abrams tanks and German-made Leopard tanks will be a powerful blow that will help the Ukrainian army to capture and hold more territory than the old Soviet tanks currently in use, experts and Ukrainian advisers say.
However, according to US officials, Ukrainian advisers and US congressional aides, top national security officials from both countries are hesitant to supply the tanks, in part due to training and logistical issues,” the publication said.
► Western experts believe that the partial mobilization announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday will prolong the war in Ukraine, but will not change the balance of power, and also warn against underestimating the Kremlin’s thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons.
► Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already resulted in damage for almost 1 trillion. US dollars, a Ukrainian government official said on Thursday.
► French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview aired Thursday that Ukraine’s allies must stand firm against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “blackmail.”
► The foreign ministers of the G-7 nations said they would seek further sanctions against Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of reservists for the war in Ukraine on Wednesday.
► Ukraine recovered a record number of 215 prisoners, including soldiers who led the defense of the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. 55 prisoners handed over to Russia, including Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin
► More than 1,300 people were arrested in Russia during demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin’s previously announced partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine, according to the non-governmental organization “OVD-Info”, which monitors the protests.
► In an extraordinary meeting, the foreign ministers of the European Union discussed the possibility of introducing new sanctions against Russia, after it declared partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine, the head of the bloc’s diplomacy said.