+++ News in the Ukraine war +++: New sanctions announced

Brussels wants to react to the partial mobilization with sanctions. Negotiations on a protection zone for Zaporizhia have started, according to the IAEA.

Three prisoners are released

Ukrainian POWs were released overnight in exchange for Russian prisoners Photo: State Security Service of Ukraine/rtr

Orbán wants the sanctions lifted by the end of 2022

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban calls for EU sanctions against Russia to be lifted by the end of the year at the latest. The punitive measures imposed on Moscow after the attack on Ukraine were "forced on the Europeans by the Brussels bureaucrats," said the right-wing populist, according to the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet.

Orbán spoke on Wednesday evening at a faction meeting of the governing party Fidesz in Lake Balaton Bad Balatonalmadi. "The sanctions cause economic problems, the energy crisis and inflation," he said.

Orbán maintains a good relationship with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. He has supported the EU sanctions against Russia so far. At the same time, he was able to obtain an exemption from the oil embargo for his country. The sanctions decisions of the EU require unanimity among the member states. Hungary has been a member of the EU since 2004. (dpa)

The EU wants to tighten sanctions against Russia

Ministers of the 27 EU member states agreed on this at an informal meeting a few hours after the first Russian war mobilization since World War II on Wednesday. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters in New York that states had made the political decision to take new sectoral and individual measures. In addition, the EU will continue to support Ukraine with more weapons. (rtr)

IAEA: "Real negotiations" on protection zone for nuclear power plants

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has "real negotiations" with Russia and Ukraine to establish a safe zone for nuclear weapons, according to Director Rafael Grossi the embattled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant recorded. On the fringes of the general debate at the UN General Assembly in New York, among other meetings, he met both Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Grossi told journalists in New York on Wednesday. "The wheels are in motion."

There is no concrete result yet, Grossi said, but he has the impression that there is a conviction on all sides that the establishment of such a protection zone is essential. Because the situation around the Ukrainian nuclear power plant has deteriorated further and is causing him "huge concern", urgency is needed, said Grossi. "We have to decide that as soon as possible." He hopes that he will soon be able to travel to Ukraine and then to Russia to continue negotiations.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since the beginning of March. With its six reactors and a net output of 5700 megawatts, it is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Moscow and Kyiv blame each other for the recent shelling of the facility. An accumulation of incidents that led to the shutdown of reactors and power outages had increased international concern about a nuclear catastrophe. (dpa)

A UN special tribunal to punish Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls for a UN special tribunal to punish Russia. "A special tribunal should be established to try Russia for the crime of aggression against our state," Zelensky said in a pre-recorded video address to the United Nations on Wednesday. In addition, the UN should withdraw Russia's right of veto as a member of the Security Council. Russia must use its wealth to pay for the war against Ukraine. (rtr)

Partial mobilization: weaken rather than strengthen?

the Partial mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists For the war against Ukraine, the Russian troops could be weakened rather than strengthened in the opinion of the German Reservists Association. "Sending such poorly prepared soldiers into a war is inhuman and will be a military disaster for Russia," said the President of the Reservists Association, Patrick Sensburg , the newspapers of the editorial network Germany according to a preliminary report. Reservists also need to be well trained and prepared. It takes weeks for that. With a partial mobilization, the Russian President Vladimir Putin could not replace the large number of dead and retiring soldiers. (rtr)

Great exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kyiv

After nearly seven months of war, Ukraine and Russia have announced a major prisoner swap. 205 Ukrainians returned from Russian captivity, as the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak, announced on Thursday night. The Moscow-controlled separatists in eastern Ukraine released ten foreigners who were flown to Riyadh after mediation by Saudi Arabia.

According to Yermak, Ukraine released 55 Russian soldiers who had been captured in the offensive in the Kharkiv region in early September. Accordingly, the arrested pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, a confidante of President Vladimir Putin, was also allowed to leave the country.

According to Yermak, the Ukrainian returnees included the commanders of the defense of Mariupol, who had been entrenched in the Azovstal steel works and resisted the Russian conquerors until mid-May. "Our heroes are free," he wrote on Telegram.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the exchange was mediated by Turkey, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday evening. Erdogan called the agreement an "important step" towards ending the war in Ukraine. (dpa)

More than 1,000 arrested during protests in Russia

At demonstrations According to activists, more than 1,000 people have been arrested across the country against the partial mobilization in Russia. At least 1,054 arrests were made during spontaneous protests in at least 38 cities on Wednesday, according to the organization OVD-Info, which documents arrests in Russia. These are the largest protests in Russia since the demonstrations that took place at the end of February after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

Journalists from the AFP news agency observed dozens of arrests in the capital Moscow and in the second largest city, St. Petersburg, in the evening. At least 50 people were arrested on a shopping street in central Moscow, AFP reporters observed. In downtown St. Petersburg, police filled an entire bus with detainees.

The demonstrators shouted "No to war" and "No to mobilization". "Everyone is afraid," said protester Vasily Fedorov in St. Petersburg. "I am for peace and I don't want to have to shoot." But in Russia it is "very dangerous" to take to the streets for these demands - "otherwise there would have been many more people".

“Why are you serving Putin? A man who has sat on his throne for 20 years,” another protester shouted at police officers. "I'm afraid for myself and for my brother, who is 25 years old and did his military service," said student Oksana Sidorenko. "He can be drafted."

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday a partial mobilization of Russians of military age. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, around 300,000 reservists are to be sent to reinforce the Russian and separatist forces in eastern and southern Ukraine. According to Shoigu, up to 25 million people could be mobilized - this is the total number of reservists in Russia. (afp)

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