Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

The EU wants to react harshly to Russia's partial mobilization. Whether new sanctions can be decided also depends on Hungary. Can Moscow even activate 300,000 men? The news at a glance.

The EU wants to impose further sanctions on the partial mobilization of Russia Ukraine-War react. "It is clear that Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell after a special meeting of EU foreign ministers on the fringes of the UN General Assembly in New York.

At the same time, Hungary is leaving the EU sanctions front and is demanding that they be lifted by the end of the year. According to Western military experts, the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists ordered by Moscow could Russia create more problems than benefits.

EU seeks new sanctions

"We will take new restrictive measures at both personal and sectoral levels," said Borell. This should be done in coordination with the international partners. The punitive measures would have further implications for the Russian economy, such as the technology sector. In addition, Borrell said that Ukraine should receive more weapons.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote to CNN after an interview with the US broadcaster that it was about sanctions against Russian individuals and entities inside and outside Russia and additional export controls on civilian technology.

Hungary wants sanctions lifted

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is calling 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. The sanctions caused economic problems, the energy crisis and inflation, he said.

Orban 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.

MPs should report for military service

After the order for partial mobilization, the head of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, called on the deputies of the State Duma to take part in the war in Ukraine. "Anyone who meets the requirements of partial mobilization should help by participating in the military special operation," said the Duma chief in his Telegram news channel.

"There is no protection for MPs." Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered partial mobilization on Wednesday. 300,000 reservists with combat experience are to be drafted. The head of parliament was reacting to the not uncommon opinion in parliamentary circles that Putin's call for national defense does not apply to them.

Doubts about Russia's partial mobilization capabilities

Western military experts doubt that Russia's partial mobilization will quickly turn the tide of war in Ukraine in its favor. "Russia's partial mobilization will not deprive Ukraine of an opportunity to liberate more occupied territory by and during the winter," according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Military expert Mick Ryan wrote on Twitter that Russian troops were exhausted after eight months of combat.

The British Ministry of Defense said Russia will likely face logistical and administrative challenges even to muster the 300,000 troops. In the hope of generating combat power, President Vladimir Putin is taking a considerable political risk.

After protests more than 1300 people in custody

According to civil rights activists, the police held more than 1,300 people in custody on Thursday morning after protests against partial mobilization in Russia. In the capital Moscow alone, there were around 530 protesters and 480 in Saint Petersburg, according to the civil rights portal OVD-Info.

The state did not provide any information about the protests. At the first major rallies of the Russian anti-war movement since March, young people took to the streets in many cities on Wednesday, including many women who feared for the lives of their husbands, brothers and sons.

Guterres, Turkey criticize mock referendums

UN Secretary-General António Guterres sees the referenda supported by Russia in several areas of eastern Ukraine as a possible breach of international law. "Any annexation of the territory of a state by another state due to the threat or use of force is a violation of the UN Charter and international law," Guterres said at a special session of the UN Security Council on the Ukraine war.

Turkey also condemned Russia's plans. "We are concerned about attempts to hold unilateral referendums in some regions of Ukraine," the Foreign Ministry said. Such "illegitimate facts" are not recognized by the international community. "On the contrary, they will complicate efforts to revive the diplomatic process and deepen instability." Turkey stands for the "territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty" of Ukraine.

Lavrov initially stays away from the UN Security Council

Ahead of an eagerly awaited meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in the UN Security Council, Kiev's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that he intends to keep a "safe distance" from his counterpart Sergey Lavrov. "I will keep a safe distance from him," Kuleba replied before the panel's meeting in New York when asked by a journalist how he would behave towards Lavrov. The answer was also an allusion to the long-recommended safety distance due to the corona pandemic.

On the fringes of the 77th general debate of the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council is dealing with the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. It had been expected that his Russian counterpart, Lavrov, would take part alongside Kuleba, but he did not show up at first, being represented by Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin.

Brits back home after prisoner exchange

Five Britons have returned home after months in captivity by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The men landed at London Heathrow Airport on Thursday, the BBC reported. There they would have seen their families again. They were "looking forward to normality with their families after this terrible ordeal," said Dominik Byrne of the Presidium Network organization, which supports the relatives.

In video taken on the plane, one of the men sentenced to death in a show trial by the separatists for mercenary activity said: "We got away with it again."

Selenskyjs wants a special tribunal - the EU Commission is reluctant

The EU Commission reacted cautiously to the Ukrainian demand for a special tribunal because of the Russian war of aggression. "Those responsible for the war crimes committed in Ukraine must be held accountable," said a spokesman for the agency in Brussels. According to him, the commission is initially relying on the support of the Ukrainian criminal justice system in order to deal with "the atrocities committed in Ukraine".

At the international level, it is important to first use the "existing framework, in particular the International Criminal Court". Ukraine is encouraged to ratify the Rome Statute - the court's basic treaty, the spokesman said. That would allow the International Criminal Court to prosecute the crime of aggression.


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