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War in Ukraine: Russia exchanges 215 prisoners, the EU considers new sanctions

At the UN tribune, Joe Biden focused his blows on Russia on Wednesday.

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War in Ukraine: Russia exchanges 215 prisoners, the EU considers new sanctions

At the UN tribune, Joe Biden focused his blows on Russia on Wednesday. The American president accused Moscow of having "brazenly violated" the founding principles of the United Nations Charter. At the same time, kyiv and Moscow carried out an exchange of military prisoners, the largest since the start of the offensive at the end of February, including five British and two Americans.

"We have managed to free 215 people," Ukrainian presidential administration chief Andriy Yermak said Wednesday evening. kyiv has notably recovered, among them, 188 "heroes" who defended the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, a symbol of resistance to the Russian invasion. To these are added five military commanders, including chiefs of the defense of Azovstal, as well as ten prisoners of war, including five British and two Americans transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia.

For its part, Russia has recovered 55 prisoners, including former MP Viktor Medvedchuk, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, accused of high treason in Ukraine, said Volodymyr Zelensky in his daily address. Negotiations on their exchange were "the longest, the most difficult", added the Ukrainian president.

As several heads of state and government did before him on Tuesday, Joe Biden attacked Russia head-on, which announced the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists and brandished the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. "This war destroys Ukraine's right to exist, quite simply," said the American president.

Dressed in his usual khaki t-shirt, the Ukrainian president demanded, in a 20-minute video shown before the assembly, the establishment of a special tribunal and a compensation fund for victims. He also called on the UN to deprive Russia of its right of veto in the Security Council.

"We are ready for peace. But an honest and just peace", he added, listing the ingredients of his "recipe" for peace, from "retribution" against Russia to the restoration of territorial integrity of his country through "security guarantees". "The world is on our side," he said during the speech, which received applause from many delegates, some of them standing, in the room in New York.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, said on Wednesday evening that the 27 were examining new sanctions against Russia after the "escalation" announced by Moscow. "We will continue to increase our military aid and study new restrictive measures" against Russia, he said. The statement came after an informal extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers in New York, where they adopted a statement "strongly condemning Russia's latest escalation".

At the same time, British Prime Minister Liz Truss promised military aid to Ukraine until victory. "At this critical moment in the conflict, I promise that we will maintain or increase our military support for Ukraine for as long as necessary (...). We will only be quiet when Ukraine has triumphed", a- she assured the tribune of the United Nations. The Prime Minister also pledged that "the United Kingdom will spend 3% of its GDP on defense by 2030, preserving (its) leading position as a security player in Europe".

"No to war!"; “No mobilization!”. Those words echoed across the country on Wednesday following the Kremlin leader's speech calling for the partial mobilization of Russians to wage war in Ukraine. According to OVD-Info, an organization specializing in counting arrests, the mobilizations took place in at least 38 cities in the country. These are the largest protests in Russia since those following the announcement of Moscow's offensive in Ukraine in late February.

In a joint statement adopted after a meeting in New York, the foreign ministers of Germany, Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Ukraine as well as representatives of the South Korea, the United States and Switzerland "forcefully underlined that Russia's seizure and militarization of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is the root cause of the current threats to nuclear safety and security ". "We recall that the increased risk of a nuclear accident will remain dangerously high as long as Russia is present at the Zaporizhia site," they said.

The IAEA director said he had a discussion on the subject with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom he met on Wednesday morning on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. "As long as the shelling continues, the risks are enormous," he added. Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday accused Russia of having again bombed the site of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, while ensuring that the radiation rate in this installation did not exceed the norm.

An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts arrived on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday after taking off from Russia, a trip that represents a rare sign of cooperation between Moscow and Washington.

The Soyuz rocket, with the crew on board, took off at the scheduled time, 3:54 p.m. (French time) from the Russian Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft, with American Frank Rubio of NASA and Russians Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Peteline of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, docked with the ISS about three hours later, the US space agency said in a statement. Frank Rubio is the first American astronaut to travel to the ISS on a Russian rocket since Moscow troops entered Ukraine.

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