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Last Russo-Ukrainian War: What We Know on Day 212 of the Invasion | Ukraine

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the Russians to resist the partial military mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin, which sparked protests and a new exodus from Russia. The Ukrainian president said in his daily address on Thursday: “55,000 Russian soldiers have died in these six months of war… Do you want more? Nope? Then protest, retaliate, flee or surrender” to the Ukrainian army.

  • Thousands of men across Russia received drafts after the mobilization was announced. Among those called since Putin’s announcement on Wednesday were Russians detained while demonstrating against the mobilization, independent protest monitoring group OVD-Info said.

  • Traffic at Russian border crossings with Finland and Georgia has increased after the announcement of the mobilization raised fears that men of fighting age would be called up to the front in Ukraine. Prices for one-way flights from Moscow to the nearest foreign destinations have topped $5,000 (£4,435) with most airfares sold out for the coming days. Photos showed long traffic jams at border crossings with Finland and Georgia.

  • In response, Finland’s prime minister said his government was considering ways to sharply reduce Russian tourism and transit through Finland. “The will of the government is very clear: we believe that Russian tourism [to Finland] must be stopped, as well as transit through Finland,” Sanna Marin told reporters.

  • Kremlin dismisses reports of exodus of Russian men of fighting age as ‘exaggerated’. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also refused to deny Russian media reports that some anti-mobilization protesters arrested on Wednesday night had received draft papers, saying: ‘It’s not against the law’ .

  • Putin directs instructions to generals in the field, reported CNN. The Russian president’s direct orders to generals “hint at the dysfunctional command structure” that has plagued Russian forces on the battlefield, according to two sources close to US and Western intelligence who spoke to CNN.

  • NATO has condemned the “referendum” projects on joining the Russian Federation in Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine, calling them “flagrant attempts at territorial conquest” of Moscow. “Fake referendums” in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions have no legitimacy, the alliance said.

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants European Union sanctions against Russia to be lifted by the end of the yearsaid a pro-government daily. Orban, an ally of Putin, has frequently spoken out against sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

  • Many Ukrainians exchanged in largest prisoner swap with Russia since invasion began show signs of violent tortureUkraine’s military intelligence chief said on Thursday. On Wednesday, Ukraine announced the exchange of a record 215 imprisoned soldiers with Russia, including fighters who led the defense of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, which has become an icon of Ukrainian resistance.

  • British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he was “not surprised” that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left a meeting of the UN Security Council. “I don’t think Mr. Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this council,” Cleverly told the UN.

  • UN Secretary General António Guterres has strongly rebuked Russia for its “totally unacceptable” nuclear threats. Speaking at the start of a UN Security Council meeting the day after Putin raised the stakes of his invasion of Ukraine, António Guterres said Moscow’s plans to annex parts of Ukraine were a “violation of the UN charter and international law”.

  • Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, also denied reports that an undisclosed clause in Putin’s mobilization decree called for 1 million reservists to be drafted to fight in Ukraine. “It’s a lie,” Peskov said in response to a Novaya Gazeta report.

  • Five Britons freed from Russia reunited with their families after several months of captivity during which it was feared that they would be executed for having fought for Ukraine. An important diplomatic effort was at the origin of the release of the five Britons who, accompanied by two Americans, a Moroccan, a Croat and a Swede, were released on Wednesday by Russia to Saudi Arabia.

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