- On Wednesday, Russia and Ukraine carried out the largest prisoner swap since the war began - almost 300 people were exchanged, including 10 foreigners and the commanders who led the Ukrainian defense of Mariupol earlier this year. The swap, which was organized with the help of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, saw 215 Ukrainian fighters released by Russia and 55 pro-Russia fighters released by Ukraine.
- Elsewhere, at the UN, US President Joe Biden condemned Russia. He claimed that Moscow has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine, and that nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
- Meanwhile, protests have erupted across Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a "partial mobilization," with at least 1,252 people from 38 cities being detained according to OVD-Info, a human rights watchdog that monitors police activity.
- In Ukraine a representative for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Russian agents have infiltrated Ukraine’s defense sector to pass information to Moscow and allow Russia to anticipate Ukrainian moves on the battlefield. According to the Ukrainian army, approximately 55,510 personnel, 2,236 tanks, and 4,776 armored personnel vehicles have already been lost since the start of the war.
- Finally, plans for referendums on joining the Russian federation are still set to take place in occupied territories in Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and PM, has said “referendums will be held, and the Donbas republics and other territories will be admitted to Russia. Any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, could be used [to protect them].”
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by PBS NewsHour. This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after an election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by National Security Archive. NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.