Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has called on the international community to adopt a five-point formula to achieve peace and security in Ukraine, in a wide-ranging and impassioned televised speech to the UN general assembly on Wednesday. The points include punishment for crimes of aggression, protection of life, restoration of security and territorial integrity, security guarantees and the determination of Ukraine to continue defending itself.
More than 1,300 protesters have been arrested in anti-mobilisation rallies that are taking place throughout Russia. According to OVD-Info, more than 1,311 people have been detained in 38 cities across Russia, with most of the detainees in Moscow and St Petersburg.
North Korea has said it has never supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia and does not plan to do so in the future, according to a statement released by the state media service, KCNA.
Russia has released 215 Ukrainians it took prisoner after a protracted battle for the port city of Mariupol earlier this year, including top military leaders, a senior official in Kyiv said. The freed Ukrainians included the commander and deputy commander of the Azov battalion that did much of the fighting, said Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office.
Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Russian-occupied Melitipol in Ukraine, has urged local men to evacuate the city amid mobilisation orders from Russia, the Kyiv Independent reports.
Finland said it was working on a federal strategy to “limit or completely prevent” tourism from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. “This national solution may include new legislation, which would be adopted very quickly,” the foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, told a press conference on Wednesday.
Five British nationals held by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine have been safely returned, the UK prime minister, Liz Truss, has said. Among those released was Aiden Aslin, a British-Ukrainian former care worker from Nottinghamshire.
The Saudi foreign ministry said Russia had released 10 foreign prisoners of war captured in Ukraine after mediation by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. US citizens Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh were among those released.
Joe Biden has denounced Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons as “reckless” and “irresponsible” and called Russia’s planned annexation of more regions of Ukraine as “an extremely significant violation” of the UN charter. The US president was speaking to the UN general assembly, where he sought to galvanise the outrage of UN member states at the threat that Putin’s actions and “imperial ambitions” posed to the UN’s founding values.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilisation in Russia in a significant escalation that places the country’s people and economy on a wartime footing and sent shock waves across Russia. The Russian president said in a televised address that the “partial mobilisation” was a direct response to the dangers posed by the west. According to the decree, the contracts of soldiers fighting in Ukraine will also be extended until the end of the partial mobilisation period.
Liz Truss and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said Putin’s speech on Wednesday was “a statement of weakness”. They said in a joint statement following a meeting between the pair in New York that Putin’s calls for partial mobilisation were “a sign that Russia’s invasion is failing”.
Russia fired a series of long-range missiles at Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv early on Wednesday, hours after the Kremlin announced plans to annex Ukrainian territory and to carry out the partial mobilisation. Explosions were heard across Kharkiv at around 2am. At least one missile struck a high-rise apartment in the western Zalutino district. Ten residents were injured.
The security service of Ukraine has released a recording of an intercepted call by a Russian soldier in which he appears to complain about the setbacks faced by Russian troops in recent months. “Locals hate us here. Ours rape local women,” the soldier appeared to say into the phone, adding there was little to no chance of him returning home anytime soon..