LIVE – Updated at 21:02
Queues seen at Russia’s land borders and flights sell out as Moscow begins drafting citizens into army to fight in Ukraine.
It’s slightly past 11pm in Kyiv. Here’s where things stand:
Russian president Vladimir Putin is giving directions directly to generals in the field, CNN reports. According to two sources familiar with American and western intelligence that spoke to CNN, the direct orders from Putin to generals “hints at the dysfunctional command structure” that has affected Russia forces on the battlefield.
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban wants EU sanctions on Russia lifted by the end of the year, a pro-government daily newspaper said Thursday. Orban, who has sought close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin in recent years, has frequently railed against the sanctions which were imposed onto Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Many of the Ukrainians exchanged in the largest prisoner swap with Russia since the beginning of the invasion show signs of violent torture, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence said Thursday. On Wednesday Ukraine announced the exchange of a record-high 215 imprisoned soldiers with Russia, including fighters who led the defence of Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks that became an icon of Ukrainian resistance.
Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly, said that he is not surprised that that Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of a UN security council meeting. “I’m not surprised,” Cleverly said at the UN, saying, “I don’t think Mr. Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this council.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin is giving directions directly to generals in the field, CNN reports.
According to two sources familiar with American and western intelligence that spoke to CNN, the direct orders from Putin to generals “hints at the dysfunctional command structure” that has affected Russia forces on the battlefield.
Other sources who are familiar with US intelligence told CNN that there are significant disagreements on strategy with military leaders who struggle to agree on where to focus their efforts in Ukraine.
Additionally, a senior NATO official told the outlet that senior officials in Moscow are struggling to assign blame for Russia’s setbacks in the war.
“Kremlin officials and state media pundits have been feverishly discussing the reasons for the failure in Kharkiv and in typical fashion, the Kremlin seems to be attempting to deflect the blame away from Putin and onto the Russian military,” the official said.