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The largest prisoner exchange with Russia since the beginning of the war

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The largest prisoner exchange with Russia since the beginning of the war

Russia and Ukraine exchange 400 prisoners. Ukrainian border guards stop fleeing men. All information in the news blog.

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The largest prisoner exchange since the beginning of the war

9:24 pm: According to consistent information, Russia and Ukraine once again exchanged prisoners of war. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that 248 of its soldiers were released after mediation from the United Arab Emirates. For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about the presence of more than 200 Ukrainian prisoners.

Neither country has announced a prisoner exchange for nearly five months. Kiev accused Moscow of obstructing such agreements for political reasons. „There was a long pause in exchanges, but there was no pause in negotiations,” Zelensky stressed. The fact that these steps have now worked is “good news.”

According to Moscow, the exchange was “the result of a difficult negotiation process” that took place with the assistance of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE said that the agreement reflects its “strong friendly relations” with both Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainian border guards stop the fleeing men by firing warning shots

4:10 PM: Ukrainian border guards prevented twelve conscripts from fleeing the war-torn country by firing warning shots. Authorities in Kiev said the incident occurred on the border with Hungary. All twelve come from the Zakarpattia region bordering Hungary. The refugees had previously paid a local expert the equivalent of 285 euros per person for the trip to the border. The driver was also arrested a short time later. The men face fines for trying to cross the border. The escape assistant faces up to nine years in prison.

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Meanwhile, other refugees subject to military service were stopped at the border with Moldova. They were discovered using a reconnaissance drone.

Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country. However, more than 700,000 Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 64 are now registered as refugees in the EU.

Gazprom supplies China with record amounts of gas

3:59 PM: Energy giant Gazprom said it set a new daily record for gas shipments to China. The state-controlled company announced that the previous day, more gas was transported to the neighboring country in a single day via the Power of Siberia pipeline than ever before.

In addition, Gazprom will deliver 22.7 billion cubic meters of gas via the pipeline in 2023, almost 1.5 times more than in the previous year. The West imposed strict restrictions on its gas imports from Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The federal government refuses to provide Taurus cruise missiles

3:45 PM: The German government condemns recent Russian air strikes on Ukraine as a “war crime,” but continues to refuse to supply it with Taurus cruise missiles. Government spokesman Stephen Hebstreit in Berlin says: “There is no new situation” in this regard.

At the same time, he stressed that Russia's actions would be „strongly” condemned by Germany. “Large-scale attacks on civilian infrastructure are a war crime and absolutely despicable,” Hebstreit says.

The European Union places the Russian diamond production company Alrosa on the sanctions list

Poland demands long-range missiles for Ukraine

8:56 AM: In light of the recent increased Russian air strikes on Ukraine, Poland is urging the West to provide the leadership in Kiev with long-range missiles. “We have to respond to the latest attack on Ukraine in a language that Putin understands,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski wrote in SMS X.

With more long-range missiles, Ukraine could eliminate Russian missile and drone launch sites as well as command centers behind the front. Sikorsky is also calling for tougher sanctions so that Russia cannot produce new weapons with smuggled components.

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Donald Trump: The Supreme Court is considering his immunity on election fraud charges | Policy

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Donald Trump: The Supreme Court is considering his immunity on election fraud charges |  Policy

Könnten der Wahlbetrugs-Prozess gegen Donald Trump jetzt alle platzen? Der Ex-Präsident hatte sich in dem Verfahren an den Obersten Gerichtshof in Washington gewandt und auf Immunität gepocht.

Begründung: als Präsident habe er damals für seine Handlungen im Amt Immunität genossen. Seine Handlungen haben sich aus seinen Pflichten als Staatschef ergeben, argumentieren seine Anwälte.

Jetzt will das höchste US-Gericht diese Berufung im April prüfen. Sollten die Richter Trump recht geben, könnte der Staatsanwalt Jack Smith seine Anklage in den Papierkorb werfen müssen. Damit wäre dann wohl auch der Versuch gescheitert, Trump von der Wahlliste zu streichen und noch vor der US-Wahl im November zu stoppen.

So oder so wird das Verfahren den Beginn eines Prozesses gegen Trump weit nach hinten hinaus verzögern – gegebenenfalls bis nach den Wahlen. Somit ist diese Entscheidung ein Erfolg für den Ex-Präsidenten. Das zuständige Gericht hat bereits die Eröffnung von anfangs geplant März auf unbestimmte Zeit verschoben.

Trump ist in der US-Hauptstadt Washington im Zusammenhang mit versuchtem Wahlbetrug angeklagt. Seine Anhänger Trumps stürmten am 6. Januar 2021 den Parlamentssitz in Washington während der Kongress Trumps Gegner Joe Biden offiziell als Sieger der Wahl bestätigte. Trump hatte zuvor in einer Rede seine Anhänger in einer hitzigen Rede aufgewiegelt. Bei dem Sturm auf das Capitol kamen fünf Menschen zu Tode.

Hunderte Trump-Anhänger stürmten am 6. Januar 2021 das US-Capitol

Foto: SAUL LOEB/AFP

Das Gericht will nun prüfen, „ob und wenn ja, in welchem Umfang ein ehemaliger Präsident Immunität vor strafrechtlicher Verfolgung für Verhaltensweisen genießt, die mutmaßlich mit Amtshandlungen während seiner Amtszeit zusammenhängen“. Sowohl Staatsanwaltschaft als auch Trumps Lager werden in dem Verfahren im April angehört.

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Laut dem Nachrichtenportal „MSNBC“ soll die Anhörung in der Woche vom 22. April stattfinden. Es kann danach Wochen dauern, bis es zu einer Entscheidung kommt.

Diese Entscheidung hat auch immense Bedeutung für künftige Präsidenten. Sollten diese wirklich Immunität genießen, könnten sie möglicherweise Straftaten im Amt begehen, ohne Konsequenzen fürchten zu müssen.

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The frigate „Hessen” inadvertently fires on an ally's drone

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The frigate „Hessen” inadvertently fires on an ally's drone
outside European Union military mission

The frigate „Hessen” inadvertently fires on an ally's drone

The frigate “Hassin” shoots down two Houthi drones

The Hessen frigate, which was deployed in the Red Sea to protect commercial ships, repelled the first attack by the Houthi militia operating from Yemen. WELT correspondent Max Hermes reports from Tel Aviv on current developments.

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The first live use of weapons by the frigate „Hessen” in the Red Sea was successful. On Tuesday evening, two enemy air targets were attacked. Another drone cannot be shot down previously. It later turned out that it appeared to be an American drone.

DrThe German frigate Hessen inadvertently fired on an allied nation's drone during its operation in the Red Sea. Defense Ministry spokesman Michael Stempfel reported on Wednesday that the German warship had already spotted a drone in the area of ​​operations on Monday that could not initially be assigned to any of the allied nations. Hess then tried to shoot down this drone, but was unsuccessful. He added: „The case was solved because it was not an enemy drone, which did not become clear until later.”

Stempfle did not say which country this drone was later assigned to. However, he explicitly confirmed that before the bombing, Hesse requested all allied countries, and no country announced the presence of its own drone in the area of ​​operations. Only later did it emerge that it was an unreported drone. It is known that there are American combat drones in the region that are not related to the operation in the Red Sea.

How the drone was shot down is now being investigated. According to the industry blog „augengeradeaus.net”, it is an American MQ-9 drone, which is also often referred to as the Reaper. According to available information, it was traveling in airspace without operating the identification friend-foe (IFF) transceiver and without knowledge of the operations centers of warships of other states.

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Houthi attacks in the Red Sea

A short while ago, it was learned that the frigate “Hessen”, which was used to protect commercial ships, repelled an attack by the Houthi militias operating from Yemen for the first time on Tuesday evening and shot down two drones. According to X's account „The German Army in Action”, there were two drones. Consequently, there were no casualties or property damage on board the ship.

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According to the industry blog, these drones were shot down with the frigate's 76mm gun and a RAM (airframe missile system). This indicates that the drones have already gotten relatively close to the naval vessel, because these weapons are designed for so-called close range.

Pistorius: The early deployment of the Hessen frigate was the right thing to do

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) explained that the early deployment proved successful by shooting down two enemy drones on Tuesday evening. The first drone was initially spotted and intercepted around 8 p.m. 15 minutes later, a second missile „that was approaching the ship” was successfully intercepted, Pistorius said on Wednesday during a visit to troops in Oberwischtach in Bavaria. According to its mission, the frigate was patrolling the southern Red Sea in the area assigned to it at that time.

The minister confirmed that another incident had occurred the night before, “in which there was also shooting, but no one was injured,” he said. It was a reconnaissance drone. Hessen has contacted all interested parties. “In the end there was no shooting.”

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius speaks aboard the ship

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius speaks on board the ship „Hessen” with Commander Volker Kubsch and Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, FDP defense expert

Source: Photo Alliance/DPA/Michael Fischer

„Hessen” has been participating in the European Union operation to protect commercial ships in the Red Sea since Friday. „Hessen” had previously departed from Wilhelmshaven towards the area of ​​operations with the aim of being able to begin implementing the order immediately after the Bundestag's decision. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the operation would contribute to stability in the region. The operation is considered the most dangerous naval mission in the history of the German Army.

The Iran-aligned militia wants to use attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea to force an end to the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, which comes in response to the terrorist attack launched by the Islamist Hamas movement on October 7.

The Houthi militia said last week that it wants to expand its attacks on commercial ships off the coast of the country. The group's leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, said in a televised speech that they are counting on escalation in response to the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip. So far, 48 ships have been attacked. He also announced the use of underwater weapons.

The sea route through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal is one of the most important trade routes in the world. Due to attacks by the Houthis, who are armed by Iran, major shipping companies are increasingly avoiding the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe – which is greatly affecting the global economy.

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War | The revolutionaries will likely blow up Putin's headquarters in Kherson

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War |  The revolutionaries will likely blow up Putin's headquarters in Kherson

A building belonging to Putin's party in southern Ukraine was damaged by explosions. Macron's Foreign Minister is trying to contain the excitement surrounding the presidential initiative. More information in the news blog.

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Von der Leyen wants to help Ukraine with frozen Russian funds

9:57 AM: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the available profits from frozen Russian assets to be transferred to Ukraine. In a speech to the European Parliament, she called for the funds to be used to purchase military equipment for Ukraine. She says this is the best way to use the money to make Ukraine and the whole of Europe safer.

The Chinese representative travels to Ukraine, Russia and Germany

9:22 AM: China's special envoy for Eurasian affairs is scheduled to visit Russia, Ukraine, Germany and the European Union in Brussels this week for talks on the war in Ukraine. Envoy Li Hui's trip represents „the second round of shuttle diplomacy to find a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis,” as the Chinese Foreign Ministry explained. Accordingly, the Special Representative will also travel to France and Poland.

Experts: Russia is making more progress on Avdiivka

8:01 AM: Russia is trying to maintain the momentum of its offensive around the recently captured city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. This is what military analysts at the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote. The Russian Armed Forces appear to be „maintaining a relatively high pace of their offensive operations.” These aim to „advance as far as possible into the Avdiivka area before Ukrainian forces establish more closed and impenetrable defense lines in this area,” the analysis said.

A Ukrainian military spokesman recently said that Russia is working to transform its units in the region from smaller shock forces into larger battle groups and even companies. “Russian forces are currently focusing their attacks west of Avdiivka in the direction of Berdichi, Orlivka and Toninki,” the Institute for the Study of War wrote. In this area, Ukrainian positions are “disappointing” and “problematic,” say Ukrainian military observers, according to the Institute for War Studies report.

However, the difficult terrain with waterways to the west of Avdiivka could soon slow the Russian advance, according to the Institute for the Study of War. This may allow the Ukrainian Armed Forces to expand their defensive positions.

Rebels will likely blow up Putin's headquarters in southern Ukraine

Russian presidential elections began on Sunday in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson. The National Resistance Center wrote on its website that „the resistance movement forces directed 'peace' to the occupiers and stopped the fake 'elections' in the occupied city.” According to the information, Russia is trying to hide the fact that the explosions were the work of partisans: “In order not to spread panic, the Russians are currently claiming that an alleged drone hit the building, although this is not true.”

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