Last minute of the war in Ukraine, live | Putin assures that Russia will “respond” if NATO deploys its military bases in Finland and Sweden | International

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What has happened in the last hours

On the 126th day of the war initiated by Russia against Ukraine, these are the key data at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29:

Ukraine announces the largest prisoner exchange with Russia since the beginning of the invasion. Ukraine announced this Wednesday the “largest exchange of prisoners” with Russia since the beginning of the invasion, more than four months ago. According to the Department of Military Intelligence, an agency of the Ministry of Defense, there have been 144 prisoners, of which 95 are part of the garrison that defended the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol for months. 43 of the returned prisoners are from the Azov regiment, which Moscow accuses of continuing to uphold a far-right ideology that, according to kyiv, it has lost.

US intelligence says the outlook for the war remains ‘pretty ominous’. The prospects of US intelligence on the war in Ukraine remain “quite ominous” because, according to them, Russian President Vladimir Putin “still has, in effect, the same political objectives as before, namely to conquer most of Ukraine “, said the director of National Intelligence of the USA, Avril Haines, at a conference this Wednesday.

Indonesian President visits kyiv. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, visited kyiv on Wednesday and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “I am grateful that in these difficult times for our country, we can see the support of his people and his country,” Zelensky said through his Telegram account. “This is the first visit of an Indonesian president to Ukraine.” They have accompanied Jokowi, his chief of staff and the Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi.

Canada and Latvia will lead an initiative to form a NATO brigade in the Baltic country, with the participation of Spain. Following the agreement between the NATO partners to strengthen the Alliance’s eastern borders with Russia, it is now time to put those commitments into practice. Canada has started this Friday with an agreement signed with Latvia to form a brigade (a military unit of between 3,000 and 5,500 soldiers) in the Baltic country that is “capable of combat”, as announced by the Canadian Defense Minister, Anita Anand.

The IAEA denounces having lost contact with a nuclear power plant controlled by Russia. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) denounced on Wednesday that it had again lost its remote connection with the Ukrainian Zaporiya nuclear power plant, controlled by Russian forces for four months. It is the second time this month that the transmission is lost.

Syria recognizes the secessionist republics of Donbas. The Syrian government is going to recognize the pro-Russian secessionist republics of Lugansk and Donetsk as independent states, the official Syrian agency SANA has announced, citing an official source from the Foreign Ministry. Damascus becomes the second member country of the United Nations that admits the secession of the States. The recognition by Russia, on February 22, was the initial step of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, two days later.

In the photo by Genya Savilov, for AFP, two volunteers rest in the rubble of the bombed-out shopping center in Kremenchuk, in Poltava province, where at least 18 people have died.

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