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- Ukrainian forces have forced Russian soldiers off Snake Island, a vital Black Sea location off the southern coast of Odesa, the Guardian noted. Russia portrayed the withdrawal from Snake Island, as a “goodwill gesture.” But Ukrainian military officials said the Russians evacuated the island in two speedboats following a barrage of artillery and missile attacks.
- Russia’s lower house of parliament granted final approval Thursday to a law that would authorize the prohibition of international news media in reaction to other nations’ moves against Russian news outlets, the Associated Press wrote.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia doesn’t care if Sweden and Finland join NATO but warns they will respond in kind to any “threats,” CNN reported. His comments came shortly after Turkey withdrew its objections to the two Nordic countries joining the military alliance.
- Ukraine announced it has secured the release of 144 Ukrainian soldiers Wednesday in the biggest prisoner swap since the start of Russia’s invasion in February, according to the Hill. According to Ukraine’s military intelligence service, 95 of the 144 troops freed guarded the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol.