The Morning Dispatch: Putin Raises the Stakes in Ukraine

Happy Thursday! If you love the taste of tomatoes but have always wished they looked more like plums, we have some great news. Purple tomatoes—recently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—could soon be coming to a grocery store near you!

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Russia and Ukraine exchanged nearly 300 prisoners Wednesday in a swap mediated by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Ukraine released 55 Russians and pro-Moscow Ukrainians (including Vladimir Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk) while Russia released 10 foreigners (including two Americans) and 215 Ukrainians, mostly soldiers captured after the fall of Mariupol.

  • The German government said Wednesday it will nationalize gas giant Uniper, spending about $8 billion for a 99 percent stake to keep the company afloat and the country’s energy supply stable. Uniper—which reported more than $12.6 billion in losses during the first half of 2022—previously imported most of its gas from Russia, and has taken a financial hit this year as Moscow spiked prices further by throttling supply following sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

  • At least seven Iranians have now died during protests over the death of a young woman in police custody last week, according to human rights watchdog Hengaw. Mahsa Amini was detained for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code, and women have been publicly removing and burning their hijabs in protest, calling for regime change. Authorities have shut down internet access throughout the country, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi dismissed Western criticism of Iran’s human rights record while attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week.

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