A trio of human rights defenders in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine received the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo on Saturday in another rebuke of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. The honorees are Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, which is working to document alleged war crimes; the Russian human rights group Memorial; and Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski, who was imprisoned after criticizing President Alexander Lukashenko, a Putin ally.
On Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russia is adding to its nuclear stockpiles; the head of NATO said he worried that the conflict in Ukraine could spin “out of control.”
The comments follow a prisoner swap that secured the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian custody. Those negotiations did not thaw U.S.-Russian relations, Putin told a televised news conference Friday.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
But the president also faced opposition from his own Justice Department, which viewed Thursday’s one-for-one prisoner swap involving Griner and the notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout as a mistake given the discrepancy of offenses by the two prisoners, officials familiar with the matter said. Disagreements played out inside the administration and cut across familiar bureaucratic lines, senior officials said. Like others interviewed for this report, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested outside Moscow in February for possessing a small amount of cannabis oil. Bout, whose arms fueled conflicts from Sudan to Rwanda to Afghanistan to Angola, is nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” and his illicit transactions with violent regimes and militant groups earned him a 25-year sentence in federal prison.
Arelis R. Hernández and Andrew Jeong contributed to this report.