Ukraine is demanding that Chancellor Scholz deliver German tanks and is asking the West for air defense systems. Heavy fighting continues in the east of the country. The developments at a glance.
Ukraine is urging additional and faster arms shipments from the west amid heavy fighting in the east of the country. After Russian rocket attacks in the night, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj again asked for modern air defense systems.
According to a media report, the Ukraine is hoping that the forthcoming visit by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Kyiv will result in the immediate delivery of German tanks.
“Unfortunately, without German heavy weapons, we will not be able to break Russia’s massive military superiority and save the lives of soldiers and civilians,” said Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk to the German Press Agency. “The Ukrainians expect that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will announce a new aid package for German armaments during his visit to Kyiv, which should definitely include Leopard 1 main battle tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles that can be delivered immediately.”
Zelenskyj: Modern air defense could have saved lives
Since the Russian invasion in February, Ukrainian cities have been hit by more than 2,600 enemy missiles, Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Sunday. “These are lives that could have been saved, tragedies that could have been avoided – if Ukraine had been heard.” The country asked for modern air defense systems before the war, which could have been delivered years ago, Zelensky said.
In the embattled areas of eastern Ukraine, Russian troops continued to try to advance toward cities like Bakhmut, Sloviansk and Lysychansk, Zelenskyy said. In the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk, there is “literally a fight for every meter”. According to information from Saturday, Ukrainian troops controlled around a third of the city at the time.
Klitschko insists on support before a possible Scholz visit
Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko has high expectations of a possible visit by Chancellor Scholz to the Ukrainian capital. According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the SPD politician is planning a joint trip with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in June. “We need tough support sanctions and weapons from the three leaders of the most important countries as soon as possible,” Klitschko told the “Bild”.
He assumes that the dramatic situation in Ukraine would become clearer through a visit. “I think you can understand the situation better when you’ve seen cities like Butscha with your own eyes,” said Klitschko. He also sees the capital still in danger of being attacked by Russia. “Kyiv was a target and Kyiv remains a target.”
Amnesty: Scores of dead civilians from cluster munitions
According to research by Amnesty International, Russian troops have killed numerous civilians in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv by using banned cluster munitions in violation of international law. “In Kharkiv, people were killed in their homes and on the streets while they visited playgrounds with their children, commemorated their relatives in cemeteries, while queuing for aid deliveries or while shopping,” reported Janine Uhlmannsiek from the German branch of Amnesty International. Cluster munitions are rockets and bombs that burst while still in the air over the target, releasing a large number of small explosive devices.
Hackers bring criticism of war to Russian TV websites
Unknown hackers placed a message against the war in Ukraine on Russian state television websites. On the streaming portal “Smotrim.ru”, for example, the text “Putin destroys Russians and Ukrainians! Stop the war!”, as reported by Internet users.
State television later admitted a hacker attack that displayed “content with extremist calls” for less than an hour. Russia describes the war of aggression in Ukraine as a “special military operation”. Deviating from the official line is punishable as spreading alleged false information about Russian armed forces.
That will be important on Monday
In the industrial region of Donbass, Ukrainian troops are still trying to hold the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk and push back Russian troops from other towns.
The attack on Ukraine will be a key issue at the four-week session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva starting Monday. Russia resigned from the committee in the spring – and thus pre-empted his dismissal.
At their regular conference in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the heads of government of the East German states also want to talk about a secure energy supply and the extreme cost increases for consumers, which are largely due to the war.