After a Russian attack on a residential building in Odessa, Ukraine has reported dozens of dead and injured. Meanwhile, the United States has pledged more military aid to Kyiv. And Russia is to attack Snake Island with phosphorus bombs after the troop withdrawal. The events at a glance.
Ukraine has sharply condemned a Russian rocket attack on a residential building in the southern Ukrainian region of Odessa, killing at least 21 and injuring 39. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj spoke of “deliberate, targeted Russian terror”. Neither weapons nor military equipment were hidden in the house – “as Russian propagandists and officials always tell about such attacks,” he said in a video message on Friday. The impact of the three rockets was not an accident. Saturday is the 129th day of the war for Ukraine.
Foreign Minister: Russia is at war with civilians
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of a war against civilians in connection with the missile attack. “I urge our partners to provide Ukraine with modern missile defense systems as soon as possible. Help us save lives and put an end to this war,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
USA announce further weapons package for Ukraine
The US government promised Ukraine further military aid for defense in the Russian war of aggression. The US$820 million package will provide the country with additional ammunition for the Himars missile launcher system, two Nasams surface-to-air missile defense systems, artillery ammunition and anti-artillery radars, among others. as the Pentagon announced. Much of the new aid does not come from US stocks, but from an agreement with industry. According to its own statements, the USA has promised or already delivered weapons and equipment worth almost seven billion US dollars (6.73 billion euros) to Ukraine since the beginning of the war at the end of February.
Kyiv accuses Moscow of attacking with phosphorus bombs
Ukraine accuses Russia of dropping phosphorus bombs on Snake Island in the Black Sea. Two attacks with phosphorus bombs were flown with Su-30 fighter jets from the Crimea peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, said the supreme commander of the Ukrainian army, Valeriy Zalushnyi. In addition, the 48-year-old presented a video that is intended to prove the bombing. The day before, the Russian military had withdrawn from the island. Moscow had presented this as a “gesture of good will”. Kyiv considers the retreat from the island captured by the Russians on the second day of the war as a victory as a result of frequent attacks.
Read here why the snake island is strategically so important
The US government also sees the recapture of Snake Island as a success for the Ukrainian military. Russia’s claim that the withdrawal was a goodwill gesture lacks credibility, a senior US Defense Department official said on Friday. “The Ukrainians have made it very difficult for the Russians to maintain operations there,” he said, according to the Pentagon. That is the reason why the Russians left the island.
Ukrainian positions under heavy fire
In eastern and southern Ukraine, positions of the Ukrainian army along the entire front line have been shelled with artillery by Russian troops. Dozens of locations in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, Mykolayiv and Kherson Oblasts were listed in the Ukrainian General Staff report published on Facebook on Friday. There were also isolated attacks by airplanes and helicopters, it said. Ukrainian units repelled a Russian attack on a gelatine plant near the industrial city of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region. The reports cannot be independently verified.
Selenskyj meets Norwegian Prime Minister Støre
At a meeting in Kyiv, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre promised Selenskyj further support of one billion euros spread over 2022 and 2023. The money should flow into humanitarian aid, reconstruction and also weapons. This should support the “Ukrainians’ fight for freedom,” said the Norwegian. Støre had traveled to Ukraine directly from the NATO summit in Madrid, as reported by the Norwegian news agency NTB. Before meeting Zelenskyy he visited the Chernihiv region.
Kyiv celebrates “victory in soup war”
The UN cultural organization Unesco has put the Ukrainian cooking culture of the beetroot soup borscht on its list of cultural heritage to be protected. The reason is a threat from the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Kyiv was delighted. “Victory in the borscht war is ours!” Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko wrote in the Telegram news service. The soup is now “officially Ukrainian”. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted irritably. “What next? Recognition of pork as ‘Ukrainian national product’?” Other Russian representatives commented that the decision did not give Ukraine an exclusive right to the soup. Borscht variants are prepared in many countries in Eastern Europe.
That will be important on Saturday
The military situation in the embattled Lysychansk is likely to continue to be the focus. In Berlin, the demonstration alliance “Civil Times Turning” is calling for a rally under the motto “We’re not paying for your wars”. An exhibition entitled “Since the beginning of the war” begins in Stuttgart. Personal stories of flight, everyday wartime and joint relief efforts are told.