Ukraine and Russia exchange more bodies Poland’s President criticizes Scholz and Macron for talks with Putin Heavy fighting for Sievjerodonetsk The news about the war in Ukraine in the stern ticker.
Day 106 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Russian forces may be about to take control of eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region. This is an important war aim of President Putin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the bitter battle for Sievjerodonetsk one of the most difficult battles in the war with Russia. After more than three months of fighting, taking the strategically important city could mean a preliminary decision in the struggle for the Donbass region. Russia attacked the neighboring country on February 24.
9.01 a.m .: NATO Secretary General cancels visit to Berlin at short notice
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has canceled his planned visit to Berlin today. The Federal Ministry of Defense announced that Stoltenberg had informed him about this at short notice. Nothing was initially known about the reasons. In addition to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Stoltenberg should have met Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) in Berlin.
The focus of the meeting should have been preparations for the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June. According to the German government, the focus should also be on the effects of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine on the Euro-Atlantic security situation. According to the Defense Ministry, the planned reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank, NATO’s new strategic concept and the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden were also on the agenda.
8.45 a.m .: Lauterbach wants to help the seriously injured in Ukraine
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wants to offer German help in treating the injured during a visit to Ukraine today. The SPD politician announced this on Deutschlandfunk. On the one hand, this involves treatment in Germany, but also the care of the injured in the war-torn country itself. Lauterbach specifically mentioned help for people with severe burns and for people who lost limbs in the war.
At the beginning of the war, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), Development Minister Swenja Schulze (SPD) and Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) also visited there.
7.40 a.m .: Scholz and Lambrecht receive NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg in Berlin
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) receives NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Federal Chancellery today (12.00 p.m.). The focus of the meeting is the preparation of the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June. According to the German government, the effects of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine on Euro-Atlantic security will also be discussed. A joint press statement is planned at the beginning of the meeting.
In the afternoon (3 p.m.) Stoltenberg meets Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). According to her ministry, the talks will deal with a variety of current topics, including the planned reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank, NATO’s new strategic concept and Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership. A press statement is also planned before the start of the interview.
6.35 a.m .: Military experts – Russia is surprisingly bad at cyber warfare
So far, Russia has had far less success with methods of digital warfare in Ukraine than many expected. Cybersecurity experts expected devastating, large-scale cyberattacks on Ukraine, says General Karol Molenda, head of Poland’s National Cybersecurity Center. But Ukraine was prepared and “withstood the attacks of Russia”.
Lithuania’s chief of cybersecurity, Colonel Romualdas Petkevicius, told AFP that Russia appeared unable to “wage a coordinated cyber and kinetic war”. There is cyber activity all over Ukraine right now, “but I don’t think it’s very well planned.”
5.10 am: Governor of Luhansk – Russia controls most of the city
After heavy fighting, the Russian army controls most of Sievarodonetsk. This was announced by the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, in his Telegram channel. “As for the industrial zone (of Sieverodonetsk), our defenders are holding there. But the fighting is not only going on in the industrial zone – the fighting is taking place in the city.” However, the situation in the industrial zone is not like in the city of Mariupol, where the fighting took place right at the Azovstal plant. “As of today, there is no danger of encirclement,” said Hajdaj. More than 90 percent of the Luhansk region is occupied by Russia.
4.20 a.m .: Zelenskyy – Sievjerodonetsk decides on the Donbass
President Zelenskyj describes the battle for Sievjerodonetsk as trend-setting for the struggle in the east of the country. “Syeverodonetsk remains the epicenter of the clashes in Donbass,” he says in a video message. The Ukrainian military is inflicting noticeable losses on the enemy there. “This is a very brutal and difficult battle. Perhaps one of the most difficult of this war (…) In many ways the fate of our Donbass will be decided there.”
3.05 a.m .: Poland’s President criticizes Scholz and Macron for talks with Putin
Polish President Duda criticizes Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron for continuing talks with Putin. “These talks are useless,” explains Duda in a “Bild” interview. The situation is similar to that of Adolf Hitler in World War II. “And did anyone talk to Adolf Hitler like that during World War II?” asks Duda. “Did someone say that he has to save face? That one has to do it in such a way that it is not humiliating for Adolf Hitler?” He doesn’t know such voices.
2:15 am: Arctic Council – Russia remains isolated
Because of the war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia remains isolated in the Arctic Council. “We intend a limited resumption of our work in the Arctic Council on projects that do not involve the participation of the Russian Federation,” say the remaining members Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway and the USA.
At the beginning of March, the governments of the countries announced that they were suspending their participation in Council activities. Russia currently chairs the Arctic Council. The body is considered the most important forum for cooperation in the region around the North Pole. Germany has observer status. “Decisions made on behalf of the Arctic Council that are adopted without our country are illegitimate and violate the intended principle of consensus,” criticized Russia’s Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov.
1.50 a.m .: Envoy Zelenskyjs expects EU candidate status for Ukraine
After talks in Berlin, Zelenskyy’s special envoy for the prospect of EU membership is confident that his country will receive candidate status for the European Union. If the EU Commission makes a corresponding recommendation in the coming week, he assumes that the 27 member states will agree at their summit meeting on June 23rd and 24th in Brussels, says the Minister for Regional Development, Oleksiy Tschernyschow, of the dpa. He also expects approval from Germany. The federal government has so far been reluctant. It usually takes many years from candidate status to EU membership.
1:08 a.m.: Reports of dead and injured in Russian attacks
According to the authorities, several civilians were killed or wounded in attacks on Ukrainian locations. The governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, blames Russia for four dead and five injured in the government-controlled part of the region in the east of the country. “The situation remains difficult. The front line is under constant fire,” said Kyrylenko. The Ukrainian army speaks of seven repelled Russian attacks in the Donbass. 31 fighters were killed and several armored vehicles were destroyed. The Russian military destroyed about 20 houses as well as two schools and a train station when shelling Ukrainian locations. The information is not independently verifiable.
12:30 a.m.: Ukraine and Russia exchange more bodies
According to authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine and Russia handed over the bodies of 50 soldiers to the other side. According to the Ukrainian Ministry for the Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories in Kyiv, 37 “heroes” who took part in the defense of the Azovstal plant were among the Ukrainians killed. The fighters held the fort at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol until Kyiv gave up the city in May. According to Ukrainian sources, the exchange took place along the front line in the Zaporizhia region in the south of the country.