According to Ukraine, Russia wants to encircle Lysytschansk Baerbock sees Sweden and Finland as a NATO strengthening Lithuania’s President appreciates Germany’s Ukraine policy The news about Russia’s war in Ukraine in the star ticker. Heros Mariupol

Day 125 of the Ukraine War: Russia continues its attacks, especially in the south and east, unabated. According to Ukrainian information, President Vladimir Putin’s army is trying to encircle the strategically important city of Lysychansk. Meanwhile, the heads of state and government of NATO want to discuss the consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine today in Madrid.

The most important developments in the star ticker.

4:44 p.m.: 144 Ukrainian soldiers freed by prisoner exchange

According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, 144 Ukrainian soldiers were freed in the largest prisoner swap ever between Russia and Ukraine. Among them are 95 fighters from the Azov steelworks in Mariupol, the intelligence department of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense explained in the online service Telegram. Information on the place and time of the exchange was initially not given.

4:39 p.m. 144,000 Ukrainian students in German schools

The number of Ukrainian students admitted to schools and vocational schools in Germany is increasing. As reported by the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK), there are currently 144,000 children and young people – an increase of a good 5,000 compared to the previous week. So far, most have found shelter in Bavaria (26,231), North Rhine-Westphalia (24,662) and Baden-Württemberg (19,198).

3:39 p.m .: EU regions should get more money for refugee accommodation

Against the background of the war in Ukraine, regions in the EU are to receive more support in accommodating refugees. The EU Commission proposed reallocating funds from the so-called cohesion fund and distributing them more quickly. For example, local authorities and organizations are to be provided with an additional 3.5 billion by 2023, according to a statement. The EU states and the EU Parliament still have to approve the changes.

2:56 p.m .: Nato promises further support for Ukraine at the summit

NATO has promised Ukraine further support in defending against the Russian invasion. The 30 member states had agreed on a comprehensive package, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s summit in Madrid. These included secure communications, fuel, medical supplies, body armor and equipment to counter mines, chemical and biological threats. Hundreds of portable drone defense systems are also part of the package.

“In the longer term, we will support Ukraine in converting Soviet-era equipment to modern NATO equipment,” Stoltenberg said. “Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes. Allies will continue to provide extensive military and financial assistance.”

2:46 p.m .: Selenskyj warns NATO of further Russian attacks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns NATO of possible Russian attacks on other countries. “The question is: Who is next for Russia? Moldova? The Baltic States? Or Poland? The answer: all of them,” Zelenskyy said in a video-transmitted speech at the NATO summit in Madrid. The true goal of Russia is NATO, said the Ukrainian head of state. To this end, Moscow also uses hunger as an instrument to cause waves of migration. The Kremlin is also using energy resources to force Europe to give up “your freedom, your democracy and your values”.

2:42 p.m .: Nato officially invites Sweden and Finland to join

NATO initiates the admission of Finland and Sweden into the military alliance. At their summit meeting in Madrid, the heads of state and government are issuing the official invitation for the two countries to join, as can be seen from the summit declaration. After weeks of negotiations, Turkey had previously given up its opposition to the alliance’s northern expansion.

2:37 p.m .: NATO countries decide to drastically strengthen the eastern flank

In view of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the 30 NATO countries decide to significantly strengthen the eastern flank. In addition, the heads of state and government at the summit in Madrid agree to a new armed forces model, as the German Press Agency learns from alliance circles. It envisages keeping more than 300,000 soldiers on high operational readiness in the future. The previous NATO rapid reaction force NRF is to be replaced by the new armed forces model. It only has a size of around 40,000 soldiers.

1:21 p.m .: Moscow sees Western aggressiveness towards Russia confirmed at the NATO summit

Russia sees the current NATO summit as confirmation of the aggressive stance of the western military alliance. “The Madrid summit consolidates the course of aggressive containment of Russia” by the military alliance, says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, according to Russian news agencies. He described the expansion of the alliance to include Finland and Sweden as a “purely destabilizing factor in international affairs”.

1:15 p.m.: A total of $330 billion frozen as part of Russia sanctions

Since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began, the US and its allies have said they have frozen assets worth more than $330 billion (€313 billion) as part of their sanctions against Moscow. A large part of this ($300 billion) is accounted for by the Russian central bank, the US Treasury announced, citing figures from the joint Task Force Repo. Sanctions against Russian oligarchs and government officials blocked another $30 billion in funding. In addition, at least five luxury yachts and several properties owned by Russian billionaires were confiscated.

12.45 p.m .: Russia connects Crimea to occupied Ukrainian territories by bus and train

From Friday, buses and trains are to run again between the areas occupied by Russia in southern Ukraine and the annexed Crimean Peninsula. This was announced by the Moscow-appointed administration of the Ukrainian region of Kherson. Traffic with Crimea was cut off after Russia annexed it in 2014.

12.05 p.m .: Russia: Many dead in fighting on the Ukrainian side

According to Moscow, troops loyal to the government suffered significant losses in fighting in the south of the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine. Of the 350 men in a mountain infantry brigade, only 30 soldiers remained alive, the Russian Defense Ministry said in Moscow, referring to fighting at an oil refinery. This cannot be verified independently. In addition, a training base for foreign mercenaries near the city of Mykolaiv in the south and four command posts were destroyed.

11:23 a.m .: Biden announces thousands of additional soldiers for Europe

The USA announces thousands of additional soldiers for Europe at the NATO summit in Madrid. US President Joe Biden said at the start of the two-day meeting that in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the military alliance would be “reinforced in every area – on land, in the air and at sea”. NATO will “defend every centimeter of its territory,” he emphasizes, referring to the eastern member states.

According to Biden, additional air force forces are to be stationed in Germany and Italy. Biden does not give any details. The largest US air force base in Germany is in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate. A brigade with 3,000 US soldiers and 2,000 other military personnel is planned in Romania, which has a more than 600-kilometer border with Ukraine. The United States also wants to increase its forces in Poland and the Baltic States. The United States currently has around 100,000 troops stationed in Europe.

10:13 a.m .: Pro-Russian separatists accuse Ukraine of killing six workers

Pro-Russian separatists in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine blame the Ukrainian army for the deaths of six workers. They came under fire during repair work, writes the Attorney General of the internationally unrecognized region on Telegram. Four employees were injured and one person is still missing. Investigations had been initiated. Popasna is located south of the city of Sievjerodonetsk, which was last occupied by Russia. The city was captured by Russian troops in May.

10:01 a.m .: Scholz wants to deliver more weapons to Ukraine

Chancellor Olaf Scholz promises further arms deliveries to Ukraine. In addition to humanitarian and financial aid, “weapons that Ukraine urgently needs will be made available,” the SPD politician announced at the NATO summit in Madrid. “The message is: we will continue this for as long and as intensively as is necessary for Ukraine to be able to defend itself.”

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) announced yesterday in Madrid that Germany would deliver three more 2000 self-propelled howitzers to the Ukraine. Seven of these heavy artillery pieces with a range of up to 40 kilometers from Bundeswehr stocks have already arrived in Ukraine.

9:50 a.m.: Ukraine sues Russia in human rights court

In a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights, Ukraine accuses Russia of serious human rights violations. Specifically, the Ukrainian government accuses Russia of targeted and disproportionate attacks on civilians, according to a statement from the court. Accordingly, Ukraine complained, among other things, of violations of the right to life and protection against torture.

9:40 a.m.: Brite appears to be appealing death penalty in eastern Ukraine

According to a media report, a British man sentenced to death by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is taking action against the sentence. His lawyer told the Russian news agency Interfax that an appeal had been lodged. If she is denied, a clemency petition will be filed. Her client asked her to do so.

9.36 a.m .: Cherson is to decide in a referendum on Russia’s accession

The Kherson military administration is preparing a referendum on Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory about joining Russia. This was stated by the deputy head of the military and civil administration, Kirill Stremousov, in a video published on Telegram. “Yes, we are preparing for a referendum and we will hold it.” Cherson should become “a full member” of Russia. According to earlier information, it should take place in the fall. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, there have been repeated reports that Moscow is seeking referenda on the accession of occupied territories to the Russian Federation.

8.53 a.m .: According to British secret services, shelling of shopping center could have been accidental

The Russian rocket attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk, which killed at least 20 people, could have been unintentional, according to British secret services. According to an update from the British Ministry of Defence, it is quite realistic that the attack on Monday was intended to hit a nearby infrastructure target. Moscow’s long-range missile attacks have also been inaccurate in the past, resulting in a high number of civilian casualties — such as the shelling of the train station in the city of Kramatorsk in April. According to the ministry, Moscow is prepared to accept “high collateral damage”. Since Russia has a lack of modern precision weapons and significant weaknesses in planning its targets, further attacks must be expected to result in further civilian casualties.

8.43 a.m .: Indonesian President Widodo travels to Kyiv on a peace mission

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has departed for a trip to Ukraine in his largely self-proclaimed role as peace mediator between Russia and Ukraine. After attending the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps, Widodo traveled to Poland, from where he took the train to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv yesterday evening, he writes on Twitter. Widodo had previously said he would appeal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to agree to peace talks.

8.15 a.m .: Ukraine reports dead and injured in attack on city of Mykolaiv

According to Ukrainian sources, at least three people were killed and five injured in a Russian attack on the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine in the morning. This is what the military governor of the Mykolaiv region, Vitaly Kim, writes on Telegram. “The Russian occupiers flew a missile attack on Mykolaiv.” A rocket hit a skyscraper. Local authorities called on people to stay in a safe place during the air raid and not to post pictures of the attack site.

8.10 a.m .: Baerbock sees Sweden and Finland as strengthening NATO

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is relieved at the end of the Turkish blockade of Sweden and Finland joining NATO. This would thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to split the military alliance, said the Greens politician in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin” before the start of the NATO summit in Madrid. “Now the most important thing is that we make it clear: we stand together, we stand together.”

7.47 a.m .: Ukraine reports two dead in rocket attack on Dnipro

The bodies of two people were found in the morning after an attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro. Under the rubble of a company destroyed by an enemy missile, rescuers found two bodies, a man and a woman, writes the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region Valentyn Resnichenko in the news service Telegram. Six rockets were fired at the city yesterday. They had met a peaceful company that had nothing to do with the military. In media reports there is talk of a car repair shop.

7.29 a.m .: According to Ukraine, Russian troops want to encircle Lysychansk

According to the Ukrainian military, Russian troops are trying to encircle the strategically important city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine. This is one of the enemy’s main efforts, according to the Ukrainian General Staff in its situation report. The offensive towards the city will continue. Details are not mentioned. Russian troops are already on the southern outskirts of the city. Representatives of pro-Russian separatists had also reported that fighting was already taking place in the city.

5.30 a.m .: NATO summit discusses consequences of the Ukraine war

Starting at 10 a.m. today in Madrid, the heads of state and government of NATO will discuss the consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. At the two-day summit, a significant increase in NATO’s rapid response forces and further aid commitments for Ukraine are expected. In addition, the 30 NATO countries want to adopt a new strategy in which Russia is described as a “threat”. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is to be connected to the summit as a guest.

4.10 a.m .: The military commissioner complains about the stress caused by the increase in the NATO task force

According to Eva Högl, the Bundestag Commissioner for the Armed Forces, the drastic increase in the rapid deployment force announced by NATO will put a heavy strain on the Bundeswehr. “It is foreseeable that the demands on Germany will increase. This means an enormous challenge for the Bundeswehr and requires great efforts in terms of personnel, material, equipment and infrastructure,” quotes the “Augsburger Allgemeine” Högl.

1.37 a.m .: Lithuania’s President appreciates Germany’s Ukraine policy

Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda praises the federal government for the turning point it has proclaimed and the arms deliveries to Ukraine. “We really see how big these, I would say, tectonic changes in Germany are. Especially since the beginning of the war,” Nauseda told the German Press Agency in an interview in Vilnius. “We’re seeing things that were unimaginable a few months ago.” This is particularly evident in the assessment of the situation, which is “very serious, very responsible”. “I think the illusions are gone now. I don’t see this talk of renewed engagement with Russia because everyone understands, everyone has woken up and everyone realizes how big this threat is.” There have also been changes in Germany’s politics.

0.06 a.m .: Selenskyj accuses Moscow of a targeted attack on the shopping center

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of targeting a civilian object after the rocket hit a shopping center. “The Russian missile hit exactly this object. Targeted. Apparently there was such an order,” says Zelenskyj in his daily video speech and underpins his allegations with video footage of the impact in the city of Kremenchuk. The aim was to kill as many people as possible. The President sees the attack as part of Moscow’s overall strategy directed against the Ukrainian people. “As of this evening, the total number of Russian missiles that have hit our cities is already 2,811,” Zelensky said.