EU formally adopts sixth package of sanctions against Russia Civilians flee to bunker under chemical plant The developments in the Ukraine war in the stern ticker.
Day 100 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainian troops continue to fight against the loss of the major city of Sievarodonetsk to the east, where Russian troops are advancing with their superior firepower. The city should not be abandoned if possible, said Deputy Chief of Staff Oleksiy Hromow in Kyiv. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made several appearances with a kind of balance sheet of the war since February 24. Up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are killed every day in the fighting in the east, he said in a video link at a security conference in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
2:38 p.m .: European countries are treating 500 patients from Ukraine
Around 500 Ukrainian patients have so far been transferred to European hospitals for urgent treatment via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In addition to Germany, the most important receiving countries also include Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, as reported by the EU Commission. As the hospitals in Ukraine and neighboring countries are under increasing pressure because of the Russian war, certain treatments have to be organized, for example for patients with chronic diseases or those injured in the war, explains the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic.
2:04 p.m .: Moscow sees “certain goals” in Ukraine as “achieved” after 100 days
A hundred days after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, the Kremlin considers “certain” goals to have been achieved. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that “numerous places” had been “liberated” by Russia from “armed, pro-Nazi Ukrainian forces” and “nationalist elements”. This enabled the population to return to a “life in peace”. Peskow adds: “This effort will continue until all goals of the military special operation have been fulfilled.”
1:57 p.m .: UN human rights experts will investigate in Ukraine next week
A United Nations commission will begin investigating war crimes in Ukraine next week. The human rights experts will visit Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Sumy, among other places, from June 7 to 16 to meet survivors, witnesses and displaced persons, the United Nations announced in Geneva.
Norwegian Erik Møse, a former President of the Rwanda Genocide Tribunal, is leading the investigation on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The investigators should collect evidence of human rights violations and war crimes for future prosecution of the perpetrators.
1:29 p.m .: Duty-free for Ukrainian exports comes into force
Tariffs on Ukrainian exports to the EU will be suspended for a year from Saturday. The measure was published in the Official Journal of the EU on Friday and will come into force a day later, says a spokeswoman for the EU Commission. This should strengthen the Ukrainian economy, weakened by the war. The Commission proposed the measure at the end of April. The EU Parliament and member states agreed within a few weeks. According to EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU has never taken such trade liberalization measures before.
1:03 p.m .: Ukrainian leadership is confident of victory on the 100th day of the Russian invasion
One hundred days after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Ukrainian leadership has shown itself confident of victory: “Victory will be ours,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video published on the Instagram Internet platform. “The state representatives are here and have been defending Ukraine for a hundred days,” Zelensky said.
In the 36-second video, Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoljak can be seen in front of the presidential administration building in Kyiv. The video is reminiscent of a message the same government officials recorded in February, the day after the war began, to reassure the population and show that they would remain in the country themselves.
11:53 a.m .: UN envoy – war in Ukraine “will have no winner”
According to the United Nations, no country will emerge victorious from the 100-day Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. “This war has and will have no winners,” said the UN coordinator for Ukraine, Amin Awad, on the occasion of the Russian troops’ invasion of Ukraine 100 days ago.
“Instead, for 100 days we saw what was lost: lives, houses, jobs and prospects.” The war had an “unacceptable number of victims” and “swallowed up practically all aspects of civilian life,” explains Awad, who is also deputy UN secretary-general. “In just over three months, almost 14 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes, the majority women and children.”
11:13 a.m .: Russian military reports killing of 360 Ukrainian soldiers
According to its own statements, the Russian military launched further heavy air, rocket and artillery attacks during the night. “All in all, more than 360 nationalists and 49 weapon systems and military vehicles were destroyed by air force strikes, including a radio station for air surveillance in Sloviansk in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. The headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Donbass is located in the Sloviansk area.
10:34 a.m .: Media: Russia increases oil production and exports again in May
According to a media report, oil production in Russia and exports rose again in May after a significant slump in April. “Including gas condensate, Russia increased oil production in May 2022 by five percent compared to April to 43.1 million tons,” reports the Moscow business daily Vedomosti. Compared to the previous year, the result nevertheless represents a decline of 2.5 percent.
10.22 a.m .: Sixth EU sanctions package against Russia decided
The 27 EU countries have decided on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. This is announced by the EU states. The sanctions package includes a far-reaching oil embargo against Russia. In addition, among other things, the largest Russian bank, Sberbank, will be excluded from the financial communications network Swift and several Russian news channels will be banned in the EU. After the formal decision, the sanctions should be published in the Official Journal of the EU on Friday. Then they are in force.
9:12 a.m .: Former Prime Minister Kasyanov left Russia
Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has left the country. “He is currently abroad, I don’t know where he is or when he will return,” Konstantin Merslikin, a colleague of Kasyanov’s party, told the state news agency TASS. Merslikin also does not provide any information about the reason for the departure. In the course of the war against Ukraine, the Russian leadership has intensified its crackdown on members of the opposition and critics in recent weeks.
9.02 a.m .: Scholz receives the President of the Ukrainian Parliament in the Chancellery
100 days after the start of the Ukraine war, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz received the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefantschuk, in Berlin. Stefantschuk comes to the Chancellery in military gear, Scholz greets him there in a suit and tie.
On Thursday, at the start of his visit to Germany, the President of the Parliament called for the delivery of German Leopard and Marder tanks to Ukraine to fight against the Russian attackers. “Of course, what we need most is modern weapons. We can also fight and hold out with old weapons from old stocks, but the newer weapons are more efficient,” he said after a meeting with members of the Bundestag, according to the official translation. “That’s why we’re expecting both the martens and the leopards.”
8.55 a.m .: London: Russia should take the Luhansk region in a few weeks
According to estimates by British intelligence services, Russia now controls more than 90 percent of the Luhansk region in Ukraine. It is likely that Moscow will take full control there in the next two weeks, according to an update from the British Ministry of Defense. These tactical advances, achieved by concentrating Russian troops in a single region, have cost Moscow significant resources, it said. On all other fronts the Russians failed to make any progress. Instead, they are now on the defensive there.
7.55 a.m .: Ukraine has not yet lost the Sievjerodonetsk administration center
According to the Ukrainian military, they are still holding positions in the heavily contested city of Sievjerodonetsk, the administrative center of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. “Fighting continues in the center of Sievjerodonetsk,” the Ukrainian general staff said in its situation report. The enemy is shelling the Ukrainian positions in the city, in the suburbs of Borivsk and Ustynivka, and in the twin city of Lysychansk, which forms a conurbation with Sieverodonetsk.
In addition, the General Staff reported air raids on the village of Myrna Dolyna and unsuccessful attempts to storm the urban settlements of Metyolkine and Bilohorivka in the immediate vicinity of Sieverodonetsk. According to information from Kyiv, the attempt to cut off the conurbation further west from the supply lines by means of attacks in the Bakhmut area has also failed so far.
7.47 a.m .: On the 100th day of the war, Ukrainian authorities are calling for perseverance
The Ukrainian authorities began the 100th day of the Russian invasion with slogans of perseverance. “Today we are fighting and holding every inch of the Luhansk region,” said regional governor Serhiy Gajdaj on Friday morning. In the past hundred days, Russian attacks in the region have destroyed 33 hospitals, 237 rural health facilities, nearly 70 schools and 50 kindergartens.
The industrial city of Sievjerodonetsk, the last bastion of the Ukrainians in the Luhansk region, is particularly hotly contested. According to Gajdaj the day before, Russian troops control 80 percent of the city. Ukrainian soldiers are still holed up in the city’s industrial area.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during the night that the defenders had “achieved some successes in the battle for Sieverodonetsk”. However, it remains “currently the most difficult area”.
7.44 a.m .: Ukrainian Ambassador Melnyk urges faster arms deliveries
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, has again called for a speedy delivery of the weapons promised by Germany. He is satisfied with the recent announcement by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) that weapons such as the Iris-T air defense system will be sent to Ukraine, says Melynk in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. “But if we’re honest, 100 days of war, up to now not a single piece of heavy equipment has been delivered to the Ukraine from Germany.” The first weapons would probably not arrive until the end of June. “You see how precarious the situation is.”
Melnyk goes on to say that Ukraine’s first goal is to retake the territories occupied by Russia for 100 days. Ukraine sees the superiority with which Russia is waging the war of aggression, one fifth of Ukrainian territory is occupied. It also remains the goal to bring back Crimea, which has been annexed since 2014.
7.05 a.m .: Polish Prime Minister complains of “indifference” to “Ukraine’s suffering”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the rest of Europe of “indifference” to the “genocide” in Ukraine on the 100th day of Russia’s war of aggression. Almost every television station in the world has shown the murders of Ukrainian civilians: “Nevertheless, the suffering in Ukraine is surrounded by a wall of indifference,” writes Morawiecki in a guest article for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”.
Morawiecki is also critical of the statements made by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who said in Davos that Ukraine should cede part of its territory to Russia and that Europe should seek an understanding with Russia. He had the feeling of déjà vu. “The great realist of American politics repeated exactly those theses that the Poles heard in the 1970s and 1980s.”
4:55 a.m.: Battle for the city of Sievjerodonetsk continues
Despite fierce Russian attacks, the Ukrainian army does not want to admit defeat in the administrative center of Sievjerodonetsk. “The situation is difficult, but it’s better than yesterday. And it’s under control,” says Deputy Chief of Staff Hromow. Ukrainian authorities had previously announced that the city was largely under the control of Russian troops.
There are very bloody street fights in the city, says Hromow. Sievjerodonetsk is considered the last Ukrainian stronghold in the Luhansk region. According to their own statements, pro-Russian troops and the Russian military are about to take power there. However, the Ukrainian head of administration in Luhansk, Serhiy Hajdaj, also reports on successful commando actions by the defenders in the city. Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych even says that the Ukrainian army has lured the Russians into a trap in Sieverodonetsk. This information could not be verified.
4.55 a.m .: Balance sheet on the 100th day of the war
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russian troops have invaded 3,620 towns in Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion, 1017 of which have been liberated, says Zelenskyy. “Another 2,603 are yet to be freed.” Twelve million Ukrainians are fleeing the country; five million abroad. Russia has lost over 30,000 soldiers, Zelensky claims. Western experts also suspect heavy Russian losses, but consider the Kiev figures to be too high.
“After all these months, our resistance is unbroken. The enemy hasn’t achieved the goals it set itself,” says Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar. “We are ready for a long-term war.” She praises the fact that the “dynamics of arms deliveries” from the West are picking up speed. For security reasons, she did not provide any information on the time and place of the deliveries. Ukraine wants to stop the advance of Russian troops and liberate occupied cities with heavy weapons from the USA and Germany, among others.
4.55 a.m .: NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg: “War has become a war of attrition”
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg has called on Western countries to prepare for an ongoing conflict. “Wars are inherently unpredictable,” Stoltenberg said after meeting US President Joe Biden and his National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington. “That’s why we just have to be prepared for a long distance.” The conflict has become a war of attrition, with both sides paying a heavy price on the battlefield. Most wars ended at the negotiating table. That will probably also happen in this case, says Stoltenberg. It is the task of the NATO allies to support Ukraine in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the country.
4.01 a.m .: Bundestag votes on special assets for the Bundeswehr
The Bundestag decides today from 2 p.m. on the 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr. This requires an amendment to the Basic Law, which must be approved by a two-thirds majority in Parliament. The traffic light coalition is therefore dependent on votes from the Union. After the Bundestag decision, the Bundesrat will also vote on the amendment to the Basic Law on Friday next week.
1.03 a.m .: President of the Ukrainian Parliament: Deliver German weapons quickly
The Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefantschuk, is again urging the rapid delivery of the weapons promised by Germany to ward off the Russian attack. “Now it’s also important that the decisions are implemented quickly,” says Stefantschuk to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “The weapons must be delivered quickly.”
Stefantschuk is currently visiting Berlin. Among other things, he called for the delivery of German Leopard and Marder tanks to Ukraine and speed up the delivery of weapons. Today he wants to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “I would like to invite Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Kyiv to give a speech in front of the Ukrainian parliament,” says Stefantschuk.
12:44 a.m .: Baerbock promises Ukraine long-term support for life in freedom
100 days after the start of the war, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock promised Ukraine solidarity and support, including additional weapons. In a guest article for “Bild”, the Green politician writes: “We will continue to support Ukraine. Until there are no more Butschas. So that what is normal for us is normal again for the people of Ukraine It goes without saying: A life in freedom.”
Baerbock writes that further arms deliveries are also part of the support: “Putin is counting on perseverance – and on our exhaustion.” The fate of Bucha threatens every village. “That’s why we have to continue to support Ukraine right now. Also with weapons, because Putin can’t be stopped with words.”
12:02 a.m .: Zelenskyj thanks for foreign arms deliveries
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the US and other allies for recent pledges to deliver modern weapons. In his video speech, he mainly mentions the Himars multiple rocket launchers from the USA. “These weapons will really help save the lives of our people and protect our country,” Zelenskyy said in Kyiv. He also thanked Sweden, which promised anti-ship missiles, among other things, on Thursday.
The EU’s new sixth package of sanctions against Russia with an extensive oil embargo is also a help. “The world is finally giving up Russian oil,” says the Ukrainian president.
12:01 a.m.: Habeck expects major arguments about the cost of the war
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck expects major social disputes over the follow-up costs of the Russian war against Ukraine in autumn and winter. “We will experience a dramatic increase in heating costs,” he says on the ZDF program “Maybrit Illner”. “Whether the political measures will then be sufficient to maintain social peace and the feeling that things are fair in this country will be the decisive question of the autumn and winter. I’m not quite sure about that,” he explains the question of whether Germany could run out of steam in supporting Ukraine and sanctions against the aggressor Russia.
Habeck fears that the longer the war lasts in Germany, people will get used to it. Other topics, including the Bundesliga, could suppress outrage at Russian aggression and atrocities.
12:01 a.m .: Ukrainian civilians take refuge in a bunker under the chemical plant
In the embattled city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to both Ukrainian and Russian sources, civilians are hiding in bunkers under a chemical plant. The Ukrainian administration of the Luhansk region, which was almost lost to Russia, speaks of about 800 people in the Azot (nitrogen) factory. “These are locals who were asked to leave the city but refused. There are also children there, but not very many,” Governor Serhij Hajdaj told US broadcaster CNN.
Despite the advance of Russian troops in the city, the factory continues to be defended by Ukrainian soldiers. A spokesman for the pro-Russian Luhansk separatists accused the Ukrainian gunmen of luring civilians into the plant and using force to prevent them from leaving. This was reported by the agency Tass.
12:01 a.m.: Zelenskyj: Russia now controls a fifth of Ukraine
According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian armed forces now control a fifth of the country. “Around 20 percent of our territory is now under the control of the occupiers,” says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Since the Russian war of aggression began on February 24, thousands have been killed and several million Ukrainians have been forced to flee. The situation is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in the east of the country, says Zelenskyj in a speech to the parliament in Luxembourg. “We lose 60 to 100 soldiers every day.”
The area now controlled by Russia is far larger than the area of the Benelux countries combined. It covers almost 125,000 square kilometers, before February 24 it was a good 43,000 square kilometers. Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, and in the east, pro-Russian separatists controlled around a third of the Donbass mining region.