Nouripour hopes for a Ukrainian victory Selenskyj hopes for Russia’s expulsion from UNESCO The developments in the Ukraine war in the stern ticker.
Day 102 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: The fierce battle for Sievarodonetsk continues as Ukraine reports second straight days of territorial gains in the embattled city. At the same time, rocket attacks are being reported from Kyiv and the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.
9.35 a.m .: Ukraine reports territorial gains in Sievjerodonetsk
Ukraine has reported territorial gains in the embattled city of Sieverodonetsk. “The Russians controlled about 70 percent of the city, but in the past two days they have been pushed back,” said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaiday, on Sunday in the online service Telegram. “The city is divided in half, they are afraid to move freely there.” Eight Russian soldiers were arrested.
The Russian side reported the withdrawal of some Ukrainian soldiers from Sievjerodonetsk on Saturday. “Some units of the Ukrainian army, which suffered heavy casualties (in some units up to 90 percent) in the fighting for Sieverodonetsk, are retreating towards Lysychansk,” the Defense Ministry said in Moscow.
However, the city’s mayor, Oleksandr Striuk, later stated that the “street fighting” continued. Ukrainian forces attempted to restore “complete control” over the city.
09:13: Several rocket attacks on Kyiv
According to the Ukrainian general staff, Russia fired rockets at the capital Kyiv and a suburb in the morning. The military leadership in Kyiv announced on Sunday that military and civilian infrastructure had been hit. Kiev’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko also reported rocket attacks in his Telegram channel. The districts of Darnyzja in the southeast and Dnipro in the west of the metropolis were affected. According to the current status, there is one injured person who is being treated in the hospital, but no deaths, said Klitschko.
Emergency services were therefore on site. According to the authorities, the suburb of Brovary, which has already been shelled several times, was also hit by rockets. The exact extent of the damage was initially unclear. According to the military, a Russian missile was shot down in the region of the Kiev suburb of Obukhiv. There is no destruction or injuries.
People posted pictures and videos of fires and clouds of smoke on social networks. Impact noises were also heard. In the morning there had been an air alert for almost two and a half hours. The residents are repeatedly asked to go to the protective bunker in this case. It was the heaviest attack on the capital region in weeks.
The Ukrainian nuclear power company announced that a Russian missile flew dangerously close to the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant. Russia continues to create the danger of a nuclear catastrophe. The Russian attackers “still don’t understand that even a small piece of missile that can hit a working power block can lead to nuclear catastrophe and radiation leakage,” the agency said. She accused Russia of “nuclear terrorism”.
06:34: Selensky wants Moscow’s expulsion from UNESCO
In view of the massive destruction of cultural heritage as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has emphatically called for Moscow’s exclusion from UNESCO. “Unesco is no place for barbarians,” Zelensky said in his video address in Kyiv on Saturday. Russian troops would destroy cultural monuments, churches and other religious sites en masse. That’s reason enough to exclude the country from the United Nations cultural and educational organization, he said.
113 churches have already been destroyed or damaged. Russia is a “terror state” that is destroying historical heritage with its artillery. At the end of May he had already demanded that Russia be excluded from UNESCO.
1:23 a.m .: Nouripour wants Ukraine to win
Green Party leader Omid Nouripour has named a victory for Ukraine in the war against Russia as a goal. “The Ukrainians must regain their sovereignty, their territorial integrity and their freedom,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Online Sunday, Print Tuesday). “We will not recognize an inch of occupied Ukrainian soil.” When asked whether Ukraine should win the war against Russia, Nouripour answered “Yes”.
He added: “But we’re not telling Ukraine what to do. If they want to reclaim these territories, then we support them. And if they want to negotiate, then we support them too.”
With regard to the war, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and several ministers had repeatedly used the formulation that Russia must not win and Ukraine must not lose. This raised questions as to why they didn’t specifically call for a Ukraine victory instead. On Wednesday evening on the ZDF program “Markus Lanz”, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) clearly stated that Ukraine had to win the war against Russia.
Saturday June 4th
6:07 p.m .: Ukraine and Russia exchange bodies of soldiers
According to authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine and Russia have handed over the bodies of 160 soldiers to the other side. The exchange took place on June 2 along the front line in the Zaporizhia region, according to the Ukrainian Ministry for the Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories in Kyiv. Ukraine has repeatedly asked Russia to accept the dead soldiers and accused the leadership in Moscow of treating its own armed forces like “cannon fodder” and not caring about a dignified burial.
Ukrainian secret services and the General Staff of the Armed Forces as well as other security structures were involved in the exchange, it said. According to Ukrainian information, negotiations on the exchange of prisoners of war are still ongoing on both sides. Thousands of Ukrainian fighters are in Russian violence, including the defenders of Mariupol, who held the fort there at the Azovstal steelworks until Kyiv ceded the city in May.
5:31 p.m .: Russia reports the withdrawal of some Ukrainian units from Sievjerodonetsk
Russia has reported the withdrawal of Ukrainian soldiers from the embattled city of Sieverodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. “Some units of the Ukrainian army, which suffered heavy casualties (in some units up to 90 percent) in the fighting for Sieverodonetsk, are retreating towards Lysychansk,” the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Saturday.
The statement did not reveal how many soldiers are said to have left the city. The information could not initially be independently verified.
4:37 p.m .: Faeser wants to strengthen counterintelligence against Russia
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has announced that counterintelligence against Russia will be strengthened. Shortly before the presentation of the report for the protection of the constitution next Tuesday, Faeser told the “Bild” newspaper on Saturday: “We keep a very close eye on which intelligence tools the Russian government uses. We are extremely vigilant and protect ourselves. And we act.”
That’s why Germany expelled 40 employees from the Russian embassy in Berlin in April, said Faeser. They could therefore be attributed to the Russian intelligence services. Faeser emphasized that her ministry defended “internal security and internal peace in Germany against Russian espionage, attempts to influence, lies and war propaganda”. Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be successful with hybrid warfare.
3:13 p.m .: German fighter killed in Ukraine
According to Ukrainian sources, a German fighter was killed in the fighting against Russian troops in Ukraine. A total of four foreign volunteers who fought on Ukraine’s side were killed, a volunteer brigade called the International Defense Legion of Ukraine said on Saturday. In addition to the German, three men from the Netherlands, France and Australia were killed. The Foreign Office in Berlin said the German embassy in Kyiv was trying to find out more and was in contact with the Ukrainian authorities who had spread the relevant news.
The volunteer brigade did not provide any information on the circumstances of the death of the four foreign fighters or the location. It just said, “We lost our brothers in battle, but their bravery, memory and legacy will inspire us forever.” Attached to the statement were photos of the men in combat fatigues and carrying light weapons. According to the organization, citizens of many countries are fighting on the side of Ukraine, including Denmark, Israel, Poland, Croatia and Great Britain.
1.35 p.m .: SPD parliamentary group leader announces further relief
In view of rising prices, the traffic light coalition wants to decide on further relief before the parliamentary summer break, according to SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich. Despite the two relief packages that have already been passed, we know that because of rising energy and food prices, middle society in particular needs further relief, said Mützenich to the news portal t-online. When asked whether he was in favor of the proposal to also pay pensioners the energy flat rate of 300 euros, he said: “I can imagine that. But we will discuss and decide that together.”
Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir also believes that further aid is necessary. The Greens politician told Welt am Sonntag: “I am concerned about the current price trend for food due to the war in Ukraine.” The federal government immediately put together relief packages in order to react to the consequences of the war. “And if things continue like this, then I can tell you: after the relief package is before the relief package.”
12:06 p.m .: Report: BA expects 746,000 Ukrainians to be entitled to Hartz IV
According to a report by “Welt am Sonntag”, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) expects 746,000 Ukrainian refugees to register in the job centers and be entitled to Hartz IV by the end of the year. In the coming weeks, the authority is assuming 410,000 “Ukrainian employable beneficiaries,” the newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a confidential scenario calculation that had been presented to state and local representatives.
According to the report, the BA points out in this paper that the number of Ukrainian refugees who have entered the country since February 24 and are recorded in the central register of foreigners is subject to “high volatility”, for example due to under- and double-entry or return trips. The “calculated figures derived from this for Ukrainian employable beneficiaries have an “orientational character” and should be “interpreted accordingly”.
11:34 a.m.: Russian rocket attacks allegedly hit artillery school
According to the Russian military, it has set up a center for training artillerymen in western weapons technology. “High-precision air-to-surface missiles struck an artillery training center of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Stetskivka area of the Sumy region,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday. At the center, soldiers were taught how to use the Western M777 howitzer, he added.
Moscow has been criticizing Western arms deliveries to Ukraine for months. According to the Kremlin, the war would have ended without the armaments aid. In order to reduce this aid, the Russian leadership emphasizes the destruction of Western weapons and volunteers. Konashenkov also said on Saturday that “a camp of foreign mercenaries” had been destroyed by a rocket hit in the Odessa region in southern Ukraine.
Overall, according to Russian information, its own air force has liquidated more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers, 20 main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, around a dozen artillery pieces and rocket launchers, and around 30 vehicles in the past 24 hours. The Russian air defense is also said to have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane. The information cannot be independently verified.
10.38 a.m .: Guterres calls for an immediate end to the violence
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an immediate end to the violence after 100 days of Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In a statement on Friday (local time), he also emphasized that a solution to the conflict would require negotiations and dialogue. The United Nations would support any such effort. “The sooner the parties make genuine efforts to end this war, the better for Ukraine, Russia and the world,” Guterres wrote. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, the mark of 100 days of war was reached on Friday. The fighting is currently mainly concentrated in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine.
Guterres called for unhindered access for humanitarian workers to all those in need. In addition, civilians trapped in combat zones should be evacuated, civilians should be protected and human rights should be respected in accordance with international norms, Guterres said.
10:22 a.m .: Mützenich: China conceivable as a mediator
According to SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich, the Chinese government could possibly act as a mediator in the Ukraine war. In principle, states that are acceptable to both sides would come into question, such as those that had held back in condemning Russia in the UN General Assembly. “So about India, the People’s Republic of China, but also South Africa,” said Mützenich the news portal T-Online.
“China, for example, allowed Russia to do its thing, but didn’t advocate aggressive war either,” said Mützenich. “On the contrary: The Chinese leadership continues to talk about the territorial integrity of states. Perhaps Ukraine and Russia can see China as a possible mediator.”
He himself would wish that the United Nations could play this role, said the SPD parliamentary group leader. “But I doubt that Russia wants that.” Germany, on the other hand, will hardly be able to mediate because of its clear support for Ukraine.
10.10 a.m .: Poland counts 3.8 million arrivals from Ukraine
Since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Polish border guard has registered 3.82 million arrivals from the neighboring country. On Friday, 22,300 people crossed the border into Poland, as the authority announced on Twitter on Saturday. In the opposite direction, 25,100 people crossed the border from Poland to Ukraine on Friday. For several weeks now, there have been more returnees than newcomers every day. Since the beginning of the war on February 24, around 1.8 million people have entered Ukraine from Poland. According to the authorities, most of these were Ukrainian citizens.
They mostly travel to areas that the Ukrainian army has recaptured. There is no official information on how many of the war refugees stayed in Poland and how many traveled on to other EU countries. Before the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukraine had a population of more than 44 million. Poland and Ukraine are connected by a border more than 500 kilometers long.
Also on Saturday, the Polish border guard reported 14 attempts at illegal border crossings from Belarus. Among them were citizens of Ghana, Guinea, Egypt and India. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International accuse Poland of discriminating against refugees who do not come from Ukraine. The Polish authorities have repeatedly denied human rights violations and defended their restrictive crackdown on refugees arriving from Belarus. They accuse Belarus of deliberately sending migrants from non-European countries to the Polish border.
7:17 a.m .: Kyiv believes the war will end in two to six months
The Ukrainian presidential administration predicts that the Russian war of aggression could last up to six months. “It can take another two to six months,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak in an interview with the opposition Russian online portal “Medusa” on Friday evening, with a view to the possible duration of the war. In the end, it depends on how the mood in the societies of Europe, Ukraine and Russia changes.
There will only be negotiations when the situation on the battlefield changes and Russia no longer feels that it can dictate the terms, Podoljak said. He once again warned against territorial concessions to Russia. That won’t end the war. “Because it is fundamental for the Russian Federation – and Mr. (Vladimir) Putin said this several times – that the mere existence of Ukrainian statehood is harmful.” The Russian advance is therefore less aimed at conquering specific areas than at destroying Ukraine itself.
Podoliak estimated Russian losses at a total of 80,000 people. The dead and wounded in the regular army, the separatists and the mercenary group “Wagner”. However, he conceded that after a catastrophic initial phase of the war for Moscow with up to 1,000 war casualties per day, the current losses of Russian and Ukrainian troops are “comparable”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently put his own losses at up to 100 dead and 500 injured every day.
5:30 a.m.: Brutal battle for Sievjerodonetsk
In the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, the defenders say they have pushed back the Russian forces somewhat. If the Russian soldiers had previously controlled “about 70 percent” of the city, “they have now been pushed back by 20 percent,” said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gajday, on Friday evening. He described a brutal back and forth.
Russian forces “bomb our positions for hours, then they send in a company of freshly mobilized soldiers, they die, then they realize there are still pockets of resistance and they start bombing again,” Gajdaj said. That’s how it works in the fourth month of the Russian invasion.
Kyiv accuses Moscow of turning Ukraine’s last remaining bastion in Luhansk into a “second Mariupol”. The port city on the Sea of Azov had been under siege for weeks and was largely destroyed.
Mariupol’s mayor Vadym Boychenko said on Friday that the “occupying powers” had “almost reduced the city to rubble and ash.” After a hundred days of war, the result was “more than 22,000 civilians killed, 1,300 buildings destroyed and 47,000 people deported to Russia or to areas controlled by the pro-Russian separatists,” he said.
0.49 a.m .: Switzerland blocks arms deliveries to Ukraine
Switzerland has reiterated its blocking stance on the export of Swiss arms to Ukraine via third countries. The Federal Council announced on Friday that Bern could not agree to the delivery of ammunition and wheeled armored personnel carriers from Germany and Denmark to Kyiv due to “the principle of equal treatment under neutrality law”. According to the War Material Act, export requests could not be approved if the recipient country is in an international armed conflict.
Germany had therefore asked in Bern whether it could deliver 12,400 cartridges for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank to Kyiv. It was also about the transfer of 22 Piranha III wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, which Denmark had originally bought in Switzerland and which have been stored in Germany since they were decommissioned.
However, the Federal Council decided that “assemblies and parts” can be supplied to European defense contractors – even if they are used to manufacture weapons that could later end up in Ukraine. According to this, companies from Germany and Italy had asked for components for anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft systems.