Scholz: Putin has missed all strategic goals in Ukraine Ukrainian defenders threatened in Severodonetsk encirclement Ukrainian defenders in the east under pressure The developments in the Ukraine war in the stern ticker.

Day 92 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian army is trying at all costs to capture the strategically important city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy conceded in his speech on Thursday night that “the enemy is clearly superior in terms of equipment and the number of soldiers” in the sector of the front. However, their own armed forces withstood the “extremely violent offensive”.

6:01 p.m .: Seven dead and many injured by Russian shelling in Kharkiv

According to local authorities, at least seven people have been killed in attacks by the Russian army in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine. Another 17 people were injured, said Ukrainian regional commander Oleg Sinegubov, according to a report in the online newspaper Ukrajinska Pravda. “The enemy is cowardly shelling Kharkiv,” he said. Sinegubov called on people not to take to the streets without need and to go to the bomb shelters in the event of an air raid. There is heavy fighting in the region, he said. The enemy had to accept numerous casualties. This information could not initially be verified by an independent party.

3:12 p.m .: Kremlin demands lifting of sanctions against the release of grain

Russia has again called on the West to lift sanctions in view of the blocked grain exports in Ukraine. Then exports from Ukraine could start again, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax agency in Moscow. “They should repeal those illegal decisions that hinder the cargo ships, the export of grain and so on and so forth,” Peskov said. He didn’t give any details of what he meant exactly.

However, the West has imposed a variety of trade sanctions on Russia that are hurting the economy. Russia and Ukraine are major grain exporters with an important role in world nutrition.

Ukraine had previously accused Russia of blackmail and urged the West not to lift sanctions imposed over Moscow’s war of aggression under any circumstances. Kyiv accuses Russia of blockading the Black Sea ports with warships and thus preventing wheat exports, which are important for world nutrition. Russia, in turn, had asked Ukraine to clear mines along its coastline so that a corridor for grain exports could be set up. But that would also be a possible gateway for the Russian armed forces.

3:11 p.m .: Former ambassador – Even with new leadership in Moscow, it would not be easier

The former German ambassador in Moscow, Rüdiger von Fritsch, does not expect any massive protests from the Russian population that could result in a change of government. Despite the sanctions against the country, he considers such hopes to be “failed,” von Fritsch told the newspaper “Welt”. In Russia there is the old question: “Will the refrigerator win or the television? At the moment the television is clearly still winning.” The propaganda is “more massive than the supply situation would be bad”.

If there were any resistance to Russian President Vladimir Putin, it would most likely come from the military. “Of course you have a very clear picture of the war situation there,” said von Fritsch. “Some military officials may conclude that the war is so clearly to Russia’s detriment that it would be better to replace the president.”

Then the invasion of Ukraine would possibly also come to an end – which, however, would not automatically result in better relations with the West: “We have to assume that things would not necessarily get any easier even with a new Russian leadership.” Regarding the current Moscow government, von Fritsch said: “It is very difficult to imagine how one can return to a jointly designed order with Russia ruled by Vladimir Putin.” Von Fritsch represented Germany in Moscow from 2014 to 2019.

1:51 p.m.: Captured Ukrainian militants from Mariupol continue to eastern Ukraine

The Ukrainian fighters who were recently taken prisoner by Russia in Mariupol continue to be held in pro-Russian separatist-held Donbass. “Everyone is being held on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” separatist leader Denis Puschilin told the Interfax agency. As of last weekend, more than 2,400 Ukrainian defenders of the port city of Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, surrendered after weeks of entrenching themselves in the besieged Azovstal Steel Works.

Ukraine continues to hope that the men and women can be released in the course of a prisoner exchange – also because the separatists in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donzek introduced the death penalty years ago. However, Moscow has not yet announced a decision regarding a possible exchange.

In Russia, meanwhile, the Ukrainian Azov regiment, whose members are among the fighters captured in Mariupol, is said to be classified as a “terrorist organization”. A corresponding court case was originally supposed to start on Thursday – but was postponed to the end of June. Membership in an organization banned as a terrorist threatens up to 20 years in prison in Russia. It was initially unclear to what extent the classification could affect the Mariupol fighters.

The Azov regiment, founded and dominated by right-wing extremists, has repeatedly been used by Moscow as justification for its war of aggression against Ukraine, which it began at the end of February. The regiment is part of the Ukrainian National Guard – not the army. In addition, international experts regard the claim that the entire Ukrainian armed forces are infiltrated by “neo-Nazis” as untenable.

11.20 a.m .: Scholz: Putin missed all strategic goals in Ukraine

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has once again shown himself to be convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine. “He has already missed all of his strategic goals,” said Scholz on Thursday in his speech at the end of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “A capture of all of Ukraine by Russia seems further away today than it was at the beginning of the war. More than ever, Ukraine is emphasizing its European future.”

In addition, the “brutality of the Russian war” has welded the Ukrainian nation closer together than ever before and prompted two states to move closer to NATO: “With Sweden and Finland, two close friends and partners want to join the North Atlantic alliance. You are very welcome!” , said the Chancellor. Putin also underestimated the unity and strength with which the Group of Seven Industrial Nations (G7), NATO and the EU reacted to his aggression.

7 am: Ukrainian defenders in the east under pressure

Sieverodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk are the last major cities still held by Ukrainian troops in the Luhansk Oblast. Russia wants to completely conquer the area in order to add it to the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic. Moscow had recognized this as an independent state a few days before the attack on Ukraine – just like the People’s Republic of Donetsk.

The Ukrainian General Staff also reported attacks on Berestove, Lypove and Nyrkove. These are behind the Ukrainian defenders on the strategically important road to Bakhmut. It was said that the attacks had been repelled. But the information could not be verified. Foreign observers fear several Ukrainian brigades could be encircled in Sieverodonetsk.

6.26 a.m .: Zelenskyj: Russian troops “clearly superior” to the defenders in eastern Ukraine

According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian army is trying at all costs to capture the strategically important city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy conceded in his speech on Thursday night that “the enemy is clearly superior in terms of equipment and the number of soldiers” in the sector of the front. However, their own armed forces withstood the “extremely violent offensive”.

Russian troops have already advanced to the suburbs of the industrial city. Moscow had massively expanded the offensive around Severodonetsk in the past few days.

However, Governor Serhiy Gajdaj rejected statements by pro-Russian fighters that Severodonetsk was “encircled”. About 15,000 people are still in the city and in the surrounding villages. Gajdaj stressed that despite the ongoing attacks, the overwhelming majority of them did not want to leave the city. These are mainly older people who are looking for protection from the constant shelling in cellars.

3.52 a.m .: Deutsche Bahn wants to transport more grain from Ukraine

Deutsche Bahn wants to give Ukraine more support for grain exports. “In view of the impending famine in parts of the world and the enormous need to export millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to the world, we as DB Cargo will organize further orders and train journeys in coordination with the federal government,” said DB Cargo boss Sigrid Nikutta the newspapers of the editorial network Germany.

“We do everything that we as a company can do out of social responsibility.” DB Cargo, with its subsidiaries in Poland and Romania, currently runs several trains a day with grain to various seaports. “Now it’s a matter of expanding these agricultural exports. The goal is viable connections to the seaports of the North Sea and the Black and Mediterranean Seas.”

12:00 a.m.: Zelenskyj: “Ukraine will fight until it has its entire territory back”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the world community to more clearly side with his country under Russian attack. In his video speech on Wednesday evening, he was also disappointed by the deliberations at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “No matter what the Russian state does, there is someone who says: Let’s take their interests into account,” said Zelenskyy.

It was the same in Davos. “And that despite thousands of Russian rockets hitting Ukraine. Despite tens of thousands of Ukrainians killed. Despite Bucha and Mariupol”. Russia is doing this in the middle of Europe. In this context, Zelenskyj criticized former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. He too had said that peace for Ukraine could probably only be achieved by ceding territory to Russia.

Zelenskyy was connected via video to a round of talks in Davos on Wednesday and said that Ukraine would not give up any territory. “Ukraine will fight until it has all its territory back.” He is ready for talks with Moscow if Russia withdraws to the pre-February 24 front lines.