Hofreiter for the delivery of Marder infantry fighting vehicles to the Ukraine Pro-Russian separatists announce the capture of the eastern Ukrainian city of Lyman The developments in the Ukraine war in the stern ticker.
Day 93 of Russian invasion of Ukraine: Russian forces report further successes in the east, where cities under Ukrainian control are threatened with encirclement. Development Minister Schulze is the second member of the federal government to visit Ukraine. And the US may want to equip Ukraine with multiple rocket launchers. The current developments in the Ukraine war.
6:37 p.m .: Separatists threaten to kill captured foreigners in Ukraine
The pro-Russian separatists have threatened to kill three captured foreigners who are said to have been fighting on the side of Ukraine. Accordingly, “investigations” against two Britons and a Moroccan have been completed. “The maximum sentence – the death penalty – can be imposed on the accused, taking into account martial law,” a spokesman for the separatist prosecutor’s office said, according to the Interfax news agency. The case has already been handed over to the court. The Russian leadership had also threatened foreign fighters with harsh penalties if they were captured. They would not be considered soldiers, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. There is no death penalty in Russia. But it applies in the pro-Russian separatist areas. The trials of the Ukrainian militants from the Mariupol steelworks are also planned there. Many of them belong to the Azov regiment, referred to in Russian media as a Nazi unit.
6:18 p.m .: According to the military administration, the eastern Ukrainian Sievjerodonetsk is almost surrounded
According to the local military administration, the particularly hard-fought city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine is almost completely surrounded by Russian troops. Two-thirds of the city in the Luhansk region is already under siege, but not yet completely surrounded, said the head of the local military administration, Olexandr Strjuk. The defenders continued to put up fierce resistance. On the other hand, according to the Moscow state news agency Ria Novosti, the pro-Russian separatists claimed that the ring was completely closed around the city.
According to Strjuk, around 90 percent of the city’s buildings are damaged, and 60 percent would have to be completely rebuilt. He had previously announced that around 1,500 people had been killed in Sieverodonetsk since the start of the war. Among them are both soldiers and civilians, Strjuk said. Many people have also fled. Of the once 130,000 inhabitants, only about a tenth now live there.
5:21 p.m .: Putin rejects accusations from the West about the grain crisis as “unfounded”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations that his country is responsible for the global grain crisis as “unfounded”. Rather, the sanctions of the West are responsible, said Putin in a telephone conversation with Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer, according to the Kremlin. “Vladimir Putin has stressed that attempts to blame Russia for the difficulties in supplying agricultural products to world markets are unfounded,” the Kremlin said. Instead, he named the “real causes” of the problems “which arose, among other things, from the anti-Russian sanctions of the USA and the European Union”.
5:15 p.m .: Selenskyj calls Italy’s Draghi about the grain crisis
After Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also spoke to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi about the acute grain crisis as a result of the war. However, during the call there does not seem to have been any major step towards a solution to the huge amounts of grain in Ukrainian ports blocked by Russian ships. Selenskyj thanked Rome for the initiative and agreed “to stay in touch about possible solutions,” said Draghis’ office.
4.45 p.m .: Russian regional deputies publicly criticize the military operation in Ukraine
In the Primorsky Krai, in the easternmost part of Russia, two communist lawmakers have publicly called for an end to the offensive in Ukraine. “If our country does not stop the military operation, there will be even more orphans in our country,” MP Leonid Vasyukevich said during a session of the regional parliament. “We demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops.” Vasyukevich’s faction colleague Gennady Chulga agreed with him.
Scattered applause was heard after the speech, which was broadcast on the Youtube channels of the regional parliament and the newspaper Kommersant. It is the first time MPs from the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) have made such public statements. The CPRF supports the military operation in the neighboring country, which began on February 24 on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.
4:43 p.m .: China blocks airspace for Russian Boeing and Airbus aircraft
According to a media report, China is blocking its airspace for Russian Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The ban affects machines whose legal status has not been clarified after western sanctions and the re-registration in Russia, the Russian news agency RBK reported. China has asked Russian airlines for proof that the planes are no longer registered abroad.
The background is the western sanctions after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU and US have banned the supply, maintenance and insurance of civilian aircraft and spare parts to Russia over the Kremlin-ordered invasion.
4:11 p.m .: Hofreiter for the delivery of Marder armored personnel carriers to Ukraine
Coalition politicians are also urging hurry to supply arms to Ukraine. “We urgently need to speed up the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine,” Green MP Anton Hofreiter told the news portal “t-online”. The chairman of the Europe Committee in the Bundestag also campaigned for the delivery of German tanks: “Why don’t we deliver Marder infantry fighting vehicles?” That must be clarified, said Hofreiter.
According to SPD information, there is an informal agreement in NATO not to deliver any heavy Western-style battle tanks or armored personnel carriers to Ukraine without prior agreement. The armaments company Rheinmetall had offered to make used Marders available. So far, the federal government has only publicly promised the delivery of Gepard anti-aircraft vehicles and self-propelled howitzers, while Ukraine is also demanding main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers.
1:24 p.m .: Moscow promises 50 million tons of grain exports
The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia has confirmed the preliminary forecast for the grain harvest and promised to export at least 50 tons of grain if this result. The ministry is currently forecasting a harvest of 130 million tons. With this result, “we can export 50 million tons,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Oxana Lut said, according to the Interfax news agency. The export could also top 50 million, she added.
Like Ukraine, Russia is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. The war of aggression against the neighboring country ordered by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has led to a significant increase in food prices on the world markets. Experts fear starvation in parts of the world given the blocked Ukrainian ports. Moscow has rejected accusations that it is speculating and for its part accuses the West of exacerbating the food crisis by imposing sanctions on Russia.
1 p.m.: Several dead in Russian attack on military base in Dnipro
According to Ukrainian sources, “around ten people” were killed in Russian attacks on a military base in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. “A National Guard military training ground was hit by Iskander missiles this morning,” National Guard regional head Gennady Korban told Dnipro TV. Another 30 to 35 people were injured.
The governor of the region, Valentin Resnichenko, had previously stated that the attacks had caused “severe damage” and rescue workers were looking for victims under the rubble. Dnipro is a large industrial city in central Ukraine.
12:50 p.m .: Schulze calls on Putin to release Ukrainian grain
During her visit to Ukraine, Development Minister Svenja Schulze asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow grain deliveries via the Ukrainian ports. “Putin is to blame for the fact that there are now possible famines in many countries,” Schulze told the German Press Agency in the Kiev suburb of Borodjanka.
Schulze dismissed Russian accusations that Western sanctions were provoking a global hunger crisis. Food is excluded from the sanctions, emphasized the minister, who was the second German government member to travel to Ukraine. “But what Putin is actually doing is that he is bombing the ports and thereby preventing food from being exported from Ukraine at all.” That has to stop, Schulze demanded. Russia had called the partial lifting of Western sanctions a condition for solving the global food crisis.
12:40 p.m.: Moscow confirms attacks on Ukrainian areas of Kharkiv and Donetsk
Russia’s military has confirmed attacks on the eastern Ukrainian regions of Kharkiv and Donetsk. Rockets were fired at a Ukrainian brigade in the fiercely contested city of Bakhmut in Donetsk, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. Military objects in the Kharkiv region were also fired at with rockets. The Ukrainian side had already lamented several deaths from Russian shelling in Kharkiv on Thursday.
12.10 p.m .: Schulze promises to help Ukraine deal with the consequences of the war when he visits
Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) traveled to Ukraine and promised the country support in dealing with the consequences of the war. “The terrible consequences” of the Russian war of aggression are visible everywhere in Ukraine, Schulze said, according to her ministry. “We must already lay the foundations for internationally coordinated support for the reconstruction of a free and democratic Ukraine.” Germany will also “make its contribution”.
“The Ukrainians need electricity, drinking water and a roof over their heads,” said Schulze. “Children and young people should be able to go to school despite the war, and local businesses should be able to get through the economic crisis. I’m discussing with my Ukrainian partners how we can further expand this support.”
11.20 a.m .: Scholz: Putin’s war is aimed at “never again”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasized at the Catholic Day in Stuttgart that Germany is obliged to support Ukraine. “We have decided to help the victims of this war of aggression,” said Scholz in a speech at the church festival. Putin must not get away with his “cynical, inhumane war.” The war is not only directed against Ukraine, but generally against the values of western democracy. “Putin’s war is directed against a peace order that arose from the commitment ‘Never again’ after two devastating world wars. He wants to go back to the law of the strongest.” Under no circumstances should this be allowed.
10:47 a.m.: Another 70 bodies found in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol
According to a local politician, dozens more bodies of residents have been found in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, which has now been taken by Russian troops. Rescue workers discovered a total of around 70 lifeless bodies on a former factory site, Mariupol city council deputy Petro Andryushchenko wrote in the Telegram news service. People were buried under the rubble when Russian occupiers shelled the building, he wrote. This information could not initially be verified.
10.20 a.m .: Pro-Russian separatists announce capture of eastern Ukrainian city of Lyman
Pro-Russian separatists have announced their capture of the strategically important city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine. With the support of the Russian armed forces, they had “gained complete control” over Lyman, the general staff of the separatists in the Donetsk region said on Friday in the messenger service Telegram. The city is an important transport hub connecting to the major cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
9.55 a.m .: Governor reports at least five dead in Russian attacks in Luhansk region
According to Ukrainian sources, at least five people have been killed in Russian attacks in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. In the regional capital, Severodonetsk, four civilians have been killed and 50 buildings damaged in the past 24 hours, regional governor Serhiy Gaiday said on the online service Telegram. In Komyshuvahka, 50 kilometers away, a man was killed by a grenade.
Russia has shifted most of its troops from central and northern Ukraine, where it was unable to capture the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, to the east. Since then, strategically important cities like Severodonetsk and Lysychansk have been besieged by the Russian army. “The residents of Severodonetsk have forgotten what it’s like to have a ceasefire of at least half an hour,” Gajdaj lamented. “The Russians are constantly shelling the residential areas.”
9.30 a.m .: Habeck sees a limited period for negotiations on the oil embargo
Economics Minister Robert Habeck believes that an agreement on an oil embargo is still possible, despite resistance from the Hungarian government. At the same time, the Greens politician made it clear on Thursday in Berlin that he considers the period for negotiations to be limited. With a view to the days before the next EU summit at the beginning of next week, Habeck said: “I assume that’s the corridor where either an agreement can be reached or other instruments have to be considered.”
9.20 a.m .: The Russian central bank lowers the key interest rate again significantly
The Russian central bank has eased its monetary policy again despite the ongoing sanctions against the country. The central bank in Moscow announced that the key interest rate would be reduced by 3.0 percentage points to 11.0 percent. Economists had only expected an interest rate cut to 11.5 percent on average. The central bank announced further cuts this year. It is the third rate cut in a row.
At the end of February, the central bank raised the key interest rate drastically by 10.5 points to 20 percent. In doing so, she was reacting to the sanctions imposed by the West after the start of the war against Ukraine. With its interest rate hike, the central bank wanted to counteract the devaluation of the ruble and the risk of inflation. The ruble has recently recovered significantly. It is currently slightly above the level that prevailed before the start of the war.
9.15 a.m .: Russia uses 50-year-old tanks in Ukraine
According to British government experts, the Russian army is now using outdated equipment in its invasion of Ukraine. According to a statement by the Ministry of Defense in London, Moscow has probably taken 50-year-old T-62 tanks from stocks in the past few days and brought them to the area of operations of the southern armed forces. “The T-62 tanks will almost certainly be particularly vulnerable to anti-tank weapons, and their presence on the battlefield highlights Russia’s lack of modern, operational equipment,” the statement continued. According to British experts, the Russian Southern Forces will continue to be tasked with occupying territory in southern Ukraine.
9.10 a.m .: British government announces special tax for energy giants
In view of the exploding cost of living, the British government wants to impose a special tax on energy companies and relieve consumers. The plan, which Finance Minister Rishi Sunak presented to Parliament in London, envisages that the temporary levy will bring 5 billion pounds (almost 6 billion euros) into the state coffers over the course of the coming year. Oil and gas companies have to pay tax on their profits at 25 percent. There should be allowances for investments. The tax should be levied until energy prices return to normal levels, said the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
9.05 a.m .: Military administration reports 1,500 dead in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk
According to official figures, around 1,500 people have been killed in the particularly hard-fought eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk since the beginning of the war. Among them are both soldiers and civilians, said the head of the local military administration, Olexandr Strjuk. Many people have also fled. Of the once 130,000 inhabitants, only around a tenth is now there. The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, also reported that four people died in Russian shelling on Sieverodonetsk residential areas the day before. More than three months after the start of the Russian war of aggression, the city of Sieverodonetsk is one of the last parts of Luhansk still controlled by the Ukrainian army. Not far from the city limits, however, there is already fierce fighting. Observers fear that Ukrainian brigades in Sievjerodonetsk could be surrounded by Russian and pro-Russian military.
8.41 a.m .: Ukraine still has to accept heavy blows for the time being
Former Bundeswehr and NATO general Hans-Lothar Domröse assumes that Ukraine will not be able to fully withstand the Russian advance in the Donbass in the coming weeks. “Now the great momentum of the world power Russia is coming to fruition. (…) They are superior in terms of reach and numbers,” Domröse told the news radio MDR Aktuell. The Ukrainian forces could delay the advance at most here and there.
From autumn, however, the Ukrainians could put up more resistance again, according to Domröse. In about six months, the country will have many more western weapon systems and the soldiers will be much better trained on them. “Until then, however, they will still have to take heavy blows,” said Domröse. Time is playing for Ukraine “if it holds out”.
2.03 a.m .: According to media reports, the USA may want to equip Ukraine with multiple rocket launchers
According to a media report, the US government is considering sending advanced long-range missile systems to Ukraine. The US-made weapons systems could fire missiles hundreds of kilometers away, CNN reported, citing several officials. A new military aid package could be announced as early as next week. Ukraine asked for these types of weapons, it said. However, the US government has been hesitant because of fears that Ukraine could use the missile systems for attacks on Russian territory. The question arises whether this could lead to a Russian retaliation, according to CNN. US President Joe Biden put into effect a new billion-euro aid package from the US for Ukraine with a volume of almost 40 billion dollars (38 billion euros) just over the weekend. Around half of the total amount from the package goes to defense.
1:29 a.m .: Zelenskyj accuses Russia of “genocide” in the Donbass
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of “genocide” in eastern Ukraine. In the Donbass, Moscow is pursuing “an obvious policy of genocide,” he said in his daily televised speech. The Russian offensive could result in the region becoming “uninhabitable”. He accused the Russians of wanting to reduce Ukrainian cities to rubble. “All of this, including the kidnapping of our people and the mass killing of civilians, is a blatant genocidal policy being pursued by Russia.”
At the end of February, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war against Ukraine under the pretext of ending the alleged “genocide” of the Russian-speaking population in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. In April, Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution calling Russian military attacks in the country “genocide.” US President Joe Biden expressed a similar sentiment, saying that Putin appears to want to “eradicate the idea that you can even be Ukrainian”. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed this statement.
12:33 a.m .: Teacher unions call for more effort to integrate Ukrainian children into schools
The teachers’ unions have warned of the poor conditions for the integration of Ukrainian children in German schools and called on politicians to take action. “With a view to the coming school year, it must be ensured that the children and young people who have fled Ukraine are integrated into the regular classes at schools in Germany,” said Maike Finnern, head of the Education and Science Union (GEW). , the editorial network Germany.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has noticed a great deal of interest in integration courses to teach language and culture among the refugees from the Ukraine. So far, “within a few weeks, more than 80,000 authorizations to participate have already been granted,” reported the “Welt”, citing the BAMF. “17,000 Ukrainians are currently taking part in an integration course.”
“The entire spectrum of society comes from the Ukraine,” from the academic to the unskilled, said Benjamin Beckmann, head of the BAMF integration course department. “But almost all of them have good learning requirements, above all a good school education. We don’t need any literacy courses for them and practically no duplicate learning courses.” According to Beckmann, 95 percent of Ukraine refugees can start their integration course directly with the normal language course.
0.05 a.m .: Melnyk disappointed with Scholz’s performance in Davos
After his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of lacking leadership and disregard for Ukrainian interests. Melnyk told the “Bild” newspaper: “Militarily, Ukraine is simply being let down by Berlin.” It was hoped in Kyiv that Scholz’s speech in Davos would “hear what concrete steps the traffic light will take to give us massive support so that Ukraine wins this war.” But that didn’t happen.
“Unfortunately, that was a non-negotiable report, especially with regard to the immediate delivery of heavy weapons from Germany to smother the Russian offensive in the Donbass,” Melnyk told the newspaper. He attacked Scholz directly: “The leadership and courage are probably missing.” “Unfortunately, there were no encouraging signals to the Ukrainians” when it came to Ukraine’s candidacy for EU membership.