Kyiv/Berlin (DPA) – In light of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression in Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) has promised his country more defense assistance.
President Volodymyr Zelensky had previously prepared his citizens for a war that could last for months. Meanwhile, the fighting on the ground continued. In Mariupol, hundreds of soldiers from the Azovstal plant again surrendered to the Russian attackers. US President Joe Biden has pledged his full support to the NATO membership applications of Sweden and Finland.
Melnick: The impression that Schultz does not want to send him
Ukrainian Ambassador Andrei Melnik again accused Chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) of reluctance to deliver heavy weapons. “We have the impression that the chancellor does not want to express that,” Melnik told the German news network. Asked whether Germany was playing for time, Melnik replied, according to the report: “It seems so. One can have the impression that one is waiting for a ceasefire. Then the pressure will disappear from Germany and there will be no need for courageous decisions anymore. “.
The ambassador criticized that so far neither the Leopard 1 nor the Mardier tanks have been delivered. Also, the announced exchange of rings with T-72 tanks of Ukraine from Slovenia has not yet succeeded.
Zelensky: Ukraine needs billions every month
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian war of aggression means a budget deficit of about five billion US dollars (4.8 billion euros) per month for Ukraine. The head of state said this in his evening video address in Kyiv. “To survive the war for freedom, we need fast and sufficient financial support,” he said.
Ukraine’s foreign partners should not view aid as expenses or gifts. “This is their contribution to their security.” Ukraine protects other countries from war. Together, we must ensure that Russian aggression does not succeed.
Hundreds of other Steelworks fighters surrendered
After weeks of siege, more than 770 other Ukrainians were detained at the Azovstal site within 24 hours, Moscow announced Thursday. Since the beginning of the week, 1,730 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered – what happened to them is not so clear as how many people are still hiding in steel mills. Initially, there was no information from the Ukrainian side. Kyiv hopes that Moscow will agree to exchange Ukrainian soldiers for Russian prisoners of war. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has registered several hundred fighters from the factory who are now prisoners of war.
According to their own statements, the leaders of the last military resistance of Ukraine are still in Mariupol at the Azovstal steel plant. On Thursday, Ukrainian media circulated a video clip showing the deputy commander of the Azov regiment Svyatoslav Palamar. “I and the leadership are at the site of the Azovstal plant. A certain process is underway and I will not tell the details of it. We thank the whole world and we thank Ukraine.” The authenticity of the video could not be immediately verified, and was widely discussed in the Ukrainian media.
Shultz pledges support to Ukraine and its citizens
In a government statement in the Bundestag, Schulz promised Ukraine more support with military equipment and the country’s post-war reconstruction, but played down expectations of the country’s entry into the European Union. And he sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine would not allow the conditions for ending the war to be imposed on it: “There will be no imposed peace.”
Schulz defended arms shipments to Ukraine: “Helping a country that has been brutally attacked to defend itself is not an escalation. But a contribution to repelling the attack and thus ending the violence as quickly as possible.
As for the Panzerhaubitze 2000, Germany and the Netherlands do not want to extend their commitment at the moment. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in The Hague in a meeting with Schulz that he “does not see an increase at the moment”. The chancellor noted that heavy artillery “cannot be easily provided”. The two countries had promised Ukraine to deliver twelve self-propelled howitzers from 2000.
Twelve dead and dozens wounded in Severodonetsk
The Ukrainian authorities said that at least 12 people were killed in Russian artillery shelling on the city of Sevgerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. On Thursday, the military governor of Luhansk region Serhiy Hajjaj announced in the Telegram news service that more than 40 people were injured. The information cannot be independently verified at first. According to Hajjaj, residential buildings were targeted. The Russian army and the separatists in Luhansk are attacking the city from several directions with the seat of the regional government.
Previously, Ukrainian railways announced that they were storing hundreds of corpses of Russian soldiers in freezer wagons. “We deliver and store any type of merchandise,” the statement said. The state-owned company asked Russia to pick up the bodies. At the same time, pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine made the same request to Kyiv. Ukraine must seize the bodies of its soldiers who were left behind during the withdrawal.
Kremlin spokesman: Ukrainians in the occupied territories must decide
According to the ideas of the Kremlin, people in the areas occupied by Russian forces in Ukraine should decide their future. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the will of the people is important, Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. “Nothing can be done without specifying how and with whom they should continue to live,” Peskov said, referring to Moscow politicians who said of the occupied Cherson region that Russia came to stay there.
Biden: Joining Finland and Sweden strengthens NATO
US President Joe Biden expressed his full support for the NATO, Finland and Sweden bids. At a White House news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Biden said he was proud to support the two countries’ attempts to join “the most powerful defense alliance in world history.” “Finland and Sweden Strengthen NATO”.
Anderson described her country’s planned NATO membership as a “turning point”. With this request, she said, Sweden decided to take a “new path”. Niinistö also described the accession of his country and Sweden to NATO as a “historic step”.
Despite Turkey’s temporary veto, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was convinced that Sweden and Finland would quickly be accepted into the military alliance. “I am confident that we can come to a quick decision to welcome Finland and Sweden into the NATO family,” he said in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed his opposition to the alliance’s northern expansion.
G7 ministers agree on alliance for food security
Due to war-induced grain shortages, G7 development ministers agreed on an alliance for global food security. This should ensure financing and close coordination of food security measures. Russia blocks wheat shipments from Ukraine on which many countries depend, especially in Africa and Asia. “There is a risk of starvation because Putin is using hunger as a weapon,” German Development Minister Svenja Schulz (Social Democratic Party) said.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Security Council in New York to take action to combat armed conflicts, including the dramatically increasing number of hungry people. There is a direct relationship between hunger and conflict: he said at a meeting of the most powerful UN body on the topic of food shortages, that a large part of the 140 million people who suffered from hunger last year lived in crisis countries.