The war against Ukraine: this is the situation

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Volodymyr Selinsky (left) wants his country to join the European Union as soon as possible. © Uncredited / Ukrainian Presidential Press Office / AP / dpa

After his visit to the front, Zelensky explained that the defenders of the country’s independence are heroes. He also sees this as a reason for rapid accession to the European Union. Developments at a glance.

Kyiv – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has strongly demanded the nomination of the European Union candidate after more than 100 days of valiant fighting against the Russian invasion.

“I mean, this would be a decision not only for Ukraine, but for the entire European project,” the head of state said in his daily video message. That will also decide whether the EU has a future, Zelensky said.

The EU Commission wants to decide in June how to proceed with the EU’s ambitions for the country under attack by Russia. The federal government has not yet taken a position on this issue. Chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) made it clear that there should be no shortcuts for Ukraine on the way to the European Union. Ukraine, which has something to do with massive corruption, sees its war against Russia as a sufficient qualification.

Meanwhile, fighting continues in Ukraine. “On the 103rd day, the Ukrainian Donbass are holding strong,” Zelensky said, referring to the situation in the east of the country. In addition, everything is being done to ensure the stability of the front in the Zaporizhia and Mykolaiv regions. Fierce fighting continued around Severodonetsk, Lesichansk, Slovyansk, Pakhmut, Svyatohersk, Avdiivka, Kurakhov, and in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The armed forces have to bear heavy losses.

Moscow: Sviatohirsk practically taken

The Russian army and Moscow-backed separatists say they have now completed the capture of the Ukrainian city of Svyatohersk (Sogatogorsk) with its historic monastery. “Svyatogorsk is practically liberated,” Denis Pushlin, the leader of the breakaway region of Donetsk, told Russian state television. There is the monastery of the Arch of the Assumption of the Virgin, which was recently shot, one of the most important sanctuaries of Russian Orthodoxy.

Moscow Patriarch Kirill, who supports the aggressive war against Ukraine, has long been famous for his desire to keep the ancient religious sites of the Russian Orthodox Church under his influence. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said earlier that the capture of the city was in its final stages. The last soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces left behind military equipment and weapons and fled on their own. Konashenkov said that about 80 Ukrainian soldiers crossed the city river, and the Russian side allowed them to escape and did not shoot.

Initially, there was no confirmation from the Ukrainian side of the abandonment of Svyatohersk. However, the Ukrainian General Staff reported heavy fighting broke out in the Donetsk region around the city on Monday morning. For weeks, Ukraine has been demanding supplies of heavy weapons from the West, not only to stop and push Russian forces, but also to liberate occupied positions.

Discussion about tank shipments from Spain

Spain, for example, wants to deliver German-made battle tanks to Ukraine. The union in the Bundestag warned the federal government not to prevent Spain from doing so. “If Spain wants to extradite the Leopard 2, the federal government must quickly make that possible,” said Johan Wadful (CDU), deputy leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group at the Augsburger Allgemeine. “Germany is abandoning Ukraine every day without heavy weapons getting there.” “I expect that the federal government will quickly, and as proactively as possible, make the necessary export the license has been issued,” the CDU’s foreign politician, Rodrich Kezewetter, said in a similar fashion in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The well-informed Spanish newspaper El País, citing Defense Ministry sources, reported that Spain was preparing to deliver about 40 Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks and ground-based anti-aircraft missiles. Minister Margarita Robles did not want to confirm or deny this. This is a “very sensitive topic” and requires “maximum discretion”.

Massive fight in Donbass

Ukraine’s military spokesman, Alexander Motocyanik, reported heavy fighting “along the entire front line in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.” The Russian Air Force carried out 39 air strikes outside eastern Ukraine. However, the most dangerous situation is in the Zaporizhia region, where the Russian army threatens the capital of the region, according to the statement. President Selinsky visited the area on Sunday and was also directly in front.

What will be important on Tuesday

Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (the Greens) arrived Monday afternoon for a two-day visit to the Ukrainian coastal city of Odessa. She traveled to the Black Sea at the invitation of her Ukrainian counterpart. “We want to show we’re there, we want to show how culture is under attack,” the green politician said at the start of the trip, before the main day of the trip on Tuesday. Offers of humanitarian aid are rarely mentioned in the discussions.

For the first time since the start of the Ukraine war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party) will visit Lithuania on Tuesday, a country that borders Russia and feels particularly threatened by nuclear power. In the capital, Vilnius, he will meet Nosida and the heads of government of the three Baltic states – as well as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The chancellor then visits German soldiers stationed in Lithuania to secure the eastern flank of NATO. dpa

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