Ukraine’s President Selenskyj wants to document war crimes with a “Book of Torturers”. In the occupied territories, the new rulers are apparently planning to join Russia. Developments at a glance.
Fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine continues. Despite their superiority, Russian troops have not yet achieved a breakthrough, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“The situation at the front has not undergone any significant changes in the last 24 hours,” said Zelenskyy in his evening video message. “The extremely heroic defense of Donbass continues.” Wednesday for Ukraine is 100. Day of the war.
Heavy fighting for Sievarodonetsk
Heavy fighting for the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk continues unabated. The Ukrainian side reported on Wednesday that their positions were being shelled by Russian troops around the clock. The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, said on television: “Mortars, artillery, tanks, airstrikes, everything is going there right now.” At the same time he assured: “No one will give up anything – even if our soldiers are forced to retreat to better fortified positions.”
Because of the heavy attacks, the railway line between Bakhmut and Lysychansk is no longer used by Ukraine, the governor said. The supplies for the neighboring cities of Lysychansk and Sievjerodonetsk are now being brought there by other routes. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, there were intensified airstrikes in the direction of Bakhmut in Donetsk region and around the Ukrainian group near Zolote in Luhansk region. According to this, Russian combat helicopters of the type Ka-52 were also used.
Where is there still fighting?
Zelenskyj also named the cities of Lysychansk and Popasna as focal points. “It can be felt that the occupiers did not believe that the resistance would be so strong,” said the president. The Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksandr Arestovych made a similar statement. The Ukrainian artillery did a good job, he said.
At the same time, Arestovych also acknowledged problems. “We can wait a long time for a counter-offensive,” he said. Some fighters wouldn’t take the pressure. In addition, it is not clear when and to what extent new arms deliveries will arrive.
Moscow reports high losses for Ukrainian military
According to Russian information, the Ukrainian armed forces are suffering heavy losses in the fighting for the Donbass region. In fighting for the city of Sviatohirsk alone, Ukraine lost more than 300 fighters within three days, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow. In addition, combat vehicles and 24 weapon systems were destroyed . The information cannot be independently verified.
The lieutenant general also reported on Russian missile attacks on a tank factory in Kharkiv. In the area around the metropolis, several command posts and troop concentrations as well as rocket launcher positions were fired at with air-to-surface missiles. In addition, Russia deployed its tactical air force, missile forces and artillery in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in Zaporizhia in southern Ukraine. Overall, Ukraine lost more than 480 soldiers within 24 hours.
Death in attacks in Kharkiv region
According to Governor Oleh Synyehubov, at least three people were killed and six others injured by Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. In the evening another person was killed in attacks, it was said.
According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, two people were killed and three injured in Russian rocket attacks in the city of Bashtanka in the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv. There are said to have been violent detonations in the region’s capital, Mykolaiv. The pro-Russian separatists also reported casualties. Ukrainian shelling killed one man in Pervomaysk near the front line.
War Crimes Information System
In his video message on Tuesday evening, Zelenskyi announced a new war crimes information system. Confirmed information about war criminals and criminals of the Russian army is to be collected in a “Book of the Torturers”.
“I have repeatedly emphasized that they will all be held accountable. And we are taking this step by step,” said the president. Not only direct perpetrators such as soldiers should be held responsible, but also their commanders, who would have made the crimes possible – “in Butscha, in Mariupol, in all our cities”.
Russian occupiers plan referenda
In the areas occupied by Russian troops, the new rulers are apparently planning to join Russia. Preparations for a referendum have begun, said the pro-Russian governor in the city of Melitopol, Halyna Danylchenko.
According to a Russian deputy, the deputy chief of the Russian presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, was in Melitopol, the second largest city in Zaporizhia Oblast, for talks, as well as in Kherson, the capital of the adjacent region of the same name. According to Ukrainian information, a referendum on annexation to Russia is to be prepared in Cherson by autumn.
Former Chancellor Merkel wants more deterrence
Former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) advocates strengthening military deterrence against Russia. “That’s the only language that Putin understands,” said Merkel in Berlin in an interview broadcast by TV station Phoenix. She rejected responsibility for the lack of investment in the Bundeswehr – and indirectly assigned it to the former coalition partner SPD.
“I’m so glad that we’re finally deciding, now that the whole world has armed drones, that we’re going to buy some too. And it wasn’t my fault that certain other things couldn’t take place,” Merkel said. “It was a very tough struggle to invest in military deterrence at all.”
Norway supplies self-propelled howitzers
Norway supplied Ukraine 22 with M-type self-propelled howitzers 52 as well as ammunition and spare parts. The development of the war makes it necessary to send heavier weapons to the country attacked by Russia, said Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram in Oslo. A self-propelled howitzer is a heavy artillery system with a cannon on a tracked vehicle, similar to a tank.
For security reasons, the delivery was not announced in advance, the minister said. The training of the Ukrainian soldiers on weapons took place in Germany. According to this information, Norway itself replaced the weapon systems with new equipment from South Korea.
Captured Ukrainian fighters brought to Russia
More than 480 Ukrainian prisoners of war from the conquered Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have meanwhile been brought to Russia. Russian law enforcement agencies were busy currently with them, the Russian state agency TASS reported on Wednesday night, citing security circles. Among them there could be more than 100 foreign “mercenaries”. In total, more than 2400 Ukrainian fighters surrendered at the plant.
New money for Kyiv
The World Bank is providing Ukraine with additional financing of 1.49 billion US dollars (1.4 billion euros). In view of the ongoing war, the government could use this to pay wages for state employees, it said. It was initially unclear whether the new funds were aid money or a loan.
Russian-American relations hardly exist anymore
According to Russian sources, the bilateral dialogue between Moscow and Washington has almost come to a standstill. “Trust has been eroded, cooperation is crumbling even in areas of mutual interest, communication between the sides is scant and mostly reduced to a debate of technical issues,” Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Russian state television.
However, the defense ministers and chiefs of staff would still hold “occasional phone calls” – these are extremely important to prevent a direct military confrontation.
The day will bring
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wants to meet his Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara. It should also be about the release of Ukrainian grain deliveries. Ukraine is one of the largest wheat exporters in the world. However, Russia is blockading Ukrainian ports as part of its war of aggression. Experts and politicians warn of a global food crisis.
An international online conference on food security will also take place this Wednesday under the Italian presidency.
EU Commissioner Janez Lenarčič is visiting Ukraine. (dpa)