After more than three months of the Russian war of aggression, Chancellor Scholz is said to be traveling to Kyiv soon. Meanwhile, fighting in eastern Ukraine continues. The current developments.
After other top European politicians, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is about to travel to Kyiv for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a media report. The SPD politician wants to visit Ukraine before the G7 summit at the end of June, the “Bild am Sonntag” reported. Meanwhile, fighting continues in the east of the country, in which the Russian army wants to use its superiority in artillery and ammunition for land gains.
Scholz wants to travel to Kyiv together with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, reported “Bild am Sonntag”, citing French and Ukrainian government circles. A spokesman for the federal government did not want to comment on the report on Saturday evening. From the Élysée Palace in Paris it said: “No, we do not confirm this information.”
Scholz recently said he would only travel to Kyiv if there were specific things to discuss. There had been some tension between Berlin and Kyiv in recent months. In addition to the previous Russia policy of today’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Ukrainian side criticized that it took too long for promised arms deliveries to actually arrive.
Fighting for Sievjerodonetsk continues
In the east of Ukraine, after the attack by Russian troops, the battle for the city of Sievjerodonetsk in the Luhansk region continues. The situation there is the worst in the country, said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajdaj, in a video address published on Sunday. “It’s impossible to count the shelling.”
Many towns in the region are under fire, Hajdaj said. The situation in the town of Toshkivka, south of the administrative center of Sievjerodonetsk, is particularly difficult. There the Russian attackers tried to break through a defensive line. In part, the Ukrainian armed forces managed to stop the enemy.
In Sieverodonetsk, the Azot chemical plant was shelled, Hajday said. The pro-Russian separatists had previously announced that civilians who had sought shelter in the industrial plant’s bunkers had left the factory premises. According to Hajdaj, many people have gone to bunkers because Russian troops are targeting residential areas with heavy artillery. “Everyone probably wants to flee now, but there is currently no such possibility,” said Hajdaj.
The general staff in Kyiv reported a large number of fighting in the east of the country, including especially in the Sloviansk region in the Donetsk region. Again and again there are air attacks against civilian infrastructure, it was said.
Attack on weapons depots in the west
According to the Russian armed forces, they attacked a large arms depot near Ternopil in western Ukraine. “High-precision long-range Kalibr sea-launched missiles destroyed a large camp of anti-tank missile systems, man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems and artillery shells near the town of Chortkiv in the Ternopil region,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday. These were weapons that the United States and European countries had supplied to Ukraine. Four long-range Kalibr missiles were fired from a frigate in the Black Sea, according to the Defense Ministry.
According to the head of the Ternopil Region Administration Volodymyr Trush, shortly proposed 22.00 Local time (10.00 CEST) four missiles into one military and several civilian objects. Among other things, four houses were damaged. 000 People were injured. Nothing was known about the dead. Aus Trush stated that the rockets came from the direction of the Black Sea.
Difficult situation for Ukrainian troops
In the past few days, Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian politicians have appealed to Western allies to send more heavy weapons and missiles as soon as possible. Because the conflict in eastern Ukraine is developing into an artillery duel in which the Russian army has an advantage thanks to larger stocks of weapons and ammunition. According to Ukrainian and Western estimates, the Russian troops continue to record high losses. In his daily video speech on Saturday, Selenskyj spoke of around 32.000 killed so far Russian soldiers. The day before, one of his advisors had the losses of the Ukrainian army since the Russian invasion on 24. February estimated at about 10.000 fatalities.
Russians prepare for war by October
According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the Russian military is preparing for a prolonged war. The planning of the Russian armed forces has been extended for 120 more days until October 2022, reported the military experts of the US Institute for the Study of the War (ISW) citing information from Secret Service Deputy Director Vadym Skibizky. However, the Russian military will continue to adjust its plans depending on the success in the Donbas, this happens almost monthly.
According to the ISW, the information indicated that the Kremlin does not believe that it will be able to achieve its goals in Ukraine quickly. It is an attempt by the Russian military to correct initial deficiencies in the offensive.
Poland’s border guards: Four million entries from Ukraine
Since the beginning of the war, the Polish border guards have registered four million arrivals from the neighboring country. On Saturday, 24.900 people crossed the border into Poland, as the authorities announced on Twitter on Sunday. In the opposite direction people crossed the border on Saturday 24.000. Poland to Ukraine. According to the authorities, most of these were Ukrainian citizens. They mostly travel to areas that the Ukrainian army has recaptured.
There is no official information on how many of the war refugees stayed in Poland and how many traveled on to other EU countries. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said recently that his country has taken in more than two million refugees from Ukraine.
Pensions and utility bills in rubles
At the same time, Russia is trying to quickly tie occupied territories to itself. In the occupied southern Ukrainian region of Cherson, pensions will soon be paid in Russian rubles, as the Russian head of administration Vladimir Saldo announced on Saturday in the news service Telegram. This also applies to bills from energy and water suppliers – which would be free until the changeover. Russian passports were handed over to the first 23 residents of the region on Saturday. Around 7000 more had applied for a Russian passport, it said. Zelenskyy said in his speech that Russian passports are something like “a ticket to escape” there, as the Ukrainian army is making progress in the Kherson region. (dpa)