Amnesty International accuses Russia of using cluster munitions to kill civilians in Kharkiv. Hackers planted an anti-war message on Russian state television. The developments.
Ukraine is urging additional and faster arms shipments from the west amid heavy fighting in the east of the country. After Russian rocket attacks in the night, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again asked for modern air defense systems.
According to a media report, the Ukraine is hoping that the forthcoming visit by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Kyiv will result in the immediate delivery of German tanks.
“Unfortunately, without German heavy weapons, we will not be able to break Russia’s massive military superiority and save the lives of soldiers and civilians,” said Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk to the German Press Agency. “The Ukrainians expect that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will announce a new aid package for German armaments during his visit to Kyiv, which should definitely include Leopard 1 main battle tanks and Marder armored personnel carriers that can be delivered immediately.”
Zelenskyj: Modern anti-aircraft defense could have saved lives
Since the Russian invasion in February, Ukrainian cities have been hit by well 2600 enemy missiles, Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Sunday. “These are lives that could have been saved, tragedies that could have been prevented – if Ukraine had been heard.” The country asked for modern air defense systems before the war, which could have been delivered years ago, said Zelenskyj.
In the embattled areas of eastern Ukraine, Russian troops continued to try to advance towards cities like Bakhmut, Sloviansk and Lysychansk, Zelenskyy said. In the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk, “every meter is literally being fought over”. According to information from Saturday, Ukrainian troops controlled around a third of the city at this time.
Klitschko insists on support before a possible Scholz visit
Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko has high expectations of a possible visit by Chancellor Scholz to the Ukrainian capital. According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the SPD politician is planning a joint trip with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in June. “We need tough support sanctions and weapons from the three leaders of the most important countries as soon as possible,” Klitschko told the “Bild”.
He assumes that the dramatic situation in Ukraine would become clearer through a visit. “I think you can understand the situation better when you’ve seen cities like Bucha with your own eyes,” said Klitschko. He also sees the capital still in danger of being attacked by Russia. “Kyiv was a target and Kyiv remains a target.”
Ukrainian army pushed out of center of Sievarodonetsk
The Ukrainian army has acknowledged the loss of the center of the heavily contested city of Sievjerodonetsk in the east of the country. Russian troops shelled the city in the Luhansk region with artillery and drove out the Ukrainian soldiers, the Ukrainian general staff said on Monday morning. But the fighting continued, it was said.
A few hours earlier, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had declared that in the strategically important Sievjerodonetsk, “literally every meter was being fought for”. According to their own statements, Ukrainian troops still controlled around a third of the city on Saturday.
For days, Sievjerodonetsk has been the center of heavy fighting in the Luhansk region, which Russian and pro-Russian fighters have already conquered more than 90 percent. The Azot chemical plant in Sievjerodonetsk is also being shot at. According to Ukrainian sources, civilians are still staying there, using the plant premises as an air raid shelter.
Commander-in-Chief: Front over 2400 Kilometer long
According to its own statements, the Ukrainian army now has a front of around 2400 kilometers to defend against ongoing Russian attacks. “Active combat operations are being conducted for 1105 kilometers,” Commander-in-Chief Valeryj Saluschnyj wrote on Facebook on Monday night after a conversation with US General Mark Milley.
The situation around the city of Sievjerodonetsk in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine is particularly difficult. The enemy deployed seven battalion groups there and had a tenfold superiority in fire. “Every meter of Ukrainian soil there is soaked in blood – not just ours, but also that of the occupiers,” said Zalushnyj.
On some sections of the front, Ukrainian units have also counterattacked. Recently there have been reports of Ukrainian land gains on the border of the southern Ukrainian regions of Mykolaiv and Cherson. Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February.
London: River crossings will play a key role
According to British intelligence services, river crossings are likely to play a crucial role in the coming phase of the Ukraine war. A central part of Russia’s front line in the Donbass region lies west of the Seversky Donets River, the UK Defense Ministry said in an update on Monday.
Therefore, in order to make further progress in the Donbass, Russia must either carry out complicated flank attacks or undertake river crossings. So far, the Russians have often not been able to successfully master large-scale river crossings under fire. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, had managed to destroy bridges several times before retreating.
Amnesty: Numerous dead civilians from cluster munitions
According to research by Amnesty International, Russian troops have killed numerous civilians in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv by using banned cluster munitions in violation of international law. “In Kharkiv, people were killed in their homes and on the streets while they were visiting playgrounds with their children, commemorating their loved ones in cemeteries, queuing for aid deliveries or shopping,” said Janine Uhlmannsiek from the German branch of Amnesty International.
Cluster munitions are rockets and bombs that burst while still in the air over the target, releasing a variety of small explosive devices.
Hackers bring criticism of war to Russian TV websites
Unknown hackers placed a message against the war in Ukraine on Russian state television websites. On the streaming portal “Smotrim.ru”, for example, the text “Putin destroys Russians and Ukrainians! Stop the war!”, as reported by Internet users, appeared next to photos of the destruction in Ukraine on Sunday evening.
State television later admitted to a hacker attack that displayed “content with extremist calls” for less than an hour. Russia describes the war of aggression in Ukraine as a “special military operation”. Deviating from the official line is punishable as spreading alleged misinformation about Russian forces.
This will be important on Monday
The attack on Ukraine will be a key issue at the four-week session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva starting Monday. Russia resigned from the committee in the spring – and thus probably forestalled his sacking.
At their regular conference in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the heads of government of the East German states also want to talk about a secure energy supply and the extreme cost increases for consumers, which are largely due to the war. (dpa)