The Ukrainian military has said it has killed another high-ranking Russian officer with the rank of general. The commander of the 1st army corps of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, Major General Roman Kutuzov, had been “de-Nazified and demilitarized”, the administration for strategic communications of the Ukrainian armed forces said on Monday night, according to the online portal “Ukrainskaya Pravda”. A correspondent for Russian state television first reported on Kutuzov’s death.
Kutuzov is said to have fallen while leading a Russian attack on a town near Popasna in the Luhansk Oblast in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian side had previously reported that the Russian attack had been repelled and that the enemy had been forced to withdraw with “significant casualties”.
Since the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, several Moscow generals have been killed. Official Russian sources, meanwhile, have confirmed the deaths of four generals. Ukraine had even spoken of at least seven Russian generals killed. However, two of them turned up alive after the Ukrainian death report.
The Ministry of Defense in Kyiv warned of the danger of new attacks after the first rocket attacks on the Ukrainian capital since the end of April. “We have always said openly that Kyiv is constantly under threat,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar said on television on Sunday. Even if many people have returned in the meantime: “We should still understand that the war is in a hot phase and Kyiv will remain the main target of the Russian Federation.” On Monday night there was another air alert in Kyiv.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian general staff reported several rocket hits in Kyiv. According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, one person was injured.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address released in the evening: “Russia’s war against Ukraine must be ended as soon as possible.” He did not comment on how this should be done. Russia complains that Ukraine has put negotiations on an end to hostilities on hold. Ukraine has been fighting the Russian invasion for more than 100 days. The United Nations has so far registered more than 4,100 civilian deaths, but assumes the number of civilian casualties to be far higher.
During a visit to the embattled region of Zaporizhia on Sunday, Zelenskyi found out about the military situation. Almost 60 percent of the south-eastern Ukrainian region has been occupied by Moscow’s troops since the Russian invasion on February 24, said the region’s military governor, Olexander Staruch, during talks with the president in the city of Zaporizhia. “Many people are arriving from places temporarily occupied by the enemy,” Zelenskyy said. The refugees need housing and jobs.
A particularly large number of people from the embattled eastern Ukraine fled to Zaporizhia, including from the Donetsk region. There is also the port city of Mariupol, where pro-Russian separatists took control with the help of Moscow’s troops in May. Fighting in Donbass continues. One focus is the administrative center Sievjerodonetsk in the Luhansk region, where Ukrainian troops are successfully resisting Russian units, according to the authorities.
In a video released during the night, Zelenskyy said that he made a tour of the contested regions of Donetsk and Luhansk together with his chief of staff Andriy Yermak, visiting the front-line cities of Lysychansk and Soledar. Lysychansk is on the river opposite Sieverodonetsk. Selenskyj had recently repeatedly demanded heavy weapons from the West, not only to stop the Russian advance, but also to recapture occupied areas.
According to a report in the newspaper “El País”, Spain wants to deliver German Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. The newspaper wrote on Sunday, citing information from the Defense Ministry in Madrid, that these were decommissioned tanks that first had to be prepared for use. The training of Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks should first take place in Latvia and later in Spain. The German press agency asked the ministry for a statement on the report, but there was still no answer.
It would be the first time that Ukraine would receive modern Western tanks in a fight against the Russian army. In Germany, politicians from the ruling SPD party have so far emphasized that there is an informal agreement between the NATO countries not to supply such weapons. According to the newspaper report, around 40 of the 108 Leopard tanks that Spain bought used in Germany in 1995 could be made operational again.
According to the report, Spain is also preparing to deliver a battery of surface-to-air missiles of the MBDA type “Shorad Aspide”. These have already been decommissioned by the Spanish armed forces and replaced by newer systems. So far, Spain has mainly supplied Ukraine with light weapons, ammunition and protective equipment.
The Russian military has repeatedly announced that it will target western arms supplies. Moscow repeatedly reports the destruction of heavy weapons and ammunition. President Vladimir Putin has threatened serious attacks on Ukraine if Western long-range missiles are delivered to Ukraine.
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“If they deliver, then we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our means of destruction, of which we have enough, to deal blows to those objects that we have not hitherto attacked,” Putin said in an interview published on Sunday State TV channel Rossiya 1. The aim of the western arms deliveries is to prolong the conflict in Ukraine as much as possible, he said.
At a press conference in front of international journalists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wants to comment on the situation in the conflict with Ukraine from Moscow’s point of view. According to information from Moscow, it should also be a question of Lavrov not traveling to Serbia on a planned two-day visit this Monday due to a lack of a flight permit.
According to the Russian agency Interfax, a high-ranking ministry official confirmed a corresponding Serbian media report on Sunday, according to which Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had not given permission for the Russian government aircraft to fly over. Lavrov is subject to Western sanctions over Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In addition, European airspace is closed to Russian aircraft.