Ukraine will only accept an end to the war on its own terms, said Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian president at a press conference on Thursday. That means that “the occupiers have to leave our entire territory,” Podolyak added. The war could not be ended under any other conditions. Accordingly, Ukraine would not accept any “pseudo-referendums” or other legal decisions by Russia in the occupied territories. “So the war will go on until these territories are liberated and they will never be recognized as Russian by anyone,” he said, ruling out that Ukraine would cede territory to Russia.
He also commented on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement that the “geographical” objectives of the Russian invasion of Ukraine had changed and were no longer just about the so-called “People’s Republics” of Luhank and Donetsk: “Lavrov’s statement is pure propaganda for the domestic audience.” According to Podolyak, the Russian Foreign Ministry has behaved very unprofessionally and is gradually beginning to tell the truth about the war that Russia is waging in Ukraine. “They want to invade our territory and destroy Ukraine, expel our people or relocate them to camps in Russia, and then build another Donetsk and Luhansk on the destroyed land, as they have been doing for the last eight years,” Podoliak said. mlk)
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will address the Arab League at its Cairo headquarters on Sunday. As the state organization announced on Thursday, Lavrov will meet the Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit and representatives of the 22 Arab member states. The consequences of the Russian war of aggression have also caused food insecurity in Arab countries, since many of these countries are heavily dependent on grain imports from Ukraine. (AFP)
Amid tensions with Israel over the Ukraine offensive, the Kremlin wants the Jewish Agency, which handles the immigration of Jews from all over the world to Israel, to be banned from working in Russia. The Ministry of Justice has applied for the organization to be dissolved, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday in Moscow, according to Russian news agencies.
The ministry cited “violations of the law” as justification. The court spokeswoman did not say exactly what violations of the law the Israeli organization was accused of. Deliberations on the application were scheduled to begin on July 28. The globally active Jewish Agency began its work in Russia in 1989, two years before the end of the Soviet Union. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the ex-Soviet Union emigrated to Israel.
Israel has condemned the Russian operation in Ukraine. At the same time, however, the Hebrew state is trying to exercise restraint towards Moscow in view of the close ties between the two states. At the end of last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized Israel for not imposing sanctions on Russia. (AFP)
According to a media report, Europol warns of arms smuggling from Ukraine to the EU. According to a Europol letter to the Council of the European Union, which is available to the SWR, the EU police authority is aware of several cases of illegal firearms exports. The smuggling is operated by criminal networks.
In addition, weapons caches may have been set up along the Ukrainian border with the EU in order to organize the transport of the weapons. According to Europol, there is also a suspicion that some refugees from Ukraine have brought firearms into the EU. (Reuters)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has warned of a nuclear escalation in the Ukraine conflict. In an exclusive interview with the AFP news agency on Thursday, Lukashenko called on the West, Ukraine and Russia to end the conflict in order to avert an impending “nuclear war”.
Lukashenko is an ally of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, who ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine at the end of February. “We have to stop and make an agreement to end this chaos, this operation and the war in Ukraine,” Lukashenko said in an exclusive interview with the AFP news agency. “We must go no further,” added the Belarusian President. Because the “abyss of a nuclear war” is looming. It shouldn’t come to that.
Lukashenko urged the Ukrainian government to resume negotiations with Russia. “Everything depends on Ukraine,” he said. Currently there is a possibility “that the war can be ended under more acceptable conditions for Ukraine”. He called on Ukraine to “sit down at the negotiating table and agree that it will never threaten Russia.”
Lukashenko assigned responsibility for the military escalation of the Ukraine conflict to the West, which “provoked” this military conflict and continues to fan it. Russia responded to the NATO threat, he said. “If Russia hadn’t forestalled NATO, you (the western countries) would have organized and struck,” said the Belarusian ruler. (AFP)
Hungary wants to buy 700 million additional cubic meters of gas from Russia. This was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has arrived in Moscow for talks on Russian gas supplies. He will meet his counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, reports the Hungarian news agency MTI, citing a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The additional gas purchases are aimed at “to ensure the security of Hungary’s energy supply,” explained the Fidesz party. Foreign Minister Szijjarto should “negotiate” about it in Moscow. In response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the EU imposed drastic sanctions on Moscow. These include a far-reaching embargo on Russian oil. But there is no such measure for gas. (AFP)
According to the Russian military, it fired on several targets in southern and eastern Ukraine. A total of nine command posts were hit in the past 24 hours in the Mykolaiv and Donetsk regions, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday. In addition, six weapons depots were destroyed and a combat aircraft and a helicopter were shot down. This could not be verified independently.
Konashenkov also spoke of more than 600 fighters who are said to have been killed in an airstrike in the southern Ukrainian region of Odessa last Saturday. Among them were up to 120 foreign mercenaries, he said. There is no confirmation of this information from the Ukrainian side. (dpa)
Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger has warned his European partners not to slow down in helping Ukraine. “We in Europe cannot allow ourselves to get tired of helping Ukraine,” said Heger on Thursday at the closed conference of the CSU state group in Banz Monastery in Upper Franconia. “We have to admit that Ukraine is important for the entire European region.”
It is in the national interest of the European states and in the interest of Europe to help Ukraine. Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin is now waging a hybrid war against half of Europe. “We need to understand the conflict we’re in,” Heger said. In the long term, there will be great benefits if the conflict persists. The unity of the European states is what Putin fears most.
In this context, CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt advocated EU partnerships below full membership for countries such as Ukraine and Moldova. The EU must continue to develop. “In the near future, these countries will find it very difficult to meet the requirements to achieve full membership,” said Dobrindt. A partnership below full membership could possibly be achieved in a shorter time. This is also a model that is also conceivable for Great Britain, which has left the EU. (dpa)
The British government announces further arms aid for Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said it was artillery and more than 1,600 anti-tank weapons. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that Ukraine would receive additional military aid worth a billion pounds (1.17 billion euros). (Reuters)
Russia is massing troops along the E40 highway in preparation for an offensive on the cities of Bakhmut and Sloviansk. This is reported by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). According to the ISW, this process could take several weeks. One reason for this is that the area around the two major cities in eastern Ukraine presents difficult conditions for Russian troop advances: they are much more densely populated than neighboring areas.
After capturing the city of Lysychansk in early July, Russia repeatedly tried to attack Bakhmut and Sloviansk directly – so far without significant success. According to a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, Bakhmut was recently under constant rocket fire. Russian troops would try to break through the front “around the clock”, the spokesman continued. The ISW analysts estimate that Russia will first conquer smaller towns in the north-east and then station troops in this area.
Along the T1302 highway, the Russian army was able to conquer, among other things, the village of Berestove, 25 kilometers from Bakhmut. Russian troops are also advancing in the south of Bakhmut. This is where the Wuhlehirsk nuclear power plant is located. British military intelligence estimates that the nuclear power plant could become a target of a Russian offensive. The British secret service believes that conquering it could significantly strengthen the Russian position in the Donbass and enable attacks on neighboring cities. (Johannes Bauer/tsp)
According to a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, the government in Moscow is not negotiating with the USA about a possible peace solution. There was no contact between the two countries on this issue, says the spokeswoman. (Reuters)
Almost all refugees from Ukraine would like to take up work during their stay in Germany. This is the result of a survey of 936 Ukrainians published by the Munich ifo Institute on Thursday, which, however, is not representative.
According to this, 90 percent want to take up employment, 42 percent are already working or looking for a job. According to the Ifo Institute, 32 percent of those surveyed are willing to work below their qualifications. Only ten percent see no prospects for themselves on the German job market or are not interested in taking up work.
According to ifo expert Tetyana Panchenko, people from Ukraine are mostly highly qualified. According to their own statements, 71 percent of those surveyed have a university education, twelve percent have vocational training. 72 percent of the respondents are between 30 and 49 years old, another eleven percent are between 18 and 29 years old. 93 percent of the respondents are women. 52 percent of the participants in the survey want to stay in Germany for the next two years. 46 percent said they wanted to return to Ukraine.
According to its own statements, the ifo Institute surveyed 936 people from Ukraine at the end of May and the beginning of June, who were mainly addressed via social media. In addition, refugees in the Munich region were also interviewed personally. The institute pointed out that the survey was not representative because there was no general data on the refugees. (AFP)
According to Ukrainian sources, two people were killed and 19 others injured in a Russian bomb attack on Kharkiv in north-eastern Ukraine on Thursday morning. According to the region’s governor, Oleg Synegubov, in the online service Telegram, four of the injured were in serious condition after the multiple rocket launcher bombardment. A child was also injured.
According to local authorities, at least three people were killed in a bomb attack in Ukraine’s second largest city on Wednesday. Among the fatalities was a 13-year-old boy who was waiting at a bus stop. (AFP)
The Union faction deputy Thorsten Frei brings up a special session of the Bundestag because of what he believes to be the sluggish German arms deliveries to Ukraine. “We have a clear decision in the Bundestag and the federal government is obviously doing everything it can to thwart this decision,” the CDU politician told RTL.
The federal government must act quickly and support Ukraine with more heavy weapons. “We can get to the point where either the defense committee or the Bundestag have to deal intensively with these questions. The summer break must not be an excuse for this,” he adds. (Reuters)
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) has defended the tank ring swap for Ukraine against criticism. It is very important to the federal government to fill in the gaps; But that couldn’t happen overnight, Lambrecht told Bayerischer Rundfunk on Thursday on the sidelines of her summer trip. She rejected the accusation that Germany was not sticking to agreements.
The federal government is currently in talks with both the affected countries and the industry. “Of course, the nations that hand over to Ukraine want modern systems to close these gaps,” said Lambrecht. “We are in the process of making that possible.”
In the ring exchange procedure, eastern allies of Ukraine are to provide easy-to-operate Soviet-design tanks. In return, Germany promised the NATO partners modern equipment as a replacement. (AFP)
The Berlin State Criminal Police Office has called on witnesses of war crimes in Ukraine to report any information about these crimes to the police. As the authority announced on Thursday, they are particularly looking for witnesses or victims of war crimes such as torture, rape, mistreatment, looting, the killing of civilians and prisoners of war and the use of cluster bombs.
You can therefore contact any police station in the capital. This will receive initial information using a questionnaire, which is also available in Ukrainian, Russian and English, and will pass it on to the responsible authorities.
According to the State Criminal Police Office, such statements and information support the criminal prosecution of these crimes. Both the German law enforcement authorities and the International Criminal Court have launched investigations into the war in Ukraine, along with Ukraine and other countries. (AFP)
The Ukrainian central bank devalued the national currency hryvnia by 25 percent against the dollar because of the effects of the war with Russia. The new hryvnia rate is set at 36.5686 to the dollar.
The bank says it acted “in view of the war-time change in the fundamental characteristics of Ukraine’s economy and the strengthening of the dollar against other currencies.” The devaluation will help the competitiveness of Ukrainian manufacturers and the stability of the economy in wartime conditions. (Reuters)
Five months into the war, Russian leaders have once again questioned Ukraine’s continued existence as a sovereign state. Dmitry Medvedev, ex-president and now deputy head of the Russian Security Council, published a list of things “for which Russia is not to blame” on Thursday. One point reads: “The fact that, as a result of all events, Ukraine could lose the remnants of state sovereignty and disappear from the world map.”
The neighboring country lost most of its sovereignty back in 2014 when it came under the “direct control of the collective West,” claimed Medvedev, who was president between 2008 and 2012. The 56-year-old is a close confidant of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin and has been making threats and harsh statements against the leadership in Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February.
The head of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, explicitly criticized the USA for providing military support to the attacked Ukraine. He accused US President Joe Biden of wanting to continue the war “to the last Ukrainian” for his own interests and of preventing a peaceful settlement in the Donbass. “And Ukraine, meanwhile, has lost its sovereignty and is on the brink of self-dissolution,” Volodin wrote. (dpa)