A picture taken on June 18, 2011, and made available on June 20, 2011, shows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev giving an interview to the Financial Times newspaper in St. Petersburg. In the interview whose full transcript was released on June 20 by the Kremlin, Medvedev kept up the intrigue surrounding Russia's 2012 presidential polls saying he wanted a second term but would not stand against his powerful predecessor, Vladimir Putin. AFP PHOTO / RIA-NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL / DMITRY ASTAKHOV

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)

Two people were killed in the Russian shelling of the city of Kharkiv, according to the local governor. 19 people were injured, four of them seriously, explains Governor Oleh Synehubow. Russia denies allegations that it is targeting civilians in what it calls a military special operation in Ukraine. (Reuters)

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)

Putin must not break us.