Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

On the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the international community has increased pressure on Moscow to end the war.

Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

On the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the international community has increased pressure on Moscow to end the war. However, Russia stuck to its positions, while Kiev on the other hand categorically refused any talks with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. A Chinese peace initiative appears to have largely fizzled out without success.

After the USA, the EU countries launched another package of sanctions against Russia yesterday evening. Among other things, it provides for additional trade restrictions, which should apply in particular to industrial goods that Russian industry cannot obtain from third countries such as China. It is the tenth package of sanctions since February last year.

As with previous sanctions packages, the list of people who are no longer allowed to enter the EU and whose assets in the EU must be frozen will also be added. This targets propagandists, military commanders and political leaders.

"Submission Is Not Peace"

In a debate marked by attacks, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on the UN Security Council to oppose Russia's President Putin. "This war is not the war of the Russian people. This war is Putin's war," said the Green politician yesterday at a special session in New York on the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"The Russian President is risking the future of his own country." A just peace is also in the interests of the people of Russia.

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Wassili Nebensja, accused Western Ukraine supporters - including Germany - of wanting to destroy Russia. The word "peace" is used disingenuously, said Moscow's representative at the United Nations: "What is meant is a capitulation by Russia, which ideally inflicts a strategic defeat on Russia, followed by the dissolution of the country and the reorganization of the territories."

Despite the difficult situation on the battlefield, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was confident of victory: "Putin will lose much sooner than he thinks," he told the UN Security Council. Kuleba again called for the establishment of a special tribunal with special jurisdiction for the crime of aggressive war, citing the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal after World War II as a model.

At the end of her speech, Baerbock emphasized: "What we can do is stand up for a world in which peace means peace." One should not "ignore who the attacker and who the victim is," says Baerbock. "Because submission is not peace."

China's position paper met with skepticism

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution by a large majority on Thursday calling on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.

Only hours later, in a first position paper on the war, China called for a ceasefire and the early resumption of negotiations. However, the initiative was received with great skepticism internationally and was often judged to be one-sided in favor of Russia. The paper does not ask Russia to leave occupied Ukrainian territory. Ukraine rejected the plan.

"China has a special responsibility as a permanent member of the Security Council," said Baerbock on the sidelines of the session of the most powerful UN body. "It could have used its influence with Russia to convince it of this plan."

Moscow welcomes China's advance - rejection in Kiev

Russia, on the other hand, commented positively on the push from Beijing. "We welcome the sincere desire of our Chinese friends to help resolve the conflict in Ukraine by peaceful means," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. "We share Beijing's considerations." Russia is open to a political-diplomatic solution.

The basic requirement, however, is an end to Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, the cessation of all hostilities and the return of Ukraine to a neutral, non-aligned status. In addition, the "new territorial realities" - that is, the illegal annexation of several Ukrainian territories by Russia - must be recognized.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on the other hand, sees no real peace plan in the paper. However, it is "not bad" that China - so far not even ready to condemn Russia's war of aggression - has started talking about Ukraine. It is important that the territorial integrity of states and nuclear safety are addressed. "There are ideas that I don't agree with, that the whole world doesn't agree with," Zelenskyy said of the document. "But it's still something."

Zelenskyj: No talks with Putin

Zelenskyj also reiterated his strict no to a meeting with Kremlin chief Putin. He was responding to a push by Turkish President Recep Tayyin Erdogan, who wanted to persuade Putin to negotiate a "fair peace" in a telephone call. Zelenskyj said that even before the war broke out, Erdogan had suggested bringing Putin to the negotiating table in order to prevent a major war. "But he couldn't." And now? "Now we can't."

However, Zelenskyi held out the prospect of meeting with Chinese head of state Xi Jinping. "I believe this will be beneficial for our countries and for global security," he said. "This isn't just about war. It's about us being states interested in maintaining economic ties."

Prime Minister of Ukraine poses with tanks

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal published a series of photos on Telegram showing him with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki handing over the first four Leopard main battle tanks delivered from Poland. "A year ago, tanks drove into Ukraine to deprive Ukrainians of their freedom," Shmyhal wrote. "Today tanks also entered Ukraine, but to protect freedom."

As part of an international coalition, Poland wants to hand over a total of 14 Leopard A2 tanks to the neighboring country. During a visit to Kiev yesterday, Morawiecki also announced the imminent delivery of 60 PT-91 main battle tanks, which he had already promised in January. The PT-91 Twardy is a Polish development and modernization of the Soviet T-72.

What does the day bring?

After the commemoration of the first anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine, left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht and feminist Alice Schwarzer called for a rally at the Brandenburg Gate today. The motto is "Rebellion for Peace".