In the future, Ukraine wants to become one of the largest producers of weapons and ammunition and also target Russian targets more closely. The Ukrainian attacks are carried out exclusively for "defense motives," said the advisor in the presidential office, Mykhailo Podoliak, on Ukrainian television that night.
In contrast to a year ago, the western allies have now also accepted attacks on Russian objects on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.
"Today there is an absolute consensus that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories, for example in Crimea," Podoliak said. At the same time, the adviser announced that the number of drone strikes will increase as the Russian leadership is increasingly losing control of both the airspace and the power apparatus. In addition to primarily military objects in Crimea, Kiev is now also attacking military airports and the capital Moscow with drones.
Podoljak also referred to a recent statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens). When asked about Ukrainian drone attacks reported by Russia, including on Moscow, Baerbock said on Monday: "Russia attacked Ukraine." The Green politician added: "Russia is constantly bombing civilian targets in Ukraine, grain elevators, hospitals, churches. And Ukraine is defending itself within the framework of international law." Podoliak continued: "We didn't start this war."
Russian authorities now report defenses against Ukrainian drone attacks almost every day. The Ministry of Defense in Moscow announced that a drone attack on Russian territory had been prevented in the Black Sea. The drone crashed in the sea area. The ministry did not give any details.
Russia accuses West of involvement in war
Russia has accused the West of being directly involved in the war because of its military aid to Ukraine. Former Russian head of state Dmitry Medvedev interpreted Podoljak's statements about the attacks on Crimea permitted by the West as "direct, legally weighty evidence of the West's involvement in the war against Russia".
This gives Moscow the opportunity to take action "against everyone and everyone in the NATO countries," the deputy head of Russia's National Security Council wrote on Telegram. "The predictions of the apocalypse are getting closer and closer," he said, alluding to the threat that the nuclear power would use any means necessary to defend its claims.
Ukraine has been defending itself against a Russian invasion for more than 18 months with massive Western aid. Including Crimea, Russia controls over 100,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory. During its counter-offensive, Ukraine announced that it would take back its occupied territories.
Ukrainian General Staff reports progress
Fighting continues in southern Ukraine. The General Staff in Kiev reported progress towards Verbove without giving further details. The front section between the villages of Robotyne and Werbove in the Zaporizhia region has been heavily contested since the beginning of the Ukrainian offensive because of its strategic importance. Now the Ukrainians say they have taken Robotyne and, according to US Chief of Staff Mark Milley, have broken through the first, well-secured line of defense.
For the Ukrainian troops, this is an important step in the direction of the city of Melitopol, which is still 75 kilometers away, even if it is still unclear how strong the defense line behind the Russian occupying forces is. The aim of the Ukrainian offensive is still to push towards the coast and thus drive a wedge between the Russian occupying forces and cut them off from supplies.
Zelenskyj wants to maximize weapons production
After more than a year and a half of war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a maximum increase in arms production to fight against the Russian invasion. In addition to artillery weapons and ammunition, drones, rockets and armored vehicles should also be manufactured in the country. "We are increasing the production volume to the maximum. Ukraine can do it. The financing is in place. Our defense industry will bring good results," Zelenskyy said in his video message distributed every evening in Kiev on Monday.
The Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly announced plans to turn the country into one of the largest arms producers. According to Selenskyj, he met with representatives of the defense industry so that production could be further ramped up. Ukraine was already an important location for tank and missile production in Soviet times.
London: Pay in the Russian army has risen sharply since the beginning of the war
Russia has also massively expanded its wartime economy - and relies primarily on volunteers when it comes to replenishing personnel for the war front. Since the war of aggression began on February 24, 2022, pay in the Russian army has increased significantly, according to British information. "Military service in the Russian armed forces has become increasingly lucrative since the invasion," the British Ministry of Defense said.
Wages and bonuses are strong motives for joining the military, "especially for those from the poorer areas of Russia." At the same time, the authority emphasized: "However, it is still unlikely that Russia will achieve its goals in recruiting volunteers for the armed forces."
Businessman is said to have delivered drone components to Russia
Ukraine has long criticized the fact that Russia continues to receive components for weapons, for example, while circumventing Western sanctions. The federal prosecutor is investigating a German-Russian businessman who is said to have supplied electronic components for drones to Russia. The man is in custody, the authorities said on Tuesday in Karlsruhe. He is accused of repeatedly violating the Foreign Trade Act. As managing director of two companies in Saarland, he is said to have given electronic components to a Russian company that produces military material and accessories in 26 cases.
This includes the Orlan 10 drone deployed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The components delivered between January 2020 and March 2023 worth more than 700,000 euros are subject to the Russia Embargo Ordinance, as the supreme German prosecutor explained. In order to avoid the sanctions, the German-Russian first imported the goods from abroad to Germany and then brought them to Russia via a company in Baden-Württemberg. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the components have also reached Russia via Dubai and Lithuania.
New US military package worth $250 million
The US continues to provide military aid to Ukraine. The US State Department announced in Washington that the package was worth 250 million dollars (around 230 million euros). It includes, among other things, ammunition for the Himars multiple rocket launchers, missiles for air defense and artillery ammunition.
Zelenskyj thanked the USA and President Joe Biden for the help. "Artillery. Rockets, ammunition for the Himars, demining equipment - that's what our fighters need," wrote Zelenskyy on the social network X (formerly Twitter). "Freedom needs protection, and that protection is getting stronger."