According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, he is firmly convinced that those responsible for the war against his country will be held accountable.
The way for the punishment of the Russian perpetrators was paved at an international conference in Lviv, Ukraine, said Zelenskyj yesterday in his evening video address. Meanwhile, the fighting in eastern Ukraine continues unabated.
Zelenskyj: All murderers must be punished
"All Russian murderers, every organizer of this aggression, everyone who in any way causes the war against our country and terror against our people, they all must be punished," Zelensky said. The cornerstone for this was already laid at the international conference "United for Justice" in Lviv in the past few days.
The fair punishment of those responsible for the war is "not just a dream," underscored Zelenskyy. "This is work that is already underway." The world is "strong enough" to punish Russia for the war. "And we will give the world the courage and the means to carry out the punishment."
At the conference in Lviv, it was agreed, among other things, to set up a new international center for the prosecution of war crimes. It is intended to secure evidence for future trials.
Ukraine has been trying for months to form an international court modeled on the Nuremberg tribunal for Nazi war criminals with its supporters, before which leading Russian representatives are to answer for the war against the neighboring country.
Kiev: Russian troops continue attacks on Bakhmut
Meanwhile, the Russian military continued its fight to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut yesterday. "They (the Russian troops) do not stop attacking Bakhmut and the surrounding settlements," said the Ukrainian general staff in Kiev in its situation report in the evening. Numerous settlements around Bachmut had been shelled with mortars and artillery. The generals in Kiev gave no information on any gains or losses of territory.
So far, Bakhmut has been under pressure from three sides, only one side in the west is still open and offers Ukrainian troops a corridor for a possible retreat. "The defenders are holding their position," said Sehij Cherevaty, spokesman for the Ukrainian Army Group East. "And we have the ability to deliver ammunition, provisions and medicine, and to transport the wounded."
The Russian troops have been trying for weeks to conquer the city of Bakhmut, which has been declared a fortress. Russia uses the notorious Wagner mercenaries, who according to Ukrainian reports have already suffered heavy losses. However, the information cannot be verified.
In its report, the general staff in Kiev also spoke of "unsuccessful offensive actions" by Russian troops near Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk in the east of the country. There, too, many towns were indiscriminately shelled by Russian artillery.
Von der Leyen: No evidence of weapons from China for Russia
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed reservations about possible sanctions against China if the People's Republic were to supply weapons to Russia. "So far we have no evidence of this, but you have to watch it every day," she said yesterday during an appearance with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting in Meseberg, north of Berlin. A journalist asked whether the US had received concrete evidence that China was considering arms sales to Russia.
Scholz: Putin underestimated the unity of the West
From Scholz's point of view, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin underestimated the cohesion of the West in supporting Ukraine. "He misjudged the unity of Europe, the United States and all of Ukraine's friends, as well as the constant supply of arms that we are making available to Ukraine," the chancellor said in an English-language interview with US broadcaster CNN aired yesterday. This is how the Ukrainians were able to defend their country. "And they will also be able to do this in the future," said Scholz.
"We are now Ukraine's strongest supporter in continental Europe and we will continue to be," said Scholz. "And that's also because of the weapons that we're coordinating with the United States and other friends." Germany spent 14 billion euros on various forms of support for Ukraine last year.
Scholz met US President Joe Biden before the interview in Washington. They discussed how to proceed in the Ukraine crisis and promised Kiev continued support in defending against the Russian attack.
Finnish Army Chief: Russia only understands hard power
In view of the Russian war of aggression, Finland's army chief Timo Kivinen sees a need for his previously non-aligned country to join NATO. "We don't want to threaten anyone," the general told ZDF's "heute journal". But with NATO there is more potential for deterrence. "Russia obviously only understands hard power." Finland has a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia and, like Sweden, wants to join NATO because of the war in Ukraine. The final decision on admission depends mainly on the attitude of Turkey and Hungary.
After all, the border that the Baltic EU and NATO member state Estonia shares with Russia is 300 kilometers long. In the parliamentary elections there, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' liberal business party won a clear victory and won 37 of 101 seats in the parliament, as the election commission announced during the night. Kallas has been at the head of government since 2021 and is considered one of the most resolute supporters of Ukraine in Europe.
That's going to be important today
Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) arrives in the evening for a visit to NATO partner country Lithuania. Among other things, he wants to meet Bundeswehr soldiers stationed there.