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

While attacks on strategically important infrastructure are increasing in Russia, the Ukrainian President is campaigning for more war aid against Moscow on a trip through Europe.

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

While attacks on strategically important infrastructure are increasing in Russia, the Ukrainian President is campaigning for more war aid against Moscow on a trip through Europe. After a surprise visit to Helsinki for the Nordic countries' meeting, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in the Netherlands late last night.

According to media reports, he is due to meet Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren in The Hague today. A visit to the International Criminal Court is then planned there, which has been investigating war crimes in the course of the Russian attack on Ukraine for months.

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Zelenskyj's unannounced visit is his first in the Netherlands. After talks with President Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki, he met the heads of government of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, who promised him long-term support in defending against Russia. "The Nordic countries remain steadfast in their commitment to Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders," they said in a joint statement after the meeting.

With a view to the NATO summit on July 11 and 12 in Riga, Latvia, Selenskyj wants to use his appearances in Europe to promote Ukraine's early admission to the defense alliance - and this apparently also in Germany. The Berlin police surprisingly announced yesterday that they were taking all security precautions for a visit by Zelenskyy to the capital on May 13th and 14th. The presentation of the Charlemagne Prize to Selenskyj in Aachen is planned for May 14th.

Zelenskyy denies allegations by Russia

On the fringes of his visit to Finland, Zelenskyy accused Russia of fabricating recent allegations of an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin. "We are not attacking (Russian President Vladimir) Putin or Moscow, we are fighting on our own territory and defending our villages and towns," Zelenskyy said in Helsinki. "We're not attacking Putin, we'll leave that to the (international) tribunal."

Russia's leadership is deliberately spreading false information because it has already lost the war that began a little over 14 months ago. The Kremlin is trying to motivate its soldiers to fight against the neighboring country.

Videos of an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin in the night had previously appeared. The Russian government spoke of an "assassination attempt" with Putin as the target. The US embassy in Kiev then warned of possible retaliatory attacks and called on US citizens in and around the Ukrainian capital to exercise extreme caution in the face of the threat of rocket attacks. During the night there were air alerts in the capital region and other parts of Ukraine. No major damage was reported as of this morning.

Medvedev: Zelenskyy must be "physically eliminated".

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for the killing of the Ukrainian leader in response to the alleged Ukrainian drone strike. "After today's act of terrorism, there is no other option than the physical elimination of Zelenskyy and his clique," Medvedev wrote on Telegram yesterday. In his eyes, Zelenskyy "is not needed to sign the capitulation of Ukraine," Medvedev wrote. "As is well known, Hitler did not sign any (surrender) either." There will certainly be a deputy in the Ukraine like Hitler's brief successor, Admiral Karl Dönitz.

Expert suspects Russian disinformation campaign

The German Russia expert Stefan Meister suspects a disinformation campaign behind the Russian account of the alleged attack on Putin. "Ukraine should be accused of state terrorism," Meister told the newspapers of the Funke media group. "Possibly this pretext is intended to justify a major offensive on Kiev, even more brutal attacks on the Ukrainian civilian population or even an attempt to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy."

Wagner boss: Ukrainian offensive has begun

The Ukrainian armed forces have apparently already started their long-awaited offensive, according to the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin. "They have endless soldiers and ammunition," Prigozhin reported on Wednesday evening on his Telegram channel. "I assume that the offensive (of the Ukrainians) has started." There was initially no confirmation of his claim, not even from the Russian military. In the evening, the Ukrainian general staff only spoke of heavy fighting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

For weeks, the Ukrainian military leadership has been keeping the Russian military in suspense with reports of an imminent offensive to recapture the occupied territories. Attacks on strategically important infrastructure near the border with Ukraine have recently increased in Russia - possibly as part of the preparations for such a counter-offensive.

Another fire in a Russian tank farm

In the south of Russia, a fire broke out at night for the second time in a short period of time in a tank farm near the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula. The fire was triggered by a drone attack and was extinguished about two hours later, the Russian state agency TASS reported, citing official information. The tank farm of an oil refinery in the village of Ilski was hit.

The night before, a similar incident had occurred in the Volna settlement, around 50 kilometers away, in the Taman district, which is also in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar. There, too, a fuel reservoir caught fire, and Russian authorities there also named a drone attack as the cause. A fuel depot in Crimea was set on fire by a drone attack at the weekend. In the western Russian region of Bryansk, two freight trains derailed in rapid succession after explosions.