The US secret service has warned that states such as China and Russia want to transform the "rules-based international order".
At a hearing in the US Congress yesterday, Defense Intelligence Director Scott Berrier cited Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, "China's military confidence" in the Indo-Pacific, an "unprecedented number of North Korean missile launches" and "Iranian actions against US forces in the Middle East" as examples of this. Authoritarian countries would show a "greater risk tolerance" to a possible escalation.
With a view to Russia's war against Ukraine, intelligence coordinator Avril Haines warned that the prospects of concessions from Moscow in possible negotiations are currently slim. These can only be expected if domestic weaknesses change the way Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin thinks. However, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to conduct a significant offensive operation this year.
Zelenskyy in the Netherlands
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Netherlands yesterday. There he demanded, among other things, a criminal prosecution of Russia because of the war of aggression and war crimes. Without justice, no peace is possible, he said in The Hague.
Selenskyj praised the use of the International Criminal Court based in The Hague. He initiated investigations shortly after the Russian invasion and issued an international arrest warrant against Putin for alleged war crimes in March.
In the afternoon Zelenskyj was received by King Willem-Alexander. He thanked the King of the Netherlands "for supporting us in defending our freedom," as the Presidential Office in Kiev announced in the evening. "Since the first days of the Russian attack, we have felt that the Netherlands and the entire Dutch people are on the side of Ukraine," Zelenskyy was quoted as saying.
Zelenskyy then visited an air force base with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and met Ukrainian soldiers who are in the Netherlands for training. Zelenskyj was shown the weapons and systems on which the Ukrainian soldiers are trained. "All of this brings victory closer, our common victory. We will defeat Russian evil and protect our freedom, our common European way of life," he said.
Ukraine shoots down its own drone over Kyiv
Ukraine's anti-aircraft defenses shot down a drone belonging to its own armed forces over the capital Kiev yesterday. The military had lost control of the unmanned aerial vehicle, the Air Force said in the evening. In order to avoid possible "undesirable consequences", it was decided to shoot down the Turkish-type Bayraktar drone. "It's a shame, but that's the way technology works and such cases do happen," the statement said.
In Kiev and the surrounding area, an air alarm was triggered in the evening because of the drone. Video footage posted on social networks showed the drone being shot down over central Kiev. The air alert was lifted after a short time.
Ukrainian military: Heavy fighting in Bakhmut
Russian forces continued their attacks in eastern Ukraine. Once again, the city of Bakhmut was the focus of events, the Ukrainian general staff reported in its situation report in the evening. Around 50 Russian attacks were repelled near Bakhmut, Limansk and Marjinka. "Russian occupying forces continue to suffer heavy casualties on the battlefield and all medical facilities in the temporarily occupied areas are overflowing with wounded occupying soldiers," it said. The information provided by the military could not be independently verified.
Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine since February last year. For months, Russian troops have been trying to expand the areas they have occupied in eastern Ukraine.
What is important today
Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and his Danish colleague Troels Lund Poulsen visit the Bundeswehr base in Klietz in northern Saxony-Anhalt. There, Ukrainian soldiers are trained on Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks.