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

During a new trip abroad, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is campaigning for support for his country, which has been attacked by Russia, and for NATO membership.

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

During a new trip abroad, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is campaigning for support for his country, which has been attacked by Russia, and for NATO membership. In Prague he praised the Czech Republic for being particularly committed to military aid. "The Czech Republic and the Czech people are really helping us to bring victory closer," Zelenskyy said on Telegram.

Meanwhile, the EU wants to create financial incentives for the defense industry to support Ukraine in order to expand production capacities for ammunition and missiles. US media reported that Washington is now complying with Kiev's demands for the delivery of internationally banned cluster munitions. Selenskyj had repeatedly demanded this in order to kill as many Russians as possible.

Pentagon spokesman: "Nothing concrete to announce"

The New York Times reported yesterday that the US government is planning to deliver cluster munitions to Ukraine, citing unnamed government sources. The Pentagon did not want to confirm this at first. "I don't have anything specific to announce today," Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said. The White House had previously said it was looking into transferring cluster munitions to Ukraine. According to CNN, the plans could now be officially announced today.

Cluster munitions are rockets and bombs that burst in the air over the target and scatter or release many small explosive devices - so-called submunitions. The type of ammunition has been criticized because a significant percentage of the explosive devices often do not detonate but remain on site as duds, thus endangering the population. Germany and many other countries have signed a treaty banning cluster munitions. The United States, however, did not sign the agreement.

"I would like to note that the Russians have already used cluster munitions on the battlefield," Pentagon spokesman Ryder said. The USA had cluster munitions in their stocks. Ryder pointed out that older ammunition had a higher rate of duds. "We would carefully select bullets with a lower dud rate for which we have current test data," Ryder said. Human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the use of cluster munitions in the war in Ukraine.

EU wants to boost production of ammunition and missiles

Meanwhile, representatives of the governments of the EU member states and the European Parliament agreed during the night on a plan to use financial incentives to encourage the European defense industry to rapidly expand production capacities for ammunition and missiles. It was proposed by the EU Commission in May and envisages spending 500 million euros from the EU budget.

The background to the project is the difficulties of the EU states in supplying Ukraine with sufficient ground-to-ground and artillery ammunition and missiles for the defensive war against Russia. An expansion of production should now prevent further bottlenecks in the Ukrainian armed forces and also ensure that the EU states remain capable of defending themselves and can keep sufficient supplies. The agreement still needs to be confirmed by the Council of Member States and Parliament and could enter into force before the end of July.

Death toll after rocket attack on Lviv rises to ten

After the rocket attack on the western Ukrainian city of Lviv (Lemberg), the death toll has risen to ten. The tenth fatality - the body of a woman - was recovered from the rubble of a residential building in the morning, Mayor Andriy Sadowyj said on Telegram.

According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, 42 people, including three children, were injured in the rocket attack in a residential area on Thursday night. Sadovyj speaks of the heaviest attack on the civilian infrastructure of Lviv since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Zelenskyj expects a clear signal from the NATO summit in Vilnius

Zelenskyj expects a clear signal for membership in the western defense alliance from the forthcoming NATO summit. "What is ideal for us? We want to be invited to NATO," he said after meeting his Czech colleague Petr Pavel. The moment had come to demonstrate the alliance's unity and courage. At the same time, Selenskyj admitted resistance. Some people are still looking to Moscow, criticized the 45-year-old.

Pavel spoke out in favor of Ukraine starting NATO accession negotiations immediately after the end of the war. "It is also in the interest of our security, it is in the interest of regional stability and economic prosperity," emphasized the former NATO general. The Czech Republic will also work to ensure that Ukraine's accession negotiations to the EU should begin this year.

Selenskyj thanked the Czech Republic for the support both in the form of arms deliveries and by taking in hundreds of thousands of war refugees. He acknowledged that the current counter-offensive is not progressing quickly, but one goes ahead and does not back down, he stressed. Ukraine has been fighting off a Russian invasion for almost a year and a half.

The heads of state and government of NATO meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius for a summit.

After political talks in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Zelenskyy announced that Kiev needed a signal at the NATO summit "to motivate Ukraine to defend Europe." He was convinced that Ukraine would become a member of the military alliance after the war. But one sign is important right now. "That's not such a high price to pay for such a war and suffering."

What is important today

Selenskyj is now also expected in Turkey. The Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported that he would meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. There was initially no confirmation from the Ukrainian side.

According to Anadolu, the meeting will deal, among other things, with the agreement to ship Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, which expires on July 17. Russia is threatening not to renew the agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last summer.