Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has strongly called for the start of EU accession negotiations as a motivation for his country in the fight against Russian aggression.

Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has strongly called for the start of EU accession negotiations as a motivation for his country in the fight against Russian aggression.

"Motivation is also a weapon. And it has to be loaded," said Zelensky in his video message distributed in Kiev yesterday evening. "We expect this powerful boost of Ukrainian motivation: the willingness on the part of the EU to start negotiations with Ukraine." A political decision is needed so that negotiations can begin by the end of this year.

Zelenskyj joined the EU Commission via video

Citizens and soldiers at war also need this prospect of EU membership. “Step by step we are moving towards a historic milestone in our relationship with Europe,” said Zelensky. Yesterday he was also connected via video to a meeting of the EU Commission chaired by President Ursula von der Leyen. Zelensky emphasized that despite the war, Ukraine had tackled a number of tasks such as the fight against corruption as a condition for the start of negotiations.

There are significant legal innovations and the necessary steps to build institutions. Zelensky said he hoped that the EU would see this and give the starting signal for negotiations. In his evening video speech, he once again thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), who yesterday promised Kiev long-term support for reconstruction at the 6th German-Ukrainian Economic Forum in Berlin.

Zelensky: “We will not leave anyone behind”

In his video address, Zelensky also addressed the residents of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 in violation of international law, and citizens in other Moscow-controlled areas in the east and south of Ukraine. "You all feel that the Russian presence in our country is not permanent. I know that," he said. Ukraine will retake its territories and the people there. "We will leave no one behind. We will use all means to ensure that this war ends with the occupiers' defeat."

The Ukrainian president also emphasized yesterday in a video address at a Crimea Platform conference: "Russia's defeat means security for Europe." He said at the meeting of Ukrainian supporters in Prague that Crimea also had to be retaken to free the people there from Russian oppression. Almost ten years after the annexation of Crimea, pro-Ukrainian currents on the peninsula are now growing stronger, said Zelensky. The nuclear power Russia has repeatedly emphasized that it will defend Crimea with all means at its disposal.

Shoigu on a staff visit to the front

According to the military, Moscow's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu paid one of his rare front-line visits to Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Shoigu took part in a staff meeting in the “zone of special military operations,” the ministry said on Telegram. Among other things, he received a report from the commander of Army Group East, Lieutenant General Andrei Kuzmenko, about the creation of specialized drone units. The meeting was also about preparing for winter.

The statement from the Defense Ministry is accompanied by a video that shows Shoigu in a helicopter and later in a staff bunker. It is not possible to determine whether the facility is actually located on Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory.

16 injured after Russian drone attack in western Ukraine

Falling debris from an intercepted Russian drone injured 16 people in the western Ukrainian region of Khmelnytskyi. "In the Shepetivka district, the shooting of air targets caused them to fall into the territory of a critical infrastructure facility," said the deputy head of the regional administration, Serhiy Tyurin, on Telegram.

There was an explosion that damaged not only an administration building but also homes and cars. 16 people from surrounding buildings were injured. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia launched eleven kamikaze drones against Ukraine last night. The military in Kiev said all of them had been shot down.

Only about 1,000 civilians left in Avdiivka

Meanwhile, Russia continued its war unabated. According to Kiev, there are still around 1,000 civilians in the heavily contested eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka. There are no longer any children among them, said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on local news television yesterday. She urged those remaining to seek safety. Before the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the now heavily destroyed industrial city in the Donetsk region still had over 30,000 inhabitants.

In recent days, Russian troops have advanced primarily north of Avdiivka to a railway line. According to consistent reports, a disputed waste dump at the city's coking plant now appears to be under Russian control.

Ukrainian units still maintain a connecting corridor about ten kilometers wide. The supply routes from Ukrainian-controlled territory are constantly under fire. Ukraine has been defending itself against Russian invasion for more than 20 months. The front line against the separatists supported by Moscow has been running near Avdiivka since 2014. The Russian-controlled regional capital Donetsk is just a few kilometers south of Avdiivka.