Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

The annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will take place without the top diplomats from Ukraine and the Baltic states.

Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

The annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will take place without the top diplomats from Ukraine and the Baltic states.

In protest against the participation of their Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov, they canceled their presence at the two-day conference in Skopje, North Macedonia, at short notice. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, however, maintained their participation.

Russia's leadership appeared belligerent before the meeting. "We will insist on the return of the OSCE to its original principles, to its original purpose," said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, according to the state news agency Tass. He described the mood among the Russian delegation as “fightingly determined.” At the same time, Grushko called the Balts' non-arrival insignificant. Their presence at the summit was not crucial for the future of the OSCE, he explained.

After more than 21 months of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the OSCE is one of the few dialogue forums for security and democratic policy in which Western representatives still sit at the same table with Russia. Since the beginning of the war, however, Moscow has largely blocked the organization through its veto stance.

Baerbock: OSCE central piece of the puzzle for security in Europe

In view of Moscow's blockade, Foreign Minister Baerbock called for the OSCE to remain operational. If the OSCE is to continue to ensure the security of the 1.3 billion people in its 57 member states, "we must also give it the tools and the pilots to do so so that it remains reasonably capable of working and can continue - even in rough winds," she said Green politician on Wednesday before her departure for the annual OSCE ministerial meeting.

Zelensky visits southern Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said he visited the Odessa, Mykolaiv and Kherson regions in the south of the country, which were badly hit by war and the recent storm. At the meeting, many questions were discussed, especially regarding the security of the country and the population, Zelensky said in his daily video message on Wednesday. In Odessa, the aim was to strengthen air defense and secure the corridor set up by Kiev to export grain across the Black Sea. The port city has been a target of Russian drone and missile attacks for months.

Russia reports capture of village in Donetsk region

According to its own statements, the Russian army took over another village in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. The town of Chromowe (Artyomowskoye in Russian) has now been brought completely under Russian control, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced. The village is located west of the city of Bakhmut (in Russian: Artyomovsk), which was occupied by Russian troops and largely destroyed by the war.

The information could not be verified. There was initially no comment from Ukraine. The capture would be a setback for the Ukrainian armed forces, which want to use a counteroffensive to liberate areas occupied by Russian troops.

Dead and injured after Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine

At least one person has died and ten others have been injured as a result of Russian missile attacks in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk. In the village of Novohrodivka near Pokrovsk, a Russian S-300 missile hit a residential building and killed a resident, military governor Ihor Moros said on Telegram. Four other people were believed to be under the rubble, including a child.

It was previously reported that at least ten people were injured in rocket attacks in the Pokrovsk region. Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said there were four children among them. He also spoke of S-300 missiles. Photos he published showed a completely destroyed building.

The General Staff said Ukraine was attacked nationwide during the night with a total of 8 missiles and 20 combat drones. 14 of the drones were intercepted. According to local information, debris from a downed drone fell on the site of a former factory in Khmelnytskyi, western Ukraine. However, there were no injuries there.

NATO assumes enormous Russian losses in Ukraine

According to NATO estimates, the number of Russian soldiers killed or wounded in Ukraine has exceeded 300,000. "Militarily, Russia has lost a significant part of its conventional armed forces," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after an alliance meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels. This also included hundreds of aircraft and thousands of tanks. At the same time, Stoltenberg warned against placing high hopes on the losses leading to a quick end to the war in Ukraine.

Russian general and police officers killed in Ukraine

The high casualties are exemplified by the deaths of several high-ranking Russian military and police officers in the Moscow-occupied part of the southern Ukrainian Kherson region. Russian state media reported at least four police officers dead and 18 occupation forces officers injured in an attack on the village of Yuvileyne the previous day.

The Ukrainian military and independent Russian Telegram channels confirmed the attack on the meeting of occupation officials in the village about 65 kilometers southeast of Kherson. There was talk of five dead police officers in Kiev. The opposition-affiliated Russian research group CIT (Conflict Intelligence Team) also reported on the suspected death of a Russian major general.