Ahead of Armed Forces Day in Ukraine on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked everyone involved in the fight against the Russian invasion - soldiers and volunteer supporters. "Glory to all who fight and work for Ukraine and Ukrainians!" he said in his video speech on the eve of the holiday.
Ukraine has been fending off a large-scale Russian invasion since February 2022 and is dependent on foreign support. However, the process of obtaining aid suffered a setback: a video call by Zelensky to Washington to convince members of the US Senate to continue the aid was canceled at short notice. Something came up at the last minute, said Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
On Wednesday night there was an air alert again over large parts of Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, Russia attacked again with combat drones. According to the Ukrainian military, Wednesday will be the 651st day of the war.
Zelensky does not speak to US senators
No information was given in Washington as to why the Ukrainian head of state's video link with the US senators was canceled at short notice. Zelensky's chief of staff Andriy Yermak wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he was in the US capital for talks.
Democratic Senator Schumer appealed to journalists to his Republican colleagues to quickly approve further US aid. “This is a historic moment,” he said. You shouldn't wait any longer. According to the government, the funds for Ukraine previously approved by the US Congress will be completely used up by the end of the year.
If Parliament fails to act, the government will no longer have the resources to procure additional weapons and equipment for Ukraine or to deliver equipment from its own military stockpiles to Kiev, the National Budget Office warned in a letter to leadership in both chambers of Congress.
Pistorius: Deliver what we can - opposition wants more
In Germany, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) admitted delays in arms deliveries to Ukraine. At the same time, he said that capacities would be increased as quickly as possible. “We currently have the problem, as is well known, that the defense industry cannot deliver in certain areas as quickly as the needs are there,” he said in the ZDF “Heute Journal”. However, Germany is now Ukraine's second largest supporter of arms deliveries. "We deliver what we can."
CDU defense politician Henning Otte called for the federal government to expand military aid. "Despite many losses, the course of the front is unlikely to change fundamentally in the winter months. Long-term support for Ukraine remains all the more important," said the vice chairman of the Defense Committee of the German Press Agency.
The government should abandon its negative stance on the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles. “With the delivery of Taurus, Ukraine could combat the likely increase in Russian missile attacks at the missile base,” said Otte. The Taurus is one of the Air Force's most modern missiles with a range of around 500 kilometers.
Another night of Russian drone strikes
According to Ukrainian information, Russia attacked the neighboring country again with combat drones on Wednesday night. The Ukrainian Air Force initially reported danger to the south of the Odessa region. Later, another group of Iranian-made Shahed drones flew over the Mykolaiv region. Then the air alert was expanded to central Ukraine and the capital Kiev.
At the same time, the Ukrainian Air Force announced that it had shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter bomber over the west of the Black Sea near Snake Island. Zelenskyj confirmed the shooting in his video address.
Zelensky's thanks to the front behind the front
On the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it is "both very symbolic and fair to say that Ukraine thanks all its volunteers," said Zelensky. There are “thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of compassionate Ukrainians who have joined the volunteer movement.” They supported the army by collecting money and providing weapons, vehicles and equipment. At the same time, the volunteers looked after internally displaced people and other people in need in the country.
Apartments for heroic soldiers
Ukrainian soldiers who have been awarded the highest award as “Hero of Ukraine” will in future receive an apartment from the state. In Kiev, Zelenskyj handed over the first 21 ownership documents to the soldiers or - if they were decorated after death - to their surviving relatives. Since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, about 360 soldiers have been honored as “Hero of Ukraine.” 210 of them received the honor posthumously.
That will be important on Wednesday
In the USA, the defense industry is discussing weapons production with Ukrainian representatives. The White House said it wanted to explore “opportunities for co-productions and other industrial collaborations in Ukraine.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is internationally isolated because of the war in Ukraine, is visiting the oil states United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.