Ukraine's problems in mobilizing soldiers to repel the Russian invasion will have no practical consequences for Ukrainians living in Germany, according to Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann.
“It will not be the case that we now force people to do conscription or military service against their will,” the FDP politician told the German Press Agency. It is good that the war refugees from Ukraine were accepted into Germany in an uncomplicated process and were given the opportunity to work. “We are trying to ensure that more people from Ukraine get into work and fewer end up living on citizens’ money,” he added.
There is currently discussion in Ukraine about how the army can recruit more soldiers. The military wants to mobilize an additional 450,000 to 500,000 men. The Defense Ministry in Kiev has appealed to Ukrainians abroad who have fled the war to return and defend their homeland. But there are no plans to bring men back from abroad under pressure and call them up.
CDU politician Wadepuhl shows understanding
"I can't imagine, since our constitution stipulates that no one has to serve as a weapon against their will for German citizens, that we can then force people from other countries to do so," said Buschmann.
Union parliamentary group vice-president Johann Wadephul (CDU), however, showed understanding for the concerns of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. "It is an urgent moral appeal and we should definitely support it politically. These people are here because there is a war going on there - and they simply have to make a contribution to ending this war," said Wadephul on TV. Channel World.
Buschmann emphasized that he was also against reactivating compulsory military service in Germany, as Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) had brought up. He believes it is “wrong from both a security policy and a civil rights perspective to try to force young people to do anything against their will.” Weapons technology is so complex today that the Bundeswehr needs “highly qualified professionals”. A short course is not enough.
Zelensky appeals to Ukrainians' fighting spirit
Before Christmas, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the fighting spirit of his compatriots not to let up in their defense of the country. What is needed is a “maximum amount of attention for defense, a maximum of effort for the state, a maximum of energy so that Ukraine can achieve its goals,” said Zelenskyj in his video message in Kiev on Thursday. The time to rest will come later.
This year, Ukraine will officially celebrate Christmas for the first time on December 25th, following the Western model, and no longer just on January 7th, according to Orthodox customs. "Now before Christmas, everyone in our state must remember that this is a time for concentration, a time for work," Zelensky said. The fate of the country will be decided in the Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions attacked by Russia. Some of the areas are occupied by Russian troops.
Heroes of Ukraine honored
The President once again thanked the country's defenders for their fight against Russian aggression. At the same time, Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine was continuing the tradition of particularly honoring its heroes in the fight against the Russian war of aggression. 20 families of Ukrainian heroes received an apartment from the Ukrainian state on Thursday.
And every soldier, sailor and officer awarded the title of hero will receive the same recognition, Zelensky said. He once again awarded several awards posthumously. The families of the fallen received the documents confirming the allocation of an apartment, as can be seen in photos from the President's Office.
Since Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, 362 Ukrainians have been honored as heroes. In addition to soldiers, among them are members of the national guard, the police, the secret services and other defense and security structures of the country, Zelensky said.
Kyiv reports fire in high-rise building
According to authorities, a high-rise building was hit in a new Russian drone attack on the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko spoke on Friday night of an impact on the upper floors of the building and of a fire. Emergency services are on duty. One injured person was taken to hospital.
According to preliminary information from Kiev's military administration, debris from a downed drone fell into the residential building in the southwest part of the city. The authority also published photos of a destroyed apartment. There are also said to have been impacts from debris from drones shot down in other parts of the city. The military administration said it would be clarified whether there was any destruction or casualties.
The thunderous explosion noises caused by the use of anti-aircraft defenses when the drones were shot down could be clearly heard in the city center, as a reporter from the German Press Agency in Kiev reported. There was an air alert in the city of over a million inhabitants and in other regions of the country. The head of the presidential administration in Kiev, Andriy Yermak, described Russia as a “terror nation” that fights civilians.
Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukraine with drone attacks in its war of aggression that has been going on for almost two years. Almost every day, the country's air defense system, which is reinforced by Western defense systems, reports the shooting down of Russian drones and missiles.
Deaths after Russian bombs on coal mines
According to information from Kiev, at least three people were killed in Russian bombings of two coal mines near the city of Torezk in eastern Ukraine. “Another five were injured,” Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on Telegram. Several buildings and equipment were damaged. 32 coal miners working underground were still able to return safely to the surface. Torezk is located in the Donetsk mining region only about five kilometers from the front line between Ukrainian and Russian troops.
What is important today
The Ukrainian armed forces continue to try to prevent Russian occupation troops from advancing in the east and south of the country. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin recently said that the initiative lay with the Russian army and that Ukrainian troops were on the defensive.