Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has expressed gratitude for promises of new arms aid.

Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has expressed gratitude for promises of new arms aid. “There will be new defense packages, especially with the lack of artillery,” said Zelenskyj in his evening video address with a view to the conference of the so-called Ukraine Contact Group at the US air force base in Ramstein (Palatinate).

In this context, he specifically mentioned Germany and the additional armaments package worth 500 million euros promised by Berlin. "We greatly appreciate Germany's contribution to protecting Ukrainian lives and our independence," he said.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) had previously promised further ammunition deliveries at short notice at the meeting of the so-called Ukraine contact group. For this purpose, 10,000 artillery shells from Bundeswehr stocks would be delivered, he said. With the new package, Germany is already providing support worth seven billion euros to Kiev this year. The deliveries also include 100 armored vehicles for the infantry and 100 transport vehicles.

Zelenskyj focuses on air defense

According to Zelenskyj, the focus in weapons procurement continues to be on anti-aircraft defense, electronic warfare means and drones, in addition to artillery ammunition. Zelensky praised other countries that had also joined the Czech initiative to procure ammunition.

The Czech Republic has started purchasing ammunition from around the world for the needs of the Ukrainian army. The initiative is now financially supported by a number of other Western countries. Zelensky also called for more speed in the delivery of the promised Western fighter jets. "Maximum acceleration is needed regarding the F-16."

The aircraft are intended to help strengthen air defense. Zelenskyj pointed out that Russia has recently increased its attacks on border regions from the air - in addition to drones and missiles, also with guided glide bombs that are dropped from aircraft.

Putin wants to further expand the role of the military

After his re-election, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the further strengthening of the military and security organs. "Of course, today - and especially today - strengthening the defense capability and security of the Russian state is particularly important," said Putin, according to the state news agency Tass, at a meeting with the parliamentary group leaders. Once again he portrayed the Ukraine he attacked as the aggressor and declared that the Russian people would not be intimidated.

With his actions, the enemy is achieving exactly the opposite of what he intended, he said, referring to the increasing shelling of Russian border regions by Ukraine in recent days. The attacks on the border regions have also caused casualties among the Russian civilian population. However, the damage is disproportionate to the number of victims and the extent of the destruction that Russia's military is causing in Ukraine.

Also that night, Russian anti-aircraft defense shot down drones in the southern Saratov region. According to initial findings, there was no damage or casualties in the city of Engels from falling debris, said Governor Roman Busargin on Telegram.

Russian border region wants to cordon off towns

The situation is getting worse in the Russian border region of Belgorod, which has been under fire from the Ukrainian side for days. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced an early start to the holidays for the regional capital of the same name and the districts on the border with Ukraine. Some of the lessons will still be conducted online. In seven districts, checkpoints with security forces have begun to be set up, as in crisis areas, to regulate access to towns.

Two men were killed and two others injured when the small district town of Graivoron was shelled on Wednesday, Gladkow said. A woman is believed to have been buried under the rubble of a collapsed grocery store.

Federation Council President Valentina Matviyenko announced in Moscow an “appropriate response” to the attacks and retaliation. The attacks by the Ukrainian armed forces were specifically directed against civilian objects and cities, said Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin's confidante - without providing any evidence. She accused the USA, Great Britain and NATO of coordinating the actions of the Ukrainian army. She did not provide any evidence for this either. Pro-Ukrainian paramilitaries have claimed responsibility for the attacks, but not Kiev's regular armed forces.

The authorities in the Belgorod region announced that they would distribute food due to the increasingly poor supply situation in the area, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. The day before, Governor Gladkow had also announced that a total of 9,000 children would be brought to safety. Last year there were already evacuations after the region was shelled.

Armed personnel from the Interior Ministry, the National Guard, the Border Guard and the Ministry of Defense are supposed to regulate access to the towns at the checkpoints. “We will ensure safe access to the respective residential address at times when there is no shelling,” said Gladkow. At the same time, residents should continue to be convinced to leave their houses and apartments for their own safety

London: Russia wants to use deception to protect planes and ships

According to the British, Russia wants to protect its fighter jets and warships from Ukrainian attacks using replicas and other deception. "The Russian Armed Forces are most likely trying to increase and improve the use of so-called Maskirovka techniques to mitigate the heavy losses of the past two years in both the Black Sea Fleet and the Aerospace Forces," the British Ministry of Defense said, referring to the Russian term with.

Cheap replicas of jets are being set up at Russian airfields or machines are being covered with tires, and there are also reports of aircraft silhouettes painted on the ground, it said in London. The bow and stern of warships would be painted black to make the boats appear smaller. Outlines of the ships would be painted onto the pavement on the quays. The British ministry showed an aerial photo of a submarine anchored in the port of Novorossiysk and a silhouette next to it.

EU again for tariffs on certain agricultural products from Ukraine

The EU wants to reintroduce tariffs on large quantities of certain agricultural products from Ukraine to support European farmers. Negotiators from the EU states and the European Parliament in Brussels agreed on this. Specifically, according to Parliament, this concerns eggs, poultry and sugar as well as corn, oats, groats and honey.

In the future, there will be a certain quota for these goods that can be sold duty-free into the EU. When this amount is reached, tariffs will be due again. No tariffs will initially apply to the import of wheat, although measures can be taken under certain conditions. According to the preliminary agreement, these rules should apply until June 2025.

After Russia's attack on its neighboring country, the EU suspended tariffs in order to strengthen the Ukrainian economy. The agreement that has now been reached still needs to be formally approved by Parliament and the EU states.