Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

At an EU meeting in Luxembourg, the federal government strongly promoted the German initiative to supply additional air defense systems to Ukraine.

Russian Invasion: War against Ukraine: This is the situation

At an EU meeting in Luxembourg, the federal government strongly promoted the German initiative to supply additional air defense systems to Ukraine. "We on the German side (...) urgently appeal (...) that everyone take another look at their stocks and see how air defense support can be expanded," said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Russia is also specifically attacking civilian infrastructure.

Defense State Secretary Siemtje Möller said the current situation made it clear that Ukraine needed more protection. In the best case scenario, future air attacks could be repelled from further distances - "before Russian aircraft can use their weapons." Around a week ago, Germany announced the delivery of an additional Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. It is used to combat aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who was connected via video conference, called on his colleagues from the EU states gathered in Luxembourg not to debate but to act. “If we act together and without fear, we can prevent the worst scenarios,” he said. Concrete and courageous decisions are needed to provide Ukraine with additional Patriot and Samp/T systems as quickly as possible. Rockets, artillery and ammunition as well as other weapons and equipment would also be needed.

New threat situation

The Defense Ministry in Berlin said a few days ago that the Ukrainian partners had reported a changed threat situation. Russia is increasingly using industrially produced glide bombs that can be fired from fighter aircraft from a great distance. The defense shifts accordingly.

The Ukrainian side does not yet have sufficient defense options against the gliding bombs equipped with wings. An antidote would be more Patriot anti-aircraft systems, which could use their range to keep Russian aircraft at bay, which military experts believe would be promising. The three systems that Kiev has at its disposal are needed to protect its own arms production and infrastructure from Russian missile attacks. So Ukraine needs more of it.

Devastating effect of glide bombs

Most recently, according to Ukrainian counts, Russia used more than 100 glide bombs weighing 250, 500 or more kilograms against Ukrainian positions every day. Despite the reports not being very precise, the detonations incapacitate soldiers in a larger area. Dismantled fortifications are completely destroyed.

Due to the small number of long-range anti-aircraft systems that can also shoot down ballistic missiles, Russian missile strikes in the Ukrainian hinterland are repeatedly successful. Since mid-March, several thermal power plants and at least one hydroelectric power plant have been at least severely damaged. There are already warnings of major power cuts for the summer.

Hoping for the contact group

However, there have been no concrete commitments for new air defense systems for Ukraine at the EU meeting so far. However, countries such as Spain, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands indicated that they would support the German initiative. Concrete announcements are expected at the latest at the next meeting of the US-led contact group to coordinate international military assistance to Ukraine. According to diplomats, the participants in the so-called Ramstein format want to connect via video conference next Friday afternoon, when the planned new US support package worth 61 billion US dollars (57 billion euros) has been finally decided by then.

Foreign Minister Baerbock viewed the fact that the US House of Representatives approved the aid package at the weekend after a long blockade as a major breakthrough. "This is not only a good and important moment for Ukraine, but it is also an important moment for securing the European peace order," she said. Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently using all available means to destroy Ukraine and attack the European peace order.

Biden promises Zelensky quick support

Shortly before the vote in the US Senate on a new Ukraine aid package, US President Joe Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj quick support. Biden spoke on the phone with his counterpart, the White House said in a statement. Once the Senate passes the bill and Biden signs it, his administration will "rapidly deploy new security assistance to meet Ukraine's urgent battlefield and air defense needs."

US aid would also help maintain Ukraine's financial stability, rebuild critical infrastructure in the country attacked by Russia and advance reforms for Ukraine's integration into the Euro-Atlantic region.

Kremlin: US arms assistance will not change the situation at the front

According to the Kremlin, however, the aid package will not bring about any fundamental change on the battlefield. The Russian units are currently on the advance, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax news agency. "Of course, the money provided and the weapons provided by that money do not change this dynamic." Instead, they would lead to more casualties among Ukrainians and greater destruction, he said. Peskov accused the USA of enriching itself by providing weapons to Ukraine.

Moscow: Russian army captures another eastern Ukrainian village

Meanwhile, the Russian armed forces say they have captured another village in eastern Ukraine. The Defense Ministry in Moscow said it was in the town of Novomykhailivka in the Donetsk region. This improved the tactical situation. Novomykhaliwka is located a good 20 kilometers southwest of the regional capital Donetsk, which is under Russian control. The conquest was not confirmed by the Ukrainian side. The general staff report spoke of repulsed attacks. Ukrainian military observers had already marked the place as Russian-controlled that night.

Television tower collapsed in Kharkiv, Ukraine

In the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the television tower was badly damaged in a Russian attack. Videos on social networks showed how the top of the 240 meter high tower fell into the depths; an explosion cloud could also be seen. Regional Governor Oleh Synyehubov confirmed that a "television infrastructure object" had been hit.

“There are currently problems with digital television reception,” he explained. No people were harmed. Public television referred to alternative reception options for news radio in the region. According to preliminary information from the public prosecutor's office, the television tower was attacked with a Ch-59 air-to-surface missile.

Hamburg's mayor Tschentscher with Klitschko in Kyiv

Hamburg's mayor Peter Tschentscher and his Kiev counterpart Vitali Klitschko emphasized the solidarity between their cities in times of the Russian war of aggression. Not only military aid is important, but also civilian support, said Klitschko at the meeting in Kiev City Hall, where Tschentscher handed over three Hamburger Hochbahn buses as a gift. The visit also has symbolic meaning for the citizens of Kiev. “It shows that we are not alone,” said Klitschko.

Tschentscher arrived in Kiev by train in the morning - as the first German state head of government since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began in February 2022.

The pact for solidarity and the future that Klitschko and he had concluded for their cities just a few weeks after the start of the war was not just a political signal, said Tschentscher. "Especially on a practical level, it is important that normal life can continue in such a difficult situation, in which the city of Kiev is still a target of Russian missiles and drones."