In an unusually apolitical video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to his citizens for humanity and compassion. The Russian side launched several waves of so-called kamikaze drones at various targets in Ukraine on Wednesday evening.
Zelenskyj appeal to humanity
"No matter what happens and what's on your mind, support each other, absolutely," Selenskyj asked in his daily video speech on Wednesday evening. "Please take the time to say kind words to those close to you." He called on Ukrainians to help each other in times of need. "If you know that someone is expecting a son or daughter from the war, please pay attention: say hello, listen, help," said the Ukrainian leader. "Hug your family more often." Kind words to colleagues or friends are also appropriate. It is also important not to lose contact with friends and family.
At the end of his speech, Zelensky did get a bit political: "Protect Ukraine, respect each other and do everything to help our soldiers."
New drone strikes in southern and eastern Ukraine
According to Ukrainian information, Russian military launched a new wave of attacks with so-called kamikaze drones against Ukraine on Wednesday evening. The drones were aimed at various targets in the south and east of the country, the command center of the Ukrainian air defense south said on Facebook. Five drones were shot down in the Dnipro region.
The arrival of several groups of drones was also reported from the Donetsk region, Zaporizhia and Kharkiv. Observers also reported on flights towards Odessa. According to reports from the Unian agency, numerous unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down. Most recently, the Russian military used so-called kamikaze drones made in Iran against Ukraine's energy infrastructure. The supply of water and electricity across the country was severely affected.
Lavrov expects supplies to Kyiv to be disrupted
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the supply routes for weapons and ammunition for the Ukrainian army from abroad will soon be interrupted. "We are observing that Ukraine is getting more and better Western weapons," Lavrov said on Russian television. Therefore, there are calls among military experts to interrupt these delivery routes. "Railway lines, bridges and tunnels" are being considered, said Lavrov. "I assume they're making professional decisions about how to make those deliveries more difficult or, ideally, stop them altogether."
Attacks against the Ukrainian infrastructure are already being worked on in part. If the energy grid is interrupted, the delivery of new weapons will already be made more difficult. Ukraine has been defending itself against a Russian war of aggression for more than a decade.
Merz wants delivery of tanks to Ukraine
Union faction leader Friedrich Merz insists on the delivery of modern Leopard II battle tanks to Ukraine. "Supporting Ukraine with infantry fighting vehicles and battle tanks would not prolong this war, it would shorten it," said the CDU chairman of the German Press Agency in Berlin. "Germany and other European countries should have supplied Ukraine with infantry fighting vehicles and main battle tanks of Western design long ago."
Ukrainian Ambassador: "Peace does not fall from the sky"
The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, reiterated his country's demands for further support in the war against Russia. "Peace doesn't fall from the sky. It has to be fought for. And we Ukrainians do that on behalf of all Europeans," Makeiev told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Thursday). The Ukrainians wished for "more courage and determination from our allies and partners".
As goals for 2023, Makeiev named the "complete liberation of our country from Russian occupiers, the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the return of our compatriots home, the reconstruction of our country and further progress in integration into the EU and NATO ".
Habeck: Russia is heading for defeat in Ukraine
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck sees Russia on the way to military defeat. "Nobody would have thought that the year 2022 would end like this," said the Green politician of the German Press Agency in Berlin. "Putin is losing this war on the battlefield," he said. This is because the Ukrainian army receives weapons from Europe, NATO countries and the USA and uses these weapons "skillfully and strategically, cleverly and heroically". "I am in favor of Germany, together with the allies, supporting Ukraine in such a way that it can win this war."
What can be important on Thursday
In Ukraine, the bitter battle for the front-line town of Bakhmut in the east of the country continues.