Russian war of aggression: War in Ukraine: That is the situation

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Russian war of aggression: War in Ukraine: That is the situation

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. A year later, Ukraine still believes in a military victory over the aggressor. On the anniversary of the invasion, China presented a peace initiative on Friday that met with little approval - except in Russia. At the United Nations, an overwhelming majority of states called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw.

Ukraine and its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy experienced worldwide solidarity on the anniversary. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered at rallies, new promises of military and economic aid were made - flanked by tougher penalties against Russia.

Germany is delivering four more Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine. "Germany is thus increasing its number of tanks from 14 to 18," said the Ministry of Defense in Berlin.

Can China now help to make peace?

The leadership in Beijing presented a plan that primarily calls for rapid negotiations. "Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis."

To this day, China has not condemned the Russian war of aggression and has given Putin its backing. According to the leadership in Beijing, the USA and NATO are the real culprits.

The Russian foreign policy expert Leonid Slutsky called the Chinese plan "balanced" - at least more balanced than the UN resolution, which actually calls for Russia's capitulation, wrote the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in parliament.

Ukraine rejects the position paper. "Any 'peace plan' that only envisages a 'ceasefire' and, as a result, a new dividing line and the occupation of territories, is not about peace," wrote presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak.

The federal government, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reacted cautiously to China's actions.

The world - almost - united against Russia

In the United Nations General Assembly, 141 of the 193 member states voted in favor of a resolution calling for peace and Russia's withdrawal. It is not binding. Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua and Syria, along with Russia, voted against with 32 abstentions. Several countries did not participate.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid tribute to the Ukrainian people and once again assured US support. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) once again acknowledged military support.

For President Zelensky, the UN resolution is a "strong signal of unwavering global support." He paid tribute to the resistance of his compatriots and wrote in the short message service Twitter: "We know that 2023 will be the year of our victory."

More US weapons and sanctions, tanks from Poland and Sweden

The US government is providing more billions in military aid. The Pentagon announced a new package worth two billion US dollars (around 1.9 billion euros). This includes additional ammunition for the Himars multiple rocket launchers, drones and mine clearance equipment.

Germany delivered four more Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine. "Germany is thus increasing its number of tanks from 14 to 18," the Ministry of Defense announced.

Poland delivered the first four Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Sweden plans to hand over up to ten Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. That should be done in close coordination with Germany, said Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

With further sanctions, stricter export regulations and tariff increases, the US government wants to turn off the money supply to Russia.

Fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine also on the anniversary

On the anniversary, too, both sides fought fierce battles on the deadlocked front. In the situation report for Friday morning, the Ukrainian general staff spoke of further Russian attacks in the direction of the cities of Kupyansk, Liman, Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the east of the country. Neither the Ukrainian military information nor that of the Russian Ministry of Defense could be independently confirmed. Moscow also named Kupyansk, Liman, Avdiivka and Wuhledar as places of Russian attacks.

Federal President Steinmeier assures German solidarity

The anniversary also moved people and politics in Germany. Numerous rallies in many cities were planned - mostly against Russia's war of aggression. But opponents of arms deliveries to Ukraine also wanted to get together.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier assured the invaded country of German solidarity and further comprehensive aid. Steinmeier said in Berlin that Germany is today, including militarily, Ukraine's biggest supporter on the European continent. "You can rely on Germany." Steinmeier repeated this sentence in Ukrainian.

The Federal President, together with the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, had invited to the central German event at the beginning of the war at Bellevue Palace. It was attended by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and numerous members of his cabinet, as well as Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and Bundesrat President Peter Tschentscher (both SPD).