Political scientist Herfried Münkler warns of an imminent defeat for Ukraine – and massive consequences far beyond Ukraine. Selenskyj fears a depopulation of the Dobass. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
So far, US arms supplies to Ukraine have focused on Javeline anti-tank missiles, Stinger shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, firearms and ammunition. However, the USA has already begun to deliver M777 howitzers to Ukraine, which have a range of around 25 kilometers. The systems now under discussion could therefore shoot considerably further.
US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said Ukrainians have been asking for multiple rocket launchers for a long time. But he will not anticipate any decision. “We are constantly talking to the Ukrainians about their needs and about what we and our allies and partners can provide.” The first M777 howitzers are in use in Donbass, among other places. The Ukrainians said they were “definitely making a significant difference on the battlefield.”
4:12 p.m .: The political scientist Herfried Münkler sounded the alarm in an interview with the “Welt”: “It is now important that the resistance of the Ukrainians in the first 90 days of this war was not in vain. Because after a period of euphoria that Ukraine could win this war and even drive out the Russians from all over Ukraine, the war is now very difficult for Ukraine. It is about to lose it.”
According to Münkler, if negotiations lead to peace in the current military situation, this would not be good for Ukraine. “It is to be expected that a negotiated peace would now mean that Ukraine would tend to lose the entire Donbass, if not even larger areas,” Münkler told the “Welt”.
According to the political scientist, a defeat in Ukraine would have consequences for the whole world: “The first global learning effect will be that many countries will say: Well, what Putin can do and he got half of Ukraine, we could try now wherever. A concession to Putin, with the best intentions of the peace friends, would have the effect of ushering in an era of wars of conquest.”
3:58 p.m .: Just a week ago, Russian troops took Mariupol after Ukrainian fighters had holed up there for weeks in the Azov steelworks. But a lot is already changing for those residents who have not yet fled the city. Putin’s occupiers not only placed three trucks on site that played Russian propaganda. The entire administration has already changed, and there is still a lot to come for the residents.
12.17 p.m .: Development Minister Svenja Schulze has traveled to Ukraine as the second member of the federal government since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. During a visit to the heavily damaged Kiev suburb of Borodjanka on Friday, she assured the people of civil aid from Germany. 185 million euros for emergency measures have already been approved, Schulze told journalists in Borodjanka on Friday.
Specifically, apartments and power lines are to be built. “Ukrainians simply need water and electricity. Those who fled inside Ukraine need a roof over their heads, the children need to be able to go back to school and support is needed for all of that.”
As a reason for his resignation, Bondarev states that Russian politics is not designed to help its own economy, but “to please the hierarchy or some very specific people”. Foreign policy is also “very loud and very rough”, but not efficient. Bondarev says he made his decision on February 24, when Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine. His decision had been thought through for a long time. In order to ensure the safety of his family, however, he needed three months to implement it.
The ex-diplomat cannot say how his colleagues reacted to his resignation. “I don’t know what happened there, I’m no longer in contact, but I think it was a bad day for them.” Bondarev explains that this was mainly for the ambassador and some people from the security area was a severe blow.”They may ask themselves how they should explain that in Moscow and why they didn’t pay enough attention,” he explains.
When the interview is about his colleagues who are actively spreading Russian propaganda on social media, the Geneva-based diplomat has a surprising answer. Spreading the propaganda aggressively is their duty.
“A few months ago, the outrageous tweets from one of my colleagues made me seethe with anger. But when I asked him about it, he was like, ‘What are you interfering with? That’s my job and I have to do it’.” There are many such people in Russian diplomacy. Bondarev: “They know very well that the propaganda is not true, but spread it anyway because it is their duty,” summarizes the ex-diplomat.
9.39 a.m .: The FDP politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann calls for a coordinator for German arms deliveries to Ukraine in view of “unacceptable” communication. “There doesn’t seem to be any other way,” wrote Strack-Zimmermann on Twitter on Friday. “The image that Germany gives internally and externally is just as unacceptable as the communication.” The FDP politician had previously suggested appointing a coordinator who would bring together actors from politics, business and the military.
9.34 a.m .: According to contradictory information as to whether Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has made agreements in the NATO circle not to supply Ukraine with western battle tanks and armored personnel carriers, the Union is demanding a public statement from the Chancellor. “The federal government gives a chaotic picture of decisions and communication,” said Union faction vice Johann Wadephul (CDU) to the Tagesspiegel (Friday). “The chancellor is obviously the prisoner of his faction and unable to set the political course,” emphasized Wadephul.
Anyone who supplies anti-aircraft tanks with twin 30-millimeter cannons – Wadephul means the approved delivery of around 30 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks – can also supply Marder with a 20-millimeter on-board cannon. “It was and is all about these 100 or so armored personnel carriers that Rheinmetall could have delivered long ago. How long will the Greens and FDP look at this?” Wadephul asked, referring to the SPD’s coalition partner in the traffic light coalition.
8:55 a.m .: Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) has defended the construction of liquid gas terminals in Germany and pointed out that they are only needed for a limited period of time. “We need this for a transitional period if we want our living rooms to stay warm. If the industry is to continue running, then these gas terminals will be needed for a short transitional period,” said Lemke in the RTL/ntv program “Frühstart” on the sidelines of the G7 climate ministers’ conference in Berlin. However, these are temporary and must also be suitable for “renewable gas for the future”, said Lemke, adding: “That means no investment in purely fossil infrastructure, but really for the transition.”
With a view to the concerns of nature and species conservationists and the accusation that the approvals for the liquid gas terminals were granted too quickly, Lemke said: “We are accelerating the inspection, but we are not suspending it. Environmental regulations must also be observed when building these liquid gas terminals.” Nature and emission protection are not ignored, Lemke said, and also emphasized: “We are speeding up the process, but we are not lowering the standards. Measures to compensate for nature conservation must also take place there if there is an impairment of nature.”
6:18 a.m .: According to a report by the “Bild” newspaper, a secret anti-Putin summit will take place on Friday. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has invited current and former top politicians, business people, human rights activists and journalists from Europe, the USA and Russia.
One of the participants told the “Bild” newspaper: “Putin has gone too far with the brutal war against Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war, tens of thousands of Russians have had to pay with their lives for his megalomania. If we don’t rid Russia of him now, when will we?”
5:11 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fears a largely depopulated Donbass in view of the massive Russian attacks in the east. With their superior firepower, the attacking Russian troops put pressure on the Ukrainian defenders around the city of Sieverodonetsk on Thursday.
“The ongoing offensive of the occupiers in the Donbass could desert the region,” said Zelenskyj. Cities were being destroyed, people killed or kidnapped, he said. He saw this as “an obvious policy of genocide”. In his evening video address in Kyiv He also explained: “The ongoing offensive by the occupying forces in the Donbass could make the region deserted. Cities would be destroyed, people killed or kidnapped. Friday is the 93rd day of the war.
4:25 a.m .: The political scientist Carlo Masala from the Bundeswehr University in Munich has criticized the federal government’s information policy on arms deliveries to Ukraine. “We have no strategic communication in this area,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND, Friday). “It’s an unbelievable cacophony at times. Americans always state what they deliver. The French initially delivered without talking about it. We don’t even find a middle ground.” Masala added, “Even I’ve lost track by now.”
If you take what is known about arms deliveries to Ukraine as a benchmark, Germany is in the middle, said the political scientist. “First of all, that’s not bad. If you take into account that Germany has one of the largest economies in the world, then we are well below our potential. The US and UK deliver significantly more. That also applies to heavy weapons.” On the other hand, what Germany delivers is not decisive for the war, according to Masala. What matters is what everyone delivers together. “The critics overestimate the German influence.”
3:11 a.m .: According to a media report, the US government is considering sending advanced long-range missile systems to Ukraine. The US-made weapon systems could fire missiles hundreds of kilometers away, CNN reported on Thursday, citing several officials.
A new military aid package could be announced as early as next week. Ukraine asked for these types of weapons, it said. However, the US government has been hesitant because of fears that Ukraine could use the missile systems for attacks on Russian territory. The question arises whether this could lead to a Russian retaliation, according to CNN.
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