Military situation:

Ukraine has received the first Gepard anti-aircraft tanks from Germany. “The first three cheetahs officially arrived today,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Ukrainian television on Monday. Several tens of thousands of shots were also handed over. Twelve more Gepard tanks are expected. The delivery is based on an agreement with Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) in May.

It is the second shipment of heavy weapons that Germany has handed over to Ukraine. In June, the German government had already delivered heavy artillery pieces to Ukraine in the form of the Panzerhaubitze 2000. The Panzerhaubitze is the Bundeswehr’s most modern artillery piece with a range of 40 kilometers. At that time, Ukraine received a total of seven guns.

After major losses of territory since the Russian invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has replaced the commander of the armed forces in eastern Ukraine. The head of state dismissed Hryhorij Halahan by decree on Monday and installed Viktor Horenko in his place. The 44-year-old Major General Halahan had led the special operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since August 2020. The war there started in 2014.

Meanwhile, the General Staff in Kyiv reported that the Russian units had achieved successes at the Wuhlehirsk coal-fired power plant. On the other hand, attacks in the direction of the towns of Bakhmut and Siwersk were repelled on the neighboring sector of the front. Russian attacks in the Kharkiv region also failed. Several dozen places, especially in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, were shelled by artillery or bombed by the Luftwaffe.

Political situation:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sees the further throttling of Russian gas supplies to Europe as a form of Moscow’s “terror” against the West. “And this is an open gas war that Russia is unleashing against a united Europe,” said Zelenskyy in his evening video message on Monday. Russia is deliberately making it difficult for Europe to prepare for the winter. The country is showing once again that it is not interested in the fate of the people. The country is making people starve due to the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports and suffer from the cold, poverty and occupation.

“These are just different forms of terror,” said Zelenskyj, referring to the announcement by the Russian gas company Gazprom that it would cut supplies through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 to 20 percent of capacity from Wednesday. Gazprom gave the reason that another gas turbine had to be repaired. For this reason, the current 40 percent output will be further reduced to 33 million cubic meters of gas per day, it said. Nord Stream 1 is Germany’s most important supply pipeline for gas from Russia.

This is another threat for Europe, said Selenskyj. That is why the West must strike back. Instead of thinking about returning the gas turbine that has already been repaired, sanctions against Russia should be further tightened, he said. “Do everything possible to reduce Russia’s revenues not only from gas and oil, but also from other exports that remain,” said Zelenskyy. He warned that any further trade relationship is a “potential means of pressure on Russia”. Russia has long had a reputation for using its gas as a “geopolitical weapon.”

Russia wants to try more than 200 Ukrainians for crimes against humanity before an international tribunal that has yet to be set up. Since the United Nations is dominated by the West, such a tribunal should instead be led by a partner organization of Russia, the head of the Russian investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin, said in an interview with the state-run newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday. According to him, Bolivia, Iran and Syria, among others, have expressed an interest in participating. The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into Russian war crimes in Ukraine earlier this month.

More than 1,300 criminal proceedings have already been initiated against more than 400 people for crimes against the civilian population in Donbass. In the preliminary investigations, a good 220 people were convicted of crimes against humanity and peace – charges that have not expired. “92 commanders and their subordinates were charged, and 96 others, including 51 Ukrainian officers, were wanted,” Bastrykin reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismisses Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council Ruslan Demchenko. This emerges from a statement on the website of the Ukrainian President. Demchenko used to be considered Zelensky’s intimate.

As the medium “The Kyiv Independent” writes, Demchenko is said to have campaigned for the signing of the Kharkiv agreements of 2010. These are said to have favored the Russian annexation of Crimea a few years later. The agreement provided Ukraine with a discount on Russian gas. At the same time, the lease for stationing the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea was extended.

One day after the rocket attacks in the port of Odessa, Moscow justified the internationally criticized attack with the destruction of US weapons. The missiles were fired at a ship repair facility, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Sunday. A Ukrainian warship and a warehouse with US-supplied Harpoon missiles were destroyed in the dock, sources said.

Despite the attack, Lavrov reaffirmed the validity of the international agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea. The passage through a sea corridor should be monitored by a control center in Istanbul, he said on a visit to the Egyptian capital Cairo on Sunday. Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations are said to be working there. Russian and Turkish forces would work together to ensure the safety of the ships on the open sea, Lavrov said. He later spoke of a third party, not yet named, that would be involved in the controls.

In Egypt, Russia’s chief diplomat made a name for himself with statements about a planned overthrow of the Ukrainian government that had not previously been heard from Moscow with such openness. “We will definitely help the Ukrainian people to get rid of the absolutely anti-people and anti-history regime,” he said. The Russian and Ukrainian people would henceforth live together.

In the past few days, the Russian leadership has publicly tightened its position on the Ukraine war. On Wednesday, Lavrov threatened to occupy other areas outside of the Donbass. In view of the western supply of arms and their longer range, it is necessary to further push the Kiev troops away from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, which Moscow has recognized as independent. With the current announcement of a planned regime change in Kyiv, Lavrov contradicted earlier statements. In April he had denied such plans.

Kyiv immediately returned the accusation of the “anti-history regime” to the addressee. “Only those who do not know the real story and do not feel its importance could choose to attack us,” Zelenskyy replied in his video address in the evening. For centuries, Ukrainians have been oppressed and will never give up their independence.

According to the president, maintaining national unity is now the most important task for Ukrainians in order to win the war and become a member of the European Union. “Preserving unity now, working together for victory, is the most important national task that we must tackle together,” he said.

If the Ukrainians can do this, they will succeed in what generations before had failed to do. To preserve independence from Russia, to transform itself into one of the most modern countries in the world and at the same time to go its own way towards Europe, which according to Zelenskyj will end with full membership of the EU.

Ukraine has announced initial successes in the planned reconquest of the Cherson region occupied by Russia. “We can say that a turning point has been reached on the battlefield,” Serhiy Khlan of the pro-Kyiv Kherson military administration said in a TV interview on Sunday. “We see our forces advancing openly,” Chlan added.

The Ukrainian troops would switch from the defensive to the counter-offensive. Chlan said that Kherson would be “definitely liberated by September”. Accordingly, the Ukrainians are preparing a ground offensive.

Supported by artillery supplies from the west, the Ukrainian army has gained ground in the southern Ukrainian region in recent weeks. Russian troops captured the capital of Cherson on March 3rd. The region is important to Ukraine’s agriculture and is close to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger has advised Ukraine and the West not to cede post-war occupied territories in negotiations with Russia. Those responsible in the West would have to draw borders beforehand, “and giving up Ukrainian territory shouldn’t be one of the conditions that we can accept,” said Kissinger, according to a translation on Sunday in the ZDF “heute journal”. Before negotiating, you have to be clear about what you are willing to negotiate and what you are not willing to reveal under any circumstances.

Because of the stagnation in arms deliveries via ring exchange, the FDP politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann is now also open to the direct delivery of German tanks to the Ukraine. The Chair of the Defense Committee of the Bundestag admits that the Eastern European allies have not been able to find replacements for their arms deliveries to Ukraine as quickly as expected.

“If that is problematic for the partners, we should stop the ring exchange and deliver directly to Ukraine – possibly also the (main battle tank) Leopard 2. Time is short,” said Strack-Zimmermann of the German Press Agency.

Before Vladimir Putin went into politics and became Russian President, he had already worked for the KGB for many years. A German publicist and expert on the Russian secret service shows how this time shaped him.

According to information from Kyiv, more than 1,000 Russian soldiers have been surrounded by Ukrainian forces in the occupied southern Ukrainian region of Cherson. Russia, on the other hand, reports the downing of four Himars systems, which Ukraine contradicts. Two US citizens die in Donbass. All news about the war in Ukraine can be found in the ticker.

Moscow has justified its attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov speaks of a planned “regime change” in Ukraine. Kyiv announces progress in the struggle for the occupied Kherson region. An overview of the developments during the night and an outlook for the day.