Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj called on the citizens of Ukraine to maintain contact with the Russian-occupied parts of the country, Donetsk and the Kharkiv region. These areas would be liberated again. “Tell them that the Ukrainian army will definitely come!” Zelenskyy said in his daily video speech. He also assured in the evening that he wanted to recapture Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
In the east, in the Donbass, the army is under pressure and the losses are terrible. The armed forces urgently need modern artillery from their foreign partners in order to be able to assert themselves.
In the city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, which has been fought over for weeks, the third and final bridge over the Siwerskyi Donets river has also been destroyed, according to authorities. This means that the city is not completely sealed off, said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajdaj. However, it is not possible to evacuate civilians or bring aid supplies into the city.
Sjewerodonzek is mostly in Russian hands. “Unfortunately, as of today, Russia controls more than 70 percent, but not the entire city,” said Hajdaj on TV channel Belsat. There are hard fights for every house. With the capture of the city, the pro-Russian separatists, with Moscow’s help, had almost completely taken control of the Luhansk region and thus achieved an important war goal.
Former US General Ben Hodges believes Ukraine will win the war before the end of this year. “The Ukrainians,” Hodges told Stern, “can take the offensive and push the Russians back behind the February 23 lines.” On February 24, the Russian invasion began. It is crucial, Hodges said, that Ukraine quickly gets the promised support from the West, especially the promised missiles and artillery shells. Hodges, until 2017 supreme commander of US troops in Europe, considers the Russian army to be “close to the end”. She fired more than half of her precision bullets, which she cannot replace because of western sanctions.
Regarding the West’s attitude towards Russia, Hodges says: “We are too afraid”. For example, he demands that the US Air Force escort Ukrainian grain carriers and thus break the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports. “We need bolder leadership,” says Hodges. “The Russian army must be defeated. Putin must appear defeated. Only then will we be in a position of strength.”
The war in Ukraine is driving more and more rich Russians into exile. According to a report by the Guardian, data analysts calculated that more than 15,000 Russian millionaires will leave their homeland in 2022. The analysts come from the drop-out company Henley
Before a possible visit by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in Kyiv, Selenskyj calls for clear support from Germany. “We need Chancellor Scholz to assure us that Germany will support Ukraine. He and his government have to make a decision,” said Selenskyj in an interview with the ZDF “heute-journal” on Monday evening. Germany should not attempt a balancing act between Ukraine and relations with Russia.
Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi could visit Ukraine in the middle of the week. An official date is still pending.
Scholz said nothing about the possible visit to Kyiv. Relations between Berlin and Kyiv had cooled off considerably at the beginning of the war. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was not welcome in Ukraine because Kyiv accused him of his pro-Moscow policies. Added to this was the controversy over the extent and speed of Germany’s support for the attacked country.
The Italian newspaper “La Stampa” named this Thursday as a possible date for the three-way visit by Scholz, Macron and Draghi. Ukrainian media, citing French diplomats in Kyiv, reported that Macron was expected on Wednesday.
“Germany came a little later than some of our neighboring countries in terms of arms deliveries,” Zelenskyj criticized on ZDF. But not only the Baltic States and other eastern EU countries, but also the USA and Great Britain were active earlier. Germany and France had them Ukraine initially only supported politically and rhetorically.
Recently, the Ukrainian side has often denounced that Germany is too hesitant to deliver the weapons it has already promised. The Ukrainian government is hoping for concrete promises for an immediate delivery of German tanks.
Scholz rejected the accusation that he was too hesitant to deliver weapons that had already been promised. The training of Ukrainian soldiers on the sometimes very modern and complicated weapon systems is ongoing. “It’s really heavy equipment. You have to be able to use that, you have to be trained for it, that’s currently taking place in the Federal Republic of Germany,” said Scholz on Monday in Greifswald. “We will deliver all the weapons that we have on the way.”
Zelenskyy said he would like the chancellor to personally support Ukraine’s EU membership. He expects the European Union to grant his country the status of a candidate country in June. Ukraine national team coach Andrei Shevchenko also sees his country as a valuable potential member of the European Union against the background of the Russian invasion.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced at the weekend in Kyiv that she would complete the analysis of Ukraine’s EU membership application at the end of next week. In any case, the recommendation of your authority should be linked to the demand for further reforms in Ukraine.
Macron will start a trip on Tuesday that will already bring him close to the conflict region. He will visit French troops who have been deployed there in the NATO and EU member state Romania and meet President Klaus Iohannis. The next day he is to meet Moldova’s President Maia Sandu. The ex-Soviet republic borders on Ukraine and also wants to join the EU.
In The Hague, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet the heads of government of Denmark, Belgium, Romania, Poland, Latvia and the Netherlands. They want to prepare for the upcoming NATO summit.
The effects of the Ukraine war on agricultural markets and food prices are key issues at the German Farmers’ Day, which begins in Lübeck on Tuesday afternoon. Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir is also expected to attend. Many farms are struggling with the sharp rise in energy and fertilizer costs, as explained by the farmers’ association. Against this background, groceries in the supermarket have also become more expensive. In view of the lack of grain exports from Ukraine, a shortage of supplies is also expected in some states.
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Unknown hackers placed a message against the war in Ukraine on Russian state television websites. On the streaming portal “Smotrim.ru”, for example, on Sunday evening next to photos of destruction in Ukraine “Putin destroys Russians and Ukrainians! Stop the war!”, as reported by numerous Internet users on the Internet.
Russian state television later admitted to a hacker attack on “Smotrim” and the website of the news program “Vesti”. As a result, “unauthorized content with extremist calls” was displayed for less than an hour.
On Monday night, the “Smotrim” website again showed links to propaganda material, for example about the “liberation” of the embattled eastern Ukrainian industrial region of Donbass and the award of the “Hero of Labor” award by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.
You can read more updates on the Ukraine war on the following pages.