The US historian Timothy Snyder sees Vladimir Putin on the verge of losing control. Selenskyj welcomes the German genocide classification. Habeck sees the German arms deliveries as an important instrument – but also as “an impertinence”. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found here in the ticker.
More on the course of the war in Ukraine.
Thursday, December 1, 2022, 6:46 a.m.: Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck emphasized the need to deliver arms to Ukraine. “I don’t doubt it for a moment,” the Green politician told Stern magazine. “And yet one cannot applaud that lightly when one realizes that a large number of the 300,000 Russian recruits will be injured or die – also from weapons that we sent. I. The release bears my signature.” The deliveries are “as correct as they are, also an impertinence,” said the Vice Chancellor.
Germany recently supplied Ukraine with Gepard tanks and a modern Iris-T air defense system to ward off the Russian war of aggression. In May 2021, before the start of the war, Habeck was one of the first German politicians on a trip to eastern Ukraine to demand arms deliveries for the country’s defense purposes.
Habeck described 2022 as the “year of decisions”. “This country and its democratic institutions have shown an amazing, almost insane willingness to perform and shape,” he said. He cited the work of his ministry as an example. In the first ten months of the legislature alone, House officials brought 27 bills into the cabinet and wrote 32 ordinances – only six fewer than in the entire previous legislature. The pace had been accelerated by the multiple crises, said the Federal Minister of Economics. “Nevertheless, I believe that democracies are able to learn and change even without the pressure of war.”
4.10 a.m .: The classification of the famine in Ukraine that was deliberately caused 90 years ago as genocide by the Bundestag has been expressly welcomed by the Ukrainian government. “This is a decision for justice, for truth,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Wednesday evening. “And this is a very important signal for many other countries in the world that Russian revanchism will not succeed in rewriting history.”
With a large majority, the MPs in Berlin on Wednesday accepted a joint motion by the traffic light coalition and the Union faction, which spoke of an “inhuman crime”. Under the responsibility of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, up to four million people fell victim to the so-called Holodomor (“Murder by Hunger”) in the years 1932 and 1933 in the Ukraine alone.
Selenskyj’s adviser Mykhailo Podoljak also welcomed the Bundestag’s decision. “Germany, 2022. Openly names Russia as the murderer who is waging the war in Europe, recognizes Holodomor 1932-33 as a genocide against the Ukrainian people, speaks about the impossibility of an “unjust peace” on Russian terms,” Podoljak tweeted in German in the evening. “We thank you for this strong German leadership position and hope for Leos.” With this he confirmed Ukraine’s desire to receive German Leopard-type main battle tanks. In the Ukrainian version of his tweet, he also expressed hope for missile defense systems.
Thursday, December 1, 4:10 a.m.: Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) appeals to the municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia to help Ukrainian war refugees in the coming year, despite financial difficulties. “We will also have to stand closely together in 2023,” he told the German Press Agency in Düsseldorf. “Together with our municipalities, we will do everything to ensure that everyone who flees to us from the Russian war of aggression is properly housed and cared for.”
It is clear to everyone that the harsh winter in Ukraine is still to come. “That’s why we will continue to oppose Putin’s misanthropy with all of North Rhine-Westphalia’s solidarity in the new year.”
2:15 p.m .: The federal government wants to give Ukraine more Gepard anti-aircraft gun tanks to defend against Russian attacks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) made it clear in a conversation with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj that “we can send a number of Gepard tanks to Ukraine again,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday in Berlin.
Details on arms deliveries would only be made known once the handover has taken place. “Since the Bundeswehr has not had any cheetahs since 2012, they are not from the Bundeswehr,” Hebestreit said. This left only one delivery from industry stocks or from Qatar, where World Cup stadiums are protected against possible terrorist attacks from the air by German Gepard anti-aircraft gun tanks. So far, 30 of the tanks have been delivered to Ukraine from the stocks of the manufacturer KMW.
12:28 p.m .: In just over two months since the announced partial mobilization, the Russian army has given military training to around 300,000 reservists and volunteers. 3,000 trainers have been deployed for this purpose, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in Moscow on Wednesday. The training is taking place at more than 100 military training areas in Russia and Belarus, he added, according to Russian news agencies.
Because of the high losses in the war of aggression against Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization on September 23. According to reports, however, many reservists are sent directly to the front without preparation and with inadequate equipment. Accordingly, there are many dead and injured.
Shoigu praised Russia’s Tornado-C multiple rocket launcher and 2S7M Malka self-propelled howitzer at a Defense Ministry meeting. He said the long-range weapons are effective against the foreign weapons systems Ukraine is being armed with. So far, however, international experts have found little evidence of losses of large Western weapons in Ukraine. On the contrary, the US Himars multiple rocket launchers made a decisive contribution to the Ukrainian advances in the autumn.
In the “special military operation” in Ukraine, as Shoigu called it, in accordance with Moscow parlance, the army is also trying out new ways of using artillery and drones. The minister has been in the public eye again in recent weeks, after he had hardly appeared for a long time due to criticism of the army’s failures.
10.01 a.m .: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to use frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine. In the short term, a structure could be created with international partners to manage and invest funds blocked by sanctions, von der Leyen said on Wednesday. The proceeds could then be used for Ukraine.
According to von der Leyen, after a possible lifting of the sanctions, the funds should be used to fully compensate Ukraine. “The damage to Ukraine is estimated at 600 billion euros,” she said. “Russia and its oligarchs must compensate Ukraine for the damage and bear the cost of rebuilding the country.”
According to von der Leyens, as part of the sanctions imposed on Russia, 300 billion euros in reserves from the Russian central bank have already been blocked and 19 billion euros in funds from Russian oligarchs have been frozen. The President of the Commission also proposed setting up a specialized court for the prosecution of Russian war crimes.
You can read more news on the following pages.