According to the head of the Munich Security Conference, Putin is aiming his nuclear threat at Germany. Federal President Steinmeier has made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.

More on the course of the war in Ukraine

Wednesday, October 26, 2:35 a.m.: According to the head of the Munich Security Conference, Christoph Heusgen, Russian President Vladimir Putin primarily wants to influence Germany with his nuclear threats in the Ukraine war. “With the threat of nuclear weapons, he is primarily aiming at Germany,” Heusgen told the newspapers of the Bayern media group. With this threat, Putin is trying to stir up fears and weaken support for Ukraine. “We’re back in Cold War logic.”

The Americans have made it clear to Moscow that the use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences for Russia, Heusgen said. “I cannot imagine that there are suicidal Russian generals who would implement such an order.” In addition, the Kremlin chief does not want to go into worldwide isolation. Even China cannot allow the use of nuclear weapons to go through.

In connection with the war of aggression in Ukraine, the Kremlin has repeatedly and indirectly threatened to use nuclear weapons. For example, Putin had announced that he would use all available means to protect Russia. Russia had previously annexed Ukrainian territory. Observers saw it as a threat to use nuclear weapons.

On the question of Ukraine’s possible NATO membership, Heusgen said that former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had vetoed it at a 2008 summit. The situation has changed as a result of Putin’s breach of international law, said Heusgen, who was Merkel’s foreign policy advisor for many years. “We have to think about what guarantees we can give Ukraine.” He didn’t want to anticipate that. “But I think we should no longer rule out NATO membership for Ukraine,” Heusgen told the newspapers.

11:43 p.m .: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has renewed warnings to Russian President Vladimir Putin from aboard a US aircraft carrier. “Russia must not use false pretenses for further escalation,” said the Norwegian on Tuesday during a visit to the USS George H.W. Bush”. Claims that Ukraine is planning to detonate a “dirty bomb” containing radioactive material on its own territory are crystal clear.

Russia often blames others for things it intends to do itself, Stoltenberg added. The world is following developments closely. Moscow had previously claimed that Ukraine was planning to detonate a radioactive bomb to discredit Russia.

The US aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush” is currently leading the alliance’s “Neptune Strike 2022” exercise, according to NATO information. More than 80 aircraft, 14 ships and around 6,000 soldiers from NATO and partner countries are involved in it. The exercise will test deterrence and defense capabilities in the Euro-Atlantic area.

11:08 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Germany for the help and asked for more help from Israel. “We will strengthen cooperation with Germany,” said the 44-year-old on Tuesday in his daily video address. In it, Selenskyj went into great detail about the visit of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Ukraine.

During his visit, the Federal President had to seek shelter in the air raid shelter and experienced first-hand the importance of a functioning air defense system. The German Iris-T air defense system is highly efficient, praised Selenskyj. “We are waiting for more systems like this.” He also thanked Steinmeier for taking over the patronage of town twinnings between Germany and Ukraine. He praised Chancellor Olaf Scholz and EU Council President Ursula von der Leyen for the Ukraine aid conference in Berlin.

Zelenskyy meanwhile addressed an appeal to the Israeli leadership, which has condemned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, but for its own security interests is neither participating in the sanctions against Moscow nor delivering weapons to Kyiv. “The sooner peace is achieved in our country thanks to the Ukrainian victory, the less evil Russia will be able to bring to other regions, including the Middle East, where it has made an agreement with Iran.” The Israeli people have understood that, he hopes the country’s leadership soon too, said the 44-year-old. Iran and Israel are very hostile.

Finally, he briefly mentioned a phone call with Britain’s new Prime Minister Sunak. “I invited the prime minister to visit Ukraine,” said Zelenskyy. Britain is considered one of Ukraine’s closest military allies. Sunak’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, was in Kyiv several times.

5:44 p.m .: Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has criticized Russia’s “weak reaction” to the alleged shelling of Russian regions by Ukraine in his Telegram channel k. Kaydrow has repeatedly called for tougher warfare from the Russian government. Kadyrov is considered one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants and is often dubbed “Putin’s bloodhound”.

Kadyrov thinks Ukrainian cities should be destroyed in retaliation for the shelling. “We have already declared martial law in the border regions, but they do not hesitate to shoot at civilians, destroy social facilities, kill children and the elderly,” Kadyrov claimed without evidence. Since the beginning of the war, military objects in the Russian border areas have been repeatedly shelled, most recently to a greater extent. Two people died in a shelling in Shebekino on Saturday. There were twelve injured.

If a shell falls on Russian territory, “we must erase (Ukrainian) cities from the face of the earth,” Kadyrov demanded. “So we can see the distant horizon. So that they understand that you can’t even think about shooting in our direction.”

4:03 p.m .: A man in Norway is suspected of having spied for Russia under a false identity. As the Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported on Tuesday, the Brazilian researcher was arrested on Monday on his way to work at the university in Tromsø, Norway. The Norwegian secret service PST therefore suspects that he is actually Russian, works for a Russian secret service and is in the country with false papers. Deputy intelligence chief Hedvig Moe told the broadcaster that he had been asked to be deported because he posed a threat to national interests.

According to NRK information, the man came to the university in autumn 2021 with a research assignment. There he is supposed to be part of a research group that researches hybrid warfare. University rector Dag Rune Olsen confirmed to the newspaper Dagbladet that he had been informed of the arrest on Monday. Tromsø is located in the far north of Norway, where the Scandinavian country also borders Russia further east.

2:36 p.m .: During his visit to Ukraine, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier got a small impression of what the war in the country means for the people. Immediately after his arrival in the small town of Koryukivka, north-east of Kyiv, an air alarm was sounded there on Tuesday. Steinmeier, Mayor Ratan Achmedow and a group of citizens then went to an air raid shelter.

There, the Federal President had the people report on how they experienced the Russian war of aggression. A woman tearfully told about the start of the war on February 24, another about her husband, who is fighting against the Russian army. “My husband is on the front lines, on the hottest front lines,” she said.

“We spent the first hour and a half in the air raid shelter,” Steinmeier said afterwards. “That gave us a particularly impressive understanding of the conditions under which people live here.” It was a situation that could not be ruled out during the visit. The people there have to live with this situation every day. “Having the conversation there was particularly impressive. And I don’t think it was just me.”

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