Ukraine is urging the establishment of a no-fly zone in the west after a missile hit Polish territory, killing two. TV philosopher Richard Precht has acknowledged a misconception about Ukraine. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in our ticker.
More on the course of the war in Ukraine.
10.13 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has again blamed Russia for the missile impact in Poland. The rocket strike was a “message from Russia to the G20 summit,” Zelensky said in a video speech shortly before the end of the summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Ukrainian head of state said that with Russia, the G20 countries also have a “terrorist state” against which Ukraine must defend itself. That is the “reality”.
10.05 a.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees Russian President Vladimir Putin almost isolated in the world. “The Russian President is almost alone in the world with his policies. He has no strong allies,” said Scholz on Wednesday after the end of the G20 summit of the major economic powers on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Countries like India and South Africa helped the heads of state and government find “surprisingly clear words” about the Russian war in Ukraine. This shows that there are many in the world who do not think this war is right, even if they have abstained from United Nations votes for various reasons.
In a “Welt” interview on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Scholz also said that it was “remarkable” that Putin was not able to appear at the summit and described the Kremlin boss as “absolutely cynical”.
Scholz also emphasized that the cause of the rocket impact in Poland should not be lost sight of. “It is important that we all make it clear at the same time and have made it clear that none of this would have happened without the Russian war against Ukraine, without the rockets that are now being fired intensively and on a large scale at the Ukrainian infrastructure.”
9.40 a.m .: According to the Washington Post, the head of the US foreign intelligence service CIA, William Burns, was in Kyiv during the recent Russian rocket attacks on Ukraine. There he met the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, the newspaper reported on Wednesday. Burns was inside the US embassy during Tuesday’s rocket fire and was not injured.
According to the Kiev count, Russia had fired more than 90 rockets and cruise missiles at Ukraine. According to the newspaper, Burns reiterated US support for Ukraine in Kyiv. There should be no connection between Burns’ stay in the Ukrainian capital and the Russian attacks.
Burns had previously met his Russian counterpart Sergei Naryshkin in Turkey. According to US media, Burns warned Russia against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He is also said to have raised cases of US citizens wrongfully detained in Russia. Ukraine had been informed about this trip in advance.
6.56 a.m .: The G20 summit of leading economic and emerging countries in Indonesia adopted a joint final declaration despite major differences of opinion on issues such as the Ukraine war. This was confirmed by several summit participants on Wednesday of the German Press Agency. The statement said most members of the G20 strongly condemned the war in Ukraine. Russia’s position is contrasted with the sentence: “There were other views and different assessments of the situation.”
What is striking is that the Russian attack is clearly described as a war – and not as a “military special operation” as suggested by Putin. The heads of state and government also found clear words on the subject of nuclear weapons. “The use or the threat of the use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.” Most recently, the illegal annexation of four occupied Ukrainian territories had fueled concerns that Putin could use nuclear weapons.
6:55 a.m .: More and more Russians are expressing their dissatisfaction with the mobilization problems in the country via social media. Sixteen anti-war groups in Russia also launched a petition urging Vladimir Putin to demobilize all mobilized Russian men, reports the Institute for the Study of War.
Almost 38,000 Russians are said to have already signed the petition. The experts point out that frustration over mobilization issues has reached the military blogger community, which was already highly critical of the Russian Defense Ministry and its decisions.
The ISW experts point to a new trend: “These grievances are increasingly affecting both the opposition and those in favor of the war, which is a new phenomenon.”
Wednesday, November 16, 3:58 a.m.: Ukraine is pushing for the establishment of a no-fly zone in the west after a rocket hit Polish territory with two fatalities. “We ask for the sky to be closed because the sky has no borders,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. This is necessary to shoot down uncontrolled missiles and also to protect the EU and NATO countries. “This is the reality we warned about,” Reznikov added.
Ukraine has repeatedly requested such a no-fly zone from the West because of Russian airstrikes. Russia has been firing rockets at the neighboring country every day during the war that has lasted more than eight months. The federal government, for example, rejects decisions that could lead to a direct conflict between NATO and Russia. A no-fly zone would have to be enforced with fighter jets. That would mean NATO entering the war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned in the spring.
11:44 p.m .: According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, after the massive Russian rocket attack on Ukraine’s energy system, around ten million people were temporarily without power. This primarily affects the regions of Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Kyiv and Lviv, said Zelenskyj in his evening video speech on Tuesday. District heating has been switched off in Lviv and other cities. “There are problems with communication and the Internet throughout the country.” The President later added that around eight million people now have electricity again.
As a result of the attacks on the power grid, reactor units at two Ukrainian nuclear power plants were automatically shut down, Zelenskyy said without giving any further details.
He interpreted the heavy attack as Russia’s response to the fact that countries such as Indonesia, China and India had spoken out against the war at the G20 summit. “Russia is telling the world that it wants to continue,” said Zelenskyy. The world must react to this, he demanded.
5:03 p.m .: The military economist Marcus Matthias Keupp from the Military Academy in Zurich is certain: Russia has strategically lost the war against Ukraine. Keupp told Die Zeit in an interview: “The withdrawal from the city and the Cherson region shows that the war has already been strategically decided.”
Keupp makes it clear: “The war was actually strategically lost for Russia after the defeat near Kyiv at the end of March. The original Russian invading army, which invaded in February and consisted of professional soldiers, has largely been wiped out,” he explains in the interview.
“The rest of these troops, who are battle-hardened and well-trained, are now on the Dnipro. From a Russian point of view, however, on the wrong side. And the river crossings are largely destroyed. You can’t get out of there. If the Ukrainians succeed in encircling and capturing these formations, the Russians will have nothing left,” Keupp told Die Zeit. His conclusion – which was devastating for the Russians: “Victory for the Ukrainian armed forces is only a matter of time. You have the initiative, Russia has run out of reserves to turn things around.”
11:36 a.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke briefly to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit. “He stood near me and also said two sentences. That was the conversation,” said Scholz on Tuesday after the first two working sessions of the summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Chancellor emphasized that he did not want a false impression of the length of the exchange to arise. He said nothing about the content of the conversation.
It was his first physical meeting with a Russian official since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began. Scholz has called Russian President Vladimir Putin several times in the almost nine months of war. He will continue to do so. “I think it’s right that there is a constant conversation in which we also discuss exactly the issues that we see differently,” said Scholz.
11:20 a.m .: FIFA President Gianni Infantino has proposed a one-month ceasefire in the war between Russia and Ukraine for the time of the World Cup in Qatar. At an appearance at the G20 summit of the most important industrialized and emerging countries on Tuesday in Bali, Infantino (52) suggested that from the start of the World Cup on Sunday until the final on December 18th the guns would be silent. “We are not naive and think that football can solve the world’s problems,” said the head of the world football association. However, the World Cup could be “an occasion for a positive gesture or a sign”.
He appealed to the participants of the summit – in addition to numerous heads of state and government such as US President Joe Biden and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz as well as the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – he appealed: “You are the leaders of the world. You have the opportunity to influence the course of history.” Infantino added: “My request to all of you is to consider a temporary one-month ceasefire for the duration of the World Cup. Or at least the introduction of humanitarian corridors or anything else that will lead to a resumption of dialogue.”
Infantino attended a luncheon hosted by the G20 countries, hosted by Indonesia. The FIFA boss also reminded that Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup and Ukraine is bidding for the 2030 tournament. “Football unites the world,” he said. Overall, the World Cup will be followed by five billion TV viewers.
IOC chief Thomas Bach was also represented at the G20 summit on the holiday island of Bali. He also called for finding ways to bring about peace. In the history of the Olympics there is also the tradition of the “Olympic Truce” from the time of Greek antiquity. This means that no war should actually be waged during the Olympic Games. However, the “Olympic Truce” was repeatedly violated.
9:36 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented a video at the G20 summit with a plan for a possible end to the Russian war. This requires a withdrawal of Russian troops and a restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, said the head of state on Tuesday at the meeting of the 20 leading industrialized and emerging countries on the Indonesian island of Bali. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is representing Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, took part on behalf of Russia.
“I want this aggressive Russian war to end justly and based on the United Nations Charter and international law,” Zelensky said, according to the speech transcript. “Effective security guarantees” are necessary for Ukraine after the war.
For the creation of a post-war security architecture, Zelenskyj proposed an international conference at which a Kiev agreement could be concluded.
Zelenskyy also demanded an extension of the agreement on export of Ukrainian grain, concluded through Turkey and the UN. Since the end of the Russian blockade in the Black Sea, the country has exported more than 10 million tons of food, he said.
8:27 a.m .: Author and TV philosopher Richard David Precht has admitted that he made misjudgments at the beginning of the Ukraine war. “Bringing Ukraine into a position of strength has been much more successful than almost all observers, including myself, dared to hope,” said Precht on Monday evening at the “Rheinische Post” meeting in Düsseldorf.
“Back then, with a few exceptions, the military experts all made the same prognosis, saying that Ukraine would lose this war within days, weeks, maybe a month or two.”
Richard David Precht’s image has been on the brink for a long time. In addition to criticism, he is increasingly being ridiculed. Click the link above and read more.
“We only now know how incredibly strong the Ukrainian army was from the start, before the arms deliveries came,” Precht claimed. “In this respect, I naturally made the wrong assumption that it’s not worth defending yourself if the war is lost in a week or two. One can see how one can deceive oneself.”
At the end of June, Precht was one of the signatories to an open letter calling for negotiations to end the Ukraine war as quickly as possible. In addition, the celebrities questioned whether arms deliveries from the West were the right way. They were sharply criticized for this by the then Ambassador of Ukraine in Germany, Andriy Melnyk.
Surf tip: Thinker – Richard David Precht: books, podcast, philosophy
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