Updated on 05/01/2022 at 08:23
- According to Ukrainian troops, they shot down two Russian fighter jets and several drones.
- Meanwhile, the United States already wants to send ambassadors back to the country at war.
- Meanwhile, Olaf Scholz defends his reluctance to deliver weapons.
- What happened overnight – and is still important today.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated Washington’s continued “strong support” for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. In a conversation with his Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday evening (local time) after a statement from the State Department, Blinken informed of the upcoming return of American diplomats, initially in Lviv in the coming week and as soon as possible in Kyiv.
According to Ukrainian information, the Ukrainian and American military also coordinated again. A phone call between Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Saluschnyj and US Chief of Staff Mark Milley focused on the delivery of weapons, ammunition and other equipment, as reported on Sunday evening on the Facebook page of Saluschnyj.
Zalushnyj stressed that the Ukrainian army must switch from Soviet equipment to NATO models. “And the sooner we start this process, the sooner we will complete it.”
US President Joe Biden announced Thursday in Washington that he would ask Congress to approve an additional 33 billion dollars (31.4 billion euros) for Ukraine. 20 billion should be used for military aid, around 8.5 billion for economic aid.
Scholz defends Ukrainian politics
Meanwhile, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is defending his Ukrainian policy against accusations that he is acting with too much hesitation and fear in the face of Russian aggression. “I make my decisions quickly – and in coordination with our allies. I am wary of hasty actions and Germans going it alone,” the SPD politician told “Bild am Sonntag”. He intends to stick to this course.
On Tuesday, the Federal Government approved the delivery of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to the German arms industry. They are the first heavy weapons to be delivered directly from Germany to Ukraine. Before the war in Ukraine, the principle applied was not to deliver arms to crisis areas.
Baerbock: peace only after the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) told ‘Bild am Sonntag’ that a prerequisite for a lasting peace in Europe and an end to sanctions against Russia is the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers from Ukraine . “A ceasefire can only be a first step.” “We must help Ukraine to be strong enough to make its own decisions,” the minister said. “No one has the right to dictate to them.”
During an election campaign in Ahrensburg near Hamburg on Saturday, Baerbock again defended its support for a delivery of heavy weapons. “We want to help the Ukrainian people so that they can defend themselves against Putin’s war of aggression, which violates international law,” she said. “But what would that mean if we did nothing? Would that mean one less bomb would drop? No,” she said.
Melnyk: “For Putin, Germany has long been a war party”
Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk continues to demand the most modern German weapons for Ukraine’s defensive struggle against the Russian army. The promised Gepard tanks are already 40 years old, he told the “Bild am Sonntag”. But to defeat Russia, “we need the most modern German weapons.” Specifically, he named the rapid export of 88 Leopard tanks, 100 Marder tanks, self-propelled howitzers “and much more”.
Melnyk described the fear of becoming a war party by supplying weapons as complete nonsense: “For Putin, Germany has long been a war party. Anyone who wants to stop their war from escalating must help us now to put Putin in his place.
Zelensky: 23,000 Russian soldiers killed
According to Ukrainian figures, 23,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine since the start of the war. In addition, more than a thousand Russian tanks and almost 2,500 other military vehicles have already been destroyed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech on Saturday evening. Actual military losses are difficult to estimate. Moscow has so far admitted more than a thousand of its own casualties and puts the number of Ukrainian fighters killed at more than 23,000.
According to the Unian agency, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Saturday evening that no movement of troops from Russia to Ukraine had been observed for four days. On the other hand, “a large number of broken, injured and dead materials” will be brought back to Russia.
Ukraine: fighter jets and drones shot down
According to Ukrainian troops, they shot down two Russian fighter jets and several drones. The Su-25 plane and four of the seven downed drones were hit in eastern Ukraine, the Air Force and Army announced on Facebook on Sunday evening.
In addition, three anti-aircraft tanks, the Strela-10 anti-aircraft system and a radio vehicle were destroyed on Russian-held Serpents’ Island in the Black Sea, the South Commando said on Facebook.
Civilians evacuated from Mariupol steel plant
According to the Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Azov Regiment, 20 women and children were evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. Russian news agencies had previously reported 25 civilians leaving the factory premises.
According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 civilians are trapped in the steelworks bunkers. Russia, meanwhile, speaks of around 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries who are also locked up there.
Merz wants to go to Kyiv
CDU Chairman Friedrich Merz wants to go to kyiv. The CDU circulated on Twitter a message from its chief of staff Jacob Schrot, in which he wrote without giving a date: “Friedrich Merz is indeed planning a trip to Ukraine”. According to the media, the trip should take place on Monday.
Schrot continued: “Germany’s support for Ukraine is not a question of government versus opposition. That is why the democratic center of the German Bundestag passed a joint motion in support of Ukraine this week. Merz wants this joint political responsibility of the opposition and the government with his visit to express himself.”
It’s going to be important today
Labor Day Sunday is also marked by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences for Germany. German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) President Reiner Hoffmann has already called for greater participation by the wealthy to cope with the burden.
Verdi boss Frank Werneke has warned of an arms race for the announced billion-dollar rearmament program for Germany. Germany must be able to defend itself, including its alliance obligations, Werneke explained in the pre-publication manuscript of his speech in Mainz. The goal remains a world with fewer weapons. (dpa/mbo)