Kyiv urges speed with military aid
Kyiv, Moscow Shortly before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy insisted on speeding up military aid for his attacked country. “We see that the Kremlin is trying to get out Russia to squeeze out any potential for aggression,” said Selenski in his evening video message on Tuesday. “They are in a hurry, because they know that the world is stronger in the end, but it needs time to unfold its power.” That’s why quick help is now important.
At the same time, he thanked one for further promises of weapons Nato-Meet a few hours earlier in Brussels. From a Ukrainian perspective, however, there is little further progress on the desired delivery of western F-16 fighter jets. The situation remains extremely tense, especially in the heavily contested city of Bachmut in the east.
Russian forces shelled more than 20 towns and villages in the region, as well as the town of Bakhmut itself, with mortars and artillery, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said. In addition, Russia has flown rocket attacks on the industrial cities of Konstantinovka and Kramatorsk in Donetsk. “There is a fight for every single house (in Bakhmut) to gain an advantage. The situation remains extremely difficult, but under the control of our troops and the front line has not moved,” Ukrainian military expert Oleh Zhdanov said in a YouTube video.
US Chief of Staff Mark Milley described the battle for the Bakhmut region in the east of the country as a war of attrition. There is a lot of violence and a lot of fighting, but the front line is pretty stable, Milley said on the sidelines Nato-Meeting in Brussels on a question about the current events of the war. “I would describe it as a very big battle of attrition with very high casualties, especially on the Russian side.”
Selenski also spoke of an “extremely difficult” situation in the east of his country. “These are literally fights for every inch of Ukrainian land.”
According to Milley, the Ukrainians are currently holding the fort, while the Wagner group in particular is attacking on the Russian side. “There are no sophisticated maneuvers here. It’s frontal attacks, waves of attacks, lots of artillery with extremely high casualties in this area,” he said. How long this will go on is difficult to say. It’s been like this for weeks now.
USA: No new F-16 announcements for the time being Ukraine
A possible delivery of Western F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, meanwhile, remains open even after the recent meeting of the international contact group for the coordination of military aid. “I have no announcements to make about this,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said after deliberations by the so-called Ramstein Group. He wanted to leave it at that.
Austin emphasized, however, that it is the USA Poland would not ban the supply of Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. “The United States has never stopped Poland from delivering anything,” he said. This is the decision of a country’s leadership and the US does not want to and cannot dictate such a thing.
Pistorius for debate on compulsory military service – “would be valuable”
Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius sees good arguments for general compulsory service in Germany to strengthen civil protection, the armed forces and rescue services. In order to form a political opinion on this issue, however, the voices of younger people must be heard, said the SPD politician to the German Press Agency in Berlin. “I expressly did not speak out in favor of the reactivation of conscription,” he emphasized. Rather, he considers the discussion about a general obligation to serve “valuable”.
Compulsory military service was suspended in 2011 after 55 years under the then CSU Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, which in practice was tantamount to abolishing military and civilian service. The Russian attack on Ukraine had recently repeatedly triggered a debate on this issue.
As a 62-year-old, he was reluctant to “burden a generation that already has a difficult future ahead of it, now just such a general obligation to serve,” said Pistorius. “What would speak for it from my point of view? In recent months, the impression has arisen that some do not have the necessary appreciation for the fire brigade and the Red Cross, the police and the armed forces. Compulsory service could help bring people and government organizations a little closer together,” he said. “It could show how important these facilities are for the functioning of our society.”
Putin-Friend Prigozhin defends work of Russian troll army
Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner’s private army, has defended his army of internet trolls, which has been criticized in the West for spreading disinformation. He not only conceived, founded and financed the agency for Internet research, but also ran it himself for a long time, said the confidante of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, according to the statement. “It was established to protect the Russian information field from the West’s brazen, aggressive propaganda of anti-Russian theses.”
The Wagner boss is currently the focus of attention because he finances paramilitary operations in Ukraine or in Africa, for example. According to Prigozhin, he published answers to a questionnaire from an international research community of Western journalists, including “Spiegel” and ZDF, and praised the work of patriotic Russian bloggers.
This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war:
What is important today
At the end of their two-day meeting in Brussels, the defense ministers of the 30 NATO countries will discuss plans to strengthen the alliance’s deterrence and defense capabilities this Wednesday. In light of Russia’s war against Ukraine, there are plans to increase the number of troops on high alert from 40,000 to 300,000.
More: Do not miss any developments in the Ukraine war – everything new in our news blog