+++ News in the Ukraine war +++: Attacks near Bachmut slowed down
Heavy snowfall slows down the Russian offensive on Bakhmut. The IOC criticized Kyiv’s call for a boycott. SPD politicians call on Scholz to launch a peace initiative.
Kyiv: “Russian presidency of the UN Security Council is a disgrace”
Ukraine has called Russia’s rotating presidency of the UN Security Council a disgrace. It is another blow to regulated international relations, tweeted the chief of the presidential staff, Andriy Yermak. He also criticizes Iran for supplying arms to Russia. “It is very significant that on the holiday of one terrorist state – Iran – another terrorist state – Russia – takes over the presidency of the UN Security Council,” writes Yermak, referring to the holiday marking the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (rtr)
Zelenskyj demands justice for Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged justice for his country. On Friday he commemorated the victims of the short period of Russian occupation in the Kyiv suburb of Butscha with international guests. Moldovan President Maia Sandu and the heads of government of Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia – Eduard Heger, Robert Golob and Andrej Plenkovic – took part in the commemoration.
After their invasion a good 13 months ago, Russian troops captured the small town of Butscha near Kyiv in early March 2022. On March 30th they withdrew again. Three days later, published images of the bound bodies of civilians caused international outrage. Bucha is a symbol of Russian war crimes around the world.
In the afternoon, Zelenskyi and his guests held a United for Justice conference, at which Ukraine intends to rally support for the prosecution of Russian war crimes. “And the day will come when the world will hear that justice has been restored to Ukraine,” Zelenskyi announced. (dpa)
IOC criticizes the Ukrainian government’s call for a boycott
The International Olympic Committee has criticized the Ukrainian government’s call for a boycott. Athletes in Ukraine were officially ordered on Thursday to boycott competitions involving athletes from Russia and Belarus. The IOC took note of this decision. “If implemented, such a decision would only hurt Ukrainian athletes and would in no way affect the war that the world wants to end and that the IOC has so vehemently condemned,” the IOC said on Saturday.
The IOC has always emphasized “that it is not up to governments to decide which athletes can participate in which international competitions”. If implemented, the order “would also go against the position of some Ukrainian athletes and other members of the Ukrainian Olympic community,” the IOC said.
The IOC also argued that there were 70 armed conflicts, wars or crises worldwide and that the National Olympic Committees affected by them adhere to the principles of the Olympic Charter and would not call for boycotts.
The decision was taken at the suggestion of the Minister of Youth and Sports and the President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, Vadym Hutzait. The decision applies to all competitions, including the qualifying competitions for the 2024 Olympic Games. Should athletes nevertheless take part in competitions in which athletes from Belarus or Russia also compete, this could result in the respective federations being stripped of their national status.
With this, the Ukrainian government reacted to recommendations of the IOC, athletes from Russia and Belarus as neutral participants in competitions allow again. (dpa)
SPD politicians call on Scholz to support the Ukraine peace initiative
The former head of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) Reiner Hoffmann and other SPD politicians have in one of the Frankfurter Rundschau (Saturday edition) called for a peace initiative for Ukraine. They encouraged Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz “to get Brazil, China, India and Indonesia in particular to mediate together with France in order to quickly achieve a ceasefire,” said the historian Peter Brandt, son of former Chancellor Willy Brandt (SPD) initiated.
The authors of the appeal were ex-DGB boss and SPD member Hoffmann, former SPD MP Michael Müller and Reiner Braun from the International Peace Office. Among the signatories were the former Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse and ex-EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen (both SPD).
“With each passing day,” the text said, “the danger of the escalation of hostilities increases.” The “shadow of a nuclear war” lies over Europe, the world must not “slip into a new big war”. It was “the most important thing” now “to do everything for a quick ceasefire, to stop the Russian war of aggression and to find the way to negotiations”. Only then can “the way to a common security order in Europe be paved”. (afp)
Kyiv orders 100 armored military vehicles from Poland
According to Polish sources, Ukraine has ordered 100 Polish-made Rosomak multipurpose armored military vehicles. This was announced by Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday during a visit to the Rosomak factory in the southern Polish city of Siemianowice Slaskie. Accordingly, the vehicles are to be produced there.
The order will be funded by funds Poland received from the European Union and US funds for Ukraine, Morawiecki said, without giving any further details of the contract or the cost.
The US and its allies have provided Ukraine with extensive financial and weapon support since the Russian invasion began in February 2022. The Rosomaks are eight-wheeled armored vehicles manufactured under license by the Finnish defense company Patria. (afp)
Russian attacks at Bachmut slowed down
According to the Ukrainian military, it has fended off further attacks on the city of Bakhmut, which has been fought over for months. “In the past 24 hours, our defenders repelled enemy attacks in the area of Bohdanivka and Ivanivske,” the Ukrainian General Staff said on Saturday. Both villages are located on important access roads to Bachmut. Russian sources had previously reported massive snowfalls hampering the advance of the attacking troops.
“The deterioration of the weather makes it more difficult to conduct active actions,” Russian military expert Boris Roshin complained on Saturday night. Images and video from the area show massive snowfall and a thick blanket of snow. Weather is an important factor in warfare. A Ukrainian counter-offensive is expected in the coming weeks. According to experts, the soil must first dry because otherwise the heavy military vehicles could get stuck in the mud.
Bachmut has been hard fought for months. The Russian attackers have now surrounded the city, which has now been completely destroyed, from three sides and, according to their own statements, control about 70 percent of the city area. The conquest of Bakhmut is important for Russia in order to achieve the war aim of the Conquest of the eastern Ukrainian Donbass region to reach. Bakhmut is part of the line of defense in front of the conurbation between Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the last major cities Ukraine still holds in Donetsk Oblast. (dpa)