+++ News in the Ukraine war +++: Putin wants to celebrate the annexation on Friday

The Kremlin announced the annexation of four Russian-held territories at a ceremony on Friday. Central Ukraine was shelled overnight.

Preparations on Red Square in Moscow Photo: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

Annexation ceremony after referenda on Friday in the Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign the annexation of the occupied Ukrainian territories in a ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday, according to the Presidential Office in Moscow. Putin will then give a speech and receive the administrators appointed by Russia in the annexed areas, it is said. (rtr)

Annexation of four occupied Ukrainian regions announced

The Kremlin has announced the annexation of four Russian-held areas of Ukraine Moscow-orchestrated referendums have been held. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that President Vladimir Putin will attend a ceremony on Friday to officially admit those areas to the Russian Federation.

The governors of the Russian-held regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson would sign contracts at the ceremony on Friday, Peskov said. Ukraine and the West do not recognize the votes concluded on Tuesday. (ap)

Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih hit by Russian missiles

According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian military fired rockets at the eastern city of Dnipro on Thursday night. At least three people died and five others were injured. Dnipropetrovsk region governor Valentyn Resnichenko said houses, a market, cars, buses and power lines were damaged.

According to the Ukrainian military, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also came under fire. Kryvyi Rih. Ukrainian military officials said Thursday a Russian missile landed in the city Wednesday night. A grain depot was hit. More bullets were intercepted. Kryvyi Rih is located about 350 kilometers south-east of Kyiv. (ap)

Human rights activists: Punish kidnappings to Russia

The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) is demanding concrete measures from the German government in the face of reports that Ukrainian citizens have been kidnapped to Russia. “Germany (should) strengthen its legal enforcement measures,” says Wenzel Michalski, head of the German section of HRW, in Berlin. In addition, the courts should be better equipped so that the perpetrators could be prosecuted. This is also possible in Germany via the principle of universal jurisdiction. According to HRW assessments, the disappearances constitute a serious violation of the laws of war and thus war crimes and potential crimes against humanity. (rtr)

Baerbock – Bogus referendums are part of a dictated peace

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described the referendums in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine as part of a Russian dictated peace. In the mock referendums, people were sometimes forced to vote at gunpoint, Baerbock said at a conference on crisis prevention in Berlin. “This is the opposite of free and fair elections,” she criticizes. “As long as this Russian dictate applies in the occupied territories, no citizen is free and safe.” (rtr)

Ukraine is demanding more financial aid and more sanctions

The Ukrainian government is pushing for more financial aid from the international community and tightening of sanctions against Russia. “Reconstruction has already started with Ukraine’s funds, but our budget under the conditions of war cannot finance all expenses on its own, so we urgently need the support of Western partners,” Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Just to restore vital infrastructure, $17 billion would be needed this year and next. He is also promoting another Tightening sanctions against Russia. “To be honest, it’s a disgrace that there are still large corporations in the West operating in the Russian Federation.” Frozen Russian assets in Europe, the US, Britain, Canada, Japan and other countries should be confiscated. “These assets should become the basis for the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine, not the money of German and European taxpayers.” (rtr)

Selenski asks Canada for help with landmine clearance

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Canada should coordinate the removal of landmines in his country. “I have invited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lead a global initiative to rid our country of Russian mines and shells. As a result of the Russian war, Ukraine has one of the largest concentrations of mines in the world,” says Zelenskiy. He thanked Canada for its willingness to help. A report by the Trudeau office on the talks between the two heads of state made no mention of Zelenskiy’s proposal. In 1999, Canada played a key role in the Ottawa Convention, signed by 133 countries, which bans the use of these weapons. The US, Russia, China and India have not signed the agreement. (rtr)

Scholz and Selenski on the phone: more weapons required

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked Germany to continue supplying arms to Kyiv and to tighten up the planned eighth package of EU sanctions against Moscow. “On the subject of defense, I underlined our expectation of a missile defense system from Germany – thank you for your willingness to help with air defense,” said Selenski on Wednesday in his daily video address after a phone call with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). The EU’s new package of sanctions was also discussed during the meeting. “As of today, there is still something to add to the eighth package of sanctions,” he demanded.

In addition to the Scholz phone call, during which, according to Selenski, the alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline was discussed, the Ukrainian President reported on other talks – and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his mediation in the prisoner exchange and military cooperation . He thanked US President Joe Biden for the new military aid of over 1.1 billion dollars.

Despite the sham referendums in the regions occupied by Russia, Ukraine will not accept territorial losses and will reconquer its territory. He once again called on the Russian soldiers in Russian to flee – or to surrender. This is the only way they could save their lives, said the 44-year-old. (dpa)

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