Taking more Russian POWs for exchange

Taking more Russian POWs for exchange

Soldier in Ukraine

Air alerts were sounded in central regions of the country.

(Photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire)

Kyiv, Moscow Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has Russia warned on a freeze on the war against the Ukraine along the previously conquered territory. “Russia must understand that it cannot be about concluding a kind of cold peace – for example by turning the existing front line into the new ‘border’ between Russia and Ukraine.

That would Putins robbery,” he told the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” (Friday). “It’s more about a fair peace, and the prerequisite for this is the withdrawal of Russian troops.”

The Chancellor left open the question of whether this also applies to Crimea, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014. When asked whether his condition also applied to the peninsula, he merely reiterated his statement: “The withdrawal of troops. It is not up to us to formulate what agreements Ukraine wants to make on behalf of Ukraine.”

Scholz used the more vague phrase “withdrawal of troops” rather than “withdrawal of troops,” which could mean: all troops.

Scholz also dodged the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should be overthrown. “I don’t believe in such speculative questions. In the end, there will have to be an agreement between the governments in Moscow and Kiev,” said the Chancellor. It has been some time since his last phone call with the Kremlin chief. “But I intend to speak to Putin again in due course.”

Moscow for partition of Ukraine between Russia and EU

Meanwhile, the leadership in Moscow has brought up a division of Ukraine between Russia and the European Union. The Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council, ex-President Dmitry Medvedev, outlined scenarios for the outcome of the war on Friday night.

Dmitry Medvedev

Accordingly, there would only be a prospect of peace if Russia incorporated most of the neighboring country.

(Photo: IMAGO/SNA)

Accordingly, there would only be a prospect of peace if Russia incorporated most of the neighboring country. In Medvedev’s preferred variant, western regions of Ukraine would be ceded to several EU countries and eastern regions to Russia, while residents of the central areas voted to join Russia.

With this outcome, “the conflict will end with sufficient guarantees that it will not resume in the long term,” Medvedev wrote on the Telegram online service. If, on the other hand, a part of Ukraine that has remained independent should belong to the EU or the Nato join, a renewed flare-up of hostilities is to be expected, “with the danger that it could quickly turn into a fully-fledged third world war,” asserted the confidant of Kremlin chief Putin.

In what he says is a “temporarily” acceptable scenario for Moscow, Ukraine would be completely divided between EU countries and Russia in the course of the war, while a Ukrainian government-in-exile would be formed in Europe. Russia has been waging a war of aggression in Ukraine for more than 15 months.

Zelensky: Take more Russian POWs for exchange

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his troops to capture more Russian soldiers. “Everyone at the front should remember: the more Russian POWs we take, the more of our people will return,” Zelensky said in his evening video address on Thursday.

Lukashenko and Putin

According to the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, Russia has started stationing tactical nuclear weapons in the neighboring country.

(Photo: dpa)

He welcomed a prisoner exchange in which 106 Ukrainian military personnel were handed over by the Russian side. They had fought in the area of ​​the city of Bakhmut, which had been almost completely destroyed in the meantime, as Zelensky said.

Among them are eight Ukrainian officers. Many of the returned military had previously been reported missing. Zelensky did not say how many Russians were handed over in Thursday’s exchange.

Another air alert in Kyiv

In Kiev, an air alarm was triggered again on Friday night. The Ukrainian capital had already been attacked with drones in the past few weeks. People in central regions of the country were also called upon to go to shelters. In the western areas, the night remained calm at first.

Russia reports launch of a missile in the Rostov region

According to officials, a Ukrainian missile was shot down in southern Russia. The air defenses hit them near the city of Morozovsk, Governor Vasily Golubev wrote on Telegram. The Ukrainian media reported that there was a Russian military airport in Morozovsk.

Lukashenko: Russian nuclear weapons have been stationed in Belarus

Meanwhile, according to Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, Russia has begun stationing tactical nuclear weapons in the neighboring country. The number of weapons and storage locations have also been determined, Lukashenko said in Moscow on Thursday after a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Lukashenko did not give any details. This is the first time Belarus has received nuclear missiles since the 1990s, after it voluntarily surrendered its nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had stressed at a contract signing in Minsk that Moscow had sole control and decision on the use of nuclear weapons. Putin also justified the stationing with the fact that the USA had nuclear weapons in Germany and other European countries for years.

US Chief of Staff: F-16 shipments have been carefully weighed

US President Joe Biden cleared the way for a coalition of allies to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets at the G7 summit of leading democratic business powers in Japan last week.

F-16 fighter jet

US President Joe Biden last week cleared the way for a coalition of allies to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.

(Photo: dpa)

His chief of staff, Mark Milley, described the decision in favor of the fighter jets as the result of “tough military analysis”. Costs, benefits and risks were taken into account, Milley said after video deliberations of the international contact group for the coordination of military aid for the country attacked by Russia.

British parliament classifies Ukrainian famine as genocide

After the Bundestag and the EU Parliament, the British Parliament has now also recognized the famine that was deliberately caused in Ukraine in the 1930s as genocide. The House of Commons in London on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution tabled by Conservative MP Pauline Latham.

This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war:

Latham sees the decision – which is not binding for the conservative British government – as a message to Putin about the war against Ukraine. Under the responsibility of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, up to four million people fell victim to the so-called Holodomor (“murder by hunger”) in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933.

That will be important on Friday

According to Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podoliak, the Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russia’s troops, which military experts have been expecting, has already begun. His explanation should draw new attention to what is happening on the battlefield. Chancellor Scholz is meeting in Estonia with the heads of government of the three Baltic countries, all of which border on Russia.

More: You can find the latest news on developments in the Ukraine war in our news blog

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