Kyiv With their counter-offensive, the Ukrainian troops apparently pushed the Russian troops to retreat from the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow on Saturday that soldiers should be withdrawn from the strategically important city of Izyum. Russian troops are also to withdraw from the city of Balaklija, which the Ukrainians reported as having been liberated last week. The military administration deployed by Russia in Kharkiv called on people to leave the region.
The official justification for the withdrawal was that the regrouping should strengthen the units in the neighboring Donetsk region. However, many military experts assume that more than six months after the start of the war, the Russians came under so much pressure in view of the massive Ukrainian advance in the Kharkiv region that they decided to flee. The Ukrainian general staff initially did not want to release any information to protect their own soldiers.
Meanwhile, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) traveled to Kyiv for the second time. During her visit to the capital, she promised Ukraine assistance "as long as it is necessary - with the supply of weapons, with humanitarian and financial support". Germany also wants to help the Ukrainians with the removal of mines. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba insisted on the delivery of battle tanks from Germany.
Ukraine: Strategically important city in the east recaptured
More than half a year after the start of the Russian war of aggression, Ukraine claimed to have reconquered the strategically important city of Kupyansk in the eastern region of Kharkiv. The domestic secret service SBU published photos that are said to show units in the small town previously occupied by Russia. Because of the direct rail connection to Russia, Kupjansk is important as a transport hub for supplying the Russian troops around Izyum in the south-west. The Ukrainian advance would have threatened more than 10,000 Russian soldiers with encirclement.
Top jobs of the day
Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.
Later, the military governor of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, Serhiy Hajday, reported that their own troops were also advancing there and had already advanced to the outskirts of Lysychansk. Lysychansk was the last major city in the Luhansk region to be conquered by the Russian army in July. The representative of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People's Republic”, Rodion Miroshnik, later rejected these statements. "Ukraine is trying to sow panic," he wrote on social media. The information provided by both sides could not initially be verified independently.
This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war and the consequences:
Also with the help of Western weapons, the Ukrainian army launched a large-scale counter-offensive in August. As a result, dozens of villages and several towns in the Kharkiv region were finally liberated from the Russian occupiers.
According to British information, the Ukrainian troops in the north-east of the country surprised the Russian forces with their counter-offensive. The Ukrainian spearheads advanced up to 50 kilometers on a narrow front into previously Russian-occupied territory, the Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday morning in London, citing secret services. Only a few Russian troops were gathered in the area, it said. "The Russian forces were apparently taken by surprise."
Ukraine urges Germany to supply battle tanks
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said he sees no obstacles to supplying main battle tanks from Germany. Until Berlin decides to do so, Germany should continue to supply artillery ammunition. "This noticeably increases our offensive possibilities and that helps us to liberate new areas," said the chief diplomat at a joint appearance with Baerbock.
The German foreign minister reacted cautiously to the Ukrainian demand. “We have been supplying heavy weapons for a long time. And we see that these heavy weapons are also making a difference in terms of supporting Ukraine,” she stressed. Specifically, Baerbock named multiple rocket launchers, self-propelled howitzers and anti-aircraft tanks of the Gepard type. Germany will deliver ten more of the latter as soon as possible.
In her own words, Baerbock wanted to send a signal against the threat of war fatigue in Germany with her visit. "It is clear to me that (Vladimir) Putin is counting on us getting tired of sympathizing with the suffering of Ukraine," she said. The Kremlin boss wants to split the West with lies and blackmail it with energy supplies. But the bill shouldn't add up. "Because all of Europe knows that Ukraine is defending our peace order." Baerbock accused the Russian army of "contaminating the suburbs of Kiev with mines" and using anti-personnel mines to kill civilians.
In a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron once again spoke out in favor of withdrawing Russian troops from the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Both presidents have expressed their support for the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on site, the Élysée Palace announced on Saturday.
Russian forces are occupying the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in the south of the country. According to the international observers of the IAEA on site, the situation in the contested nuclear power plant is becoming increasingly unstable. The plant therefore no longer has an external power supply for cooling reactor cores and nuclear waste. Kyiv and Moscow blame each other for shelling the facility.
Scholz encourages energy crisis: "We'll get through it"
Chancellor Scholz encouraged citizens in the current energy crisis. “We will arm ourselves as a country because we are a country of solidarity. We'll get through it," he said in his weekly video message released on Saturday. The people of Germany felt that they were living in serious times. "But we have prepared ourselves," assured the Chancellor.
In view of the energy crisis, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities warned of widespread power failures in Germany. "There is a risk of a blackout," said managing director Gerd Landsberg of "Welt am Sonntag". The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, warned against the mass use of fan heaters. Even with the high gas prices, using them is more expensive than heating with gas, he told the “Tagesspiegel”. In addition, local power grids can be pushed to their limits if many people heat with fan heaters at the same time.
However, experts consider the German power grid to be well prepared. "The fear is largely scaremongering," said energy expert Christoph Maurer from the consulting firm Consentec to the television channel n-tv. Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) also sees a high level of security of supply.