“We know what needs to be done” – Zelenskiy promises “freedom” to Ukrainians

New video message from Volodymyr Zelensky

“It’s time to talk,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Putin urged again.

(Photo: dpa)

new York Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Russia to engage in serious and honest talks on a peace settlement. Meanwhile, fighting continues in many places.

The military situation

The Chernobayevka airport near Cherson in southern Ukraine is still the focus of bitter fighting, according to the Ukrainian account. “We met them there again,” wrote Oleksiy Arestovich, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of office. early Saturday morning on Facebook facing the Russian troops.

The Ukrainian armed forces attacked the Russian military at this airport for the sixth time and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy there. In a series of local counterattacks and attacks with combat drones, several dozen Russian combat helicopters and, most recently, a command post with high-ranking officers have been destroyed since the end of February. This information could not be independently verified.

Meanwhile, Ukraine lost access to the Sea of ​​Azov during the Russian siege of the key port city of Mariupol, according to its own general staff on Friday evening. Russian troops continued to attempt to storm the city itself and fighting continued, sources said.

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There are also no signs of relaxation in the capital Kyiv. At least 50,000 civilians were recently evacuated from combat zones north and northwest of the city. Now the authorities tried to evacuate other, more dangerous hotspots.

“Occupying troops will not allow us to continue evacuation from hot spots,” said Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the humanitarian staff of the Kyiv region. on Facebook on Saturday night. “But despite the enemy’s cynicism, we continue to do everything we can to protect the lives of our people.”

Deceptive calm during curfew in Kyiv

Barricades in the streets of the Ukrainian capital.

(Photo: AP)

In consultation with the Russian side, so-called escape corridors have repeatedly been opened in recent days, allowing civilians to leave embattled cities and towns. The agreements were not always kept, and civilians came under fire again and again.

The humanitarian situation

The humanitarian conditions in the Ukraine appear to be steadily deteriorating. the EU Commission now even warns of an impending famine in the country. “People in the besieged cities are exposed to apocalyptic conditions – no food, no water, no medical care and no way out,” said Janez Lenarcic, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Protection in the “Welt am Sonntag”.

The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is already critical, but it could get worse. “This ruthless invasion began more than three weeks ago, but we are already beginning to see famine developing.”

A special focus is once again on the port city of Mariopol, which has epitomized the horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Eyewitnesses from the city report that supermarkets have been looted and that people are already starving.

So far, essential supplies have always made it into the city, says Lenarcic. “The big problem is access. It is an obligation to provide humanitarian access without any obstacle.”

the European Commission expand your humanitarian aid with local partners, promised the EU Commissioner. “But as long as the fighting continues and there is no ceasefire, the people who need life-saving aid cannot be reached.”

Ukraine’s President Zelensky has accused Russia of “deliberately” trying to cause a humanitarian catastrophe. This should be achieved by blocking the largest cities in order to force Ukraine to cooperate, he said in a video message on Saturday night. It was filmed in Kyiv with the Presidential Office in the lantern light behind him.

Satellite image from Maxar Technologies

A car convoy leaves Mariupol.

(Photo: AP)

On Friday, 9,000 people managed to leave the besieged city of Mariupol. So far, more than 180,000 people have reached safety through humanitarian corridors.

The situation at the peace talks

While the fighting continues, so do the negotiations Russia and Ukraine further. It remains difficult to paint a clear picture of the progress of the negotiations. Moscow speaks of recognizable compromises – especially on the question of Ukraine’s neutral status. Kyiv apparently does not share this assessment so far.

>> Read here: Scenarios for the end of the Ukraine war: A long road to the ceasefire

In his video message that night, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy again called on Russia to negotiate seriously and honestly. “Meaningful peace and security negotiations for Ukraine, honest negotiations and without delays are the only chance for Russia to lessen the damage from its own mistakes.” If Ukraine’s territorial integrity is not restored, Russia will face “serious losses” suffer.

Street scene from Kyiv

Striving for a few beautiful sights, a little normalcy: A Ukrainian soldier puts down tulips in the capital.

(Photo: AP)

“It is time to establish territorial unity and justice for Ukraine,” he said. “Otherwise Russia will suffer such losses that it will take generations to recover.”

Zelensky reiterated his call for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a peaceful solution. “It’s time to talk,” he said. The Kremlin has so far rejected this, wanting to create content for such a meeting that corresponds to its own ideas beforehand in the negotiations with Kyiv.

The warring parties have been conducting negotiations on this since February 28, most recently via video link almost daily. In addition to Ukraine’s neutrality, Russia is striving to demilitarize the country, among other things. In addition to an immediate ceasefire, Ukraine is demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops and subsequent concrete security guarantees.

Also the Ukrainian one Speaker of Parliament Ruslan Stefanschuk recently continued to emphasize his country’s red lines in the negotiations with Russia: the territorial integrity of Ukrainian and state independence. These demands are “unchangeable”.

More on the Ukraine war:

Zelensky again called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet in person. “It’s time to meet, to talk,” he said. “I want to be heard by everyone, especially in Moscow.”

Putin on stage at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

The Kremlin ruler celebrated the eighth anniversary of the Crimean attack. But the PR show was overshadowed by a serious breakdown: the television broadcast broke off – the reason is unclear.

(Photo: AP)

Zelenski noticed that 200,000 people attended a rally by Putin in a Moscow stadium on Friday had come. That is roughly the number of soldiers sent by Putin to the war against Ukraine. He asked his audience to imagine the stadium filled with the thousands of soldiers killed, wounded or maimed in the fighting.

What does the day bring?

Peace rallies and demonstrations against the war in Ukraine are planned in several cities in Germany. US Secretary of Defense Austin is continuing his visit to Bulgaria and wants to talk to Prime Minister Kiril Petkov about the situation in Ukraine, among other things.

More: Still a civilian yesterday – “Today I sent 20 soldiers to the front”

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