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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Heavy fighting around Kharkiv, Zelenskyy threatens Russian pilots: what happened at night

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On Wednesday night, Ukrainian sources reported new Russian attacks on the city of Kharkiv, in the east of the country, and on Rivne, in the northwest. US President Joe Biden embarks on a trip to Europe on Wednesday in an effort to ensure a coordinated Western response to the war.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

The events of the evening at a glance:

  • The Ukrainians repel the attack on Kharkiv: By their own account, Ukrainian units repulsed an attack by Russian troops in renewed battles for Kharkiv in the east of the country. The Russian side also deployed Ka-52 attack helicopters on Tuesday night, regional commander Oleg Sinegubow was quoted as saying by Ukrajinska Pravda. “Our troops hold their positions.”
  • The situation in the approximately 100 kilometers away is difficult. City of Izium. There is no longer any connection to the besieged city. So far, the Russian side has rejected all efforts to create an escape corridor for civilians. The information could not be independently verified. The Russian military also fired rockets at unspecified military installations in the vicinity of the city of Rivne in northwestern Ukraine.
  • the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has threatened all Russian fighter jet pilots with personal responsibility for their operations against targets in Ukraine. “You will be held accountable, whatever it is,” she said Wednesday night. “Today or tomorrow, it doesn’t matter so much. The important thing is that it’s inevitable.” As a particular example, he cited the shooting down of a Russian fighter-bomber over the hotly contested port city of Mariupol. “And so it will be with anyone who kills our people, peaceful people in our peaceful country.” The Russian pilots apparently did not realize the orders they were carrying out: “Killing civilians is a crime.”
  • To the Negotiations with Russia on a way out of the war Selenskyj said: “They are very difficult, sometimes scandalous, but we are advancing step by step.” Ukraine’s negotiators are on duty every day, he said in a video address distributed Wednesday night. “We will work, we will fight as much as possible. Until the end. Brave and open.” He thanked all the international forces that are helping his country. Selenskyj expects more support from the three summits scheduled for this week by the G7, NATO and the EU. During a phone call, he also invited Pope Francis to visit Ukraine. So far, there is no information about a response from the Vatican.
  • the Russian military operation in Ukraine According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the project is “strictly according to plan.” The course corresponds to the previously defined goals, Peskow told the US network CNN in English. The Moscow government describes the attack on Ukraine as a “special military operation,” not a war.
  • When asked what President Putin had achieved in Ukraine so far, Peskov said that goals not yet achieved be. Among other things, he named the annihilation of the Ukrainian army as his goal. kyiv must come to terms with the fact that the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, is now an “immutable part of Russia”. Furthermore, Ukraine must recognize that the breakaway regions in the east are now “independent states”.

kyiv leadership stops Belarusian intervention alongside Russia in the war against Ukraine currently unlikely. The probability that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko decides to participate in the war is “15 to 20 percent,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich, according to the Unian agency.

Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian military uses Belarus as a staging area against Ukraine, but Belarus has so far not taken an active part in the war, despite repeated pressure from Moscow. The Ukrainian General Staff assumes that many Belarusian soldiers and officers will resist a deployment.

More about the Ukrainian war on Tagesspiegel Plus:

Biden, President of the United States embarks on a trip to Europe on Wednesday dealing with the war in Ukraine. The first stop is Brussels. There, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will brief the Western Defense Alliance summit scheduled for Thursday. The UN General Assembly will meet in New York on Wednesday on another resolution against Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Ukraine is also likely to be a major issue in the General debate in the Bundestag on the 2022 budget. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will explain his policy. On Tuesday he again rejected an immediate ban on Russian energy imports as a means of putting pressure on Moscow. On the one hand, the sanctions must have a strong effect on Russia, but on the other hand they must also be manageable for the country’s own economy, he said. (dpa)

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