According to the Ukrainian army, it held off attacks by Russian units in several places. In the north of the country, Russian troops were prevented from advancing towards the city of Chernihiv, according to a report by the Ukrainian General Staff posted on Facebook late Friday.
[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]
In Kharkiv, in the east of the country, Russia continues its attempts to blockade the city from the north, but they are still unsuccessful. Information cannot be independently verified.
According to the US Department of Defense, the Russian military is trying to surround Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kiev. “Kharkiv and Chernihiv, Mariupol – we see these efforts to fence and surround,” a senior US defense official said.
This is also observed around the capital Kiev. According to the official, the Russian soldiers were coming from various directions. “So what we see are these different lines of advance towards Kiev.” But Kiev is much bigger than the other cities and heavily defended.
Selenskyj speaks of almost 100,000 rescued, but Mariupol is still blocked
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, nearly 100,000 people have been rescued from conflict-ridden cities in Ukraine in the past two days. Selenskyj announced this in a video speech. However, the port city of Mariupol and nearby Volnowacha would continue to be blocked.
Zelenskyy accused Russia of shelling the escape corridor and a gathering point for people fleeing Mariupol on Thursday. According to UN estimates, a total of about 2.3 million people left Ukraine.
The Russian military had previously announced the establishment of daily evacuation corridors from war zones in Ukraine to Russia. “We officially declare that the humanitarian corridors in the direction of the Russian Federation (…) will now unilaterally open every day from 10:00 am (8:00 am CET),” Col. General Mikhail Mizintsev.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian armed forces could get more weapons and equipment from the EU. According to the president of the Council of the EU, Charles Michel, the head of foreign policy, Josep Borrell, proposed at the Versailles summit to mobilize 500 million euros for additional supplies.
At the end of February, a first package of 500 million euros had already been approved. The summit dashed Ukraine’s hopes for rapid accession to the European Union: there were no concrete commitments.
Schröder speaks with Putin in Moscow
Meanwhile, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder traveled to Moscow to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Ukraine war. Corresponding reports from the “Politico” website and the “Bild” newspaper were confirmed by the German Press Agency.
According to dpa information, a first meeting between Schröder and Putin took place on Thursday. It was initially unclear if more were planned. The federal government had previously announced that the trip had not been arranged with her.
According to the Politico report, the trip was organized by a politician from Kiev. On Monday, the Schröder-Kim couple traveled to Istanbul for the first time, where the former chancellor met with a Ukrainian delegation.
[Alle aktuellen Entwicklungen im Ukraine-Krieg können Sie hier in unserem Newsblog verfolgen.]
His subsequent request for a meeting with Putin is said to have been answered positively within ten minutes. Schröder and Schröder-Kim were flown to Moscow on a Russian plane on Wednesday.
Russia wants UN Security Council meeting on alleged biological weapons
As per Russia’s wishes, the UN Security Council will deal with biological weapons allegedly made by the United States in Ukraine on Friday. The background to this is Russia’s accusation that the US and Ukraine are developing biological weapons.
This week, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that there was a network of bio-laboratories in Ukraine working for the US Department of Defense. International fact-checkers have long since invalidated this claim.
More about the war in Ukraine on Tagesspiegel Plus:
The United States sees the Russian claims as “propaganda” and a possible pretext for using weapons of mass destruction in the Ukraine war.
Facebook group relaxes rules on hate speech in Ukraine war
The Meta Facebook group is partially relaxing its rules to allow calls for violence against Russian troops in Ukraine. A Facebook spokesperson cited the phrase “death to Russian invaders” as an example of an exception to statements that would normally have violated policy.
“We will continue to ban credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” he wrote on Twitter. The easing only applies to users in a few countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Hungary, the New York Times wrote.
After several large global corporations, Disney has now decided not to do any more business in Russia for the time being due to the war against Ukraine. The decision comes “in light of the relentless attack on Ukraine and the escalating humanitarian crisis,” the media and entertainment giant said.
Disney had already announced last week that it would initially no longer release films in Russia. Now the group is halting all activities, from its TV stations and TV content marketing to licensing business, cruise ships and the “National Geographic” magazine brand.
That will be important on Friday.
Agriculture ministers from the seven major industrial nations (G7) will discuss the effects of the Ukraine war on global food security via video conference on Friday. It is important to work together to ensure that “meaningless warfare does not further aggravate the food supply in some parts of the world,” said German Minister Cem Özdemir.
Earlier, the economic adviser to the Ukrainian president, Oleg Ustenko, had warned of a famine if the war in Ukraine continued. “We have a maximum of one week for sowing. If the war doesn’t end by then, the world will have a food problem,” the economist told Wirtschaftswoche magazine.
Like Russia, Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat. Russia’s war against Ukraine is weighing down global grain markets and has already caused significant price increases there.
Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko wants to visit Russia’s Putin on Friday. Belarus supports the Russian war of aggression and made its territory available for the deployment of troops. (dpa)