The essentials in brief:
- Pistorius emphasizes close cooperation with the USA
- Zelenskyj reports an arrest after the Kramatorsk attack
- Poland buys modern air defense systems from the USA
- Lavrov accuses Berlin of not being interested in dialogue with Moscow
During his inaugural visit to the USA, Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized the importance of cooperation between Berlin and Washington in supporting Ukraine. Germany and the United States have “very close exchanges and very close ties” on the subject, Pistorius said during a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon in Washington. “We have achieved a lot to support Ukraine.” That was important and will “unfortunately continue to be important,” Pistorius continued in English.
The defense minister also referred to the new support package for Kiev in the amount of 2.7 billion euros that was recently decided in Berlin. Germany is now the second largest donor to Ukraine after the United States. He also acknowledged that the US was “our most important ally in NATO”.
Arrest after Kramatorsk attack
After the Russian rocket attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, a suspected backer was arrested, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “Today the Ukrainian secret service, together with special police units, arrested the person who coordinated the terrorist act,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. He also expressed his condolences to the families of all the victims.
A well-frequented pizzeria was hit during the attack on Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region on Tuesday. According to the latest information, at least eleven people were killed and more than 60 injured. According to Ukrainian reports, three children are among the dead. People are still searching under the rubble for possible victims.
Colombia announces protest note to Moscow
Colombian President Gustavo Petro has announced an official protest note from his country to Russia after the Russian rocket attack on Kramatorsk. Russia “attacked three defenseless Colombian civilians,” Petro wrote on Twitter. In doing so, it violated the internationally binding rules of war.
Among those injured in Kramatorsk are three Colombian celebrities – popular author Hector Abad, politician Sergio Jaramillo and journalist Catalina Gomez. They had met the Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelima in the restaurant for dinner.
The 37-year-old Amelima, whose works have been translated into German and English, is said to be in mortal danger after suffering a head injury.
Poland buys Patriot air defense systems
According to the Pentagon, Poland is buying modern Patriot air defense systems from the United States for up to $15 billion (13.7 billion euros). The US agency DSCA, which is responsible for arms exports, announced that the deal included up to 48 rocket launchers and up to 644 rockets as well as radar and control components of the system. The US State Department, which oversees arms export contracts, approved the deal.
The Patriots are to be used to defend against high-speed missiles and aircraft. Eastern European NATO members like Poland have been scrambling to bolster their defense capabilities since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
24,000 Ukrainian soldiers trained in the EU
To date, 24,000 Ukrainian soldiers have received western combat training in countries of the European Union. This emerges from a statement by the Ministry of Defense in Kiev. Thousands of other Ukrainians have been prepared for combat missions in the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Norway. With training in Western weapon systems and in modern tactics, the Ukrainian army should be able to drive the Russian occupiers out of their own territory.
Tichanovskaya: Wagner boss Prigozhin in Belarus not sure
Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya does not believe that Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has now found a safe haven in her homeland after his failed uprising in Russia. Prigozhin “humiliated” Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, who then made it clear that he would not forgive traitors, Tichanovskaya told DW. If Putin gives the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko the order to get rid of Prigozhin, then he will do so.
Tichanovskaya classified Prigozhin’s presence in Belarus as a security risk for her country, as did the stationing of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus. This should worry the West and be debated more broadly, she said.
After his failed revolt on Friday and Saturday, the head of the Russian private army, Wagner, was allowed to go to Belarus with impunity. According to the Belarusian head of state, as a negotiator he stopped the Wagner mutiny against the Russian military and state leadership.
Lavrov: Scholz and Macron not interested in dialogue
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused Germany and France of not being seriously interested in a dialogue with Moscow on Ukraine. So far, the West has made “no serious proposals at all,” Lavrov said on Russian television, according to the state agency TASS.
For months, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have announced that they will call President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov said. “But if you want to call, just call – why announce that on the microphone?” At the same time, the Russian foreign ministry chief stressed that Moscow would not give up the goals of the “military special operation” in Ukraine. The Russian leadership is still using this term to describe its 16-month war of aggression against the neighboring country.
se/rb (dpa, rtr, afp, ap)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.