The essentials in brief:
- Azov Regiment classified as a terrorist group
- Zelenskyj relieved about the first grain export in months
- Ukraine reports recapture of locations in Kherson region
- Poland’s president sees Russia as a threat to Europe
- No complete renunciation of gas for power generation in Germany
The Supreme Court in Moscow has classified the Ukrainian Azov regiment as a “terrorist organization”. All activities are forbidden to the regiment members, said a judge of the Russian news agency TASS. The decision is effective immediately. Thus Azov members can be prosecuted with long prison sentences. Members of “terrorist” groups face up to ten years in prison, leaders even 20 years.
The Azov regiment emerged from a volunteer battalion controversial for its past links with far-right extremists and labeled by Russia as a “neo-Nazi” group. In 2014, the fighters were formally integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard. At that time, Azov members took part in the fight against Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Rally in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, for Azov soldiers who died in an attack on a Russian camp in July
Azov fighters are also currently deployed alongside Ukrainian soldiers to push back the Russian invaders. In May, many Azov members surrendered after weeks of a siege on the Azov steelworks in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. 2500 fighters were then captured by Russian units.
Zelenskyj: “Signal” for the world
After the resumption of grain exports from his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is cautiously optimistic that he will be able to solve the global supply crisis and boost his own economy. “The port (of Odessa) has started to work and this is a positive signal that there is a chance to stop the development of the food crisis in the world,” Zelenskyy said in a new video message. According to him, 16 more ships are waiting in Ukrainian ports to be cleared for export. At the same time Selenskyj warned against too high hopes. Russia will not simply stop sabotaging Ukrainian exports.
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in New York that the agreement on grain exports brokered by the UN and Turkey had shown “that even in these brutal times, small gestures of humanity can be made possible.” But she also qualified: “We also saw that the day after the signing of the grain agreement, the Russian regime bombed Odessa. That’s why nothing is certain at this time.” The Ukraine war “is also being waged as a grain war.”
In front of the UN headquarters: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in New York
On Monday morning, the Sierra Leone-registered cargo ship “Razoni” left Odessa for Lebanon with 26,000 tons of corn on board. It is expected for inspection in Istanbul on Wednesday morning.
Ukraine reports military successes
According to the authorities there, the Ukrainian armed forces have recaptured a number of towns in the Cherson region in recent weeks. So far, 46 have been “liberated,” Governor Dmytro Butriy reported on state television. Most of the recaptured places are in the north of the region, others are south near the Black Sea. Some are “90 percent destroyed” and are “still under constant fire today.” Butriy described the humanitarian situation in the region as “critical”.
The Cherson region was largely taken by the invading forces in the first days of the war of aggression that Russia began on February 24. The area borders the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.
Further fighting in the area of Bakhmut and Soledar
In the eastern Donetsk region, fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops continues around the town of Bakhmut. The Ukrainian general staff said there had also been Russian advances in the direction of Soledars, eight kilometers to the north. Attacks in several places south of Bachmut, on the other hand, were largely repelled, it said.
A ruined cultural center in the city of Soledar
According to Kiev sources, Russian artillery shelled Ukrainian positions along the entire front line in the Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. The Russian Air Force had also flown about four attacks on Ukrainian positions.
Russia’s judiciary classifies Azov regiment as terrorist
The Supreme Court in Russia classifies the Ukrainian Azov regiment as a terrorist group. The volunteer unit has ultra-nationalist and far-right roots, but split from its far-right founder some time ago. The Russian leadership keeps pointing to the Azov regiment to support their claims that they are fighting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
Photo taken on May 10 shows injured members of the Azov regiment inside the embattled Mariupol Steelworks
There, the Azov regiment is one of the most prominent military formations fighting against Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Members of the regiment had also held out for a long time at the Azov steelworks in the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol. After weeks of siege, the fighters surrendered to the Russian superiority and were taken prisoner. For them, the court’s decision could mean a very severe punishment.
Duda denounces “Great Russian ideas”.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda sees Russia as a threat to Europe. “Should Ukraine’s heroic resistance not withstand Putin’s imperial plans, Poland and the Baltic states would be directly threatened by a further expansion of Russia’s sphere of influence to Central Europe,” Duda told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” on Tuesday. Duda spoke of “Great Russian ideas about subordinating other peoples”. These are not just ideas of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but a large part of Russian society is permeated by them.
Concerned about his Poland and the Baltic States: Andrzej Duda
“The only thing you can do is to strengthen your own security,” the Polish head of state continued. His country gave Ukraine 260 older T-72 tanks Accelerated acquisition of new tanks must be closed. Poland also hopes for the delivery of German Leopard tanks. A so-called ring exchange, with which Polish deliveries to the Ukraine are to be compensated for by replacements from Germany, has not yet materialized. With the previous Berlin offer Poland was not satisfied with 20 Leopard 2 tanks to be delivered from 2023.
Habeck Ministry rejects Lindner advance
According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, it is currently not possible to completely dispense with gas for electricity generation in Germany. The Ministry, which is led by the Greens, explained that gas is particularly necessary at peak times in order to be able to cover the demand for electricity at all times. It was responding to a request from Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner. The head of the liberal FDP recently emphasized that gas should no longer be used to produce electricity. Economics Minister Robert Habeck would have the opportunity to prevent this, said Lindner.
14.5 percent of electricity generation in Germany is currently based on the use of gas. Russia had recently delivered significantly less of it to Europe. Germany therefore wants to make greater use of environmentally harmful coal-fired power plants again.
Back on the grid: the reserve coal-fired power plant in Mehrum in Lower Saxony
Spain wants to save a lot of energy
Against the background of the Ukraine war, the Spanish government has decided on “urgent measures” to save and use energy more efficiently. All buildings in the public sector, but also department stores, cinemas, workplaces, hotels, train stations and airports, should in future be allowed to cool their premises to no less than 27 degrees in summer and heat them to a maximum of 19 degrees in winter. In addition, the lighting in unused offices, shop windows and monuments must be switched off after 10 p.m. The Minister for Ecological Change, Teresa Ribera, explained that it was an initial package of measures that was necessary in a “critical situation”.
jj/ehl/wa/bru (dpa, afp, rtr)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.