Berlin The horror in Ukraine never ends: the Russian military has attacked Ukrainian cities ahead of the negotiations scheduled for Tuesday in Istanbul. According to Ukrainian information, nearly 1,180 multi-storey residential buildings have been destroyed in the eastern city of Kharkiv alone since the war began.
According to their own statements, Ukrainian troops successfully launched counterattacks in the Kharkiv area. Meanwhile, the United States announced it was moving six electronic warfare planes to Germany ahead of the war.
The EU Commission and the French Presidency of the EU Council have presented a ten-point plan to better coordinate the reception of refugees from Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops want to continue breaking through the defense lines around Kiev. In the north-west and east, the Ukrainian army is repelling attempts by Russian soldiers to take control of important roads and settlements.
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During the Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kharkiv area, Russian troops were expelled from several cities, regional military chief Oleg Synegubov said on Telegram. The Ukrainian general staff also reported fighting in other parts of the country, including the regions of Mykolaiv and Zaporizhia. Again, this information cannot be independently verified.
Russia and Ukraine have talks in Istanbul on Tuesday
On Tuesday, Russia and Ukraine will start a new round of negotiations in Istanbul. Delegations from Russia and Ukraine will meet at around 9:30 Central European time on Tuesday morning at the Dolmabahce president’s office in Istanbul, the Turkish presidential office said.
Before the talks begin, the Turkish side wants to meet with delegations, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He stressed once again that he hoped for an early ceasefire. Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia have already met three times in the Belarusian border area. Subsequently, the interviews took place in videoconferencing.
More than four weeks after the start of the Russian war of aggression, negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations are proving extremely difficult. For example, Kiev wants Russian troops to withdraw and ensure security.
Moscow is demanding that Ukraine renounce NATO and recognize the breakaway areas of breakaway eastern Ukraine as separate states and the 2014-annexed Crimean Black Sea peninsula as part of Russia. Ankara maintains good relations with Moscow and Kiev and sees itself as a mediator.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Russian journalists, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory. Only then can there be guarantees of security for Ukraine, which in turn underlie Ukraine’s renunciation of NATO requested by Moscow. Head of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev dismissed reports of an alleged planned replacement of the Ukrainian leadership as fake news.
The United States moves electronic warplanes to Germany
The US military is moving six US Navy Boeing fighters with about 240 troops to the Spangdahlem base in Rhineland-Palatinate, Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said.
Fighters are useful, for example, to eliminate the air defenses of an enemy state. The machines were not intended to be used against Russian troops in Ukraine, but to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank and act as a deterrent to Russia.
Habeck: G7 countries reject gas payments in rubles
The Group of the Seven Major Democratic Economic Powers (G7) has rejected Russian requests to pay gas bills in rubles. Economy Minister Robert Habeck said this in Berlin after a virtual meeting with the G7 energy ministers. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that gas deliveries to “hostile states” would only be billed in rubles.
The admission of Ukrainian refugees should be better coordinated at EU level. The EU Commission and the French Presidency of the EU Council presented a corresponding ten-point plan at the meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels. Among other things, the transport of refugees within the EU should be better managed. In addition, a common system for the registration of applicants for protection should be established.
Germany and the European Union rely on voluntary admission when they distribute the millions of refugees from Ukraine. At the meeting with EU colleagues, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser no longer wanted to hear about a mandatory quota for EU countries. According to the United Nations, more than 3.86 million of the more than 44 million Ukrainians have left the country since the war began. Nearly 2.3 million have arrived in Poland and, according to the Interior Ministry, 272,338 refugees have been registered in Germany.
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Chancellor Scholz reminded other EU countries of their commitment to welcoming refugees. So far, many people seeking protection have mainly arrived in the countries bordering Ukraine and also in Germany, Scholz said in Berlin. But now it must be other countries that also welcome some people who don’t know exactly where to go.
Biden denies the request for a change of power in Russia
US President Joe Biden denied calling for the Russian president to fall in his speech in Warsaw. A reporter asked Biden on Sunday evening: “Mr. President, do you want Putin removed (from his post)? Mr. President, did you call for regime change? “Biden replied,” No. Biden on Saturday night called Putin a “dictator” and said, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” .
Russia has classified Deutsche Welle (DW), which has already been banned from broadcasting, as a “foreign agent”. The foreign broadcaster from the Federal Republic of Germany appeared in a corresponding register of the Russian Ministry of Justice. Already at the beginning of February, Russia had ordered the closure of the DW correspondent’s office in Moscow and the withdrawal of journalistic accreditations.
In addition, the newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”, critical of the Kremlin, will temporarily cease publication due to pressure from the Russian authorities until the end of the war in Ukraine, as announced by the editors on the Twitter short message service.
More: Interview with Jan Egeland – How will Ukraine find peace? “There is a way out of this spiral of aggression”