Updated on 05/18/2022 07:37
- 06:12 am: ➤ Selenskyj: Phone call with Scholz ‘very productive’
- 5:35 am: US establishes observatory of Russia’s war in Ukraine
➤ Selenskyj: ‘Very productive’ phone call with Scholz
After the tensions in the relationship between Kyiv and Berlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described his phone call with Chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) as “very productive”. In his daily video address on Wednesday evening, Zelensky said that, among other things, military support for Ukraine was discussed. The president said he informed Schultz of the current military situation and its possible future development.
Selinsky chose slightly different words to describe his conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron. That conversation, he said, was “substantial and long”. Among other things, it was about the next round of European sanctions against Russia and Ukraine’s plans to quickly join the European Union. According to the Elysee Palace, Macron promised to continue and intensify arms shipments from France. He also stressed that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union should be discussed in June.
Status at a glance:
Since February 24, Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine from the air and on the ground. Not long ago, President Vladimir Putin questioned Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent country and recognized the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine.
Since then, the Ukrainian army has been fighting the invaders as best it can. Thousands of deaths were reported on both sides, but the exact numbers of soldiers and civilians were not independently verified. The truth is that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is getting worse every day. According to the United Nations, more than 6.2 million people have fled Ukraine (as of May 17), mostly women and children, as men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country.
The European Union and the United States responded with sanctions. They also supply Ukraine with arms, and Germany supports the country with arms shipments. Ukraine will receive Gepard tanks from Germany. So far, it has been excluded that NATO will actively intervene in the war.
On the first weekend of April, pictures of the bodies of several civilians in the small town of Bucha near Kyiv caused international outrage. Ukraine speaks of serious war crimes and genocide and blames Russian forces for committing them. Despite the numerous indications, Moscow denies its involvement in the killing of civilians. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that negotiations with Russia should continue.
According to a Ukrainian statement, a large-scale offensive long prepared by Russia began in eastern Ukraine on April 18.
Other reports on May 18:
G7 finance ministers discuss aid to Ukraine
At their meeting in Bonn and Königswinter on Wednesday, G7 finance ministers want to discuss, among other things, short-term aid worth billions to stabilize Ukraine’s state budget. It comes with support requirements of about five billion euros per month for an initial three months, according to the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The deliberations, in which central bank governors and some experts are taking part, are scheduled to begin on Wednesday. Among other things, a joint meal for ministers is planned. At the end of the day, a joint announcement is scheduled for Friday. Topics also include climate finance, planned international minimum taxes and global cooperation in vaccination and development. (AFP)
Mayor: Lviv under frequent Russian missile fire
In western Ukraine on the border with Poland, the mayor of Lviv (Limberg), Andrei Saduij, complained about the constant bombardment by Russian missiles. Sadwij told Ukrainian TV that there are many international organizations in the city that must be unstable because of this, UNIAN news agency reported on Wednesday. Russia is not only targeting military infrastructure, but also wants to create permanent tension through bombing. “But if you respond to the air raid alert in time and go into the bunker, it’s not dangerous,” he said. The Old City of Lviv is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Andrei Sadovy said that people in the suburbs could see rockets and hear loud explosions. However, there was no harm in Lviv itself. People had to spend practically all night on Tuesday in air raid shelters. In the Yavoriv region near Lviv, a piece of the railway infrastructure was damaged by missile debris. The mayor said that all this is happening just a few kilometers from the border with Poland, a member state of the European Union. (dpa)
First war crimes trial against Russian soldiers in Ukraine
The first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since the start of Russia’s war of aggression began on February 24 in Ukraine on Wednesday (1:00 PM CET). The Solomzhansky District Court of the capital, Kyiv, is hearing 21-year-old Vadim Shishimarin. He is accused of shooting dead an unarmed civilian from a stolen car in the village of Chubakhivka in northern Ukraine on February 28.
Shishimarin faces a life sentence for war crimes and premeditated murder. According to his lawyer, he confessed to killing the 62-year-old man. Ukraine accuses the Russian military of committing numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity since the beginning of the war. The International Criminal Court is also investigating alleged international crimes in the Ukraine war. (AFP)
US establishes observatory of Russia’s war in Ukraine
In response to Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine, the United States launched an observatory of the conflict. A US State Department spokesman said Tuesday (local time) in Washington that the new Conflict Monitor aims to ensure “crimes committed by Russian forces are documented and the perpetrators are held accountable.” Among other things, the program will collect, analyze and disseminate information and evidence on “atrocities, human rights violations, and damage to civilian infrastructure.” Reports will be posted on ConflictObservatory.org in the future.
The observatory, then, is a collaboration between scientists and the private sector. The aim is to support the pursuit of justice and, in the long term, contribute to the prosecution of officials in courts in Ukraine, the USA and elsewhere. The information is also intended to help counter Russian disinformation campaigns. (dpa)
With material from dpa and AFP