Ukraine war on live ticker: +++ 08:34 Baerbock honors “strong armies” of Sweden and Finland +++

According to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the planned entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO will strengthen the defense alliance. “Finland and Sweden are very, very strong liberal democracies, they are partners of the EU, they are members of the EU and we have worked closely with Finland and Sweden in the past,” the Greens politician told ZDF. “They have strong armies of their own.” As non-NATO members, countries would have put a lot of money into their own armies. “This means that the accession of Finland and Sweden will also make NATO stronger, both in terms of defense capabilities and as a common alliance for democracy and international law.”

+++ 08:16 Two dead in rocket attack in Dnipro +++
The bodies of two people were found this morning after an attack in the city of Dnipro in eastern Ukraine. “Under the wreckage of a company destroyed by an enemy missile, rescuers found two bodies – a man and a woman,” Dnipropetrovsk region governor Valentyn Resnichenko told the Telegram. Six rockets were fired into the city on Tuesday. They had met a peaceful group that had nothing to do with the army. Media reports spoke of a car repair shop. Russian troops focus on attacking only military targets.

+++ 07:58 Situation report in Ukraine: Russians reinforce battalion group and attack Lysychansk +++
According to the Ukrainian army, Russian troops are trying to encircle the strategically important city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine. This is one of the main efforts of the enemy, the Ukrainian General Staff said in a statement. The attack on the city will continue. Details are not provided. Russian troops are already in the southern suburbs of the city. Representatives of pro-Russian separatists had also reported that fighting was already taking place in the city. There are also attacks from Russia in the direction of the city of Bakhmut, west of Lysychansk. To keep pace, the conquerors had strengthened their battalion team, it is said. This information cannot be independently verified.

+++ 07:31 Wüstner: NATO before a paradigm shift – “Cold War Direction 2.0” +++
Bundeswehr President André Wüstner sees NATO on the brink of a “paradigm shift”. The alliance is on the road to old territorial responsibility as it was before 1990, Wüstner told ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. The individual partners of the alliance will be assigned more and more areas on the east side and there will also be increased operational readiness. “Actually on the way to Cold War 2.0,” says Wüstner. NATO wants to drastically increase the number of its rapid reaction forces from 40,000 to 300,000. Germany will provide 15,000 employees.

+++ 07:04 Wadephul: “NATO is threatened like it has not been for decades” +++
Ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid, the vice-president of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Johann Wadephul, called on Chancellor Olaf Solz to show strength. “NATO is under threat as it has not been for decades,” Wadephul told Germany. “That is why it must be a powerhouse. Germany must make a decisive contribution to this: militarily, by becoming the strongest conventional force in the alliance, and politically, by bringing us closer.” The latter applies mainly to relations with Eastern Europe.

+++ 06:37 Military Commissioner sees “huge challenge” coming to Bundeswehr +++
According to Eva Högl, Bundestag Commissioner for the Armed Forces, the drastic increase in the rapid growth force announced by NATO will be borne by the Bundeswehr. “It is predictable that the demands from Germany will increase. This means a huge challenge for the Bundeswehr and requires a lot of effort in terms of staff, equipment, equipment and infrastructure,” says Högl of the Augsburger Allgemeine. At the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, the SPD politician criticized the fact that the Bundeswehr soldiers, who were supposed to prevent the Russian army at the Rukla military base in Lithuania, did not have basic equipment, including underwear.

+++ 06:11 Lithuanian President calls for withdrawal from NATO “travel logic” +++
Shortly before the NATO summit, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda again insists on a stronger NATO presence in the Eastern Alliance region. In view of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, the Madrid summit must see the transition from deterrence to defense, Nauseda says. NATO’s previous logic of defending the Baltic states is no longer viable. According to the Lithuanian head of state, more ground troops are needed in the Baltic states and on the east side of NATO. Air defense instead of air surveillance is also necessary. In particular, Nauseda expects wording in the summit resolutions that the existing multinational NATO battle groups in the eastern Member States will be increased to brigade level.

+++ 05:40 Biden welcomes agreement on NATO dispute with Turkey +++
US President Joe Biden welcomes the agreement in the dispute with Turkey over NATO’s northern expansion. Biden said he congratulated Turkey, Finland and Sweden on signing the memorandum. This paves the way for “alliance partners Finland and Sweden to be able to invite people to join NATO at the Madrid summit”. The accession of Finland and Sweden “will strengthen the collective security of NATO and benefit the entire transatlantic alliance”.

+++ 04:39 Lithuanian President sees “tectonic changes” in Germany’s relations with Russia +++
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda praises the federal government for the turning point in arms deliveries to Ukraine. “We are really seeing how big these, I would say, tectonic changes are in Germany. Especially since the beginning of the war,” Nauseda said in an interview with Vilnius. “We see things that were unthinkable a few months ago.” The illusions are now gone. “I do not see this talk of reconnecting with Russia because everyone understands, everyone is awake and everyone realizes how great this threat is,” Nauseda said.

+++ 04:02 The US blacklisted dozens of companies +++
The US government has blacklisted 36 companies from many states for trading. Some Chinese companies have backed the Russian military and defense industry there, according to the US Federal Gazette. The list also includes companies from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

+++ 03:16 Zelenskyj: Russia wanted to kill as many civilians as possible in Kremenchuk +++
After the rocket hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of targeting the civilian object. The goal was to kill as many people as possible. The attack is part of Moscow’s overall strategy against the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said in an afternoon video. “As of this afternoon, the total number of Russian missiles hitting our cities is already 2,811,” Zelensky said. The Russian Defense Ministry denies that the mall was bombed.

+++ 02:26 The mayor of the occupied city of Hersonissos was arrested +++
Russian security forces have arrested the mayor of the occupied city of Kherson. Mayor Ihor Kolychayev defied Russian orders, the statement said. On the other hand, an adviser to Kolychayev says the mayor was abducted because he did not want to cooperate with the Russian occupiers. The area around the Black Sea port was occupied during the first week of the Russian invasion. Much of the population has left the area.

+++ 01:12 gas deliveries: Siemens Energy rejects claims from Russia +++
Siemens Energy is defending itself against Russia’s claims that gas supplies to Germany should be curtailed because the company does not service the turbines on time. “It’s very convenient to bring in a company that is very well known in Russia,” said Joe Kaeser, chairman of the supervisory board of Siemens Energy, the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Even if it were, it would never justify restricting gas flow so much.” Chancellor Olaf Solz had already criticized the Russian justification as a sham.

+++ 00:39 millions of internally displaced people are returning to their homes +++
In Ukraine, 5.5 million people who fled to other parts of the country after the Russian attack have returned home, according to the United Nations. However, 6.2 million people are still displaced within the country, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Migration (IOM). There were many repatriates in the north of the country and in the capital Kyiv. According to research, the displaced and those left behind mainly need help to rebuild damaged apartments and houses and receive health care. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they stopped taking drugs during the war, either because they were unavailable or because they were too expensive.

+++ 23:47 Selenskyj demands action against Russia before the UN Security Council +++
In an astonishing message to the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Russia to be excluded from the body. Russia can not remain in the Council as long as its “terrorism” continues, especially against Ukrainian civilians, says Zelensky, who attended a short-term meeting in New York via video. The UN Security Council should define the concept of a terrorist state in order to classify Russia’s actions accordingly. “It is imperative that a tribunal be set up to investigate all that the Russian military has done against the Ukrainians.”

+++ 22:44 Belarus wants to settle foreign currency bonds in its own currency +++
Belarus’s close ally, Belarus, has announced that it will settle foreign currency loans in its own currency – the Belarusian ruble. According to a government statement on so-called Eurobonds, which are issued in dollars or euros, one is forced to take this step. There can be no guarantee that all holders of such bonds will receive the money they are entitled to in full and on time.

+++ 10:00 p.m. Putin is a “very good example of toxic masculinity” for Johnson +++
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers the behavior of Russian President Vladimir Putin a good example of toxic masculinity, a model based on anesthesia, cruelty and also aggression. “If Putin were a woman, I just do not think he would have started such a macho war,” Johnson told ZDF. “If you want a very good example of toxic masculinity, we have it in his face.”

+++ 21:44 Macron hopes for the end of the war this year +++
French President Emmanuel Macron has said he does not expect the war in Ukraine to end soon. Macron said at the end of the G7 meeting that no one believes the war will end in the coming weeks or months. He hopes for the end of the year. “At the moment it is clear that the Russian attack on Ukraine has one goal – the surrender of Ukraine.”

You can read previous developments of the war in Ukraine here.

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