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Ukraine news: Russia condemns the EU

EU summit in Brussels

Moscow is suspicious of the nomination of Ukraine and Moldova as EU candidate countries. The Berlin State Criminal Police Office is investigating after a Klitschko “deepfake”. Current news at a glance.

The essentials in brief:

  • Moscow: Possible EU enlargement directed against Russia
  • Zelenskyy: Ukraine will meet the criteria for EU membership
  • WFP: G7 summit should focus on food crisis
  • “Deepfake”: Giffey talks to “wrong” Vitali Klitschko

With a view to granting EU candidate status to Ukraine and the neighboring Republic of Moldova, Russia has warned the European Union of “negative consequences”.

The decision of the EU summit in Brussels confirms that “a geopolitical appropriation” of the former Soviet republics is “actively promoted” “in order to keep Russia in check,” the foreign ministry said in Moscow.

The European Union is thus pursuing the goal of establishing relations with the eastern neighboring countries on the basis of a principle of dependency. The EU’s “aggressive approach” has the potential to create new divisions and deep crises in Europe.

Candidate status “didn’t fall from the sky”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is confident that his country can meet the criteria for EU membership. Ukraine is now focused on European Union requirements, he said in a new video address. The criteria for accession include the rule of law, the fight against corruption, guarantees of fundamental rights, and a functioning market economy.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine
Produces daily video messages: Volodymyr Zelenskyj

Zelenskyy called on his compatriots to be happy about the decision of the Brussels summit. He compared the road to EU membership to climbing Mount Everest. Anyone who talks about how difficult the further route will be in the last 1848 meters devalues ​​his success in having already conquered the mountain at 7000 meters. Ukraine’s candidate status “didn’t fall out of the blue. Ukraine did a lot for that,” emphasized the head of state.

DPA: Germany is planning new howitzer delivery

According to information from the German Press Agency (DPA), the federal government wants to provide Ukraine with more self-propelled howitzers. Talks are being held with the Netherlands and another European partner, as the DPA learned from Defense Ministry circles in Berlin. To date, Ukraine has received seven Panzerhaubitze 2000 units from Germany and five from the Netherlands. A Ukrainian artillery battalion could be equipped with a total of 18 howitzers – that is, six additional models, according to sources in Kyiv.

Germany | Bundeswehr | Howitzer 2000
Standard gun of the Bundeswehr artillery battalions: the Panzerhaubitze 2000 (archive photo)

Night air alert across the country
A nationwide air alert was triggered in Ukraine on Saturday night. As the Ukrainian news site 24tv reports, there are said to have been explosions in the city of Zaporizhia in the south-east of the country – as well as in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

In eastern Ukraine, there are conflicting accounts of the situation in the embattled city of Lysychansk. There, the defensive positions of Ukrainian troops were breached, according to Moscow. The general staff of the Ukrainian army, on the other hand, reports: “The Ukrainian defenders have successfully repelled a storm on the southern outskirts of Lysychansk.”

Ukrainian troops still in Sieverodonetsk

Despite Kiev’s fundamental decision to give up the administrative center of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, troops loyal to the government and civilians are still stuck in the city. This emerges from the situation report of the Ukrainian General Staff. According to the head of the district administration, Roman Vlasenko, the withdrawal of the Ukrainian troops will take a few more days. In an interview with the US broadcaster CNN, he also said that hundreds of civilians were still hiding from attacks in the “Azot” chemical plant. They could leave the facility as soon as the fire had ceased, but then only in the direction of Russian-held areas.

According to estimates by the civil protection authority in Kyiv, it will take at least ten years after the end of the Ukraine war before the entire country and its waters are freed from mines and other explosive devices. “Just imagine the number of bombs the enemy dropped on us,” said a spokesman for the authorities. So far, Ukraine has managed to clear thousands of explosive devices on around 620 square kilometers. But almost 300,000 square kilometers are still “contaminated”. That is about half of Ukraine’s territory and about the size of Italy.

WFP demands a ‘clear signal’ from G7

According to the World Food Program (WFP), the hunger crisis aggravated by the Ukraine war must be one of the central issues at the upcoming G7 summit in Germany. “It would be important for the G7 countries to commit to a joint commitment to emergency humanitarian aid,” WFP director Martin Frick told the editorial network Germany. The hunger crisis must be solved in solidarity. In concrete terms, this means giving the countries in southern Africa in particular a “clear signal” that they will not forget.

Ukraine grain harvest
Important for many countries: grain from Ukraine (archive photo)

“Hunger can destabilize countries and is, therefore, a central issue of peace and security,” warned Frick. 36 countries recorded price increases of more than 25 percent for food. This is “of course a time bomb”.

State protection was determined after “deepfake”

After considerable doubts about the authenticity of the interlocutor, a video call between Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey and the alleged Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko was prematurely terminated. The Berlin Senate Chancellery announced that the course of the conversation and the setting of the topics had “provoked distrust on the Berlin side”. “There is a suspicion that the person spoken to was not Vitali Klitschko.” The Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk confirmed this afterward.

Ukraine War - Kyiv - Vitali Klitschko
Recently in Kyiv: the “real” Vitali Klitschko

According to the Senate Chancellery, state security is now investigating the Berlin State Criminal Police Office. Apparently, the alleged Klitschko was a ” deepfake ” – a technology that inserts the faces of real people into photos or films. Giffey explained: “Unfortunately, it is part of the reality that the war is being waged with all means – including online, in order to undermine trust with digital methods and to discredit Ukraine’s partners and allies.”

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