Spain does not consider its discarded Leopard 2A4 tanks operational. That's why they couldn't be handed over to Ukraine, says Secretary of Defense Margarita Robles. "We are looking at all possibilities but I can already say that the Leopards in Zaragoza, which have not been used for years, cannot be passed on as they are in a poor condition."
They are even a danger to those who would operate them. In June, Robles said in a newspaper interview that consideration was being given to handing over the 40 Leopards made in Germany to Ukraine.
The group of seven leading industrialized countries (G7) wants to prevent Russia from profiting from the high energy prices resulting from the war against Ukraine. All options are currently being examined, as the G7 foreign ministers explained. This also includes blocking the transport of Russian oil if it is not bought at a certain price ceiling.
Left leader Janine Wissler has rejected a Twitter post by Sahra Wagenknecht in which she speaks of a "war against Russia". "As leftists, we clearly criticize the federal government's energy policy," Wissler wrote on Twitter. "But one thing is clear: Russia is waging an aggressive war against Ukraine with thousands of deaths and millions of refugees." To present this differently is "a distortion of the facts" and not the position of the left.
Shortly before leaving Germany, former Ukrainian ambassador Andrij Melnyk offered Chancellor Scholz (SPD) an apology for the abusive remarks. Melnyk said on "Bild TV" that he had asked the Chancellery to speak to Scholz about his imminent departure from Germany. "If the chancellor were to receive me before leaving, I would apologize to him."
He would apologize for calling the chancellor an "insulted liverwurst," said Melnyk. The diplomat made this statement when Scholz initially refused to travel to Kyiv himself after Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had been uninvited from Ukraine.
In the discussion about a visit to Taiwan by the chair of the US House of Representatives, Russia has backed the Chinese view that this would create a dangerous situation. A stay by Nancy Pelosis on the island considered part of China by Beijing would be "extremely provocative," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. This would "exacerbate the situation in the region and fuel tensions."
Notwithstanding the first cargo ship to leave a Ukrainian port, Russia is again warning of a possible failure of the grain deal. The agreement on the export of grain has a package character, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, according to the Interfax agency. "That's why we warn against attempts to delay or not to fulfill the second part of the package," she said, referring to the prospect of easing some sanctions against Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also discuss the agreement with Ukraine on grain exports during his talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday. The question will be how effective the agreement is, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press. The agreement must be renewed after 120 days. It was concluded between the two warring factions, mediated by Turkey and the United Nations.
The Bundeswehr will monitor the airspace over the Baltic NATO states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania over the next nine months. An Air Force squadron took over command from France at the Estonian Air Force Base Ämari. To this end, five “Eurofighters” were transferred to neighboring Russia at the end of July. Estonia's Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine had "made the NATO mission even more important". This shows that Estonia can count on the support of all allies.
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. There, the Azov regiment is one of the most prominent military formations fighting against Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Members of the regiment have long held out 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.
The inspector of the army, Alfons Mais, has urged restraint on the question of German arms deliveries to Ukraine, which is being attacked by Russia. "When it comes to military support, I think it's crucial that we keep a certain balance. I have to make sure that the army is able to fulfill our core mission - the defense of the country and the allies. And that's difficult enough under the current conditions," said Mais "Zeit Online". Where you still have air, you can give to the Ukraine. "In my opinion, a limit has been reached when areas are affected where we don't have a surplus of material ourselves."
Three Mars II multiple rocket launchers arrived in Ukraine from Germany on Monday. Before that, the federal government had handed over the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and Panzerhaubitze 2000 artillery pieces to Kyiv.
Mais does not believe that the war will end quickly. "Militarily, I'm afraid the war will last a long time - possibly frozen in the meantime," he said. "Personally, I often ask myself how peace with the Putin system should look like," said the army inspector. For him, there could only be the perspective of a "completely restored territorial integrity of the UN member Ukraine". In mid-July, the Kremlin made it clear that it wanted to occupy additional areas outside of the Donbass.
According to a study, the sanctions imposed by Western countries against Russia have massively damaged the country's economy. According to the report by the Yale School of Management, the sanctions “not only worked” but “thoroughly paralyzed the Russian economy at all levels”. In addition, Russia's income from oil and gas exports has recently fallen significantly.
The study also challenges the assumption that tens of billions of dollars in monthly revenue from oil and gas exports kept the Russian economy afloat. Energy revenues have even fallen over the past three months.
The US researchers see Russia facing an “unsolvable” problem in the event that European states become independent of Russian natural gas, since 83 percent of Russian energy exports have so far gone to Europe. "Russia is much more dependent on Europe than Europe is on Russia," the report said.
Due to the sanctions and the exodus of international companies, a significant part of the economic activity in the country has come to a standstill. Domestic production in Russia has “come to a complete standstill” and there is “no capacity to replace the necessary companies, products and talent,” according to the 118-page study. Around 1,000 foreign companies have left the country, which means the loss of up to five million jobs.
Retail sales and consumer spending have recently fallen by 15 to 20 percent compared to the previous year. Imports collapsed. The study cites the car industry as a particularly drastic example: sales figures have fallen from 100,000 to 27,000 per month, and because parts from abroad are missing, cars are being manufactured without airbags, automatic transmissions and safety systems such as ABS.
A good five months after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the number of Ukrainian students in German schools has risen to more than 150,000. The federal states reported 150,071 pupils at the schools for the 30th calendar week that ended on Sunday, as announced by the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) in Berlin. The number increased by 172 compared to the previous week's corrected reading of 149,899. The figures published by the KMK relate to general schools and vocational schools.
According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russia has now destroyed a total of six US-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers in Ukraine. In addition, five Harpoon anti-ship missile systems and 33 M777 howitzers were destroyed, according to the Russian news agency Interfax Shoigu. Ukrainian officials recently said they had up to a dozen HIMARS multiple rocket launchers in use. These weapon systems have a longer range and are more accurate than Ukraine's Soviet-era artillery.
According to Turkish information, the first ship with grain from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression will not dock in Istanbul until Wednesday night. The cargo ship Razoni loaded with corn will not be inspected until Wednesday morning, said Turkish admiral Özcan Altunbulak, head of the coordination center for grain exports from Ukraine. Representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN would inspect the cargo.
According to the information, the ship left the Ukrainian port of Odessa shortly after 8 a.m. on Monday with 26,000 tons of corn on board. The destination is the Lebanese port of Tripoli. The ship was originally scheduled to arrive in Istanbul on Tuesday afternoon. The Turkish admiral explained the delay with the sea state.
Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk continues for the city of Bakhmut. The Ukrainian general staff said there had also been Russian advances in the direction of Soledars, eight kilometers to the north. Russian attacks in several places south of Bakhmut, on the other hand, were largely repelled, it said. This information could not be independently verified.
The Ukrainian General Staff also reported a Russian attack in the north of the Cherson region on the border with the neighboring Dnepropetrovsk region. For weeks, Kyiv has been nurturing hopes of launching a counter-offensive in this region to recapture the south. 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, it said.
According to Britain, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is in a weak position. The reported Ukrainian attack on the headquarters in Sevastopol on Ukraine's annexed Crimea peninsula is "the latest setback" for the fleet, the Ministry of Defense said in London, recalling the loss of the flagship "Moskva" in April.
With reference to the alleged Ukrainian drone attack on Sevastopol, Russia had canceled its "Navy Day" celebrations in Crimea. The British Ministry of Defense commented: "Following reports of canceled parades, it is unlikely that the Black Sea Fleet will be able to hold high-profile public events alongside its wartime activities." The Ukrainian Navy had denied the attack, saying Russia had "made up" the incident.
Commenting on the first grain ship to leave the port of Odessa, the London Times wrote: “Putin is allowing a trickle of wheat and corn to leave Ukrainian ports, cynically banking on being seen as the savior of the Global South. At the same time, he expects that sanctions against Russian fertilizer exports will be eased and that Ukraine will be forced to disclose its network of sea mines on its coast, intended to deter Russia from amphibious vehicle attacks. (...)
Turkey benefits from presenting itself as a diplomatic mediator and influential state on the Black Sea. Ukraine can avoid the collapse of its agricultural sector, generate revenue and win Western support if Russia tries to take control of the ports. Britain has supported this interest-led diplomacy. But it would be foolish to bet on Putin rethinking his war goals.”
After the resumption of grain exports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj was cautiously optimistic that he would be able to solve the global supply crisis and boost his own economy. "The port 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 his daily video message. According to him, 16 more ships are waiting in the ports to be dispatched.
Zelenskyj made it clear that the implementation of the grain agreement, which provides for an end to the Russian naval blockade, is also of enormous importance for Ukraine. It's not just about billions in foreign exchange earnings. "About half a million Ukrainians are involved in growing export agricultural products, and if we add related industries, that's an additional million jobs," he said.
But international allies should carefully monitor whether Moscow is sticking to the deal, he warned. "We cannot have any illusions that Russia will simply refrain from trying to disrupt Ukrainian exports." A spokesman for the Russian military assured on Monday evening that Russia would honor its commitments to implement the agreement. Moscow has taken all measures to guarantee the safety of shipping in the Black Sea. Corresponding corridors have been created for the Ukrainian ports.
Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) has called for the creation of additional export routes for grain from Ukraine. He wants to persuade the EU Commission to push for the expansion of alternative export routes, Özdemir told the Düsseldorf "Rheinische Post" (Tuesday). Every transport ship that safely leaves Ukrainian ports is a glimmer of hope - for Ukraine and for the starving people in this world. Despite all hope, however, it should be borne in mind that one is relying on the word of the aggressor Putin. "And we are painfully experiencing what Putin's word is worth," said Özdemir.
Özdemir said that even if Ukraine regained secure access to the Black Sea, it should not remain dependent on Russia. Therefore, the expansion of alternative export routes must be promoted. It is about “permanent alternatives, not temporary ones”.
The US government wants to provide Ukraine with additional military aid of 550 million dollars (around 535 million euros). President Joe Biden approved the new package, according to reports from Washington on Monday evening. It is said to include more ammunition for howitzers as well as for the US-supplied Himar multiple rocket launchers, which are a major contributor to recent victories by Ukrainian forces against Russian attack forces. This brings the amount of US military aid to Ukraine since the Biden administration took office to almost $8.7 billion.
Kyiv has sharply criticized Moscow for indirect threats to use nuclear weapons in the course of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. "The world is witnessing how nuclear terrorism, sponsored by a nuclear-weapon state, is becoming a reality," Deputy Foreign Minister Mykola Tochytskyi said at the start of the NPT Review Conference in New York, according to the speech.
Robust collective action is needed to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. No-fly zones would have to be set up over Ukrainian nuclear power plants. The aggressor Russia should not get away with invading Ukraine just because it has nuclear weapons. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which is more than 50 years old and to which 191 countries have joined, forms the basis for nuclear disarmament worldwide.
According to information from Kyiv, the Mars II multiple rocket launchers delivered by Germany have arrived in Ukraine. This was announced by the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Twitter. He would like to thank "Germany and personally my colleague, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, for the systems," wrote the 56-year-old politician.
Lambrecht had already announced the delivery of the three rocket launchers last week. In addition, Germany has already handed over anti-aircraft vehicles of the Gepard type and artillery systems of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 type to Ukraine in terms of heavy weapons.
Mars is an abbreviation for Medium Artillery Rocket System and can launch missiles of different modes of action - such as guided rockets with a GPS system or mine-ejecting rockets to block sections of terrain. The launch batteries with a combat load of twelve rockets are mounted on tracked vehicles that can develop speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour. The range of the bullets is sometimes more than 100 kilometers.
Mars II is the third long-range artillery system the West is supplying to Ukraine, along with the US-supplied Himars multiple rocket launchers and the UK-supplied M270 MLRS. The country has been resisting a Russian invasion for more than five months.
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