The Russian troops intensify their attacks on the city of Kharkiv. Kyiv suspects that they want to distract from the main battle for Sievjerodonetsk. While Kremlin boss Putin accuses the federal government of "anti-Russian hysteria," Chancellor Scholz promises Ukraine support for reconstruction. The 119th day of the war at a glance.
Kharkiv in sight again
After weeks of relative calm in the Kharkiv area, Russia once again set its sights on the city of over a million in northern Ukraine. Russian troops fired numerous rockets at the city and its surroundings. According to Ukrainian sources, at least 20 people were killed and 16 injured. The government in Kyiv expressed suspicions that the Russians wanted to tie down Ukrainian forces there to distract them from the main battle in Donbass for the city of Sievarodonetsk to the east.
"Russian forces are acting against the city of Kharkiv in the same way they acted against Mariupol - with the aim of terrorizing the population," said Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich. "And if they continue to do that, we will have to react - for example by moving our artillery," he said. "The idea is to create a big problem to distract us and move troops. I think there will be an escalation."
According to Kharkiv prosecutor Mikhailo Martosh, the Russian armed forces apparently used multiple rocket launchers. Heavy attacks have been carried out against the city of over a million inhabitants since Tuesday. Just last month, Ukrainian troops pushed back Russian forces from the region. Normal life was partially possible again in the city. Russia has since focused on the Donbass in eastern Ukraine.
Separatists suffer casualties
In the Luhansk region in particular, fierce fighting has been going on for weeks, with heavy casualties on both sides. According to a report by the Ukrainian General Staff, parts of the Ukrainian troops could be surrounded by Russian forces near the towns of Solote and Hirske. According to British experts, however, the pro-Russian separatists in the self-proclaimed "People's Republic" of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine are suffering enormous losses. According to the Ministry of Defense in London, the troops have lost around 55 percent of their original combat strength since the beginning of the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that in the south of the country in the area around the city of Kherson, Ukrainian troops were gradually pushing back the Russians.
Presidential adviser Arestovich expressed concern that Russian forces could cut off the cities of Lysychansk and Sievarodonetsk from Ukrainian-controlled areas after capturing the village of Metyolkine. "The threat of a tactical Russian victory is there, but they haven't done it yet," he said in a video posted online.
Scholz expects a long ice age between Moscow and Berlin
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for a "Marshall Plan" to help rebuild war-torn Ukraine. The impressions he gained during his visit to Ukraine last week reminded him of images of German cities after the Second World War. "And just like war-ravaged Europe then, Ukraine needs a Marshall Plan for reconstruction today," said the SPD politician in a government statement in the Bundestag. In order to organize the help, he wants to convene an international conference of experts as part of Germany's G7 presidency. Between 1948 and 1952, the United States financed the reconstruction of Germany and other European countries with many billions of dollars with the Marshall Plan.
According to Scholz, Germany and Russia will go their separate ways politically for a long time because of the war in Ukraine. "A partnership with 'aggressive, imperialist Russia' under President Vladimir Putin is unimaginable in the foreseeable future, said Scholz. At the same time, he warned against drawing the wrong conclusions from it. "It would be unwise for us to terminate the NATO-Russia Founding Act," said Scholz "That would only play into the hands of Putin and his propaganda. The Founding Act reaffirms the very principles that Putin so blatantly violates: renouncing violence, respecting borders, the sovereignty of independent states. Putin should be reminded of this again and again .
Moscow accuses Berlin of "anti-Russian hysteria."
Moscow has accused the federal government of inciting anti-Russian hostility. Berlin is endangering "decades of efforts by Russia and Germany to overcome post-war enmity," the Foreign Ministry said in Moscow on the occasion of the commemoration of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union. German members of the government would stir up anti-Russian hysteria with almost daily attacks on our country. An "anti-Russian propaganda campaign" is currently being carried out in Germany, the ministry said. This led to an "unreasonable aggression bordering on mass psychosis" against Russians and Russian-speaking people in Germany.
Russian oil refinery is on fire
According to Russian sources, a fire broke out in an oil refinery in the Rostov region on the border with Ukraine. The local disaster control authorities said no one was injured. The Russian news agency Tass reported, citing official circles, that a Ukrainian drone had crashed into the heat exchanger block of the refinery in the city of Novoshakhtinsk before the fire. A total of two Ukrainian drones were sighted over the facility, the second flew away. According to the Interfax news agency, the fire has already been extinguished.
Turkish freighter leaves Ukrainian port
In the dispute over Ukrainian grain exports, military representatives from Russia and Turkey met in Moscow on Tuesday for talks. This was reported by the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Turkish state news agency Anadolu. As a result, the Turkish freighter "Azov Concord" left the port of Mariupol, which is under Russian control, it said. A meeting between Ukrainian and UN representatives is now to follow before all four parties are to meet in Turkey "in the coming weeks," the Turkish report said without citing specific sources.
Blocked exports lead to dangerous supply bottlenecks, especially in poorer countries. According to Russian information, 70 ships from 16 countries are currently stuck in Black Sea ports. The international community has been demanding that Russia allow the export of Ukrainian grain for weeks. Ukraine complains that its Black Sea ports are being blocked by the Russian Navy. Both countries are among the largest wheat producers and play an important role in the world's food security. Scholz urgently demanded a solution. "It cannot remain the case that millions of tons are stuck in Ukrainian storage facilities, although they are urgently needed worldwide," he said in the Bundestag.
Scholz promises Lithuania assistance
In view of the dispute between Russia and Lithuania over the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, the chancellor assured the eastern allies of full support. "We will defend every square meter of Alliance territory." Germany doesn't just leave it at words. Since the beginning of the war, additional soldiers have been deployed to the eastern alliance area.
Lithuania stopped the rail transit of some goods, such as building materials and metals, on western sanctions lists via its territory to the area around former Koenigsberg since Saturday. Russia sharply criticized this again. Unspecified "practical" retaliatory measures will be taken, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Other important articles on the Ukraine war
You can read all further developments in our live ticker on the Ukraine war.