The day of the war at a glance: Russians target entire Donetsk region - NATO's northward expansion is progressing

According to Ukrainian sources, there is no longer a place in the Donetsk region that is not being shelled by the Russians.

The day of the war at a glance: Russians target entire Donetsk region - NATO's northward expansion is progressing

According to Ukrainian sources, there is no longer a place in the Donetsk region that is not being shelled by the Russians. Massive rocket attacks are reported from Sloviansk in particular. Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden are one step closer to joining NATO. The 131st day of the war at a glance.

Russian army shells all of Donetsk - Ukraine wants to score in the south

After completely capturing the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces are now increasingly targeting the Donetsk area. "Slovyansk and Kramatorsk have come under fire," said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. "There is no longer a safe place in the Donetsk region that is not being shelled." Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leadership is launching a counteroffensive in the south of the country. The capture of the Luhansk cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk means that 60 percent of Russian forces are tied up in the east, Oleksiy Arestovych, senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a video message shared online. Arestovych added that the success of a Ukrainian counterattack would depend on the supply of weapons from the West.

"Into the air-raid shelters": Sloviansk attacked in the center and north

At least two people have been killed in Russian rocket attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, according to Ukrainian sources. Seven others were injured, the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said on Telegram. Mayor Wadym Liach had previously reported massive Russian shelling. "Slovyansk! Massive bombardment of the city. In the center, in the north. Everyone in the air raid shelters," Liach wrote on Facebook. According to the mayor, the attack was aimed at the city's central market.

"Historical moment": NATO's northern expansion one step further

Four and a half months after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Finland and Sweden are making progress on their way to NATO. The ambassadors of the 30 alliance states signed the so-called accession protocols at the headquarters in Brussels in the presence of the foreign ministers of the two Nordic countries. These now only have to go through the national ratification processes in order to become effective. After that, Sweden and Finland can officially join the defense alliance, ideally before the end of the year. "This is a historic day for Finland, for Sweden, for NATO and for Euro-Atlantic security," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after the signing ceremony.

Conference in Lugano: 40 countries make promises of reconstruction

At the end of a two-day reconstruction conference for Ukraine, around 40 states pledged their support to the war-torn country until it fully recovered. The Lugano Declaration they signed was "an important first step on Ukraine's long road to recovery," said host Swiss President Iganzio Cassis. German Development Minister Svenja Schulze announced that Germany intends to host a reconstruction conference in 2024. Cassis said that the commitment to long-term support for Ukraine was already being made "in times of war". "This should give the people of Ukraine hope and the certainty that they are not alone." Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed hope that "everything that was destroyed will be made better than it was". On Monday, he estimated the estimated cost of reconstruction at at least $750 billion (almost €720 billion).

Selenskyj does not expect Belarus to intervene

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not expect neighboring Belarus to intervene in the war with Russia. "We believe that Belarus will not be drawn into this war. But there are provocations and they will continue," said Zelenskyy in a video address at an event organized by The Economist group in Athens.

Moscow wants to align the economy with the military

Meanwhile, aggressor Russia gears its economy towards war. The lower house of parliament in Moscow today approved in first reading a proposal for a package of amendments tabled by the government. Among other things, it stipulates that individual sectors can be obliged to supply the armed forces. In addition, workers there could be forced to work nights, weekends and public holidays and not to take vacation days. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borissov justified the project with the increased sanctions pressure on Russia and western arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Steinmeier: We have to defend ourselves against Putin's activities

In Nuremberg, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the Russian war of aggression a murderous crime and demanded that the international community oppose imperial warmongering. "We have to defend ourselves," said Steinmeier. "We owe that to the many courageous people in Ukraine who resist every day." The sole responsibility lies with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Germany stands firmly and resolutely on the side of Ukraine.

Inspector General: Delivery of armored transport vehicles is currently not possible

The delivery of weapons is an essential point for support, but today the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Eberhard Zorn, rejected the demands of the FDP and the Greens for the delivery of the Fuchs armored transport vehicle. The charges from Bundeswehr stocks should not be at the expense of their own operational readiness, said the general. "The Bundeswehr has 825 Fuchs armored transport vehicles, but in different versions: radar carriers, radio interference tanks, personnel carriers, NBC reconnaissance tanks and medical variants, to name just a few. The Fuchs is the platform for this," said Zorn. And: "We need these vehicles. I don't currently see a way to sell these vehicles or part of them."

Johnson: Ukrainians can retake lost territories

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is confident that Ukraine can regain territory recently lost to Russian troops. Johnson wrote on Twitter that he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the phone. He also promised Kyiv further military support. A statement from the seat of government Downing Street said that ten self-propelled artillery systems and guided missiles known as "loitering ammunition" should arrive in Ukraine in the coming days or weeks.

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