Ukraine is demanding the delivery of German tanks from Chancellor Olaf Scholz and is asking the West for air defense systems. Before the apparently planned Scholz visit, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko demands "tough support sanctions and weapons as soon as possible". Heavy fighting continues in the east of the country. The night of war at a glance:
Ukraine demands German tanks
Ukraine is urging additional and faster arms shipments from the west amid heavy fighting in the east of the country. After Russian rocket attacks in the night, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj again asked for modern air defense systems. According to a media report, the Ukraine is hoping that the forthcoming visit by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Kyiv will result in the immediate delivery of German tanks. "Unfortunately, without German heavy weapons, we will not be able to break Russia's massive military superiority and save the lives of soldiers and civilians," said Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk. "The Ukrainians expect that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will announce a new aid package for German armaments during his visit to Kyiv, which should definitely include Leopard 1 main battle tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles that can be delivered immediately."
Criticism of the pace of German arms deliveries
Melnyk said it was disappointing how slowly Germany was delivering arms to Ukraine. No weapons have arrived since May 3, only six million rounds of ammunition. "Therefore, we hope that the traffic light government will finally step on the gas pedal to massively increase both the scope and pace for Ukraine to repel the Russian major offensive in Donbass." Two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the German government decided to deliver weapons to the war zone - breaking a taboo. Since then, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft missiles, fragmentation grenades and more than 20 million rounds of ammunition have arrived in Ukraine. Heavy weapons such as artillery pieces and anti-aircraft tanks have been promised but have not yet been delivered.
Deliveries approved for 350 million euros
In the first three months of the war, the federal government approved the delivery of weapons and other armaments worth 350.1 million euros to Ukraine. This emerges from a response from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection to a request from Left-wing MP Sevim Dagdelen. These include weapons of war for 219.8 million euros and other armaments such as helmets and protective vests for 85.2 million euros.
By way of comparison, from the start of the war to June 1, the United States promised or delivered weapons and equipment worth $4.6 billion (€4.37 billion) to Ukraine, according to government figures. These include heavy weapons like howitzers and multiple rocket launchers.
Zelenskyj: Modern air defense could have saved lives
Since the Russian invasion in February, Ukrainian cities have been hit by more than 2,600 enemy missiles, Zelenskyy said in his daily video address. "These are lives that could have been saved, tragedies that could have been prevented - if Ukraine had been heard." The country asked for modern air defense systems before the war, which could have been delivered years ago, Zelensky said.
In the embattled areas of eastern Ukraine, Russian troops continued to try to advance toward cities like Bakhmut, Sloviansk and Lysychansk, Zelenskyy said. In the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk, "every meter is literally being fought over". According to information from Saturday, Ukrainian troops controlled around a third of the city at the time.
Klitschko insists on further support before a possible Scholz visit
Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko has high expectations of a possible visit by Chancellor Scholz to the Ukrainian capital. According to "Bild am Sonntag", the SPD politician is planning a joint trip with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in June. "We need tough support sanctions and weapons from the three leaders of the most important countries as soon as possible," Klitschko told the "Bild".
He assumes that the dramatic situation in Ukraine would become clearer through a visit. "I think you can understand the situation better when you've seen cities like Bucha with your own eyes," said Klitschko. He also sees the capital still in danger of being attacked by Russia. "Kyiv was a target and Kyiv remains a target."
Amnesty: Dozens of dead civilians from cluster munitions in Kharkiv
According to research by Amnesty International, Russian troops have killed numerous civilians in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv by using banned cluster munitions in violation of international law. "In Kharkiv, people were killed in their homes and on the streets while they were visiting playgrounds with their children, commemorating their loved ones in cemeteries, queuing for aid deliveries or shopping," said Janine Uhlmannsiek from the German branch of Amnesty International. Cluster munitions are rockets and bombs that burst while still in the air over the target, releasing a large number of small explosive devices.
Hackers bring criticism of Ukraine war to Russian TV websites
Unknown hackers placed a message against the war in Ukraine on Russian state television websites. On the streaming portal "Smotrim.ru", for example, next to photos of the destruction in Ukraine was the text "Putin destroys Russians and Ukrainians! Stop the war!", as Internet users reported. State television later admitted to a hacker attack that displayed "content with extremist calls" for less than an hour. Russia describes the war of aggression in Ukraine as a "special military operation". Deviating from the official line is punishable as disseminating alleged misinformation about Russian armed forces.
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