Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj told the home audience on Friday evening in his video address what he had said at the opening of the Munich Security Conference. "The key message is clear: We must do everything we can to derail Russian aggression this year." This is possible, but it can only be achieved "if Ukraine receives the weapons it needs."
There is the coalition for the supply of battle tanks, and the taboo on long-range artillery shells has also fallen. "The world has already heard how necessary it is for global security to create an airplane coalition for Ukraine."
Just as with the tanks, one can responsibly say in advance "that the problem of the aircraft will be solved," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in Munich, according to Ukrainian media. "It will take a little more time." The discussion about the aircraft will be structured differently than with the tanks. "But this work has already begun," Kuleba said.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov asked in Munich to help Ukraine with cluster munitions and phosphorus incendiary bombs.
Russians want to advance on Bakhmut from the north
In the city of Bakhmut in the east, which had been embattled for months, the Ukrainian defenders came under increasing pressure. According to their chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian mercenary force Wagner conquered the military-tactically important town of Paraskoviaivka north of Bakhmut. This increases the danger that Ukrainians will be cut off from supplies and withdrawal routes. "The place Paraskovyivka is completely under the control of detachments of the mercenary company Wagner," Prigozhin said, according to the Russian agency Interfax. There was no independent confirmation. In the evening report of the Ukrainian General Staff, the place was not mentioned.
Russian military bloggers wrote that Paraskovyivka was an important hub of Ukraine's defense lines north of Bakhmut. Should the adjacent villages of Verkhivka Berkhivka and Yahiddne also be captured, the Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut could no longer be supplied from the north. Also in the south of Bakhmut Russian forces are pushing into the back of the Ukrainians.
Ukrainians finish training on US tanks
According to the American military, several hundred Ukrainian soldiers have already been trained on Bradley infantry fighting vehicles at the military training area in Grafenwöhr in Bavaria. This week, a first group of about 635 Ukrainians completed their nearly five-week training, the U.S. Department of Defense said. Two more battalions had started training. Next week, a first group of Ukrainian soldiers will also begin training on Stryker wheeled infantry fighting vehicles. The US, as an important ally, supplies Ukraine with both types of tanks.
Moscow incensed by statements on Crimea
According to Moscow, the US is inciting Ukraine to strike at the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, thereby fueling the conflict. "Now the American warmongers are going even further: they are inciting the Kiev regime to further escalation by transferring the war to our territory," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in Moscow.
The trigger was statements by top US diplomat Victoria Nuland, according to which Washington considers Russian military installations in Crimea to be legitimate targets. "Ukraine will not be safe unless Crimea is at least demilitarized," Nuland said in Washington. Kiev can count on the support of the United States.