On the anniversary of the Russian war of aggression, Hesse's state policy emphasizes its solidarity with Ukraine. Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU) calls for more heavy weapons for the defenders and wants to see Russian President Vladimir Putin before an international war crimes tribunal. The Ukrainian Consul General in Frankfurt, Vadym Kostiuk, asked for further help in Wiesbaden on Friday. Hesse's Left Party warns, however, that more weapons could lead to an escalation of the war.

"It is a sad day today, a year of war in Ukraine," Rhein said. "Ukrainians are fighting for peace and freedom from all of us. We have to acknowledge this in particular," he said, adding: "There is absolutely no possibility of compromise here, as is written down in the manifesto by Alice Schwarzer and Sarah Wagenknecht, for example. It is easy to write down such a manifesto in a warm German street café while in Ukraine people are dying and fighting for their freedom." The Prime Minister went on to say that Ukraine must be admitted to the European Union. The EU will play a major role in rebuilding the country after the war. In Hesse, however, it is now a matter of helping the Ukrainians.

Kostiuk thanked his compatriots for their Hessian support. "Our children started school here. More than 80,000 Ukrainians have been taken into families and then accommodated in apartments in Wiesbaden, Frankfurt and Darmstadt and throughout Hesse, and some have already been given the opportunity to find a job," the Consul General concluded. "Believe in us, we will continue to fight," Kostiuk said, adding: "We will liberate our country, and we will not allow the Russian army to advance to the eastern border of the EU." At the same time, he made it clear that Ukraine would not be able to do this without help. "Believe in us, we believe in you," he repeated.

"Peace of submission" should not be the solution

In doing so, he is running into open doors with the Hessian CDU parliamentary group. Chairman Ines Claus announced that she would continue to do everything possible to ensure that the consequences of the war could be overcome jointly in Hesse. Hesse has created a 3.58 billion euro state aid program. "We continue to stand firmly by their side."

Against the background of the ongoing debates about the war, Mathias Wagner, parliamentary leader of the Hessian Greens, recalled that people in Germany and Hesse were struggling "only with the consequences of the war". According to Wagner, the people of Ukraine fight for their lives every day.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary group of the Hessian Left Party has called on the federal government to do more for diplomacy and negotiations instead of relying on the delivery of ever heavier weapons. "Otherwise, there is a danger of an ever-escalation, up to a major war," said parliamentary group chairman Jan Schalauske.

For Günter Rudolph, leader of the Social Democrats, it is clear that a "subjugation peace" on the terms of the aggressor cannot be the solution. "Knowing that diplomacy and military strength are not mutually exclusive, but mutually dependent, we stand firmly with Ukraine," Rudolph said, adding that it is inevitable to carry burdens.

Stefan Naas, top candidate of the Hessian FDP in the upcoming state election, has also reaffirmed solidarity with the people of Ukraine. "Ukraine is also about defending our values: nothing less than freedom, peace and democracy," he said.

The AfD parliamentary group called for an end to the war. "We mourn for each individual and also for the soldiers who have been burned in a senseless war," said parliamentary group chairman Robert Lambrou. He demanded from the Russian president an immediate ceasefire and a return to diplomacy.