Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj relies on the strength of the Ukrainians in the defensive fight against Russian invaders. With perseverance slogans, he wants to encourage his fellow citizens in the fight against Russia.

"The strength of Ukrainians and the state as a whole is based on the fact that Ukrainians become warriors at a crucial time," Zelenskyi said in his nightly video address on Tuesday. Since the occupation of Crimea by Russia and since the beginning of the war on February 24 last year, hundreds of thousands of citizens have become Ukrainian volunteers and "defend Ukraine against Russian aggression."

"And millions of people are helping," Zelensky continued. "They are looking for everything we need to defend ourselves, treating and rehabilitating the wounded, rescuing people after Russian attacks and working for Ukraine and Ukrainians," he said. "The strength of our defense and security forces lies in the strength of our people." Once again, Zelenskyi was confident: "We will win this war."

Drone crash over Black Sea

A military incident over the Black Sea is causing new tensions between the US and Russia. An unmanned US military drone collided with a Russian fighter jet in international airspace on Tuesday, the US military said. The drone had to be brought down after the collision. The Americans blamed Russia and complained of an "unsafe and unprofessional" behavior of the Russian side.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied any responsibility in connection with the crash. The drone was neither shot at nor attacked in any other way, it was said in a message distributed by the state agency Tass. Jets of the Russian Air Force had risen to identify an unknown intruder over the Black Sea, which had flown towards Russian airspace. During a sharp evasive maneuver, the drone rapidly lost altitude and crashed into the sea.

According to reports of Ukrainian reconnaissance, the Russian Navy brought several ships into position on the Black Sea, from which cruise missiles are usually launched. The Ukrainian military leadership spoke of a "cat-and-mouse game", as Ukraine always raises its alert for possible new missile attacks when these ships leave.

Bakhmut continues to be defended

The Ukrainian military leadership decided on Tuesday to continue defending the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. All members of the military leadership had agreed unanimously, said the presidential office. "The defensive operation in this area is of the utmost strategic importance to repel the enemy," army chief Valery Salushny wrote on Facebook. The defense of Bakhmut is the key to protecting the entire front.

Bakhmut has been a focal point on the eastern front of the country for weeks. There, Russian units, led by the notorious Wagner mercenary troop, try to conquer the place by all means. So far, the attackers have managed to harass the city from three sides. Bakhmut is now considered largely destroyed. Both sides are said to have suffered heavy losses in the fighting.

Putin: Ukrainian involvement in Nord Stream sabotage

Russian President Vladimir Putin considers reports of Ukrainian activists' involvement in the explosions at Nord Stream's natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea to be "total nonsense." Such an action at this depth and on this scale could be carried out by "only specialists," Putin said in a television interview on Tuesday. "This also includes the support of a state that has the appropriate technology."

Specifically, Putin did not want to comment on the authorship of the explosions. But one must always question who might have an interest in this. "And who is interested? Theoretically, the US could have an interest in preventing Russian energy sources from entering the European market," the Kremlin chief said.

Three out of four lines of the two Nord Stream natural gas pipelines on the bottom of the Baltic Sea had explosions in September. Recently, media in Germany, among others, speculated about the involvement of a pro-Ukrainian group.