The presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Berlin is announced by the deep roar of helicopters over the city early Sunday morning. Zelensky, who was received with military honors in Rome on Saturday, arrived in Germany during the night. Also for security reasons, diplomacy had chosen the format of "silent arrival", in which the guest first arrives at night without much accompaniment and is then officially welcomed in the morning.
Political correspondent in Berlin
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After the Berlin police had initially carelessly trumpeted out the upcoming visit, they were now particularly anxious not to endanger the safety of the guest unnecessarily. In addition to the already high abstract threat, Russia's leadership had once again directly threatened the Ukrainian head of state with his assassination after a dubious incident at the Kremlin in Moscow. There was a general flight ban over the capital at the weekend.
During the night, it was Zelensky himself who announced his arrival. Around one o'clock he tweeted: "Already in Berlin. Weapons. Strong package. Anti-aircraft. Reconstruction. EU. NATO. Safety." Among other things, the president was alluding to another large shipment of heavy weapons to defend the country against the Russian aggressors. It was announced on Saturday by the Ministry of Defense and includes additional military equipment worth more than two and a half billion euros.
Some of the announced line items were already known. Last week, Inspector General Carsten Breuer visited Kyiv and was accompanied by the main coordinator of military support, Brigadier General Christian Freuding. While Freuding has already been to Ukraine several times, Breuer, the leading military officer of the Bundeswehr, traveled to Kyiv for the first time.
The Ukrainian president had not spent the night in one of the usual Berlin hotels, but in a special place, probably the Ministry of Defense. The topics of the Berlin talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) were also mentioned with his tweet. Shortly after eight o'clock, everything in the government district was already largely cordoned off, Zelensky himself moved around the city by helicopter. After meeting with Steinmeier and Scholz, Zelensky was expected to travel on to Aachen to receive the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in person.