Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky returns to Kyiv with the promise of further military aid from Germany and France. In Berlin and Paris, Zelensky once again insisted on the delivery of fighter jets on Sunday. However, both Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and President Emmanuel Macron reacted cautiously. However, the French head of state wanted to comment on further military aid in a TV interview on Monday evening, as it was said from the Élysée Palace. Zelensky, meanwhile, thanked Germany and France for their military support.
The Ukrainian president had arrived on Sunday after talks in Rome for his first visit to Germany since the beginning of Russia's invasion. In Berlin, Zelensky met with German Chancellor Scholz, among others. In the afternoon, Zelensky and the Ukrainian people were awarded the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen for their services to the unity of Europe. Surprisingly, Zelensky then traveled on to Paris, where he met with Macron – it was his second visit to France since the beginning of the war. Whether the Ukrainian president would leave at night or after an overnight stay in Paris remained open for security reasons.
The topic of fighter jets
The topic of fighter jets is recurring, it was said from Paris, the question is probably a bit premature. Before the delivery of an aircraft, you have to have trained pilots for it. The training takes a while – and the Ukrainian pilots have not been trained on French models. Scholz said on the question of fighter jets that Germany had delivered a great deal to Ukraine. Germany is concentrating on supporting the defensive struggle. After the United States, Germany is the second largest supporter of Ukraine.
France promises air defense systems
Germany is one of Ukraine's most important supporters – both militarily and financially. Since the beginning of the war, the German government has approved arms deliveries worth 2.75 billion euros. Zelensky's visit had been prepared in Germany with the promise of further military support worth an additional 2.7 billion euros. Among other things, 20 more Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard 1 tanks and four Iris-T SLM anti-aircraft systems are to be provided by the German arms industry.
France promised to supply dozens of armored vehicles and light tanks, as well as long-range air defense systems. In addition, thousands more Ukrainian soldiers are to be trained by France this year.
Zelensky thanked Germany and France for military support. "I thank German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the German people for the strong defense package, for their leadership in defending human lives against Russian terror together with us," Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter early Monday. He said he was grateful to Macron and the entire French people "for the military support of our fighters, which helps in the fight against Russian terrorists." "Together we bring peace closer for all Ukrainians and Europeans," he wrote.
SPD leader Klingbeil: Push ahead with Ukraine's accession to the EU
SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil called for Ukraine's accession to the European Union to be accelerated. "Of course, the same conditions apply to Ukraine's accession to the EU as to all other countries, but we should push ahead with this important concern," Klingbeil told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (Monday). Germany has a great responsibility in this regard. "We have the power to initiate and accelerate things in Europe."
Ukraine has officially been a candidate for EU membership since last summer. However, the 27 EU states still have to decide unanimously on negotiations. Ukraine hopes to begin concrete EU accession negotiations before the end of this year.
Reports of heavy artillery fire on Donetsk
The city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, controlled by Russian troops, apparently came under heavy artillery fire on Sunday. The city was hit by hundreds of artillery shells and projectiles from multiple rocket launchers, the Russian state agency Tass reported, citing local authorities. No information was given about the impact of the shelling. The representation could not be independently verified. Donetsk is located immediately behind the front lines in eastern Ukraine.
Kyiv: Advances near Bakhmut continue
According to their own account, Ukrainian troops made further territorial gains in the vicinity of the heavily contested city of Bakhmut. "Our units have captured more than ten enemy positions north and south of Bakhmut and cleared a large forest area near Ivanivske from the enemy," Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on Telegram on Sunday. Russian soldiers were captured. Despite the Ukrainian successes, the situation near Bakhmut remains tense, as the Russian military is putting up resolute resistance.
In recent days, the Ukrainian military has recaptured larger areas around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in counterattacks. Now there is a threat of an encirclement of the Russian mercenary troop Wagner, which is deployed in the city.
That will be important on Monday
China's special envoy Li Hui travels to Ukraine. It is the first time since the start of the war that China has sent a high-ranking diplomat to the country attacked by Russia. According to information from Beijing, Li will also visit Poland, Germany, France and Russia to discuss a political solution to the conflict.