Liveblog: ++ Russian air sovereignty big problem according to Kuleba ++

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Status: 07/02/2023 10:28 a.m

According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba, Russian air superiority and the minefields are the biggest problems in the counteroffensive. President Selenskyj thanked Spain’s Prime Minister Sánchez for his visit. The developments in the live blog.

According to British estimates, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has hit the Russian aerospace sector hard. “The industry is suffering from international sanctions,” said the British Ministry of Defense. “Highly qualified experts are encouraged to serve as infantry in the Roskosmos militia.” In addition, the head of the Russian air and space forces, General Sergei Surovikin, has not been seen in public since the mutiny of Wagner’s private army. He was a liaison with the Ministry of Defense for Wagner.

Russia had previously canceled the MAKS International Aerospace Exhibition, which was scheduled to take place in late July. The British Ministry of Defense suspected security concerns after drone attacks within Russia. “The organizers were most likely also aware of the risk of reputational damage if fewer international delegations take part,” it said. However, the radio interference, which is intended to ward off a potential drone attack, makes the traditional air shows of the MAKS, one of the largest aerospace exhibitions in the world, impossible.

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer is pushing for a diplomatic solution for Ukraine and does not want to see the path to Russian gas blocked in the long term. “We have to rely much more on diplomacy to end the Ukraine war,” the CDU politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group. A large proportion of people are in favor of a diplomatic solution. “And I expect the federal government to open up to that.”

In addition, he no longer wanted to hear the phrase “Never again Russia”. He declared the energy turnaround in Germany to have failed and lamented the extreme increase in energy prices. Everything must be done to lower prices. “It would be necessary to rethink everything: nuclear power, the phase-out of coal, domestic gas, Nord Stream 1, the expansion of renewables – there are many ways to reach a compromise.”

According to the US foreign intelligence service, the Ukraine war is having a “corrosive” effect on the Russian leadership under President Vladimir Putin. The disappointment in Russia over the war offers the CIA new opportunities to gather intelligence information, CIA director William Burns said at the annual Ditchley Foundation lecture in the English county of Oxfordshire on Saturday, according to the BBC – a week after the failed revolt of the mercenary group Wagner in Russia.

“This dissatisfaction creates a unique opportunity for us at the CIA,” Burns said of agent recruitment. “We will not let this opportunity go to waste.” Burns said the actions of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin were “a vivid reminder of the corrosive effect of Putin’s war on his own society and regime.”

Prigozhin’s actions and statements would have an effect for some time. “Disappointment with the war will continue to gnaw at the Russian leadership.”

According to its own statements, the Ukrainian air defense repelled the first Russian drone attack on the capital Kiev in twelve days during the night. According to preliminary findings, the air defense hit all targets.

“Another attack on Kiev,” wrote the head of the military administration of Kiev, Serhiy Popko, on the short message service Telegram. “There is currently no information about possible casualties or damage.” The information could not be independently verified. Air raid warnings had been issued for about an hour during the night for Kiev, its surroundings and a number of regions in central and eastern Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Russian air superiority and minefields are the biggest problems for Ukrainian troops in their counter-offensive. At risk of their lives, Ukrainian soldiers sometimes have to crawl 200 or 300 meters through a minefield a day to clear the terrain for the to evacuate advancing troops, Kuleba said in an interview in Kiev with “Bild”, “Welt” and “Politico”.

The Russian fortifications, reinforced with concrete, steel and other materials, are difficult to destroy. In addition, the armed forces are suffering “that we lack anti-aircraft, anti-helicopter and anti-aircraft weapons on the ground,” Kuleba said. With the use of combat helicopters and combat aircraft, the Russians managed to “hit our counter-offensive forces.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed confidence in his country’s European future. It has always been impossible to imagine a “common European home” without Ukraine, but now Kiev has achieved that, even at the political level, European affairs are no longer thought of without Ukraine, he said in his daily video address.

The visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on the first day of Spain’s EU Presidency was an important gesture in this regard, he added. He thanked Madrid for the political, economic and military aid and for taking in refugees. However, he is confident that they will soon be able to return home once it is safe there again.

Part of this security is Ukraine’s entry into NATO, which Kiev is aiming for. He thanks Spain for supporting Ukraine’s NATO ambitions, Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian head of state gave his speech in the north-west of the country at the Rivne nuclear power plant. There he had a briefing with military and political decision-makers, among other things on the safety of nuclear power plants, said Zelenskyj. In recent weeks, Kiev has repeatedly accused Moscow of provoking a nuclear incident at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russians. Russia denies these allegations.

Neutral Austria wants to join the planned European air defense system. Spain’s Prime Minister Sánchez promised Ukraine 55 million euros in new aid during his visit. The live blog from Saturday to read.



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