Liveblog: ++ Selenskyj visits Snake Island ++


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Status: 08.07.2023 11:51 a.m

During a visit to the symbolic Snake Island, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy thanked the military for its commitment in 500 days of war. US President Biden does not yet see Ukraine in NATO. All developments in the live blog.

At least six people are said to have been killed by Russian artillery fire in the Ukrainian city of Lyman. This was announced by the governor of the eastern Ukrainian province of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko. At least five people were also injured. Lyman is a major rail hub.

conflicting parties as a source

Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.

According to British intelligence, the Russian military is currently unable to expand its battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The necessary reserves were missing. Literally, the report states: “The Russian defenders are most likely struggling with low morale, ragtag units and a limited ability to find and hit Ukrainian artillery.”

For Russia, however, it would not be an option to give up the city, it said. Accordingly, there had been heavy fighting for a week, which was currently among the fiercest on the entire front.

Shaded: territories occupied by Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited the symbolic Snake Island in the Black Sea. In a video message, he thanked his country’s military for their commitment during the 500-day war.

Zelenskyy called Snake Island a “place of victory” and assured that it “will never be conquered by the occupiers”. On the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the crew of the Russian warship “Moskva” called on the Ukrainian border guards stationed on the island to surrender. However, they rejected this in clear words in a radio message. Since then, the island has been a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian war of aggression.

A short time later, however, Snake Island was taken by the Russian army and the border guards were taken prisoner. At the end of June, Russia withdrew from the island – as a “gesture of good will,” as the Kremlin called it.

Green politician Anton Hofreiter has opposed the US plans to equip the Ukrainian army with cluster munitions. “I reject the delivery of cluster munitions. They are rightly outlawed,” Hofreiter told the dpa news agency. Instead, the chairman of the Europe Committee in the Bundestag called for the delivery of German cruise missiles to Ukraine and support for the fighter jet alliance led by Denmark and the Netherlands with logistics and training.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Hofreiter to make clear statements about this at the forthcoming NATO summit. “It is important that Scholz sets an example at the NATO summit with a view to arms deliveries – especially given the difficult situation at the front,” he said. “After hesitating for so long and thus allowing the Russian army to fortify the front so heavily, we should learn from this and speed up.”

Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze is moving away from the federal government’s goal of linking the amount of expenditure invested in development aid to defense spending. As a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, this goal was “thrown overboard” and “no longer realistic, bitter as it is,” the SPD politician told the editorial network Germany.

It is “obvious” that more investment needs to be made in the Bundeswehr, Schulze continued, but at the same time warned that the budget for development aid should be adequately funded. “Crises cannot only be fought with weapons, we also have to tackle the deeper causes,” said the minister.

According to the UN, more than 9,000 civilians have been killed since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began. Among them are 500 children, said the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) on the occasion of the 500th day since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. However, according to estimates by UN representatives, the actual number of civilian deaths is significantly higher.

According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey wants to support reconstruction in Ukraine. The Turkish head of state said this after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Istanbul.

US President Joe Biden believes that Ukraine’s rapid accession to NATO is unrealistic. “I don’t think she’s ready for NATO membership,” Biden said in an interview excerpt published by US broadcaster CNN. He believes that there is still no agreement among the NATO member states as to whether or not Ukraine should be admitted to the alliance “now, in the middle of the war”.

If you did that, you were also obliged to defend every inch of NATO territory. If the war then continued, all NATO partners would be at war.

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