Zelenskyy: 23,000 Russian soldiers killed
2According to Ukrainian figures, 3,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. In addition, more than a thousand Russian tanks and almost 2,500 other military vehicles have already been destroyed, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a speech on Saturday evening. Actual military casualties are difficult to estimate. Moscow has so far admitted more than a thousand of its own casualties and puts the number of Ukrainian fighters killed at more than 23,000.
According to the Unian agency, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Saturday evening that no troop movements from Russia towards Ukraine had been observed for four days. On the other hand, “a large number of broken equipment, wounded and dead” will be brought back to Russia.
Ukraine: Fighter planes and drones shot down
According to Ukrainian troops, they shot down two Russian fighter jets and several drones. The Su-25 aircraft and four of the seven downed drones were hit in eastern Ukraine, the Air Force and Army said on Facebook on Sunday night. Furthermore, three anti-aircraft tanks, the Strela-10 anti-aircraft system and a radio vehicle were destroyed on the Russian-controlled island of Snakes in the Black Sea, the task force “South” announced on Facebook.
Civilians evacuated from Mariupol Steel Plant
According to the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, 20 women and children have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. Russian news agencies had previously written of 25 civilians leaving the factory premises.
According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 civilians are trapped in the bunkers at the steelworks. Russia, on the other hand, speaks of around 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries who are also said to have holed up there.
Scholz defends Ukraine policy
Meanwhile, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is defending his Ukraine policy against accusations that he is acting too hesitantly and fearfully in the face of Russian aggression. “I make my decisions quickly – and in concert with our allies. I am suspicious of hasty action and German going it alone,” the SPD politician told the “Bild am Sonntag”. He intends to stick to this course.
On Tuesday, the federal government approved the delivery of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to the German defense industry. They are the first heavy weapons to be delivered directly from Germany to Ukraine. Before the Ukraine war, the principle applied was not to hand over weapons to crisis areas.
Baerbock: Peace only after the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the “Bild am Sonntag” that the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers from Ukraine is a prerequisite for lasting peace in Europe and an end to sanctions against Russia. “A ceasefire can only be a first step.” One must help Ukraine to be strong enough to decide for itself, said the minister. “No one has the right to dictate to them.”
During an election campaign in Ahrensburg near Hamburg on Saturday, Baerbock again defended her support for a delivery of heavy weapons. “We want to help the people of Ukraine so that they can defend themselves against Putin’s war of aggression, which violates international law,” she said. “But what would it mean if we didn’t do anything? Would one less bomb fall then? No,” she said.
Melnyk: “For Putin, Germany has long been a war party”
The Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, Andriy Melnyk, continues to demand the most modern German weapons for Ukraine’s defensive struggle against the Russian army. The promised Gepard tanks are already 40 years old, he told the “Bild am Sonntag”. But in order to defeat Russia, “we need the most modern German weapons”. Specifically, he named the rapid export of 88 Leopard tanks, 100 Marder tanks, self-propelled howitzers “and much more”.
Melnyk described the fear of becoming a war party by supplying arms as complete nonsense: “For Putin, Germany has long been a war party. Anyone who wants to prevent their war from escalating must now help us put Putin in his place.”
Merz wants to travel to Kyiv
The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz wants to travel to Kyiv. The CDU spread a message from its chief of staff Jacob Schrot on Twitter, in which he wrote without naming a date: “Friedrich Merz is indeed planning a trip to Ukraine.” According to media reports, the trip should take place on Monday.
Schrot continued: “Germany’s support for Ukraine is not a question of government versus opposition. This is why the democratic center of the German Bundestag passed a joint motion to support Ukraine this week. With his visit, Merz wants to express the joint state-political responsibility of the opposition and the government.”
That’s going to be important today
Labor Day on Sunday is also marked by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences for Germany. The chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Reiner Hoffmann, has already called for greater participation by the rich in dealing with the burdens.
Verdi boss Frank Werneke warned of an arms race in view of the announced billion-dollar rearmament program for Germany. Germany must be able to defend itself, including its alliance obligations, Werneke explained in the pre-release manuscript of his speech in Mainz. The goal remains a world with fewer weapons.
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