The day of the war at a glance: Russians encircle Ukrainian soldiers – Kyiv receives EU candidate status

The day of the war at a glance
Russians encircle Ukrainian soldiers – Kyiv receives EU candidate status

Natural gas is becoming significantly more expensive in Germany. That much is already certain. While the federal government declares the alert level, Russia’s President Putin secures the support of his BRICS partners. His troops are advancing further in eastern Ukraine. In Kyiv, meanwhile, people are happy about a decision by the EU member states. The 120th day of the war at a glance.

Lysychansk: Russians advance to the outskirts of the city

In eastern Ukraine, Russian troops have advanced to the outskirts of Lyssychansk, according to Ukrainian sources. It is the last major city in the Luhansk region that is still fully under Ukrainian control. “Our fighters stopped the advance towards the southern outskirts of Lysychansk, inflicted casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat,” the General Staff situation report in Kyiv said in the evening. The Russian army is now drawing on reserves. The Borivske settlement east of the Severskyi Donets river was also fought over.

In the morning it became known that a Ukrainian group was surrounded in the towns of Solote and Hirske in the south of Lysychansk. In the evening, the Ukrainian military announced that the Russian troops had meanwhile partially captured Hirske. According to the report, they were able to completely close the cauldron. Russia also shelled Ukrainian army fuel tanks and military equipment near Mykolayiv during the day, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow. Fierce fighting has been raging in the Donbass for weeks because the Russian army is trying to conquer the entire provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk. The Russian air force apparently flies heavy attacks on Ukrainian positions.

Moscow insists on the fulfillment of the war aims

With a view to possible negotiations on an end to hostilities, the Kremlin is sticking to all of its demands. A peace plan is possible, but only when Kyiv has met all the demands, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Interfax agency, without giving details. Moscow’s publicly expressed demands include recognition of the eastern Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and the Crimean Black Sea peninsula, annexed in 2014, as Russian state territory. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently formulated the recapture of Crimea and the areas occupied since the end of February as Kiev’s goal.

First German howitzers, now American rocket launchers

According to the government in Kyiv, the USA has now delivered the HIMARS multiple rocket launchers to support the Ukrainian armed forces. “HIMARS have arrived in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Twitter. He thanked his US colleague Lloyd Austin “for these powerful tools” and published photos of the rocket launchers. The mobile machines can fire multiple precision-guided missiles simultaneously at targets up to 80 kilometers away. The US Army also has systems with a range of several hundred kilometers. Resnikov announced on Tuesday that Germany had meanwhile delivered the Panzerhaubitze 2000. According to the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin, all seven howitzers promised by Germany arrived in Ukraine.

EU states grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova

Ukraine and Moldova receive the official status of EU accession candidates. The heads of state and government of the 27 EU countries decided that evening at their Brussels summit, as Council President Charles Michel announced. He described the decision on Twitter as a “historic moment”. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen commented: “Today is a good day for Europe.” With this step, the EU recognizes the efforts of the two countries to gain accession to the EU and wants to encourage them to continue on this path with determination. In a first reaction, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy thanked for the support. “The future of Ukraine lies in the EU,” he tweeted.

Putin shakes hands with BRICS partners

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, is increasingly turning his back on the EU. At the virtual summit of the so-called BRICS countries, he gave the West the Blame for the global economic crisis. He gave the group with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa a new leadership role. “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation can we find a way out of the crisis in which the world economy has fallen because of the ill-considered selfish actions of individual countries, which, using financial mechanisms, are passing on their own mistakes in macroeconomics to the whole world,” reported the head of the Kremlin.

Habeck announces the alarm level – gas should be significantly more expensive

In Germany, meanwhile, the topic of natural gas continues to make the headlines. Because of extremely restricted deliveries from Russia, the federal government called the alarm level in the “gas emergency plan”. Economics Minister Robert Habeck warned companies and consumers to save gas. A “national effort” is needed. In view of the current situation, the President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, believes it is possible for consumer prices for gas to triple. “If you extrapolate it, it depends a lot on how you heat, how your building is built. But it can triple the previous gas bill,” Müller told ntv. Habeck said in the RTL “Nachtjournal” when asked if he could imagine gas bills trebling: “That can’t be ruled out.” That is within the realm of possibility: “So there is a price wave coming to Germany, and it can no longer be averted because the prices have already accumulated.”

Müller sees a real danger of a gas bottleneck in Germany. “I will do everything to ensure that we avoid freezing in private households,” he told ntv, “but I am very concerned that we can maintain industrial production like this.” The more gas is saved, the fewer consequences the industry faces. “Anyone who saves gas and stores it helps to avoid having to reduce jobs, added value and companies.”

UN chief could flounder grain deal

A bottleneck of a different kind is also having an impact on the world market: grain shipments from Ukraine blocked by Russia. However, progress appears to be being made in the dispute. UN Security Council circles confirmed the possibility of a meeting between the conflicting parties together with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Turkey – possibly as early as next week. The talks are at a point where the UN chief would negotiate directly with Russians and Ukrainians to secure a deal. Ukraine complains that the Russian Navy is blockading its Black Sea ports. Both countries are among the largest wheat exporters and play an important role in global food security.

Other important articles on the Ukraine war

All further developments can be found in our Live ticker on the Ukraine war read.

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