Ukrainian troops advance from Kharkiv towards the border

youThe Carniolan troops report a symbolic success in their counter-offensive in the eastern region of Kharkiv: at least at one point they advanced to the border with Russia. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj increasingly wants to ask Africa and Asia for help in the war of Russian aggression against his country. And the Ukrainian Post is planning a postage stamp to honor the unprecedented victory of the group Kalush Orchestra in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense released a video on Monday evening showing a dozen soldiers next to a border post in the national colors of blue and yellow. According to the information, they belong to a brigade of volunteers from the city of Kharkiv. Another video clip posted online shows the soldiers bringing the stake and placing it in front of a ditch with Russian border signs.

Governor: Ukraine still controls 10% of Luhansk

The Ukrainian army had already signaled in recent days that it was gradually pushing back Russian troops near Kharkiv. Russia had already withdrawn its troops to northern Ukraine after being stopped outside the capital, kyiv. Russia is currently focusing on the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where pro-Russian separatists have controlled some areas with help from Moscow since 2014.

Despite heavy Russian attacks, the Ukrainian army still controls about 10% of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, according to the regional governor. In particular, the Russians were unable to capture the outskirts of the cities of Rubishne, Sievjerodonetsk and Lyssychansk, Serhiy Hajday stressed on Sunday. In the Donetsk region, also in eastern Ukraine, three civilians were killed and 13 others injured in Russian attacks on Sunday, according to the regional administration.

According to the Ukrainian government, the rescue of at least the injured defenders of the Azov steel plant in Mariupol failed because of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The factory is under heavy fire from the Russian army – and some critics at home accuse kyiv of having abandoned the soldiers. Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyr stressed that a military operation to free those trapped is currently not possible. They’re working on proposals to get them released – but ‘Putin just doesn’t agree’.

Ukraine also wants to seek support from Africa and Asia

Zelenskyj wants to address the parliaments of African and Asian countries, as he said in his daily video speech. In recent months, the Ukrainian president had sought the support of parliamentarians in Europe, among others, via a video link. He hopes, among other things, that this will speed up Ukraine’s accession to the EU. In a week, he also wants to address the World Economic Forum in Davos, where, among other things, post-war reconstruction will be discussed.

A goal is also the tightening of sanctions against Russia, Selenskyj stressed. “The occupiers must constantly feel for themselves the growing price of war.” The oil embargo against Russia is a priority. “No matter how hard Moscow tries to obstruct this decision, Europe’s period of dependence on Russian energy resources is coming to an end. And that won’t change either,” Zelenskyj said.

The municipal administration of the city of Lviv in western Ukraine has been the target of a cyberattack by suspected Russian hackers. Following Friday’s attack, some city services were no longer available, Deputy Mayor Andriy Moskalenko wrote on Facebook. A part had been restored on Sunday. The attackers also stole data from the city administration, which was later posted on the Telegram chat service, Moskalenko wrote. Ukraine has long been in the crosshairs of hacker groups, which Western computer security experts attribute to the Russian secret service environment.

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The head of the Ukrainian post, Igor Smilyanskij, announced a quick decision on a stamp in honor of the winner of the ESC Kalush Orchestra. The two previous Ukrainian ESC laureates – singers Ruslana and Jamala – were also honored with stamps. More recently, the Ukrainian Post had a hit with a stamp dedicated to Ukrainian soldiers from a Black Sea island who, using obscene language, refused to surrender to a Russian warship.

Kalush Orchestra clearly won the ESC on Sunday night thanks to an unprecedented response from viewers. Ukraine now wants to host the CES next year, regardless of the ongoing Russian war of aggression in its own country. The leader of the group, Oleh Psyuk, meanwhile announced that the group intends to auction off its ESC trophy and donate the proceeds to Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

EU foreign ministers want to discuss the latest developments in the war in Ukraine in Brussels. The meeting is overshadowed by the dispute within the EU over a ban on importing Russian oil. Plans for this are on hold as Hungary does not want to support them. In Sweden and Finland, the parliaments meet to debate whether the two countries should join NATO. A decision on the Swedish government’s application for membership is expected on Monday. The European Commission presents its spring economic forecast in Brussels. The outlook for the European economy is uncertain because of the war.

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