Ukrainian war: “Absolute stupidity” – Selenskyj outraged by the Russian attack on a cultural center

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has blamed Russia for a rocket attack on a cultural center in the east of the country that left eight injured. An eleven-year-old child was also injured in the shelling of the city of Lozova in the Kharkiv region, the head of state wrote on Friday evening on the Telegram news channel.

“The occupiers have identified culture, education and humanity as their enemies,” Zelenskyy said. Such attacks are “absolute stupidity” and “wickedness.” Zelenskyj posted a video on his account that showed a rocket impact. Then a huge cloud of smoke could be seen.

Zelenskyj also referred to a fund for compensation payments to countries affected by Russian attacks, for example. A mechanism must be developed with other partner countries “so that anyone who has suffered from Russia’s actions can receive compensation for all losses.” This could be regulated in a “multilateral agreement”.

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Zelenskyy suggested freezing or confiscating Russian capital and assets abroad and transferring them to this new fund. “That would be fair,” Zelenskyj said. Russia would feel “the true weight of every missile, every bomb, every projectile it fires at us”. According to estimates, war damage in Ukraine already amounts to hundreds of billions of euros.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told ZDF on Thursday that the European Union was examining ways to use the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to fund post-war reconstruction in Ukraine. In this way, Russia can make a contribution to post-war reconstruction, said the President of the Commission.

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The German ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, admitted that the Federal Republic had made serious mistakes in its Russian policy. The strategy of mutual dependence has been “pulverized” by the war in Ukraine, Haber told US news channel CNN. For decades, Germany has based its policy on the assumption that mutual dependence leads to stability.

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The current situation in Ukraine.

Source: WORLD infographic

“That was, if you will, our experience with regard to the GDR and with reunification even with regard to the collapse of the Soviet empire,” Haber said. “But now we see that interdependence can also lead to vulnerability. So our hypothesis was shattered. The ambassador said the West must be united in its communication with Vladimir Putin. “We know very little about the dynamics of Putin’s inner circle,” Haber said.

Nearly 2,500 soldiers surrender to Azovstal Steel Works

On Friday night, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol was under Russian control after weeks of bloody fighting. All the fighters would have surrendered. A total of 2,439 Ukrainian soldiers have been taken prisoner by the Russians since May 16. The plant was the last piece of the strategically important city in southeastern Ukraine that was not yet completely under Russian control.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu himself reported to President Vladimir Putin on the “complete liberation of the plant and the city of Mariupol”, Konashenkov said. The deployment of Russian soldiers is now complete.

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Ukraine, Escape, Location

Source: WELT infographic/Anna Wagner

Russian troops began besieging Mariupol shortly after invading Ukraine in late February. Photos of a destroyed maternity hospital have gone around the world. For weeks, the civilians held in the cellars, and there was even a lack of drinking water in the besieged city. It was only after many unsuccessful attempts that the civilians were evacuated from the city. More recently, Russian attacks have focused on the steelworks, in the vast cellars of which the last defenders of the city are holed up.

According to the ministry, the last group of 531 captive militants arrived on Friday, the ministry said. The industrial zone had been blocked by Russian troops since April 21. The commander of the Azov regiment was taken away in a special armored vehicle.

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Hours earlier, the last Ukrainian defenders of the Sea of ​​Azov steelworks had announced for the first time that their military command had ordered them to stop defending the city. This was stated by the commander of the controversial National Guards Regiment “Azov” Denys Prokopenko. This should protect the life and health of the garrison soldiers.

The first 264 soldiers surrendered on Monday, more than 50 of them seriously injured. According to Russian reports, others were taken captive on Thursday. The commanders and some fighters had held the position until the end. In total, it was always assumed that there were about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters in Moscow. The Kyiv government, on the other hand, had given the number as just 1,000.

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Until the very end, the Ukrainian leadership also spoke of a “rescue operation” instead of a surrender and hinted at the prospect of a quick prisoner exchange with Russia. The Azov fighters had repeatedly asked for help from the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Russia has been waging a war of aggression against its Ukrainian neighbor for almost three months.

With Mariupol, Russian forces now control the entire coast of the Sea of ​​Azov. This would allow the breakaway republics of Luhansk and Donzek, recognized by Russia, to remain formally independent. With Mariupol, you have access to the oceans of the world. They can now export their production themselves through the largest well-developed port in the Sea of ​​Azov, independently of Russian land routes via the inexpensive waterway.

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Above all, Mariupol also has great symbolic significance for the Azov National Guard Regiment, which was founded by neo-Nazis and nationalists and is still dominated by them today. According to the unit’s founding myth, the unit, founded by volunteers in early May 2014, liberated the port city, then controlled by pro-Russian separatists, less than a month later. During the week-long battle for the city, Ukrainians have repeatedly stressed that if Mariupol is saved, then Ukraine will be saved.

“Azov” had previously lost its base in the nearby port city of Berdyansk. Since Mariupol also fell, this is considered a defeat for the core of the unit which was particularly fought by Russian troops. Russia celebrates this as a major partial victory in its war of aggression against Ukraine.

Continued resistance to the Russian invasion in Mariupol long meant that, according to Ukrainian sources, a Russian group of around 14,000 soldiers with heavy equipment was tied down. With the fall of the port city, it now becomes free. The soldiers could provide the decisive advantage for the long-awaited Russian offensive towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

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