- 07:46: ➤ For Ukraine: The first Marder tanks should be ready in three weeks
- 06:57: US Department of Defense confirms deportation of Ukrainians to Russia
- 06:23: Dead and injured in Russian rocket attacks on Odessa
➤ For Ukraine: The first Marder tanks should be ready in three weeks
The Rheinmetall armament group wants to be able to deliver the first repaired armored personnel carriers of the Marder type within three weeks. So said CEO Armin Papperger of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on Tuesday.
“We are waiting for the final decision from the government. But there are currently enough countries that want these vehicles, not just Ukraine.” The Bundestag had approved the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine at the end of April. However, the federal government keeps a low profile with information on individual weapon types such as Leopard battle tanks or Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
Rheinmetall has stocks of used tanks that can be reconditioned for use. “We started four weeks ago, although there is no concrete order yet. So we do it at our own risk,” said Papperger, who promoted the arms group. based in Düsseldorf in numerous interviews in recent weeks.
He also sees the German government’s €100 billion program to modernize the Bundeswehr as an opportunity for the company. The Bundeswehr currently has “too little of everything”, Papperger told the newspaper.
He was “firmly convinced” that Rheinmetall could increase its sales from just under six to over ten billion euros in the next few years. The share price on the stock market has more than doubled since the start of the war in Ukraine.
The situation in brief:
Since February 24, Russia has been waging a war of air and ground aggression against Ukraine. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin questioned Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state and recognized the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
Since then, the Ukrainian army has been fighting the invaders as best it can. Thousands of dead are reported on both sides, but the exact number of soldiers and civilians has not been independently verified. The fact is that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is getting worse every day. According to the UN, more than 5.8 million people have fled Ukraine (as of May 8), mostly women and children, with men between the ages of 18 and 60 not allowed to leave the country.
The EU and the United States reacted with sanctions. They also supply arms to Ukraine, and Germany also supports the country with arms deliveries. Ukraine is also to receive Gepard-class tanks from Germany. So far, it has been ruled out that NATO will actively intervene in the war.
On the first weekend of April, images of the corpses of scores of civilians in the small town of Bucha near kyiv sparked international outrage. Ukraine speaks of serious war crimes and genocide and blames Russian troops for it. Despite numerous indications, Moscow denies having been involved in the civilian deaths. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that negotiations with Russia must continue.
According to a Ukrainian statement, a long-prepared large-scale offensive by Russia in eastern Ukraine began on April 18.
Other news of the day:
US Department of Defense confirms deportation of Ukrainians to Russia
06:57: According to the US Department of Defense, there are indications that Ukrainians are being forcibly brought to Russia by Russian troops. “I can’t say how many camps there are or what they look like,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday. “But we have evidence of Ukrainians being brought into Russia against their will,” Kirby said. He called the behavior “ruthless”.
According to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Ukrainian Parliament, Lyudmila Denisova, “more than 1.19 million of our fellow citizens, including more than 200,000 children, have been deported to the Russian Federation” since the start of the war. Information cannot be independently verified.
According to the latest UN estimates, more than 5.4 million Ukrainians – mostly women and children – have fled the country. In addition, there are 7.7 million internally displaced people.
Dead and injured in Russian rocket attacks on Odessa
06:23: At least one person was killed and five others injured in Russian rocket attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa on Tuesday night. This was reported by the Unian agency, citing local military leaders. “The enemy maintains its psychological pressure and continues its hysterical attacks against peaceful civilians and civilian infrastructure,” he said.
The city was rocked by numerous explosions in the evening, due to both rocket fire and anti-aircraft defenses. According to the media, among other things, a shopping center and a warehouse were affected.
According to the Ukrainian army, the Russian Air Force fired several Kinzhal-type hypersonic missiles at Odessa on Monday evening. “Tourist objects” were hit and at least five buildings were destroyed, Ukrajinska Pravda reported.
The port city in southern Ukraine has been the target of Russian rocket attacks since Sunday evening. Several rockets fell in the region on Monday afternoon during a visit by EU Council President Charles Michel. Michel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal therefore had to ask for protection. With this, Russia shows its true attitude towards Europe, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj commented in the evening.
There would still be civilians at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol
01:01: Despite reports that all civilians had been completely evacuated from the Azovstal plant in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, besieged by Russian troops, around 100 civilians are still believed to be there.
In addition, around 100,000 people were still in the badly damaged city, regional administration head Pavlo Kyrylenko said late Monday. “It’s hard to say which of them wants to leave the city,” he told ‘Ukrajinska Pravda’.
Ukrainian troops have entrenched themselves in the Steelworks, the last stronghold of Mariupol. In recent days, several hundred women, children and elderly people have been evacuated there with the help of the United Nations and the Red Cross. However, defenders of Azovstal did not want to rule out the possibility that civilians were still staying in some of the vast site’s cellars.
Biden urges Congress to hurry with billion-euro package for Ukraine
00:32: US President Joe Biden has asked Congress to quickly approve the billion-euro package he has requested to support Ukraine in Russia’s war of aggression. “I have nearly exhausted the funds made available to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukrainian fighters,” Biden said Monday.
This could be the case in ten days. “We cannot allow our aid deliveries to be halted while we await further action from Congress.”
Biden has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion. Most of this sum – over $20 billion – is to be used for military aid. The US government had previously launched several major support programs for Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war at the end of February, the United States has promised or delivered arms and ammunition for more than 3.7 billion US dollars (about 3.5 billion euros) to the former Soviet republic.
Biden’s statement on Monday said he was pleased that his aid package proposal appeared to be gaining support in Congress. “We must support Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression.”
Due to the urgency, he is moving away from his original proposal that Congress should decide on funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic with the Ukraine aid package. “We cannot afford any delay in this important war effort.”
With material from dpa, AFP, APA
The war in Ukraine is now entering its eighth week. Since then, the port city of Mariupol has been besieged by the Russian military – planned evacuation corridors have repeatedly failed. Records from Mariupol show conditions in the hard-fought city.