9:33 p.m .: The Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra had to spend a while in a bomb cellar because of an air alarm during his visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The 46-year-old fled to safety ahead of a scheduled meeting with Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Tuesday night as sirens warned of Russian airstrikes. Hoekstra had traveled to Kyiv by train with Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and had held a few appointments with her.
Baerbock himself was reportedly not affected by the protective measure. The minister had previously stated that even after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kyiv region, the war in Ukraine would not be over. “A missile can land anywhere in this country,” she said.
Media in the Ukrainian capital reported an air alert for Kyiv and the surrounding area around 7:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. CEST). However, no explosions were heard, and there is no information about flights. The situation is stable, it said. Mayor Klitschko announced on television that the safety of the citizens cannot be guaranteed. He pointed out that there are still many roadblocks in Kyiv and movement is restricted.
9:29 p.m .: Due to the war, Ukraine will stop transiting Russian gas in the Luhansk region in the east of the country from Wednesday. As a result, up to 32.6 million cubic meters of gas per day were lost – that is almost a third of the maximum amount that can be transported via Ukraine to Europe every day, the Ukrainian gas network operator announced on Tuesday. Due to the Russian occupation, it had become impossible to forward gas to other distribution stations via the Sochranivka point, it said. The operator referred to a case of “force majeure”.
Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, which recently pumped almost 100 million cubic meters of gas a day through Ukraine towards Europe, rejected this. Gazprom has “received no confirmation of circumstances of force majeure,” said spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov, according to the Interfax agency. It is technically not possible to divert the deliveries that are now no longer available via other routes.
The contractual maximum capacity for Ukrainian gas transit to Europe is 109 million cubic meters per day. However, the main route for Russian gas to Europe is the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1.
7:42 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has asked Malta to take stricter action against Russians hiding in the smallest EU country. Speaking for 10 minutes in front of the Valletta parliament on Tuesday, Zelenskyy, who is speaking from Ukraine, said: “Stop privileges for Russia, starting with the system of the golden passport and dual citizenship. Don’t let them abuse your island. Find out which Russians are trying to hide.”
For years, wealthy foreigners could get a passport in Malta if they invested money in the Mediterranean island. Many Russians also took advantage of the opportunity. Critics complained that rich people could buy such a passport for the European Union. However, after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the controversial procedure for Russians and Belarusians was suspended.
Zelenskyy also pushed for a full EU embargo on Russian oil, while acknowledging that Malta would suffer. The neutral country has one of the largest shipping registers in the world; many ships flying the Maltese flag transport Russian oil. The island state is therefore trying to find a compromise in the EU negotiations on an oil boycott.
7:16 p.m .: Foreign Minister Baerbock also met Ukraine’s President Selenskyj during her visit to Kyiv. This shows a picture of the two politicians. In the evening, Baerbock spoke to the “Bild” newspaper about the conversation. She said: “Since February 24, Ukraine has surpassed itself. This country has become a symbol of freedom.”
In the “next phase” it is now important to see how Germany can support Ukraine. In their “struggle for existence”, in the “reconstruction of destroyed cities” and in the “clearance of mines”.
4:04 p.m .: More than two months after the start of the war in Ukraine, more than eight million people have been displaced within the country. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday that almost 14 million people had left their home towns. Around 5.9 million people have left the borders to other countries.
“The needs of these internally displaced people and all those affected by the war in Ukraine are increasing by the hour,” warned the organization’s director general, António Vitorino. Above all, the displaced people need financial help. Another urgent need is for shelter.
3:51 p.m .: Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has announced that Belgium will double its LNG capacities to make Europe more independent of Russian natural gas. Deliveries to Germany will also be increased, he announced after a conversation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. More natural gas is transported through Belgium for Germany than through Ukraine.
3.45 p.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the fact that Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had traveled to Ukraine. Scholz said on Tuesday in Berlin that together with the visit of Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) to Ukraine, Baerbock’s trip was “a good basis for the still important cooperation that we have”.
2:53 p.m .: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said during her visit to Kyiv that Germany wants to get along completely without the energy of the “aggressor” Russia in the future. “That’s why we are consistently reducing our dependence on Russian energy to zero – forever,” said the minister on Tuesday in Kyiv at a press conference with her colleague Dmytro Kuleba.
So far, Germany has been primarily dependent on Russian gas. Baerbock said Russia is an “aggressor” who doesn’t follow any rules and commits war crimes. In the future, there could no longer be any understanding with the country over the heads of Ukraine.
2:32 p.m .: During a visit to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced the reopening of the German embassy in the capital Kyiv, which was closed in mid-February, this Tuesday. The work of the embassy will resume with minimal presence, said the Green politician in a joint press conference with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The embassy will initially have limited operations.
1:46 p.m .: Vladimir Putin’s state of health has been the subject of lively debate since the start of the war in Ukraine at the latest. Sometimes there is talk of cancer, other times of Parkinson’s. But what about the Russian President? We asked doctors how they assessed Putin’s condition. You can read more about this here in this article: How bad is Putin really? That’s what doctors say about suspected Parkinson’s
1:38 p.m .: In the weeks since the beginning of the war, Vladimir Putin’s health seems to have deteriorated significantly again. He kept his speech on May 9 short, seemed nervous, leafed through his pages, and often frowned convulsively as if he were in pain. There are rumors in the media that the Kremlin boss has Parkinson’s disease or cancer.
12:24 p.m.: Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra has arrived in Ukraine for an unannounced visit. He had traveled to Kyiv with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on Tuesday morning, as the ministry announced on Twitter. Hoekstra was also scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and MPs.
Hoekstra first visited a Kyiv suburb in the morning and expressed shock at the extent of the devastation. “This cannot go unpunished,” he said. The minister assured Ukraine of his country’s support in investigating and prosecuting war crimes.
It is the first visit by a Dutch minister since the Russian invasion on February 24. The Netherlands also supports Ukraine with arms deliveries and is also cooperating with Germany in this regard.
11:46 am: Mark Kimmitt, retired Brigadier General D. of the US Army, commented on the current situation in Ukraine in an interview with the “Handelsblatt”. He doesn’t believe that Putin will use his nuclear weapons there – but would use them in the fight with NATO. “I could imagine the Russians firing tactical nuclear weapons at a military training ground in a remote part of their vast country. That would send a clear intimidating message to their opponents: ‘Look, we have the weapons and we’re using them. ‘ On the other hand, I don’t think Putin will actually use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine or in a possible attack on Moldova. He would save those weapons for a fight against NATO countries.”
In the eyes of the ex-general, Russia would probably lose a conventional war against NATO. “The Russian combat units would not be strong enough for a confrontation with NATO forces. Too many soldiers have already been taken prisoner or wounded or died in Ukraine. Morale, from the simple soldier to the generals, is likely to have suffered considerably. In addition the Russians lost a lot of material or it was damaged.”
10.55 a.m .: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has promised Ukraine support in investigating war crimes during the Russian war of aggression. “We owe it to these victims not only to commemorate them here, but also to hold the perpetrators accountable and hold them accountable,” said the Green politician on Tuesday during a visit to the Kiev suburb of Bucha. “We will do that as an international community. That is the promise that we can and must make here in Bucha,” she emphasized.
More than 400 bodies were found in Bucha after the Russian troops withdrew – some with their hands tied behind their backs. Baerbock was received by an employee of the German embassy at his house in Butscha. The Minister was accompanied by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.
After Baerbock lit a candle in a church, she said it felt like she was in a normal church. At the same time, this is a place where “the worst crimes imaginable have not only become visible, but actually happened.” People’s greatest wish is to make it clear to the world what crimes have happened and how great the pain is. Nobody can take this pain away, “but we can ensure justice,” said Baerbock.
One could “make a small contribution by supporting the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, by collecting evidence as an international community, and by ensuring that the perpetrators are held accountable. We owe that to the victims.”
Baerbock, who was protected by heavily armed security personnel and wore a flak jacket, appeared shaken. In Butscha one senses urgently: “We could be these victims.” You see playgrounds, supermarkets, people going to work. “And then you see the worst traces of crime right next to it.” A bomb fell directly into the supermarket. In the church, pictures showed people who only did what everyone does, said Baerbock: get up, go shopping and who were murdered in cold blood.
The Foreign Minister is the first German cabinet member to have traveled to the capital Kyiv since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In the afternoon, among other things, a conversation between Baerbock and her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba was planned.
Surf tip: The Greens – Annalena Baerbock: Man, children and plagiarism
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