4:16 a.m .: The House of Representatives in Washington has increased an aid package for Ukraine requested by US President Joe Biden by billions of dollars and passed it with a large majority. In the parliamentary chamber on Tuesday evening (local time), 368 MPs from both Biden’s Democrats and the opposition Republicans voted for the bill. The 57 votes against came from the ranks of Republicans. The package is worth almost $40 billion (€38 billion). It will be “decisive in helping Ukraine not only defend its nation but also defend democracy for the world,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to colleagues.

The Senate – the other chamber in Congress – has yet to approve it. Biden had asked Congress for $33 billion and urged it to hurry. The President had warned that the funds so far made available to him by Congress for Ukraine could be used up within ten days. Pelosi’s letter said: “With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world that we are determined to stand with the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is achieved.”

3:01 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised the courage and sacrifice of his country’s troops in the fight against the Russian army. “I am grateful to all our protectors who are defending themselves and showing truly superhuman strength to drive off the invaders’ army,” he said in his daily video address Tuesday night. And that in the fight against the “once the second strongest army in the world”.

Despite further successes on various fronts, Zelenskyj did not want to allow euphoria and “excessive emotions” to arise. “There is no need to create an atmosphere of specific moral pressure when certain victories are expected on a weekly and even daily basis,” he warned.

Wednesday, May 11, 00:01: Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer is critical of an import ban on Russian oil. With a view to a planned sixth package of sanctions by the EU against Russia, he said: “I think now is the time to take a closer look: Who is it really harming?” There is a global demand for hard coal, oil and gas. If European countries bought energy elsewhere than in Russia, it would be lacking there and the gap would most likely be filled by Russian sources, according to the CDU politician.

Negotiations on the sixth package of sanctions – which includes an oil embargo – are currently blocked. Hungary and other EU countries are demanding extensive exemptions from the planned import ban. Since Russia attacked Ukraine, the EU had already imposed numerous sanctions on Moscow.

During a visit to Brussels, Kretschmer also said that the aim must be to meet the warmongers in Russia – the oligarchs, the secret service people, the president – and not to further weaken the power in Europe. “Energy is the Achilles heel of every economy.” Oil and gas prices are already toxic. If there is an energy shortage, it is not a question of apartments not being quite as warm. “The point here is that we stop production, that jobs are lost.”

In the past, Kretschmer had been criticized for his Russia course by the Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, Andrij Melnyk, among others.

11:25 p.m .: In Russia, an unusual wave of resignations from regional governors caused a stir. On Tuesday, a total of five regional heads in different parts of the country announced within a few hours that they would either resign or not seek re-election.

The first to announce their resignations were Sergey Schwachkin from Tomsk in Siberia and his colleague Igor Wassiljew from Kirov, around 1000 kilometers north-east of Moscow. Then came the heads of Saratov and the El Mari Autonomous Republic. The governor of the Ryazan region, Nikolai Lyubimov, said he did not want to run for a second term.

Altogether, Russia consists of more than 80 so-called federal subjects – these are, for example, regions and autonomous republics. One of the official reasons given by the individual governors for their resignations was their age or they referred to quite long terms in office that were already behind them.

For many citizens, however, the wave of resignations caused astonishment and also speculation. Several users of the Telegram news service wondered whether the regional heads might no longer want to support the war against Ukraine that has been going on for two and a half months and the economic consequences for Russia’s provinces. Many companies have withdrawn from Russia as a result of Western sanctions. People are losing their jobs en masse.

In the current situation, this wave could be a sign that the ship was about to capsize and that the “rats would probably prefer to disembark,” said political scientist Abbas Galljamov. Others speculated that the five politicians might not have been loyal enough to the Kremlin and now have to vacate their posts on a decision from the top.

11:03 p.m .: According to the head of the Chancellery, Wolfgang Schmidt (SPD), Germany cannot defend itself against Russia without its allies. “But that’s why we’re in a joint NATO alliance. (…) The United States is particularly important for Germany, but also for Europe and for NATO,” Schmidt told Deutsche Welle. “And that’s why we work so closely and well together, because it’s the only way we can survive as an alliance, as an alliance of strong partners in this world.”

It is “difficult to say” when Germany will be able to do without Russian gas. “We have already significantly reduced our dependency, which used to be 55 percent. But it’s also about other European countries. And it’s about the world.” Russia is “not dependent on income from oil or gas”.

When asked whether Germany could assume an international leadership position, the head of the Chancellery said the Federal Republic was acting “primarily through the European Union.” That’s what French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) tried to convey to Russian President Vladimir Putin before the invasion of Ukraine. “The times when individual powers divide the world among themselves and think in spheres of influence are over. We do not believe that it will be a uni- or bipolar world, but that there will be many power centers.”

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.

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