A bus stop in the largely destroyed port city of Mariupol
Photo: Alexei Alexandrov / AP
On the 84th day of Russia's illegal war of aggression, the EU is launching new support for Ukraine - and quantifying the cost of independence from Russian energy.
Germany indirectly supplies new heavy weapons for the defenders.
Turkey is blocking NATO's northern expansion.
While it is still unclear how the defenders who have been evacuated from Mariupol to Russia will be dealt with, the port city's administration fears the spread of infectious diseases.
The Kremlin has reportedly developed new weapons.
In Kyiv, a Russian soldier pleads guilty to the murder of a civilian.
The developments at a glance.
The developments at a glance.
Western Ukraine continues to be hit by Russian missiles.
As the mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyj, announced, there is constant shelling.
Russia is not only interested in military infrastructure, but also wants to cause permanent tension.
The governor of the western Russian region of Belgorod has again accused Ukraine of shelling a town not far from the border.
A young man was injured, said Vyacheslav Gladkov on his Telegram channel.
According to Gladkow, six houses, a car and a power line were also damaged.
The place Solochi is located about ten kilometers from the border with Ukraine.
According to Russian sources, Solochi was shot at once last week.
At that time, an 18-year-old man was killed in the attack and seven other people were injured.
The information could not be independently verified.
Russia says it has captured nearly 700 more Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged Azov steelworks in Mariupol.
In the past 24 hours, 694 fighters surrendered, including 29 wounded, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
A total of 959 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered at the Mariupol plant since Monday.
Injured people were taken to a hospital.
According to pro-Russian separatists, around 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers are still on the factory premises, including their commanders.
That said the separatist leader Denis Puschilin from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
The Ukrainian soldiers ran out of supplies and had no choice but to surrender.
“The first option is to raise the white flag and lay down your arms.
The second option is to die there, just die.
You chose the first option,' he said.
Ukraine is hoping for a prisoner exchange for the Mariupol defenders, but calls have been made in Moscow for the fighters to be tried as war criminals.
Leonid Slutsky, who last negotiated for Russia with Ukraine, even considered the death penalty for the prisoners.
According to the city administration, Mariupol could face further horrors.
She fears the spread of infectious diseases as a result of the badly damaged water supply.
Half of the water pipes are no longer working, the authority said on Telegram.
She also accused the occupying forces of further aggravating the situation.
Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, accused of war crimes in Ukraine in Kyiv, has pleaded guilty, according to media reports.
The 21-year-old said he shot dead a 62-year-old civilian in the Sumy region one of the first days after the Russian invasion.
Moscow says so
According to Russia, it is about to introduce a high-power laser for shooting down drones and light aircraft.
"Our physicists have developed laser systems that are many times more powerful, which allows the combustion of various targets, and are building them practically ready for series production," said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borissov at a conference near Moscow, as reported by the Moscow state news agency TASS.
According to Borisov, the new laser weapon has a range of five kilometers and can shoot down drones at this altitude.
The new system was tested on Tuesday and is said to have burned a drone within five seconds.
Now it is slowly being introduced into the armed forces.
"The first prototypes are already being used," said Borisov.
The information could not be verified.
No pictures were shown either.
Russia has acknowledged difficulties and mistakes in the war, which Moscow calls "special operations," but has announced that fighting will continue.
"Despite all the difficulties, the military special operation will continue to the end," said Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev.
Despite the arms deliveries from the West to Ukraine, the operation is continuing.
All "tasks - including demilitarization and denazification as well as the protection of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics - will be completely implemented," said the former interior minister.
The head of the Russian republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus, Ramzan Kadyrov, even spoke of "mistakes" at the start of the war.
"In the beginning there were mistakes, there were some shortcomings, but now everything is 100% according to plan," Kadyrov said at a political forum.
The tasks set by President Vladimir Putin would be fulfilled in full.
The international community
According to reports from several media outlets, Turkey initially blocked the start of NATO accession talks with Finland and Sweden.
Accordingly, the NATO Council did not – as originally planned – deal with the decision necessary to start the admission process.
As part of a ring exchange, Germany wants to deliver 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks to the Czech Republic - and thereby enable Czech weapons to be transferred to Ukraine.
According to their chief diplomat, the EU states must significantly upgrade their military.
"We need modern air defense, we need drones, we need aerial refueling capabilities, we need tanks and armored vehicles, we need coastal defense," said Josep Borrell in Brussels.
Cyber and space skills were also included, to name just a few, the Spaniard said.
In addition, the equipment of the national armed forces would have to be standardized.
Borrell complained that there were too many different types of tanks in the EU and also a lot of different equipment in other areas.
The EU Commission wants to help Ukraine in the short term with up to nine billion euros.
"Ukraine can count on the full support of the EU," said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The EU will play a leading role in reconstruction.
Investments would go hand in hand with reforms to tie Ukraine closer to Europe.
According to the EU Commission, the European Union must invest up to 300 billion euros by 2030 in order to become independent of Russian energy.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss supports in principle a war crimes tribunal against Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of his leadership.
Putin "and everyone behind these appalling war crimes" must be held accountable, Truss said Wednesday on Times Radio in response to a question from Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Honcharenko.
"If a tribunal helps, Britain will definitely consider supporting it."
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