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News about the Russia-Ukraine war: This happened on Saturday night (January 7th)


Great Britain wants to advance the investigation of Russian atrocities. Selenskyj swears by Ukrainian cohesion – and Putin is apparently taking part in a church service alone. The most important developments.

Enlarge image

Vladimir Putin during the Christmas service

Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / AP

What has happened in the past few hours

According to state information, the Russian air defense has repelled another drone attack on the Crimean Peninsula, which has been annexed by Moscow since 2014.

The unmanned flying object was shot down early on Saturday morning over a pier near Sevastopol, the naval base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the city's governor, Mikhail Rasvozhayev, wrote in his Telegram channel, according to the Tass state agency.

The port has been the target of Ukrainian drone attacks on several occasions.

Despite the ceasefire unilaterally announced by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas, renewed fighting broke out in Ukraine.

The 36-hour ceasefire, which was due to begin Friday noon Moscow time, would have been the first ceasefire along the entire frontline since Russia's war of aggression began on February 24 last year.

The Orthodox Churches of Ukraine traditionally celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

Rasvozhayev further complained that even the "Holy Christmas" could not prevent the "inhuman beings" from "attacking our hero city".

Ukraine had rejected the ceasefire on the occasion of the Orthodox Christmas celebrations as a hypocritical diversionary maneuver by the Russian attackers.

On Friday, the air alert was in place for the entire Ukraine for around two hours – despite the ceasefire.

According to media reports, the trigger for this was several Russian planes that had climbed over neighboring Belarus, fueling fears of new attacks.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently attended a Christmas service held by the Orthodox Church in a Kremlin cathedral alone.

According to the Russian news agency RIA, it was the first time in years that Putin celebrated Christmas in Moscow and not in the region around the capital.

State television showed two videos of Putin crossing himself several times.

That says Kyiv

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent his compatriots a message on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas.

“This is a holiday of harmony and family unity.

And together we are all one big Ukrainian family," he said in a video released Friday night.

More than 300 days after the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian family is united as never before - "in their courage, their steadfastness, their mutual respect and their mutual help," says Zelenskyj.

In addition, Selenskyj reiterated his gratitude for the announced deliveries of armored personnel carriers from Germany and the USA.

"We managed to take Ukraine's strength and defense cooperation with partners to a new level," he said in his video address on Friday evening.

“From now on, Ukraine will have more anti-aircraft defenses, more armored vehicles, western tanks for the first time, more guns and missiles.”

International reactions

London wants to advance the investigation of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

To this end, Great Britain and the Netherlands invited to an international meeting.

In March, justice ministers from all over the world are to meet in London to organize financial and practical support for the work of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the British government announced on Saturday.

"Russian forces should know that they cannot act with impunity and we will support Ukraine until justice prevails," British Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

The international community must give the International Criminal Court strong backing so that war criminals can be held accountable.

Concerns are growing among the Belarusian opposition about a possible mobilization in their country in support of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

The opposition politician Pawel Latuschka, who lives in exile in Warsaw, told the editorial network Germany that the preparations for this were well advanced.

The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko only needs to press the button on orders from the Kremlin to start mobilizing.

Former Belarusian culture minister Latushka is a member of opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya's cabinet in exile.

As Latushka reported, citing sources from Minsk, almost all employees who report to the Belarusian Interior Ministry were asked to surrender their passports.

This information would come from various cities in the country.

“This means that these people can no longer leave Belarusian territory if they are mobilized.” One can also observe that the Russian military presence in Belarus is constantly growing.

That affects the number of soldiers and the equipment.

The US government is making more billions in military aid available to Ukraine.

The US Department of Defense announced on Friday that the package was worth more than three billion US dollars (2.8 billion euros).

Of that, weapons worth $2.85 billion would come from the stocks of the US armed forces.

It is the largest single package of its kind to date. The delivery includes around 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, which are equipped with anti-tank missiles, among other things.

After the German promise of armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, the coalition partner FDP increased the pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to also deliver Leopard battle tanks.

»For the Russian invasion troops, modern battle tanks are one of the most convincing arguments to start the journey home.

This trip home ends Putin's war," said Marcus Faber, chairman of the defense working group of the FDP parliamentary group, the "Rheinische Post".

Germany must give up its blockade attitude.

According to Faber, 180 Leopard 1s are waiting for export permits to the Ukraine from German industry.

»The Ukrainians are running out of time.

In addition, it seems absurd to supply Cheetah tanks and self-propelled howitzers, but to exercise restraint with more than 300 Leopard 2.«

What is happening today

In view of the orthodox Christmas celebrations, the second and last day of a ceasefire ordered unilaterally by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin officially begins, but it did not last on Friday.

Ukraine has dismissed the gesture as a propaganda ploy and hypocrisy, continuing its attempts at recapture.

Meanwhile, the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church wants to celebrate its Christmas mass in the famous Kiev Cave Monastery.

The usage contracts of the competing Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the two main churches of the monastery complex had not been extended at the end of the year.

The church had long been associated with the Moscow Patriarchate and only broke away from it after the Russian invasion at the end of February.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-07

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