Ukraine. World pays high price for Putin’s ‘senseless’ war, says Scholz — live updates | News | DW
- Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said her office was preparing war crimes cases against 41 suspects
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no one can predict how long the war will last
- Russia plans ‘long war’, says Ukrainian interior minister
This article was last updated at 08:22 UTC/GMT
Ukrainian intelligence chief: ‘Most combat actions’ will end this year
Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told Sky News he expects the war to reach a tipping point by mid-August and likely end by the end of the year.
“Most of the active combat actions will be over by the end of this year,” he told the TV station.
“As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power over all our territories that we have lost, including Donbass and Crimea,” he said, adding that Russia was already suffering huge losses.
Budanov also claimed that a coup to overthrow President Vladimir Putin was underway in Russia. He alleged that Putin was seriously ill with cancer.
German Scholz does not change his mind after a call with Putin
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he sees no turnaround from Russian President Vladimir Putin on his invasion of Ukraine.
Scholz’s remarks, part of an interview with news outlet t-online, came after the German leader spoke with Putin on the phone for more than an hour on Friday.
He said it was obvious that Russia had failed to achieve its stated war aims, including preventing NATO’s eastward expansion.
“NATO has not withdrawn, but has actually strengthened its forces on the eastern flank of the alliance. And the alliance will become even stronger when Finland and Sweden join NATO,” Scholz said. at t-online.
Scholz also promised to continue to sanction Russia and support arms shipments to Ukraine.
“For Putin’s crazy idea of wanting to expand the Russian empire, Russia and the whole world are paying a very high price right now,” Scholz said, noting the war’s effect on the world’s food supply which particularly affects developing countries.
“This is where real hunger comes into play – not just if there is enough sunflower oil on the supermarket shelves, as there is here,” he added.
British intelligence: a separatist referendum in Kherson will be rigged
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia was “highly likely” to use rigged referendums to impose its dominance over Ukrainian regions after separatists announced they wanted to join Russia.
Earlier this week, pro-Moscow leaders in the Russian-occupied Kherson region of southeastern Ukraine said they planned to ask for the region to become part of Russia.
“If Russia holds a membership referendum in Kherson, it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favor of Ukraine leaving,” a British defense intelligence update said.
“Citizens of the Kherson region will likely continue to demonstrate their opposition to the Russian occupation,” he added.
Fewer Ukrainian refugees arrive in Germany, says interior minister
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the Rhine post the Saturday edition of the newspaper that fewer Ukrainian refugees were arriving in Germany every day compared to two months ago.
“At the moment, only about 2,000 people fleeing Ukraine are arriving in Germany every day. In mid-March we were seeing about 15,000 people a day,” she said.
Faeser noted that some 20,000 refugees, some of whom were in Germany, were returning to Ukraine via the Polish border, adding that she assumed the majority of arrivals would return to Ukraine.
“Some will stay if people see the chance to find their feet in the German labor market with their qualifications,” she said.
The Interior Ministry has so far registered 700,000 people fleeing Ukraine to Germany, according to data cited by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
NATO foreign ministers will meet in Belin
NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Berlin this weekend to discuss their long-term strategy towards Russia amid the war in Ukraine.
They should shed some light on a further strengthening of NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe.
The NATO diplomats will also be joined by Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and her Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto.
It comes as Finland announced its intention to apply for NATO membership, and a similar move from Sweden is expected to be announced on Sunday.
Sweden and Finland joining NATO would mark a turning point for both countries after decades of being militarily neutral.
Russian invasion enters ‘third phase’: Ukrainian official
Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Viktor Andrusiv told Ukrainian television that the Russian invasion was entering its “third phase”, showing that Moscow is planning a “long war”.
The first phase was to try to take Ukraine “within days”, according to Andrusiv. The second phase saw the Russian military attempt to surround Ukrainian forces in the east of the country.
In the third phase of the invasion, Moscow is preparing a defense of the territories in the east and south of the country which are under its control.
“It shows that they are going to turn this war into a long war,” Andrusiv said.
Andrusiv argued that the Kremlin intended to use an interminable war to bring Western countries to the negotiating table, which would then push kyiv into concessions.
Ukraine prepares dozens of war crimes cases
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said her office was preparing war crimes cases against 41 suspects.
“We have 41 suspects in cases that we will be ready to go to court with. All relate to Section 438 of the [Ukrainian] penal code on war crimes, but different types of war crimes. There is bombing of civilian infrastructure, killing of civilians, rape and looting,” Venediktova told Ukrainian television.
The first war crime trial since the start of the invasion opened in kyiv on Friday. The suspect is a 21-year-old Russian soldier accused of killing a Ukrainian civilian in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka.
Ukrainian security services released a video of the suspect describing how he shot the civilian. Ukraine has been criticized by rights groups for publishing footage and images of prisoners of war, which they say violates the Geneva Conventions.
Venediktova said two more suspects are expected to face preliminary hearings next week.
Previously, Venediktova said her office was investigating more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects.
Zelensky in Ukraine: no one can predict how long the war will last
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an overnight video address that “no one today can predict how long this war will last.”
“It will unfortunately not only depend on our people, who are already giving their all,” Zelenskyy said. “It will depend on our partners, on European countries, on the whole of the free world.”
Zelenskyy said he was grateful to countries that imposed sanctions on Russia and provided military and financial support to Kyiv.
“It’s the only recipe to protect freedom from Russian invasion. And for Western countries, it’s not just an expense. It’s not a question of accounting, it’s a question of future,” Zelenskyy said.
Summary of Friday’s Events in Russia’s War on Ukraine
The president of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, announced that the territory would hold a referendum on July 17 on whether to join Russia.
US President Joe Biden discussed NATO membership with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinisto of Finland.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has urged Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to act immediately to implement a ceasefire in Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone to discuss the stalled peace talks in Ukraine.
German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, in a meeting with his G7 and Ukrainian colleagues, said the theft of grain by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine was “disgusting”.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has announced that the bloc is set to increase military aid to Ukraine by an additional 500 million euros ($520 million).
DW Kyiv correspondent Fanny Facsar said Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the east “seems to be working”.
sdi/wmr (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)