regular-article-logo Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Kyiv mayor: Two residential buildings hit in missile strike on Ukraine's capital

Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky delievered a video address at the G20 summit

Deutsche Welle Published 15.11.22, 07:54 PM
Firefighters work to put out a fire following Russian missile strikes

Firefighters work to put out a fire following Russian missile strikes Deutsche Welle

  • Ukrainian authorities announce emergency blackouts after Russian strikes on power grid, reports PTI

Two explosions were heard in Kyiv after air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine on Tuesday.


Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said two residential buildings were hit.

In a statement on social media, Klitschko wrote, "According to preliminary information, two residential buildings were hit in the Pechersk district. Several missiles were shot down over Kyiv by air defence systems."

The air raid sirens came hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a video address to leaders of the G20 in Bali.

On Twitter, the head of Zelensky's office, Andriy Yermak, wrote that "a new missile attack" was the Russian response to Zelensky's "powerful speech."

"Does anyone seriously think that the Kremlin really wants peace?" Yermak asked, adding, instead of peace, "It wants obedience."

Zelensky addresses the G20: 'Now is the time' to end Russia's war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told world leaders "now is the time" to end the Russian invasion in an address to the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday.

Ukraine is not a member of the group; however, Zelenskyy was one of several world leaders invited as guests as the conflict looms large over the meeting of the world's 20 biggest economies.

Among the attendees were US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Russia's delegate, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also heard Zelenskyy's speech.

"I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped," Zelenskyy said in a video address.

"Every day of delay means new deaths of Ukrainians, new threats to the world, and an insane increase in losses due to continuation of the Russian aggression — losses for everyone in the world," the Ukrainian leader added.

Zelensky also reiterated his commitment to Ukraine's territorial integrity, a condition he said Kyiv would not compromise on, and the Kyiv Security Compact, a proposed agreement in which Western powers would guarantee the security of Ukraine going forward.

Later in the speech, the Ukrainian president called for a special tribunal into Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Russian administrators leave Nova Kakhovka dam

Russian occupation officials said civil servants they installed at the Nova Kakhovka dam had left due to shelling.

The dam on the Dnieper River in the Kherson region provides a significant amount of energy to Ukrainians in the country's southeast. Ukraine has accused Russia of mining the dam and Russia has responded with allegations that Ukraine instead plots to destroy it.

But by Tuesday, the Russian-installed administration in Nova Kakhovka along with "Employees of the Nova Kakhovka city state administration and state and municipal institutions also left the city and were relocated to safe areas in the region."

Germany and Spain plan to train thousands of Ukrainian troops

Berlin and Madrid will train thousands of Ukrainian troops as part of an EU program to shore-up Ukrainian forces to push back against Russian aggression. The assistance provided by the Germans and the Spanish is the latest among a series of similar announcements from other EU countries.

The EU's military training mission aims to prepare 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, the largest such mission yet by the EU. The primary hub of operations will be in Poland with an auxiliary headquarters in Germany.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told a meeting of her EU counterparts in Brussels that Berlin will train 5,000 soldiers "in a wide range of skills" by the middle of next year.

US intelligence: Russia put off withdrawal from Kherson until after US midterms

Russia may have delayed its withdrawal from Kherson so as to not give US President Joe Biden a perceived win ahead of midterm elections, US intelligence suggests according to a report from CNN.

According to the report, senior Russian government officials discussed the timing of the withdrawal in the context of the American elections earlier this month. CNN reports the midterm election was a "pre-planned condition" of the Russian withdrawal.

At a press conference last Wednesday, Biden said, "I find it interesting they waited until after the election to make that judgement, which we knew for some time they were going to be doing, and it's evidence of the fact that they have some real problems — the Russian military."

Scholz: Growing consensus against Russian war in Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said a consensus is growing that regards Russia's war against Ukraine as unacceptable and that nuclear weapons must not be used.

"This is a consensus that is gaining ground here," he told journalists at the G20 summit in Bali.

Asked about a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Scholz said: "He stood near me and said a couple of sentences, that was the conversation."

Scholz also said he would continue to talk to Russia's President Vladimir Putin to find solutions to end the war against Ukraine.

Wagner head Prigozhin denies involvement in mercenary's death in Ukraine

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Kremlin-linked Russian mercenary firm Wagner, denied involvement in the execution of one of its fighters in Ukraine after a viral video showed him being brutally killed by his colleagues after he attempted to surrender to Ukraine.

In the video, the mercenary Yevgeny Nuzhin is struck in the head by a sledgehammer. Previously Prigozhin had praised the vigilante attack by his own forces as "magnificent work" and said, "A dog should have a dog's death."

Despite the video evidence and past statements, Prigozhin said in a new statement that Wagner had nothing to do with Nuzhin's execution and instead sought to redirect blame to American intelligence for the man's death.

The Russian prisoner rights advocacy group said prior to his stint as a mercenary in Ukraine, Nuzhin had been incarcerated where he was recruited to the fight.

Russia looking into death of Zambian student in Ukraine

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was looking into the details of the death of Zambian student Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, on the frontline in Ukraine.

The student had been studying nuclear engineering in Moscow when he was sentenced to nearly a decade in a penal colony in April 2020 for unknown reasons. On Monday, Zambia pressed Russian officials for an explanation after they were informed of Nyirenda's death as to how a citizen serving time in prison ended up on the battlefield killed in action in eastern Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, urged African nations to push Russia to not use citizens of African countries in Moscow's war against Ukraine.

"Africans shouldn't die for Putin's sick imperial ambitions," Nikolenko said.

Germany to establish maintenance hub for Ukraine weapons in Slovakia

Germany's Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Germany will establish a maintenance hub for weapons sent to Ukraine that need servicing in Slovakia.

"We have reached agreement, and work can start immediately," Lambrecht said as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting with EU defense ministers.

Borrell: EU should work together on military materiel

The EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told reporters as he arrived for a defense ministerial in Brussels that EU countries should work together to resupply their own stocks of military equipment and avoid competition amid ongoing arms deliveries to Kyiv.

"All together makes better prices, better quality and better time," Borrell said.

FIFA president calls for World Cup cease-fire

Gianni Infantino, the president of the world football body FIFA, called for a month-long cease-fire during the World Cup, which opens Sunday in Qatar. He said the beautiful game has the potential to bring people together.

At a lunch for leaders of the G20 in Bali, Infantino said, "My plea to all of you is to think of a temporary cease-fire for one month for the duration of the World Cup."

If a full cease-fire is not possible, Infantino called for "the implementation of some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue."

"We are not naive to believe that football can solve the world's problems," he added, though he noted the World Cup was a "unique platform" that presented an "opportunity."

Russia has been suspended from participating in the World Cup following its February 24 invasion of Ukraine after several countries refused to play Russia in qualifying matches.

Draft G20 declaration condemns war in Ukraine

A draft of the declaration to be released by G20 leaders has condemned the invasion of Ukraine, according to reporters familiar with the 16-page document.

"Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy," the draft said. "There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions."

The group is also expected to declare that "the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons" is "inadmissible." Russian President Vladimir Putin has referenced the potential use of nuclear weapons in recent weeks.

However, the draft communique stopped short explicitly condemning Russia over the invasion.

"Recognizing that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy," the document said.

Macron calls on China to pressure Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron urged China's Xi Jinping to pressure Russia to deescelate and negotiate peace to order to end its invasion of Ukraine. The two leaders met on Tuesday during the G20 summit.

Macron's office said he asked Xi to "pass messages to President Putin to avoid escalation and return seriously to the negotiating table."

Meanwhile, Xi did not mention the invasion outside the meeting but, in a statement given to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, he hailed the talks and called on Macron and European leaders to "uphold the spirit of independence and autonomy."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden also warned against the use of nuclear weapons.

Zelensky welcomes Chinese comments

On Monday, Biden and Xi met on the sidelines of the G20 summit where they agreed that "conflicts and wars produce no winner ... and ... confrontation between major countries must be avoided."

Although the word "nuclear," was not used, Zelensky said later on Monday night that "everyone understands to whom these words are addressed."

"It is important that the United States and China jointly highlighted that the threats of using nuclear weapons were unacceptable," the Ukrainian president said.

More on the war in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has made repeated references to nuclear war as the invasion of Ukraine drags on. DW asked experts: What might happen if a nuclear bomb were to be dropped on Ukraine?

Although Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not an official topic at the G20 meeting in Bali, its consequences are. From food security to skyrocketing inflation, DW looks at what's on the agenda for the summit.

Follow us on: