Ukraine update: What happened in the night
Selenskyj already sees Ukraine as part of NATO
Before the start of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed confidence that his country will join the military alliance after the end of the Russian war of aggression. “The majority of the alliance is clearly for us.” That must be confirmed at the summit in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius this Tuesday and Wednesday. “We are working on making the algorithm for accession as clear and quick as possible,” said Zelenskyj. Once again, Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine’s struggle is in the interests of the West. The security of NATO’s eastern flank depends on Ukraine.
As he stressed, the President already sees Ukraine as part of the military alliance. “Our weapons are the weapons of the Alliance. Our values are what Allianz believes in. Our defense is the very element of Europe’s formula that makes it united, free and peaceful.”
Ukraine calls on the German government to support it when it joins NATO
Ukraine wants a concrete invitation for NATO, but knows that it won’t get one for the time being because of resistance from countries like Germany and the United States. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is therefore calling on the federal government to give up its blockade. “I call on the German government not to repeat these mistakes made by (Chancellor Angela) Merkel in 2008,” the diplomat said in an interview with ARD “Tagesthemen” on Monday. There is already a large majority of NATO members who support Ukraine’s faster admission.
At the 2008 military alliance summit in Bucharest, Germany and France spoke out against Ukraine’s membership. Nevertheless, the country was granted accession prospects. Kiev has enshrined the goal of joining the military alliance in 2019 in the constitution.
NATO countries approve new defense plans against Russia
Before their summit, the NATO states agreed on new plans to ward off possible Russian attacks on alliance territory. The defense plans, totaling more than 4,000 pages, describe in detail how critical locations in the alliance area should be protected by deterrence and defended in an emergency.
At last year’s NATO summit, Secretary General Stoltenberg announced that 300,000 soldiers would be kept on standby for possible NATO deployments. So far, the NRF intervention force was primarily intended for rapid crisis operations at NATO. The member states are currently providing around 40,000 soldiers for this.
Seven dead in Russian attack on aid center in Ukraine
According to Ukrainian sources, seven people were killed in a Russian attack on an aid center in southern Ukraine. Three women aged 43, 45 and 47 and a 47-year-old man died immediately, local governor Yuriy Malashko said in online networks on Monday. The bodies of three other victims were later found in the rubble, the rescue services said. The number of those killed had “risen to seven”. The aid center was said to be in a residential area in the city of Orikhiv, which is close to the front. Malashko spoke of a “war crime”.
What will be important on Tuesday
In Ukraine, the armed forces are continuing their counter-offensive to liberate parts of the country occupied by Russia. The Ukrainian troops are advancing near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, which is controlled by Russian troops, but also on other front sections.
The two-day NATO summit in Lithuania also begins on Tuesday. The members want to discuss further support for Ukraine and the expansion of deterrence and defense against Russia. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wants to send a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit meeting: that the war against Ukraine is doomed to failure and that any aggression against a NATO state would result in a determined reaction from the entire alliance.