Ukraine war in the ticker: the number of Russian deserters has increased significantly

The number of Russian deserters is increasing – the soldiers are running away from Putin

Wednesday, May 24, 8:17 a.m.: According to British secret services, the number of Russian deserters in the war against Ukraine has recently increased significantly. Between January and May, Russian military courts dealt with a total of 1,053 cases of desertion, the British Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, citing research by independent Russian journalists. That is more than in all of 2022. Court records indicate that most deserters are given suspended sentences so that they can be used again in the war.

“The Russian military has struggled to enforce discipline within its own ranks since the beginning of operations in Ukraine, but these problems have most likely worsened since the forced mobilization of reservists in October 2022,” it said in London. “Russian efforts to improve discipline have focused on making an example of deserters and promoting patriotic zeal rather than addressing the root causes of soldiers’ disenchantment.”

Historian about Putin: “Comparison with Adolf Hitler is not entirely out of place”

4:28 p.m.: The British historian Timothy Garton Ash finds that “for the first time in 80 years” a comparison of Putin with Adolf Hitler is “not entirely out of place”. In an interview with the “Frankfurter Rundschau” explains Garton Ash: “The scale, the brutality, the genuinely genocidal intent of the Russian war on terror in Ukraine suggests this comparison.”

The historian researches contemporary European history after the Second World War. He met the Kremlin ruler in Saint Petersburg in 1994. He recalled Putin speaking of territories that would be Russian forever, like Crimea, “and so Russia had to do something to get them back, so I was really alarmed.” According to Garton Ash, “that’s the key to understanding what what is happening in Ukraine today.”

According to the British historian, Putin had already emphasized back then that he wanted the Russian empire back. “He was an intelligence man, the KGB, and trained in hiding his intentions, it was a deliberate strategy.”

Poland is said to have already started F-16 training

3.30 p.m.: According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Poland has started training Ukrainian fighter pilots. “I am pleased that pilot training for the F-16 has finally started in several countries,” he said in Brussels on Tuesday. When asked, he named Poland as an example.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked the participating states for the fighter jet training. This creates the opportunity to make a decision about the delivery later, said the Norwegian in Brussels.

According to Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, Germany is also currently examining whether Germany can help with training. However, he emphasized that the Federal Republic has no F-16 fighter jets and presumably cannot help much with pilot training. “We are currently examining the few possibilities that could theoretically exist,” said the minister. Then you will say whether you can and want to make this contribution.

US President Biden cleared the way for training on Friday. The country supports the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, as was announced at the G7 summit. While the training is running, a decision will then be made together with other partners as to who will deliver how many aircraft and when.

Zelenskyj visits marines at the front

12.20 p.m.: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Ukrainian marines at the front. “I’m here today to congratulate our warriors on their Marine Day,” the head of state said on social media on Tuesday. In addition, photos were shown on which Selenskyj distinguished soldiers.

According to official information, Selenskyj was traveling in the region between the towns of Wuhledar and Marjinka. Both places are considered focal points of the war and are heavily contested. According to official information, the Ukrainian President has repeatedly visited places at the front during the almost 15 months of the Russian invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, has so far only inspected the hinterland of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Moscow.

Kremlin sees attack on Belgorod as reason to continue war

12:14 p.m.: According to the Kremlin, the attack on the western Russian region of Belgorod proves the need to continue the war against Ukraine. “This confirms once again that Ukrainian fighters are continuing their activities against our country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, according to the Interfax news agency. That requires efforts from Russia. “These efforts will continue, as will the special military operation to prevent such intrusions in the future.” Moscow describes its war of aggression against Ukraine as a special military operation.

Fighting broke out on Monday in the Graivoron district of the Belgorod region, right on the border with Ukraine. Volunteer corps, made up of Russians but fighting on the side of Kiev in the Ukraine war, took responsibility for the attack. The leadership of Ukraine, on the other hand, has officially distanced itself from the attack. According to the authorities, at least eight civilians were injured and nine towns were evacuated.

The attack caused “deep concern,” Peskow said. But President Vladimir Putin will not convene a special session of the National Security Council over the incident, he said. Peskow did not want to provide information on the number of attackers. This will be a question for the security organs in due course, he said.

Kiev: Fighting in and around eastern Ukrainian Bakhmut dies down

10.45 a.m.: According to Ukrainian sources, fighting in and around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has subsided. “Our troops control the south-western outskirts of the city in the district of Plane,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar told Telegram on Tuesday. The Russian units would continue to comb the neighborhoods they controlled for Ukrainian soldiers. Fighting continues in the suburbs. There, the Russian troops had partly gone over to the defense. The Ukrainians gained “insignificant” territory north and south of Bakhmut.

Ukraine has been repelling a Russian invasion for almost 15 months. Russia declared the city of Bakhmut, which had been fought over for months, as completely conquered on Saturday. The largely destroyed city in the Donetsk region had over 70,000 inhabitants before the war. Information from the war zone cannot be independently verified.

Ukrainian ambassador expects Germany to play a “leading role” in NATO accession

4:40 a.m.: The Ukrainian Ambassador in Berlin, Oleksii Makeiev, is calling on the German government to press ahead with his country’s admission to NATO. Ukraine is expecting “clear signals on Euro-Atlantic integration and my country’s future NATO membership” from the NATO summit taking place on July 11 and 12 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Makeiev told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Only membership in the Atlantic Alliance can provide security guarantees. Ukraine expects “a leading role from our allies in Germany, as they have already played in the formation of the tank coalition and air defense.” Makeiev praises the coalition forged at the G7 summit in Hiroshima to supply fighter jets, but without insisting on Germany’s participation.

CDU politician Kiesewetter for German cruise missiles to Ukraine

02.11: The CDU defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter spoke out in favor of the delivery of German Taurus cruise missiles to the Ukraine. “Ukraine’s partners must now go “all-in” and provide Ukraine with everything that Ukraine can use in combined arms combat and that is permissible under international law,” Kiesewetter told the editorial network Germany. The Taurus guided missiles with up to 500 kilometers Reach could be a “very helpful contribution from Germany”.

The CDU chairman on the Foreign Affairs Committee said the cruise missiles would bring massive added value to Ukraine in the 15-month war that had now lasted, and would enable “blows against the Russian military infrastructure far behind the front line”. Around 600 Taurus were procured for the Bundeswehr ten years ago. Of these, “around 150” are still operational today. It makes much more sense to use these weapons in Ukraine than to store them in Germany. The Russian war of aggression against the neighboring country has been going on since February 24 last year.

Nord Stream sabotage: Domestic politicians urge “maximum restraint”

Tuesday, May 23, 00:05: After the publication of possible new leads to the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, domestic politicians in the coalition advise restraint. The chairman of the parliamentary control committee of the Bundestag, Konstantin von Notz (Greens), told the editorial network Germany: “Many – so far the decisive questions – remain unanswered in this matter. In this respect, I advise everyone to hold back as much as possible with conclusions. The judiciary and security authorities must continue to work independently, quickly and cleanly.”

The domestic political spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sebastian Hartmann, told the RND: “I warn against turning the speculation into final results. Because the authorities have to do their job first in order to come to firm results.”

Russian fighters attack Putin’s army in Belgorod

5:46 p.m.: There have been reports on social networks since the morning of the shelling of places near the border in the Russian border region of Belgorod. According to Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, a woman and a man were injured. Ukrainian military intelligence confirmed fighting in the region.

The units “Russian Volunteer Corps” and “Legion Freedom of Russia” consisting exclusively of Russians had begun a mission to “liberate the Belgorod region from the so-called Putin regime,” said its spokesman Andriy Yussow.

The two associations confirmed the attack in a statement and called on the residents of Belgorod not to resist. “We are not your enemies. Unlike Putin’s zombies, we don’t touch civilians or use them for our own purposes. Freedom is near!” the statement said. According to reports, in addition to infantry units, tanks and artillery from the formations are also deployed.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, reports, citing “Ukrainian saboteurs” and their “attempt to penetrate the Belgorod region”. Spokesman Dimitri Peskov suspects a diversionary maneuver by Ukraine from the defeat in Bakhmut. He did not mention that they were Russian fighters. The Russian governor of the Belgorod region also spoke of “Ukrainian sabotage units”.

Jean Harris

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