September 25, 2022

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Day of War at a Glance: Stoltenberg sees war at “critical point” – NATO chief hints at criticism of Germany

Battle Day at a Glance
Stoltenberg sees war at “critical point” – NATO chief hints at criticism of Germany

Ukraine has been defending itself against Russian aggression for 198 days. It is increasingly clear that the counteroffensive is making solid progress. Meanwhile, the EU is giving billions more. Once again, the IAEA draws attention to the dramatic situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

Ukraine has been defending itself against Russian aggression for 198 days. It is increasingly clear that the counteroffensive is making solid progress. Meanwhile, the EU is giving billions more. Once again, the IAEA draws attention to the dramatic situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

Stoltenberg: War at “critical point”

With the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Russia’s war of aggression is entering a “critical phase,” according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Thanks to the support of NATO countries, Ukrainian forces recently managed to stop Moscow’s offensive in the Donbass and recapture the territory, he said with the US foreign minister of Norway, Antony Blinken. The unity of the West must not be abandoned despite the energy crisis and the rising cost of living. According to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Ukraine is moving forward with its continued counteroffensive. “We’re seeing successes now in Kherson, we’re seeing some successes in Kharkiv – that’s very encouraging,” the former general said.

Blinken: Ukraine should be in a better position for negotiations

The US wants to put Ukraine in a strong diplomatic negotiating position in its counterattack against Russia. “At the moment we don’t see any indication from Russia that it is ready to seriously engage in such diplomacy. But when that time comes, Ukraine should be in a better position,” he said. Blinken hailed the Ukrainian offensive and land gains in the south and east of the country as “real progress”. It is still too late to tell how the situation will develop. However, the morale of Ukrainian soldiers is significantly higher than that of the Russian armed forces.

Russian occupiers said they were evacuating other locations in eastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in anticipation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. First, the cities of Izyum and Kupyansk are to be removed, Vitaly Gantchev, head of the military administration suspended by Russia, said, according to state news agency TASS. After more than half a year of war, Ukrainian troops were recently pushed deep into the rear of Russian occupation forces in their counteroffensive in the east of the country. On Thursday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the recapture of the district town of Balaklia in the Kharkiv region. Advances continue to target the city of Kubyansk, which is crossed by several rail and road lines. The small town is therefore considered strategically important for supplying Russian troops marching north towards the Donbass. There are also Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson region to the south.

Stoltenberg points to criticism of German behavior

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg cast doubt on German arguments against supplying Ukraine with large quantities of Bundeswehr weapons. When asked whether allies should meet the alliance’s capability goals rather than providing more equipment to Ukraine, he made it clear that he believed Ukraine’s failure was more dangerous than NATO countries having low stockpiles of weapons. “The price we pay is measured in money. The price Ukrainians pay is measured in lives,” Stoltenberg said. If Ukraine stops fighting, “it will no longer be a free country,” he warned. That is why you should adhere to the current trend – “for Ukraine and our own good”.

IAEA: Situation at Zaporizhia nuclear power plant “unacceptable”

According to international observers on site, the situation at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia is becoming increasingly unstable. “The situation is intolerable and increasingly dangerous,” said Rafael Croci, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “The plant has no external power for cooling reactors and nuclear waste. This is because shelling destroyed a substation in the nearby town of Enerhodar. The Ukrainian plant operator is now Croci said he is considering shutting down the last of the six operating reactor units at the large nuclear power plant.

The EU also loosened billions

EU countries provide another five billion euros to Ukraine. The finance ministers agreed to this. The additional five billion euros are part of nine billion euros in so-called macro-financial assistance for Ukraine, which Brussels announced in May. Of this, only one billion euro has been disbursed to date. Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura said the new funds would be used “for the day-to-day operations of the state and to ensure the functioning of essential infrastructure such as offices, schools and hospitals”. According to a joint report by the World Bank, the European Union Commission and Ukraine, known reconstruction costs to date amount to 349 billion euros.

Putin and Erdogan want to talk about grain deals

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to exchange views with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next weekend after his criticism of the Ukrainian grain export deal. The export deal was struck by Turkey in July after millions of tonnes of grain were blocked at Ukrainian ports due to the war. A few days ago, Putin implicitly threatened to let it explode again. “A talk between Putin and Erdogan is possible and necessary and already ready,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Interfax agency, ahead of a summit in Uzbekistan next week in Central Asia.

EU suspends visa facility for Russians

As of Monday, Russian citizens will no longer benefit from easier visas for travel to Germany and other countries in the Schengen area. On Friday, the Council of the European Union adopted a proposal by the European Commission to completely suspend the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia. The move is to ensure that the number of new visas for Russians is significantly reduced. People in need of protection can still get visas.

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