Ukraine war in Newsblog | Russian war correspondent: “The situation is difficult”

Day 441 since the beginning of the war: The situation in Bachmut is confusing. Russia is said to be threatened with encirclement. All information in the blog.

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Reports: Zelenskyy could visit Rome and Vatican at the weekend

8.50 p.m.: According to Italian media reports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is considering a visit to Rome at the weekend. There he could meet Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and also be received by Pope Francis, according to the Ansa news agency on Thursday evening.

This referred to sources in the government majority and within the Vatican. It was said that Zelenskyy’s trip to Rome was still being discussed. There were no official confirmations. Most recently, it was also expected that the Ukrainian would come to Berlin towards the end of the week.

Russian war correspondent: “The situation is difficult”

8:44 p.m.: According to the war correspondent of Russian state television, the alarm bells are ringing among the Russian troops fighting in Bakhmut. In view of the Ukrainian attack successes on the flanks of the Wagner mercenary force fighting in the city, there is a risk of comprehensive encirclement, Yevgeny Poddubny wrote on Telegram on Thursday. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin had previously warned several times of an impending cauldron due to unsecured flanks.

Poddubny also reported Ukrainian breakthroughs in fighting around Soledar, which is only a few kilometers northeast of Bakhmut. There, Ukrainian combat groups managed to break through the Russian lines. “The situation is difficult,” wrote Poddubny. Russian forces only took Soledar at the end of January after weeks of heavy fighting.

The information on the Ukrainian advances could not initially be independently verified. The Ukrainian military leadership has not provided any information on this so far, only speaking of heavy fighting near Bakhmut.

US ambassador accuses South Africa of supplying ammunition to Russia

6:53 p.m.: According to local media reports, the US ambassador to South Africa has accused the South African government of having supplied arms and ammunition to Russia. Reuben Brigety, speaking at a meeting with local media on Thursday, said he would bet his life South Africa had supplied arms to President Vladimir Putin’s army.

The ammunition is said to have been delivered by a Russian ship docked at a naval base in Cape Town last December. On Thursday afternoon, when asked by the opposition, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told parliament that he wanted to examine the matter.

Officially, South Africa, which belongs to the Brics group of emerging economies along with Russia, China, India and Brazil, has so far taken a neutral position on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Recently, however, South Africa has come under criticism several times for its pro-Russian attitude. In February, the country took part in a naval maneuver with Russia and China. In April, following an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, the South African President initially announced that he would be leaving the International Criminal Court. President Ramaphosa’s spokesman later called the announcement a “mistake”.

Melnyk is set to become Ukrainian ambassador to Brazil

First, the “Bild” reported on it, citing Ukrainian government circles. Accordingly, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj urgently wants to improve relations with Brazil and is sending one of his top diplomats to Brasilia. According to the report, Melnyk did not comment. However, he posted a photo on Twitter a few hours earlier and wrote: “We are slowly changing the mood between Ukraine and Brazil.”

According to a report, Melnyk met Celso Amorim, close confidante and foreign policy adviser of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on Wednesday. The two spoke about the war in Ukraine and the intensification of relations.


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