Ukraine war: EU makes Ukraine and Moldova accession candidates

Council President Charles Michel announced the decision of the EU countries.Image: imago images

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06/23/2022, 07:3806/23/2022, 20:34

Anna von Stefenelli
Claudia Florkowski

while the Ukraine towards the status of an EU accession candidate, intensified Russia the attacks in the east of the country. The strategically important city of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region is increasingly becoming the target. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj once again called for faster arms deliveries “to stop this diabolical armada and push it out of Ukraine’s borders”.

In our news blog we inform you about the most important developments related to the war.

23rd June

8:26 p.m .: EU makes Ukraine and Moldova candidate countries

The European Union has officially admitted Ukraine to the group of candidate countries. In addition, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his colleagues decided at an EU summit on Thursday to also grant Moldova the status of a candidate country, as Council President Charles Michel announced.

7:23 p.m.: Russian troops are advancing on Lysychansk

In eastern Ukraine, Russian troops have advanced to the outskirts of the city of Lysychansk, according to Ukrainian sources. “Our fighters stopped the advance towards the southern outskirts of Lysychansk, inflicted casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat,” said the General Staff situation report in Kyiv on Thursday evening. The Russian army is now drawing on reserves. The Borivske settlement east of the Severskyi Donets river was also fought over.

In the morning it became known that a Ukrainian group was surrounded in the towns of Solote and Hirske in the south of Lysychansk. In the evening, the Ukrainian military announced that the Russian troops had meanwhile partially captured Hirske. According to the report, they were able to completely close the cauldron.

Lysychansk is the last major city in the Luhansk Oblast under full Ukrainian control. The twin city of Sievjerodonetsk on the other side of the river Severskyi Donets has been largely conquered by Russian troops.

4:37 p.m .: Selenskyj criticizes Israel’s attitude towards Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized Israel’s refusal to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war. In a video address addressed to students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Zelenskyy said he found it difficult to understand Israel’s attitude towards Russia.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has refrained from criticizing Russia and has not imposed sanctions on Russia so as not to jeopardize relations with Moscow. Foreign Minister Jair Lapid, on the other hand, had described the Russian invasion as a “violation of world order”.

Zelenskyj, who is Jewish and has family members in Israel hat, said in his speech that he was the people in Israel for the “sincere and moral support of the Ukrainian people”, but Ukraine “would also like to receive support from your government”. He also criticized Israel’s refusal to weapons to Ukraine and asked: “How can you refuse help to the victims of such aggression?”

The Israeli government and the country’s aid organizations have provided humanitarian and medical assistance, but arms shipments are not an issue.

4:24 p.m .: EU summit on Ukraine accession started

EU candidate status for Ukraine is the main topic of the EU summit, which started in Brussels on Thursday. It was a “historic” meeting, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) at the start. It is expected that the heads of state and government of the European Union will officially declare Ukraine and its neighbor Moldova as candidate countries. However, this does not set a date for admission as a full member.

Chancellor Scholz and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Chancellor Scholz and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.Image: ap / Geert Vanden Wijngaert

1:56 p.m .: Kremlin insists on maximum demands for peace with Ukraine

Four months after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Kremlin is standing by all its demands with a view to possible future negotiations. “As for a peace plan, it is possible after Kyiv has met all the demands of the Russian side”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, according to the Interfax agency.

Peskow did not name the demands in detail. “Ukraine knows them well,” he said simply. Moscow’s publicly expressed demands at the beginning of the war included recognizing the eastern Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and the annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014 as Russian state territory.

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently formulated the recapture of Crimea and the areas occupied since the end of February as one of Kiev’s explicit goals.

12:32 p.m .: The European Parliament calls for Ukraine to be recognized as a candidate for EU membership

Shortly before the EU summit, the European Parliament called for Ukraine and neighboring Moldova to be recognized as official EU accession candidates. A large majority of MEPs called on the heads of state and government of the member countries in a non-binding resolution on Thursday to “grant candidate country status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova without delay” at their summit in Brussels.

In the middle of the month, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Ukraine (pictured with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy).

In the middle of the month, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Ukraine (pictured with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy).Image: AA / EU Commission / Pool

Georgia should also be granted this status as soon as the government meets certain criteria specified by the European Commission. At the same time, the European Parliament emphasized that “there is no accelerated procedure for membership in the EU” and that accession “still” is a process that depends on the “implementation of reforms”.

11:21 a.m .: Russians are advancing – Ukrainians: There is a risk of encirclement in the Luhansk region

In the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, south of the strategically important city of Lyssychansk, Ukrainian troops are threatened with encirclement by Russian units. “In the direction of Sieverodonetsk, the enemy captured the settlements of Loskutivka and Raj-Oleksandrivka.”the Ukrainian general staff announced on Thursday Facebook With. This means that the Ukrainian units around the miners’ settlement only have a maximum of four kilometers wide to retreat. According to British secret services some Ukrainian troops withdrew.

According to the separatists, however, this is already controlled by the Russian units. This cannot be verified independently. According to the representative of the Luhansk separatists in Moscow, Rodion Miroshnik, the Russian troops have already cut the last connecting road from Lysychansk to the west. According to his estimates, at least 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers are surrounded.

Heavy fighting is also raging south of Sievjerodonetsk, which has largely been conquered by the Russians. Sievjerodonetsk and Lysychansk are the last major cities in the Luhansk region still under Ukrainian control. The conquest of Luhansk – as well as that of the Donetsk region – is one of Russia’s main goals in the war against the neighboring country that began four months ago.

7.10 a.m .: EU decides on Ukraine’s and Moldova’s candidacy for membership

Starting Thursday in Brussels, the heads of state and government of the European Union will discuss the accession prospects for Ukraine and neighboring Moldova (3 p.m.). A unanimous decision was made at the summit: “The European Council has decided to grant Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova the status of candidate countries,” says the draft of the summit declaration, which is available to the AFP news agency.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is also campaigning for a “yes” from all 27 EU countries. He also calls for internal EU reforms and progress in the Western Balkan countries’ accession process. The actual EU summit will be preceded on Thursday morning by a summit meeting with Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5:45 a.m.: Russian attacks in the east continue

The positions of the Ukrainian army in the eastern industrial area of ​​Donbass were bombed by the Russian military with planes and shelled with rockets and artillery, the General Staff of Ukraine said. In the evening situation report, more than four dozen cities and towns were listed that had been shelled. Russia relies heavily on artillery to advance from place to place after massive shelling.

Large parts of Lyssychansk have now been destroyed.

Large parts of Lyssychansk have now been destroyed.Image: TASS / Alexander Reka

The Russian military is advancing closer to the city of Lysychansk from several directions. It is separated from the neighboring Sieverodonetsk by a river. Severodonetsk is now largely under the control of Russian troops, although they are still meeting resistance. The Russian leadership around President Vladimir Putin named gaining control over the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as one of the goals of the war of aggression.

1.18 a.m .: US representatives: G7 countries want to further increase “pressure” on Russia at the summit

According to US information, the G7 states want to adopt new measures at their summit meeting at Schloss Elmau in order to put more “pressure” on Russia in the Ukraine war. “We will present a number of concrete proposals to increase pressure on Russia,” a US official said on Wednesday. However, he did not initially provide any further details. US President Joe Biden will take part in the G7 summit beginning on Sunday at Schloss Elmau, a few kilometers above Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He then travels to the NATO summit in Madrid.

June 22

11:31 p.m .: Microsoft: Allies of Ukraine targeted by Russian hackers

According to Microsoft, Russian hackers are attacking Ukraine’s western allies on a large scale. The software company warned on Thursday night that they are particularly targeting government computers in NATO countries. Target number one is the United States, but overall Microsoft’s experts have identified attacks by Russian hackers on 128 organizations in 42 countries outside of Ukraine.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, they have succeeded in penetrating the attacked networks in 29 percent of the attacks, it said. At least every fourth successful attack has demonstrably siphoned off data. At the same time, Microsoft emphasized that Russia had attacked Ukraine’s IT infrastructure with both cyber attacks and missiles since the beginning of the war. However, thanks to protective measures, the systems have proven to be largely resilient.

10:10 p.m .: Selenskyj wants a tribunal on war crimes like in Nuremberg

In his daily TV speech, Zelenskyy called for Russian war crimes to be investigated by a special court. “Russia must be held accountable for all the evil it has brought to Ukraine,” he said. On the anniversary of Hitler’s Germany attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, he referred to the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War.

You can find older news about Ukraine here.

(with dpa/afp)

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