Parliament extended martial law for 90 days

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Ukraine accused Russia of targeting residential areas just before its planned spring offensive. “There is no doubt that they are carrying out direct attacks on civilian apartment buildings or places where civilians live,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said on Ukrainian television Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Kiev extended martial law and general mobilization until the summer.

4:16 pm: Denmark supplies Ukraine with supplies for upcoming attack

Denmark is making more military supplies available to the Russia-hit country ahead of Ukraine’s expected spring offensive. The support package, worth 1.7 billion Danish kroner (about 228 million euros), is Ukraine’s largest to date from a Scandinavian EU country.

According to the Danish Ministry of Defence, this includes financial contribution to the purchase of demining and armored recovery vehicles, ammunition and air defense. It is intended to strengthen Ukraine’s offensive capabilities in the coming months. Additionally, Denmark wants to provide NATO with a battalion of 700 to 1,200 soldiers to protect the Baltic states from mid-2024.

3:52 pm .: Ukraine extends martial law for another 90 days

More than 14 months after the Russian invasion, Ukraine has extended martial law and general mobilization for another 90 days – until August 18. Both were approved by a two-thirds majority in the parliament in Kiev.

After the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, martial law and demobilization were initially declared for 30 days. The war continued, so there were always extensions. For men aged 18 to 60, they are allowed to leave Ukraine only in exceptional cases.

2 p.m.: The Kremlin sees Germany more and more at war

From Russia’s point of view, Germany is getting more involved in the war in Ukraine by the day. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow. Additionally, Berlin has no way to ensure that weapons supplied to Ukraine by Germany are not used against Russian territory. According to Pesco, they are already used in the Donbas region. Moscow has declared Donbass as Russian territory – an illegal process for Ukraine and the West.

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1:49 pm: Italy’s foreign minister wants Giro to start in Ukraine in 2024

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani has proposed starting the 2024 Giro d’Italia in Ukraine. “I would love it if the Giro starts in Ukraine next year, if the circumstances allow it,” the politician said at an event for the Tour of Italy’s heritage in Rome. According to media reports, Tajani insisted that sports were “an instrument of foreign policy”.

However, in the past, the organizers of the second most important cycle tour of the year often chose starting points abroad, some of them far away, such as Budapest (2022), Jerusalem (2018), Apeldoorn/Netherlands (2016) ), Belfast (2014) or Herning/ Denmark (2012).

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According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine’s military suffered heavy casualties in April. “In the past month alone, they have lost more than 15,000 men,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, according to the agency’s Telegram channel. In addition, the Russian army managed to destroy 8 enemy aircraft, 277 drones, 430 tanks and armored vehicles and 225 artillery pieces. In the past, the Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly made inflated claims about enemy casualties.

Shoigu added that Russian troops were active along the entire front. “Overall, the Department of Defense is meeting the needs of the Army and Navy,” he said. The statement may have been in response to recent complaints by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenaries, about a shortage of artillery ammunition. The relationship between Prigogine and Shoigu is considered strained.

1:05 pm .: Metropolitan Hilarion – I don’t talk politics with the Pope

Hilarion, the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan of Hungary, said he did not discuss any political issues with Pope Francis in Budapest. In a YouTube video, the former foreign ministry head of the Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate dismissed speculation that he had met with Francis to discuss covert efforts. Francis and he did not discuss the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, but spoke to each other like “two old acquaintances.”

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Hilarion headed the Foreign Office of the Russian Orthodox Church from 2009 to June 2022 and was considered second in line to Patriarch Cyril I. It is not clear that he lost this post almost a year ago and was appointed Metropolitan of Hungary. To this day, Hilarion refuses to publicly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine put him on the sanctions list.

12:58 pm: Ukraine accuses Russia of targeting residential areas

Ukraine has accused Russia of changing tactics to launch missile strikes targeting residential areas. “There is no doubt that they are carrying out direct attacks on civilian apartment buildings or heavily populated areas,” Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the presidential office, told Ukrainian television. Among other things, Moscow wants to provoke a preemptive counterattack by Kiev. The Kremlin wants to test whether Ukraine can defend its own airspace.

In the past few days, several Russian rocket attacks have resulted in civilian casualties. In particular, a rocket hit a residential building in Oman on Friday, killing many. Russian cruise missiles also caused heavy damage and killed at least two people in the town of Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Kiev denies military targets were hit.

Map: Military situation in Ukraine

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