The online news source n-tv.de updates readers hourly on noteworthy events in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
+++ 18:37 Slovenia: Arms ring exchange with Germany until the end of summer +++
Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob expects an agreement with Germany on an arms ring swap by the end of the summer. According to the agreement, the country is to hand over T72 tanks to Ukraine, among others, and then receive military equipment from Germany as a replacement. “The ring swap is a good idea,” Golob said in a Reuters TV interview on Tuesday, defending the planned agreement proposed by the German government. He said Ukraine had the right to defend itself against Russian attacks and needed weapons to do so. Golob rejected the accusation of a time delay caused by the ring swap. He said that the biggest delay, even in the case of Slovenian weapons, was due to the fact that the discarded military equipment first had to be made functional again. Asked by when he expected an agreement with Germany on what equipment Slovenia would receive in return, Golob said, “By the end of the summer.”
Putin promotes industry minister to deputy head of government +++
Vladimir Putin strengthens the role of Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov. By decree, the Kremlin leader has linked the post of industry minister to the post of vice-government head. In the future, there will be eleven deputies in the Russian government for the head of the cabinet, Mikhail Mishustin. Manturov’s appointment still has to be confirmed by the Russian State Duma. However, this is considered a formality. Manturov has been a minister in the Russian government since 2012. His promotion would make him the only member of the government in Moscow to be both a minister and deputy head of government.
Is Iran supporting Russia in war? Expert considers it “not surprising
According to security expert Joachim Weber, the fact that Iran wants to support Russia in the war of aggression against Ukraine is not surprising. This makes it all the more important now for NATO to stand together and seek potential evaders such as Turkish leader Erdogan.
16:33 Lego leaves Russia for good
Toy maker Lego is ending its business in Russia “indefinitely” because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This means the termination of the partnership with Inventive Retail Group, which operates 81 stores in Russia, and the dismissal of employees in Moscow, Lego announced. The company had already stopped its deliveries to Russia in March shortly after the war began. Russia had put Lego products on a list of goods that could be imported without the rights holder’s consent in May. The list also included smartphones from Apple and Samsung, popular car brands, game consoles and important parts for various industries.
16:03 Turkey announces meeting of Russia and Ukraine representatives
Delegations from Russia and Ukraine will meet in Turkey on Wednesday to discuss resumption of grain shipments across the Black Sea. According to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, the meeting will also involve UN representatives. Millions of tons of wheat are stuck in Ukrainian ports under Russian control or blockaded by Russian troops.
15:21 Russian missile attack on residential building: 38 dead in Chassiv Yar by now
After a rocket attack on Chasiv Yar in Donetsk region, the number of dead recovered from a destroyed apartment building has risen to 38. Nine people have been rescued from the rubble since the weekend. The Ukrainian side accuses Russia of attacking civilians. Moscow claims they destroyed a military target.
14:57 Ukraine’s richest man hands over media empire to government
Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov is handing over his entire media empire to the state because of a law limiting the influence of oligarchs. “This week Media Group Ukraine will hand over all Ukrainian licenses of our TV channels (…) and print media in favor of the state,” Akhmetov declared. The 55-year-old multi-billionaire said that the short deadline for selling media, stipulated in the law adopted in September 2021, and the “Russian military aggression against Ukraine” make it “impossible” for him to sell the media companies on market terms. Media Group Ukraine is one of the largest media holding companies in the country. It owns ten TV channels, including news channels, online media and print media.
14:21 Ukraine thanks $1.7 billion in assistance
Ukraine has received additional financial support worth $1.7 billion, according to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Shmyhal thanked the United States and US President Joe Biden for this on Twitter. On Saturday, the prime minister had said the money would come from a donor fund created jointly by sub-organizations of the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The money would not have to be repaid and would go into the Ukrainian state budget for use in the health sector. The background for the aid is “Russian aggression against Ukraine on a large scale,” Schmyhal said.
13:43 EU grants Ukraine loan of one billion euros for running costs
Ukraine will receive another loan of one billion euros from the European Union. A corresponding proposal of the EU Commission was approved by the EU member states. The money is to be used to cover running costs such as pension payments and the operation of hospitals. The European Parliament has already approved the aid, which will be granted as a long-term loan at favorable conditions.
13:22 Video explains New Yorkers’ behavior in nuclear attack – and reassures at the same time
New York’s Emergency Management Agency releases a video explaining important behavioral steps in the event of a nuclear attack. In view of the Ukraine war, the uncertainty of many people is mixed with the fear of not being prepared for such a horror scenario. But the authority also makes it clear that there is currently no actual threat.
12:53 Slovakia: Gas storage facilities sufficiently full, could cope with supply stop
Slovakia’s gas storage facilities are so full that there will be enough for the coming heating season, according to Economy Minister Richard Sulik. “Even if not a single cubic meter were to arrive from Russia as of today, we would be supplied until the end of March 2023,” he said on television. The reserves covered 49 percent of annual gas consumption. The EU country was originally completely dependent on Russian natural gas. However, state-owned utility SPP has signed agreements for Norwegian gas and supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) since the start of the Ukraine war.
12:33 Separatists report advance on Siversk
Russian troops and their allies are about to surround the eastern Ukrainian city of Siversk in the Donetsk region, according to pro-Russian separatists. The Tass news agency cites the ambassador of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic to Moscow, Rodion Miroschnik. Near Siversk currently runs the front in the region.
12:14 New talks on grain exports reportedly scheduled for Wednesday in Istanbul
Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are to hold new talks on grain exports from Ukraine on Wednesday, according to a media report. The meeting is to take place in Istanbul, the Interfax news agency reports, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry.
11:47 Kremlin: U.S. “balancing dangerously on the brink” of military confrontation
Russia assigns responsibility to the United States for an increased risk of direct military confrontation between the two great powers. America and other states have provoked “an aggravation of the Ukrainian crisis,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says. She is apparently alluding to Western arms deliveries to Ukraine as a result of Russia’s war of aggression. Zakharova adds, “Washington and its allies are balancing dangerously on the brink of an open military confrontation with our country – and that means: a direct armed conflict between nuclear powers.”
11:28 Putin to travel to Iran for summit with Raisi and Erdogan
The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet next week for a summit in Tehran. Currently, preparations are underway for President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Iran on July 19, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be about Syria, and bilateral talks with Erdogan are also planned.
11:12 EU Commissioner cites “huge” value of frozen Russian assets
Nearly 14 billion euros in Russian assets are now frozen in Europe as a result of EU sanctions against Russia. The total value of the seized properties of oligarchs and other responsible persons amounts to 13.8 billion euros, says EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. That is “huge,” the Belgian said. However, not all EU countries are equally committed to implementing the six sanctions packages against Russia so far. The bulk of the sum – a good twelve billion euros – has been secured in five of the 27 member states, he said. According to the German government, Germany is playing a leading role here: In mid-June, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner put the assets from Russia frozen in Germany at 4.48 billion euros.
+++ 10:53 Governor reports missile attack on medical facilities +++
At least twelve people have been injured in Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian town of Mykolaiv, according to the governor of the region of the same name. Bullets from multiple rocket launchers hit two medical facilities and residential buildings, Governor Vitaly Kim announced on Telegram.
+++ 10:25 London: Russia may be recruiting mercenaries from prisons +++
British intelligence experts believe it is possible that Russia is recruiting fighters for the Wagner mercenary force in prisons. “Personnel shortages in the Russian armed forces could force the Russian Defense Ministry to resort to unconventional recruitment methods,” according to the Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence update. This would include recruiting in prisons for the mercenary force, it said. “If true, this move likely points to difficulties in replacing significant Russian losses.” A few days ago, Ukrainian intelligence had already said that Russia was recruiting prisoners for private military companies in the face of high losses. The men were promised early release after fulfilling their contracted duties, it said.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 12 July 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/vzAuk7j6hs
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 12, 2022
+++ 09:55 Gazprom reportedly increases gas flow to Europe via Ukraine +++
Gazprom says it is supplying more gas to Europe via Ukraine. Thus, the volume delivered via the entry point Sochranovka amounted to 41.3 million cubic meters today, Tuesday, after 39.4 million on Monday, the Russian state-owned company announced. A request to also pump gas via the Sochranovka entry point was rejected by Ukraine, it said.
+++ 09:28 ntv reporter in Moscow: “Have seen high-ranking Iranian military in the hotel” +++
According to information from the U.S., Iran wants to supply Russia with military drones for the war in Ukraine. ntv reporter Dirk Emmerich sees indications on the ground in Moscow of a corresponding partnership of the Kremlin with Tehran. Russia is not as isolated globally as the West may sometimes believe.
+++ 08:46 Energy agency fears “we may not have seen the worst yet” +++
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says European countries face a serious oil and gas supply challenge in the coming months. “This winter is going to be very, very difficult in Europe,” warns IEA Director Fatih Birol. Energy supply is a major concern, he said. “It can have a serious impact on the world economy,” says the head of the lobbying group of Western industrialized nations. In Birol’s estimation, the world has never experienced such a profound and complex energy crisis. He fears that “we may not have seen the worst yet.” Most recently, concerns about an energy crisis intensified after Russia shut down the key Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline for routine maintenance.
+++ 08:04 Ukraine reports counterattack on Kherson region – weapons depot hit +++
According to its own information, the Ukrainian army has launched a counteroffensive on the part of the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson occupied by Russian troops. In the town of Nova Kakhovka, a weapons depot was attacked, the Southern Command announced on Facebook. About one howitzer and military equipment were destroyed. In addition, the enemy had “lost” more than 50 soldiers. Russian state news agency Ria Novosti, citing the pro-Russian administration deployed in Nova Kakhovka, reported two dead, four missing and dozens injured after the attack. Many people were buried under rubble, it said. There had also been an explosion at a fertilizer warehouse.
+++ 07:31 Ukraine expects new wave of attacks on the ground +++
After widespread airstrikes that killed more than 30 people, Ukraine is bracing for new attacks by Russian ground forces. The Ukrainian General Staff says the massive shelling is a preparation for new attacks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says there have been 34 airstrikes since Saturday.
+++ 06:43 British MPs approve special tax for energy companies +++
A planned special tax for oil and gas companies has cleared the first hurdle in the UK. In view of the drastic rise in energy prices, members of parliament voted in favor of a temporary excess profits tax of 25 percent. The House of Lords still has to approve the bill. According to the British government, energy companies are currently making extraordinary profits. The government hopes to raise five billion pounds in revenue with the tax. Italy had introduced an excess profits tax on energy companies in March to fund a package of measures to alleviate the effects of the Ukraine war.
+++ 06:14 FDP wants to facilitate prosecution of war crimes +++
To prosecute crimes in the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, FDP politician Stephan Thomae wants to expand the powers of the Federal Prosecutor General. The latter would already be able to prosecute crimes against international law, even if they have no connection to Germany – for example, in the case of war crimes or genocide. “However, in the case of the most obvious breach of international law that Russia is committing against Ukraine, namely the crime of aggression, the Federal Prosecutor General’s hands are currently tied,” said the parliamentary director of the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag. According to Section 1 of the International Criminal Code (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch, VStGB), a prerequisite for investigations is that the perpetrator is German or that the act is directed against Germany.
+++ 05:30 Network agency head: Putin would have alternative supply routes +++
Against the backdrop of a lack of gas deliveries from Russia to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is currently undergoing maintenance, the German Federal Network Agency accuses the government in Moscow of not using alternative supply routes for political reasons. “Since Monday morning, no more gas has been flowing via Nord Stream. Russia now supplies Germany only via the Transgas pipeline through Ukraine,” the president of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). He added that the government in Moscow could increase the supply volumes through Ukraine at any time in order to fulfill its contractual obligations. “However, Vladimir Putin apparently lacks the political will to do so.” Russia, however, will have to show its colors within the next two weeks, he said.
+++ 04:46 Scholz meets Slovenian Prime Minister Golob – Talks about ring swap? +++
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will receive Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob on Tuesday for his inaugural visit to the Chancellery. On the agenda for the two heads of government are the consequences of the Russian attack against Ukraine and other European, economic and international issues. Slovenia is one of the countries with which the German government has been holding talks for several weeks on arms deliveries in the ring exchange procedure in favor of Ukraine.
+++ 03:39 Schulze wants developing countries to become less dependent on wheat imports +++
Development Minister Svenja Schulze calls on developing countries to become more independent from wheat imports. “In addition to acute aid, what matters now is that developing countries can grow more themselves, and do so in a climate-adapted and sustainable way,” the SPD politician told the newspapers of the “Funke Mediengruppe”. “It’s about poorer countries becoming more independent of what’s happening on the world market in wheat.” This succeeds with local grain varieties such as sorghum, which are well adapted to the soil and climate in Africa, she added.
+++ 02:48 Russian finance minister wants only rubles for export of liquefied natural gas +++
According to a newspaper report, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov supports energy giant Gazprom’s plan to accept future payments for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports only in the national currency, the ruble. “We support the proposal in every respect,” the Vedomosti daily quoted Siluanov as saying. Liquefied natural gas has so far not been affected by the obligation to pay in rubles.
+++ 01:53 Selenskyj angry over gas turbine for Nord Stream 1 +++
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj sharply criticizes the planned delivery of a serviced Russian turbine for the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline. “If a terrorist state can impose such an exception to sanctions, what exceptions does it want tomorrow or the day after? This question is very dangerous,” Selenskyj said in his video message. “And dangerous not only for Ukraine, but also for all countries of the democratic world.” Russian state-owned Gazprom significantly curtailed the amount of supplies through Nord Stream 1 in June, citing the missing turbine, which was in Canada for repairs. A government spokeswoman in Berlin says the delivery of the turbine does not fall under EU sanctions because they were not directed against gas transit for good reason. Selenskyj says the decision on an “exception to the sanctions” is perceived in Moscow as a “manifestation of weakness.” “This is their logic. And now there is no doubt that Russia will try not only to restrict gas supplies to Europe as much as possible, but at the most acute moment to stop them completely,” the Ukrainian president said.
+++ 00:48 World Hunger Aid: “Those who have only three dollars to survive cannot pay doubling” +++
The sharp rise in food prices is exacerbating the crisis in many countries, according to Welthungerhilfe. Droughts such as the current one in the Horn of Africa or last year in Madagascar show the fatal consequences of climate change, explains Secretary-General Mathias Mogge in the organization’s 2021 annual report: “Those who have barely three US dollars a day to survive simply cannot afford the doubling of bread prices.” Millions of people are on the brink of famine, he said, because families no longer have any resources. The increased prices hit those hardest who were already among the poorest. Armed conflicts are also driving more and more people into hunger and need: “Together with our European alliance Alliance 2015, we are supporting those in need in Ukraine and refugees in neighboring countries such as Poland and Moldova,” explains Welthungerhilfe President Marlehn Thieme.
+++ 23:45 Only 20 percent of civilians remain in Donetsk +++
80 percent of the Donetsk region’s residents have fled, according to the region’s governor, Pavlo Kirilenko. Due to shelling by Russian troops in recent weeks, the majority of people have now been moved to safety, the Kyiv Independent reports. Some 340,000 people are still in the region, according to Kirilenko. Kirilenko had last week again called on the remaining population to seek safety after Russian troops – after capturing the Luhansk region – turned their focus to the Donetsk region and continued their offensive there. Recently, attacks with rockets have repeatedly caused civilian casualties in the Donetsk region.
+++ 22:49 Iran to deliver drones to Russia, US says +++
Iran is preparing to deliver up to several hundred drones to Russia, according to the US. Among them are those that could be equipped with weapons, says National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. In addition, there is information that Iran is preparing to train Russian soldiers on the weapons systems, he said.
+++ 22:04 Habeck on Nord Stream 1: “Have no secret information” +++
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck hopes for further gas supplies from Russia after the end of maintenance work on the Nordstream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline. “I don’t have any secret information, neither in one direction nor in the other,” the Green politician said in a pre-released interview with ARD’s “Tagesthemen”. “The possibility exists. The chance that it won’t happen that way is also there. We will have to wait and see.” Nothing has been delivered via what was last the most important route for Russian natural gas to Germany since the morning. According to Nord Stream AG, the work will last until July 21. During these ten days, no gas will be transported through the pipeline to Germany, it says.
+++ 21:27 Attorney General: Investigations into war crimes can take years +++
Attorney General Peter Frank dampens hopes for quick success in prosecuting war crimes in the Ukraine war. “Please do not expect that we will have identified any suspects tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” Frank said this evening at the annual press reception of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe. In international criminal law, he said, one needs “staying power.” He draws parallels to the Syrian civil war, which began in 2011. It was not until 2019 that the first indictment was filed in Germany, he said. Ten years had passed before the first final judgment. Regarding the Ukraine war, there are “no personal investigation proceedings by name at all yet,” Frank says. In March, his agency initiated so-called structural investigations. The aim is to secure as much evidence as possible, initially without specific suspects.
+++ 20:51 Russian local chief killed when his car explodes +++
The Russian local chief of a village occupied by Russian troops in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region has been killed in an attack on his car. Yevgeny Yunakov from the village of Velikiy Burluk in northeastern Ukraine died after a car bomb exploded, state news agency Tass reported. The recently established Russian “military civil administration” in the region, according to Tass, described the explosion as a “terrorist attack” perpetrated by Ukrainian authorities. Russian troops hold parts of the Kharkiv region, and the eponymous city remains under Ukrainian control.
+++ 20:39 Kuleba on Russian passports: “Incompatible with international law” +++
The government in Kiev condemns Moscow’s announced easier access to Russian citizenship for all Ukrainians. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calls the move “another encroachment on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, incompatible with the norms and principles of international law.” “Ukrainians do not need Putin’s citizenship, and attempts to impose it by force are doomed to failure,” Kuleba says. The decree is “worthless” and proof of “Putin’s aggressive appetites,” he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier issued a decree stating, “All citizens of Ukraine have the right to apply for citizenship of the Russian Federation under a simplified procedure.”
+++ 20:09 Network agency head: situation is incalculable +++
The president of the Federal Network Agency currently sees no way to fulfill the industry’s desire for predictability. “I understand this wish, which is often expressed to us,” Klaus Müller told broadcaster “Phoenix.” However, he said, one simply does not know in which situation and under which circumstances a gas emergency will occur. “The situation is so incalculable that every promise is subject to not being able to keep it. And making promises that are not covered would be an even worse decision.”