Ukraine update: Ukraine ousts Russian fighters from Lyman | Current Europe | DW

Ukraine I shelling near the railway station in Lyman

The essentials in brief:

  • Russia gives up Lyman, a strategically important city
  • Moscow vetoes draft resolution on annexations
  • Foreign Minister Baerbock condemns annexations as land grabs
  • Head of Zaporizhia NPP in Russian hands
  • Gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece in operation

In yet another defeat by the Ukrainian army, Russia has given up the strategically important city of Lyman in the Donetsk region. The armed forces had been withdrawn because of the risk of encirclement, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow. Under these circumstances, it is unclear how many Russian soldiers died or were taken prisoner. Because: According to their own statements, the Ukrainian troops had at times surrounded around 5,000 Russian soldiers.

Russia took Lyman, where 20,000 people lived before the war broke out, in May. Since then, Russia has developed the place into a military logistics and transport center. After the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the city, the way would be free deep into the remaining parts of Donetsk. The information from the contested area cannot be checked independently.

Ukraine I shelling near the railway station in Lyman

Lyman has come under repeated fierce attacks – here are traces of an attack near the city’s train station in April

Russia vetoes draft resolution on annexations

As expected, the Russian government vetoed a draft resolution in the UN Security Council condemning the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territories as a violation of international law. Ten countries voted in New York for the document submitted by the United States and Albania. It also calls on Russia to immediately withdraw from Ukraine. Four countries on the highest UN body abstained: China, India, Brazil and Gabon. Russian ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia criticized the vote as a “provocation” and an “openly hostile act”. It is expected that the draft resolution in this or a similar form will now be put to the vote of the UN General Assembly in the coming days.

The annexation, which violates international law, followed the referendums in the four Ukrainian regions, which the West and the government in Kyiv condemned as sham referendums, in which, according to Russian information, a vast majority of people had spoken out in favor of joining Russia. According to reports, there were threats of violence in these referendums, and secret and free elections did not take place.

United States, New York |  UN Security Council session

View of the UN Security Council in New York (archive image)

Baerbock: “Land grabbing with the most brutal violence”

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has condemned the annexation of four Ukrainian territories by Russia as “the gravest breach of the UN Charter”. The “annexation theater and the sham referendums” are half-hearted attempts to hide what “we’ve been seeing for the past six months – a land grab with the most brutal violence, using methods that you can hardly imagine,” says the minister. This cannot be accepted by any country in the world.

The Russian present Vladimir Putin wants to take over the entire Ukraine. In addition, he has repeatedly made it clear that he will not shy away from attacking other countries. Regarding Russia’s threats of a nuclear escalation, Baerbock said the West must take these words seriously, but must not allow itself to be “blackmailed”.

Head of Zaporizhia NPP in Russian hands

The head of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian troops, Ihor Murashov has been kidnapped. Russian authorities informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the director general of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant had been “temporarily arrested” to answer questions, an IAEA spokesman said in Vienna. According to Ukrainian sources, Murashov was kidnapped by Moscow troops.

The President of the Ukrainian operating company Enerhoatom, Petro Kotin, said that the day before the power plant boss had been stopped on the street by a Russian patrol at the Enerhodar nuclear power plant site, dragged out of the car and taken blindfolded to an unknown location. Russia has occupied the nuclear power plant since the beginning of March, and Ukrainian experts will continue to look after it technically.

Gazprom suspends deliveries to Italy and Austria

Gazprom states that gas deliveries to Italy via Austria have been suspended due to new regulations there. The announcement by the Russian state-owned company was preceded by a statement by the Italian energy company ENI that it would not receive any natural gas from Russia via the Tarvisio node this Saturday. A solution is being worked on with Gazprom, Austria itself will continue to receive gas via Slovakia.

There is no statement from the Austrian network operator. Italy is working to curb its natural gas imports from Russia. According to an insider, they currently make up about a tenth of total imports, compared to 40 percent before the war.

Gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece inaugurated

A pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece, important for the EU’s independence from Russia’s natural gas, has started operations. The gas pipeline was inaugurated in the presence of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. The 182-kilometer gas pipeline between the northern Greek city of Komotini and central Bulgarian Stara Zagora connects Bulgaria to the Trans Adria Pipeline (Tap). This routes natural gas from Azerbaijan via Turkey to Greece and on to Italy. The inauguration in Sofia was also attended by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, North Macedonia and Serbia – Ilham Aliyev, Stevo Pendarovski and Aleksandar Vucic – as well as the Prime Ministers of Greece and Romania, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Nicolae Ciuca.

Ukraine Kyiv |  Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

White House sees no rush for Ukraine to join NATO

The United States currently sees no need for an accelerated process for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. “Our view is that the best way we can help Ukraine is through hands-on support on the ground. And that the Brussels case should be picked up at another time,” said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. At the same time, he emphasized that all decisions on NATO membership are a matter for the accession candidates and the members of the alliance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday submitted an application for accelerated NATO accession after the formal annexation of four Ukrainian regions by Russia.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (stock image)

Biden: West will not be “intimidated” by Putin

In light of the recent escalation in the Ukraine war, US President Joe Biden has stressed that the US and its NATO allies will stand firm against Russian President Vladimir Putin. “America and our allies will not be intimidated,” Biden said at the White House in Washington. Putin will “not frighten the West”. At the same time, Biden warned the Russian President against any attack on a NATO country. “The United States and its partners are fully prepared to defend every inch of NATO territory,” stressed the US President.

Lambrecht: “Don’t let Putin’s nuclear threats paralyze you”

Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has warned of the paralysis of the West in view of the repeated Russian statements on the use of nuclear weapons. At the same time, the SPD politician said during a visit to the Republic of Moldova that Germany takes the threats seriously. It is now important to be vigilant, to react very prudently and also to ensure that there is no further escalation.

Republic of Moldova |  Defense Minister Lambrecht in Chisinau

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht is received with military honors in Chisinau

Lambrecht commented after a conversation with her colleague Anatolie Nosatii. At the same time, Lambrecht Moldova promised further support in equipping and training the country’s army. Ukraine must also continue to be consistently supported.

US interim budget includes billions in aid for Ukraine

The US has approved an interim budget with billions more in aid for Ukraine. President Joe Biden signed the budget approved by the House of Representatives a few hours earlier. The interim budget, scheduled to run until mid-December, provides for military and economic support for Ukraine in the amount of around 12.3 billion dollars (12.5 billion euros). The budget also authorizes Biden to allocate up to $3.7 billion to transfer surplus US-held weapons to Ukraine.

The budget will also avert another so-called shutdown. This means a forced reduction in government spending, which occurs again and again in the USA when Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on a budget in good time. The deadline would have expired at midnight local time, but funding is now secured until December 16th. The Senate launched the interim budget on Thursday, and the House of Representatives approved it on Friday.

Gazprom quantifies gas loss in Nord Stream pipelines

Around 800 million cubic meters of gas escaped from the two damaged Nord Stream pipelines after the explosions. This was announced by a spokesman for the Russian energy company Gazprom. According to a report by the TASS news agency, the volume of the leaked gas corresponds to three months’ supply for Denmark. According to the spokesman, there is still no foreseeable timetable for repairing the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. The duration of the repair cannot yet be estimated. From a technical point of view, the task was “very overwhelming”. Such leaks have never existed before, the spokesman said.

IMF warns of severe global food crisis

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Russian invasion of Ukraine is leading to the worst global food crisis since at least 2008. Around 345 million people are currently threatened by life-threatening food shortages, writes the IMF. Forty-eight countries hit hardest by food shortages will have to pay $9 billion more for importing goods this year and next. The fund is therefore calling for an immediate increase in support through the United Nations World Food Program and other organizations. In 2008 there was a food price crisis that left millions of people starving.

kle/wa/qu/bri/nob/jj (dpa, afp, rtr)

This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.


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