Vassili Golod knows his way around Ukraine. The ARD journalist works as a correspondent in the country and has been reporting on the war from there since September. For a report he recently met a young mother who summarized the living situation of the people concisely. "We don't know," said the woman, "whether the next airstrike will end in a rocket hit on our house."
Next week marks the anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine. In his program "Hart aber fair" Louis Klamroth asked his guests on Monday evening how the war could end and what the German strategy in the conflict looks like. He also took a look at the perspectives of Ukrainians and Russians on the war year.
In addition to Golod, who reported on his experiences in Kiev, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine and former Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, also spoke. Gesine Dornblüth, co-author of the book Jenseits von Putin, described how Ukrainian lives have changed over the past year. Ina Ruck, ARD correspondent in Moscow, talked about the everyday life of people in Russia who spend their lives far away from the war.
A heated discussion broke out between the Social Democratic Vice-President of the EU Parliament, Katarina Barley, and the leader of the Left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Amira Mohamed Ali, when it came to the goals of the federal government in the conflict. Former German NATO general Hans-Lothar Domröse gave his assessment of Putin's constant threats.
When Golod asks the people of Ukraine about their prospects for a life without war, the first reaction is usually: "We can do it, we will win," the Ukraine correspondent said on the show. It was only on further investigation that it came out that nobody knew “how long this war would last”.
Even after a year, the population has not gotten used to the war, Golod said, but "there is something like adjustment". All Ukrainians have become “military experts” as a result of the war. Since March 2022 there has been "not a day without a siren alarm" in the country. Klamroth asked the journalist whether Golod had gotten used to the sound. "No, that's the worst noise there is," was the clear answer.
Left-wing politician Amira Mohamed Ali defended her negative stance on arms deliveries. "What has not been achieved is that the war ends." The most important question for her is: "How can this war be ended so that as few people as possible continue to die?" Ex-General Domröse questioned critically: "You just want it give up the four provinces and Crimea?” At this point, Barley also intervened: “That would definitely be a loss of land for the Ukraine.”
Mohamed Ali took up an idea from Brazilian President Lula da Silva and proposed a "format for international peace talks", also involving China and other countries cooperating with Russia. "I don't see Mr. Putin giving up," the former NATO general replied.
Vice Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk, who was connected live, made a similar statement. "There are attacks every day and every night," he said. The weapons deliveries and "what the allies are doing to help us" are the central point. You also have to talk to Germany about further deliveries, such as fighter jets. Melnyk was sure: "This war can only be ended on the battlefield."
A survey by Infratest dimap shows that arms deliveries are a sensitive issue. According to her, 59 percent of Germans are very or very worried that Germany could be drawn directly into the war. With his numerous threats, Putin "seems to be having success," Golod said. He is waging “a war in the mind”.
Mohamed Ali said the threats should be taken seriously. Putin is "leader of the largest nuclear power in the world". She considers the President to be “an irrational person”. One cannot predict with him "what he does and what he does not do". Golod saw it differently: "If you had watched Russian state television, if you had listened to him, you would have seen that he was going straight down this path." Russia gives".
The head of the ARD television studio in Moscow, Ina Ruck, reported: "Here in Moscow you don't notice much of the war." Outside the capital you can feel "that the cemeteries are getting fuller". To speak openly about the war, however, is considered a "denigration of the army". And people are careful, because "if you criticize the war, you can spend years in prison here," says Ruck.