The head of the health department, Karl Lauterbach, was the first federal minister to speak of the fact that Germany was “at war” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The SPD politician used the phrase on Twitter on Saturday evening in response to philosopher Richard David Precht's suggestion that individual NATO states should guarantee Russia that Ukraine would not be admitted to NATO in order to pave the way for negotiations to end NATO to prepare a Russian war of aggression against the country.
"Let's be honest: What is kneeling in front of Putin supposed to do now?" Lauterbach asked on Twitter. “We are at war with Putin and not his psychotherapists. The victory in the form of the liberation of Ukraine must be pursued consistently. It doesn't matter whether Putin's psyche can handle it."
According to the Bundestag Research Service, the concept of war in the classic sense of international law is characterized by: an armed struggle between states or groups of states and a declaration of war or an ultimatum. It is noted that some international law scholars dispense with the latter feature and define war as a violent act involving the severing of diplomatic relations.
Before Lauterbach, Finance Minister Christian Lindner had already spoken of an "energy war" when he also tweeted for the continued use of nuclear energy. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) only said in June: "Putin will not win this war".
However, Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) contradicted Lauterbach. "It is very clear - both for the German federal government and for the entire NATO: We will not become a war party," said Lambrecht on Sunday in the ARD program "Report from Berlin".
Lambrecht stressed that the principle of not becoming a party to the war "guided us from the start. And that hasn't changed either."
French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged views with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy before a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). During the phone call on Sunday, Macron reiterated France's determination to help Ukraine restore its full sovereignty and territorial integrity and to work towards new sanctions with its European partners, the Élysée Palace said. Macron is expected in Berlin on Monday.
Pope Francis has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the "spiral of violence" in Ukraine. During Sunday prayers on St. Peter's Square in Rome, he deplored the annexation of the four Ukrainian regions by Moscow, which contradicted international law.
It was the first time since Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine began on February 24 that the Argentine pope addressed President Putin directly in a speech.
The situation that has arisen in the past few days increases the risk of a nuclear escalation and gives rise to fears of "uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide," said the Pope. That mankind is again confronted with a "nuclear threat" is "absurd".
The head of the Catholic Church appealed to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be open to "serious peace negotiations".
According to Danish authorities, no more gas is leaking from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea. The operator, Nord Stream AG, had been informed that the pressure in the pipeline had also stabilized at Nord Stream 1, the authority announced on Twitter on Sunday afternoon. This indicates that no more gas is escaping. The Danes had already announced the same status for Nord Stream 2 on Saturday.
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has announced the delivery of 16 wheeled howitzers from Slovakia to Ukraine for the coming year. The Zuzana-type systems would be produced in Slovakia and financed jointly with Denmark, Norway and Germany, the SPD politician told the ARD program "Report from Berlin" on Sunday after returning from her first trip to Ukraine after the start of the war on 24 April . February.
The corresponding production facilities are available in Slovakia, said Lambrecht. "This shows how important it is to repeatedly explore such possibilities together with your partners, but then also to implement them," added the minister. The Zuzana howitzer is the flagship product of the Slovak defense industry and the only heavy weapon system produced in the country. According to the manufacturer, it can fire all types of 155 mm NATO ammunition.
During her visit, Lambrecht had assured Ukraine that the first unit of the Iris-T SLM air defense system would be delivered quickly. Germany initially wants to make four of the systems, each costing 140 million euros, available to Ukraine. Funding for three more systems has been secured.
Lambrecht, who had to seek shelter in bunkers twice during her one-day visit to Odessa due to air raids and the threat of missiles and drones, stressed the importance of air defense for Ukraine. Air alerts are part of everyday life for the people there, she told ARD. "It shows how much they are tormented, how much they are restricted and how much they are burdened." The minister emphasized: "That is why it is so important to support Ukraine's air defense right now so that these attacks can be fought. The federal government will continue to get involved in the fight against drones.
Russia's constitutional court sees no violation of Russian law in the internationally unrecognized annexation of four Ukrainian regions. The admission of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Cherson and Zaporizhia regions to the Russian Federation is in line with the constitution, the court in St. Petersburg said on Sunday, according to the TASS state agency.
Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Ukrainian territories on Friday more than seven months after the start of the war. Internationally, this illegal step is not recognized. After signing, the Constitutional Court examined these documents. They now have to be sealed by Parliament and the Federation Council - the upper house.
Parliament leader Vyacheslav Volodin told state television that the State Duma would deal with it this Monday. Approval is expected.
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, there are no longer any Russian troops in the strategically important city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine. The place was "completely cleared," says Zelenskyj in a short video speech on Telegram. The government in Moscow announced the withdrawal from Lyman on Saturday.
The military experts at the renowned Institute for the Study of War “almost certainly” see the withdrawal of Russian troops from the strategically important city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine as a conscious decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was not the military commands that decided that the front lines near the cities of Kupjansk or Lyman would not be reinforced, but the president himself, according to an initial analysis on Saturday evening. It indicates that Putin wants to focus more on securing strategic areas in the Cherson and Zaporizhia regions. Lyman is located in the Donetsk region.
After internationally unrecognized sham referendums on Friday, Russia annexed the four regions of Cherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia - although it only partially controls them. In the north of the Donetsk region, the Kremlin suffered another military defeat on Saturday with the loss of Lyman.
Ukrainian and Russian sources unanimously pointed out that the Russian armed forces continued to strengthen their positions in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, experts at the Institute for the Study of War continued.
They also reported a "failed ground attack" by Russian troops on the town of Kosacha Lopan in the northern Kharkiv region. According to the general staff, Ukrainian soldiers repelled the attack near the Russian border. Such attacks indicated that Putin's goal of regaining control of territories beyond the regions he had illegally annexed was likely to remain in place - rather than deploying soldiers against Ukraine's Donbass offensive.
Military historian Phillips P. Obrien wrote on Twitter that Lyman's Ukrainian success was "more impressive" than its success in the Kharkiv region. "Ukrainians will probably never find another area that is as badly defended (by the Russians) as Kharkiv," Obrien said. Lyman, on the other hand, was made an important position by the Russians before their defeat, "it seems like they had a lot of troops there". According to British intelligence, Russia suffered heavy losses while withdrawing from Lyman.
There were suspicious drone flights at a Bundeswehr military training area on Saturday night. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Defense told the AFP news agency on Sunday that there had been “repeated drone overflights by several drones over the Bundeswehr property and the adjacent Wildflecken military training area”. The police were "immediately informed" and have started investigations. "There was never any danger to the population," emphasized the spokeswoman.
The news portal “Business Insider” had previously reported that an attempt had apparently been made to spy on wild areas with the drones. On the site, the Bundeswehr trains Ukrainian soldiers on armored Dingo vehicles. Berlin has promised Kyiv the delivery of such vehicles. The Ministry of Defense did not comment on the possible originators of the drone action in Wildflecken.
The "Spiegel" had already reported at the end of August that German security authorities had indications that Russian secret services were spying on the training of Ukrainian soldiers on Western weapon systems in Germany. Shortly after the start of the courses at two Bundeswehr locations, the Military Shielding Service (MAD) noticed suspicious vehicles from which the access roads to the barracks were probably observed, the magazine reported at the time.
According to MAD findings, the training areas were also flown over several times with small drones in order to observe the training of the Ukrainian soldiers, the report said.
The migration researcher Gerald Knaus expects a massive increase in the number of refugees in the coming months because of the war in Ukraine. "We are facing a historic winter of flight if the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate and the supply of heat and electricity does not work in winter because the Russian war of aggression destroys power plants or uses weapons of mass destruction," Knaus told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Sunday ). "The EU would not be prepared for that now."
The Austrian sociologist, who lives in Berlin, criticized that those seeking protection from Ukraine were still very unequally distributed in Europe: "Countries like the Czech Republic and Poland bear the brunt, countries like France have taken in a fraction of the war refugees." More European solidarity is needed here. It is not only necessary between the states, but also large cities and municipalities have to build up a network in which the refugees can also be accepted in France or Italy.
"Private helpers have shown how to do it: with transparency, information policy and solidarity," said the chairman of the European Stability Initiative think tank. "This is the only way to manage this historic reception performance of refugees from Ukraine over the winter."
According to British intelligence services, the Russians suffered high losses when retreating from the strategically important city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine. The city in the eastern region of Donetsk had previously been defended by undermanned Russian units and reservists, according to the daily short report by the British Ministry of Defense on Sunday. Many soldiers were said to have died when retreating via the only road out of the city that was still under Russian control.
On Saturday - one day after the illegal annexation of several Ukrainian territories - Russia gave up the city of Lyman in a bitter defeat by the Ukrainian army. According to the Russian military, the armed forces have been withdrawn because of the risk of encirclement. Ukrainian authorities had previously spoken of around 5,000 surrounded Russian soldiers. So far, however, there has been no concrete information about the number of dead and prisoners.
According to the British, the withdrawal triggered a wave of public criticism of the military leadership in Russian government circles. Further defeats in the regions of the annexed territories are likely to further intensify this and increase the pressure on senior commanders.
After the Russian annexation of occupied territories, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj celebrated the recapture of the strategically important city of Lyman in the east of the country. "The Ukrainian flag is already flying in Lyman in the Donetsk region," Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Saturday. Fighting is still going on in the city, but there is no trace of the "pseudo-referendum" there, he said.
Russia only annexed the four regions of Cherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia after internationally unrecognized bogus referendums on Friday - although it only partially controls them. In the north of the Donetsk region, the Kremlin suffered another bitter military defeat with the loss of Lyman.
"By the way, they already started biting each other there: they are looking for the culprits, accusing some generals of failure," Zelenskyy commented on the angry reactions from Moscow to the retreat in Lyman. It was only the first warning shot for all those who took part in President Vladimir Putin's war. Until they solve the problem with the one who "started this, for Russia, senseless war against Ukraine, you will be killed and scapegoated one by one," predicted the 44-year-old.
Zelenskyy promised his own compatriots that the army would liberate the whole country from Russian occupation, while the Russian leadership would ultimately have to answer for the illegal war. "The world will not allow a return to the days of colonial conquest, criminal annexations and total arbitrariness instead of international law," he said.
In view of the Russian threats of nuclear weapons, the CDU foreign politician Roderich Kiesewetter believes that western countries need to step up their deterrence. "Of course we have to take this seriously, and of course there is always such a risk," he told the Berlin "Tagesspiegel" with regard to threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin to use "all available means" if necessary. "But we can prevent this by increasing our own deterrence and countering Putin with strength and unity."
Putin's threat is not new. It is "a means of hybrid warfare" "to unsettle our population and to divide the rule-based states". Kiesewetter warned against giving in to Putin. The use of such weapons would permanently isolate Russia "completely, also from its previous partners or at least neutral states like China or India," he said. "That's why we mustn't let ourselves be fooled."
Russia has abandoned the strategically important city of Lyman in the eastern Donetsk region in yet another defeat by the Ukrainian army. The armed forces had been withdrawn because of the risk of encirclement, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow on Saturday. Ukrainian authorities had previously spoken of around 5,000 surrounded Russian soldiers. There is no information about the number of dead and prisoners.
With the fall of Lyman, the path to Kreminna and Svatowe opened up for the Ukrainian troops. Both cities are in the Luhansk region and are – especially Swatowe – important transport hubs. This would be a devastating signal for the Kremlin. At the beginning of the summer, the Russian army declared the Luhansk region "liberated".
More than seven months after the war began, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Cherson and Zaporizhia in addition to Donetsk on Friday. Internationally, this illegal step is not recognized.
In many municipalities in Lower Saxony, the living space for taking in refugees is becoming increasingly scarce. "The situation with the accommodation of the refugees is similar to that during the refugee crisis of 2015/2016," said the managing director of the Lower Saxony district association, Hubert Meyer, the German press agency. “We consistently hear from the counties that accommodation in private apartments has largely been exhausted. Almost all districts operate collective accommodation.”
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has promised to deliver the state-of-the-art Iris-T SLM air defense system to Ukraine within a few days. She "experienced live how much Ukraine suffers from the fact that (with) rockets, that the population is tormented with drones," said the SPD politician on Saturday evening during her visit to the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa to ARD-" Topics of the Day". In the afternoon, Lambrecht himself had to temporarily go to a bunker because of an air raid alarm.
It is important to continue to support the Ukrainian air defense with Iris-T, this state-of-the-art new system. But also with drone defense,” said Lambrecht. She added: "This is a very, very important point in order to relieve the burden on the population here."
After the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipes, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann believes it is possible in principle that investigations will also be carried out in Germany. "It is possible that a crime was committed here for which the Attorney General could take over the prosecution," said the FDP politician of the "Bild am Sonntag". The sites of the explosion are in the Baltic Sea in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Denmark and Sweden, but the tubes lead from Russia to Germany.
“Then it might be about anti-constitutional sabotage with repercussions on Germany. The criminal offense of causing an explosives explosion is also an option.” If the suspicion is confirmed, the main focus would be cooperation with other countries, especially the EU. "The goal would be to get hold of the perpetrators and bring them to justice in Germany." According to the Criminal Code, anti-constitutional sabotage carries a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine.
A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksky has posted a video purporting to show the takeover of the city of Lyman. "Dear Ukrainians, today the Armed Forces of Ukraine retook Lyman and took control," a Ukrainian soldier said in the video provided by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Presidential Office. The Defense Ministry in Moscow said troops had been withdrawn from the town of Lyman in Donetsk to avoid encirclement. A spokesman for the Ukrainian army had previously said that the strategically important location was encircled. An independent clarification of the contradictory information was not possible.