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Germany's Scholz says Putin can no longer win in Ukraine

November 23, 2022

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said it was clear Russia was fighting a losing battle in Ukraine. Meanwhile, France's Emmanuel Macron is preparing to resume "direct contact" with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

A destroyed Russian tank in Ivanivka, Kherson region
A destroyed Russian tank in the part of the Kherson region recently liberated by Ukrainian troopsImage: Celestino Arce/NurPhoto/picture alliance

Russian President Vladimir Putin "can no longer win on the battlefield, that much seems clear,"  German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday.

Appearing at a joint press conference with Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis in Berlin, Scholz called for an immediate end to Russia's "bombing terror against the civilian population." 

"It is not only unbearable, but a blatant violation of international law that Russia has been dropping its bombs against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine for weeks," said Scholz.

The chancellor also said that Russia's actions showed once again "how ruthless and merciless" Putin is in the war which started nine months ago.

"That's why my appeal to Putin remains: stop the senseless killing, withdraw your troops completely from Ukraine and agree to peace talks with Ukraine." Scholz said.

Is Russia targeting Ukraine's hospitals?

Macron wants to contact Putin again

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he wants to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin soon. "I intend to have direct contact with him in the coming days," Macron told journalists in Paris.

According to Macron, the leaders are going to talk about "civilian nuclear power" and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

There have been repeated attacks on  the sprawling nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spoke of "targeted attacks" for which Kyiv and Moscow blamed each other.

On Wednesday, IAEA said in a statement that Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station had again been cut off from its external power supply. The plant was now relying on emergency diesel generators.

The power plant is located in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Russia has declared annexed, not far from the frontline. In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree placing the nuclear power plant under Russian administration.

dh/dj (AFP, dpa)