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Ukraine updates: Germany plans new military aid package

Published July 11, 2023last updated July 12, 2023

Germany is expected to pledge at the NATO summit another €700 million in military assistance to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy said he would be lobbying for a clearer route for Ukraine toward NATO. DW has the latest.

Ukrainian soldiers hold the turret of a Leopard tank
Image: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/dpa/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • Germany has put together a package thought to include 20,000 rounds of artillery ammunition as well as dozens of tanks
  • Ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for a "clear signal" on joining the military alliance
  • Ukraine's army claims to have the upper hand over Russian troops in Bakhmut
  • For the events of July 10, follow this link
Skip next section Live updates now halted
July 12, 2023

Live updates now halted

That concludes our rolling coverage on the conflict in Ukraine for July 12, 2023.

Skip next section US sanctions pro-Russian head of Serbia's state security agency
July 11, 2023

US sanctions pro-Russian head of Serbia's state security agency

The United States sanctioned Aleksandar Vulin, a pro-Russian head of the Serbian Security and Information Agency, accusing him of using his position to help Moscow with "malign" activities, and with having links to an arms dealer and a drug trafficking ring. 

As a result, the US Treasury Department said all Vulin's property and interests in property in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons must be blocked and reported to Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

In a statement, OFAC said Vulin, a close ally of President Aleksandar Vucic, has also been implicated in "illegal narcotics operations, and misuse of public office" and of promoting "malign influence of Russia."

"He has used his public positions to support Russia, facilitating Russia's malign activities that degrade the security and stability of the Western Balkans and providing Russia a platform to further its influence in the region," it said.

Vulin who is also the head of the co-ruling Movement of Socialists is the first Serbian high-ranking official who have sanctioned since Vucic took presidential office in Serbia in 2017.
In January, a group of Serbian and pro-Ukraine activists filed criminal complaints against Russia's Wagner paramilitary group and its supporters, including Vulin, accusing them of recruiting Serbs to fight against Ukraine.

Skip next section Ukrainian pilots' F-16 training to start in August
July 11, 2023

Ukrainian pilots' F-16 training to start in August

A coalition of 11 nations will start training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets in Denmark in August, while a training center will also be set up in Romania, officials said on the sidelines of a summit of NATO leaders in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. 

"Hopefully we will be able to see results in the beginning of next year," Denmark's acting defense minister Troels Lund Poulsen said.

NATO members Denmark and the Netherlands have been leading efforts by an international coalition to train pilots and support staff, maintain aircraft and ultimately supply F-16s to Ukraine.

So far, no countries have committed to sending F-16s to Ukraine, though Poland and Slovakia have supplied 27 MiG-29s to supplement Ukraine's fleet of combat aircraft.

Skip next section Zelenskyy in Vilnius for NATO summit
July 11, 2023

Zelenskyy in Vilnius for NATO summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy landed in Vilnius where NATO member countries' leaders at a summit were set to discuss a possible Ukrainian membership in the alliance.

Zelenskyy earlier on Tuesday said on Twitter he saw "no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to NATO nor to make it a member."

Ukraine is pushing to be swiftly allowed into the Western alliance, bound together by mutual security guarantees. But divisions among NATO's members mean there will not be a date or straightforward invitation for Ukraine to join.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Kyiv would get more military aid and security guarantees, an easing of formal conditions to join, as well as a new format of cooperation with the alliance, the so-called NATO-Ukraine Council.

Skip next section Norway boosts military pledge by over €200 million for Ukraine
July 11, 2023

Norway boosts military pledge by over €200 million for Ukraine

Norway's government said Tuesday it was pledging an additional 2.5 billion kroner ($240 million, €218 million) of military aid to Ukraine.

This brings Oslo's total for Kyiv to 10 billion kroner for the year.

"The defensive war being waged by Ukraine (...) is being waged now. It is now that is really necessary," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Gahr Store told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania.

Skip next section North Korea condemns US over cluster munitions for Ukraine
July 11, 2023

North Korea condemns US over cluster munitions for Ukraine

North Korea on Tuesday criticized the United States' decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions.

Banned by more than 100 countries, cluster munitions are are a class of weapon that contain multiple explosive bomblets called submunitions.

And US President Joe Biden's decision to send the cluster munitions to Ukraine is a "criminal act," North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said.

"I strongly condemn the US decision to provide weapons of mass destruction to Ukraine as a dangerous criminal act as it tries to push the world into new calamity, and strongly demand that it be withdrawn immediately," she said in a statement carried by the official news agency KCNA.

Biden defends US plan to send cluster bombs to Ukraine

Skip next section France to give long-range weapons to Ukraine: Macron
July 11, 2023

France to give long-range weapons to Ukraine: Macron

Ukraine received a boost to its weapons supply on Tuesday with France initiating a program of supplying long-range missiles to Kyiv.

This will enable Ukrainian forces to defend themselves, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

"I have decided to increase deliveries of weapons and equipment to enable Ukrainians to have the capacity to strike deeply while keeping our doctrine to allow Ukraine to defend its territory," he said on arrival at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Skip next section Germany to pledge more weapons to Ukraine
July 11, 2023

Germany to pledge more weapons to Ukraine

According to reports in several local media outlets, Germany is set to announce it will supply Ukraine with an additional arms package worth almost €700 million ($770 million).

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius have arrived in Vilnius for the two-day NATO summit, where the announcement is expected to be made.

The military aid is said to include 40 Marder armored vehicles and 25 Leopard I battle tanks.

Skip next section Odesa port targeted by Russian drones, says regional governor
July 11, 2023

Odesa port targeted by Russian drones, says regional governor

Ukraine said Tuesday that Russian drones overnight targeted grain facilities in the south of the country, which houses three maritime terminals key to an expiring export agreement between Moscow and Kyiv.

"The air defense forces did not allow the enemy's plan to attack the grain terminal of one of the ports of Odesa to be realized," the governor of the region, Oleg Kiper, said in a statement.

The Ukrainian military said, in response, it had downed 26 Russian attack drones.

Odesa is Ukraine's biggest port and the headquarters of its navy.

Skip next section Russia says US not interested in diplomacy
July 11, 2023

Russia says US not interested in diplomacy

Russia has reacted to the United States' plans to boost arms supplies to Ukraine by saying the move shows Washington is not interested in a diplomatic resolution to Moscow's invasion of its neighbor.

Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov, whose comments were carried by the RIA news agency, also said that Europe would be the first to face "catastrophic consequences" if the war escalates.

Skip next section Lithuanian political expert urges swift NATO accession for Ukraine
July 11, 2023

Lithuanian political expert urges swift NATO accession for Ukraine

Political scientist Margarita Seselgyte, from Vilnius University has told DW that people in Lithuania view Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "coward." 

"He is frightened of NATO," she said. "As soon as Ukraine is a member of NATO, the war could be over. Putin is too scared and not capable of attacking the alliance as a whole."  

 Prolonging Ukraine’s membership bid might only serve in turn as an invitation to the Russian aggressor to prolong the war, she said.  

Skip next section US seeks path of reforms for Ukraine NATO entry
July 11, 2023

US seeks path of reforms for Ukraine NATO entry

NATO will lay out a path of reforms for Ukraine so that it can eventually join the military alliance, but without giving a "timetable," White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.

Sullivan rejected the notion of an immediate entry for Ukraine, given its ongoing war against Russia's invasion, saying this would "bring NATO into a war with Russia."

Sullivan also told reporters that US President Joe Biden will meet Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in Vilnius, where NATO is currently holding a summit, on Wednesday.

Skip next section Russia launches air attack on Kyiv
July 11, 2023

Russia launches air attack on Kyiv

Just hours before NATO leaders meet in Lithuania, Russia carried out an overnight airstrike on the Ukrainian capital. Officials in Kyiv said air defense systems shot down all the drones Russia launched before they could reach their target.

"The enemy attacked Kyiv from the air for the second time this month," Serhiy Popko, a head of Kyiv's military administration, said in a post on Telegram.

The Interior Ministry said drone wreckage had caused some minor damage to houses in the Kyiv region.

Air alerts were also reported in Mykolayiv, Kherson, Kirovograd, Poltava, Sumy, and Kharkiv regions.

Skip next section Ukraine claims progress in Bakhmut
July 11, 2023

Ukraine claims progress in Bakhmut

Ukrainian officials claimed new, incremental gains in the front line city of Bakhmut on Monday.

General Oleksander Syrskyi, who is in charge of Ukraine's ground forces, said Russia lost hundreds of troops in the city in the past 24 hours.

"Bakhmut. The enemy is caught in a trap," he said on Telegram.

"The city is under the fire control of [our] defense forces...the enemy is being pushed out of their positions." 

Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Mailar also said Kyiv's army established fire control over the "entrances, exits and movement of the enemy around the city."

Bakhmut has been contested for much of the war, with Russia claiming full control of it after heavy losses in May, only for Ukraine to soon start pushing back as part of its counteroffensive. 

Skip next section Ukraine foreign minister urges Germany not to repeat NATO 'mistakes'
July 11, 2023

Ukraine foreign minister urges Germany not to repeat NATO 'mistakes'

Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said an invitation to join NATO would not drag the military alliance into a war with Russia but rather send a "political message" to Ukraine.

Ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Tuesday, Kuleba made the argument for letting Ukraine into the military alliance.

Kuleba said in an interview with German broadcaster ARD that NATO members "were not brave enough" to welcome Ukraine into the fold at the 2008 summit in Bucharest, Romania.

He said former German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out clearly against Ukraine joining NATO. Ukraine and Georgia were nevertheless granted a poorly-defined promise of potential membership one day at that summit. 

"I call on the German government not to repeat these mistakes made by Merkel in 2008," Kuleba said in the interview.


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