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Ukraine updates: Kyiv 'must not lose this war,' says Lindner

Published August 14, 2023last updated August 14, 2023

It is the first time the German finance minister has visited Ukraine since Russia's full-scale invasion. Meanwhile, Ukraine's president has vowed revenge after shelling in Kherson. DW has the latest.

Christian Lindner
Christian Lindner is visiting Ukraine for the first time since 2020Image: Andreas Hoenig/dpa/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Germany's finance minister, Christian Lindner, arrived in Kyiv for talks in what is his first visit to Ukraine since Russia's full-blown invasion some 18 months ago.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and several other ministers have previously visited Kyiv.

Lindner, who last traveled to the country in 2020, said on arrival that Ukraine's decision to favor democracy and a market economy was the reason Russia attacked.

Here's an overview of some of the main stories concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Monday, August 14: 

Skip next section Lindner 'sympathetic' on Taurus missiles for Ukraine
August 14, 2023

Lindner 'sympathetic' on Taurus missiles for Ukraine

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner expressed sympathy towards the idea of supplying Kyiv with Taurus cruise missiles.

He said Berlin would consult with its allies on what was needed and what was possible.

"Since I know that many are sympathetic to such support, as I am myself, I hope for an early, very early clarification of these issues," Lindner said.

Lindner also met with Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko and discussed further financial support for Ukraine and its capital.

Klitschko insisted there should be no delays in the delivery of air defense systems and long-range weapons.

Lindner said that Germany had so far provided Ukraine with assistance worth €22 billion ($24 billion), including €12 billion in military aid. He said that Berlin planned to provide €5 billion a year until 2027.

Germany's finance minister pays surprise visit to Ukraine

Skip next section US announces fresh Ukraine aid
August 14, 2023

US announces fresh Ukraine aid

Washington has announced a new aid package for Ukraine worth $200 million (approximately €183 million) in ammunition, air defenses and anti-mine clearing equipment.

The package comes after revising prior aid and discovering an accounting error, which revealed Washington had another $6.2 billion to devote to the war-torn country.

This is the first of an expected series of packages with the restored funds. 

The US plans to send munitions for Patriot air defense systems, 12 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades, and ammunition for Himars, the State Department said.

"Russia started this war and could end it at any time by withdrawing its forces from Ukraine and stopping its brutal attacks," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the statement announcing the aid.

"Until it does, the United States and our allies and partners will stand united with Ukraine, for as long as it takes."

Ukrainians fighting war with Soviet-era tanks

Skip next section Zelenskyy visits troops near eastern frontline
August 14, 2023

Zelenskyy visits troops near eastern frontline

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited troops at brigade headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian front-line region of Donetsk on Monday, his website said.

The visit was to troops involved in attacks on the part of the front line facing Soledar, a Russian-held town north of the city of Bakhmut.

Pictures on the website show Zelenskyy and a top aide talking to soldiers in a command and control center.

"I receive general information every day, it gives a broad understanding of the situation, and this is also very important," the website reported Zelenskyy saying. 

"However, I wanted to visit all the brigades separately in order to precisely understand the problems of each of them. This is an open conversation, you can discuss any issues," he told those present.

Skip next section Ukrainian intel officer jailed for high treason
August 14, 2023

Ukrainian intel officer jailed for high treason

The public prosecutor's office in Kyiv says a major general of Ukraine's SBU intelligence service has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for high treason.

The high-ranking officer had been accused of collecting information and passed it on to Russia. He was also alleged to have recruited contract killers for an attack on the commander of a Chechen battalion fighting on behalf of Ukraine.

The verdict is not yet legally binding.

The officer was arrested in April 2020. While Ukraine has been fending off a full-scale Russian invasion for over 17 months, Kyiv's troops had been fighting Moscow-controlled forces in eastern Ukraine since 2014.

Skip next section Ukraine PM says Lindner meeting was 'important'
August 14, 2023

Ukraine PM says Lindner meeting was 'important'

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal wrote on the messaging app Telegram that he had had "an important meeting" with Lindner in Kyiv, thanking the German government for its support.

Shmygal said Lindner had stressed during the talks "that Germany will further support Ukraine, and our cooperation projects will be long-term."

German Finance Minister Lindner visits Kyiv

Shmygal added that Ukraine and Germany were working on five investment projects worth around €247 million.

They were looking at three more projects totaling more than €70 million, he added.

"We expect the participation of German business" in Ukraine's post-war rebuilding, he said. 

"I emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation and confiscate Russian assets, which will be the main source of financing for reconstruction," Shmygal said.

Christian Lindner shakes hands with Ukraine's prime minister in Kyiv
Lindner met with Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, as well as Kyiv's mayor and Ukraine's deputy defense ministerImage: Thomas Imo/photothek/picture alliance
Skip next section Russian ruble lowest since beginning of war
August 14, 2023

Russian ruble lowest since beginning of war

The Russian ruble has reached its lowest point since the early weeks of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, the currency passed 101 rubles to the US dollar. It has steadily dropped more than 25% in its value since the beginning of 2023, and reached its lowest point in 17 months.

President Vladimir Putin's economic adviser, Maksim Oreshkin, blamed the drop on a "loose monetary policy" in an op-ed for state news agency Tass.

Skip next section Poland to hold referendum on Belarus border fence
August 14, 2023

Poland to hold referendum on Belarus border fence

Polish voters will have their say on whether to keep a fence on its border with Belarus, Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Monday.

The referendum will take place on October 15, the same day citizens will elect a new parliament.

Polish citizens will be asked if they support "the removal of the barrier on the border between Poland and Belarus," Blaszczak confirmed on social media.

Skip next section Poland detains 2 potential Russian spies
August 14, 2023

Poland detains 2 potential Russian spies

Poland on Monday said on Monday it had detained two people suspected of spying and other charges.

Warsaw's Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said police and the country's Internal Security Agency had "identified and detained two Russians who distributed propaganda materials of the Wagner Group in Krakow and Warsaw."

Poland has recently complained of possible provocations from the Wagner Group, currently based in neighboring Belarus.

Skip next section Ukraine makes Bakhmut gains in counter-offensive
August 14, 2023

Ukraine makes Bakhmut gains in counter-offensive

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Monday announced it had pushed back against Russian forces, regaining territory along front lines in the east and south of the country.

The gains came as Moscow claimed it had progressed in the eastern Kharkiv region.

Ukraine began its counter-offensive against Russian forces in June after building up assault battalions and stockpiling weapons offered by the West. But Kyiv has been frustrated by heavily fortified Russian positions.

"In the Bakhmut sector, three square kilometers (1.2 square miles) were liberated last week," Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar told state television, adding that Ukrainian forces had retrieved around 40 square kilometers there since June.

The politics behind supplying Ukraine with weapons

Skip next section Denmark intercepts Russian bombers, says Dutch Royal Airforce
August 14, 2023

Denmark intercepts Russian bombers, says Dutch Royal Airforce

The Danish air force intercepted two Russian bombers over Denmark on Monday as they flew toward the area that the Netherlands monitors for NATO, the Dutch Royal Airforce said on Monday, as reported by Reuters.

The Russian bombers were intercepted before they could enter Dutch NATO airspace and have since turned back.

A Dutch Royal Airforce spokesperson said that planes are intercepted if they do not have a unique identifying code, do not offer a flight route, and if there is no two-way communication.

He also said that it's not unusual for Moscow planes to violate a European country's airspace.

Skip next section Kyiv condemns Moscow's 'provocative' behavior in Black Sea
August 14, 2023

Kyiv condemns Moscow's 'provocative' behavior in Black Sea

Ukraine on Monday heavily criticized "provocative" actions from Moscow, a day after a Russian warship fired warning shots at a cargo vessel in the Black Sea.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemns the provocative actions carried out by the Russian Federation on August 13 in the Black Sea in relation to the Turkish dry cargo vessel 'Sukru Okan,' which was en route to the port of Izmail," the ministry said in a statement.

"The Russian Navy grossly violated the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and other norms of international law. These actions exemplified Russia's deliberate policy of endangering the freedom of navigation and safety of commercial shipping in the Black Sea."

Skip next section China's defense minister to visit Russia
August 14, 2023

China's defense minister to visit Russia

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu will visit Russia and Belarus later this week, his office said in a statement on Monday. 

"At the invitation of Russian Defense Minister (Sergei) Shoigu and Belarusian Defense Minister (Viktor) Khrenin, from August 14 to 19, State Councillor and Defense Minister Li Shangfu will go to Russia to attend the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security," the official statement said.

China and Russia held joint naval exercises in July as Li called for closer bilateral cooperation between the two navies.

The countries have previously hailed their their "no limits" partnership.

Skip next section Germany's Lindner: 'Ukraine must not lose this war'
August 14, 2023

Germany's Lindner: 'Ukraine must not lose this war'

Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner arrived in Kyiv on Monday morning, vowing that "Ukraine must not lose this war."

"What is at stake here is the future of the European order of peace and freedom," he said, shortly after arriving for what is his first visit to Ukraine since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbor some 18 months ago.

"We stand by Ukraine's side, shoulder to shoulder," Lindner told reporters.

The politician was last in Ukraine at the beginning of 2020. On Monday he said he was more convinced than ever that Russia attacked Ukraine because it values democracy and a market economy.

His trip comes amid Ukraine requests for the German government to supply it with Taurus cruise missiles. On Sunday, Chancellor Scholz was non-committal when questioned about the issue in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF.

Skip next section 3 injured in Russian attack on Ukraine's Odesa
August 14, 2023

3 injured in Russian attack on Ukraine's Odesa

At least three people were wounded in Russia's overnight air attack on the port city of Odesa, the governor of the Ukrainian region on the Black Sea said early on Monday.

"As a result of the enemy attack in Odesa, several fires broke out from falling rocket fragments," the governor, Oleh Kiper, said on the Telegram messaging app. "Windows in buildings were blown out by the blast wave."

The Russian army reportedly used 15 drones and fired eight Kalibr cruise missiles at the port city from the Black Sea. They were all intercepted, Governor Kiper said.

Odesa, Ukraine's largest port and naval base, has been repeatedly attacked with missiles and drones after Moscow pulled out of an agreement allowing grain shipments from Ukraine's ports in July.

Skip next section Russian warship fires warning shots at cargo ship
August 14, 2023

Russian warship fires warning shots at cargo ship

Russian warship Vasily Bykov fired warning shots and boarded a Palau-flagged cargo ship Sukru Okan in the Black Sea, Russia's Defense Ministry said..

The ministry said the dry cargo ship failed to respond to a request to stop for an inspection on Sunday.

"To forcibly stop the vessel, warning fire was opened from automatic weapons," it said. Russian soldiers boarded the vessel with the help of a Ka-29 helicopter. 

"After the inspection group completed its work on board, the Sukru Okan continued on its way to the port of Izmail." 

The ministry said cargo ship was heading towards the Ukrainian port of Izmail but Refinitiv shipping data showed shows the cargo vessel’s destination as the Romanian port of Sulina which is close to Izmail.

It is the first time Russia has fired on a merchant ship outside Ukraine since Moscow pulled out of a UN-brokered grain deal last month.

Russia fires warning shots at cargo ship in Black Sea

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