Kyiv, Moscow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has predicted the fall of the Russian leadership after what he predicted would be defeat in their war of aggression. “Kiev and all our cities, our entire Ukraine will put an end to the history of Moscow despotism, which has enslaved many different peoples for a very long time,” he said in his daily video address on Sunday.
The head of state was not seen in a screened-off room, as is usual, but in the evening light on the street in front of the president’s office in Kiev. The outdoor performance on the day of Kiev’s city birthday should also have been a sign to Moscow that the Ukrainians don’t want to be frightened.
Zelensky said Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defenses had managed to almost completely repel one of the largest Russian drone strikes since the beginning of the war. In this way, Russia tried to spoil the city’s birthday party for the people of Kiev.
But Kiev has already survived a wide variety of atrocities in its history and will also survive the attacks of the Russians and will not allow them to conquer, said the 45-year-old.
According to him, weapons like the Shahed drones cannot save Russia’s rulers. Because Russia despises life and culture, it can only lose the war, he predicted.
Next drone strikes against Ukraine
The attacks on Kiev continued into Monday night. According to the Ukrainian military, 29 of the 35 drones launched by the Russian armed forces were shot down. In addition, 37 of 40 missiles were intercepted, the Air Force announced on the short message service Telegram. The Russian armed forces aimed at military facilities and critical infrastructure. According to preliminary information, no one was injured in the night attacks. This is the 15th Russian air raid on the city this month.
The night before, Russia had launched one of the heaviest drone attacks on Ukraine in months. A record number of 54 kamikaze drones were registered, the press service of the Ukrainian Air Force announced on Telegram on Sunday morning. Although according to the authorities 52 of the unmanned aerial vehicles could be shot down, there was one dead and one injured. The attack was mainly aimed at the capital Kiev, but several residential buildings in the city of Zhytomyr were also hit.
Odessa port damaged in attack
According to Ukrainian sources, the port of Odessa was partially damaged during a Russian drone attack on Monday night. “The impact caused a fire in the port infrastructure of Odessa,” the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said on Facebook. The fire was quickly extinguished. The military left open whether the damage to the port would also endanger grain exports. Ukraine can only export grain and other foodstuffs through the ports in the Odessa region.
Zelensky introduces sanctions against Iran to parliament
Against the background of the ongoing drone attacks, Zelensky has introduced 50-year sanctions against Iran. This was reported by the state news agency Unian on Sunday, with reference to a legislative initiative by the president that had been received in the Ukrainian parliament. Trade in military equipment and so-called dual-use goods, which can be used for civil and military purposes, are to be banned.
In addition, Ukraine also wants to end its economic and financial obligations to Iran and stop the export of capital to the Islamic Republic. A ban on technology transfer and investments in Iran is also proposed. The Ukrainian parliament is expected to approve the decision, which has already been approved by the National Security Council.
Ukraine accuses Iran of arms aid to Russia. It is said that Moscow mainly uses Iranian-type Shahed drones for its attacks. Iran denies this.
Congratulations from Moscow and Kyiv to Ankara
Meanwhile, both Zelenskiy and Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin congratulated Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan on his re-election. Putin congratulated his colleague before the end of the vote count. “The election victory was the legitimate result of your selfless work as the head of state of the Turkish Republic,” said the Kremlin’s congratulatory telegram published on Sunday. The election victory also demonstrates the support of the Turkish people for the course of “national sovereignty and independent foreign policy”.
Putin thanked Erdogan for building good bilateral relations between the two countries. Russia is ready to continue cooperation on both bilateral and international issues, the head of the Kremlin assured.
>> Read here: Erdogan wins run-off and remains president – which means his election victory
Turkey is an important partner for Russia in view of Western sanctions. In Moscow, there were fears that Turkey would orient itself more towards the West after the opposition won the elections – and thus increase Russia’s international isolation.
However, Turkey maintains good relations not only with Russia but also with Ukraine in the war. With the mediation of Ankara and the United Nations, Moscow and Kiev signed the grain deal last summer that ended the Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports. Most recently, Russia extended the agreement for two months in mid-May.
This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war:
That will be important on Monday
The Russian mercenary group Wagner continues its retreat from the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The completely destroyed village is to be placed under the control of regular Russian units by June. At the same time, Ukraine still does not give up the city.
While fighting continues in Ukraine, the political focus is on the north: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Russia’s neighbor Lithuania and also meets the Bundeswehr soldiers stationed there. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to Sweden – the country is aspiring to join NATO. The visits are also a signal to Russia.
More: Current news on the development of the Ukraine war can be found in our news blog