The essentials in brief:
– Ukraine is demanding $300 billion in compensation
– Ukraine announces further successes in counter-offensive
– US Secretary of State Blinken praises military advances
– EU finance ministers discuss new aid package
According to its justice minister, Denys Maliuska, Ukraine wants to enforce war reparations from Russia of at least 300 billion US dollars (about 300 billion euros). At the UN General Assembly, Kyiv wants to achieve a resolution as the cornerstone for an international reparation mechanism, Maliuska told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “We want compensation for all the damage that Russia caused in Ukraine through its war of aggression,” he said.
The damage Ukraine suffered from the Russian invasion is now estimated to be much higher. But the sum of 300 billion US dollars mentioned corresponds to the balances of the Russian National Bank in the G7 countries, which were frozen as part of the sanctions. Maliuska demanded access to it, as well as to the foreign assets of Russian state-owned companies and confiscated property of Russian oligarchs.
Germany should provide information on how much Russian wealth is parked here, the minister said. At the same time, Berlin should support the Ukrainian project in the UN General Assembly in New York. Maliuska spoke to Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) on Thursday.
Ukraine announces further successes in counter-offensive
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and military representatives, the Ukrainian army is pushing back the occupying Russian troops. In the Kharkiv region in the northeast of the country, the units have advanced 50 kilometers into enemy territory, said army representative Oleksiy Gromov, who is a member of the Ukrainian general staff. He also announced further recaptures of areas in southern and eastern Ukrainian Donbass. In the south, Ukrainian forces penetrated “deep” into Russian positions and “liberated several towns”. In the Donbass, they advanced in the Kramatorsk and Sloviansk regions.
Ukraine continues to report successes in its counteroffensive: a Ukrainian task force in the Kharkiv region
According to President Zelenskyy, Ukrainian troops have recaptured more than 1,000 square kilometers from the Russian invaders since early September. Selenskyj named this number in his evening video address on Thursday. “As part of ongoing defensive operations, our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements,” he said without giving any further details. “Ukraine is and will be free,” Zelenskyy promised. However, according to earlier reports, Russian troops occupied around 125,000 square kilometers in Ukraine. That is one-fifth of the country’s territory, including the Crimean Peninsula.
Earlier in the evening, Zelenskyi confirmed reports of the recapture of the district town of Balakliya in the Kharkiv region. As evidence, he published a video, allegedly shot at the town hall. In front of the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag, a soldier reported to the president about the capture of the city. “The flag of Ukraine over a free Ukrainian city under a free Ukrainian sky,” Zelenskyy wrote. Unverified Internet videos showed passers-by waving at the Ukrainian soldiers or hugging them tearfully.
The administration used by Russia for the conquered areas around Kharkov claimed that Balakliya and the town of Shevchenkove were still under Russian control. The Interfax agency reported that reserves were going into battle, citing the head of administration, Andrei Alexejenko. According to the General Staff in Kyiv, however, the Ukrainian troops have already pushed further east towards the city of Kupyansk. There is an important railway junction through which Russia supplies its troops when attacking the Donbass. In Kupyansk, the occupation administration ordered the evacuation of women and children.
US Secretary of State Blinken praises military advances
Without prior notice, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Ukraine on September 8, 2022 and met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) in Kyiv.
At the end of his surprise visit to Kyiv, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke positively about the Ukrainian counter-offensive. “It’s still very early days, but we are seeing clear and real progress on the ground, especially in the Kherson area, but also some interesting developments in Donbass to the east,” Blinken told journalists.
It was Blinken’s second visit to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. The US chief diplomat promised Ukraine long-term loans and guarantees of one billion dollars. Another $1.2 billion in US State Department aid is to go to 18 other countries that also feel threatened by Russia, including the three Baltic states, Moldova and Georgia.
EU finance ministers discuss new aid package
The finance ministers of the European Union will also be discussing further support for Ukraine starting this Friday in Prague. The two-day informal meeting is about a new aid tranche of five billion euros. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised the government in Kyiv the loans on Wednesday.
On the fringes of the meeting of finance ministers, there should also be a so-called excess profit levy for energy companies, which benefit in particular from the massive rise in prices as a result of the Ukraine war. The traffic light coalition agreed at the weekend to finance relief for consumers by skimming off such “chance profits”. At the same time as the finance ministers, the ministers responsible for energy in their countries are also meeting in Brussels.
mak/ww (dpa, rtr, afp)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.