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The war in Ukraine – Voices and developments: Even Ukraine doubts rumors of killing the top Russian general

Government does not plan to change entry for Ukrainians

16.28 o’clock: Anyone fleeing before the Russian attack on Ukraine should still be allowed to enter Germany with their car without additional formalities and customs duties, according to a response from the federal government to a written question from the AfD faction, as published on Friday. The procedure will be maintained as long as the relevant guidelines of the European Union are valid, the response said.

According to the information, 2,333 Ukrainian citizens and 470 Russian citizens have applied for duty-free import of vehicles. Eleven violations by Ukrainian and 20 violations by Russian nationals have been recorded.

Even Ukraine denies rumors of killing the Russian top general

Friday, January 5, 16:13 o’clock: After Ukraine claimed to have hit a Russian command post in Crimea, rumors surfaced that the top Russian general Valery Gerasimov had been killed.

On Friday, Serhiy Bratschuk, spokesman for the Ukrainian volunteer army in the South, stated in an interview that the death of the top general was not confirmed. He confirmed to the TV channel “Espresso” that a “hostile command post had been hit”, where “several high-ranking officers or generals of the Russian occupying army” were located. “I even heard the famous name Gerasimov. That would be good news, but I consider it unlikely to be true.”

The rumors stem from a post published on X, formerly Twitter, on the previous evening. According to the US magazine “Newsweek”, which has investigated the case in more detail, there is not even any evidence that the Russian general was present in Crimea at the time of the attack.

Russian air defense in action in Crimea

21:06 o’clock: The Russian military in the annexed Crimean peninsula defended itself against a Ukrainian air raid on Thursday. The Ministry of Defense in Moscow said it had succeeded in shooting down ten incoming cruise missiles. There was no independent confirmation of this. In the port city of Sevastopol, the seat of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, an air raid alarm was sounded. The air defense was in action, said the Russian city chief Mikhail Rosvoshayev. One person was injured by a falling piece of debris.

There was no information from the Russian side about possible hits. A local Telegram channel in Crimea published images and videos allegedly showing smoke clouds over Sevastopol and Yevpatoriya. The Ukrainian army claimed to have hit a Russian command post near Sevastopol.

In September 2023, the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet was destroyed by missile strikes. Russia has reduced the fleet presence in Sevastopol and relocated ships to Novorossiysk and other ports.

The Russian Ministry of Defense also stated that a modified Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile had been intercepted over the southern Russian region of Lipetsk. This, too, could not be independently confirmed.

Russia deploys rockets from North Korea for the first time

19:46 o’clock: Russia has, according to the US governmentRockets from North Korea utilized in the offensive warfare against Ukraine.

At the White House on Thursday, the Communications Director of the National Security Council, John Kirby, stated that according to US intelligence, Pyongyang recently delivered ballistic rocket launchers and several ballistic rockets to Moscow. Russian forces had fired several of these rockets at Ukraine over the turn of the year.

Ukraine hopeful for further prisoner exchange

10.10 AM: Following the largest prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, Kiew hopes for the return of more incarcerated fighters to their homeland. In the coming weeks, more heroes could return home, Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinez said on television in Kiew. “The task is to bring back absolutely everyone,” he said. After a long break, Moscow, which has been at war with Ukraine for almost two years, and Kiew exchanged prisoners for the first time since summer on Tuesday.

According to official reports, 230 Ukrainian men and women returned from Russian captivity. 248 Russian prisoners were released to their homeland. There had already been dozens of such actions. Lubinez also said that there had been movement on the Russian side recently, giving hope for a new exchange.

Experts at the US Institute for War Studies (ISW) in Washington interpreted Moscow’s return to the practice of exchanges after a long break as a calculated step following recent reports of mistreatment of Ukrainian fighters in Russian captivity. Russia wanted to show, possibly as part of larger information efforts, that it adheres to international humanitarian law, according to the ISW analysis.

According to reports from Kiew, more than 4000 Ukrainians are still in Russian captivity. More than 2800 defenders have returned home so far. The head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, Andrij Jermak, reiterated the goal of bringing all prisoners back to their homeland. The exchange of all prisoners is also part of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s so-called peace formula.

Ukraine general warns of ammunition shortage – Russians deplete defense systems

Thursday, January 4, 07:50 AM: Ukrainian General Serhij Najew has warned of an acute shortage of ammunition for his country’s air defense. Currently, the ammunition for Ukraine’s mobile air defense systems is sufficient “to withstand the next fierce attacks,” Najew said during a troop visit near Kiew. However, in the medium and long term, Ukraine “naturally needs the help of Western countries to replenish the rocket stocks.” This primarily concerns “more ammunition.”

“Of course, we would like more rockets for the Patriots and the systems themselves,” said the commander responsible for the mobile air defense units in the capital Kiew and in the north of Ukraine, referring to the US Patriot defense systems. Because the Russian army wants to “truly deplete the air defense system.”

From Kiew’s perspective, the massive Russian wave of attacks on Ukraine over the turn of the year underscored the urgency for increased Western deliveries of air defense systems, combat drones, and medium-range rockets.

6 obstacles to peace negotiations between Kiew and Moscow

20:57 PM: Why is the war not over yet – and why does it not seem likely to end soon? At least six circumstances hinder a compromise between Kiew and Moscow.

More on this here:Wann endet der Ukraine-Krieg? – 6 Hindernisse für Friedensverhandlungen zwischen Kiew und Moskau

Ukraine und Russland tauschen erneut Gefangene aus

18.28 Uhr: Nach einer Pause von mehreren Monaten haben die Ukraine und Russland erneut Gefangene ausgetauscht. Präsident Wolodymyr Selenskyj verkündete in sozialen Netzwerken, dass “unsere Leute zu Hause sind”. Es handelte sich dabei um Soldaten und Zivilpersonen. Laut dem zuständigen Koordinierungsstab handelte es sich um den größten Gefangenenaustausch seit dem russischen Einmarsch vor über 22 Monaten. Insgesamt wurden 230 Männer und Frauen freigelassen, darunter Verteidiger der Hafenstadt Mariupol und der Schlangeninsel. Moskau gab an, dass 248 Russen aus ukrainischer Gefangenschaft zurückgekehrt seien.

In seiner abendlichen Videoansprache sagte Selenskyj: “Wir denken an alle Ukrainer, die in russischer Gefangenschaft sind. Es gab eine lange Pause beim Austausch, aber es gab keine Pause bei den Verhandlungen über einen Austausch.” Er zeigte sich froh darüber, dass es gelungen sei, die Blockade zu überwinden, und betonte, dass die Ukraine weiterhin bestrebt sei, ihre Bürger zurückzubringen.

Die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate und das Internationale Komitee vom Roten Kreuz waren an der Organisation des Austausches beteiligt. Der letzte Austausch hatte im Juli des letzten Jahres stattgefunden. Nach Angaben der Ukraine wurden während des Krieges bereits 2828 ihrer Bürger aus russischer Gefangenschaft zurückgeholt. Laut dem Sprecher des ukrainischen Militärgeheimdienstes HUR, Andryj Jussow, befinden sich noch über 4000 Ukrainer in russischer Gefangenschaft.

Ex-Chef von Foltergefängnis in Ostukraine zu 15 Jahren Haft verurteilt

17.37 Uhr: Der ehemalige Leiter eines Foltergefängnisses der ostukrainischen Separatisten in Donezk wurde zu einer Haftstrafe von 15 Jahren verurteilt. Das Gericht sah die Misshandlung von Gefangenen durch diesen Mann als erwiesen an. Zudem wurde er als Mitglied der sogenannten Volksrepublik Donezk verurteilt, die in der Ukraine als terroristische Vereinigung gilt. Der Verurteilte wurde 2021 in Kiew vom Geheimdienst SBU festgenommen. Das Urteil ist erstinstanzlich und kann noch angefochten werden.

Das Gefängnis namens Isolazija (Isolation) wurde 2014 nach der Machtübernahme der von Moskau kontrollierten Kräfte in einer früheren Fabrik in Donezk eingerichtet. Isolazija wurde international bekannt durch Berichte des UN-Menschenrechtskommissariats und des Journalisten Stanislaw Assejew. Assejew war selbst dort gefangen und verfasste ein Buch darüber, nachdem er durch einen Gefangenenaustausch freigelassen wurde.

mmo, al, ja, til, pip, shu, ter, daz, fil, sca, wop, lro, juw/mit Agenturmaterial

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