Ticker: Solidarity with Ukraine

G7 to coordinate investigations into war crimes +++ Reactions from Germany to the war in Ukraine. 

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30.11.2022. G7 to coordinate investigations into war crimes

Berlin (dpa) - In order to better coordinate their investigations into war crimes committed in Ukraine, the justice ministers of the G7 countries have agreed to set up a specific contact point in each state. German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said after a meeting of the ministers in Berlin: “We all agreed that the most heinous war crimes are taking place in Ukraine.” He explained that improved cooperation was primarily about securing evidence and avoiding duplication. In addition to Germany, the G7 group of economically strong democracies also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and the UK. The Federal Republic of Germany holds the presidency until the end of the year; Japan will take over in 2023.

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29.11.2022: German Red Cross provides winter aid

The German Red Cross (DRK) is supporting people in Ukraine this winter with extensive aid. “The massive and ongoing destruction of civilian infrastructure is affecting the supply of water, energy and heating in Ukraine as a whole and putting more and more people at acute risk,” explained DRK Secretary General Christian Reuter. “We are supporting those affected in the population with more than 7,000 stoves for heating and cooking, over 100 generators and more than 20 mobile tankers.” Materials and funds are also being provided via the sister organisation of the Ukrainian Red Cross to enable repairs to be made to shelters for refugees in the country and to private households. The DRK’s winter aid is supported financially by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, among others.

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28.11.2022: War crimes in Ukraine to be discussed at G7 meeting

Berlin (dpa) - The justice ministers of the G7 countries intend to push for the prosecution of war crimes in Ukraine. “Above all, we will talk about the horrific war crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine, which we intend to prosecute and punish,” said German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann in a video posted on Twitter, referring to a G7 meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Berlin. To this end, he said that more efficient coordination of investigations would be agreed. Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine since 24 February. According to official accounts, Ukraine is discovering more and more evidence of atrocities committed by the former Russian occupiers in liberated areas. This year, Germany holds the presidency of the group of the world’s seven leading industrial nations and democracies.

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27.11.2022: Nato praises Germany's help for Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has praised Germany’s support for Ukraine in the latter’s defensive war against Russia. “Germany’s strong support is making a crucial difference,” Stoltenberg said in an interview. Two days before a meeting of Nato foreign ministers in Bucharest, the former head of the Norwegian government said that the weapons provided by Germany were saving lives. “We must all maintain and strengthen our support for Ukraine.”

Among other weapons, Germany has supplied Ukraine with the state-of-the-art Iris-T air defence system, with three more to follow in 2023. In view of the Russian missile and drone attacks on civilian targets, Ukraine needs air defence weapons above all.

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26.11.2022: German chancellor promises Ukraine further help

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has assured Ukraine that he will help the country, which is under attack from Russia, for as long as it is necessary. “Ukraine can count on us to continue to provide it with extensive support in financial and humanitarian terms, as well as with weapons,” the chancellor said in an interview. Stating that Germany is one of the countries that is helping Ukraine the most, including with arms deliveries, he explained that the German self-propelled howitzers and Gepard anti-aircraft tanks were very effective, as were the multiple rocket launchers and Iris-T air defence system from Germany. Scholz emphasised: “Russia must not be allowed to win this war.”

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24.11.2022: Scholz condemns bombing of civilian infrastructure

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has strongly condemned the targeted Russian bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. “This bombing terror against the civilian population must stop – and it must stop immediately,” Scholz said after a meeting with the president of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis, in Berlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin was once again showing how ruthlessly and mercilessly he was proceeding in this war. “A war he can no longer win on the battlefield at all, that much seems clear,” Scholz said. He called on Putin to withdraw his troops and agree to peace talks with Ukraine.

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23.11.2022: Petersburg Dialogue to be terminated

Berlin (dpa) - The Petersburg Dialogue, a civil society forum between Germany and Russia, will no longer take place in the future due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. At the request of the board, the general meeting decided to disband itself in the first quarter of 2023, the forum announced. “In view of the criminal war of aggression and the confrontational position vis-à-vis the Western democracies, a dialogue in this format is no longer possible,” it said in justification. The Petersburg Dialogue has existed since 2001.

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22.11.2022: Donor conference pledges further aid for Moldova

Paris (dpa) - At a donor conference for the ex-Soviet republic of Moldova in Paris, Germany and France have agreed on further aid. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pledged additional German aid amounting to a good 32.3 million euros. French President Emmanuel Macron promised Moldova a further 100 million euros. Like Ukraine, Moldova was declared an EU candidate country in June. The country took in hundreds of thousands of refugees at the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, of which around 90,000 remain in the country. Located between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova has a population of around 2.6 million and is one of the poorest countries in Europe.

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21.11.2022: Donor conference planning to help Republic of Moldova

Paris (dpa) - An international donor conference in Paris is planning to organise further support for the Republic of Moldova, which is suffering particularly from the consequences of the Ukraine war. Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock did not specify any concrete sums ahead of the meeting. Moldova, which lies between Romania and Ukraine and has a population of around 2.6 million, is one of the poorest countries in Europe. It has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees, around 90,000 of whom remain in the country. Besides Baerbock, France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and the foreign ministers of Romania and Moldova, Bogdan Aurescu and Nicu Popescu, are taking part in the conference. So far, 1.2 billion euros in support has been pledged.

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19.11.2022: G7 states to take action against Russian disinformation

Eltville (dpa) - The G7 countries intend to take decisive action against Russian disinformation campaigns. “We will push ahead with cooperation on tracking down disinformation networks,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced on Friday in Eltville near Wiesbaden in Hesse after a meeting of G7 interior ministers. “We have agreed to network more closely on this and to adopt good ideas from the other partners.”

The interior minister said that the threat to critical infrastructure and the spread of foreign disinformation and propaganda had increased significantly since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “Russia is attempting to use lies to spread insecurity, undermine trust in state institutions and divide our societies.” The G7 condemned this in the strongest possible terms, she said. “And we can say that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin will not succeed in this. We will counter the lies with facts.”

According to Faeser, the G7 states also intend to cooperate more closely on investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops in Ukraine – to ensure that war criminals would one day have to answer to the courts. She added that the G7 community would continue its support for police and law enforcement in Ukraine and better coordinate its activities in this respect.

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18.112022: Zelenskiy praises grain deal and support for donations

Kyiv (dpa) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has expressed satisfaction with the extension of the grain deal. In his daily video address, he stressed the importance of Ukraine’s grain exports for the food supply of poorer countries. He also said he had launched an initiative with international support – including Germany’s – to transport grain to those countries most affected by hunger. The German government is providing 14 million dollars (around 13.5 million euros) to support Ukrainian shipments to Ethiopia.

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17.11.2022: Germany to pay for transport of Ukrainian wheat donation

Berlin (dpa) - The German government is supporting a Ukrainian wheat donation to Ethiopia. It is providing 14 million dollars (around 13.5 million euros) to finance the shipment, said Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir. The grain donated by the Kyiv government could feed 1.6 million people in the country for a whole month. Özdemir said that this deserved “the greatest respect” and therefore also Germany's support. The 25,000 tonnes of wheat are to be transported from the port of Odessa to Ethiopia via the United Nations World Food Programme.

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10.11.2022: EU to decide on launch of training mission for Ukraine

Brussels (dpa)- Germany and the other 26 EU states plan to decide next Monday to launch the training mission for Ukrainian armed forces. The Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the EU states in Brussels unanimously approved the corresponding plans, as several diplomats confirmed to the German Press Agency. The formal decision to launch the mission is to be taken at a meeting of foreign ministers scheduled for Monday in Brussels. Under the plans, around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers will initially be trained in Germany, Poland and other EU countries. This is the EU’s way to help ensure that Ukrainian troops will be able to defend themselves against Russian attacks even better than before.

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Ukrainian children flown out to Germany

04.11.2022: EU to decide on launch of training mission for Ukraine

Brussels (dpa)- Germany and the other 26 EU states plan to decide next Monday to launch the training mission for Ukrainian armed forces. The Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the EU states in Brussels unanimously approved the corresponding plans, as several diplomats confirmed to the German Press Agency. The formal decision to launch the mission is to be taken at a meeting of foreign ministers scheduled for Monday in Brussels. Under the plans, around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers will initially be trained in Germany, Poland and other EU countries. This is the EU’s way to help ensure that Ukrainian troops will be able to defend themselves against Russian attacks even better than before.

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03.11.2022: Baerbock praises international cohesion in dispute over grain exports

Berlin (dpa)- Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has described the planned resumption of grain exports from Ukraine as an expression of “how strong international cohesion is”. She told the newspaper Welt that Russia had once again tried to “use hunger as a weapon”, but that the global community, led by the United Nations, had made it clear: “No, we don’t believe your lies.” Russia is re-entering the agreement to export grain from Ukraine after massive international criticism of a new grain blockade. Ships carrying wheat, maize and other foodstuffs are to be allowed to continue sailing through a safe corridor in the Black Sea.

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01.11.2022: Steinmeier thanks Japan and South Korea for support

Tokyo (dpa)- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has acknowledged the support of Japan and South Korea in the Ukraine war. “I would like to thank our partners for standing closely together with us against Russian aggression in Ukraine and on the sanctions against Russia,” he said ahead of his visit to the two countries. The federal president and his wife Elke Büdenbender arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday morning. “Japan and Korea are countries that, like us, are watching the developments in Eastern Europe since 24 February with concern. Both countries condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” Steinmeier said during the flight to Tokyo.

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31.10.2022: Baerbock: Moscow must not jeopardise safety of grain ships

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called on Russia to honour its obligations under the agreement for Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea. “Millions of people in the world are starving, and Russia is once again putting the safety of grain ships at risk. This must stop,” the Green politician said in Berlin on Sunday. “Whether families in Lebanon, Niger or Bangladesh can pay for their next meal must not depend on the Russian president’s war plans.”

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30.10.2022: Germany provides 16 generators to help Ukraine

Kyiv (dpa) - Due to the damage to Ukraine’s energy supply caused by Russia, Germany has made 16 generators available to the country under attack. The German embassy in Kyiv announced on Twitter on Saturday that the equipment was already in the country and was intended for civil defence in the Donetsk, Kyiv, Luhansk, Chernihiv and Cherkasy regions. According to the tweet, the generators of various capacities were financed by the Federal Foreign Office and brought to Ukraine by the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW).

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29.10.2022: Almost 196,000 Ukrainian pupils in Germany

Berlin (red) - The number of Ukrainian pupils at German schools has continued to rise. Almost 196,000 Ukrainian pupils are now attending schools in Germany. The federal states reported a total of 195,984 children and young people, as the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) announced in Berlin. The number of pupils reported by the KMK refers to both general education and vocational schools. 

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28.10.2022: Scholz talks with Sunak about Ukraine

Berlin/London (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has encouraged new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to work constructively with the European Union. The Social Democrat and the Tory politician spoke on the phone on Thursday. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine was one of the topics they discussed. Both agreed to continue to provide comprehensive support to Ukraine and to keep up the pressure on Russia to end the hostilities immediately.

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26.10.2022

26.10.2022: Steinmeier meets Zelenskiy 

Kyiv (dpa) - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has met with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during his trip to Ukraine and promised further German support. Weapons are to be supplied, though Berlin also wants to help stabilise the power grid in Ukraine. Zelenskiy thanked Germany for its help and said that Steinmeier had had to seek refuge in an air-raid shelter during his visit and had thus experienced first-hand the importance of a functioning air defence. Zelenskiy praised the German Iris-T air defence system, describing it as highly efficient. “We are waiting for more such systems.”

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25.10.2022: Scholz already wants “Marshall Plan” now

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken out in favour of setting up a “Marshall Plan” for reconstruction even before the end of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The SPD politician said on Tuesday at an international recovery conference in Berlin that this was “a task for generations that must begin now”. The conference was about finding ways to shape the future of the country, “not only in the coming months, but in the coming years,” Scholz said. To meet this challenge, he said that private and state investors from around the world needed to be brought together. At the invitation of Scholz and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, international experts are meeting in Berlin to discuss the reconstruction of Ukraine.

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24.10.2022: Ukrainian author Zhadan honoured with Peace Prize

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - The Ukrainian author and musician Serhiy Zhadan has been awarded the Peace Prize at St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt. “We are enthralled by Zhadan – in linguistic, literary and musical terms,” said Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, president of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. “It is sad and significant that we are talking about the Peace Prize while war is raging again in Europe,” 48-year-old Zhadan said in his acceptance speech. For more than 70 years, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association has awarded the Peace Prize, which after the Second World War was also seen as a signal that Germany was learning its lessons from history.

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21.10.2022: Steinmeier promises Ukraine help with infrastructure

Berlin/Kyiv (dpa) - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has promised Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy help with repairing infrastructure damaged by Russia. Germany will support the restoration of destroyed facilities for electricity, heating and water, Steinmeier assured Zelenskiy in a telephone conversation on Thursday, according to the Office of the Federal President. Zelenskiy wrote on Twitter: “Germany will help us to overcome the consequences of Russian missile terror.”

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19.10.2022: Five more armoured recovery vehicles for Ukraine

Berlin/Kyiv (dpa) - Germany has handed over five armoured recovery vehicles and seven bridge-laying systems to the Ukrainian armed forces to repel the Russian invasion. This can be seen from the German government’s current list of military assistance, which shows that Ukraine has received a total of ten armoured recovery vehicles. The bridge-laying systems can be used to bridge rivers and streams. In view of the upcoming winter, 116,000 cold-protection jackets, 80,000 cold-protection trousers and 240,000 winter hats were also handed over. 183 power generators, 100 tents and 167,000 rounds of handgun ammunition are also part of the support package from Germany.

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18.10.2022: EU training mission for Ukrainian armed forces approved

Luxembourg (dpa) EU foreign ministers have approved a training mission for Ukraine’s armed forces and the release of a further 500 million euros for arms deliveries. Under the plans, a total of 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers are to be trained in Germany and other EU countries, according to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. The aim is to provide the country with the best possible support. The mission is scheduled to last two years. With the additional 500 million euros, the EU intends to provide above all weapons, but also equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces.

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16.10.2022: Klitschko brothers receive award for civil courage

Düsseldorf (dpa) - The Düsseldorf-based Heinrich Heine Kreis association is presenting the Klitschko brothers with this year’s award for civil courage. “Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko exhibit their commitment to civil society in literal brotherhood, acting courageously together to uphold the daily life of people in Ukraine, regardless of the danger to their own lives,” the board said, explaining its choice. The two former world boxing champions will receive the honour on 25 October in Düsseldorf. Because of the war in Ukraine, however, the mayor of Kyiv and his older brother will not accept the 25,000 euro award in person. It will be presented to the consul general of Ukraine in Düsseldorf, Iryna Shum, on their behalf. The laudation will be given by Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the Defence Committee of the German Bundestag. The money is intended to support the transport of humanitarian aid from Düsseldorf to Kyiv.

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15.10.2022: Germany to train Ukrainian soldiers

Brussels (dpa) - EU states have agreed on a training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces. The Committee of Permanent Representatives of the 27 member states unanimously approved plans that include training programmes for around 15,000 soldiers, as several diplomats confirmed to the German Press Agency. Formal confirmation is to follow on Monday at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

To minimise the risk of Russia attacking the training mission, training will be organised not in Ukraine but in countries such as Poland and Germany. German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht had recently said that Germany would make a significant contribution to the mission. According to EU sources, the Bundeswehr is to train up to 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the coming months. 

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14.10.2022: Europeans plan to expand air defence

Brussels (dpa) – Against the backdrop of massive Russian air attacks on residential areas and infrastructure in Ukraine, Germany and 14 other states have launched a project to improve European air defence. In addition, the Nato states want to increase their own ammunition and equipment stocks and strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure. On the fringes of a Nato meeting in Brussels on Thursday, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht signed a declaration with colleagues on the so-called European Sky Shield Initiative. This is intended to help close existing gaps in the current Nato protection umbrella for Europe through the procurement of new weapons systems.

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13.10.2022: Baerbock: Putin will never get away with this breach of international law

New York (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock welcomes the UN General Assembly’s vote to condemn Russia’s annexations in Ukraine, which violate international law. She said that when Russia invaded the neighbouring country eight months ago, it thought the world would look the other way. “With 143 votes in favour, the international community has made it clear: Putin will never get away with this breach of international law,” the Green politician wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning. The resolution passed on Wednesday condemns Russia’s annexation and declares it invalid. It also calls on the Kremlin to reverse the annexation of the partially occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. During the night, 143 of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly in New York voted surprisingly clearly in favour of a resolution to this effect – 5 countries voted against, 35 abstained. Only Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria voted together with Russia.

12.10.2022: German air defence system arrives in Ukraine

Kyiv/Berlin (dpa) - Shortly after Russia’s latest missile attacks on dozens of Ukrainian cities, Germany has handed over the Iris-T SLM air defence system to the country, announced Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Twitter, declaring that “(a) new era of air defence” has now begun. Germany will initially provide Kyiv with four of the ground-based Iris-T type systems, each costing 140 million euros, while funding is already secured for three more. The system consists of several components: a radar system, command post and three truck-mounted missile launchers. One of these systems can protect a medium-sized city.

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11.10.2022: Baerbock: Rapid strengthening of Ukrainian air defences

Berlin (dpa) - Following the Russian missile attacks on major Ukrainian cities, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has promised Kyiv rapid help with air defence. “We are doing everything we can to rapidly strengthen Ukraine’s air defence,” the Green politician wrote on Twitter on Monday. Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) had previously reiterated the announcement she had made a week and a half ago in Odessa: “In the next few days, the first of four state-of-the-art Iris-T SLM air defence systems will be ready to provide effective protection for the people of Ukraine.”

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10.10.2022: Scholz talks to Biden on the phone

Berlin/Washington (dpa) – Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden have again condemned Russia’s annexation of territories in Ukraine. In their telephone conversation on Sunday, Scholz and Biden also criticised Moscow’s “recent nuclear threats as irresponsible” and agreed that the use of such weapons would have “extremely serious consequences for Russia,” announced German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit. According to Hebestreit, Biden and Scholz also condemned the acts of sabotage on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, saying that targeted disruptions of critical infrastructure were unacceptable and would result in united responses.

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09.10.2022: More than one million refugees from Ukraine registered

Berlin (dpa) - More than one million refugees from Ukraine have now been registered in Germany. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser gave the news portal T-Online the figure of 1,002,763. “We have saved the lives of many women and children from Ukraine,” the politician said. “We have handled this huge challenge well so far.”

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08.10.2022: Baerbock calls for clear signal against Putin in UN

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for a clear condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories in the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). After talks with her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Berlin, she said on Friday that the world had become less safe for every country as a result of Russia’s blatant breach of the UN Charter. She went on to say that every vote on a resolution on the illegal annexation will count in the General Assembly next week, “to make it clear to Russia that these territories belong to Ukraine.”

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07.10.2022: Baerbock praises willingness of Germans to help

In an interview with the regional newspaper “Kölnische Rundschau”, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has praised the great willingness of people to help refugees from Ukraine. “I am grateful during these times to be the foreign minister of a country that has opened its living rooms, its schools, its businesses and its hospitals to more than 465,000 women and 350,000 children from Ukraine,” she said verbatim.

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06.10.2022: EU states launch new package of sanctions against Russia

Brussels (dpa) - The EU states have launched an eighth package of sanctions against Russia. As diplomats confirmed to the German Press Agency in Brussels, the permanent representatives of the member states approved among other things the legal requirements for a price cap on oil imports from Russia that is supported by the G7 states. The agreement still has to be confirmed in writing by the capitals, which should be done by Thursday morning. The agreement in principle on the new sanctions includes various export bans affecting certain key technologies for aviation, for example. In addition, there is to be an import ban on certain types of steel from Russia. EU citizens will also be prohibited from taking seats on the management boards of Russian state-owned companies.

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04.10.2022: Baerbock assures Poland and Eastern Europe of German support

Warsaw (dpa) - During her visit to Poland, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has paid tribute to Poland’s achievements with respect to German reunification. At the same time, she assured Poland and all of Central and Eastern Europe of support in the face of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. At a celebration of German Unity Day at the German embassy in the Polish capital, Baerbock said on Monday evening: “We will be there for you, just as you were there for us when we needed you most.” Eastern Europe’s security is Germany’s security, she added, declaring “You can count on that”. 3 October commemorates German unification in 1990, barely a year after the peaceful revolution in East Germany in the autumn of 1989. Poles had overcome the communist regime with protests in the 1980s, ushering in a new era in Eastern Europe.

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02.10.2022: Lambrecht in Odessa: Modern air defence system will be delivered quickly

Odessa (dpa) - During a visit to Odessa, Germany’s Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has promised Ukraine that the state-of-the-art Iris-T SLM air defence system will be delivered within a matter of days. On Saturday afternoon, Lambrecht herself had to temporarily seek refuge in a bunker when an air-raid warning was sounded. Lambrecht said it was important to “continue to support Ukrainian air defence with Iris-T, this state-of-the-art new system. But also with defence drones”.

The defence minister had announced at a meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiy Reznikov that the system should arrive in a few days’ time to support Ukraine’s campaign to repel Russia. Lambrecht had arrived in Ukraine on Saturday afternoon for a first visit since the start of the Russian war of aggression a good seven months ago, a trip that had been kept secret until the evening for security reasons.

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01.10.2022: Germany condemns annexation of Ukrainian regions

Berlin/Moscow (dpa) - Germany has strongly condemned the annexation of four regions in Ukraine by Russia. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on ARD television that it was “absolutely clear that no country in this world can really accept this brutal breach of the UN Charter”. The EU, the G7 states and Nato also condemned Russia’s actions. The G7 group of leading industrialised countries, which includes Germany, described the annexation as “a new low in Russia’s blatant disregard for international law”. The leaders of the EU states declared: “These decisions are null and void and cannot have any legal effect.” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also condemned the sham referendums and annexations.

Russia had organised sham referendums in the four regions that allegedly saw the population vote to join Russia. These so-called referendums were not recognised worldwide either, and were condemned as undemocratic as well as contrary to international law. Following the conclusion of these referendums, Russia annexed the four regions in the east and south of the country.

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30.09.2022: Baerbock condemns sham referendums 

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has strongly condemned the sham referendums in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine. At a conference of the Advisory Board to the Federal Government for Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, the politician criticised that people were being taken “from their homes and workplaces under threats and sometimes even at gunpoint and forced to cast their vote and put their ballot paper in a glass ballot box”. “This is the opposite of free and fair elections,” she added.

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29.09.2022: Zelenskiy asks Scholz for more weapons and tougher sanctions

Kyiv (dpa) - In a telephone conversation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for further arms deliveries and for the planned eighth EU sanctions package against Moscow to be tightened. According to Zelenskiy, the two leaders also discussed the alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline and the sham referendums. In his daily video address after the phone call, Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that Ukraine would not resign itself to any territorial losses and would recapture its territory.

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27.09.2022: Berlin wants new sanctions against Russia

Brussels (dpa) - Berlin wants no more EU citizens to be at the helm of Russian state-owned companies. This emerges from a proposal for new sanctions against Russia seen by the German Press Agency in Brussels. In the paper, the German government also urges that a global price cap be implemented on oil imports from Russia, which the G7 countries of economically strong democracies are already pushing for, and that cooperation with Russian companies in the field of nuclear energy be prohibited. According to the proposals, the sale of real estate in the EU to Russians is also to be forbidden. In addition, further persons are to be subject to EU entry bans and their assets in the European Union frozen. The EU Commission is now drawing up a package of sanctions that the ambassadors of the EU states could discuss on Wednesday.

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24.09.2022: G7 condemns Russian sham referendums

Berlin (dpa) - Leaders of the seven leading democratic economic powers (G7) have strongly condemned the sham referendums in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine, declaring that the votes served as a “phony pretext” for changing the status of sovereign Ukrainian territory that had fallen victim to Russian aggression. “These actions clearly breach the United Nations Charter and international law.” The G7 includes Germany, the US, Canada, France, the UK, Italy and Japan. Voting in four Ukrainian regions had begun on Friday. Immediately after the announcement of the sham referendums, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had made it clear that Germany would not accept them.

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23.09.2022: Foreign minister praises courage of demonstrators in Russia

New York (dpa)- Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has praised the courage of the people demonstrating in Russia against the partial mobilisation announced by President Vladimir Putin. On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, the minister said that after Putin’s announcements it was now “clear to everyone in Russia: Russia is waging war against its neighbour and this will affect everyone in Russia”. In a UN Security Council meeting, Baerbock called on Putin to stop the war of aggression against Ukraine. In a debate on whether to admit conscientious objectors and deserters to Germany, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser told German Sunday newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”: “As a rule, deserters threatened by severe repression receive international protection in Germany.” She explained that those who courageously opposed President Vladimir Putin’s regime and thereby put themselves in the greatest danger could apply for asylum in Germany on the grounds of political persecution, but that the granting of asylum was a case-by-case decision that would also involve a security check.

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22.09.2022: EU announces new sanctions against Russia

New York (dpa) - The EU is planning to impose further sanctions on Russia in response to its partial mobilisation in the war against Ukraine. “It is clear that Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine,” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said after a special meeting of EU foreign ministers, including German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“We will implement new restrictive measures on both a personal and a sectoral level,” Borrel said, explaining that this should be done in coordination with international partners. The punitive measures would have further implications for the Russian economy, such as the technology sector. In addition, Borrell said that Ukraine should receive more weapons.

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21.09.2022: Baerbock: Russia is mocking Ukraine with sham referendums

New York (dpa)- Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has condemned the referendums on joining Russia that have been announced in several Ukrainian regions as a “mockery” of Ukraine and the United Nations. The renewed provocation should not deter us from supporting Ukraine for fear of a further escalation of the conflict, Baerbock said on ARD’s “Tagesthemen” TV news programme. The minister made her comments from New York, where she is attending the 77th General Debate of the UN General Assembly. She said that the international community would make it clear “that we can never accept a so-called referendum at gunpoint”. The fact that the referendums had been announced at the start of the UN General Assembly of all times showed “the extent to which the Russian president is riding roughshod over the United Nations, over international law, and in fact over all the other states of this world”.

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20.09.2022: About 2,700 Ukrainian teachers and assistants at schools

Berlin (dpa) - About 2,700 teachers and assistants from Ukraine are now employed at schools in Germany. This is the result of a survey of the ministries of education and schools of Germany’s federal states that was conducted by the German Press Agency. Across Germany, around 180,000 Ukrainian pupils are enrolled in schools. In order to attract teachers, the federal states have set up websites where Ukrainians can obtain information and apply. The types of employment vary and depend, among other things, on the applicant’s qualifications, on whether their degrees are recognised, and on their knowledge of German.

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18.09.2022: No Western battle tanks, but howitzers for Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht are not willing to supply Western-designed battle tanks to Ukraine, despite increasingly loud demands for them to do so. “We will not go it alone in anything we do,” Scholz told Deutschlandfunk radio. The SPD politician emphasised the support already provided, saying that it was precisely the weapons that Germany had supplied that had “made the difference and made possible the successes, the current successes, that Ukraine is achieving”. Scholz added that that was why “it makes sense for us to continue that”.

Lambrecht also reiterated Germany’s support for Ukraine. Following the discovery of hundreds of corpses in the Ukrainian city of Izium, she demanded that possible war crimes be investigated –“ideally by the United Nations”. She believes that the UN should be given access as soon as possible so that evidence could be secured. “Those responsible for war crimes must be brought to justice.”

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17.09.2022: Baerbock reaffirms cohesion of democracies

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has reaffirmed the cohesion of democracies in view of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. At a meeting with Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, she said: “The Ukrainians have proven that democracy is stronger than a dictatorship”. Baerbock stressed: “Democracies support each other,” adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aim had been to destroy democracy itself, but that the war had already shown that he would not succeed.

One reason for Pelosi’s visit to Berlin was to attend a meeting of the parliamentary presidents of the G7 states and the European Parliament. Germany currently holds the presidency of the G7 group, which also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and the UK.

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16.09.2022: Award for Ukrainian people

Potsdam (dpa) - The Ukrainian people have been awarded the M100 Media Award in Germany. On their behalf, former world boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko accepted the award in Potsdam on Thursday. In bestowing the award, the organisers paid tribute to the way in which the Ukrainian people have been defending themselves “for months with iron steadfastness against Russia’s brutal invasion” and defending their freedom and sovereignty on European soil. Klitschko stressed how important Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression is for the Western world: “We are fighting for everyone here, and for everyone in the so-called free world,” he said after the award ceremony. Klitschko’s brother Vitali is mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

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15.09.2022: Estonia and Germany send second field hospital

Tallinn (dpa)- Estonia, in cooperation with Germany, has sent another field hospital to Ukraine to help in the fight against Russia. According to Estonian sources, Germany provided around 7.7 million euros to support the project. As the Centre for Defence Investment in Tallinn reports, the mobile field hospital consists, among other things, of eight special medical containers and several tents. In March, Estonia and Germany had already supplied Ukraine with a hospital manufactured in a joint initiative. According to Estonian sources, almost 2,000 people with injuries of varying severity have received medical care there so far.

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14.09.2022: Scholz urges Russia to withdraw

Berlin/Moscow (dpa)- For the first time in several months, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the 90-minute conversation on Tuesday, Scholz urged that a diplomatic solution to the Russian war in Ukraine be found as quickly as possible, based on a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of Russian troops and respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit announced. “The chancellor emphasised that any further Russian annexation steps would not go unanswered and would not be recognised under any circumstances.”

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13.09.2022: Around 111,000 refugees taking integration courses

Munich (dpa)- More than 111,000 people from Ukraine have enrolled in an integration course in Germany since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against their home country. The number of places in the courses has doubled in the past five months, announced the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BaMF). “It is important to learn German in order to better find one’s way in the new environment and to be able to cope with everyday life,” explained BaMF President Hans-Eckhard Sommer. More than 90 percent of the Ukrainian course participants attended a general integration course, which consists mainly of language tuition.

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11.09.2022: German Foreign Minister Baerbock promises further assistance

Kyiv (dpa) - During a visit to Ukraine, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has promised the country further assistance with removing mines in former combat zones. At a meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, she also discussed further arms deliveries. “After all, we have been supplying heavy weapons for some time now. And we can see that these heavy weapons also make a difference in terms of support for Ukraine,” Baerbock stressed. Specifically, Baerbock mentioned multiple rocket launchers, self-propelled howitzers and Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, saying that Germany would deliver ten more of the latter as soon as possible. The foreign minister also promised heavy equipment for bridge building and winter equipment. In addition, Baerbock called for the complete Russian withdrawal from the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin, in occupying the nuclear power plant, was exposing the entire region to the danger of a nuclear incident. 

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10.09.2022: More than 172,000 Ukrainian children at German schools

Berlin (Ed.) - The number of Ukrainian pupils at German schools has continued to rise. The country’s federal states registered 172,787 children and young people from Ukraine at schools in the 35th calendar week, as the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) announced in Berlin. The numbers of pupils reported by the KMK relate to schools providing both general and vocational education. 

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09.09.2022: Germany and the Netherlands intend to train Ukrainians in mine clearance

Ramstein (dpa) - Germany and the Netherlands intend to support Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, by also training soldiers in mine detection, mine clearance and booby-trap removal. This was announced on Thursday by Defence Ministers Christine Lambrecht and Kajsa Ollongren at the US military base in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had invited the members of the so-called Ukraine Contact Group to Ramstein. Defence ministers and senior military officers from more than 50 countries took part in the conference.

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08.09.2022: Scholz calls Zelenskiy

Berlin (dpa) - During a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised Ukraine further assistance. According to a statement by German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit, the chancellor stressed during the conversation that Germany would not cease to provide military, political, financial or humanitarian support to Ukraine. In a tweet posted after the phone call, Zelenskiy wrote that he had thanked Scholz for confirming EU financial aid for Ukraine to the tune of five billion euros.

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07.09.2022: Scholz favours “division of labour” in arms deliveries

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Olaf Scholz believes that Germany’s primary role in supporting Ukraine with heavy weapons is to supply air defence systems and artillery. When asked in an interview with German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Wednesday) about his stance on Ukraine’s request for German Leopard-2 battle tanks, the SPD politician responded that a “certain division of labour” made sense when it came to military support. Scholz did not unequivocally rule out the delivery of battle tanks. The chancellor explained that the supply of weapons was being closely coordinated with Germany’s allies, and above all with the USA. So far, no Nato country has supplied modern Western battle tanks to Ukraine.

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06.09.2022: Greens plan to campaign for nuclear power reserve

Berlin (dpa) - Following German Economics Minister Robert Habeck’s proposal of a nuclear power reserve, his party’s leadership plans to support the project at the grassroots level. The decision would ensure the necessary security of supply in a worst-case scenario, said co-leader Omid Nouripour. “At the same time, the decision shows that Putin’s war is forcing us to find solutions that we could not have foreseen.” Habeck wants to be able to use two of the three remaining German nuclear power plants until April in case of power shortages. To this end, the Green politician wants to keep Isar 2 in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim in Baden-Württemberg on standby until mid-April 2023.

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05.09.2022: Weapons worth more than 700 million euros promised

Berlin (dpa) - The German government has so far promised Ukraine weapons worth more than 700 million euros, most of which have already been delivered – including some heavy weaponry: ten self-propelled heavy artillery systems of the type howitzer 2000, 15 anti-aircraft tanks, three multiple rocket launchers and three armoured recovery vehicles. That said, Germany is reluctant to supply battle tanks. However, no other Nato state has delivered Western-designed battle tanks to Ukraine so far either.

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04.09.2022: Germany provides 200 million euros for internally displaced persons 

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has pledged further financial aid to Ukraine ahead of the visit to Berlin of the country’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal. “The lion’s share of our new aid, 200 million euros, will go to a Ukrainian government programme to support internally displaced persons,” Schulze said in an interview. “The money is to help ensure that displaced people in Ukraine can continue to obtain basic necessities such as housing, heat, clothing and medicine.” 

Shmyhal holds talks with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Minister Schulze in Berlin on Sunday.

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03.09.2022: New Ukrainian ambassador to Germany

Berlin - According to media reports, Ukraine’s new ambassador to Germany has now been officially decided. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has granted the so-called agrément to Oleksii Makeiev, as reported by the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. He is thus considered the ambassador- designate. He will replace the current ambassador Andrij Melnyk and is to take up his post on 15 October. According to the report, the 46-year-old diplomat studied international relations at the state university in Kyiv and already entered the diplomatic service at the age of 21. Makeiev reportedly speaks fluent German and has already worked as a diplomat in Berlin.

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02.09.2022: Ukrainian head of government coming to Berlin

Kyiv/Berlin (dpa) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is expected in Berlin on Saturday. On Sunday, he will be received by Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Chancellery. He is the highest-ranking Ukrainian politician to visit Berlin since the Russian war of aggression began a good six months ago. Before his visit, he once again demanded battle tanks from the German government to repel the Russian attackers. After initial hesitation, Germany has supplied Ukraine with some heavy weapons in recent months. The direct delivery of battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles remains a taboo for Scholz, however.

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01.09.2022: Baerbock: Sanctions against Russia will remain in winter

Prague (dpa) - High energy prices in autumn and winter will not lead to sanctions against Russia being lifted, according to Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “We will stand by Ukraine, and that means that the sanctions will remain in place even in winter,” the Green politician said at a panel discussion in Prague on Wednesday.

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31.08.2022: Ukraine’s culture minister on visit to Germany

Berlin (dpa) - In search of support for his country’s cultural scene, which has been affected by the consequences of the war, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko is on a visit to Germany. In Berlin, he met with Claudia Roth, the minister of state for culture, and Katja Keul, the minister of state responsible for cultural policy at the Federal Foreign Office. For Tkachenko, preserving Ukrainian cultural heritage sites was the priority: “they must be secured, especially before winter”. He said that Ukrainian artists, 80 percent of whom remain in the country, also needed support. Keul assured Ukraine of further “unrestricted” support. “We have topped up various programmes specifically for Ukraine.” She explained that the talks with Tkachenko were also about finding out what more Germany could do.

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30.08.2022: Ring exchange: Czech Republic to receive German Leopard tanks

Prague (dpa) - The Czech Republic is to receive 14 German Leopard 2 main battle tanks and one Büffel armoured recovery vehicle as compensation for Soviet-built T72 tanks delivered to Ukraine. This was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Prague on Monday after a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. This is the second ring exchange of tanks to support the Ukrainian armed forces, after a similar agreement was concluded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence with Slovakia last week.

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29.08.2022: Scholz gives speech on Europe at Prague’s Charles University

Prague (dpa) - During his first visit as German chancellor to the neighbouring Czech Republic, Olaf Scholz (SPD) will give a keynote speech on European policy in the capital Prague on Monday. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in advance that the speech would focus on the “effects on the European Union of the turning point in history”. At the end of February, Scholz had described Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the resulting realignment of German foreign and security policy as a “turning point in history”. Scholz will give his 60-minute speech on Europe in the Karolinum, the historic main building of Charles University, which was founded in 1348 and is one of the oldest universities in Europe. The speech will see Scholz position himself comprehensively in European policy for the first time.

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28.08.2022: Baerbock ready to compromise on entry restrictions for Russians

Copenhagen (dpa) - In the debate on restricting the rights of Russian tourists to enter the EU, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has signalled a willingness to compromise. At a joint press conference with her Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod in Copenhagen, Baerbock said that the Chancellery and the Federal Foreign Office were in agreement that “we will together find a solution in Europe that reconciles everyone’s legitimate concerns”. However, Baerbock also said that it was important to her “that in this situation of a brutal war of aggression we should not abandon 140 million people in Russia forever, and above all, that we should not view them as being guilty by association”. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – three of the EU countries bordering Russia – have already restricted the entry of Russian tourists, as has the Czech Republic. Finland plans to follow suit in September. Other countries such as Poland are also in favour of restricting visas. Baerbock will negotiate a compromise with the foreign ministers of the other EU countries next week in Prague.

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27.08.2022: Germany supports Ukrainian call for investigation in Zaporizhzhia

Kiev/Moscow (dpa) – After an emergency at the nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia, which the Russian military has occupied, Ukraine is urgently demanding the situation be investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA. On Friday, the German government also called for this, stating that the situation at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was very dangerous. According to Russia, an IAEA mission could begin next week. Whether there is any substance to this announcement remains unclear.

Berlin also condemned the Russian attack on a Ukrainian passenger train in the village of Chaplyne on Wednesday and appealed to Moscow to desist from attacks on civilian targets. “We’re shocked given the large number of civilian casualties, including several children,” said Federal government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit in Berlin. “Dozens more people were injured, some seriously.” He insisted that those responsible must be held to account.

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26.08.2022: Ukrainian head of government coming to Berlin

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal will be received by Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for talks at Bellevue Palace on 4 September, the Office of the Federal President announced. The relationship between Steinmeier and the political leadership in Kyiv was considered strained. In his former positions as foreign minister and Chancellery minister, the current federal president had played a major role in shaping Germany’s policy towards Russia.

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25.08.2022: Scholz visits training programme for Ukrainian soldiers

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit a training programme for Ukrainian soldiers on Thursday that teaches them how to operate the Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. The SPD politician will talk to the Ukrainian soldiers and to instructors from the manufacturing company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann at the Putlos military training area on the Baltic Sea coast in Schleswig-Holstein. According to the German government, the training programme is part of the German-financed delivery of 30 Gepard tanks to Ukraine.

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24.08.2022

24.08.2022: “Tagesthemen” live from Kyiv on Wednesday

Hamburg/Kyiv (dpa) - This Wednesday marks half a year since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine. This Wednesday evening, ARD’s “Tagesthemen” news programme will therefore be broadcast live from Kyiv, featuring a report on Ukraine hosted by Caren Miosga and starting at 10.15 pm. Miosga described 24 August as a special day because the war of aggression has already lasted six months and it is also the day on which Ukraine celebrates its independence from the Soviet Union (24 August 1991). Meanwhile, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has expressed his “greatest respect” to Ukraine for its fight for freedom against Russia. “You will not let your country, your lives or your freedom be taken from you. You know that Germany and Europe stand by your side in this.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced tangible aid and further arms deliveries.

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23.08.2022: Integration Commissioner gives positive assessment

Berlin (dpa) - In the view of Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Integration, the admission and integration of war refugees from Ukraine has worked well so far and should therefore serve as a model. The SPD politician Reem Alabali-Radovan said that the new arrivals had generally got off to a good start, being given immediate access to the labour market and integration courses, as well as to benefits on a one-stop shop basis from the job centres. “This should be the blueprint for our migration and integration policy so that we can be a cutting-edge country of immigration and integration.”

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22.08.2022: Exports to Russia continue to decline

Wiesbaden (dpa) - German industry’s exports to Russia continued to decline in July. Compared to the same month last year, the value of deliveries dropped by 56 percent to 1.0 billion euros, as the Federal Statistical Office reported on Monday. Since the attack on Ukraine, the Russian Federation has thus fallen from fifth place (February 2022) to twelfth place in the list of German export markets.

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21.08.2022: Scholz and Habeck to visit Canada

Berlin/Montreal (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) will travel to Canada together on Sunday. The main goal of the visit is to deepen cooperation between the two countries in the climate and energy sector against the backdrop of the Russian war against Ukraine. However, the talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also focus on political, economic and military support for Ukraine. Covering an area of almost one million square kilometres, Canada is the second-largest country in the world after Russia, but is comparatively sparsely populated with about 37 million inhabitants. The country is one of Germany’s partners in the G7 group of economically strong democracies and in Nato.

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20.08.2022: Gazprom suspends delivery – Ukraine offers pipelines as a replacement

Kyiv (dpa) – As Russian gas supplies via the Baltic Sea are about to be interrupted for a short period, Ukraine is offering its pipelines as a replacement. “The capacities of the Ukrainian gas transmission system and the route through Poland are more than sufficient to ensure that the contractual obligations to supply Russian gas to European countries can be met.” This was announced by the operator of the Ukrainian gas pipeline network in Kyiv on Friday evening.

The alternative route is the obvious choice “in view of the chronic interruptions to the operation of Nord Stream 1”. The Russian gas company Gazprom had announced on Friday that it would suspend the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline for maintenance work from August 31 to September 2. Only 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity is currently being used in any case.

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19.08.2022: DFB launches programme for refugees

The German Football Association (DFB) is launching a programme for refugee women, children and young adults from Ukraine. In cooperation with the Federal Government Commissioner for Migrants, Refugees and Integration, the DFB Foundation Egidius Braun is supporting up to 150 football clubs with a lump-sum recognition award of 500 euros each. The clubs can use the funding for example for sportswear, language courses or to make the clubhouse available to refugee families.

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18.08.2022: Scholz: Situation at Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant a cause of “serious concern”

Neuruppin (dpa) - At an interactive session with local citizens, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed “serious concern” about the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The SPD politician said that the Federal government would continue to work to avert a dramatic situation on site. He stated that “a very, very dangerous development could take place there.” Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is occupied by Russian troops and over the last few recent days has been shelled several times. Ukraine claims Russia is responsible for this, and vice versa.

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15.08.2022: 42 states support Ukraine in nuclear power plant dispute

Kyiv (dpa) - Ukraine can count on the broad support of Western states in the dispute over the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. 42 countries and the EU issued a statement in Vienna demanding the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the power plant and a return of control to Ukraine. Artillery shells again struck the town of Enerhodar, which is directly adjacent to the nuclear power plant. For weeks, Ukraine and Russia have been accusing each other of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and thereby risking a nuclear catastrophe. “The stationing of Russian military and weapons at the nuclear facility is unacceptable,” the Vienna statement read. It was signed on behalf of the European Union and its member countries, as well as by states such as the USA, the United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. The statement accuses Russia of violating the safety principles to which all member countries of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have committed themselves.

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14.08.2022: Ten Russian aircraft stuck in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - Almost half a year after EU airspace was closed to aircraft from Russia, ten aircraft owned or controlled by Russians are still being held in Germany. “As the aircraft are subject to a take-off and flight ban due to the EU sanctions regime, they cannot be used by the owner and cannot be moved to another location,” the Federal Ministry of Transport is quoted as saying. The aircraft in question are three Antonov AN-124 transport planes, one Boeing 737 and one Boeing 747, as well as five twin-engine smaller jets. The EU had closed its airspace to Russian aircraft at the end of February.

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13.08.2022: German government concerned about fighting near Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant

Berlin (dpa) - The German government has expressed concern about the ongoing fighting in the area around the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhya. “Of course the Federal Government is concerned,” government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin, explaining that the government had repeatedly made it clear “that we call on all sides to stop this highly dangerous shelling”. The situation around the power plant, which has been occupied by Russian troops since March, has been escalating dangerously for some time, but reports about who is shelling the plant cannot be independently verified.

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12.08.2022: Exports to Russia down significantly

German exports to Russia fell by 34.5 percent to 8.3 billion euros in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year as a result of the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia. Overall, German exports rose by 13.4 percent to 763.9 billion euros in the first half of 2022, as the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden announced on Friday.

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11.08.2022: Championships organisers looking forward to welcoming athletes from Ukraine

Munich (dpa) - The organisers of the European Championships in Munich are looking forward to welcoming numerous athletes from Ukraine. “We are happy to have Ukrainian athletes here in almost all disciplines,” said Olympic Park Managing Director Marion Schöne on the opening day of the European Championships in Munich. By the time the championships end on Sunday week, 177 medals will have been awarded in nine Olympic sports. Around 4,700 athletes will be participating. Athletes from Russia and Belarus are excluded from the European Championships as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The programme in Munich will see the European Championships in athletics, gymnastics, cycling, rowing, canoeing, beach volleyball, table tennis, triathlon and climbing.

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09.08.2022: EU gas emergency plan in force

Brussels (dpa) - The European gas emergency plan to prepare for a possible suspension of Russian natural gas supplies came into force this Tuesday. The plan calls on all EU countries to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent from the beginning of August until March next year, compared to the average consumption of the past five years during this period. According to figures from the EU Commission, a total of 45 billion cubic metres of gas need to be saved. Germany would have to consume about 10 billion cubic metres less gas to reach the 15 percent target. Federal Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck already presented plans for ensuring energy and supply security weeks ago.

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08.08.2022: Stocking up of natural gas making progress

Brussels (dpa) - German gas storage facilities were filled at the highest rate in almost two months last Friday, despite significantly reduced delivery volumes from Russia. As was revealed on Monday by data posted on the internet by European gas storage operators, the average filling level on Saturday morning, when the period defined as the “gas day” began, was 71.99 percent. A new regulation stipulates that German storage facilities must be at least 75 percent full by 1 September.

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07.08.2022: More grain cultivation possible in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - Farmers in Germany will be able to use more land to grow grains given the tight international agricultural markets brought about by the Ukraine war. In line with a compromise proposed by Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, the new EU regulations on set-aside land and crop rotation are to be suspended on a one-off basis in 2023. Brussels had left the implementation of the regulations to the respective EU states.

Özdemir said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was playing with hunger, and that he was doing so at the expense of the poorest in the world. At the same time, he said, hunger is already at its worst where the climate crisis is already having severe consequences. “For me, therefore, any measure taken to resolve one crisis must be checked to ensure that it does not exacerbate another,” the agriculture minister said. Farmers in Germany had offered to ease the grain markets by maintaining production and now knew what they were allowed to sow in a few weeks’ time.

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06.08.2022: 21,000 Ukrainians want to study in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - Around 21,000 Ukrainian school-leavers and students want to attend a university in Germany. Speaking to the newspapers of the Funke-Mediengruppe, Peter-André Alt, President of the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK), stated this in the context of the interest in enrolment expressed by June. In addition, he continued, there were 10,000 students who had fled Ukraine but did not have Ukrainian citizenship. Before the war began, Ukraine was a popular place to study, in particular for young people from poorer countries. “Most Ukrainian refugees have good entrance prerequisites, both formally speaking as regards key documents, and in terms of their qualifications,” Alt said.

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05.08.2022: Number of Ukrainian pupils in Germany reaches 150,000 mark

Berlin (dpa) - A good five months after the start of the Russian war of aggression, the number of pupils from Ukraine enrolled into schools in Germany has exceeded the 150,000 mark. According to the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK), 150,071 refugee children and young people were registered at schools in Germany last week. Summer holidays are now underway in all federal states. Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger expects the number of Ukrainian pupils to continue to rise in the new school year. In total, there are about eleven million pupils in Germany.

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04.08.2022: Scholz says turbine can be delivered at any time

Mülheim an der Ruhr (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has indirectly accused Russia of using pretexts for its failure to supply gas. During a visit to the energy technology company Siemens Energy in Mülheim an der Ruhr, the SPD politician said that the turbine for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was ready for use and could be delivered at any time. The machine is in temporary storage there on its way from Canada to Russia. “The turbine is there, it can be delivered, someone just has to say they want it and it will be there in no time at all,” Scholz stressed. “It is quite clear that nothing, really nothing at all, stands in the way of the further transport of this turbine and its installation in Russia.”

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03.08.2022: German Air Force takes over surveillance of Nato airspace over Baltic states

Ämari (dpa) - The German Armed Forces will monitor the airspace over the Baltic Nato states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for the next nine months. An air force squadron assumed command from France on Tuesday at the Estonian air base in Ämari. Estonia’s Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine had made the Nato mission “even more important”. He said this showed that Estonia could count on the support of all its allies. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have no air forces of their own. Nato therefore secures Baltic airspace from military bases in Ämari (Estonia) and Siauliai (Lithuania). Germany has been participating in the Nato mission since 2005 and has already taken on this job twelve times since then.

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02.08.2022: Özdemir: Alternative routes for grain exports

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir has stressed the need for alternative transport routes to be developed for grain from Ukraine. “What we need are permanent alternatives, not temporary ones,” the Green politician told the “Rheinische Post” newspaper. “I want to convince the EU Commission to push for alternative export routes to be expanded.” Ukraine should not continue to be dependent on Russia in this respect, he added. Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has welcomed the departure of the first grain ship from the port of Odessa since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Baerbock said in New York on Monday that the agreement, achieved with the mediation of the United Nations and Turkey, showed “that even in these brutal times, small gestures of humanity can be made possible”.

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31.07.2022: More than 915,000 Ukrainian war refugees in Germany

Berlin (red) - Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, more than 915,000 war refugees have been registered in Germany's Central Register of Foreigners, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. However, it is unclear how many are still in Germany. Ukrainians can also enter Germany with their travel documents without having to apply to do so. In particular, those who stay with friends or relatives and do not apply for state support are not recorded in the official statistics.

Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, at very short notice Germany has made available large financial resources to drive emergency humanitarian aid. For example, the Federal Foreign Office has provided 430 million euros for humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its neighbours, and 185 million euros has been sourced by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

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30.07.2022: Baerbock hopes for an early tank ring swap with Greece

Berlin (dpa) - With her visit to both Greece and Turkey, German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock seeks to persuade Germany’s NATO partners to close ranks more strongly. “We need unity, we need dialogue, we need level-headed action in what are difficult times,” she said with a view to the war in Ukraine.

The Foreign Minister hopes for an early agreement with Greece on a ring swap to supply Ukraine with more armoured infantry fighting vehicles. “I think we are on the right track in this regard,” she said on Friday after talks with her Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias. Baerbock then travelled on to Turkey where she met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu because Turkey is one of the few countries that may be able to persuade Russia and Ukraine to return to the negotiating table. On Saturday, Baerbock intends, amongst other things, to meet with representatives of the opposition.

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29.07.2022: Berlin to save energy

In response to the war in Ukraine, the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action has decided to save energy and is gradually switching off the night-time illumination of landmarks and buildings. As Senator Bettina Jarasch explains: “In view of the war against Ukraine and Russia’s energy policy threats, it is important that we use our energy as carefully as possible. This applies also and especially to the public sector. That is why we will no longer light up the buildings in Berlin for which we are responsible. We believe this is entirely justifiable in this situation, also by way of making a visible contribution.” The buildings affected include the Victory Column, the Memorial Church, the Red City Hall and Charlottenburg Palace.

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28.07.2022: Baerbock to visit Greece and Turkey

Berlin (dpa) – Thursday will see German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock set off on a three-day trip to Greece and Turkey that will be dominated by the Ukraine war. Baerbock said before her departure that the double visit to the two Nato partners was especially important to her in these difficult times, when Russia is trying to divide the Western alliance. “Never before has there been greater need for cohesion between Nato allies and European partners.” In Athens, the minister will meet Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. In Turkey, she will meet Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu on Friday.

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27.07.2022: Mercedes planning to reduce gas consumption by up to 50 percent

Stuttgart (dpa) - In view of the energy crisis triggered by the Ukraine war, Mercedes-Benz is preparing to reduce its natural gas consumption in Germany by up to 50 percent. The carmaker plans to replace the shortfall with so-called green power from renewable energy sources, announced Group CEO Ola Källenius, adding that the company had already reduced its gas consumption by one tenth. As the carmaker also announced, the paint shop at its large Sindelfingen plant in Swabia could continue to operate without any gas supply in an emergency. Companies in Germany are also preparing themselves for the possibility that Russia may further reduce its gas supplies in response to Western sanctions over the attack on Ukraine.

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26.07.2022: Federal Criminal Police Office strengthens cooperation with Ukraine

Kiev (dpa) - Germany intends to strengthen its cooperation with Ukraine in processing Russian war crimes. The existing cooperation with Bundeskriminalamt (the Federal Criminal Police Office) will now be expanded, said Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser when in Hostomel, outside Kiev. The SPD politician was in Ukraine together with Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil (also SPD). Heil announced Germany would be providing “administrative consultancy capacity and assistance” – for example, for Ukrainians who have lost their jobs due to the war. Furthermore, he continued, Germany wants to help the country along the path to becoming a European Union member and “offer advice on the steps towards adopting European legislation, relating for instance to labour-market and social policy.”

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25.07.2022: Faeser and Heil in Ukraine

Kiev/Irpin (dpa) - Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser and Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil (both SPD) arrived in Ukraine on Monday for a visit. The SPD politicians kicked off their trip by visiting the war-ravaged town of Irpin on Monday morning. The suburb of Kiev, located about 30 kilometres northwest of the capital, has been largely razed to the ground and resembles a ghost town. Around 50,000 people lived here before the Russian war of aggression against its neighbouring country began five months ago. Afterwards, meetings are planned in Kiev with Ukrainian politicians, including Faeser's counterpart Denys Monastyrsky, Civil Defence Chief Serhij Kruk, Deputy Head of Government Head and Economics Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, Social Affairs Minister Oxana Sholnovych and Lord Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko.

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24.07.2022: Poll: Majority in favour of sanctions on Russia even with negative consequences

Berlin (dpa) - The majority of Germans back sanctions against Russia despite possible problems with energy supplies and economic risks. 58 percent support the sanctions in this case, while 33 percent do not, according to the Deutschlandtrend – Germany trend – on ARD’s “Morgenmagazin” TV programme. A temporary speed limit on German motorways is being discussed as one energy-saving measure in response to the Ukraine war. 59 percent believe this is the right thing to do, while 38 percent reject the idea.

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23.07.2022: Deutsche Bahn planning “grain bridge” from Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) – German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is planning to use a “grain bridge” to transport grain intended for export from Ukraine to the German ports of Rostock, Hamburg and Brake near Bremerhaven. The network that was set up for the transport of relief supplies will be “reversed”, the logistics subsidiary DB Cargo announced this week. On Friday, Ukraine and Russia, as well as the United Nations and Turkey as mediators, signed an agreement in Istanbul that, according to Ukraine, will allow it to export 20 million tonnes of grain by ship.

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22.07.2022: New energy-saving package presented

Berlin (dpa) - With a new energy-saving package, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck wants to fill up gas storage facilities and oblige private households to take greater responsibility. Given how uncertain Russian supplies are, the aim is to take better precautions for the winter. Germany, the minister says, cannot rely on Russian supplies: “Gas consumption must be further reduced, the storage facilities must be filled up,” said Habeck. The package also involves saving energy in public buildings, businesses and offices, as well as a compulsory “heating check”. Measures are also envisaged to lower energy consumption in homes. The economy minister accused Russia’s President Vladimir Putin of seeking to unsettle people, drive up prices, divide society and weaken support for Ukraine. “We will not bow to this, but will counter it with concentrated and consistent action,” Habeck said.

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21.07.2022: Germany plans to allow Ukraine to postpone debt servicing

Berlin (dpa) - In view of Russia’s war of aggression, Germany and other creditors plan to allow Ukraine to postpone its debt repayments and thereby to support the country financially. According to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany supports a debt moratorium for Ukraine. This is to apply to bilateral debts in the period from 1 August 2022 to 31 December 2023. A planned internationally coordinated debt service suspension is intended to give Ukraine additional financial liquidity. According to the ministry, the so-called bilateral creditor group consists of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and the USA.

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19.07.2022: EU: Another 500 million euros for Ukraine

Brussels (dpa) - Barely five months after the start of the war, the EU wants to provide another 500 million euros to supply weapons and equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces. “Europe stands by Ukraine,” EU Council President Charles Michel said on Monday after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. The new EU funds come from the so-called European Peace Facility – a new EU financial instrument that can be used to strengthen armed forces in partner countries. The new support brings the EU’s military assistance to Kyiv as a result of the war to €2.5 billion.

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18.07.2022: Scholz advocates “geopolitical” EU

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is advocating a stronger and “geopolitical European Union” as a consequence of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In a guest article for German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” published on Sunday afternoon, the SPD politician writes that the EU must close ranks in all areas in which it has so far been divided: “In migration policy, for example, in the development of a European defence, in technological sovereignty and democratic resilience.” He announced that the German government would be making concrete proposals “in the coming months”. Scholz described the EU as the “antithesis to imperialism and autocracy”.

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23.06.2022: Survey: Majority sees relations with Russia as permanently damaged

Berlin (dpa) – The majority of German citizens consider German-Russian relations to be permanently damaged because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Forsa on behalf of the magazine “Internationale Politik”, more than two thirds of the respondents (71 percent) believe that a return to the relations that existed between Moscow and Berlin before the war began is out of the question while Russian President Vladimir Putin is in power.

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22.06.2022: Survey: majority of EU citizens in favour of quicker admission of new countries

Brussels (dpa) - In view of the Ukraine war, a majority of EU citizens believe that the European Union should admit new members more quickly. According to a survey published by the European Parliament on Wednesday, this is the view held by 58 percent of citizens. The EU Commission had recently recommended that Ukraine and Moldova be officially designated as candidates for EU membership. It is up to the governments of the 27 EU states to decide on this. They will discuss the matter at a summit in Brussels starting on Thursday.

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21.06.2022: Baerbock calls for concrete EU accession prospects for Ukraine

Luxembourg (dpa) - A few days before the potentially decisive EU summit, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for concrete EU accession prospects for Ukraine. “It is important now not to proceed simply by the book, but to use this historic moment and make it clear to Ukraine, in terms of its prospects, that it belongs at the heart of the European Union,” the politician said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

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20.06.2022: Habeck’s plan to avert gas crisis

Berlin (dpa) – German Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) intends to take extensive measures to reduce gas consumption in Germany and react to the reduction in Russian supplies. The aim is to avert a serious gas crisis, especially in view of the winter and the beginning of the heating season. In essence, his plan involves the state investing billions to rapidly fill storage facilities, using coal instead of gas to generate electricity, and giving industrial companies incentives to consume less. According to Habeck, the shortfall can still be made up and gas storage facilities are still being refilled, albeit at high prices. Security of supply is currently guaranteed.

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19.06.2022: Scholz wants to offer prospects to Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a video message released for the first time on Saturday that it was now a matter of linking solidarity with Ukraine with prospects for the future. “Many people are fighting for freedom and democracy in Ukraine and want to know that this path will lead to Europe.” He said that Ukraine needed EU candidate status. “This is what we will now talk about in Brussels – already on Thursday. And we will try to secure 27 ‘yes’ votes for a concrete decision, a joint decision of the European Union that will also open up such prospects.”

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18.06.2022: EU Commission recommends candidate country status for Ukraine

Brussels (dpa) - Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova have cleared a first important hurdle on their path to EU membership. On Friday, the EU Commission spoke out in favour of officially designating the two states as candidates for accession to the European Union. “Ukraine deserves a European perspective,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, referring among other things to the country’s “very robust presidential-parliamentary democracy”.

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17.06.2022: Zelenskiy speaks of “historic day” 

Kyiv (dpa) - Following the visit of four European leaders to Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has spoken of a “historic day” for his country. “Ukraine has felt the support of four powerful European states,” the president said in his evening video address on Thursday, adding that Ukraine had never before come closer to the European Union since its independence.

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16.06.2022: Mayor Klitschko pleased about Scholz visit

Kiev (dpa) – Kiev’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko has expressed his delight at German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to the Ukrainian capital. “As mayor, I am happy and proud that the German chancellor is visiting our city together with the French president and the Italian head of government,” Klitschko told Germany’s Bild newspaper. “This is a sign of great support at a time when visiting Kyiv is still a risk given that missiles can continue to strike at any time.” Klitschko told Bild that the visit “has great symbolic significance above all and shows support for Ukraine in times of war. There can only be stability in Europe once Putin finally ends this cruel war against our country.”

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15.06.2022: More than 800 million euros donated to help Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) According to a survey, people in Germany have donated at least 812 million euros since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began at the end of February. This was announced by the German Central Institute for Social Issues in Berlin on Tuesday. In its statement, it said that the amount of money raised for people affected by the war in and from Ukraine was likely to be even higher, as donations had also been collected by many smaller initiatives that were not taken into account in the survey. According to the institute, the money raised so far nominally represents the highest sum of donations collected for a single disaster since the end of the Second World War.

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14.06.2022: G7 science ministers assure Ukraine of support

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - The science ministers of the G7 countries have assured Ukraine of their support. They once again strongly condemned the Russian war of aggression, Germany’s Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger said on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting with her colleagues from the G7 countries in Frankfurt am Main. The Ukrainian Science Minister Serhiy Shkarlet also took part via an online link. “We have promised him our full solidarity in protecting the people who are fleeing to us, in maintaining educational prospects in Ukraine and also in the reconstruction afterwards,” said Stark-Watzinger, adding that the G7 countries wanted to further strengthen research cooperation with Ukraine and give refugee students and researchers prospects in their countries. At the same time, however, they were also keen to offer protection to scientists from Russia who oppose the war and the regime.

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13.06.2022: Nemtsov Foundation honours Zelenskiy

Bonn (dpa) - The foundation named after the murdered Kremlin opponent Boris Nemtsov has paid tribute to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for his courage in fighting for his country’s freedom. The Bonn-based foundation, run by Nemtsov’s daughter Zhanna Nemtsova, made the announcement on Sunday. “There is no doubt that Volodymyr Zelenskiy has shown incredible courage,” Nemtsova told the internet portal Meduza, which is critical of the Kremlin. With her foundation, which was established in Bonn in 2015, Nemtsova annually commemorates the death of her father, who was shot near the Kremlin, with the Prize for Courage.

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12.06.2022: German hospitals admit numerous sick and injured people

(Berlin) - Hospitals in Germany have so far admitted more than 200 sick and injured people from Ukraine. Out of a total of 620 requests for assistance at the European level, Germany has already accepted 220 patients for treatment, a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Health told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland. “More than 50 further patients will soon have been admitted.”

In many cases, the sick and injured from Ukraine are transferred to Germany from Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. The handover is coordinated by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance.

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11.06.2022: Germany launches direct assistance for the severely injured

Lviv (dpa) - German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has launched direct medical assistance for war victims during a visit to Ukraine. The support is to be provided over a long period of time, he announced in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Friday. It will also include prostheses for children and adults who have lost arms or legs in the Russian war of aggression, which has lasted for more than three months now. After meeting with victims and relatives, Lauterbach was impressed by their “unbroken will to live”. War victims are already being flown out to Germany for treatment.Lauterbach was accompanied by doctors and prosthesis specialists. Around 200 surgeons and emergency physicians had offered themselves for deployment in Ukraine, the minister said. Trauma centres for casualties are also planned, as are container workshops for the production of prostheses and the supply of medicine. Ukrainian clinics are to be connected to a telemedical advisory service for the treatment of the severely injured.

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10.06.2022: Germany and Poland intend to help with grain exports

Warsaw (dpa) - Germany and Poland intend to jointly support Ukraine in exporting grain. Germany’s Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir said on Thursday after a meeting in Warsaw that he had discussed with his Polish counterpart Henryk Kowalczyk what concrete help Germany could provide with processing the shipments. Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world. Russia is preventing Ukraine from exporting 20 million tonnes of grain, mainly to North Africa and Asia, with much of it in storage at the port of Odessa. Özdemir condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “cynical game” of using hunger in addition to refugees to exacerbate the crisis. The federal agriculture minister travelled to Ukraine on Friday.

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09.06.2022: Scholz speaks with Zelenskiy about support

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about further German support for Ukraine. In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, they also discussed how grain exports from Ukraine could be shipped by sea, according to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit. The Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports has halted these exports, causing food prices to rise and exacerbating the food crisis in many poor countries, especially in Africa. Scholz also briefed Zelenskiy on his telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin a fortnight ago.

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08.06.2022: Merkel strongly condemns Russian attack on Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly condemned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. “This is a brutal attack that disregards international law and for which there is no excuse,” Merkel said in an interview. The attack was a big mistake on Russia’s part, she said. Merkel also pleaded for military deterrence vis-à-vis Russia to be strengthened: “That’s the only language Putin understands.” The ex-chancellor faced questions from a journalist for the first time since the end of her chancellorship. Olaf Scholz was elected as her successor in December 2021.

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07.06.2022: Minister of State for Culture Roth visits Odessa

Odessa (dpa) – Germany’s Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth has visited the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. She is the first member of the German government to visit the city on the Black Sea since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Odessa has an incredible amount of culture, Roth emphasised. “We want to show that we are there. We want to show how culture is under attack.” She said she wanted to experience in Odessa what the face of war looked like beyond the issue of heavy weapons, adding that humanitarian offers of help still featured too rarely in the debates.

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06.06.2022: Habeck also plans to discuss natural gas in Israel

Berlin (dpa) – When he visits Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck also plans to discuss the development of a new gas field. “We still do not have enough gas if we want to make ourselves independent of Russia,” said the minister for economic affairs and climate action in Berlin on Monday shortly before his departure for Israel. He said that although this would not the central issue during his trip, it would also be discussed. The main focus of his visit will be the expansion of renewable energies. His four-day trip will take Habeck to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be setting off on Monday evening for a four-day trip to Pakistan, Greece and Turkey.

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05.06.2022: Bundestag clears way for Bundeswehr special fund

Berlin (dpa) – The German Bundestag has cleared the way for the special programme of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr announced after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. With the votes of the governing coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP, and the opposition CDU/CSU faction, the parliament voted on Friday for the amendment to the Basic Law that this would require. The money is to be used to purchase better equipment for the armed forces over the next few years. The package is a reaction to the upheavals in the European peace order caused by the Russian war of aggression. Chancellor Olaf Scholz had announced the move himself a few days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The additional investments are also intended to ensure that Germany meets Nato’s two-percent target at least on average, i.e. investing a minimum of two percent of its economic output in defence, over a period of several years.

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04.06.2022: Ukrainian parliamentary speaker in Berlin

Berlin (dpa) - 100 days after the start of the war against Ukraine, Ukraine’s Parliamentary Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk was received in Berlin by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He was also a guest in the German Bundestag on Friday. Stefanchuk told the German Press Agency after his talks with Scholz that he could imagine that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would also visit Germany if the war developed positively for Ukraine. The visit to Germany was the parliamentary speaker’s first trip abroad since the beginning of the war. Probably no other parliamentary speaker before him has ever been given such a high-ranking reception in Berlin. Scholz met the chairman of the Rada, who was dressed in military fatigues, in the Chancellery, while Steinmeier received him at Bellevue Palace. He was greeted with long applause by the plenary of the Bundestag.

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03.06.2022: Baerbock pledges Ukraine long-term support for a life in freedom

Berlin (dpa) - 100 days after the start of the war, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has assured Ukraine of solidarity and also promised support in the form of further weapons. In a guest article for “Bild” newspaper, the Green politician wrote: “We will continue to stand by Ukraine. Until there are no more Buchas. So that something we take so much for granted also becomes normal again for the people in Ukraine: a life in freedom.”

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02.06.2022: Baerbock: “Ukraine must win”

Berlin (dpa) - Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has stated unequivocally that her goal is for Ukraine to win the war against Russia. The Green politician was asked on Wednesday evening on the ZDF TV programme “Markus Lanz” about Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s more cautious formulation that Russia must not be allowed to win the war. “I say that what the chancellor says is true,” Baerbock replied. “Of course Russia must not win this war, it must lose it strategically.” Russia, she said, was breaking international law. “They want to destroy peace in Ukraine. That is why Ukraine must not lose under any circumstances – in other words: Ukraine must win.”

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01.06.2022: Goethe-Institut coordinates help for culture from Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - A new platform is to make it easier for help to be offered to cultural professionals from Ukraine. With this in mind, the Goethe-Institut and the organisation Artists at Risk have set up a coordination and liaison office. The German cultural scene has reacted to the war in Ukraine with great solidarity and numerous offers of help such as scholarships, work residencies or studios, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Goethe-Institut, which acts as Germany’s international ambassador for cultural policy. The offers are to be pooled and “made available in a targeted manner to cultural professionals from Ukraine”. To this end, offers of support from Germany will be centrally recorded. A curatorial team will then provide the institutions with suitable profiles of refugee artists and cultural professionals from Ukraine. According to the website www.goethe.de/ukraine-hilfe, cultural professionals who have fled from Ukraine can also register. “If institutions do not have funds of their own, they can also apply to the Goethe-Institut for financial grants for accommodation or production costs,” the website states. The Goethe-Institut’s support fund is primarily intended for accommodation or production costs. Art and cultural institutions can apply for 2,000 euros per month for two to six months.

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31.05.2022: Oil embargo against Russia

Brussels (dpa) - The EU member states have agreed on a compromise in the dispute over the planned oil embargo against Russia. At Hungary’s insistence, only seaborne Russian oil shipments are to be banned for the time being, as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed early on Tuesday after consultations with the heads of state and government in Brussels. Deliveries by pipeline will continue to be possible for now. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) nevertheless spoke of drastic sanctions against Russia. According to von der Leyen, EU oil imports from Russia will be reduced by about 90 percent by the end of the year, despite the exemption for pipeline deliveries. The explanation for this figure is that Germany and Poland have already made it clear that they do not wish to take advantage of the exemption for pipeline oil.

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30.05.2022: Music show for Ukraine in Berlin

Berlin (dpa) – By staging a show in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, music stars from Ukraine reminded people about the war that has been raging in their homeland for almost 100 days and appealed for donations for hospitals. Around 15,000 spectators came to watch the marathon fundraiser on Sunday evening. Ukrainian TV stations broadcast the charity event live, with stations from other countries also picking it up. Video messages from numerous international celebrities and politicians were shown during the show, including one from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The SPD politician assured the people in Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, of Germany’s solidarity. “We stand with you,” he said in English. “Our hearts and thoughts are with you – today, like every day since Russia attacked your country.” A performance cheered by the live audience was given by this year’s Eurovision Song Contest winners, Kalush Orchestra. They performed their song “Stefania” with which they won the 66th ESC in Turin two weeks ago.

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29.05.2022: Minister Schulze pledges reconstruction aid to Ukraine

Kyiv (dpa) - The German government intends to provide Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, with immediate aid amounting to millions of euros to support its reconstruction efforts. Development Minister Svenja Schulze said in the badly damaged Kyiv suburb of Borodyanka that this could not wait until the war was over, adding that 185 million euros had already been approved for emergency aid measures, especially for housing and power lines. “Ukrainians simply need water and electricity. Those who have fled within Ukraine need a roof over their heads, children need to be able to go back to school, and all of this requires support,” Schulze said.

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28.05.2022: UN supports German aid for refugees from Ukraine

UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe will be providing 900,000 euros to support German projects and initiatives to help refugees from Ukraine. The first special funding in UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe’s history under the “Emergency Aid Ukraine” programme will take the form of one-off grants averaging 20,000 euros for state and municipal refugee councils, psychosocial centres and welfare associations, as well as for independent and regional associations from all parts of Germany. UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe is the German partner of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. (d.de)

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27.05.2022: Great interest in integration

Refugees from Ukraine are showing great interest in integration courses, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. As the newspaper “Welt” reports, more than 80,000 authorisations to participate have already been issued. Of these, around 17,000 people have already started their course. The BAMF expects the numbers to rise sharply in the coming weeks. “We have well-educated participants who are studying with great enthusiasm,” said Benjamin Beckmann, head of the BAMF’s integration course department.

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25.05.2022: Heil: G7 labour markets should offer refugees comprehensive protection

Wolfsburg (dpa) - Refugees from Ukraine should receive the most comprehensive protection possible in the labour markets and social systems of the G7 countries. German Labour Minister Hubertus Heil said after consultations with colleagues in Wolfsburg on Tuesday that it was important to him that all leading Western industrialised countries had committed themselves to this. The goal, he said, was “decent, fair and good” treatment – which could include further steps if necessary or in the case of longer stays. “We want them to be well provided for, also in terms of medical care,” Heil said. “And we will remove any barriers that there are in practice.” He was referring, for example, to the recognition of qualifications, help with childcare or language courses. Heil had agreed that many war refugees might stay longer in Germany and look for permanent jobs. This had now also been discussed within the G7 framework, he said.

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24.05.2022: Lindenberg goes on tour with peace song

Schwerin (dpa) - Udo Lindenberg is to tour Germany again for the first time after two years of the coronavirus pandemic. “Udopium Live 2022” starts on Tuesday evening in Schwerin. Lindenberg fans can look forward to many new songs, as well as some old favourites. Against the backdrop of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the dedicated rock star will also sing his roughly 40-year-old peace ballad “Wozu sind Kriege da” (i.e. What are wars for). Lindenberg, who also paints, recently auctioned off eight large banners with anti-war motifs for almost 40,000 euros. The proceeds will go to Unicef emergency aid for children in Ukraine.

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23.05.2022: Habeck in favour of a united European oil embargo against Russia

Berlin (dpa) - Ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck has spoken out in favour of an oil embargo against Russia jointly supported by the European Union. The negotiations should be led by the European Commission, the Green politician said on Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday. He spoke of concerted action in which the European Union must lead the way.

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22.05.2022: Fundraising for Ukraine

Frankfurt (d.de) – The willingness of people in Germany to donate money for the victims of the Ukraine war continues unabated. Large numbers of solidarity events and bazaars take place all over the country, especially at weekends. For example, the German Association of Vietnamese Refugees collects donations at church services, German and Ukrainian choirs sing at a benefit concert in Leipzig, a radio presenter from the Hessischer Rundfunk broadcasting corporation plays music on request in exchange for a donation, and primary school pupils in Dernbach take part in a sponsored fun run on the sports field. It is difficult to calculate exactly how much has been raised, but experts suspect that it is significantly in excess of 750 million euros.

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21.05.2022: Defence minister announces further support for Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - In talks with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiy Reznikov, Germany’s Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has announced further aid for Ukraine. Ukraine will receive the first 15 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns from German industry stocks in July 2022. The package also includes training support from the Bundeswehr, the provision of almost 60,000 rounds of ammunition and a delivery of a further 15 anti-aircraft guns before the end of the summer. 

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20.05.2022: Germany to provide Ukraine with around one billion euros in budget support

Königswinter (dpa) - Germany plans to help Ukraine by providing short-term budget support of around one billion euros. This was announced by German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) on Thursday at the meeting of G7 finance ministers on the Petersberg near Bonn. The money is to help close the war-torn country’s liquidity gap. According to information from the Finance Ministry, Ukraine has requested monthly aid of around 5 billion euros for a period of three months. Ukraine needs the money to pay the salaries of state employees, for example. The billion euros from Germany is intended as a grant, not a loan, Lindner said.

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19.05.2022: Baerbock: Russia is using hunger as a weapon of war

New York (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has accused Russia of using the blockade of grain exports from Ukraine as a weapon of war. “By blockading Ukrainian ports and by destroying silos, roads and railways, and especially farmers’ fields, Russia has launched a grain war that is fuelling a global food crisis,” Baerbock said during a meeting of foreign ministers at the United Nations in New York. According to the German government, Russia is preventing Ukraine from exporting 20 million tonnes of grain, mainly to North Africa and Asia, much of it at the port of Odessa. Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world.

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18.05.2022: Zelenskiy: Phone call with Scholz “fairly productive”

Kiev (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The latter described the conversation as “fairly productive.” As Zelenskiy announced in his daily video address on Wednesday night, military support for Ukraine was discussed, among other things. The president said that he had briefed Scholz on the current military situation and its possible future development.

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17.05.2022: Photo exhibition on “Ukraine: the price of freedom” in the Bundestag

“Ukraine: the price of freedom”, a photo exhibition by the Ukrainian Embassy in Berlin about Ukraine’s current situation in the war, is being shown in the German Bundestag until 20 May 2022. Photographs depict the pain and suffering of peaceful people as well as the once beautiful and prosperous Ukrainian cities that have now been destroyed.

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16.05.2022: Education minister wants to give Ukrainian pupils the chance to graduate

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) wants to enable all Ukrainian pupils who are about to take their final school exams to do so in Germany. She told the newspaper “taz am wochenende”: “I would like all pupils who are about to take their final school exams to be able to do so in Germany. After all, this is a basic requirement for beginning vocational training or university studies. We should definitely make that possible for them.” She added that she was engaged in talks to this end with her Ukrainian counterparts and Germany’s federal states, though she admitted that many details still needed to be clarified – such as who should coordinate and give the final examinations. The idea is for the Ukrainian pupils to take the same exams they would have at home.

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15.05.2022: Faeser: Still a great willingness to help

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has noted a slowing in the influx of war refugees from Ukraine. “Currently, only about 2,000 refugees from Ukraine are arriving in Germany each day. In mid-March, there were still 15,000 people a day,” Faeser told the “Rheinische Post” newspaper. She said that 20,000 refugees a day were also returning to their country via the Polish-Ukrainian border, including some from Germany. Nevertheless, a considerable humanitarian effort is still needed to provide the best possible care for the women, children and elderly who have fled, Faeser stressed. In her view, there is still a great willingness to help in Germany. “The refugees receive a very good reception here – there has been no change in sentiment.” 

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13.05.2022: Lauterbach: Support to maintain healthcare in Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has promised Ukraine further German support to maintain medical care during the war. As the SPD politician announced on Twitter on Thursday following a video conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, this is mainly a question of establishing trauma centres for burn victims and providing prosthetics. Lauterbach stressed that Ukraine needed not only heavy weapons, “but also our solidarity to provide the population with medical care.”

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12.05.2022: Bundeswehr flies war-wounded Ukrainians to Germany

Berlin (dpa) -  Germany’s Bundeswehr is running another evacuation flight to transport war-wounded Ukrainians from Poland to Germany. The Air Force’s special A310 MedEvac aircraft took off from Cologne on Thursday morning. After picking up the casualties in Poland, the plane was to land later in Frankfurt am Main. In recent weeks, the aircraft has been repeatedly used to bring seriously injured children and adults to Germany for treatment so that they can be given better medical care. The A310 MedEvac is the Air Force’s flying intensive care unit. Casualties receive further treatment in the air from paramedics.

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11.05.2022: Germans donate record amount for Ukraine

By the end of April, 752 million euros had been donated in Germany for people in and from Ukraine. This represents the highest volume of donations for a single disaster in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, as the news magazine “Spiegel” reports, citing a survey by the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI). The previous donation record was 670 million euros for the tsunami victims in Southeast Asia in 2004, followed by 631 million euros in aid following last year’s disastrous flooding in Germany.

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10.05.2022: Ukrainian pupils mostly in normal classes

Berlin (dpa) - According to a survey, most refugee children from Ukraine in Germany are taught together with pupils from Germany rather than in separate classes. In a representative survey of teachers conducted on behalf of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, 78 percent of those whose schools had already taken in Ukrainian children or young people said that they were taught wholly or partly in normal classes. Only 18 percent of the respondents taught them exclusively in separate so-called welcome classes. In the survey period from the beginning to the middle of April, schools in Germany had taken in about 60,000 pupils from Ukraine, according to surveys conducted by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany. The figure has meanwhile risen to more than 90,000.

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09.05.2022: Bundestag president in Kyiv to commemorate end of World War II

Kyiv (dpa) - On the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas has sent a signal of Germany’s solidarity with Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, by visiting Kyiv. On Sunday, she commemorated the victims of the Second World War in the capital together with her counterpart Ruslan Stefanchuk. Both laid wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Bas said that the ceremony had been “very moving”, adding that for her, as a representative of the country responsible for the Second World War with all its atrocities, it was a big step to be able to do this together with the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament. Stefanchuk, who had invited Bas to Ukraine, thanked her for coming on 8 May. “For us, this is truly a sign of Germany’s solidarity with Ukraine and with the Ukrainian people.”

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08.05.2022: Bundestag President Bas arrives in Kyiv

Kyiv (dpa) - Bundestag President Bärbel Bas arrived in Kyiv on Sunday, where she plans to take part in commemorative events marking the end of World War II in Europe 77 years ago. The SPD politician is the second highest-ranking representative of Germany after the federal president and thus the most important German politician to visit Ukraine since the start of the Russian war of aggression. She had been invited by Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk.

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07.05.2022: Scholz warns of “international disorder”

Berlin/Hamburg (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine as also posing a threat to the international order. At an event in Hamburg, the chancellor said that there was a threat of “international disorder” if Russian President Vladimir Putin got away with it. “Putin must not win this criminal war of aggression against Ukraine – and he will not win this war.” The chancellor plans to address the nation in a televised address on Sunday. The same day, Scholz will discuss the current situation in Ukraine with the partners of the G7 states during a video conference call. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will also take part in the call. In addition to Germany, the G7 group also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA.

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06.05.2022: German government announces further financial aid

Warsaw (dpa)- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced further financial aid for Ukraine at the international donor conference in Warsaw. Scholz said that Germany had already provided 430 million euros to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine for global food security. “Today we are pledging a further 125 million euros for humanitarian aid and measures to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience against Russian aggression.” In addition, Germany will supply Ukraine with seven type 2000 self-propelled howitzers. An agreement had been reached on this, said Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht. Germany had previously raised the prospect of supplying Gepard anti-aircraft tanks.

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05.05.2022: Steinmeier: “We Germans support Ukraine wholeheartedly”

Bucharest (dpa) - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has once again assured Ukraine of Germany’s full solidarity and has also shown himself open to talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “We Germans support Ukraine wholeheartedly,” Steinmeier said in the Romanian capital Bucharest. He said that this support was expressed by visits like the one he was now making to Romania – “and of course also in exchanges with my Ukrainian counterpart, whenever that may be possible”. Steinmeier also assured Romania of German support in the event of Russian aggression. “Our alliance solidarity applies with no ifs and buts.” Romania is a member of the EU and Nato.

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04.05.2022: Significantly more Ukrainian children at schools

Berlin (dpa) -The number of children and young people who have fled Ukraine and have been admitted to schools in Germany has risen significantly to almost 92,000. This is shown by current figures from the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK). A week earlier, the number of registered pupils had still been around 65,000. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression on 24 February, Germany’s federal police have registered more than 400,000 refugees from Ukraine in Germany, mostly women, children and senior citizens. Since Ukrainians can enter the country without a visa, the actual number of war refugees who have sought protection in Germany is probably higher.

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03.05.2022: Baerbock pays tribute to work of journalists in Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has paid tribute to the work done by journalists during the war in Ukraine. “Your work not only commands great respect from us, it is irreplaceable and at the same time life-threatening – at least ten media workers have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war of aggression,” Baerbock said on World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday. She added that in the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, which violates international law, as well as in numerous other conflicts, media professionals, being the first witnesses, often played a key role in documenting armed conflicts. “They are the mouthpiece of the victims, who would otherwise not be heard and would not be visible, they document human rights violations but also war crimes.” She said that their mission was all the more important because Moscow was accompanying its war of aggression with targeted disinformation campaigns

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02.05.2022: Scholz assures Ukraine of comprehensive support

Düsseldorf (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised Ukraine further, comprehensive support. “We will continue to support Ukraine, with money and with humanitarian aid; however, and this must also be said, we will support it so that it is able to defend itself, with arms deliveries, as many other countries in Europe are also doing,” Scholz said at a Labour Day rally. At the same time, he made an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Let the weapons be silent! Withdraw your troops! Respect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine!”

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01.05.2022: Baerbock calls for withdrawal of all Russian soldiers

Berlin (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock sees the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers from Ukraine as a prerequisite for lasting peace in Europe and an end to sanctions against Russia. “A ceasefire can be only a first step,” the minister told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. Though the goal of Germany and Europe in the Ukraine war was peace, she said that it was about more than the absence of war. Rather, it was about ensuring that people could live in freedom. Baerbock said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had “irretrievably shattered” the European peace order, and added: “As much as we may wish for it, there is no way back to the time before 24 February. We can never again rely on Putin’s promises alone.”

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30.04.2022: German government condemns attack on Kyiv during Guterres visit

Berlin (dpa) -The German government has strongly condemned the Russian missile attack on Kyiv on the day of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ visit. “The actions of the Russian side are inhumane,” a government spokesperson said, adding that this also revealed once again before the eyes of the international community that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime “have no respect for international law”. According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian attacks, which claimed at least one life, occurred on Thursday evening while Guterres was still in the city. The UN secretary-general told the British broadcaster BBC: “I was shocked to hear that two missiles had exploded in the city where I was.”

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29.04.2022: Bundestag approves delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) -The German Bundestag has approved the delivery of arms, including heavy weapons, to Ukraine and passed with a broad majority a joint motion submitted by the governing coalition of the SPD, Greens and FDP, and by the CDU/CSU, the largest opposition party. The motion calls on the German government to “continue and, where possible, accelerate the delivery of equipment and to expand the delivery to include heavy weapons and complex systems, for example within the framework of the ring exchange”. During a visit to Japan, Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his gratitude for the Bundestag’s unequivocal vote: “This shows that it is possible in such challenging times to pursue a political strategy that many are then willing to support.” On Tuesday, the German government had approved the delivery of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks from the German defence industry.

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28.04.2022: Cultural and media aid to be increased

Berlin (dpa) - The German government is pledging an additional 20 million euros in cultural and media aid for Ukraine. According to a decision of the Federal Cabinet, this sum will be made available to further mitigate the effects of the war. “The Russian war of aggression is also aiming to destroy Ukraine’s culture and identity”, explained Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth. “That is why we are doing everything we can to protect Ukrainian cultural sites from Russia’s destructive fury.” She added that it was also important to safeguard independent reporting by supporting journalists who had fled the country to continue their work in exile in Germany.

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27.04.2022: Big donations at emotional charity match

Dortmund (dpa) - The goals were not the main event, and the sporting action on the pitch was little more than a bit of entertainment: at an emotional charity match between Borussia Dortmund and Dynamo Kyiv, fans and football stars expressed their solidarity with Ukraine. Around 35,000 spectators raised 400,000 euros for the victims of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Contrary to usual practice, the fans welcomed the visiting team with similarly warm applause as the home team. They cheered all the goals scored during the match, which Kyiv ultimately won 3:2. The money raised means that the German Bundesliga club has probably contributed the highest donations to the mission so far, the 16-time Ukrainian champion from Kyiv having already played similar friendlies in Warsaw, Istanbul and Cluj.

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26.04.2022

26.04.2022: More to be offered to children from Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - In Germany, the provision of childcare and schooling for children who have fled Ukraine is to be further improved. This was agreed at a refugee summit by the country’s federal and state governments and by its municipalities. This is because a large proportion of the refugees are women with children. Though many of the Ukrainian women who have fled their homeland are educated, very few speak German. The summit in Berlin was also attended by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far, around 380,000 war refugees from Ukraine have been registered in Germany, though the actual number is probably much higher. Ukrainians only have to register after 180 days or if they apply for state benefits beforehand.

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25.04.2022

25.04.2022: Summit in the German Chancellery discusses refugee aid

Berlin (dpa) - Government representatives and voluntary helpers are meeting in the Federal Chancellery to coordinate aid for war refugees. The summit, hosted by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Government Commissioner for Integration Reem Alabali-Radovan, will organise the distribution, accommodation and labour market integration of the refugees. The focus will also be on issues of childcare and schooling. In addition to several ministers, many aid organisations, the Association of German Cities, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the German Teachers’ Association are taking part. So far, 376,000 people from Ukraine have been officially registered in Germany, though the number of refugees is likely to be considerably higher.

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24.04.2022: Aid convoy to Poland

On Saturday, the German state of Brandenburg sent an aid convey to its Polish partner regions Lubusz Voivodeship and Dolny Slask. A total of eight trucks are carrying medical supplies, food and drugstore items to Poland. The aid is to be used there to help provide care for war refugees from Ukraine. According to the State Chancellery, the two Polish partner regions are currently looking after hundreds of thousands of war refugees from Ukraine, while supporting their Ukrainian partner regions with relief supplies at the same time.

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23.04.2022: Scholz defends weapons strategy: “There must be no nuclear war”

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said the top priority of his Ukraine policy is to prevent the war from spilling over to Nato. “There must be no nuclear war”, the SPD politician said in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine. “I am doing everything to prevent any escalation that would lead to a third world war.” The chancellor defended his restrained approach concerning the supply of heavy weapons. Supplying arms raises the question of whether Russia could therefore regard Nato as a warring party. Scholz explained that there was no textbook answer to this question. “The book is being rewritten each day, and some lessons are still ahead of us. That makes it all the more important for us to carefully consider and closely coordinate every step we take.”

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22.04.2022: German government preparing ring exchange for supply of heavy weapons

Berlin (dpa) - Berlin is preparing an initial “ring exchange” for the supply of heavy weapons. According to the German Press Agency, its Nato partner Slovenia is to hand over a large number of its old battle tanks to Ukraine and will receive the Marder infantry fighting vehicle and the Fuchs wheeled tank from Germany in return. Slovenia still has a Yugoslavian variant of the T-72 battle tank, which is also used by Ukraine, in its inventory under the designation M-84. “The situation in Ukraine is coming to a dramatic head. And we must not allow Putin, we must now allow Russia to win this war of aggression”, said German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). The idea behind the ring exchange is that the Ukrainian armed forces will be able to handle the older-type weapons without the need for special training, allowing them to be deployed more quickly.

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21.04.2022: Refugees will be able in Berlin to testify about war crimes

Refugees from Ukraine will soon be able in Berlin to testify about war crimes. The Documentation Center of the Pilecki Institute – a research institution funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture – will begin its work on Friday. The Center’s spokesman, Patryk Szostak, said: “Any person who has witnessed crimes in Ukraine – theft, murder, expulsion, kidnapping, bombing of civilians, destruction of culture – is invited to testify”. This is because “every crime and every soldier who committed it must be punished”. At the institute on Pariser Platz, opposite the Brandenburg Gate, refugees will be able to fill out questionnaires prepared by lawyers. Alternatively, they can opt to give their testimony by video.

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20.04.2022: German Air Force brings more war-wounded Ukrainians to Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The German Air Force is planning to bring more war-wounded Ukrainians to Germany for treatment. To this end, an evacuation flight took off from Cologne on Wednesday, headed for the Polish city of Rzeszow. As already happened early last week, children and adults are to be flown out by the special A310 MedEvac aircraft so that the most serious injures can receive better medical care in Germany. The A310 MedEvac is the German Air Force’s flying intensive care unit. Casualties are further treated in the air by paramedics. The city of Rzeszow is located around 90 kilometres from the Ukrainian border and is an important hub for support to Ukraine.

20.04.2022

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19.04.2022: Basic benefits for war refugees from 1 June

Berlin (dpa) - From 1 June 2022, war refugees in Germany will receive basic benefits such as those granted to recipients of the country’s Hartz IV scheme for the long-term unemployed. So far, they have been receiving lower benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act. However, since they are directly entitled to a residence permit, they do not have to wait for a decision as is the case with asylum seekers. As well as receiving more money and better access to medical care, they will have different authorities responsible for them. In future, the job centres will be their central point of contact – if necessary also when it comes to finding a job.

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18.04.2022: More than 1,100 doctors keen to help in Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - More than 1,100 doctors from Germany have signed up for deployment in Ukraine or neighbouring countries, according to the German Medical Association. “The number shows how great the solidarity in the medical profession is with the people in Ukraine. After all, working there could put their lives at risk”, Medical Association President Klaus Reinhardt told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. He explained that the medics had registered on an online portal to help treat the sick and war wounded. According to Reinhardt, the German Medical Association is in talks with the German Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Health and the embassies of Ukraine and the neighbouring states about how the doctors could be deployed.

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17.04.2022: Easter marches against the war in Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - Across Germany, several thousand people have joined the Easter marches of the peace movement. In cities such as Hanover, Munich, Duisburg, Stuttgart, Leipzig and Berlin, demonstrators gathered with flags and placards. The rallies were mainly directed against the Russian war in Ukraine. “Our demands for peace and disarmament are more topical than ever, also in view of the danger of a possible nuclear escalation”, stated Kristian Golla of the Network for the German Peace Movement. According to him, around 80 protests had been announced for Saturday, also in smaller cities.

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16.04.2022: Scholz increases arms aid

Berlin (dpa) – In response to the war in Ukraine, the German government is planning to increase arms aid to two billion euros for partner countries. Most of the funds are to go to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) requested the sum at an early stage, Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced on Twitter. The so-called “strengthening aid” is intended to help foreign partners to ensure their own security.

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15.04.2022: Habeck describes framework for further arms deliveries

Berlin (dpa) - German Economics Minister Robert Habeck is in favour of stepping up arms deliveries to Ukraine. “More weapons must be sent”, the Green politician told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe (Friday). Asked whether Germany was also supplying heavy weapons, the vice chancellor said: “The people of Ukraine are fighting back with courage and sacrifice. We have a duty to support them with weapons. At the same time, we have a responsibility not to become a target ourselves. That’s the framework within which we’re delivering everything we can”. That framework “does not so far include large tanks or combat aircraft”, Habeck added.

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14.04.2022

14.04.2022: Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko thanks the twin city of Leipzig

In a moving speech, Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko has thanked the twin city of Leipzig. Speaking to the Leipzig City Council via a video link, he said: “It is important in these difficult times to see where our real friends are. We appreciate that very much and will never forget it”. This was first reported by the tv station mdr. The two cities have been twinned for over 60 years.

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13.04.2022: Following a visit to Ukraine, politicians support arms deliveries and oil embargo

Lviv (dpa) - Following a visit to Ukraine, three leading parliamentarians from Germany’s governing coalition have spoken out in favour of further arms deliveries, a ban on imports of Russian oil as soon as possible and a clear EU perspective for Ukraine. “There is likely to be broad majority support for this in the Bundestag. Germany must assume even more responsibility”, reads a joint statement from Michael Roth (SPD), Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) and Anton Hofreiter (Greens), who chair the Bundestag committees on foreign affairs, defence and EU affairs respectively.

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12.04.2022: Qualifications of Ukrainian doctors to be recognised quickly

Magdeburg (dpa) - The professional qualifications of doctors and nurses who have fled Ukraine are to be recognised quickly in Germany. This has been agreed by the health ministers of Germany’s federal states. According to the decision, the states intend to quickly grant professional licences to refugee doctors within the framework of current law. Opportunities are to be created for Ukrainian nurses to adapt their qualifications to German needs so that they can rapidly achieve recognition as nursing professionals in Germany.

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11.04.2022: Scholz pledges full support to Zelenskiy

Kiev/Berlin (dpa) - In a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned “the heinous war crimes committed by the Russian military” in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine. He expressed Germany’s solidarity with and full support for the people of Ukraine, Deputy Government Spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann announced on Sunday. Scholz told Zelenskiy that the German government, together with its international partners, would do everything in its power to ensure that the crimes were relentlessly investigated and the perpetrators identified so that they could be held accountable before national and international courts.

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10.04.2022: Donor conference: Germany provides additional aid

 Warsaw (dpa) - An international donor conference for Ukraine refugee aid in Warsaw has brought in pledges of several billion euros. The world has pledged 9.1 billion euros as part of this campaign, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the Polish capital. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said via video message that Germany was providing an additional 425 million euros in humanitarian and development aid for Ukraine and its neighbouring states. In addition, 70 million euros in medical support would be made available. “Germany is standing by Ukraine”.

The donor conference was convened by the non-governmental organisation Global Citizen, the EU Commission and the Canadian government. Among other things, the money is to be spent on projects run by the United Nations and local aid organisations. The conference was preceded by a social media campaign in which musicians, actors and athletes participated. Its motto was “Stand Up for Ukraine”. 

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09.04.2022: Scholz: “Sanctions highly effective”

London (dpa) - During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s inaugural visit to Downing Street in London on Friday, Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demonstrated their united stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin. At a joint press conference, the two heads of government condemned the latest Russian attack on civilians, which caused dozens of deaths in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, as a war crime. Scholz considers the West’s sanctions against Russia in response to the latter’s war of aggression against Ukraine to be “highly effective”. He said that the asset freeze would also hit the Moscow “power clique”.

Scholz announced that Germany would continue to supply weapons to Ukraine to strengthen the country’s defence against the Russian invasion. He reiterated calls to Moscow for humanitarian corridors in Ukraine to allow people to leave contested areas. 

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08.04.2022: Basic state benefits for war refugees

Berlin (dpa) - War refugees from Ukraine are to be granted basic state benefits from 1 June, i.e. the same benefits as recipients of the Hartz IV scheme for the long-term unemployed. Agreed by Germany’s federal and state governments, this will give them the same status as recognised refugees without their having to undergo an asylum procedure. This has advantages for the war refugees: they will receive higher benefits and better health care. In addition, they will be helped sooner to integrate into the labour market and will be able to access the services of the job centres.

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07.04.2022: More than 40,000 Ukrainian refugees in German schools 

Berlin (dpa) - Schools and vocational schools in Germany have now taken in more than 40,000 students from Ukraine. This is revealed by weekly figures published by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK). According to the data, Germany’s states reported that exactly 41,170 children and young people from Ukraine were registered at their schools last week. Since the Russian war of aggression began on February 24, the federal police have registered 313,209 refugees from Ukraine. Since Ukrainians do not require a visa to enter the country, the actual number of war refugees who have sought protection in Germany is probably higher.

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06.04.2022: War crimes: Refugees called on to provide evidence

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has called on refugees from Ukraine to provide investigators in Germany with evidence of war crimes. “This can be in the form of mobile phone recordings or witness statements that can be submitted to the police and evaluated by the Federal Public Prosecutor General”, the FDP politician explained, adding that the atrocities in the town of Bucha for example needed to be legally investigated. “If evidence can be secured and evaluated, we should do everything in our power to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice”, Buschmann said. “War criminals must not feel safe anywhere. Especially not in Germany.”

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05.04.2022: Berlin declares 40 Russian diplomats as “undesirable”

Berlin (dpa) - The German government has declared undesirable 40 Russian diplomats in Germany. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced in Berlin that the decision had been taken to declare “undesirable a significant number of members of the Russian embassy who have worked her in Germany every day against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society”. Declaring diplomats as undesirable is tantamount to expulsion. 

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04.04.2022: “We have an information war”

Berlin (dpa) – Maia Sandu, the president of the Republic of Moldova, has called for joint European action against Russian propaganda. “We have an information war here. Disinformation has always been a big issue, now it’s even worse”, the pro-Western head of state of the former Soviet republic, which borders southern Ukraine, said in an interview with German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In her first interview with foreign media since the war in Ukraine began, Sandu called for support. Moldova says it has taken in more refugees per capita than any of Ukraine’s neighbours. An international conference is scheduled to take place in Berlin on Tuesday to explore ways to help Ukraine’s smallest neighbouring country.

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03.04.2022: Scholz highlights unity among the democratic states

Essen (dpa) -Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has highlighted the great display of unity among many states around the world in response to the Russian war in Ukraine. “There is great unity among the democratic states in the world, the European Union, Nato, our defence alliance”, Scholz said at an event. He warned of serious, global consequences and said that “[w]e must ensure that this war comes to an end quickly.” Russian President Vladimir Putin is threatening not only Ukraine, he said. “He is not only destroying human lives, roads, infrastructure, buildings and hospitals there. He is also destroying the future of Russia. That is President Putin’s big, big mistake,” the chancellor stressed. 

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02.04.2022: German government increases aid to house displaced persons in Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) -The German government is to provide Ukraine with millions of additional euros in support to house internally displaced persons. Aid for the construction of housing is to be increased from around 20 to around 50 million euros, as Development Minister Svenja Schulze agreed in a video conference with the Ukrainian Minister for Communities and Territories Development, Oleksiy Chernyshov. "Putin's war in Ukraine has caused the largest movement of refugees in Europe since the Second World War: over 10 million people have had to leave their homes," Schulze explained. While almost four million people had left Ukraine, she said that most of the refugees - more than six million people - had remained in Ukraine and were thus internally displaced

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01.04.2022: Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie takes in refugees from Ukraine

Hamburg (dpa) - The Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg has taken in around 40 refugees from Ukraine. As Elbphilharmonie press spokesman Martin Andris confirmed, 26 adults and eleven children have been housed in the Westin Hotel, which is part of the Elbphilharmonie building, since mid-March. Half of the refugees are in need of care or have disabilities. Care is being provided by a nursing service, and doctors also come to the hotel. The other half are mothers with children. A team of Elbphilharmonie employees is taking care of them, helping the refugees to deal with the authorities, open bank accounts, register with health insurance companies and get official documents recognised. Excursions such as a tour of the harbour have also been organised for the families. Meals for the refugees are being provided by the Elbphilharmonie's catering service.

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31.03.2022: Rapid labour market integration of refugees

Berlin (dpa) – Refugees from Ukraine are to have their qualifications registered, be offered far more language courses and have the process by which their qualifications are recognised simplified so that they can rapidly find good job opportunities in Germany. That is the goal set by Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) following a top-level meeting with employers, trade unions, chambers of commerce, trades, the Federal Employment Agency and others in Berlin. Heil explained that a vital role was played by registering their qualifications. Around half of the Ukrainians also have an academic education. Those with such qualifications should not have to work as unskilled labour, but should be able to find suitable jobs in Germany.

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30.03.2022: Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation helps Ukraine

Augsburg (dpa) -  The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation is launching several initiatives in an attempt to help rescue art and culture in Ukraine from Russian attacks. "We are getting artists and scientists who want to flee Ukraine out of their country," Foundation President Hermann Parzinger told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. "And we are also supporting Ukraine on the ground in securing its cultural assets, especially museum, library and archive collections." The archaeologist emphasised that this involved "very simple things: packaging material and sturdy boxes". It is too late in many cases for evacuations, Parzinger said. "Besides, evacuating cultural assets is always a risk because transports can be shelled."

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29.03.2022: Baerbock pledges support to Ukraine's neighbours

Eisenhüttenstadt (dpa) - Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has promised that Germany will provide financial support to Ukraine's neighbouring countries because of the large number of war refugees. Germany could help ensure that refugees in countries such as Moldova could be supported directly at the local level, Baerbock said on Monday during a visit to an initial reception facility in Eisenhüttenstadt. The foreign minister stressed the need for the international airlift initiated by the German government for people who have fled to countries neighbouring Ukraine. "We need to distribute them there," Baerbock said, adding that no one would continue on foot from Belarus, Moldova or Poland to Spain, for example, let alone cross the Atlantic alone. "For this we need an airlift, which I am working hard on with the G7 countries," she said.

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28.03.2022: Steinmeier: "Our solidarity will be required for a long time to come"

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has prepared Germans for harder times as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, saying that the harsh sanctions would inevitably also lead to uncertainty and losses for Germany. "We will have to be prepared to bear them if our solidarity is not to be mere lip service, if it is to be taken seriously," he said in a video message for a Berlin Philharmonic concert at Bellevue Palace on Sunday. Despite all ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the war, he said that "our solidarity and support, our steadfastness, even our willingness to accept restrictions will be required for a long time to come".

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27.03.2022: Commemoration of more than 135 children killed in Ukraine war

Cologne (dpa) – People taking part in a solidarity rally in Cologne laid down 135 teddy bears bearing the names of children killed in the Ukraine war at the city’s Roncalliplatz. The children were killed by Russian bombing during Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Several hundred people attended the ceremony, including Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker and the Consul General of Ukraine, Iryna Shum. "Peace for Europe - Protect the Children of Ukraine" was the event’s slogan. According to the Ukrainian authorities, more than 135 children have died since the beginning of the war, said the rally’s initiator Linda Mai from the German-Ukrainian friendship association Blau-Gelbes Kreuz: "We must never get used to war."

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26.03.2022: Airlift launched - Ukraine refugees arrive from Moldova

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Around 130 people - mainly women and children - landed at Frankfurt Airport on Friday evening on a flight from Moldova. This was the first flight of the international airlift initiated by the German government for people who have fled to neighbouring countries of Ukraine, which has been invaded by Russia. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser welcomed the arrivals at Germany's largest airport. Foreign Minister Baerbock described this first flight as "a shining sign of humanity in these dark times". Interior Minister Faeser said: "In view of the terrible suffering of the refugees, we also want to ensure shorter travel routes, fast medical treatment and good accommodation."

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25.03.2022: Goethe-Institut: German courses for Ukrainians in great demand

Munich (dpa) - The Goethe-Institut is registering huge demand for German courses for Ukrainians. After last week's offer of new courses for nearly 1,800 participants was fully booked within 48 hours, more are expected to follow in mid-April, according to a spokeswoman for the institute in Munich. Because of the war in Ukraine and the fact that many Ukrainians have fled from the country, which is under attack by Putin, the language courses are being offered at a symbolic price of 7 hryvnia (0.25 euros), she said. The four- to ten-week online courses are aimed at Ukrainians who are already in Germany as well as those who are still in Ukraine.

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24.03.2022: Talks on labour market integration of refugees

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Labour Minister Hubertus Heil is keen to quickly integrate refugees from Ukraine into the German labour market. To this end, the SPD politician said on Deutschlandfunk radio that he would be holding talks in the coming week with representatives of the business world, trade unions, social associations and the federal and state governments. The first step is to meet the immediate needs of the new arrivals, Heil said, while the second step should involve opening up prospects for people who wanted to stay longer. Rather than being given merely auxiliary jobs, refugees should be put into "proper work". "After all, a lot of the people coming here are highly qualified," said the minister.

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23.03.2022: Klitschko speaks to Munich City Council

Munich (dpa) - The mayor of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has described the Russian attack on his country as a genocide. "This is genocide," the 50-year-old former professional boxer said on Wednesday in a live video call with the city council of Munich, Kyiv's twin city. "They are destroying the civilian population, they are destroying our country." His city was being shelled with missiles that killed "every human life within a radius of 500 metres," Klitschko said, adding that this was not an attack on the military, but on the population.

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22.03.2022: Baerbock: EU must reckon with eight million war refugees

Brussels/Berlin (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expects many more war refugees from Ukraine. "I think we have to be very conscious of the fact that although more than three million people have already fled, many, many more millions will follow," the Green politician said on the sidelines of EU talks in Brussels with colleagues from other EU states. Current estimates suggested that eight million refugees would need to be taken in, she said.

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21.03.2022: "Sound of Peace" for Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) – By taking part in a large solidarity rally, cultural professionals demonstrated their support for Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, in front of a crowd of thousands of people in Berlin on Sunday. An estimated 15,000 people came to the "Sound of Peace" event, which featured around 50 musical performances. Marius Müller-Westernhagen sang his hit "Freiheit" ("Freedom") with thousands singing along, while Peter Maffay sang "Über sieben Brücken" ("Across Seven Bridges") to cheers. Also present was Natalia Klitschko, wife of Kyiv mayor and ex-professional boxer Vitali Klitschko. "Only together can we achieve peace," she said. Klitschko then sang "Better Days," describing it as a "new song for my country." "It is important to see that the whole world is standing by Ukraine," Natalia Klitschko said. The goal of "Sound of Peace" was also to raise funds. According to the organisers, more than twelve million euros had been donated by the evening.

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20.03.2022: 3,000 tons of donated food delivered

Berlin (dpa) - More than 3,000 tons of donated food from Germany have now been delivered to Ukraine via a coordination centre of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. Mainly staple foods, water, juice, baby food and tinned fish and meat have been sent via transshipment points in Poland. The products were donated by several German trade and food companies. They were sent towards the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia and Chernihiv.

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19.03.2022: RTL and ntv now broadcasting news in Ukrainian

Cologne (dpa) - The German television channels RTL and ntv are now also broadcasting news in Ukrainian on the internet. The "Ukraine Update" can be found Mondays to Fridays on rtl.news, ntv.de and on the streaming portal YouTube. The ten-minute news programme is presented by the Ukrainian TV journalist Karolina Ashion. The 46-year-old has worked for various broadcasters for more than 20 years and fled from Kyiv to Germany when the war started, RTL announced.

Ashion says: "I want to play my part in ensuring that people who are seeking refuge here in Germany find out what is happening in our homeland." RTL News Managing Director Stephan Schmitter adds: "The situation faced by the people in Ukraine and the refugees in Germany is depressing - the 'Ukraine Update' is our way of providing them with a reliable overview of the news."

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18.03.2022: Steinmeier: "Berlin main station is symbol of people’s willingness to help"

Berlin (dpa) - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Berlin’s main train station on Thursday to see for himself how the situation is there as refugees continue to arrive. He spent about 45 minutes talking to them and to the helpers in the City Mission’s tent, where dozens of tables and benches have been set up and people were eating and resting. The assistance is now well structured. One area is reserved for free food and drink, helpers at tables are distributing hygiene products and coronavirus tests are on offer. Numerous volunteers are offering help in various languages. Psychological counselling is available, as is support for gays and lesbians. Steinmeier said, "Berlin main station has in recent days become something of a symbol of people’s willingness to help."

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18.03.2022: Emergency aid programmes for people from Ukraine

A new emergency aid programme will support cultural professionals from Ukraine by providing them with rapid bridging aid at the local level and in the diaspora. The fund of almost 500,000 euros is being set up by the Goethe-Institut and the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Grants of 2,000 euros each will be paid out to long-standing partners of both institutions in the cultural sector, for example to ensure the preservation of cultural scenes. In addition to the fund, the Goethe-Institut is also offering free German courses and providing information especially for people from Ukraine on its website “Mein Weg nach Deutschland”.

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17.03.2022: Scholz promises Zelenskiy further support

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's video address to the Bundestag and promised him further support. Talking about the speech, Scholz said on Thursday that they were "impressive words" and affirmed: "We stand by Ukraine." Scholz, in a meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, referred to the ongoing support for Ukraine, which includes arms deliveries. "Germany is making its contribution here and will continue to do so." Though the chancellor did not give any specific details, he did reiterate: "Nato will not intervene militarily in this war."

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16.03.2022: Will Bafög student loans soon be available to Ukrainian students? 

Berlin (dpa) – Kai Gehring, the chairman of the education committee in the German Bundestag, has spoken out in favour of considering Bafög student loan payments for students from Ukraine. In view of the war and the large number of refugees, the Green politician appealed for "concrete support programmes". State support for education and training is also available to foreigners under certain conditions.

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15.03.2022: Ukraine refugees to receive health insurance card

Berlin (dpa) - Refugees from Ukraine will be able to get a health insurance card as well as access to coronavirus tests and vaccinations, according to the German Health Ministry. They are entitled to healthcare under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, a spokesperson said in Berlin. Currently, he said, 9 of Germany’s 16 federal states have agreements with health insurers that an electronic health card with special status identification can be issued to each registered beneficiary. The states would then assume the costs of treatment. "In addition, [refugees] are entitled to tests. All they need is the ID document and they are also entitled to vaccinations," the spokesperson added.

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14.03.2022: Internet platform to give Ukraine refugees initial orientation

Berlin (dpa) - A new internet portal for Ukrainian refugees is to be launched this week. On the platform "Germany4Ukraine", refugees will be able to obtain information in German, English, Ukrainian and Russian about the help on offer, according to a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Information about accommodation and medical care will be provided there, the spokesperson explained. Germany’s federal police have registered more than 135,500 Ukrainian war refugees so far. Since there are no fixed border controls, the actual number of arrivals is probably much higher.

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13.03.2022: Foreign Minister Baerbock announces further aid

Chisinau (dpa) - According to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany is working with international partners on a kind of airlift for Ukrainian refugees from Moldova. This would "make absolute sense" with a view to relieving the strain on the country and distributing the arrivals to other states, Baerbock said on Saturday after a meeting with her Moldovan counterpart Nicu Popescu in the country's capital Chisinau.

At the same time, the foreign minister announced that the German government would transport 2,500 Ukrainian refugees from Moldova directly to Germany as a first step, saying that she had agreed on this with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. The EU has made emergency aid of five million euros available for Moldova, while the German government has provided an additional three million euros, Baerbock said.

More and more war refugees from Ukraine are arriving in Germany. As the Federal Ministry of the Interior reported on Saturday, 122,837 people from Ukraine have been registered since the attack began.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron have again called on Russian President Putin to declare an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. According to a government spokesperson in Berlin, Scholz and Macron appealed to Putin to resolve the conflict diplomatically during their talks, which lasted more than an hour. 

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12.03.2022: War refugees to be distributed among federal states

Berlin (dpa) – It has now been decided after all that at least some war refugees from Ukraine will be distributed among Germany’s individual federal states according to certain rules. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced on Friday: "We agreed this morning that we will now increasingly be using the Königstein quota system to assign those refugees who are not put up and looked after privately by families or friends to the federal states."

The so-called Königstein quota system is used to distribute asylum seekers among Germany’s federal states. It is legally possible to also use this system for the Ukrainian refugees. Since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, almost 110,000 war refugees have come to Germany, according to the federal police. According to UN figures, more than 2.5 million people from Ukraine have already sought refuge abroad since 24 February. Most of them initially stayed in the countries bordering Ukraine.

Faeser stressed that it was important for the refugees to have quick access to social benefits, medical care and the labour market, explaining that she was liaising closely with Labour Minister Hubertus Heil on this. 

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11.03.2022: Germany’s Interior Minister Faeser at Polish-Ukrainian border

Rzeszow (dpa) - German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has travelled to the Polish-Ukrainian border and visited a reception facility for refugees there. Earlier, she had met with her counterpart Marius Kaminski and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin in Poland to discuss support for war refugees from Ukraine. In view of the rising number of casualties, the provision of medical aid in the war zone and in the European Union was also discussed.

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10.03.2022: 200,000 offers of accommodation for refugees from Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) – Around 200,000 offers of private and public accommodation have so far been made in Germany to refugees from Ukraine. "We are in the process of making these offers accessible on a digital platform. This will be available very soon," State Secretary of the Interior Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter told the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten". More than 80,000 war refugees have been registered in Germany since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine. According to the authorities, around 72,000 of them are Ukrainian nationals. Most of the refugees travel to Germany via Poland – while some come via the Czech Republic and Austria.

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09.03.2022: Life-span of nuclear power plants not to be extended

Berlin (dpa) – Prolonging the life-span of Germany’s remaining nuclear power plants has been ruled out by the country’s economics and environment ministries. In view of the war in Ukraine and the possible outage of Russian energy supplies, the two ministries had examined whether the power plants should continue to be used. Their conclusion is that extending their life-span is neither sensible nor justifiable, Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) said on Tuesday. "A small contribution to the energy supply would be offset by major economic, legal and safety risks."

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08.03.2022: "Rail bridge" for relief supplies to Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - Due to the crowded roads and border crossings between Poland and Ukraine and the lack of truck drivers, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn plans to deploy additional container trains to transport relief supplies to Ukraine. The first container train will travel from Brandenburg to Ukraine via Poland later this week, a spokesman said. "This is not intended to be a one-off action; rather we will be establishing a rail bridge to provide lasting assistance to the people in Ukraine," said Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing.

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07.03.2022: Millions of euros in emergency humanitarian aid

Berlin (dpa) - German Development Minister Svenja Schulze has promised Ukraine further humanitarian aid. The first emergency aid has already arrived in Ukraine, and more will follow, the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe. She added that the ministry was concentrating on providing accommodation and support for internally displaced persons. According to the Funke newspapers, Schulze intends to pledge 38.5 million euros in emergency humanitarian aid at this Monday's meeting of EU development ministers in Montpellier. "A humanitarian catastrophe is looming," the minister said. Quick help for the population is now the order of the day, she added.

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06.03.2022: Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees arrive in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The federal police have so far registered 27,491 war refugees from Ukraine in Germany. This was announced by a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. At the same time, he pointed out that the actual number of war refugees who have entered Germany from Ukraine could be significantly higher because the federal police data do not reflect all of the refugees, partly due to the lack of border controls.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has pledged to accept refugees from Ukraine regardless of their nationality. "We want to save lives. That does not depend on the passport," Faeser told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. "The vast majority of the refugees are Ukrainians. People from other countries who already had a permanent right of residence in Ukraine bring this status with them," she explained. "They also do not have to go through an elaborate asylum procedure. For example, in the case of young Indians who were studying in Ukraine, we see that they mainly want to return home quickly."

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05.03.2022: Vigil at Neue Nationalgalerie: Cultural scene fundraises for Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - Key cultural institutions in Berlin want to help the people in and from Ukraine, which is under attack by Russia. An event is planned at the Neue Nationalgalerie this weekend, the slogan being "Our Space to Help" – to this end, cultural institutions have teamed up with the artists Anne Imhof and Olafur Eliasson to launch a fundraising campaign. The museum in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's famous building will open its doors as a vigil and meeting place from 12 noon on Saturday until midnight on Sunday. The main exhibition hall will serve as a space for help, exchange and communication, the primary objective being to collect donations.

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05.03.2022: Scholz calls on Putin to cease hostilities

Berlin (dpa) – During a one-hour telephone call, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to immediately cease all hostilities in Ukraine. The SPD politician also demanded that access be allowed for humanitarian aid in the embattled areas, according to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit. Putin reportedly informed the chancellor that Russia had scheduled a third round of talks with Ukraine for this weekend, saying that both sides had agreed to hold further talks "in the near future".

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04.03.2022: First THW truck containing relief supplies has set off

Erfurt (dpa) – The first truck of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) containing relief supplies for Ukraine is on its way to a collection point in Poland. The truck set off from Erfurt on Thursday, THW announced. It is Germany’s first state-organised shipment of aid to Ukraine. According to THW, the truck contains 5,000 hygiene kits, eight power generators, 800 protective suits and around 50,000 surgical masks. The relief supplies are then to be transported to Ukraine from the collection point in Poland. Further aid shipments are scheduled to set off from Bavaria and Hesse shortly.

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03.03.2022: Barenboim conducts benefit concert for Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - To support humanitarian aid for the people of Ukraine, Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden, together with the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatsopernchor, is organising a "Concert for Peace" conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Proceeds from this Sunday's concert will go to the United Nations Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF), as the Staatsoper announced on Wednesday. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel have announced that they will be attending the concert. Both organisations also plan to make a donation. The Ukrainian national anthem by Mykhailo Verbytsky, based on the poem "Ukraine is not yet dead" by Pavlo Chubynsky, will be performed. Symphonies by Schubert and Beethoven are also on the programme.

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02.03.2022: Germany to send generators and medical dressings

Berlin (dpa) - Germany is planning to send medical dressings and power generators to Ukraine. "Currently, the German government’s priority is to support Ukraine with dressings and other medical supplies, as well as with other capacities", a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said. German aid shipments are soon expected also to reach three of Ukraine's neighbouring states that have taken in large numbers of war refugees since the Russian attack began.

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01.03.2022: 1,800 refugees arrive from Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) - In recent days, 1,800 people have reached Germany after fleeing the war in Ukraine. This was reported by a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Berlin on Monday, explaining that the authorities in Germany are in the process of getting humanitarian aid underway. He said for example that the Federal Agency for Technical Relief is preparing for transports and procuring relief supplies. The talk at EU level is apparently of hubs where medical material and equipment is to be stockpiled close to the border with Ukraine. Aid will also be made available to Ukraine's neighbouring countries, the spokesperson said.

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01.03.2022: International law expert on the attack on Ukraine

“I’m surprised that even in Western Europe, the argument is put forward or is accepted that somehow this war is a reaction to an aggressive eastward expansion of Nato. The current development makes it very obvious why these states want to join Nato. It is interesting that even in this situation, somehow Russia apparently feels the need to justify its actions under international law. These actions, in fact, are straight out of the playbook of a war of aggression. There’s no justification under international law. (…) It’s codified in the United Nations Charta, article two, paragraph four, that the use of force against the territorial integrity of a state is illegal. Since the Second World War, occupation as a way of acquiring territory has been banned under international law. And that is the reason why the annexation of the Crimea by Russia in 2014 was also illegal and has not been recognised internationally. (…) When Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, Russia undertook a formal obligation in the Budapest Memorandum to respect and protect Ukrainian sovereignty within its existing borders.“

Professor Lorenz Langer, expert in international law, University of Zürich

 

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