Ticker: Solidarity with Ukraine

Development Ministry provides funding for town twinning with Ukraine +++ Reactions from Germany to the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine Ticker
picture alliance / Panama Pictures

07.07.2022: Development Ministry provides funding for town twinning with Ukraine

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Development Ministry sees expanding city twinning programmes with Ukraine as a way of providing more help to the country. “In these dark times, such links are encouraging. German municipalities are also helping in very concrete terms by making available tents, first-aid kits, generators and fire engines,” explained Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD). The ministry added that there were now 80 twinning schemes in place between cities and municipalities, and that it would be providing an additional five million euros this year.

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05.07.2022: Scholz discusses further course of action for Ukraine with Macron

Paris (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met for consultations with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Monday evening. The most important topic discussed during the working dinner was Franco-German coordination of the further course of action in the Ukraine war and continued support for the country, according to the Élysée Palace. “Be it at the G7 meeting in Elmau, the Nato summit or here in Paris – it is good that we are liaising closely on the many pressing issues of these days,” Scholz wrote on Twitter. The chancellor and the French president had met at a series of international summits in recent days, and also visited the Ukrainian capital Kyiv together last month.

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03.07.2022: International Danube Festival demonstrates solidarity with Ukraine

Ulm and Neu-Ulm (red) - Flying the flag for Ukraine: The 12th International Danube Festival (1-10 July 2022) opened this weekend with a clear symbol of solidarity. Flags with the Ukrainian national colours and appeals for peace were on prominent display for the start of the festival in the southern German cities of Ulm and Neu-Ulm. Films, literature, and music from Ukraine are just as much part of the programme as are political discussions. As a symbol of solidarity of all the countries along the Danube with Ukraine, itself one of them, text fragments from the UN Charter of Human Rights in the languages of the ten countries festoon the festival flags. After the Danube Festival, the flags will be sold for a fundraising campaign for Ukraine.

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02.07.2022: Exhibitions on the war in Ukraine

Berlin and Stuttgart (red) - Several exhibitions in Germany are focusing on the war in Ukraine. For example, the exhibition “Since the Beginning of the War” has started at StadtPalais Stuttgart. It highlights lines that have connected Ukraine and Stuttgart since the beginning of the Russian invasion and tells personal stories of escape, everyday life during the war and joint relief activities. The project also includes a charity art sale in cooperation with the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design. The exhibition “Fragments of War” at the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin showcases photographs by Johanna-Maria Fritz, Helena Lea Manhartsberger and Laila Sieber. The pictures, taken by these photographers from the Ostkreuz agency, document the fates of those affected and give insights into their current lives.

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01.07.2022: 144,000 Ukrainian pupils at German schools

Berlin (dpa) - The number of Ukrainian pupils admitted to schools and vocational schools in Germany has continued to rise. According to the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), the number had climbed to 144,000 children and young people in Germany by last week – up by a good 5,000 as compared to the previous week. The numbers have risen steadily since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. German Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) expects a further increase. “Many federal states have so far taken a more pragmatic approach to the obligation to attend school, partly because children have been taught digitally from Ukraine,” she said. “However, compulsory school attendance will certainly be enforced everywhere after the summer holidays, so there will be more Ukrainian pupils for that reason alone.” In total, about eleven million pupils attend school in Germany.

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30.06.2022: Interior minister and labour minister announce Ukraine trip

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil and Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser are planning a joint trip to Ukraine in July. This was announced by the two SPD politicians on Wednesday on the sidelines of a meeting with pupils of an integration class at a Berlin secondary school. Heil said that one of the topics to be discussed with their Ukrainian counterparts was the integration prospects of people who have fled to Germany, describing this as a sensitive issue. He said that while Ukraine hoped for an end to the terrible war as soon as possible and for the return of its people, nobody knew how long the war would last.

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29.06.2022: Scholz raises prospect of further arms deliveries to Ukraine

Madrid (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has raised the prospect of further arms deliveries to Ukraine. In addition to humanitarian and financial aid, “weapons will also be provided, which Ukraine urgently needs,” he said at the Nato summit in Madrid on Thursday. “The message is: we will continue this as long and also as intensively as is necessary so that Ukraine can defend itself.”

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28.06.2022: G7 calls attack on shopping centre “war crime”

Elmau (dpa) - The G7 summit has condemned the missile attack on the shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk and threatened Russia with consequences. “Arbitrary attacks on innocent civilians are war crimes. Russian President Putin and those responsible will have to account for them,” a statement by summit participants said on Monday evening. At least 13 people died in the afternoon attack. Preliminary figures from the Ukrainian authorities indicate that more than 40 were injured, some seriously. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, more than 1,000 people were in the shopping centre.

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27.06.2022: Peace Prize for Ukrainian writer Serhij Zhadan

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) – The Ukrainian writer, translator and musician Serhij Zhadan is to receive the 2022 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Foundation Board announced in Frankfurt am Main on Monday. In its statement, the jury said that the author was being honoured “for his outstanding artistic work as well as for his unequivocal humanitarian stance, which repeatedly motivates him to risk his own life to help people affected by war and thus to call greater attention to their plight”. 47-year-old Zhadan is one of the most important voices in contemporary Ukrainian literature. According to the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, he still lives in Kharkiv. The Peace Prize is endowed with 25,000 euros. It is awarded to personalities who have contributed to the realisation of the idea of peace in literature, science or art. The Peace Prize is traditionally presented at the end of the Frankfurt Book Fair in the city’s Paulskirche. This year, the award ceremony is scheduled to take place on 23 October.

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24.06.2022: Ukraine and Moldova are EU candidates

Brussels (dpa) - Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia, and its smaller neighbouring country of Moldova are officially candidates for EU membership. This was decided by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the other 26 European Union leaders at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. Scholz spoke of a “historic” meeting, but also called for reforms of the European Union to make the admission of new members possible. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Georgia could follow soon, once they implement certain reforms.

 

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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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28.02.2022: Peace demonstration to replace Shrove Monday carnival procession

Cologne (dpa) - According to Mayor Henriette Reker, the peace demonstration that is to march through the centre of Cologne this Monday is a signal "against war in Europe". She expects several tens of thousands of people to take part just a few days after the Russian attack on Ukraine. In view of the war, organisers of Cologne Carnival had decided to stage a peace demonstration instead of the usual Shrove Monday carnival procession. According to the festival committee, the protesters will march 4.5 kilometres through the city centre.

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28.02.2022: Schalke parts with main sponsor Gazprom

Berlin (dpa) - In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FC Schalke 04, a football club with a long history, is prematurely parting company with its controversial main sponsor Gazprom. This was decided by the board of directors with the approval of the supervisory board, the Gelsenkirchen club announced on Monday. This is a big loss for Schalke, as the Russian state-owned company, one of the largest gas suppliers in Germany, has been the club’s most important financial backer. The contract is not actually due to expire until 2025.

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28.02.2022: Deutsche Bahn lets refugees travel for free

Berlin (dpa) – German rail operator Deutsche Bahn is making it easier for people from Ukraine to flee to Germany. "Deutsche Bahn will allow refugees with Ukrainian passports or identity cards to use all long-distance trains from Poland to Germany free of charge," the company announced on Sunday. The regulation is effective immediately. "The aim is to make it easier for refugees to continue their journey from the border.” 

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