According to Russian sources, at least two people have been killed as a result of Ukrainian attacks on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea, which was annexed by Moscow. During the night, the area around the city of Simferopol was attacked with rockets, Crimean Governor Sergei Aksyonov said on Telegram.

On social networks, residents reported the sounds of explosions in regions near the Crimean cities of Alushta and Yalta. In the popular Telegram channel “Shot” there was talk of a “massive attack” that the Russian air defense had to repel. There was initially no official reaction from Kiev.

Ukraine has been defending itself against a large-scale Russian war of aggression since February 2022. The Ukrainian army repeatedly targets Russian military bases in Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. Kiev has also already launched successful attacks against the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed there.

After attack on Kharkiv: Zelensky calls for more anti-aircraft defense

Meanwhile, Russia once again shelled the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 20 others. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj therefore once again insisted on more anti-aircraft systems for his country. “This is only happening because Ukraine continues to have limitations in its defense,” he said in his evening video address, referring to Kharkiv.

Because of the critical situation in and around Kharkiv, he also traveled to the eastern Ukrainian city on the border with Russia. The president wrote on the social network that does not give in to the enemy,” he wrote.

US government announces further military aid

The USA is providing further military aid to Ukraine. A new package worth 275 million US dollars (around 253 million euros) includes, among other things, ammunition for the multiple rocket launchers of the Himars type as well as artillery ammunition with calibers of 155 and 105 millimeters, the US State Department said. 

This is the fifth tranche approved by US President Joe Biden since the US Congress released new funds worth around 61 billion US dollars (56.2 billion euros) for Kiev at the end of April. The help from previous packages had already reached the front, it said. The new support will be delivered “as quickly as possible” so that the Ukrainian military can defend its country and protect the people of Ukraine, it said. 

Berlin delivers another anti-aircraft system

Germany has delivered another Iris-T fire unit to Ukraine. The anti-aircraft system had arrived in Ukraine, as the Federal Ministry of Defense announced on Platform X. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) explained that it was a combined unit of IRIS-T SLM and IRIS-T SLS – “a highly modern and well-proven medium and short-range air defense system, directly from German industry production.” Russia has been increasing its air strikes on Ukraine for months, killing people and destroying important infrastructure, said Pistorius.

Germany has already delivered several air defense systems to Kiev, including the IRIS-T and Patriot types.

Putin emphasizes supposed willingness to negotiate

More than two years after the start of his war of aggression against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again emphasized his supposed willingness to negotiate – but not for the return of occupied and annexed territories in violation of international law.

“There is talk again about having to return to negotiations,” Putin said during a visit to his neighboring allied country Belarus, according to the Interfax agency. Then he added: “Let us return to them. But not based on what one side wants, but (…) based on today’s realities that have developed on the ground.”

During his visit to Belarus, Putin also claimed that Zelensky was no longer the legitimate president of Ukraine. He literally said: “Of course we are aware that the legitimacy of the current head of state has expired.”