Strack-Zimmermann attacks Scholz because of Taurus rockets: “What is the Chancellor waiting for in God’s name?”

Monday, September 4, 06:57: The FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann sharply criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the discussion about the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine. “What is the Chancellor waiting for in God’s name?” wrote Strack-Zimmermann on Sunday evening on the online service Twitter, which was renamed “X”. Scholz “alone blocks this decision within the coalition. It’s irresponsible,” she added.

The Ukrainian presidential adviser Michailo Podoljak also reiterated his country’s demand for an early delivery of the Taurus cruise missiles. “It is necessary to make decisions faster and more decisively,” said Podoljak of the “Bild”. There was “no other way to destroy Russian logistics and rearguards, so Taurus is needed,” he argued. The aim is not “to attack Russian territory” but “to destroy the resources of the occupiers”.

One argument against the delivery made by the SPD is the threat of an escalation in the conflict, since the weapon system, with a range of more than 500 kilometers, can also reach Russian territory.

Russia reports downing of Ukrainian drones

3:50 a.m.: According to Russia, it intercepted two Ukrainian drones on Monday night. “Ukrainian UAVs were destroyed by air defense systems in the air over the Black Sea near the Crimean peninsula and over the territory of the Kursk region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday in the online service Telegram. Ukraine launched the drones at around 1 a.m., it said.

Crimea was last attacked on Saturday. Russia destroyed three Ukrainian ship drones trying to attack the bridge connecting the peninsula and mainland Russia. The Kursk border region was attacked on Friday. According to the local governor, two drones damaged a residential building and an administrative building in the city of Kurchatov.

On Sunday night, the southern Ukrainian region of Odessa was attacked by a wave of Russian drones. Russia’s army said on Sunday it had attacked “fuel depots” in the Ukrainian port city of Reni, which lies on the Danube – the border between Ukraine and Romania.

Entrepreneur Rustem Umerov is to become the new Ukrainian defense minister

11:48 p.m.: After the dismissal of the previous Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has his eye on a successor: He will propose the head of the State Property Fund, Rustem Umerov, to Parliament as his successor, Zelenskyy announced on Sunday in his evening video message distributed in Kiev.

The 41-year-old entrepreneur and investor Umerow, who is of Crimean Tatar descent, has been campaigning for years for the liberation of the Black Sea peninsula Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014. Like many Crimean Tatars, his parents had been deported from Crimea under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. According to the Ukrainian media, Umerov was a fellow of a US program for future leaders (FLEX) and is considered an expert in finance. After serving as a member of the Ukrainian parliament from 2019 to 2022, he was appointed head of state asset management a year ago.

Umerov is deputy chair of the Crimea Platform, an annual forum dedicated to reintegrating the peninsula into Ukraine. Last but not least, the official is committed to the exchange of political prisoners and prisoners of war in Crimea, as reported by the Ukrainian media. In August 2021, Zelenskyi presented him with an Order of Merit for the Fatherland.

Zelenskyi wants to sack Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov

9:28 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on his Telegram channel that he would ask parliament to dismiss Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.

“I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and different formats of interaction both with the military and with society in general,” the president said in his evening address on Sunday. He suggested Rustem Umerow as his successor.

Reznikov has spent 550 days in the post of minister since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. “I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and different formats of cooperation with the soldiers and society as a whole,” said Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian media had reported in the past – and increasingly so in the past few days – that the 57-year-old Resnikov’s replacement was imminent. Resnikov had recently repeatedly stated that he was ready to go, but that a replacement had to be found for him. Reznikov said that he talked to Zelenskyy about another post.

Russia bombs port in Odessa region with drones – injured

09.48 am: Russia has again carried out drone attacks on the Odessa region in southern Ukraine, hitting the port infrastructure in the Danube region, which is important for grain exports. Two people were injured, the defense forces in the south said on Telegram. A fire also broke out during the impacts on the port infrastructure, which was quickly extinguished. “The massive drone attack lasted more than three and a half hours,” the statement said. The Air Force of Ukraine announced that the anti-aircraft defense in the Odessa region shot down 22 of 25 drones.

Where exactly the impacts occurred in the Danube region on the Ukrainian side was not disclosed. Military bloggers close to the Kremlin also reported on the attacks, including three drone hits. They claimed that the Russian Ministry of Defense had once again shut down port infrastructure that is important for Ukrainian grain exports. The information could not be checked independently.

Russia had repeatedly shelled the Black Sea and Danube ports in the Odessa region. Ukraine accused Russia of terror with the aim of trying to prevent the transport of grain, which is important for world nutrition.

Zelenskyy: Two ships pass through the grain corridor despite the blockade

Sunday, September 03, 08:22: Despite the Russian naval blockade, two more cargo ships have passed through the grain corridor set up by Kiev, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “Ukraine is restoring freedom of navigation in the Black Sea,” Zelenskyy said on Saturday evening on Platform X (formerly Twitter). After Russia pulled out of the agreement to ship Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea, Kiev is trying to organize the export despite the risk of Moscow attacks. Russia had threatened to consider ships calling at Ukrainian ports as carrying military cargo. Leaving the Ukrainian ports is therefore considered a lower risk.

“I thank all our dockers and everyone who ensures the safe functioning of the corridor,” said Zelenskyy. He also called on the western allies to deliver even more anti-aircraft systems. “Together we can protect the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and beyond.” Zelenskyy also said in his evening video message that the security of the port region of Odessa, which is important for the export of Ukrainian goods to the world, must be restored.

Selenskyj did not give any details about the ships that had now successfully sailed. However, the day before, the Internet portal Marinetraffic, which shows ship movements, showed how two freighters left the southern Ukrainian Black Sea port of Pivdenny, about 20 kilometers east of Odessa.

General reports Ukrainian breakthrough of Russian defense line

9:58 p.m.: General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy leads the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south. In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, he reports that Ukrainian forces decisively breached the first Russian line of defense near Zaporizhia after weeks of painstaking demining. They now expect a faster push to the weaker second line, the general said.

The Ukrainian forces were held back for weeks by a huge minefield, and the infantry had to clear an attack route on foot. Behind the minefield, Russian troops “just stood there and waited for the Ukrainian army,” Tarnavskiy said, firing at vehicles with grenades and drones.

“We are now between the first and second line of defense,” reported Tarnavskiy. Ukrainian forces are now advancing on both sides of the breach, consolidating areas captured in recent fighting. “At the heart of the offensive, we are now completing the destruction of the enemy units providing cover for Russian troops to retreat behind their second line of defense,” Tarnavskiy explained.

Now the Russians are forced to maneuver. The relocation of Russian troops from front sections within occupied Ukraine is a sign of the pressure that Moscow is now feeling. “The enemy is withdrawing reserves, not only from Ukraine, but also from Russia. But sooner or later the Russians will run out of the best soldiers. That will give us an impetus to attack more and faster,” said Tarnavskiy. “Everything is ahead of us.”

“In my opinion, the Russians believed that the Ukrainians would not overcome this line of defense. They had been preparing for over a year. They did everything they could to ensure that this area was well prepared,” the general said

It is not Tarnavskiy’s first victory against Russian troops. Last September he was appointed commander of the troops fighting to liberate Kherson – two months later the city was liberated. Now he is hoping for similarly rapid progress with the counter-offensive in the summer.

You can read more news about the war in Ukraine on the following pages.


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