German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has held out against supply of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, as part of the defense v. Russia’s invasion

Monday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy — “A Matter of Survival…and Not Only For Ukraine”

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has hailed the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants against a Russian general and an admiral over their roles in Moscow’s bombing of Ukrainian energy infrastructure from October 2022 to March 2023 (see 0857 GMT).

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy also praised Ukraine’s armed forces for the downing of Russian warplanes and sinking of Moscow’s warships.

There are no safe harbors for Russian terrorists in the Black Sea. And there will be none. Just as there will be no safe space in the skies for them if Ukraine has sufficient strength.


A 72-year-old man has been killed by Russian shelling of the town of Krasnohorivka in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

Governor Vadym Filashkin said, “Krasnohorivka has been on the front line for 10 years, and every day it becomes more and more dangerous to stay there. I am asking everyone: take care of yourself and your loved ones! Evacuate in time!”

Krasnohorivka, with a population of 14,000 before Russia’s full-scale invasion, is immediately north of the devastated town of Marinka.


Seven Russian sailors were killed and six injured when the patrol ship Sergey Kotov was struck and sunk near Russian-occupied Crimea early Tuesday, says Ukraine’s military intelligence agency HUR.

Another 52 crew members may have been evacuated.

In a conversation intercepted by HUR, a Russian commander said the Sergey Kotov had a helicopter on board. Ukrainian sources said Russian Ka-29 transport and combat helicopter was destroyed.


The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for a Russian general and an admiral, over their responsibility for missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure between October 2022 and March 2023.

The Court said of Lt. Gen. Sergey Ivanovich Kobylash of the army and Adm. Viktor Kinolayevich Sokolov of the navy:

There are reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the forces under their command against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023.

During this time-frame, there was an alleged campaign of strikes against numerous electric power plants and sub-stations, which were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine.

At one point, Vladimir Putin’s “energy war” knocked out half of the Ukraine grid. However, improving air defenses blunted the attacks, and essential repairs were carried out by the spring.

The ICC cited “a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts against a civilian population” with “reasonable grounds to believe that the suspects also bear responsibility for the crime against humanity of other inhumane acts…intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health”.


The European Union’s gas imports from Russia have decreased by 71% since 2021, said EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson on Monday.

After an Energy Council meeting in Brussels, Simson told the press that Russia’s share of EU imports had fallen from 45% before the invasion of Ukraine to 24% in 2022 and 15% in 2023.

The leading gas suppliers to the EU are now Norway and the US.

Simson said that “gas prices have gone down significantly and are now quite stable” at around €25 ($27) per megawatt hour — a “level last recorded before the war started”.

The Energy Council discussed a Lithuanian proposal on reducing imports of Russian liquefied natural gas, which are not sanctioned by the EU. Member states bought record amounts of LNG from Russia in 2023.

In December, the EU agree that individual countries can ban Russian shipments of LNG. Latvia and Lithuania have already halted purchases, and Finland plans to stop all imports of Russian LNG from 2025.

“I have repeated that we cannot afford Russia to compensate through LNG channels some of the volumes it has cut off by unilateral decisions via pipeline exports,” Simson said. “We must end this year with even less Russian gas in our system than the year before.”


Ukraine has struck another infrastructure facility, possibly an oil depot, inside Russia.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region on the border, posted on Wednesday morning about an “emergency” in the Gubkinsky district because of an explosion and fire.

Gladkov did not specify the facility, but Russian Telegram channels claimed the oil depot had been hit and photos of black smoke rising above the claimed site.

A source in Ukrainian military intelligence agency said it carried out a drone strike on the Belgorodnefteprodukt oil depot.


Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says Kyiv has not received €16 billion ($17.4 billion) in proceeds from two donor conferences held in Poland in 2022.

The events garnered pledges of €10 billion and €6 billion, but Shmyhal told a press conference, “Ukraine received nothing from them….Where did they go, what did they support?”


Ukraine has destroyed another Russian warship, according to Ukrainian military intelligence.

The patrol vessel Sergey Kotov was struck early Tuesday by Ukrainian Magura V5 naval drones. It suffered damage to its stern and left and right sides, and sank off the coast of occupied Crimea.

The Sergey Kotov was one of four specially-designed patrol vessels in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukrainian spokesperson Andrii Yusov said Russian forces were planning to place an anti-aircraft missile system on it.

“This is a new ship worth more than $60 million. Ships of this type entered the service in 2017, and the enemy had plans for them,” Yusov said.

He said some Russian troops were killed and wounded, while others may have been evacuated.


Ukraine’s air defenses downed 18 of 22 Iran-type attack drones fired by Russia overnight.

The UAVs were intercepted over the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, three days after a drone strike on a high-rise apartment block killed 12 people, including five children.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The UK is urging Germany to provide Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles, as part of the defense against Russia’s two-year invasion.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been arguing against the supply. He has expressed concern about the use of the missiles inside Russia, saying that the German military does not have the same control mechanisms as the UK and France, which have supplied Storm Shadow and SCALP long-range missiles for Kyiv’s strikes.

The situation has been elevated by Russia’s ongoing missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilian areas — including last Saturday’s destruction of an apartment block in Odesa which killed 12 people, including five children — and by Moscow’s hacking and leak of a 38-minute audio in which senior German Air Force officers discuss the provision.

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday, “The UK was the first country to provide long-range precision strike missiles to Ukraine, and we would encourage our allies to do the same.”

The official added that “the presence of a small number of British troops in Ukraine” had been acknowledged by the Prime Minister’s office last week.

Scholz’s remarks indicate that the UK and France have military officers in Ukraine to advise on targeting by the Storm Shadows and SCALPs. Russia’s propagandists have whipped up the British and French presence as evidence of a war by the “West” and NATO against the Kremlin.

UK officials responded that the leak is not significant, in part because the German conversation is general and not specific. They noted that it showed the effectiveness of the deployment of the Taurus.

Meeting voters at a school in southern Germany on Monday, Scholz insisted that he would not change his mind, “I am the chancellor and my word counts.”

He repeated his line from last week that control of the Taurus missiles would only be guaranteed if German soldiers were directly involved in firing them. “That is completely out of the question,” he declared.

But Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock supported the provision in principle. She said during a visit to Montenegro, “We will do everything so that Ukraine can … defend and protect itself. We therefore need to precisely control all means we have…on the grounds of international law.”

Targeting Putin’s Flagship Bridge

On the leaked 38-minute call, Luftwaffe head Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz said of missile strikes, “When it comes to mission planning, I know how the English do it, they do it completely in reachback” — intelligence, equipment and support from the rear for frontline units.

UK forces “also have a few people on the ground, they do that, the French don’t,” Gerhartz explained.

The officers discussed potential targets for the Taurus, such as a “bridge in the east” that is difficult to reach and has “relatively small” pillars.

That description matches the Kerch bridge from southwest Russia to Russian-occupied Crimea. A flagship project of Vladimir Putin which was opened in May 2018, the bridge was heavily damaged by a truck bomb in October 2022 and by Ukrainian naval drones in July 2023.

The meeting, in preparation for consultation with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, said it might take “10 to 20 missiles” to demolish the bridge completely. Germany could give a maximum of 100 to Ukraine.

The officers concluded that their soldiers must be involved in Taurus operations. Missiles for Ukrainian soldiers was a possibility, but would take months of preparation.