The command of Ukrainian forces in the region reported on Thursday that 14 enemy attacks had been repelled in eastern Ukraine.

The information could not be verified.

As a sign of the severity of the fighting, numerous civilian casualties were once again recorded.

According to the authorities, five people were killed in the Donetsk region alone.

Zelenskyy described the situation in Donbass as "hell".

The army continues to work on the liberation of the Kharkiv region, the President said.

“But in Donbass, the occupiers are trying to increase the pressure.

There is hell, and that is no exaggeration.”

According to their own statements, the commanders of the last military resistance of Ukraine in Mariupol are still in the Azovstal Steel Plant.

Ukrainian media on Thursday circulated a video with the deputy commander of the Azov regiment Svyatoslav Palamar.

“I and the command are at the Azovstal factory site.

There is some operation going on, the details of which I won't say," Palamar said.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified immediately.

According to Russian information, since the beginning of the week 1,730 Ukrainian armed men who had holed up in the bunkers under the steelworks have surrendered.

They were taken prisoner of war.

Extensive aid from the USA

US President Biden welcomed the approval of the billion-euro package as a clear sign to the whole world of how the US felt about Ukraine.

Around half of the almost 40 billion dollars goes to the defense sector.

In addition to direct arms deliveries, billions more are to be used to replenish US stockpiles with military equipment that was sent to Ukraine.

Other funds are earmarked for humanitarian aid to refugees from Ukraine or to people around the world starving as a result of the war.

The US government had previously launched several large packages of support for Ukraine.

Von der Leyen: Tie reconstruction aid for Ukraine to reforms

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed linking future reconstruction aid for Ukraine to reforms given the country's desire to join the EU.

"We will have to help finance the reconstruction of Ukraine anyway," said von der Leyen on Thursday on the ZDF program "maybrit illner".

Then, in her opinion, it makes sense to say: "Yes to investments, but right away with the necessary reforms, for example against corruption or for example for establishing the rule of law."

Melnyk on heavy weapons: impression that Scholz does not want to deliver

The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, has again accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz of being hesitant about delivering heavy weapons.

"We have the impression that the Chancellor does not want to deliver," Melnyk told the editorial network Germany.

So far, neither Cheetah tanks, nor Leopard 1 or Marder have been delivered, he criticized.

The announced exchange of rings with T-72 tanks for the Ukraine from Slovenia has also not worked out so far.

Berlin has meanwhile announced that it will make 15 Leopard 2 tanks available to the Czech Republic in a so-called ring swap in order to offset deliveries of heavy weapons from the NATO partner to Ukraine.

"Delivery is scheduled to begin this year and will also include a 30-day supply of 120 mm ammunition," the Ministry of Defense told the responsible officials in the Bundestag.

The letter was presented to the German Press Agency on Friday.

That brings the day

The first trial of a Russian soldier for alleged war crimes continues in Ukraine on Friday.

Prosecutors are asking for life imprisonment for the 21-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed a civilian.

At the Council of Europe's meeting of foreign ministers on Friday, Baerbock announced that Germany and other countries would take over the membership fees that Russia had lost.

The work of the human rights organization should not suffer from the exclusion.

The ministers responsible for development from the EU countries are meeting in Brussels to discuss the international food situation because the Russian blockade has left Ukraine as an important grain supplier.