For the Ukrainian troops in the east of the country, the situation is becoming increasingly precarious in view of Russian gains in territory.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of a difficult situation in the Donbass.

As the Russian war of aggression against his country entered its fourth month, he renewed the request for heavy weapons such as rocket artillery, tanks or anti-ship missiles.

"This is the best investment in maintaining stability in the world," he said in Kyiv on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has made it clear that he does not want to take a seat on the board of the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Schröder wrote on the online portal “Linkedin” that he had waived the nomination a long time ago and also informed the company of this.

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine will also occupy many international meetings on Wednesday: it will be discussed by the foreign ministers of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Russian army advances in Donbass

With massive artillery and air strikes, Russian troops have driven the Ukrainian defenders out of several towns in the east of the country in the past few days, and the Ukrainian front is beginning to falter.

For Moscow, the complete conquest of the Ukrainian administrative regions of Donetsk and Luhansk is an important war goal.

In Luhansk, this goal has almost been achieved.

"The Russian army is throwing all its forces into this attack," said Zelenskyy in his video speech on Tuesday evening.

He listed the cities of Lyman, Popasna, Sieverodonetsk and Sloviansk.

"The occupiers want to destroy everything there." It will take great efforts on the part of the Ukrainian people to overcome the Russian superiority in armaments and technology.

According to the administration, 15 civilians were killed within 24 hours in the Donetsk region alone.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also spoke of a difficult situation in the Donbass coal and steel region.

Apparently, the Russian army wants to encircle Ukrainian units in the cities of Sievjerodonetsk and Lysychansk, said spokesman Olexander Motusyanyk.

Both cities had about 100,000 inhabitants before the war.

The Ukrainian defenders there are supplied via a single road.

This has now come under fire from Russian artillery and mortars, wrote the expert Nikolay Mitrokhin in the magazine "Osteuropa".

Russia announces safe sea passage from Mariupol

According to military information, Russia wants to set up a safe sea passage from the conquered Ukrainian port of Mariupol through the Sea of ​​Azov from Wednesday.

The mine-cleared route towards the Black Sea is 115 nautical miles (213 kilometers) long and 2 nautical miles wide and navigable from 8:00 a.m. local time (7:00 a.m. CEST).

At the same time, the damaged port infrastructure of Mariupol will be repaired.

The last Ukrainian defenders of the city laid down their weapons at the end of last week, and Mariupol itself has been largely destroyed.

According to Russian information, around 70 foreign ships from 16 countries are still stuck in the ports controlled by Ukraine on the Black Sea coast.