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Wolfgang Ischinger: "Why do we remain so reactive towards Moscow?"

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

Schools, residential buildings, shopping malls and a maternity hospital: Russia's recent airstrikes against Ukraine have hit many civilian targets, according to information from Kyiv. Wolfgang Ischinger, former head of the Munich Security Conference, is now demanding a kind of ultimatum against Moscow from the West.

The message to Russian President Vladimir Putin should be that in the event of further attacks against civilian Ukrainian targets, Taurus cruise missiles would be delivered to Ukraine "the next day," Ischinger suggested in the online service X, formerly Twitter. The West must switch from "passive to active," Ischinger demanded. Why do we remain so reactive to Moscow?" This is a bad strategy.

The proposal to supply Taurus cruise missiles is not new. There have also been corresponding demands from the ranks of the traffic light parties. So far, however, the German government has refused to make the cruise missiles available to Ukraine. Taurus has a range of more than 500 kilometers and would thus facilitate Kyiv's attacks on weapons depots and supply lines on Russian territory.

The former German ambassador to Russia, Rüdiger von Fritsch, also calls for more commitment to support Ukraine – and warns urgently of the consequences if Russia wins the war. "It would pave the way for a continuation of Vladimir Putin's neo-imperialist policy of violence," Fritsch told the Augsburger Allgemeine. A Russian victory would not only be the end of a free, independent Ukraine, but Putin would also be aiming for self-determination and freedom for the West.

It is therefore of fundamental importance that Ukraine is put in a position of strength before peace negotiations take place, Fritsch demanded. Putin's goal, he said, is to "force us into dependency" not only on Ukraine. However, this does not preclude the preparation of a peace process, which, as in the seventies and eighties, emphasizes mutual security guarantees, the diplomat said.

In one of the fiercest waves of Russian attacks on Ukraine since the beginning of the war, at least 39 people were killed and over 120 others injured on Friday, according to Ukrainian data. President Volodymyr Zelensky once again spoke of a "terrorist attack" by Russia, which has been waging a brutal war of aggression against Ukraine for almost two years now. In total, almost 120 towns and villages were damaged by the wave of attacks. The clean-up work continued, the head of state said, thanking all rescuers.

In the conflict, there are also repeated Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian territory. On Saturday night, the Russian military destroyed 32 Ukrainian drones, according to information from Moscow. The unmanned aerial vehicles were intercepted by air defenses over the western Russian regions of Bryansk, Oryol and Kursk near the Ukrainian border, as well as over the Moscow region, the Ministry of Defense said on Telegram. The governors of the border regions of Bryansk and Belgorod also reported one death each from Ukrainian shelling. The information could not be independently verified.