Zelensky refutes Russian claims about the capture of villages in the Sumy region


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected Russian statements about the capture of a village in the northeastern region of Sumy.

“As of this morning, the Russian flag in the village (Ryzhivka) has been destroyed and there are no longer any occupiers,” Zelensky wrote in Telegram on Monday.

The alleged capture of the village was a Russian propaganda campaign, he added.

On Sunday evening, the head of Russia’s semi-autonomous republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said a special unit had captured the border village of Ryzhivka in the Sumy region and inflicted significant losses on Ukrainian forces.

However, military observers quickly doubted this claim, although there had been speculation for weeks that Russian forces would open a new front in Sumy.

Ukraine has been fending off an all-out Russian invasion for more than two years.

Call for help to rebuild Kharkov

Meanwhile, the mayor of Kharkov, Ihor Terechovcalled for international help to rebuild the northeastern Ukrainian city, which has suffered extensive damage from several Russian airstrikes.

Terekhov told a conference in Berlin on Monday that the destruction had caused damage of more than 10 billion euros.

The city, where about 1.5 million people live, has been heavily bombed for weeks.

Russia is bombing civilian infrastructure and killing children, women and men, Terekhov said. But Ukraine is holding out. The goal is to make the city better and safer during reconstruction, he added.

A two-day reconstruction conference in Ukraine starts in Berlin on Tuesday. Berlin’s top economic official, Franziska Giffey, said Germany supports Ukraine and will play a leading role in its reconstruction.

Nuremberg Mayor Marcus König spoke of a beacon of hope, signaling strong support for Ukraine. Nuremberg and Kharkiv are sister cities.

Reconstruction official resigns

The head of Ukraine’s reconstruction agency, Mustafa Nayyem, has resigned shortly before the conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction begins in Berlin on Tuesday.

“Since November last year, the agency’s team has been facing constant resistance and the creation of artificial obstacles,” Nayyem wrote on Facebook on Monday.

In his position, Nayyem complained about his agency’s underfunding and excessive bureaucracy, which he said delayed reconstruction measures. Further work had become impossible since the resignation of Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov in early May.

Nayyem’s resignation was prompted by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal’s refusal to authorize a business trip to the reconstruction conference in Berlin.

Funding boost for German development work in Ukraine

Germany and the European Union plan to increase funding for work in Ukraine by the German international development agency GIZ, a German Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

GIZ will receive another 30 million euros for projects in Ukraine, bringing the agency’s total budget to 75 million euros, according to the spokesperson. The German government will contribute another 12 million euros on top of the previous 27 million euros, while the EU will double its contribution from 18 million euros to 36 million euros.

The project is part of the German Foreign Ministry’s stabilization plans, aimed at providing concrete support to government institutions and civil society in regions torn by conflict and war.

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