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German foreign minister says Ukrainian strikes on Moscow are legitimate

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 22, 2023 5:06 PM 2 min read
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock gives a press conference alongside the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, on Aug. 22, 2023. (Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock defended Ukraine’s right to strike targets on Russian soil, saying that Kyiv acts within international law, Anadolu news agency reported on Aug. 22.

“Russia has attacked Ukraine, and therefore Ukraine has a right enshrined in the UN Charter to defend its country, to defend its people,” Baerbock told a joint press conference with her Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna, as cited by Anadolu.

“Russia is bombing civilian targets in Ukraine relentlessly, targeting grain silos, hospitals, and churches. Ukraine is defending itself within the framework of international law,” Baerbock said, responding to a question on recent drone attacks on Moscow.

According to the media outlet, Estonia’s Tsahkna backed Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Russian forces and emphasized that Kyiv’s military operations are within the framework of international law.

Zaluzhnyi on Ukrainian strikes inside Russia: ‘It is up to us to decide how to kill this enemy’
In an interview with the Washington Post, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, defended his army’s right to strike Russian soil, adding that such attacks are carried out only with Ukraine-made weapons.

“Russia is responsible for starting the aggression. Russia is responsible for starting genocide. Russia is responsible for everything that it’s doing in Ukraine,” the Estonian foreign minister said.

“We must push Russia back to Russia. We must use every kind of opportunity for that.”

Earlier the same day, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin claimed that Russian air defense forces shot down two attack drones near Moscow, damaging buildings.

Drone attacks against Moscow have intensified over recent weeks. Two drone strikes on the same target, the high-rise "Moscow City" building where several Russian ministries are housed, caused damage on July 30 and Aug. 1.

Russia usually blames the Ukrainian military for strikes on Russian soil, while Ukraine rarely claims direct responsibility.

In a video message on July 30, President Volodymyr Zelensky said it's natural and fair that the war is returning to Russian territory.

From Moscow to Novorossiysk: The list of attacks on Russian soil
On the morning of Aug. 4, the residents of the Russian city of Novorossiysk woke to a 112-meter-long Navy ship being towed back to port after it was hit by a drone attack on the Black Sea overnight. While the Russian Defense Ministry claimed there were no casualties or damage,
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