The two women said several families had received calls in the past two days

The two women said several families had received calls in the past two days

Kateryna Prokopenko, who is married to Azov Regiment leader Denys Prokopenko, said that her husband asked her how she was, but that the line broke off before he could say anything about himself.

She said the phone call was possible under an agreement between the governments of Ukraine and Russia and thanks to the mediation of the Red Cross, which has been visiting some of the Ukrainian fighters who surrendered.

Earlier this month Russia announced its takeover of Mariupol with the surrender of the fighters holed up at the massive Azovstal steel mill.

Prokopenko, who skout zoeken spoke to The Associated Press in Kyiv together with another wife of a soldier, Yuliia Fedosiuk, said that the Ukraine and Russia agreement guarantees proper burial of dead soldiers and certain conditions for the prisoners of war, including allowing them to hold telephone calls with family members a few times per week.

They said they could not reveal more details of the agreement but they were hopeful that the soldiers will not be tortured and that they eventually will “come back home.”

BERLIN – Germany has rejected suggestions that it is reneging on a promise to provide Poland with tanks to make up for those that Warsaw has delivered to Ukraine.

Speaking after a meeting with her Polish counterpart in Berlin on Tuesday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the issue had been discussed in order to resolve “misunderstandings

Polish President Andrzej Duda told German broadcaster Welt that he was “very disappointed” Berlin had not fulfilled its promise on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Poland.

She said Germany could not supply heavy weapons “at the press of a button” as there were numerous questions to consider, not least what arms are actually available.

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said his country regretted that the situation with regard to arms deliveries to Ukraine was “not as dynamic” as hoped, but acknowledged that “the devil lies in the detail” on the issue.

Poland gave Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine with the expectation that NATO, the U.S. and Germany would fill that void.

Germany has agreed to several similar circular swaps with allied countries such as Slovenia and the Czech Republic, who in turn are sending older Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine

DAVOS, Switzerland – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday accused Russia of deliberately bombarding grain warehouses across Ukraine and weaponizing food supplies.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked disruptions of global food supplies, and the blockade of Ukrainian ports has been particularly harmful. Ukraine accounted for 90% of grain and oilseed exports before the war, according to the EU.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the head of the EU’s executive arm said about 20 million tons of wheat are currently stuck in Ukraine.

“And on top of this, Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail – holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support,” she said. “This is using hunger and grain to wield power.”

Von der Leyen said that fragile countries and vulnerable populations suffer the most. She said bread prices in Lebanon increased by 70%, and food shipments from Odesa have been blocked from reaching Somalia.

LVIV, Ukraine – An adviser to the mayor of Mariupol said on Tuesday that workers removing rubble from a collapsed apartment building in the devastated Ukrainian city found about 200 corpses in the building’s basement.

Petro Andryushchenko said on Telegram that the bodies were decomposing and that the stench permeated the neighborhood. It’s not clear when they were discovered and the report could not be independently verified.