A survivor after a Ukrainian military plane crashed

B26 people were killed in the crash of a military plane in eastern Ukraine. Only one occupant of the Antonov AN-26 machine survived. It is believed that the accident in Chuhujiw in the Kharkiv region near the border with Russia was due to the failure of sensors in an engine. The plane was more than 40 years old. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj wrote on Twitter: “Ukraine has lost 26 honorable sons.”

The Antonov took off on a training flight on Friday evening. On board were 20 young recruits from the University of the Air Force and seven crew members. It then crashed on approach. Much of the military equipment in the chronically damp Ukraine is out of date.

Two cadets managed to jump out of the machine before the impact. However, one of the two later died in hospital. President Zelenskyi visited the only survivor at the clinic on Saturday. He also remembered the victims at the crash site. The place is about 40 kilometers from the Russian border in eastern Ukraine, but not in the conflict area there.

According to previous knowledge, sensors in the left engine should have failed. Defense Minister Andrej Taran said the aircraft, built in 1977, was used for training flights. “Of course this is a terrible tragedy, we will find out the reasons.” A commission of inquiry is to be set up for this purpose. Several people were burned in the wreck of the machine, it said. Therefore, they are difficult to identify.

The crash is a severe blow to the Ukrainian military. The armed forces are fighting against pro-Russian separatists in the crisis region, around 250 kilometers from the crash site. According to United Nations estimates, more than 13,000 people have died since 2014. Ukraine and the separatists accuse each other of not doing enough to implement a peace plan.

The EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell reacted with dismay to the news from Ukraine, which he first visited a few days ago. EU Council President Charles Michel made a similar statement. “Europe mourns with you.” Selenskyj wants to meet Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on October 6 for an EU-Ukraine summit. The international efforts to pacify the conflict have made practically no progress for years.


Air Force puts space situation center into service

Dhe Bundeswehr wants to take a closer look at space in the future. Specialized optical and electronic devices are to monitor satellite traffic more intensively than before in order to observe own, European and international movements in space and to warn of dangers. More and more countries see space as an operating room. In the event of a military confrontation, there would probably also be clashes there. Countries like India and China have proven that they can also reach and shoot satellites with ballistic weapons, and satellites can also be targeted by cyber attacks.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer put an “Air and Space Operations Center”, or ASOC for short, into service on Monday on the Lower Rhine. “The space dimension must be taken into account more in the future,” said the minister during her visit. The largely lawless space, she said, must in future be better regulated by international agreements. The facility near Kalkar under the leadership of the Luftwaffe consists of an existing infrastructure of radar and telescope systems, established and new organizations. The air force’s space observers are currently housed in containers on the site, and a “space operations center” should be ready in spring 2022.

Military technology is used there in cooperation with civil engineering from the German aerospace industry. According to the Bundeswehr, the aim is to protect the critical space infrastructure on which Germany, with its highly networked economy and infrastructure, is “deeply dependent”. Another task of the ASOC is to provide early warning of objects entering the atmosphere – such as satellite debris. This affects not only the operators of the satellites, who can then react with course corrections, but also areas on earth where parts of it can be expected. The re-entry of the Starlink 56 satellite is currently being observed, although it is expected to burn up. The warnings go to regional police stations, which may receive calls from the population if celestial phenomena are observed such as the visible entry and the burning up of an old satellite.

100 new posts

There are currently around 2000 satellites in space, of which around 200 can be assigned to Germany, civil and military. After large systems were brought into orbit in the early days of space travel, today satellites are hardly larger than a refrigerator and weigh around 200 kilograms. Aviation experts anticipate a strong growth in space traffic in the future, “20,000 to 30,000 satellites in the coming years, according to the commander of the Center for Air Operations, Lieutenant General Klaus Habersetzer. The growing amount of so-called “space junk” poses a threat to your own satellites. These are parts of old systems that travel in space at up to 7 kilometers per second. German radar and optical systems can detect parts from a size of 5 to 10 centimeters in space. American systems, which are ten times more expensive, can capture even smaller parts.

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The Air Operations Center for planning and conducting air operations for both the Air Force and NATO is already located in Kalkar. From there, all aircraft movements, civil and military, are observed. If, for example, air traffic control loses an aircraft from the radar or radio contact is lost, this is where action is taken. If the worst comes to the worst, one of the constantly on standby alarm groups will rise, two Eurofighters each. The Federal Police is also represented in the facility.

Around 1,600 military and civilian employees are employed in Kalkar, 250 of whom come from a total of 24 nations. Around 100 posts have now been added for the new tasks. Most of the structural prerequisites must first be created, investments for around 200 million euros are planned until 2028 in the Paulsberg air defense system and in the von Seydlitz barracks in Kalkar.

The newly configured air and space situation center is to monitor the events in space around the clock, as far as one can from Germany. The possibilities for this are limited, however, because Germany has no overseas territories or bases on which space observation systems could be installed. So it will continue to be heavily dependent on partners, especially the United States of America.


World premiere of Ferdinand von Schirach’s “Gott” in the Berliner Ensemble

We are in a meeting of the Ethics Council on the evening of the world premiere of Ferdinand von Schirach’s new piece “Gott” in the Berliner Ensemble: in a windowless conference room made of light wood, which, without tables or chairs, is reminiscent of an auditorium, take before the start the idea of ​​the actors taking the place of nervous viola notes on the stage. Little by little they come in, greet each other, briefly whisper something to each other. And below, the audience in the corona-related, light rows of the theater hall do the same. Because not only the actors, but also the audience – that’s what the play wants, that’s how the production wants it – are actors on this evening. That is the first, figuratively then very intrusive instruction of this world premiere by Oliver Reese, which is followed by many instructions, many raised index fingers and endless lectures, until one stumbles completely exhausted from the theater.

Julia Encke

Julia Encke

Responsible editor for the features section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.

Five years ago, Ferdinand von Schirach published his play “Terror”, which was premiered by Reese at the time in Frankfurt, which negotiated a legal case: A terrorist hijacked a passenger plane and forced the pilots to take a course for a fully occupied football stadium. Against the orders of his superiors, an air force fighter pilot shoots down the plane at the last minute and all passengers die. The pilot must answer for his actions in court. Is he guilty or not? At the end of the play, the audience also voted here, the drama was a tremendous success and was performed on more than a hundred stages worldwide. And so Schirach now simply turns it into a principle, this time discussing a “assisted dying” case (“Who owns our life? Who decides about our death?”), Mixed up a meeting of the ethics council with cross-examination and questioning as if we were in a courtroom , and calls the whole thing “God” because, like “Terror”, it is so beautifully gaudy.

The actors and actresses who have not been able to play in the last few months during the closed theaters and who are now sitting up there in the conference room as professionals on the stage are actually what you feel sorry for from the start. Finally they have their theater back, but “God” does not grant them any leeway, no life, no crossing of boundaries, no surprises, no physicality. In the negotiation of the question of whether the 78-year-old Elisabeth Gärtner, who does not want to go on living, can ask for a drug with which she can commit suicide, the chairman of the ethics council (Gerrit Jansen), an ophthalmologist (Christine Schönfeld), a lawyer (Martin Rentzsch), a professor (Judith Engel), a bishop (Veit Schubert) and a medical officer (Ingo Hülsmann). Schirach decreed that all roles except the bishop can be played by both men and women. The people are not idiosyncratic characters anyway, but mere types who are put into their mouths with quotes from jurisprudence or specialist literature for minutes – until they have presented everything and just sit around like spectators until the end of the performance.

The writer Ferdinand von Schirach

The writer Ferdinand von Schirach

Image: dpa

While they speak, they gesticulate a lot (what else can they do?), Look hard, sometimes say “Puhh”, hair is blown upwards with their mouths protruding, some direct themselves while lecturing. And then there is this very nice moment in which Veit Schubert quotes the Karlsruhe judgment, gets out of rhythm and says to the prompter: “Now you have to help me, because you can’t remember that.”

“It’s not an abstract problem,” says the character Elisabeth Gärtner towards the end of the play and tells again why she cannot imagine life without her deceased husband and – despite her children and grandchildren – wants to die herself. “If you put all the legal technical terms aside,” says the lawyer in his final declaration (a formulation that, funnily enough, is not in the original text), “then you will quickly notice: The question is, who owns life ? ”In fact, with Schirach everything is abstract and everything is delivered with legal technical terms. “God” is a paper didactic piece that obtrusively addresses its viewers by being addressed again and again by all the characters: “Ladies and gentlemen”. But it doesn’t affect you. The whole evening is like the opposite of theater, where everything is actually language and body.


Oil tanker explodes near Sri Lanka

There is an explosion on an oil tanker near Sri Lanka and a fire breaks out. The crew must be evacuated. Oil leaks from the hull of the ship. A natural disaster threatens.

An explosion and subsequent fire occurred on an oil tanker near Sri Lanka. According to the authorities, oil leaked from the hull of the ship. According to an army commander, there is a risk of 270,000 metric tons of oil spilling into the sea.

According to a marine spokesman, the fire broke out in the engine room in the morning (local time). Later the flames spread to the deck. The fire fighting work with two helicopters had to be canceled in the evening due to poor visibility and strong winds, among other things.

Luftwaffe in action

The Panama-registered “MV Diamond” was supposed to bring the oil from Kuwait to India. 22 out of 23 crew members could have been saved. At least two of them were injured. The remaining crew member probably died in the flames in the engine room, said the marine spokesman.

The marine protection authority of Sri Lanka was trying to prevent an oil spill by its own account. The Sri Lankan Air Force sent one observation aircraft and the Navy sent two ships to assist in the rescue effort. Just a few weeks ago, the wreck of a Japanese freighter caused an environmental disaster off Mauritius.


Air Force again monitors NATO airspace over the Baltic States

Dhe Bundeswehr will once again monitor the airspace over the Baltic NATO states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the next eight months. A squadron of the Air Force took command of the Estonian Air Force Base Ämari from France on Monday. Up to six “Eurofighters” will be stationed for use. Changing contingents of German soldiers at the base will initially come from Tactical Air Force Wing 71 “Richthofen” from Wittmund until the end of the year, followed by Tactical Air Force Wing 74 from Neuburg an der Donau by the end of April 2021.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do not have their own air forces. For this reason, NATO has been securing the Baltic airspace since 2004 from military bases in Ämari (Estand) and Siauliai (Lithuania). Germany is taking on the task for the twelfth time. The last time the Air Force was involved in “Air Policing Baltic States” was from September 2018 to April 2019.

According to an Estonian army spokeswoman, Germany is now present with its fighter planes in Ämari for the seventh time – and thus more often than any other NATO ally of Estonia. The German pilots will be monitoring the airspace over the Baltic States together with the Italian armed forces, which will take command at the base in Siauliai.

In addition, the Bundeswehr will integrate a deployable air defense command post into the mission this year. For the most part, it should be stationed in Siauliai, but also partly in Skede (Latvia) and Ämari, the air force announced.


After rocket attacks – Israel shoots at Hamas targets

Israel has launched another retaliatory attack after rockets were fired from Gaza. Such attacks have been increasing again for around two weeks. Hamas is suspected to be behind this.

After further balloon and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, Israel again fired at targets of the Islamist Hamas in the Palestinian territory. The Israeli military announced on Thursday evening that warplanes had attacked a production facility that was used to build underground facilities.

Numerous fires started

Previously, militant Palestinians had again released numerous balloons with incendiary bottles or explosives attached to them, causing fires. On Friday night, the military also tweeted that after rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the air force had hit a Hamas military site that was used to manufacture ammunition. Several missiles were also intercepted.

Such attacks from the Gaza Strip have been going on every day for around two weeks. The Israeli army then fired at targets in the coastal area. Further details were initially not available. Shortly after the news of the attacks in Gaza, three rockets were fired from the area, according to the Israeli military. The alarm was raised in Kibbutz Kissufim. All three missiles were intercepted.

Israel tightened a blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2007, which is now supported by Egypt. Both countries justify this with security considerations. Two million people live in very poor conditions in the coastal strip on the Mediterranean. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the USA and the EU.