During her visit, she condemned Russia’s attacks on the city, while vowing solidarity and support for Ukrainians. She was accompanied on the trip by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksii Makeiv, among other officials.
Hours after Baerbock’s visit, Kharkiv was shelled by Russian forces, the region’s governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram. He also encouraged inhabitants to remain in shelters.
Baerbock said her visit to Kharkiv was an attempt to get a picture of the situation on the ground. She had traveled to Ukraine via an overnight train from Poland, as Ukrainian airspace remains closed.
“Above all, I want to listen to the residents, who are being so hard hit by the war in this bitterly cold winter, when temperatures are currently dropping in the night to -15 degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit),” Baerbock said.
DW correspondent Max Zander, who was accompanying Baerbock on the visit, said the German foreign minister wanted to draw attention to “the consequences for critical infrastructure” such as power, heating and water amid frequent Russian attacks.
Baerbock’s trip included a visit to a children’s hospital and the ravaged northeastern district of Saltivka. Kharkiv lies roughly 50 to 60 kilometers (roughly 31 to 37 miles) south of Russia.
She said she wants all of Ukraine, “from Kharkiv to Kherson to Kyiv,” to know they “can rely on our solidarity and support.”