Ukraine Russia news - live: Germany stalls Leopard tanks for Kyiv as 14 killed in helicopter crash

Germany has stalled sending top-tier Leopard tanks to Ukraine for now and has likely imposed a precondition asking the US to send its own tanks, a government source aware of the discussions in Berlin has said, in a massive setback to the war-hit nation.

Chancellor Scholz has stressed the condition about US tanks several times over pressure to send its own indigenous tanks in recent days behind closed doors, the German government source said.

By doing so, Berlin has flexed its veto power in this latest move to deny Ukraine the superior Leopard tanks among the Nato, fielded by Nato-allied armies across Europe.

Ukraine has pleaded with its allies, especially in Europe, to help with military aid to outpace Russian missile offensive on the battlefield as it is currently using Soviet-era tanks to repel attacks.

Vladimir Putin has responded to pledges of tanks for Ukraine with a boast that Russia will boost its military industrial production.

Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that the security service of Ukraine has initiated a criminal investigation into helicopter crash in Kyiv’s Brovary.

Key Points

  • Crash death toll revised to 14

  • Hurry up with the tanks, says Zelensky

  • Putin says Russia upping military production

Germany sets precondition on sending tanks for Ukraine

04:00 , Arpan Rai

Olaf Scholz’s administration has said Germany will allow its indigenous tanks to be sent to Ukraine to help defend against Russia only if the United States agrees to send its own tanks, government sources have told Reuters.

This comes despite pleading from Ukraine which has sought its European allies to help with military aid and outpace Russian missile offensive.

Chancellor Scholz has stressed the condition about US tanks several times in recent days behind closed doors, the German government source said.

Berlin has flexed its veto power in this latest move to deny Ukraine the superior Leopard tanks among the Nato, fielded by Nato-allied armies across Europe.

Defence experts have condemned the move as the sought after Leopard tanks, considered to be among the best in west’s possession, as it was dubbed to be the most suitable for Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelensky has been calling on nations to provide for new modern Western weapons, especially heavy battle tanks, so it can regain momentum this year following some battlefield successes in the second half of 2022.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Russian warbloggers can’t hold the line on Soledar

04:00 , Liam James

Russian warbloggers are unable to find agreement on the state of the Kremlin’s claim to Soledar, the Ukrainian town which Moscow said it had taken over last week after days of heavy fighting.

The difficulty, according to military observers, is that the Kremlin has yet to find a way of framing advances in the small Donetsk mining town as tactically significant in Russia’s wider goal of capturing the Donbas region.

Last week, some analysts said Russian capture of Soledar could block supply lines for Ukrainian troops defending the nearby city of Bakhmut – now bloggers such as the widely-followed Rybar and Readovka are at odds on the most important impact of the claimed capture.

In its daily update on the Ukraine war, the Institute for the Study of War said: “The fact that the Russian information space has not identified the key ground line of communication that Russian forces are now better positioned to take, or any other operational advantage associated with Russian tactical advances in Soledar further underscores that the offensive to capture the settlement has not significantly changed Russian operations in the wider Bakhmut area.”

Cleverly urges ‘coordination’ on Ukraine

03:24 , Arpan Rai

British foreign secretary praised Canada’s contribution to Ukraine, as he stressed that allies “integrate” but “don’t duplicate”.

The top British official was being asked whether the country was making its fair share of commitments to Nato and the war in Ukraine.

It comes as the Canadian Government announced plans to donate 200 armoured vehicles to Ukraine, amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

Mr Cleverly, who met with US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Tuesday, said “Canada is doing a huge amount for Ukraine”.

“One of the things that we need to understand is that the whole point of an alliances is that we integrate what we do, that we don’t duplicate unless desirable to or less absolutely necessary, that we coordinate and we make sure that we bring our respective strengths to the table.

Read the full story here:

Cleverly stresses ‘coordination’ on Ukraine as he praises Canadian contribution

Ukraine appoints acting interior minister after crash

02:30 , Liam James

Ukraine’s government appointed national police chief Ihor Klymenko as acting interior minister after the former office holder was among at least 17 people killed in a helicopter crash near Kyiv, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

Mr Shmyhal announced the appointment hours after Denys Monastyrskyi’s death.

He said Mr Klymenko had officially been appointed to the role of deputy interior minister, but would fulfil the responsibilities of the minister.

Russia in it ‘for the long haul’, says Nato deputy

01:30 , Liam James

Russia is preparing for an extended war so Nato must get ready “for the long haul” and support Ukraine for as long as it takes, the alliance’s deputy secretary general told top military chiefs from across Europe.

Speaking at the opening of the military leaders’ meeting in Brussels, Mircea Geoana said Nato nations must invest more in defence, ramp up military industrial manufacturing, and harness new technologies to prepare for future wars.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine nears the one-year mark, Nato chiefs are expected to discuss how allies can expand the delivery of weapons, training and support to Ukraine in the coming months, and how they can further shore up their own defences.

“We have no indication that Putin’s goals have changed,” said Mr Geoana, adding that Russia has mobilised more than 200,000 additional troops.

“So we must be prepared for the long haul. 2023 will be a difficult year and we need to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Gazprom shipments via Ukraine drop

00:30 , Liam James

Russia’s Gazprom said it will ship 32.6 million cubic metres of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Wednesday, a volume in line with recent days but around 20 per cent lower than daily shipments recorded in the final months of last year.

Europe has turned away from Russin gas since the invasion but has not completely cut off the supply.

Russian crude oil exports to the European Union fell by 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 0.9 million bpd in December from the previous month, International Energy Agency (IEA) data showed.

The EU has imposed a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel in order to limit price surges driven by lower supply.

West must move faster than Russia, Zelensky tells Davos

Wednesday 18 January 2023 23:32 , Liam James

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky says Western supplies of weapons must outpace Russia’s attacks and urged the world to move faster in its decision-making because “tragedies are outpacing life; the tyranny is outpacing democracy”.

In a video address on Wednesday to the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Zelensky stood and asked for a moment of silence for victims of the helicopter crash in Ukraine, who included his interior minister.

He said that the world needs to react quicker to challenges like global security, climate change and hunger, saying there’s a “time crisis”.

Mr Zelensky said that Russia started the war, and the world needed days to react with the first sanctions, with “the time the free world uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill”.

He said the world must not hesitate: “The supplying of Ukraine with air defence systems must outpace Russia’s vast missile attacks. The supplies of Western tanks must outpace another invasion of Russian tanks.”

Zelensky appearing before the WEF in Davos today (AFP/Getty)
Zelensky appearing before the WEF in Davos today (AFP/Getty)

Russian attacks on Bakhmut repelled, says Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 22:30 , Liam James

Ukraine’s military said its troops repelled attacks in the eastern city of Bakhmut and the village of Klishchiivka just south of it.

Russia has focused on Bakhmut in recent weeks, claiming last week to have taken the mining town of Soledar on its northern outskirts.

A Ukrainian T-72 tank manoeuvres through trees in Donetsk (EPA)
A Ukrainian T-72 tank manoeuvres through trees in Donetsk (EPA)
Ukrainian soldiers in a T-72 tank fire on Russian positions in Donetsk (EPA)
Ukrainian soldiers in a T-72 tank fire on Russian positions in Donetsk (EPA)
Ukrainian soldiers walk along a road outside of the strategic city of Bakhmut (Getty)
Ukrainian soldiers walk along a road outside of the strategic city of Bakhmut (Getty)

Ukraine helicopter crash kills at least 14 including minister on way to ‘hotspot’ combat zone

Wednesday 18 January 2023 21:30 , Liam James

At least 14 people including Ukraine’s interior minister and a child were killed when a helicopter crashed on its way to a combat “hotspot” in the northeastern city of Kharkiv (Thomas Kingsley writes).

Interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi, who oversaw Ukraine’s police and emergency services, is the most senior Kyiv official to die since Russia invaded nearly 11 months ago.

The head of the national police, Ihor Klimenko, said that Mr Monastyrskyi’s first deputy, Yevheniy Yenin, and the interior ministry’s state secretary also died when the aircraft came down on Wednesday morning beside a nursery in Brovary, a suburb to the east of Kyiv.

Child and minister among 14 killed as helicopter crashes in Ukraine

Turkey expects US F-16 sale to go ahead

Wednesday 18 January 2023 20:40 , Reuters

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he expected the US to approve a $20bn (£16bn) sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, saying the planned acquisition is in line with the “joint strategic interests” of both Washington and Ankara.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is hosting Mr Cavusoglu in Washington, for the first time since the Biden administration took office almost two years ago, in a visit during which the Ukraine war, F-16 deal and Ankara’s refusal to green light Nato membership for Sweden and Finland will be front and centre.

The Biden administration has expressed its support for the sale of the jets to Turkey, despite opposition from the US Congress over Ankara’s problematic human rights record and Syria policy, as it seeks to keep Nato unity in the face of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking before a meeting with Blinken at the State Department, Mr Cavusoglu said the F-16 deal was important not only for Turkey but for Nato and the United States and appeared confident that it would go ahead.

“So we expect the approval in line with our joint strategic interests,” he said in brief remarks.

White House ‘offended’ by Russian minister’s Hitler comparison

Wednesday 18 January 2023 20:10 , Liam James

The White House said Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s statement comparing the United States’ assembly coalition to take on Russia to Adolf Hitler’s actions to eradicate Jews in Europe “truly offensive.”

“It’s almost so absurd that it’s not worth responding to, other than the truly offensive manner in which he tried to cast us in terms of Hitler and the Holocaust,” White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Mr Lavrov earlier today said the United States had assembled a coalition of European countries to solve “the Russian question” in the same way that Adolf Hitler had sought a “final solution” to eradicate Europe’s Jews.

The Kremlin minister, who caused an international furore last year with remarks about Hitler, said Washington was using the same tactic as Napoleon and the Nazis in trying to subjugate Europe in order to destroy Russia.

Lavrov at a news conference in Moscow earlier (AP)
Lavrov at a news conference in Moscow earlier (AP)

Kyiv helicopter crash is a grave blow to Ukraine’s war efforts and a personal loss for Zelensky

Wednesday 18 January 2023 19:40 , Liam James

Kim Sengupta recalls his encounter with Ukraine’s late interior minister days before the war:

In the days leading up to the war in Ukraine there was still flickering hope that negotiations could work out and that peace would prevail in the gathering darkness.

However, interior minister Denys Monastyrsky had little doubt Vladimir Putin was determined to invade. To demonstrate the extent of Moscow’s military build-up on the border, he took a group of journalists to the Donbas.

In the town of Novoluhanske, we came under sustained fire. “You see, they did this without provocation,” he exclaimed as we took cover. “This is what the people around here have to live with every day. The Russians are creating false stories and carrying out this kind of bombing, they are creating excuses for war.”

Two Ukrainian soldiers – Anton Sydorov, 35, the father of three daughters, and 34-year-old Denys Kononenko, the father of a young son – were killed by howitzer and mortar rounds that day. Five days later, Russian troops rolled into Ukraine.

Kyiv helicopter crash loss is a grave blow to Ukraine’s war efforts

Biden vows to honour Ukrainian minister killed in crash

Wednesday 18 January 2023 19:10 , Liam James

President Joe Biden expressed condolences to the families of those killed in a helicopter crash in Ukraine on Wednesday and said the United States would honour the interior minister who was on board with continued commitment to preserving Ukraine‘s democracy.

He praised interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi’s efforts to fight Russian aggression and push for reforms to strengthen Ukraine’s democracy.

“We will continue to honor that legacy through efforts to strengthen Ukraine‘s institutions, and in our unfailing partnership with the people of Ukraine to keep the flame of freedom bright,” Mr Biden said in a statement.

“Today, we are praying for healing for the wounded and comfort for those who have lost loved ones. The United States stands with the people of Ukraine in the face of this tragedy, and for as long as it takes,” he added.

Fragments of crashed helicopter removed from scene

Wednesday 18 January 2023 18:40 , Liam James

Emergency responders are removing debris from the helicopter crash ner Kyiv which killed at least 14 today.

The crash at a nursery in Brovary killed Ukraine’s interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi, among others.

A fragment of a helicopter is removed (AP)
A fragment of a helicopter is removed (AP)
An expert examines a fragment of the helicopter (AP)
An expert examines a fragment of the helicopter (AP)

More than 9,000 civilians dead since invasion, says Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 18:10 , Liam James

More than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed since the war began last February, a Ukrainian presidential aide said.

The United Nations human rights agency has put the civilian toll at more than 7,000.

The war has been marked by several sieges of cities, such as Mariupol, where evacuating civilians has proved difficult or impossible.

Russia has also in recent months turned to firing on energy infrastructure, sometimes in urban centres.

Hurry up with the tanks, says Zelensky

Wednesday 18 January 2023 17:40 , Liam James

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the World Economic Forum in Davos that Western supplies of tanks and air defence units should come more quickly and be delivered faster than Russia was able to carry out attacks.

In his speech, which he delivered via video link, he said that Russia was exporting terror.

Britain and other countries have pledged tanks to Ukraine, stepping up supplies to a level unthinkable just months ago.

Vladimir Putin today announced that Russia was increasing its military production.

Zelensky addressing WEF today (Reuters)
Zelensky addressing WEF today (Reuters)

Boris Johnson ‘wanted to scrap’ British tanks now being sent to Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 17:10 , Liam James

Boris Johnson wanted to get rid of the British army tanks now being sent to Ukraine a year before the war started because he believed they had outlived their usefulness on the battlefield, it has been claimed (Kim Sengupta writes).

The then-prime minister proposed scrapping the Challenger 2 squadrons in the 2021 defence review, and was only dissuaded from doing so after strenuous pressure from service chiefs, according to military sources.

There is now widespread consensus among Ukraine’s Western allies that modern tanks are urgently needed as the Kremlin prepares for the next phase of the war. Britain, in a major ratcheting-up of Nato support for Ukraine, announced at the weekend that it would send the Challenger 2 tanks. Germany is also expected to supply Leopard 2 tanks in preparation for large-scale combat which is due to resume once winter eases.

Boris Johnson ‘wanted to scrap’ British tanks now being sent to Ukraine

Putin says Russia upping military production as allies pledge tanks to Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 16:33 , Liam James

Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s powerful military-industrial complex was ramping up production and was one of the main reasons why his country would prevail in Ukraine.

Speaking to workers at a factory in St Petersburg that makes air defence systems, Mr Putin said overall military equipment output was rising even as demand for it was growing because of what he calls Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Western nations have recently stepped up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

“In terms of achieving the end result and the victory that is inevitable, there are several things ... It is the unity and cohesion of the Russian and multinational Russian people, the courage and heroism of our fighters ... and of course the work of the military-industrial complex and factories like yours and people like you,” said Mr Putin.

“Victory is assured, I have no doubt about it.”

Mr Putin said Russian arms companies manufactured about the same number of anti-aircraft missiles as the rest of the world combined, and three times more than the United States.

Putin with workers at the factory in Saint Petersburg today (Reuters)
Putin with workers at the factory in Saint Petersburg today (Reuters)

Russia in it ‘for the long haul’, says Nato deputy

Wednesday 18 January 2023 16:01 , Liam James

Russia is preparing for an extended war so Nato must get ready “for the long haul” and support Ukraine for as long as it takes, the alliance’s deputy secretary general told top military chiefs from across Europe.

Speaking at the opening of the military leaders’ meeting in Brussels, Mircea Geoana said Nato nations must invest more in defence, ramp up military industrial manufacturing, and harness new technologies to prepare for future wars.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine nears the one-year mark, Nato chiefs are expected to discuss how allies can expand the delivery of weapons, training and support to Ukraine in the coming months, and how they can further shore up their own defences.

“We have no indication that Putin’s goals have changed,” said Mr Geoana, adding that Russia has mobilised more than 200,000 additional troops.

“So we must be prepared for the long haul. 2023 will be a difficult year and we need to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Canada to send 200 armoured vehicles to Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 15:38 , Liam James

Canada will send 200 Senator armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine as part of a new package of military assistance, defence minister Anita Anand said on a visit to Kyiv today.

The Canadian defence ministry said in a statement that Ukraine had specifically requested the vehicles and that Ms Anand was meeting officials including defence minister Oleksii Reznikov in the Ukrainian capital.

“This aid is valued at over C$90m (£54m) and is allocated as part of the additional C$500m (£300m) in military aid for Ukraine announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in November 2022,” it said.

The remainder of the C$500m will be made up by the Nasams surface-to-air missile system Canada announced last week it would be sending.

A senator armoured vehicle sent by Canade earlier in the war (Ukraine Military)
A senator armoured vehicle sent by Canade earlier in the war (Ukraine Military)

Wednesday 18 January 2023 15:09 , Liam James

Ukraine needs a “significant increase” in weapons at a pivotal moment in Russia’s invasion and such support is the only way to a negotiated peaceful solution, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said.

Nato and fefence leaders from around 50 countries will hold talks at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base on Friday, the latest in a series of meetings since Russian forces swept into Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.

“This is a pivotal moment in the war and the need for a significant increase in support for Ukraine,” Mr Stoltenberg told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“If we want a negotiated peaceful solution tomorrow we need to provide more weapons today.”

The focus in Ramstein is expected to be not on what the United States will provide but on whether Germany will lift its opposition to sending its Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine or at least approve their transfer from allied countries.

Poland and Lithuania have pledged to send the tanks but require the consent of Germany.

Stoltenberg in Davos today (Reuters)
Stoltenberg in Davos today (Reuters)

Zelensky and Monastyrskyi seen together yesterday

Wednesday 18 January 2023 14:45 , Liam James

Volodymyr Zelensky was seen meeting his late interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi just yesterday.

A photo provided by the Ukrainian president’s press service showed the pair speaking in Kyiv, hours before Mr Monastyrskyi was killed in a helicopter crash.

Mr Zelensky said he had ordered an investigation into what he called a “terrible tragedy” which also killed the minister’s deputy, Yevheniy Yenin, and other ministry officials among others.

“The pain is unspeakable,” the president said in a statement.

Zelensky and Monastyrskyi meet yesterday (AP)
Zelensky and Monastyrskyi meet yesterday (AP)

Crash death toll revised

Wednesday 18 January 2023 14:21 , Chris Stevenson

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service has revised the death toll from the crash down, saying 14 people had died – including one child.

Ukraine appoints acting interior minister after crash

Wednesday 18 January 2023 14:10 , Liam James

Ukraine’s government appointed national police chief Ihor Klymenko as acting interior minister after the former office holder was among at least 17 people killed in a helicopter crash near Kyiv, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

Mr Shmyhal announced the appointment hours after Denys Monastyrskyi’s death.

He said Mr Klymenko had officially been appointed to the role of deputy interior minister, but would fulfil the responsibilities of the minister.

Germany’s Scholz: helicopter crash shows ‘immense toll’ Ukraine paying in war

Wednesday 18 January 2023 13:40 , Matt Mathers

German chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that the helicopter crash in Ukraine that left at least 16 people dead, including the interior minister, showed the "immense toll" Ukraine is paying in the war against Russia.

"Our thoughts on this sad day are with the families of the victims and the injured, and with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, who lost his interior minister today," said Scholz on Twitter.

Putin: Russian victory in Ukraine is ‘inevitable’

Wednesday 18 January 2023 13:20 , Matt Mathers

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a Russian victory in Ukraine was "inevitable" in remarks broadcast on state TV.

In televised remarks to workers during a visit to a weapons factory in his home town of St Petersburg, Putin told workers and reporters: "Victory is assured, I have no doubt about it."

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was reported to have made similar remarks earlier.

Helicopter death toll up to 17

Wednesday 18 January 2023 13:07 , Chris Stevenson

Ukraine's State Emergency Service have said that 17 people were killed in the helicopter crash, including nine people who were aboard the helicopter and four children on the ground.

It said 25 people have been injured, including 11 children. Early official reports gave slightly different casualty figures, including a higher death toll.

West’s ‘hybrid war’ won’t stop Russia - Kremlin

Wednesday 18 January 2023 12:43 , Chris Stevenson

Russia will achieve its objectives in Ukraine despite a "hybrid war" waged by the West against Moscow, Moscow’s top diplomat insisted on Wednesday.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said the goals of Moscow’s "special military operation" in Ukraine are "determined by Russia’s core legitimate interests" and will be fulfilled.

"There must be no military infrastructure in Ukraine that poses a direct threat to our country," he said, adding that Moscow also intends to make sure the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are protected.

Interior ministry officials were heading for Kharkiv

Wednesday 18 January 2023 12:36 , Chris Stevenson

Officials from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry were on their way to Kharkiv before their helicopter crashed this morning, according to regional police chief for the area, Volodymyr Tymoshko.

“Today I was supposed to welcome, to shake hands with, to meet... not only the leaders, no, but friends whom I respected and awaited,” Mr Tymoshko wrote on Facebook.

“Today I have talked with everyone who was on board, and drove out to meet them,” he said.

Tymoshko added that their deaths are “an irreparable loss.”

Kharkiv is in northeast Ukraine, and the helicopter crashed in Brovary, east of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Death toll of crash now at least 16

Wednesday 18 January 2023 12:31 , Chris Stevenson

The deputy head of the president's office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, has announced that the death toll in the helicopter crash now stands at 16. He added that 30 others had been injured, including 12 children. Many had burns, officials said.

‘Horrible day for Ukraine’, says first lady

Wednesday 18 January 2023 12:11 , Chris Stevenson

Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, has said the helicopter crash is a “horrible day for Ukraine” – saying in a tweet that the biggest tragedy is the “death of children”.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Russia's commissioner denies talks on large prisoner exchange with Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 12:00 , Matt Mathers

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said on Tuesday she did not talk to her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Lubinets in Turkey last week about a possible prisoner exchange.

Turkish ombudsman Seref Malkoc said on Monday that Ukraine conveyed to Russia a list of 800 people and that the Russian ombudsman provided a list of 200 to be swapped.

"In my negotiations with Ombudsman of Ukraine Dmytro Lubinets in Ankara there was never any talk of exchanges, and I always emphasize that these issues are within the competence of the Russian Ministry of Defence," Moskalkova said on the Telegram messaging app.

"Moreover, I believe that such an unequal exchange cannot be considered fair."

A spokesperson for Malkoc later insisted that Russian and Ukrainian ombudsmen exchanged lists in Ankara, but said the Turkish side did not retain any copy of those lists.

World in a ‘sorry state’ - UN chief says

Wednesday 18 January 2023 11:35 , Matt Mathers

The world is in a "sorry state" because of myriad "interlinked" challenges including climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine that are "piling up like cars in a chain reaction crash", the head of the United Nations said at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered his gloomy message on the second day of the elite gathering of world leaders and corporate executives in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Mr Guterres said the widest levels of geopolitical division and mistrust in generations are undermining efforts to tackle global problems, which also include widening inequality, a cost-of-living crisis sparked by soaring inflation, and an energy crunch, lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, supply-chain disruptions and more.

He singled out climate change as an "existential challenge", and said a global commitment to limit the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5C "is nearly going up in smoke".

West must move faster than Russia, Zelensky tells Davos

Wednesday 18 January 2023 20:23 , Liam James

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky says Western supplies of weapons must outpace Russia‘s attacks and urged the world to move faster in its decision-making because “tragedies are outpacing life; the tyranny is outpacing democracy”.

In a video address today to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Zelensky stood and asked for a moment of silence for victims of the helicopter crash in Ukraine, who included his interior minister.

He said that the world needs to react quicker to challenges like global security, climate change and hunger, saying there’s a “time crisis”.

Mr Zelensky said that Russia started the war, and the world needed days to react with the first sanctions, with “the time the free world uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill”.

He said the world must not hesitate: “The supplying of Ukraine with air defence systems must outpace Russia‘s vast missile attacks. The supplies of Western tanks must outpace another invasion of Russian tanks.”

Zelensky appearing before the WEF in Davos today (AFP/Getty)
Zelensky appearing before the WEF in Davos today (AFP/Getty)

Zelensky: ‘Terrible tragedy'

Wednesday 18 January 2023 10:30 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky has said a “terrible tragedy” struck when a helicopter crashed near Kyiv earlier this morning, killing 18 people.

He said: “Today, a terrible tragedy occurred in Brovary, Kyiv region. A state emergency services helicopter crashed, and a fire broke out at the crash site.

“The exact number of victims of the tragedy is currently being established. Among them are minister of internal affairs of Ukraine Denys Monastyrskyi, his first deputy Yevhen Yenin, state secretary of the ministry of internal affairs Yuri Lubkovych, their assistants and the helicopter crew.

“25 people were injured, including ten children. As of this minute, three children died. The pain is unspeakable. The helicopter fell on the territory of one of the kindergartens.

“I have instructed the security service of Ukraine, in cooperation with the national police of Ukraine and other authorised bodies, to find out all the circumstances of what happened. All services are working on the scene of the tragedy.

“My condolences to all the families and friends of the victims. Denys, Yevhen, Yuri, the team of the ministry of internal affairs … true patriots of Ukraine. May they rest in peace. May all those whose lives were taken this black morning rest in peace”.

Lithuania pushes for tank deliveries to Ukraine

Wednesday 18 January 2023 10:24 , Matt Mathers

Lithuania’s foreign minister said on Wednesday he was confident main battle tanks would be delivered to Ukraine after holding talks with partners at the World Economic Forum, but that the West still needed to do more to ensure Kyiv won the war.

"I’m confident because this is what I’m hearing here, talking with other leaders. There is momentum," Gabrielius Landsbergis told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the forum, adding that after Britain announced it would send Challenger tanks, there was less argument for others not to.

Ukraine is calling for Western countries to send more weapons as the war’s one-year anniversary fast approached.

Pope calls missile attack on Ukraine apartment building heartbreaking

Wednesday 18 January 2023 10:03 , Matt Mathers

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the Russian missile strike on an apartment building that killed 45 people, including young children, in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro as heartbreaking.

As he has in nearly all of his public appearances since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, Francis appealed for peace at his weekly general audience in the Vatican.

"Last Saturday another missile attack caused many civilian victims, among them children. I share in the heartbreaking pain of the family members," he said.

"The images and the accounts of this tragic episode are a strong appeal to all people of conscience. One cannot remain indifferent," he said.

A total of 45 people have been confirmed killed in the strike.

Ukraine says the apartment building was struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile. The Kremlin said its wave of missile strikes on Saturday did not target any residential buildings.

Wednesday 18 January 2023 09:56 , Chris Stevenson

The governor of Kyiv, Oleksiy Kuleba, has said this on Telegram:

“11.40am. In Brovary, a rescue operation is underway at the scene of the tragedy. Debris analysis is underway. Children from the kindergarten are in another educational institution, and the relevant services work with them. The circumstances of the disaster are currently being investigated. All emergency services are on site.

‘I’m not going to surrender’: Alexei Navalny vows to keep resisting Moscow two years after returning to Russia

Wednesday 18 January 2023 09:35 , Matt Mathers

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has used the second anniversary of his incarceration to reinforce his promise to keep opposing the Kremlin, as his family and allies launched a campaign to free him.

Mr Navalny was arrested exactly two years ago as he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been treated for poisoning with a deadly Soviet-era nerve agent in what he and some Western nations said was a state assassination attempt. The Kremlin denied involvement.

Andrew Osborn reports:

Jailed Navalny vows to keep resisting the Kremlin as campaign launched to free him

Death toll rises to 18

Wednesday 18 January 2023 09:10 , Matt Mathers

Officials in Ukraine say the death toll from a helicopter crash earlier has risen to 18.

The helicopter came down close to the nursery and a residential building in Brovary to the northeast of the capital, local officials said.

The regional governor said multiple people - including children - have been hurt.

 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Unclear at this stage how helicopter crashed

Wednesday 18 January 2023 09:00 , Matt Mathers

Officials gave no immediate account of the cause of the crash and there was no immediate comment from Russia.

Interior minister Denys Monastyrsky, responsible for the police and security inside Ukraine, would be the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war began.

National police chief Ihor Klymenko said Mr Monastyrsky had been killed along with his deputy and other senior ministry officials.

Update: Two children and interior minister among 16 people killed in helicopter crash near Kyiv

Wednesday 18 January 2023 08:37 , Matt Mathers

A helicopter crash in a Kyiv suburb Wednesday killed 16 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and two children, according to Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine’s National Police.

Nine of those killed were aboard the emergency services helicopter that crashed in Brovary, Kyiv’s eastern suburb, Klymenko said.

A total of 22 people were injured, including 10 children. Earlier, officials and media reports said the helicopter crashed near a kindergarten.

 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Full report:

Ukraine’s interior minister among 16 killed as helicopter crashes near Kyiv nursery

US sent Israel-stored munitions to Ukraine - New York Times

Wednesday 18 January 2023 08:08 , Matt Mathers

The United States sent a munitions stockpile stored in Israel to Ukraine for use in the war against Russia, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, saying the decision was made last year when Washington’s Middle East ally was under a centrist premier.

An Israeli official confirmed the report to Reuters, saying that then-prime minister Yair Lapid approved the transfer although the United States does not formally need such consent.

While it has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israel has limited its assistance to Kyiv to humanitarian aid and protective gear, while ruling out a direct weapons supply.

The Israelis want to maintain a coordination hotline with Russia, set up in 2015, over their military strikes on suspected Iranian targets in Syria, where Moscow has a garrison. They are also mindful of the welfare of Russia’s big Jewish community.

The Israeli official did not know if any further such U.S. arms transfers from Israel were expected under conservative prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took office on 29 December and who, during previous terms, had cultivated a personal rapport with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

The US Embassy in Israel had no immediate comment on the New York Times report. Ukrainian ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk told Reuters by phone that he had "no idea" if the report was true. The Russian embassy declined comment.

Helicopter crashes near Ukraine nursery

Wednesday 18 January 2023 07:34 , Matt Mathers

A helicopter crashed near a nursery and a residential building in the town of Brovary outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Wednesday, and there were casualties, the local governor said.

"At the time of the tragedy, children and staff of the institution were in the kindergarten. Everyone has now been evacuated," Kyiv region governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Ukraine's military Patriot training will take 10 weeks - defence minister

Wednesday 18 January 2023 07:08 , Matt Mathers

The training of Ukrainian officers to operate the Patriot advanced long-range air defence system will last 10 weeks, Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Tuesday.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands have pledged to send Patriot missile systems to Ukraine to repel a barrage of Russian missile and drone attacks.

"There is a decision that our officers will be trained in 10 weeks. Such obligations were undertaken by the American partners," Reznikov said, in remarks published on Ukraine’s state Military Media Center Telegram messaging app.

Cleverly and Blinken reaffirm support for Ukraine after Washington talks

Wednesday 18 January 2023 06:59 , PA

Britain and the US have reaffirmed their support for Ukraine in its struggle against the Russian invasion.

After talks at the State Department in Washington with foreign secretary James Cleverly, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said they remained committed to backing Ukraine “for as long as it takes”.

Mr Blinken welcomed Rishi Suank’s decision to supply British Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and said he expected the US would be announcing further assistance in the coming days.

“We have continuously provided what Ukraine needs and we are doing it in a way that makes sure we are responsive to what is actually happening on the battlefield as well as projecting where it might go,” he said.

“We are determined to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs to succeed on the battlefield.”

Mr Cleverly said the US and UK have worked “hand in glove” - along with other allies - to support Ukraine since the start of the conflict.

“Never in living memory has Russia been more isolated and the Atlantic alliance more united,” he said. “If Putin believed that the world would succumb to Ukraine fatigue and lose the will to resist his ambitions then that was once again another colossal misjudgment on his part.”

Ukraine defending Bakhmut’s outskirts against Russian attacks - MoD

Wednesday 18 January 2023 06:39 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian forces have likely established new defensive lines to the west, the British defence ministry said today.

“By the end of 16 January [Monday], Ukrainian forces had highly likely withdrawn from the Donbas town of Soledar, leaving Russian military and Wagner Group proxy forces in control,” the ministry said.

It added: “Russia’s advance on Soledar primarily consisted of Wagner forces and was a supporting operation aimed to enable the eventual envelopment of the larger settlement of Bakhmut. One of Ukraine’s two main supply routes into Bakhmut is now under increasing pressure.”

The British defence ministry pointed to imagery showing that since the start of January 2023, the south and east of Bakhmut has continued to be subjected to intense artillery bombardment.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Ukrainian forces almost certainly continue to defend against Russian forces on the outskirts of the city, the MoD said.

Ukraine’s military Patriot training will take 10 weeks - official

Wednesday 18 January 2023 06:01 , Arpan Rai

The training of Ukrainian forces to operate the Patriot advanced long-range air defence system will last 10 weeks, Ukraine‘s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov has said.

“There is a decision that our officers will be trained in 10 weeks. Such obligations were undertaken by the American partners,” Reznikov said, in remarks published on Ukraine‘s state Military Media Center Telegram messaging app.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands have pledged to send Patriot missile systems to Ukraine to repel a barrage of Russian missile and drone attacks.

Ukraine father killed in Dniprorocket attack after recently celebrating daughter’s birthday

Wednesday 18 January 2023 06:01 , Andy Gregory

Ukraine closer to securing German modern battle tanks

Wednesday 18 January 2023 05:34 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine is a step closer to winning approval for German-made modern battle tanks to confront invading Russian forces and has secured a pledge of more Patriot defence missiles as its allies appear ready to rally for the next phase of the war.

Germany’s Leopard 2 tank, operated by armies in about 20 countries, is regarded as one of the West’s best. The tank weighs more than 60 tons, has a 120mm smoothbore gun and can hit targets at a distance of up to five km.

Ukraine, which has relied mainly on Soviet-era T-72 tank variants, says the new tanks would give its ground troops more mobility and protection ahead of a broadly expected fresh Russian offensive as well as help re-take some of its territory.

More than 14,000 Ukrainian children abducted - official

Wednesday 18 January 2023 05:09 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian authorities have accused Russia of abducting almost 14,000 children in Ukraine during the war, the presidential adviser Daria Herasymchuk said.

The presidential advisor for children’s rights and rehabilitation said that only 125 children, who were illegally deported to Russia, have been returned to Ukraine, as of yesterday.

Russian troops have killed 456 children and injured 897 since the beginning of Russian invasion of Ukraine, the official said.

Western allies to meet at German airbase this week

Wednesday 18 January 2023 04:59 , Andy Gregory

Western allies are scheduled to meet at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday to pledge military support for Ukraine, with a focus on the proposal to provide battle tanks, reports my colleague Chris Stevenson.

German-made Leopard tanks, held by armies across Europe, are seen as the most likely option to be sent in large numbers, but Berlin has been reticent to provide the approval required.

That decision now sits with Germany’s new defence minister, Boris Pistorius, who has been chosen to replace Christine Lambrecht, who quit after a number of recent missteps.

Ukraine father killed in rocket attack during daughter’s birthday party

Wednesday 18 January 2023 04:33 , Arpan Rai

A Ukrainian father was killed during a rocket attack while celebrating his daughter’s birthday.

Boxing coach Mikhailo Korenovsky, 39, died when a missile struck the building where he lived with his family, in the city of Dnipro on Saturday.

Photos of the top floor apartment show how an entire side was blown off, revealing the family’s yellow kitchen inside.

Father celebrating daughter’s birthday killed in rocket attack as home devastated

Ukraine’s top general lays out the ‘urgent’ military needs to fight Russia – as nations pledge more support

Wednesday 18 January 2023 03:55 , Chris Stevenson

Ukraine’s top general has laid out the “urgent needs” of his armed forces in a first face-to-face meeting with his US counterpart, with Kyiv hopeful of securing the tanks that it believes are needed to drive back Russian forces.

“I outlined the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the fulfilment of which will accelerate our victory,” General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi wrote in a statement on Telegram following the meeting in Poland with the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley.

Ukraine’s top general lays out ‘urgent needs’ to fight Russia’s forces

Zelensky’s adviser quits after ‘fundamental error’ remark on Dnipro missile attack

Wednesday 18 January 2023 03:49 , Arpan Rai

An adviser reporting to Volodymyr Zelensky has tendered his resignation after causing a public outcry by suggesting a missile that hit the apartment block had been shot down by Ukraine.

Hours after the missile strike, Oleksiy Arestovych initially said it appeared that the Russian missile had fallen on the building after being shot down by Ukrainian air defences. Moscow often blames Ukraine’s air defences for missile strikes.

On Tuesday morning, Mr Arestovych, a presidential adviser to Mr Zelensky, posted a photograph of a letter of resignation and acknowledged making a “fundamental error”.

“I offer my sincere apologies to the victims and their relatives, the residents of Dnipro and everyone who was deeply hurt by my prematurely erroneous version of the reason for the Russian missile striking a residential building,” he wrote.

Ukraine’s top general lays out ‘urgent’ military needs to fight Russia

Wednesday 18 January 2023 03:40 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine’s top general has laid out the “urgent needs” of his armed forces in a first face-to-face meeting with his US counterpart, with Kyiv hopeful of securing the tanks that it believes are needed to drive back Russian forces.

“I outlined the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the fulfilment of which will accelerate our victory,” General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi wrote in a statement on Telegram following the meeting in Poland with the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley.

Read the full story here:

Ukraine’s top general lays out ‘urgent needs’ to fight Russia’s forces

US and UK vow to maintain support for Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’

Wednesday 18 January 2023 03:23 , Arpan Rai

The United States has signalled that it is ready to further step up its military assistance for Ukraine as Britain and American vowed to maintain their support in the struggle against Russia “for as long as it takes”.

Following talks in Washington with foreign secretary James Cleverly, US secretary of state Antony Blinken welcomed the UK’s decision to supply Kyiv with British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

He indicated that the US would be making further announcements in the coming days, with defence secretary Lloyd Austin due to host talks with key allies in Ramstein in Germany later this week.

Read the full story here:

US and UK vow to maintain support for Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’

Mourners in Dnipro leave cuddly toys at makeshift memorial after apartment attack

Wednesday 18 January 2023 02:47 , Andy Gregory

Mourners in Dnipro have left flowers and cuddly toys at a makeshift memorial near the apartment block where dozens of civilians were killed during a wave of Russian missile attacks on Saturday.

Hundreds of mourners bade farewell to boxing coach Mykhailo Korenovskyi, killed in a strike, while footage showed the kitchen of his apartment, decorated in bright yellow colours, now exposed to the air after the external wall was torn off.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Jailed Navalny vows to keep resisting the Kremlin as campaign launched to free him

Wednesday 18 January 2023 01:56 , Andy Gregory

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has pledged to keep opposing the Kremlin, as his family and allies launched a campaign to free him exactly two years after he was arrested upon his return from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with a deadly Soviet-era nerve agent.

“Our miserable, exhausted Motherland needs to be saved. It has been pillaged, wounded, dragged into an aggressive war, and turned into a prison run by the most unscrupulous and deceitful scoundrels,” Mr Navalny wrote on Twitter via his lawyers.

You can read the full report here:

Jailed Navalny vows to keep resisting the Kremlin as campaign launched to free him

Nato sending message to Putin with arms deliveries, says Cleverly

Wednesday 18 January 2023 00:41 , Andy Gregory

Nato allies are conveying a clear message to Vladimir Putin by boosting their arms supplies to Ukraine, Britain’s foreign secretary James Cleverly has said.

“The message we’re sending to Putin ... is that we made a commitment to support Ukrainians until they are victorious,” Mr Cleverly told delegates at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Rutte discusses Patriot systems for Ukraine with Biden

Tuesday 17 January 2023 23:33 , Andy Gregory

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has spoken to US president Joe Biden of plans to offer Patriot missile defence systems to Ukraine, working alongside Germany and Washington to deliver support to Kyiv.

The two leaders held wide-ranging talks today, and Mr Rutte also spoke to Germany’s Olaf Scholz.

Mr Biden told Mr Rutte that he looked forward to discussing ways to strengthen the supply chain as he welcomed the prime minister to the White House, also thanking him for being “very very stalwart” in supporting for Ukraine.

Ukraine suffered more than 2,000 cyberattacks last year, says top official

Tuesday 17 January 2023 22:44 , Andy Gregory

The head of Ukraine’s information protection agency has blamed Russia for the bulk of more than 2,000 cyberattacks carried out against Kyiv last year – at a conference he claimed was itself delayed by a cyberattack.

Ukraine has been hit by 2,194 cyberattacks in 2022, with 1,655 of those coming after Moscow’s invasion, Yuriy Schygol told reporters.

Government institutions sustained 557 cyberattacks last year, he said, laying the blame for the bulk of the attacks at Moscow’s door.

“Essentially all hackers who work with Russia, most of them don’t even hide their affiliation – they are all funded by the FSB, are on military service, or are in the employ of those agencies,” he claimed.

Ukraine’s information chief blames cyberattack conference delay on cyberattack

Tuesday 17 January 2023 22:01 , Andy Gregory

A press conference discussing cyberattacks on Ukraine was delayed because of a Russian cyberattack, the head of Ukraine’s information protection service claimed.

Yuriy Schygol, head of Ukraine’s State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection, told reporters that his livestreamed conference was forced to start 15 minutes late because of a Russian hack – though he did not elaborate or present evidence for his assertion.

“All that the Russian hackers could do was to delay the start of our briefing by 15 minutes,” he said.

Japan will roll out support for Kyiv at ‘appropriate time’, says White House

Tuesday 17 January 2023 21:28 , Andy Gregory

Japan is engaged deeply on issues in Ukraine and is expected to roll out plans at the “appropriate time” to support Kyiv against Russia’s invasion, the White House has said.

“Prime Minister Kishida has a game plan and is already engaged deeply on issues in Ukraine,” Washington’s Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Tuesday.

US president Joe Biden and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida met last week when the latter was in Washington, on the last stop in a tour of the G7 industrial powers.

“I fully expect that at appropriate time Japan will be rolling out specific plans to support Ukraine in a variety of ways. They are active in many of the contact group discussions about support for Ukraine and they are just a key member,” Mr Campbell said, adding that Japan was “stepping up”.

19 people still missing in Dnipro

Tuesday 17 January 2023 19:41 , Lucy Skoulding

The death toll from the Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro has risen to 45.

A total of 19 people are still missing, according to Dnipropetrovsk’s governor, Valentyn Reznichenko.

The rocket attack hit a residential building in the city on Saturday, causing extensive damage and loss of life.

Photos from the scene have gone viral on social media, including one showing an almost entact kitchen where one wall has been blown off.

The scene in Dnipro, showing a residential block after a missile hit it (REUTERS)
The scene in Dnipro, showing a residential block after a missile hit it (REUTERS)

James Cleverly justifies supply of challenger tanks

Tuesday 17 January 2023 18:38 , Lucy Skoulding

UK foreign secretary James Cleverly has justified supplying Challenger tanks to Ukraine to bring the war to an end quickly.

“This war has been dragging on for a long time already. And now is the time to bring it to a conclusion,” he said to a Washington think tank.

He continued: “We should look to bring it to a conclusion quickly, the conclusion has to be Ukrainian victory. And that dictates therefore that we need to intensify our support at this point in time, while Russia has been on the back foot.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is holding talks in Washington as he seeks to bolster support for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia’s invasion (Lucy North/PA) (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is holding talks in Washington as he seeks to bolster support for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia’s invasion (Lucy North/PA) (PA Wire)

Man says one-year-old grandson buried among rubble in Dnipro

Tuesday 17 January 2023 18:01 , Lucy Skoulding

Ukrainian journalist, Myroslava Petsa, has shared a video of a grandfather who said his grandson is buried in the destruction caused by a missile strike in Dnipro, south eastern Ukraine, on Saturday.

A Russian rocket attack hit a residential building. The death toll is currently at 45, including six children. 19 people are still missing and many more are injured.

In the video, the grandfather is crying and holding up a picture of his grandson, who is one.

“This little child is still lying under the rubble,” he says.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Ukraine father killed in rocket attack during daughter’s birthday party

Tuesday 17 January 2023 17:00 , Matt Mathers

A Ukrainian father was killed during a rocket attack while celebrating his daughter’s birthday.

Boxing coach Mikhailo Korenovsky, 39, died when a missile struck the building where he lived with his family, in the city of Dnipro on Saturday.

My colleague Lucy Skoulding reports:

Father celebrating daughter’s birthday killed in rocket attack as home devastated

Zelensky speaks with German president about defence

Tuesday 17 January 2023 16:30 , Matt Mathers

As we reported earlier, Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Germany’s president about defence.

We now have some more details on the discussions.

Zelensky thanked Germany on Tuesday for "new defence decisions" taken at the start of this year, and said he and Germany’s president had discussed "the necessity of increasing defence support" for Kyiv.

"Thank you for the comprehensive assistance ... that made our army stronger, for the financial support," Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app following a video call with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"During the meeting in the format of a video conference ... we discussed the situation on the frontline, the necessity of increasing defence support for Ukraine, the diplomatic process on the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula."

Ukraine troops arrive in US for training on missile defence system

Tuesday 17 January 2023 16:00 , Matt Mathers

Ukrainian troops have arrived in the US for training on the Patriot missile system.

Soldiers from the Armed Forces of Ukraine were transported to Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

The Pentagon confirmed that around 90 to 100 troops would be part of the programme, which is expected to take several months.

“Once fielded, the Patriot… will contribute to Ukraine’s air defence capabilities, and provide another capability to the Ukrainian people to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aerial assaults,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said.

It comes after significant lobbying from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukraine first lady to deliver letter to China on behalf of president

Tuesday 17 January 2023 15:40 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine’s first lady told the World Economic Forum on Tuesday she would deliver a letter to China’s delegation setting out President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposals for ending Russia’s war against his country.

China, like Russia a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is an important partner for Moscow and has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a speech urging delegates to do more to help end the war, Olena Zelenska said she planned to hand the letter to Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He - who spoke after her - for passing on to President Xi Jinping.

She said she also had letters for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Swiss President Alain Berset.

"Today I will give the colleagues participating in this part (of the forum) ‘formula letters’ from the president of Ukraine," she said in Ukrainian.

Jailed Navalny vows to keep resisting the Kremlin as campaign to free him launches

Tuesday 17 January 2023 15:08 , Matt Mathers

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Tuesday used the second anniversary of his incarceration to reinforce his promise to keep opposing the Kremlin, as his family and allies launched a campaign to free him.

Navalny, 46, was arrested exactly two years ago as he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been treated for poisoning with a deadly Soviet-era nerve agent in what he and some Western nations said was a Russian state assassination attempt. The Kremlin denied involvement.

"Our miserable, exhausted Motherland needs to be saved. It has been pillaged, wounded, dragged into an aggressive war, and turned into a prison run by the most unscrupulous and deceitful scoundrels," Navalny wrote on Twitter via his lawyers.

"Any opposition to this gang - even if only symbolic in my current limited capacity - is important. I’m not going to surrender my country to them, and I believe that the darkness will eventually fade away."

Navalny in jail (AFP/Getty)
Navalny in jail (AFP/Getty)

Finland's Marin vows years of Ukraine support

Tuesday 17 January 2023 15:12 , Matt Mathers

Finland is prepared to support Ukraine in its war with Russia for as long as necessary, Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin said on Tuesday while speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

"I think the only message that we need to send is that we will support Ukraine as long as needed. One year, two years, five years, 10 years, 15 years," Ms Marin said.

In 2022, the Finnish government spent some 300 million euros on support to Ukraine, around 190 million of it on buying defence equipment.

Marin at a press conference in Auckland
Marin at a press conference in Auckland

Putin could order ‘final push’ on anniversary of invasion, Ukraine officials fear

Tuesday 17 January 2023 14:30 , Matt Mathers

Vladimir Putin could order a “final push” on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials in Kyiv fear.

Oleskiy Danylov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, made the comments on Tuesday as he urged Western countries to send more weapons.

"We must prepare for such events every day,” he said. “And we are preparing... The first and last question is always about weapons, aid to help us defeat this aggressor that invaded our country," Mr Danylov said.

Zelensky: Perpetrators of attack on apartment building will be ‘brought to justice’

Tuesday 17 January 2023 14:00 , Matt Mathers

The Russian soldiers responsible for the deaths of 44 Ukrainians killed when a missile hit an apartment block in Dnipro will be “brought to justice”, Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed.

In his overnight address on Monday, the Ukraine president said authorities will use “all available opportunities”  to find and prosecute the perpetrators of the attack.

“The Security Service of Ukraine has already started to gather information about those Russian military who prepared and carried out this strike,” Mr Zelensky said.

“There is no doubt: every person guilty of this war crime will be identified and brought to justice.”

 (Ukraine President’s Office)
(Ukraine President’s Office)

Ukraine soldiers launch attacks from frontline in Donetsk region

Tuesday 17 January 2023 13:29 , Matt Mathers

Pictures show Ukrainian soldiers launching attacks on Russian targets from the frontline in Donetsk.

Ukrainian servicemen were photographed firing a Polish self-propelled howitzer Krab toward Russian positions on Tuesday.

Fierce fighting continues across several regions including Donetsk, where battles between the opposing sides have intensified in recent weeks.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Lunchtime re-cap

Tuesday 17 January 2023 13:00 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine came a step closer on Tuesday to winning the fleet of modern battle tanks it hopes could turn the course of the war against Russia, after the West’s big holdout Germany said this would be the first item on its new defence minister’s agenda.

CONFLICT

* The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said on Tuesday that a French Foreign Legion soldier had been found dead in eastern Ukraine, and posted an image of what appeared to be his identity documents.

* A former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group who fought in Ukraine said he has fled to Norway and is seeking asylum in fear for his life after witnessing the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners brought to the frontline.

* Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych tendered his resignation on Tuesday after a public outcry over comments he made suggesting a Russian missile that killed at least 41 people in the city of Dnipro had been shot down by Ukraine.

* Russia said on Tuesday that it would make "major changes" to its armed forces from 2023 to 2026, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

* Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region said on Tuesday they were in control of Soledar, repeating their earlier claim about the salt-mining town where intense fighting has taken place.

* NATO surveillance planes were due to arrive in Romania on Tuesday to bolster the military alliance’s eastern flank and help monitor Russian military activity.

* More than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion last February, a senior Ukrainian presidential aide said on Tuesday.

DIPLOMACY

* Germany’s allies on Tuesday ramped up the pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to allow the supply of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

* The Kremlin said on Tuesday that another meeting between President Vladimir Putin’s foreign spy chief and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns would be useful but gave no indication when it might happen.

* The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said he hoped to make progress on a safe zone deal around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine, but stressed it was a tough negotiation.

* Russia should halt its efforts to recruit Serbs to fight alongside its Wagner paramilitary group in Ukraine, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.

* Russian and Belarusian flags have been banned from the Melbourne Park precinct during the Australian Open after a complaint from the Ukraine ambassador to the country.

Ukraine ends search for survivors in Dnipro, death toll hits 44

Tuesday 17 January 2023 12:17 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine called off search and rescue operations on Tuesday at the rubble of an apartment building in the eastern city of Dnipro where at least 44 people were killed in a Russian missile attack.

The State Emergency Service said 20 people were still unaccounted after Saturday’s attack and that the 44 confirmed dead included five children. Thirty-nine people had been rescued from the rubble and a total of 79 had been hurt, it said.

"At 1:00 p.m. on January 17, search and rescue operations in the city of Dnipro at the site of the rocket attack were completed," the emergency service wrote on the Telegram messaging app under a photograph from the scene.

The attack was the deadliest for civilians since the start a three-month Russian missile bombardment campaign. Regional authorities said on Tuesday the body of a child was among the last pulled out of the rubble.

Ukraine says the apartment building was struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile. Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, said its wave of missile strikes on Saturday did not target any residential buildings.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Ukraine’s first lady pleads for global help to stop Russia

Tuesday 17 January 2023 11:46 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine’s first lady has called for international action to end Russian aggression during a rare international address at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in the Swiss town of Davos.

As the anniversary of the war in Ukraine nears, Olena Zelenska said parents are in tears watching doctors trying to save their children, farmers are afraid to go back to their fields filled with explosive mines, and that "we cannot allow a new Chernobyl to happen".

She criticised government leaders and corporate executives in a speech on Tuesday for not always using their influence enough.

With the war raising inflation and expanding food insecurity in developing nations, she called it "an insult to mankind and human nature to have mass starvation".

She said the war could expand beyond Ukraine’s borders and worsen the crises but "unity is what brings peace back".

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, left, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at Davos (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, left, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at Davos (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Pistorius confirmed as German defence minister

Tuesday 17 January 2023 11:33 , Matt Mathers

Boris Pistorius has been confirmed as Germany’s new defence minister.

Christine Lambrecht resigned from the position on Monday, ahead of a conference on Friday at the US military base in Ramstein on Western plans to provide Kyiv with more arms.

Earlier, German economy minister Robert Habeck said the issue of sending tanks to Ukraine would be at the top of the agenda for whoever took over the defence brief.

Russian mercenary group chief says French soldier killed in Ukraine

Tuesday 17 January 2023 10:58 , Matt Mathers

The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said on Tuesday that a French Foreign Legion soldier had been found dead in eastern Ukraine, and posted an image of what appeared to be his identity documents.

"Colleagues from the French Foreign Legion asked us to find Yevhenii Koulyk," Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a post on Telegram. "We regret to inform you that a French Foreign Legion soldier has been found dead on DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) territory."

Russia says it has annexed Ukraine’s Donetsk province, proclaimed as the Donetsk People’s Republic in 2014 by separatists supported by Moscow, although Kyiv still controls a large part of the province.

The claim could not be independently verified.

Russia Ukraine
Russia Ukraine

Russia to make 'major changes' to armed forces from 2023 to 2026

Tuesday 17 January 2023 10:22 , Matt Mathers

Russia said on Tuesday that it would make "major changes" to its armed forces from 2023 to 2026, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

In addition to administrative reforms, the Defence Ministry said it would strengthen the combat capabilities of its naval, aerospace and strategic missile forces.

"Only by strengthening the key structural components of the Armed Forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation," defence minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Sergei Shoigu (right) with Putin (Sputnik)
Sergei Shoigu (right) with Putin (Sputnik)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the changes had been made necessary by the "proxy war" being conducted in Ukraine by the West, which has been sending increasingly heavy weaponry to Ukraine to help it resist Russian forces.

The defence ministry, which has faced sharp domestic criticism for the ineffectiveness of its drive to take control of large tracts of Ukraine, vowed in December to boost its military personnel to 1.5 million.