Ukraine news – live: Putin looks for more soldiers as ‘drops mobilisation rule for fathers of three’

The Kremlin has denied dropping a rule permitting fathers of three to defer mobilisation in Russia’s war in Ukraine, as Vladimir Putin is feared to be mulling a further push for troops.

Citing the deputy chair of Russia’s Human Rights Council, state Duma deputy Nina Ostanina claimed that the loophole in Mr Putin’s mobilisation drive last autumn had been closed, in comments echoed by a top military official in Russia’s Zabaikalsky region.

But a senior politician in Mr Putin’s ruling United Russia party, Andrei Turchak, denied that the rule had been scrapped, while Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it was “not aware” of the rule’s cancellation. Kyiv has repeatedly warned that Moscow plans to mobilise half a million more troops.

It came as Russia vowed to take retaliatory measures against French media in response to RT France’s announcement that it was shutting down after authorities used European Union sanctions to freeze its bank accounts.

Kyiv urged its allies to “think faster”, as pressure piled on Germany to decide on supplying Kyiv with its main battle tanks, the Leopard 2.

Key Points

  • Kyiv and Moscow massing ‘significant forces’ in Zaporizhzhia, says MoD

  • Russia vows ‘noticeable’ retaliatory measure after RT France shuts down

  • Putin’s ‘diabolical atrocities’ must be punished, UK says

  • Western tanks won’t change conflict - Kremlin

  • CIA director visits Kyiv, meets Zelensky

  • US’s military aid for Ukraine includes hundreds of armoured vehicles

  • Ukraine ‘practically stabilised’ front around Bakhmut

Germany’s allies urge it to make decision on Leopard 2 tanks

07:48 , Andy Gregory

The Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have jointly urged Germany to step up its leadership and send its main battle tanks to Ukraine, as an aide to Voldoymr Zelensky hit out at “indecision” over whether to arm Kyiv with the vehicles (see post at 6:03am).

“We, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania foreign ministers, call on Germany to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine now,” Estonia’s Foreign Minister said on Twitter.

“This is needed to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and restore peace in Europe quickly. Germany as the leading European power has special responsibility in this regard.”

The statement came a day after Germany and Western allies reached no decision on whether Berlin would agree to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or permit other countries that have them to do so.

Russia announces major restructuring of armed forces, British MoD says

07:05 , Shweta Sharma

Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans for major changes to the structure of the armed forces on 17 January which will be implemented between 2023 and 2026, as highlighted in the UK MoD’s latest intelligence update.

This included an increase to 1.5 million personnel – an 11 per cent increase on top of the previously announced expansion to 1.35 million.

“Shoigu also announced the re-establishment of Moscow and Leningrad military districts, a partial return to the Soviet era organisation of forces in Western Russia. A new army corps is to be established in Karelia, near the Finnish border,” it added.

The MoD said it signals that Russia’s leadership highly likely assesses that an enhanced conventional military threat will endure for many years beyond the current Ukraine war. However, Russia will highly likely struggle to staff and equip the planned expansion.

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Yellen says price caps could be expanded on Russian oil but ‘complicated’ task

06:43 , Shweta Sharma

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen says the price cap on Russian sales of crude oil could be expanded to include refined petroleum products in February, but that the task will be “more complicated”.

“It’s more complicated, but we’ve been working hard to figure out how to achieve the same objectives,” as with the broader cap on Russian crude, she said.

“We’ve studied these markets very carefully and believe we’re going to come out with a set of caps that will achieve the same things that we’ve achieved with crude so far,” Ms Yellen told reporters Saturday during a visit to Dakar, Senegal.

Latest visuals from Russia’s war in Ukraine

06:22 , Shweta Sharma

  • Russia has intensified shelling Ukraine‘s eastern regions outside the main front line in the Donbas industrial area, officials from the Zaporizhzhia and Sumy regions said.

Ukrainian serviceman fires with a 2A65 Msta-B howitzer towards Russian troops in a frontline in Zaporizhzhia region (REUTERS)
Ukrainian serviceman fires with a 2A65 Msta-B howitzer towards Russian troops in a frontline in Zaporizhzhia region (REUTERS)
Aftermath of shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Zaporizhzhia (Oleksandr Starukh via REUTERS)
Aftermath of shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Zaporizhzhia (Oleksandr Starukh via REUTERS)
  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky attended a memorial service on Saturday to commemorate seven senior officials killed in a helicopter crash and broke down as he met family members of the victims.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena offer relatives their condolences during the funeral ceremony of Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky (AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena offer relatives their condolences during the funeral ceremony of Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky (AFP via Getty Images)
Fourteen people were killed, other ministry officials and a child (AFP via Getty Images)
Fourteen people were killed, other ministry officials and a child (AFP via Getty Images)
Rescue workers clear rubble from an apartment building which was destroyed by a Russian rocket attack on a residential neighbourhood in the southeastern city of Dnipro (AP)
Rescue workers clear rubble from an apartment building which was destroyed by a Russian rocket attack on a residential neighbourhood in the southeastern city of Dnipro (AP)
A woman walks by the scene where a helicopter crashed into civil infrastructure on Wednesday (AP)
A woman walks by the scene where a helicopter crashed into civil infrastructure on Wednesday (AP)

Zelensky’s adviser says ‘global indecision’ over arms supply killing people

06:03 , Shweta Sharma

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, criticised the West and Germany for slow decision-making on sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

In a tweet, he expressed his frustration at “global indecision” over arms supply to Ukraine.

“Today’s indecision is killing more of our people. Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster.”

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US officials advice Ukraine to not launch major offensive

05:52 , Shweta Sharma

Senior US officials are advising Ukraine to hold off on launching a major offensive against Russian forces as Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser said the West’s indecision is killing Ukrainians.

A senior Biden administration official said on Friday the United States was holding fast to its decision not to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine at this time, amid a controversy with Germany over tanks.

The official who spoke on condition of anonymity said US talks with Ukraine on any counter-offensive have been in the context of ensuring the Ukrainians devote enough time first to training on the latest weaponry provided by the United States.

The US on Thursday announced it will send hundreds of armoured vehicles to Ukraine for use in the fight.

Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania urge Germany to send tanks to Ukraine

05:32 , Shweta Sharma

The Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania made a joint call to Germany to step up its leadership and send its main battle tanks to Ukraine, mounting further pressure on Berlin to move faster on aiding Kyiv in its war against Russia.

“We, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Foreign Ministers, call on Germany to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine now,” Estonia’s Foreign Minister said on Twitter.

“This is needed to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and restore peace in Europe quickly. Germany as the leading European power has special responsibility in this regard.”

The statement came a day after Germany and Western allies reached no decision on whether Berlin would agree to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or permit other countries that have them to do so.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year raised concerns in the small Baltic states - all NATO members that restored their independence after decades of Soviet rule in 1991 - that they could also come under an attack from Moscow.

Zelensky says he is ‘indescribable sadness’ as he pays tearful tribute to officials killed in crash

05:15 , Shweta Sharma

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky attended a memorial service on Saturday to commemorate seven senior officials killed in a helicopter crash and broke down as he met family members of the victims.

In his daily video address, Mr Zelensky spoke about the crash.

“My condolences to all relatives and friends. It hurts to think about it, it hurts to talk about it,” he said.

“We are losing people every day, whom we will always remember and regret we can’t bring back,” he added, talking of “how many bright people are taken by wartime”.

Interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy and five other high-ranking ministry officials were killed on Wednesday when their French-made Super Puma helicopter plummeted amid fog into a nursery near Kyiv.

Another seven people were killed, including one child, in the crash. Officials are still investigating the cause.

The helicopter went down just days after at least 45 people were killed in a Russian missile attack that partially levelled a block of flats in the southeastern city of Dnipro.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

US to sanction Russia’s Wagner military group

05:08 , Shweta Sharma

The US will impose additional sanctions on the Russian private military company the Wagner Group that has been helping the Russian military in Ukraine, the White House said.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Wagner “is a criminal organisation that is committing widespread atrocities and human rights abuses”.

“We will work relentlessly to identify, disrupt, expose and target those who are assisting Wagner,” he said.

Responding to the White House’s announcement, the head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, published a short letter to the White House asking what crime his company was accused of.

It comes as Wagner said it would send the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting in the captured town of Soledar to territory held by Ukraine, a website linked to founder Prigozhin reported.

Germany’s defence minister to visit Ukraine as no decision on tanks

04:45 , Shweta Sharma

Germany’s defence minister Boris Pistorius is planning to visit Ukraine, he told a German newspaper, as Berlin is under mounting pressure to allow the shipment of German-made tanks to Ukraine.

“What is certain is that I will travel to Ukraine quickly. Probably even within the next four weeks,” Mr Pistorius told Bild am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday.

On Friday, Germany and Western allies reached a deadlock on the decision that whether Berlin would agree to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, or permit other countries that have them to do so, despite Ukraine’s pleas for modern tanks to boost its defence efforts.

Regarding the decision, the minister said: “We are in very close dialogue with our international partners, first and foremost with the US, on this issue.”

Russia vows ‘noticeable’ retaliatory measure after RT France shuts down

04:26 , Shweta Sharma

Russia’s foreign ministry said the European Union’s sanction of RT France would lead to retaliatory measures against French media in Russia.

“Blocking RT France account will lead to retaliatory measures against French media in Russia. They will be very noticeable, if the French authorities do not stop intimidating Russian journalists,” the ministry said.

The bank account of the pro-Kremlin TV channel was blocked by France at the request of the General Directorate of the Treasury under the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, Le Monde reported on Thursday.

The decision was part of the ninth package of EU sanctions.

RT France shuts down after EU sanctions

04:00 , Shweta Sharma

The French arm of the Russian state-owned RT television network said on Saturday it was shutting down its operations after authorities used European Union sanctions to freeze its bank accounts.

Late last February, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the European Union said it would ban Russia Today on the grounds it had been spreading disinformation about the war. RT (Russia Today) France appealed the ban but lost.

Xenia Fedorova, the head of RT France, tweeted that French authorities had cited a ninth EU package of sanctions agreed last December.

“The funds of RT France are frozen at the request of the general directorate of the Treasury ... our channel can no longer continue its activity,” she said.

In a separate statement, RT France said 133 employees’ jobs were at risk and called itself “a breath of fresh air” that had covered the war in a balanced way.

It accused the French authorities of censorship and said RT France had never been condemned or sanctioned for any reason.

Russia intensifies shelling outside Donbas, officials say

03:46 , Shweta Sharma

Russia has intensified shelling Ukraine‘s eastern regions outside the main front line in the Donbas industrial area, officials from the Zaporizhzhia and Sumy regions said.

The Ukrainian military’s General Staff said Russia continues its offensive in Zaporizhzhia, increasingly using aerial attacks.

At least 25 settlements in the region were affected by Russian artillery fire on Saturday.

Russian forces launched 115 strikes in the Sumy region that borders Russia in Ukraine‘s northeast, regional Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said on Telegram.

Russia’s attacks seek to overload Ukraine‘s defences and deter Kyiv from retaking territory, officials and analysts say.

“Attempting to study our defence, the enemy has activated artillery fire,” Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia fired on the region 166 times through the day, he said, with 113 attacks aimed at populated areas, killing one civilian. Russia says it does not target civilians.

First UK-donated Sea King helicopters arrives in Ukraine

03:00 , Daniel Reast

The first Sea King helicopters donated to Ukrainian forces by the UK have arrived in the country, according to the Ukrainian defence minister.

Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced the helicopters’ arrival in a tweet, thanking his British counterpart and displaying a video of Ukrainian troops using the helicopter winch system.

The UK’s defence minister Ben Wallace said in November that the UK would supply three Sea King helicopters, as well as assist in training 10 crews in their use.

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Ukraine forces halt Russian ‘sabotage’ attempt in northeastern Sumy Oblast

02:00 , Daniel Reast

Ukrainian troops foiled a suspected sabotage attempt on Friday night in the northeastern Sumy Oblast, says spokesperson for the border guard service.

Andrii Demchenko, spokesperson for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said border troops “detected an attempt to infiltrate from [a] sabotage and reconnaissance group from Russia.”

Speaking at a Ukrainian telethon on Saturday, Demchenko said Russia’s troops “retreated behind the state border” after Ukrainian border troops discovered and fired upon the group.

Sumy Oblast lies just under 200 miles to the north east of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Demchenko also reported on the border with Belarus, saying: “So far, intelligence units and other components that monitor the situation in this area have not noticed the formation of a strike group on the territory of Belarus that could carry out an invasion.

“But the enemy should never be underestimated.”

Read more on Belarus here:

Lukashenko jokes he and Putin are the two ‘meanest, most toxic people on the planet’

It’s time for NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, says US secretary of state

01:00 , Daniel Reast

The Biden administration has reiterated its support for Finnish and Swedish membership of NATO, following calls with foreign ministers.

Both countries applied to join the alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Only two countries in the group, Hungary and Turkey, have yet to approve the membership application.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken spoke with the foreign ministers of Finland and Sweden, stating that the US places great importance on “remaining allies quickly ratifying their accession.”

Hungary is expected to ratify the decision in the coming days, with Turkey said to be holding out on the decision after raising significant objections to the Nordic country’s support for Kurdish groups.

Read more here:

US says it's time for Finland, Sweden to join NATO

Setting price caps on Russian oil products ‘complicated’ says US treasury secretary

00:00 , Daniel Reast

Western countries price caps on Russian refined oil products are “complicated”, says US treasury secretary.

Speaking with reporters on a visit to Senegal, secretary Janet Yellen said markets are volatile and there is a chance the upcoming price caps do not go to plan.

The G7 group of nations will be imposing a price cap on Russian oil products in February to reduce its ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

A broader price cap on Russian crude oil has been in place since December.

However, secretary Yellen remained optimistic, saying: “We’ve studied these markets very carefully and we believe that we’re going to come out with a set of caps that will achieve the same things that we’ve achieved with crude so far.”

She continued saying the crude oil cap had proven successful thus far with a drop in the price that Russia was earning.

Why is Germany reluctant to send tanks to Ukraine?

Saturday 21 January 2023 23:30 , Daniel Reast

Pressure on Germany to provide Leopard 2 battle tanks has intensified in recent days.

Despite the announcement of a squadron of 14 Challenger 2 tanks sent from the UK, Germany’s chancellor Olaf Schultz has yet to approve the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks, which Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly requested.

The Leopard 2 tank is used by other European armies such as Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain.

Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has also indicated he would be willing to send Leopard 2s without Germany’s consent.

Former British army commander and logistics specialist, Major General Tim Cross, has suggested: “One can to an extent understand German reservations about the Leopards. The sight of German tanks rolling east across Ukraine would bring back some bad historic memories.

“But the Ukrainians will be getting tanks and tanks will play an important part in this conflict.”

Read more here:

Germany drags feet on decision to send tanks Ukraine desperately craves

Pro-Kremlin channel Russia Today says France operation closing

Saturday 21 January 2023 22:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The French arm of the Russian state-owned RT television network said on Saturday it was shutting down after authorities used European Union sanctions to freeze its bank accounts.

Late last February, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the European Union said it would ban Russia Today on the grounds it had been spreading disinformation about the war. RT (Russia Today) France appealed the ban but lost.

Xenia Fedorova, the head of RT France, tweeted that French authorities had cited a ninth EU package of sanctions agreed last December.

“The funds of RT France are frozen at the request of the general directorate of the Treasury ... our channel can no longer continue its activity,” she said.

In March, the European Union’s Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected a RT France bid for a temporary reprieve.

In a separate statement, RT France said 133 employees’ jobs were at risk and called itself “a breath of fresh air” that had covered the war in a balanced way.

It accused the French authorities of censorship and said RT France had never been condemned or sanctioned for any reason.

What tanks and military aid has the UK sent to Ukraine?

Saturday 21 January 2023 22:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The pressure is on Western leaders to boost their military support for Ukraine – with Britain having stepped up its pledges of equipment in recent weeks.

The dispatch of 14 British Army Challenger 2s answered persistent calls from president Volodymyr Zelensky for Western ground vehicles. Britain has also announced almost 600 more Brimstone missiles will be donated to Ukraine, to boost its offensive capability, as well as air defence missiles.

Attention has now turned to Germany, with Kyiv requesting on countless occasions that Berlin allow its Leopard 2 tanks – used by armies such as Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain – to be re-exported to Ukraine.

Emily Atkinson reports:

What tanks and military aid has the UK sent to Ukraine?

Ukraine honours interior minister, other senior officials, killed in helicopter crash

Saturday 21 January 2023 21:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A tearful Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky attended a memorial service on Saturday to commemorate seven senior Interior Ministry officials killed in a helicopter crash this week, a fresh blow to a nation already grieving its many war dead.

Interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy and five other high-ranking ministry officials were killed when their French-made Super Puma helicopter plummeted amid fog into a nursery on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv on Wednesday.

Another seven people were killed, including one child, in the crash. Officials are still investigating the cause of the crash.

The helicopter went down just days after at least 45 people were killed in a Russian missile attack that partially levelled a block of flats in the southeastern city of Dnipro.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces are fending off an unrelenting Russian onslaught in the east, where Moscow has expended massive resources for incremental advances 11 months into its full-scale invasion.

“The indescribable sadness is covering the soul,” Zelensky wrote in a Telegram post on Saturday. “Ukraine is losing its best sons and daughters every day.”

Zelensky and his wife, Olena Zelenska, paid their respects to the victims’ relatives inside the hulking Ukrainian House cultural centre in central Kyiv. A crowd of mourners snaked outside toward Independence Square.

Kyrylo Budanov, the military intelligence chief, described Monastyrskyi’s death as “a huge loss”.

“If not for (Monastyrskyi), everything could have been completely different,” he told Ukrainian media, referring to the resistance Ukraine mounted after Moscow’s Feb. 24 assault.

“He is a true hero of this country.”

Monastyrskyi had been flying to a location near the frontline, a police spokesperson said on Thursday.

Boris Johnson compares Putin to ‘the fat boy in Dickens’

Saturday 21 January 2023 21:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Boris Johnson has compared Vladimir Putin to “the fat boy in Dickens” who wants to “make our flesh creep” with threats of using nuclear weapons.

Speaking about Ukraine at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the former prime minister insisted that the Russian president would not resort to using nuclear weapons, dismissing the idea as “nonsense”.

He said: “Putin wants to present it as a nuclear stand-off between Nato and Russia. Nonsense. He’s not going to use nuclear weapons, okay. He’s like the fat boy in Dickens, he wants to make our flesh creep. He wants us to think about it. He’s never going to do it.”

“He’s not going to do it. Don’t go down that rabbit hole, stop it,” Mr Johnson added.

Boris Johnson compares Putin to ‘the fat boy in Dickens’

Met Opera concert to mark anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Saturday 21 January 2023 20:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Metropolitan Opera will mark the first anniversary of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine with a concert to remember victims of the war.

Met music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Soprano Golda Schultz, mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, tenor Dmytro Popov, and Ukrainian bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi will be the soloists at the Feb. 24 performance.

“Mozart’s Requiem is to remember the innocent victims of the war, and Beethoven’s Fifth is in anticipation of the victory to come,” Met general manager Peter Gelb said in a statement Friday.

Met Opera concert to mark anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Met Opera concert to mark anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Saturday 21 January 2023 20:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Metropolitan Opera will mark the first anniversary of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine with a concert to remember victims of the war.

Met music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Soprano Golda Schultz, mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, tenor Dmytro Popov, and Ukrainian bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi will be the soloists at the Feb. 24 performance.

“Mozart’s Requiem is to remember the innocent victims of the war, and Beethoven’s Fifth is in anticipation of the victory to come,” Met general manager Peter Gelb said in a statement Friday.

Met Opera concert to mark anniversary of Ukraine invasion

What are Leopard 2 tanks and why would they help Ukraine?

Saturday 21 January 2023 19:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, has urged allies to “dig deeper” to support Ukraine at a meeting of Nato and defense leaders in Germany, as pressure grows on Berlin to authorise its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to be sent from nations across Europe to Ukraine. However, so far Berlin has refused to budge.

Ukraine believes the tanks are vital to its ability to hold off Russia‘s invasion, and Western nations believe that – given their use by armies across Europe – they would provide the swiftest way to give Kyiv what it is crying out for. Once Berlin signs off on them being re-exported from other nations. So why does Kyiv rate them so?

The Leopard 2 tank is regarded as one of the West’s best. German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has built more than 3,500 such tanks since beginning production in 1978.

Chris Stevenson reports:

What are Leopard 2 tanks and why would they help Ukraine?

Germany must face up to the threat from the East

Saturday 21 January 2023 19:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

It is a cliche, but an unavoidable one when faced with the tragedy of Ukraine: the West is about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

By failing to supply all of the military equipment Volodymyr Zelensky has begged his Nato friends for, it makes it all the more possible – if not likely – that the war in Ukraine which has cost so much in lives and human suffering, will, in the end, be lost. With the fall of Ukraine, the security of Europe and the world will also be ceded.

Without the right quantity and quality of equipment – especially the main battle tanks essential to restoring Ukrainian territorial integrity – the sheer weight of Russian numbers, poorly equipped and trained as they are, could eventually overwhelm Ukraine and its battered economy.

Read more here:

Editorial: Germany must face up to the threat from the East

Joe Biden tells reporter Ukraine will get ‘all the help they need’

Saturday 21 January 2023 18:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Joe Biden told a Polish reporter that Ukraine will “get all the help they need” after he was asked about sending more tanks.

The US president was asked by Marek WaÅ‚kuski if he supported Poland’s call for Germany and other countries to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

He simply answered that the war-torn country will be given all of the resources and aid they need to fight Russia.

This video shows the exchange at the White House event.

Joe Biden tells reporter Ukraine will get ‘all the help they need’

Russia’s Wagner to send Kyiv bodies of soldiers killed in Soledar

Saturday 21 January 2023 18:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The private Russian military group Wagner plans to send the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting in the captured town of Soledar to territory held by Ukraine, a website linked to the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin reported on Saturday.

Wagner said on Jan. 11 it had captured Soledar, and Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine‘s eastern Donetsk region said earlier this week they were in control of the salt-mining town, where intense fighting has taken place.

The RIA FAN website - part of Prigozhin’s media holdings - quoted a Wagner commander as saying the mercenary company would send the bodies from Soledar to Ukrainian-held territory in four or five convoys totalling about 20 trucks.

Saturday’s report did not say how many bodies would be returned to Ukrainian authorities, but said Ukraine‘s forces had suffered heavy losses in Soledar.

It said Prigozhin had made clear that soldiers’ bodies should be returned to Ukraine in a “dignified” way, but gave no further details about the planned operation.

Ukrainian authorities said during the fight for Soledar that Russian forces sustained heavy losses.

Prigozhin, who previously shunned the public spotlight and denied connections to Wagner, admitted in September that he founded the mercenary army, which has played a major role in the conflict. He has described Wagner as a fully independent force with its own aircraft, tanks, rockets and artillery.

Zelensky’s adviser urges West to ‘think faster’ about increasing military support

Saturday 21 January 2023 17:31 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Kyiv’s allies to “think faster” about stepping up their military support, a day after they failed to agree on sending battle tanks coveted by Kyiv.

Here is the latest on weaponry in the war:

  • Western allies on Friday dampened Ukraine‘s hopes for a rapid shipment of battle tanks to boost its firepower for a spring offensive against Russian forces.

  • Senior US officials are advising Ukraine to hold off on launching a major offensive against Russian forces until the latest supply of US weaponry is in place and training has been provided, a senior Biden administration official said on Friday.

  • Although NATO defence leaders and allies reached no decision on authorising export of Leopard-2 tanks at a meeting at the Ramstein military base, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Friday Berlin was ready to “move quickly” if there was an agreement.

  • Ukraine will still have to fight to ensure a supply of modern heavy armor, Zelenskiy said in his evening video address on Friday.

Germany drags feet on decision to send tanks Ukraine desperately craves

Saturday 21 January 2023 17:00 , Emily Atkinson

The pressure on Germany from Western allies to authorise the sending of Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine had been intense in the lead up to the summit at the Ramstein Air Base. But in the end Olaf Schulz’s government refused to take that crucial step.

Ukraine has repeatedly stressed that modern battlefield tanks are crucial for fighting off Russia‘s invasion, with a major offensive by the enemy expected as winter ends. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that “the war started by Russia does not allow delays... terror does not allow for discussion.”

The announcement by the German defence minister, Boris Pistorius, that no decision will be made – for up to at least a month according to some reports – is prevarication with significant repercussions which could prove to be costly for Ukraine.

Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta reports:

Germany drags feet on decision to send tanks Ukraine desperately craves

Zaporizhzhia region 'hit by 160 overnight shelling attacks’

Saturday 21 January 2023 16:30 , Emily Atkinson

One woman was also killed in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, where Russian forces launched more than 160 shelling attacks overnight, governor Oleksandr Starukh said.

He added that 21 cities and towns were targeted, and two other civilians were injured.

Civilian deaths toll continues to rise in Ukraine’s south and east

Saturday 21 January 2023 16:00 , Emily Atkinson

Five civilians have been killed and 13 wounded by Russian shelling over the past 24 hours in Ukraine’s east and south, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Saturday.

Ukrainian forces overnight repelled Russian attacks in Bakhmut and other parts of the country’s embattled east, the military added.

A 60-year-old woman died after Russian shells hit her home in the north-eastern Kharkiv region, local governor Oleh Syniehubov said. He added that four other people were wounded in the province.

Interior minister killed in crash dubbed ‘true hero’ of Ukraine

Saturday 21 January 2023 15:30 , Emily Atkinson

Kyiv’s military intelligence chief has described the death of Ukraine’s interior minister as a “huge loss.”

Denys Monastyrsky died in a helicopter crash in Brovary on 18 January. His funeral was held today at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking at the ceremony, Kyrylo Budanov said: “If not for (Monastyrskyi), everything could have been completely different,” he told Ukrainian media, referring to the resistance Ukraine mounted against the Russian invasion.

“He is a true hero of this country.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

What are Leopard 2 tanks and why would they help Ukraine?

Saturday 21 January 2023 14:50 , Emily Atkinson

The US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, has urged allies to “dig deeper” to support Ukraine at the start of a meeting of Nato and defense leaders in Germany, as pressure grows on Berlin to authorise its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to be sent from nations across Europe to Ukraine.

Ukraine believes the tanks are vital to its ability to hold off Russia‘s invasion, and Western nations believe that – given their use by armies across Europe – they would provide the swiftest way to give Kyiv what it is crying out for. Once Berlin signs off on them being re-exported from other nations. So why does Kyiv rate them so?

The Leopard 2 tank is regarded as one of the West’s best. German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has built more than 3,500 such tanks since beginning production in 1978.

Chris Steveson has more:

What are Leopard 2 tanks and why would they help Ukraine?

Watch: Top US general says it will be 'very difficult’ to remove Russian forces from Ukraine in 2023

Saturday 21 January 2023 14:20 , Emily Atkinson

Voices: ‘Germany must face up to the threat from the East'

Saturday 21 January 2023 13:20 , Emily Atkinson

Germany has made many painful sacrifices in order to help defend Ukraine and, thus, Europe and democracy. This is why it needs to take this decisive step with the tanks, to ensure that the effort to protect its allies does not end up wasted.

Read our latest editorial:

Editorial: Germany must face up to the threat from the East

In pictures: Zelensky attends funeral of Ukrainian minister killed in helicopter crash

Saturday 21 January 2023 12:50 , Emily Atkinson

President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena offered relatives their condolences during the funeral ceremony of interior minister Denys Monastyrsky and other employees of his department at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv today.

Mr Monastyrsky died in a helicopter crash in Brovary on 18 January. Fourteen people were killed, other ministry officials and a child.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Watch: Ukraine must have 'road map' for future, Vitali Klitschko says

Saturday 21 January 2023 12:20 , Emily Atkinson

Wagner head writes letter to White House over sanctions

Saturday 21 January 2023 11:50 , Emily Atkinson

The head of Russia’s Wagner group has written a short letter to the White House asking what crime his company was accused of, after Washington announced new sanctions on the group.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday that the private military contractor, which has been supporting Russian forces in their invasion of Ukraine and claiming credit for battlefield advances, would be designated a significant Transnational Criminal Organisation.

A letter in English addressed to Kirby and posted on the Telegram channel of Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s press service read: “Dear Mr Kirby, Could you please clarify what crime was committed by PMC Wagner?”

Kirby called Wagner “a criminal organization that is committing widespread atrocities and human rights abuses”.

Last month, the White House said Wagner had taken delivery of an arms shipment from North Korea to help bolster Russian forces in Ukraine, which Pyongyang and Prigozhin dismissed as “gossip and speculation”.

Ukraine adviser tells allies 'think faster' on military support

Saturday 21 January 2023 11:20 , Emily Atkinson

A senior adviser to president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged Ukraine’s allies to “think faster” about stepping up their military support, a day after they failed to agree on sending battle tanks coveted by Kyiv.

“You’ll help Ukraine with the necessary weapons anyway and realize that there is no other option to end the war except the defeat of Russia,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

“But today’s indecision is killing more of our people. Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster.”

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Three civilians killed in Russian attacks on Donetsk

Saturday 21 January 2023 10:50 , Emily Atkinson

Three civilians have been killed and another four injured during Russian attacks in the Donetsk region, the region’s governor says.

Posting to Telegram, Pavlo Kyrylenko said that two were killed in Bakhmut and another in the small town of Zhelanne.

What tanks and military aid has the UK sent to Ukraine?

Saturday 21 January 2023 10:20 , Emily Atkinson

The pressure is on Western leaders to boost their military support for Ukraine – with Britain having stepped up its pledges of equipment in recent weeks.

The UK government prides itself on having been involved in leading Western efforts in supplying Ukraine with aid to fight Russia’s invasion. Click the link below to see a rundown of all the military aid Britain has provided to Kyiv:

What tanks and military aid has the UK sent to Ukraine?

Saturday 21 January 2023 09:50 , Emily Atkinson

Images capture the residents of Toretsk and Druzhkovka living among the paraphenilia of war as Russia continues to ramp up its offensive in the Donetsk region.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Just miles from the front line in eastern Ukraine, locals are seen filling up water bottles from tanks and taking wood from buildings destoryed by Russian missiles to sell.

The region's Kyiv-appointed governor has accused Russia of using scorched-earth tactics.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Kyiv and Moscow massing ‘significant forces’ in Zaporizhzhia, says MoD

Saturday 21 January 2023 09:22 , Emily Atkinson

Both Kyiv and Moscow have massed “significant forces” in the Zaporizhzhia region, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

According to its daily intelligence update, the two sides have “conducted artillery exchanges and skirmishes, but have avoided any large-scale offensive effort” in the region so far.

Overall, though “the conflict is in a state of deadlock”, the MoD adds.

In a Twitter statement, the MoD said: “In recent days, the heaviest fighting has focused in three sectors. In the northeast, near Kremina, Ukraine has likely made small gains and successfully defended against a Russian counter-attack.

“Around the Donetsk Oblast, in Bakhmut sector, Russian and Wagner proxy forces have likely been reconstituting in the town of Soledar, after capturing it earlier in the week.”

UK defence officials also warned of a “realistic possibility of local Russian advances around Bakhmut.”

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US advises Ukraine 'to wait on offensive’

Saturday 21 January 2023 08:50 , Emily Atkinson

The US is advising Ukraine to hold off on launching a major offensive against Russian forces until the latest supply of American weaponry is in place and training has been provided, reports say.

A senior Biden administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US believed an offensive would stand to be more successful should the Ukrainians take advantage of the training and the significant infusion of new weaponry.

Sixth known American 'killed in Ukraine war’

Saturday 21 January 2023 08:20 , Emily Atkinson

A former US Navy SEAL who went AWOL in 2019 has been killed in Ukraine, American officials have said. Daniel W. Swift, who was not fighting in an official capacity, was injured in Dnipro and died of his wounds, said one of the officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.No other details were available, including whether Swift’s body has been taken out of Ukraine.The Navy said he deserted his post in San Diego, California, in March 2019.

“We cannot speculate as to why the former Sailor was in Ukraine,” the Navy said.At least five other Americans are known to have died fighting in Ukraine, according to state department statements and reports from individual families.

Ankara’s visit to Sweden cancelled after permission granted for protests, Turkish official says

Saturday 21 January 2023 07:56 , Emily Atkinson

Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar says that a planned visit by his Swedish counterpart to Ankara has been cancelled after Swedish authorities granted permission for protests in Stockholm.

“At this point, the visit of Swedish defence minister Pal Jonson to Turkey on 27 January has become meaningless. So we cancelled the visit,” Akar said.

Swedish defence Mmnister Jonson had planned to travel next week to Ankara at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart as the Nordic country hopes to nudge Turkey to ratify its bid to join Nato.

Akar said he discussed the lack of measures for protests in Sweden against Turkey with President Tayyip Erdogan and conveyed his reaction to his Swedish counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting of Ukraine Defence Contact Group.

Ukrainian forces to train on tanks in Poland, says Warsaw official

Saturday 21 January 2023 07:30 , Emily Atkinson

Ukrainian forces will train on Leopard-2 battle tanks in Poland, defence minister Oleksii Reznikov was quoted as saying yesterday.

Reznikov spoke to Ukrainian-language Voice of America after attending a meeting at Ramtsein Air Base, Germany, where Ukraine‘s partners did not take a decision on handing over the tanks. Germany, which makes the Leopard tanks, would have to approve any transfer.

Reznikov described the training development as a breakthrough, attributing the success to efforts by Poland.

“We will start with this and then we will move further,” Voice of America quoted him as saying.

US ex-naval Seal killed in Ukraine

Saturday 21 January 2023 07:00 , Jane Dalton

A former member of the US special forces, who was not fighting in an official capacity, been killed in Ukraine, American officials say.

Daniel W Swift, a former member of the Navy SEALs, is listed in official records as having deserted.

The Navy did not provide further information about his US military record.

At least five other Americans are known to have died fighting in Ukraine. The US government has discouraged Americans from going to fight there.

Ukrainian minister has ‘frank’ talks with German counterpart

Saturday 21 January 2023 06:00 , Jane Dalton

Ukraine’s defence minister has said he had “a frank discussion” with Germany’s defence minister about the supply of Leopard tanks.

Oleskii Reznikov added that the talks would continue after Western allies in Germany did not reach agreement to supply tanks to Kyiv.

Germany, which makes the Leopard tanks, would have to approve any transfer.

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Russians lay flowers in memory of Dnipro victims

Saturday 21 January 2023 05:00 , Jane Dalton

Russians in St Petersburg and Moscow have been laying flowers at improvised memorials to the victims of a Russian missile attack on a nine-storey apartment block in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said on Tuesday, after calling off search operations, that 44 people were confirmed dead from Saturday’s attack, including five children, and that 20 people were still unaccounted for.

On Friday evening, dozens of bunches of flowers and several cuddly toys were arranged around the base of a monument to Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko in central St Petersburg. One ribbon read “Forgive”.

Flowers in St Petersburg (REUTERS)
Flowers in St Petersburg (REUTERS)

Wagner group denies recruiting Serbs

Saturday 21 January 2023 04:00 , Jane Dalton

Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group has denied it is recruiting Serbs to fight in Ukraine, a day after activists filed criminal complaints against the organisation in Belgrade.

Among those identified in the complaints were Russia’s ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, and Aleksandar Vulin, head of Serbia’s state Security and Information Agency.

“I do not recruit Serbs,” Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement, saying he had never head of Botsan-Kharchenko or Vulin.

Earlier this week Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said Russia should halt its efforts to recruit Serbs to fight alongside Wagner forces. He said Russian websites and social media groups were publishing advertisements in the Serbian language in which the Wagner group called for volunteers.

Taiwan has learnt important lesson from Ukraine to deter China, envoy says

Saturday 21 January 2023 03:27 , Shweta Sharma

Taiwan has learned important lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine that would help it deter any attack by China or defend itself if invaded, the self-ruled island’s top envoy to the US.

Among the lessons: Do more to prepare military reservists and also civilians for the kind of all-of-society fight that Ukrainians are waging against Russia.

“Everything we’re doing now is to prevent the pain and suffering of the tragedy of Ukraine from being repeated in our scenario in Taiwan,” said Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s representative in Washington, on Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

“So ultimately, we seek to deter the use of military force. But in a worst-case scenario, we understand that we have to be better prepared,” Ms Hsiao said.

Ms Hsiao spoke at the quiet, more than 130-year-old hilltop mansion that Taiwan uses for official functions in Washington.

What Leopard 2 tanks are and why they would help Ukraine

Saturday 21 January 2023 03:00 , Jane Dalton

The Leopard 2 tank is regarded as one of the West’s best. Given that Ukraine has been using Soviet-era tanks up until now, it would be a big step-up in capability, particularly in terms of range of firepower and manoeuvrability:

What are Leopard 2 tanks and why would they help Ukraine?

US to impose more sanctions on Wagner Group

Saturday 21 January 2023 02:00 , Jane Dalton

The United States will impose additional sanctions next week on Russian private military company the Wagner Group, which officials say has been helping Russia’s military, the White House says.

National security spokesperson John Kirby, who said the US Treasury Department would designate Wagner as a significant transnational criminal organisation, added: “In coordination with this designation, we will also impose additional sanctions next week against Wagner and its support network across multiple continents.

“These actions recognise the transcontinental threat that Wagner poses, including through its ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity.”

Tanks and military aid has the UK sent

Saturday 21 January 2023 01:00 , Jane Dalton

The UK government prides itself on having been led Western efforts in supplying Ukraine with aid to fight Russia’s invasion. Emily Atkinson reports on the military aid Britain has provided:

What tanks and military aid has the UK sent to Ukraine?

US senators slate German tanks delay

Friday 20 January 2023 23:59 , Jane Dalton

A bipartisan delegation of three US senators visiting Kyiv blasted the delays to Western tank supplies to Ukraine, one of them warning of an impending “major counter-offensive” by Russia.

The delegation, comprising Republican Lindsey Graham as well as Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse, met Volodymyr Zelensky, who asked for “investment, not charity”, according to Mr Graham.

The Republican singled out Germany as he expressed his frustration over a lack of tanks sent to Kyiv by Western allies, including the United States.

“I am tired of the s***show of who is going to send tanks and when they are going to send them,” he said. “To the Germans: send tanks to Ukraine, because they need the tanks. It is in your interest that Putin loses in Ukraine.”

Protesters call on Berlin to send Leopards

Friday 20 January 2023 22:56 , Jane Dalton

Protesters have demonstrated outside the German Chancellery in Berlin demanding the country send Ukraine Leopard battle tanks.

The crowds, many of them expatriate Ukrainians living in Germany, chanted “Free the Leopards”.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Wagner Group has 50,000 fighters in Ukraine, says US

Friday 20 January 2023 22:00 , Jane Dalton

The US believes Russian private military company the Wagner Group has 50,000 personnel fighting in Ukraine, including 10,000 contractors and 40,000 convicts that the company has recruited from prisons, America’s security chief says.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the the US believes Wagner, owned by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, is spending about $100 million a month in the war.

“We are seeing indications, including in intelligence, that tensions between Wagner and the Russian Defence Ministry are increasing,” Mr Kirby said.

“Wagner is becoming a rival power center to the Russian military and other Russian ministries. Publicly, Prigozhin and his fighters have criticised Russian generals and defence officials for their performance in Ukraine.”

Wagner Group mercenaries have been accused by Western countries and UN experts of numerous human rights abuses throughout Africa, including in the Central African Republic, Libya and Mali.

Allies very late in the day, says defence group MP

Friday 20 January 2023 21:45 , Jane Dalton

The chairman of the Commons defence select committee has criticised the western allies for being slow to provide battle tanks to Ukraine while Vladimir Putin is threatening to renew attacks.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood told The Independent: “The UK has done well to push the envelope of military assistance, but this is all very late in the day.

“Russia is in this for the long haul. It’s retooling its industries, it is preparing for a spring offensive. And here we are arguing over the types of tanks that we may or may not give to Ukraine.”

Western envoys visit Kosovo, Serbia to defuse tensions

Friday 20 January 2023 21:30 , Eleanor Noyce

Western envoys on Friday visited Kosovo and Serbia as part of their ongoing efforts to defuse tensions and help secure a reconciliation agreement between the two former war foes.

Envoys from the United States, the European Union, France, Germany and Italy first met with Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Kosovo. They later met in Belgrade with President Aleksandar Vucic to discuss possible next steps toward normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia, with support from allies Russia and China, has refused to recognize Kosovo’s statehood, which is accepted by the U.S. and much of the West. The dispute remains a source of instability in the Balkans amid Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Sylejman Kllokoqi and Llazar Semini report:

Western envoys visit Kosovo, Serbia to defuse tensions

Social media report anti-aircraft systems placed in Moscow

Friday 20 January 2023 21:00 , Eleanor Noyce

Social media posts on Friday said air-defense systems have been installed in several spots in Moscow, including atop the Russian Defense Ministry headquarters.

Russian officials have not commented on the reports of weaponry resembling a Pantsir-S1 mobile anti-aircraft system spotted on the roofs of a building in central Moscow about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) east of the Kremlin and of the Defense Ministry, which looms along the Moscow River across from Gorky Park.

Reports earlier in the week said S-400 mobile surface-to-air missile units were seen near the sprawling Losiny Ostrov forest park on Moscow’s northern border and at an agricultural institute in the capital.

Read more:

Social media report anti-aircraft systems placed in Moscow

No decision on more tanks for Ukraine, despite pleas from Zelensky

Friday 20 January 2023 20:30 , Eleanor Noyce

A pledging conference in Germany ended without a commitment by Western allies to send more battle tanks to Ukraine, despite a call from President Volodymyr Zelensky to speed up the delivery of military support in his country’s struggle against Russia.

So far among the Nato allies, only the UK has agreed to send tanks, in the form of 14 British Army Challenger 2s.

There had been hopes that Germany would authorise the release of its Leopard 2 battle tanks, which are potentially available in far greater numbers.

Sophie Wingate reports:

No decision on more tanks for Ukraine, despite pleas from Zelensky

“We can all do more”, US defence secretary remarks as Berlin fails to reach decision on sending tanks to Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 20:00 , Eleanor Noyce

Germany is doing enough to show real leadership in Europe, but “we can all do more”, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has remarked following Friday’s failure to make a decision on sending tanks to Ukraine.

“Yes. But we can all do more and the United States and every other member of the UDC (Ukraine Defence Contact group) can do more”, Mr Austin told the press conference when pushed on this question mark.

“Germany has contributed a lot to this to this campaign...

“They are a reliable ally, they’ve been that way for a very, very long time and I truly believe that they’ll continue to be a reliable ally going forward.”

Russia claims progress in eastern Ukraine; Kyiv craves tanks

Friday 20 January 2023 19:30 , Eleanor Noyce

Russia claimed Friday to have captured a village in its intense, monthslong push toward the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut, as military analysts cautioned that tanks that may be sent by Kyiv’s Western allies wouldn’t be a magic wand in the almost 11-month war.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a regular media briefing that the village of Klishchiivka, nine kilometers (five miles) south of Bakhmut, had been “liberated.”

The claim couldn’t be independently verified, and Ukrainian officials made no immediate comment on the claim.

Read more:

Russia claims progress in eastern Ukraine; Kyiv craves tanks

Ukraine, climate, economy: Takeaways from glitzy Davos event

Friday 20 January 2023 19:00 , Eleanor Noyce

Elites from politics, business, academia and the arts on Friday wrapped up the World Economic Forum’s annual conclave in the Swiss town of Davos — where worries about the war in Ukraine, a warming planet and a cooling global economy dominated discussions about the world’s ills.

The 53rd edition of the weeklong gathering in the Alps drew notables like Ukraine’s first lady, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and actor Idris Elba, plus hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, CEOs and other decision-makers who hashed out deals and voiced demands on everything from trade to tanks for Ukraine.

Jamey Keaten and Courtney Bonnell report:

Ukraine, climate, economy: Takeaways from glitzy Davos event

US designates Russia’s Wagner Group as ‘transnational criminal organisation’

Friday 20 January 2023 18:35 , Eleanor Noyce

The US government has designated the Russian private military contractor known as the Wagner Group as a “transnational criminal organization,” giving the notorious mercenary outfit the same status as international drug cartels and human trafficking organisations under US law.

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Friday said the move is the result of Wagner’s ongoing operations in Ukraine, which he described as “committing atrocities and human rights abuses”.

Mr Kirby also said American intelligence has assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war effort is increasingly relying on Wagner, leading to tensions between Russian defence officials and the owner of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

US designates Russia’s Wagner Group as ‘transnational criminal organisation’

Russia warns ‘delusional’ West will ‘regret’ sending military aid to Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 18:25 , Eleanor Noyce

Moscow has warned the West it will “regret” sending military aid to Ukraine.

The comments come as western defence ministers gathered at the Ramstein airbase in Germany to discuss sending further support to Ukraine.

European leaders urged Berlin to give the green light for the delivery of German-produced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in an attempt to drive back Moscow’s forces. However, no decision was reached.

Before the meeting, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov urged the West not to supply additional tanks to Kyiv.

The Independent reports:

Russia warns ‘delusional’ West will ‘regret’ sending military aid to Ukraine

Ukraine “confident” allies will provide tanks

Friday 20 January 2023 18:02 , Jane Dalton

Ukraine is “confident” western allies will eventually provide the battle tanks Kyiv needs, the country’s defence minister has said, after a pledging conference ended without a consensus on the matter.

Yuriy Sak told BBC Radio 4’s PM: “Of course we were expecting a different outcome.

“But let me put it this way, we are confident that this is a temporary decision and we are confident that our allies understand very well that for Ukraine to win this war for all of us, for Ukraine to be able to liberate our territory, for Ukraine to be able to de-occupy our cities, we need those tanks.”

Ukraine needs “only 300 to make a difference”, Mr Sak said.

If no more tanks are released, “the risks for all of us are that this war can become a protracted war”, Mr Sak added.

Met Opera concert to mark anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Friday 20 January 2023 17:54 , Eleanor Noyce

The Metropolitan Opera will mark the first anniversary of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine with a concert to remember victims of the war.

Met music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Soprano Golda Schultz, mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, tenor Dmytro Popov, and Ukrainian bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi will be the soloists at the Feb. 24 performance.

“Mozart’s Requiem is to remember the innocent victims of the war, and Beethoven’s Fifth is in anticipation of the victory to come,” Met general manager Peter Gelb said in a statement Friday.

Read more:

Met Opera concert to mark anniversary of Ukraine invasion

What has France pledged to send?

Friday 20 January 2023 17:20 , Jane Dalton

  • AMX 10-RC: an armoured combat vehicle with a similar profile to a tank but with wheels rather than tracks and often described as a tank destroyer. Paris said in January would send an unspecified number in two months.

  • Caesar self-propelled howitzer: a wheeled vehicle with a 155 mm gun. Paris has sent 18 and said last year it could send more.

This undated photo provided Thursday Jan.5, 2023 by the French Army shows AMX-10 RC tanks
This undated photo provided Thursday Jan.5, 2023 by the French Army shows AMX-10 RC tanks

What has Poland pledged to send to Ukraine?

Friday 20 January 2023 17:00 , Matt Mathers

  • Leopard 2 battle tank: a German-built battle tank that is one of the most widely used in the West. Warsaw has said it is ready to send 14 tanks and said it could send them even without Berlin’s re-export approval.

  • T-72 battle tank: a Soviet-era battle tank that is still in use by armies in Eastern Europe that were in the Soviet sphere of influence and other countries around the world. Polish media has reported that Warsaw has sent more than 200 to Ukraine.

  • In addition, Poland has also sent 42 infantry fighting vehicles.

Countries promise Ukraine air defence systems

Friday 20 January 2023 16:21 , Jane Dalton

Several countries have pledged to send air defence systems to Ukraine, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has announced.

Speaking at a press conference during a pledging conference at the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany, he said: “France, Germany and the UK have all donated air defence systems to Ukraine, and that includes a Patriot battery from Germany, and that’s especially important coming alongside our own contribution of a Patriot system.

“And the Netherlands is also donating Patriot missiles and launchers and training.

“Meanwhile, Canada has procured a NASAM system and associated munitions for Ukraine.

“So these air defence systems will help save countless innocent lives.”

He said he believed the combined arms effort would help Ukraine win the war.

US defence chiefs commend UK for sending tanks

Friday 20 January 2023 16:19 , Jane Dalton

US defence chiefs have commended the UK for its plan to send Challenger 2 battle tanks, as Germany came under pressure to send more heavy weaponry to Kyiv.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said the war was about global security, and the contact group that met today was standing up for a world where rules mattered and where people could grow up without tyranny.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said this was the most united he had ever seen Nato.

The new US package signified US resolve to protect and liberate Russian-occupied Ukraine, he said.

Eventually President Putin, Russia would realise their strategic miscalculation, he predicted.

What has UK pledged to send?

Friday 20 January 2023 16:00 , Matt Mathers

  • Challenger 2 battle tank: a tracked tank with a 120 mm rifled gun. London said it would send a squadron, or 14 tanks.

  • AS90 self-propelled 155mm gun: a tracked artillery weapon. London has said it will supply a battery of eight guns initially.

  • Bulldog FV432 armoured personnel carrier: a tracked vehicle which can be configured to carry infantry, act an ambulance or a range of other uses. Britain has not specified a number.

  • In addition, the defence minister said in January that Britain’s latest package would include "hundreds more armoured and protected vehicles will also be sent including Bulldog."

British Army servicemen with their main battle tank Challenger 2 during Ukraine Military Aid Meeting (EPA)
British Army servicemen with their main battle tank Challenger 2 during Ukraine Military Aid Meeting (EPA)

What has Germany pledged to send to Ukraine?

Friday 20 January 2023 15:36 , Matt Mathers

  • Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzer: a tracked armoured vehicle with 155 mm gun. Berlin committed to send 14 in a joint project with the Netherlands.

  • Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzer: a wheeled vehicle with a 155 mm gun. Berlin committed to send 16 in a joint project with Denmark and Norway.

  • RCH 155 self-propelled howitzer: a wheeled vehicle with a 155 mm gun. Berlin committed to send 18.

  • Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle: a tracked armoured personnel carrier with a 20 mm autocannon and MILAN anti-tank missile launchers. Berlin said in January it wanted to send 40 by the end of March.

  • Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Dingo: a heavily armoured wheeled infantry vehicle. Berlin committed to send 50.

  • M113 armoured personnel carrier: Berlin is sending 54.

  • In addition, Germany has committed to send a range of transporter trucks, armoured recovery and medical vehicles and other infantry support vehicles.

File photo: Tanks of the German armed forces Bundeswehr are prepared in the Hindenburg barracks in Munster, Germany, 14 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)
File photo: Tanks of the German armed forces Bundeswehr are prepared in the Hindenburg barracks in Munster, Germany, 14 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)

What has the US pledged to send to Ukraine?

Friday 20 January 2023 15:11 , Matt Mathers

The United States and its allies have been ramping up supplies of armoured vehicles being sent to Ukraine amid their concerns about a Russian spring offensive.

Below is a list of some of the vehicles governments have sent or have committed to send to Ukraine, based on sources such as Reuters reports and government websites. The amount of detail published by countries about their support varies.

  • Bradley Fighting Vehicle: a tracked, armoured vehicle with a turret-mounted 25-mm gun that can carry up to seven soldiers in addition to three crew. The United States said in January it would send 109.

  • M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS): a wheeled vehicle that can launch multiple rockets. Washington committed to sending 38.

  • M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer: a tracked, armoured vehicle with a 155 mm gun. Washington committed to send 18.

  • Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle: a wheeled troop carrying vehicle with a V-shaped hull to disperse the impact of bomb blasts. Washington committed to send 200.

American soldiers drive a Bradley fighting vehicle during a joint exercise with Syrian Democratic Forces (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
American soldiers drive a Bradley fighting vehicle during a joint exercise with Syrian Democratic Forces (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
  • Stryker armoured personnel carrier: a wheeled armoured vehicle that can be configured to handle anything from carrying infantry to medical evacuations. Washington committed to send 90.

  • M113 armoured personnel carrier: a tracked vehicle that can be fitted with a range of weapons, often a heavy machine gun. Washington committed to send 300.

  • M1117 armoured security vehicle: a wheeled vehicle with a mine-resistant hull. Washington committed to send 250.

  • High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV): Better known as the Humvee), it is a lightweight, four-wheel drive vehicle that is a staple of the U.S. Army. Washington committed to send more than 1,300.

  • In addition, the United States has committed to send a large range of other vehicles used to tow weapons, deliver ammunition supplies and act in command and support roles.

  • The US. package of support so far has also included delivering 45 refurbished T-72Bs, a Soviet-era tank.

Russia claims it has captured village in eastern Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 14:41 , Matt Mathers

Russia claims to have captured a village in its intense, months-long push toward the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut.

It comes as military analysts said tanks, which could be sent by Kyiv’s western allies, would not be a magic wand in the 11-month war.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a regular media briefing the village of Klishchiivka, five miles south of Bakhmut, has been "liberated".

The claim could not be independently verified and Ukrainian officials made no immediate comment on the claim.

Yellen says Russian oil price cap could save African countries $6 bln annually

Friday 20 January 2023 14:20 , Matt Mathers

Russia’s war against Ukraine is hitting Africans particularly hard by exacerbating food insecurity and putting an unnecessary drag on the continent’s economy, US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen said in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Friday.

Yellen said ending the war would be the best thing to help the global economy, but Treasury estimated that a Group of Seven-led price cap on Russian crude oil and refined products to limit Russia’s revenues could save the 17 largest net oil-importing African countries $6 billion annually.

Speaking at the start of a three-country visit to Africa, Yellen said some emerging market countries were saving even more by using the price cap to negotiate steeper discounts with Russia, and Treasury was encouraging others to follow suit.

Germany wants allied consensus on sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 14:00 , Matt Mathers

Germany’s new defence minister Boris Pistorius denied that Berlin was unilaterally blocking the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine and said the government would be ready to move quickly on the issue if there was consensus among allies.

"There are good reasons for the deliveries and there are good reasons against, and in view of the entire situation of a war that has been ongoing for almost one year, all pros and cons must be weighed very carefully," Pistorius said.

Zelensky: we have to speed up

Friday 20 January 2023 13:35 , Matt Mathers

Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskiy, speaking at the start of today’s meeting at Ramstein Airbase, thanked allies for their support, but said more was needed and more quickly.

"We have to speed up. Time must become our weapon.  The Kremlin must lose," said Zelensky, adding to earlier comments implying the Germany was holding other countries back from sending their tanks.

Russia was regrouping, recruiting, and trying to re-equip, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said at the meeting.

"This is not a moment to slow down. It’s a time to dig deeper. The Ukrainian people are watching us," he said, without making specific reference to tanks.

Need to focus on ammunition, maintaining weapons to Ukraine - NATO chief

Friday 20 January 2023 13:15 , Matt Mathers

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that countries backing Ukraine needed to focus not only on sending new weapons to Kyiv, but looking at ammunition for older systems and helping maintain them.

"We need also to remember that we need to not only focus on new platforms, but also to ensure that all the platforms which are already there can function as they should," Stoltenberg told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of defence ministers on arming Ukraine.

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

German intelligence alarmed by Ukrainian losses in Bakhmut - Spiegel

Friday 20 January 2023 12:50 , Matt Mathers

Germany’s foreign intelligence service is alarmed by losses the Ukrainian army is suffering in fighting against Russian forces in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

The Ukrainian army is losing a three-digit number of soldiers every day, the BND intelligence service told a group of Bundestag lawmakers who focus on security at a secret meeting this week, Spiegel said, citing information it had received.

The BND warned that the capture of Bakhmut by Russian forces would have significant consequences, as it would allow Russia to make further advances. It also said the Russian army was using its own soldiers like cannon fodder in Bakhmut, Spiegel added.

Russian proxy forces in eastern Ukraine said on Friday that Russian forces had taken control of Klishchiivka, a small settlement south of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Russian politician poses with sledgehammer in tribute to Wagner mercenaries

Friday 20 January 2023 12:37 , Matt Mathers

A senior Russian politician on Friday published a picture of himself clutching a sledgehammer given to him by the Wagner mercenary group, a tool it has adopted as a symbol of vengeance since one was used to murder a Wagner defector last year.

The macabre gift appeared to be a thank you to Sergei Mironov, leader in parliament of the Kremlin-loyal A Just Russia party, for his support for Wagner and its exploits on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine.

Mironov, a former paratrooper, has hailed Wagner, which calls itself a private military company, as “a heroic military formation” after it spearheaded an operation that saw Russian forces this month capture the Ukrainian town of Soledar.

The politician published a picture of himself posing with the sledgehammer on his social media accounts, thanking Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner’s founder, for the unusual gift.

 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)

EU's Borrell: Europe prepared to provide heavy tanks to Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 12:20 , Matt Mathers

Some European countries are prepared to send heavy tanks to Ukraine, the bloc’s chief diplomat said on Friday, adding that he hoped the decision to provide them will be made at the defence ministers’ talks at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

"This is the discussion that will take place in Ramstein today, where the EU will be represented. We have to give Ukraine the arms necessary not only to repel, which is what they’re doing, but also to regain terrain," Josep Borrell told reporters in Madrid, referring to Ukraine’s battle against Russia’s invasion of the country.

"I think Ukraine needs the combat arms and heavy tanks that it has asked for and some European countries are prepared to give and I hope that is the decision that is taken," he added.

France's Macron announces increase in defence spending in 2024-2030

Friday 20 January 2023 11:51 , Matt Mathers

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday said 400 billion euros ($433.16 billion) would be assigned to the military budget in 2024-2030, up from 295 billion euros in 2019-2025.

The 2019-2025 defence bill was meant to start building capacities back up after chronic underinvestment in the previous decades, Macron said.

He branded the new 2024-2030 budget a "transformation" programme to adapt the military to the possibility of high-intensity conflicts, made all the more urgent since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Macron with members of French military (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Macron with members of French military (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

German government: Leopard tank deliveries to Ukraine not tied to Abrams

Friday 20 January 2023 11:34 , Matt Mathers

The delivery of Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine was never tied to the United States making a similar move with its Abrams tanks, a German government spokesperson said on Friday.

Berlin is coming under pressure from Nato allies to deliver tanks to Ukraine, which is calling for extra military supplies amid fears Russia could launch a renewed offensive in the coming months.

Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, did not mention tanks when speaking at Davos, the economic summit, earlier this week.

Putin’s ‘diabolical atrocities’ must be punished, UK says

Friday 20 January 2023 11:16 , Matt Mathers

Vladimir Putin must not go “unpunished” for the “diabolical atrocities” witnessed in Ukraine, the UK has said as Western allies meet in Germany for talks on supplying Kyiv with more military aid.

James Cleverly, the foreign secretary, accused the Kremlin of an “outrageous violation” of the rules-based international order as he confirmed the UK would “play a leading role in a core group of likeminded partners to pursue criminal accountability for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine”.

His comments came as NATO and defence leaders from roughly 50 countries met on Friday at Ramstein Airbase, Germany, in the latest in a series of arms-pledging conferences since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.

The main focus of the talks is on whether Germany will allow the re-export to Ukraine of its Leopard 2 tanks, which are used by armies across Europe. Earlier the Kremlin insisted that Western countries supplying additional tanks to Ukraine would not change the course of the conflict.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (Toby Melville/PA) (PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (Toby Melville/PA) (PA Wire)

First UN aid convoy reaches sites near Ukraine’s Soledar

Friday 20 January 2023 11:06 , Matt Mathers

Three truckloads of humanitarian aid have arrived near Soledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, the United Nations said on Friday.

Some 800 people will benefit from the first supplies of food, water, hygiene and medicines to the area, which seen intense fighting between the opposing forces in recent weeks.

Jens Laerke, from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the vehicles, which departed from Dnipro, were being offloaded on Friday morning in areas controlled by the Ukrainian government, without giving an exact location.

Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline near Soledar on 12 January (AP)
Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline near Soledar on 12 January (AP)

Kremlin says Ukraine conflict is spiralling upward

Friday 20 January 2023 10:56 , Matt Mathers

The Kremlin has said that the boost in Western weaponry supplies to Ukraine is proof that the war in Ukraine is spiralling upward.

Asked whether the supply of increasingly advanced weapons to Ukraine meant that the conflict was escalating, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov replied: “You are absolutely right, it really is developing in an upward spiral. We see a growing indirect and sometimes direct involvement of Nato countries in this conflict ...

“We see a devotion to the dramatic delusion that Ukraine can succeed on the battlefield. This is a dramatic delusion of the Western community that will more than once be cause for regret, we are sure of that.”

He said the way to prevent further escalation was to heed the strategic concerns that Russia had expressed in late 2021, a few weeks before sending its armed forces into Ukraine.

US-Russia relations at an all time low - Kremlin

Friday 20 January 2023 10:46 , Matt Mathers

Relations between Russia and the United States are at an all-time low, the Kremlin has said.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, told reporters on Friday there was “no hope” of the situation improving in the “foreseeable future”.

"Bilateral relations are probably at their lowest point historically, unfortunately," he said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow last month (EPA)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow last month (EPA)

Even Iran and North Korea won’t admit to supplying Moscow, US defence secretary says

Friday 20 January 2023 10:40 , Emily Atkinson

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has taken a swipe at Russia’s battlefield losses in Ukraine, saying that even Iran and North Korea won’t admit to supplying Moscow.

Addressing allies at the Ukraine defence contact group meeting in Germany, he said: “Ukraine has inspired the world and meanwhile Russia is running out of ammunition. It was suffering significant battle losses. And it’s turning to its few remaining partners to resupply its tragic and unnecessary invasion.

“Even Iran and North Korea won’t admit that they’re supplying Russia. Just compare that to the groundswell of support for free and sovereign Ukraine represented in this room.”

Kremlin accuses West of ‘delusion’ over tanks

Friday 20 January 2023 10:26 , Sam Rkaina

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We have repeatedly said that such supplies will not fundamentally change anything, but will add problems for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”

Asked whether the supply of increasingly advanced weapons to Ukraine meant that the conflict was escalating, he said: “You are absolutely right, it really is developing in an upward spiral. We see a growing indirect and sometimes direct involvement of NATO countries in this conflict.

“We see a devotion to the dramatic delusion that Ukraine can succeed on the battlefield. This is a dramatic delusion of the Western community that will more than once be cause for regret, we are sure of that.”

West to push for ‘open world of rules, rights and responsibilities’, says US defence chief

Friday 20 January 2023 10:25 , Emily Atkinson

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has insisted defence leaders from around the world will continue to push for an “open world of rules, rights and responsibilities.”

Responded to an address by president Volodymyr Zelensky, he said: “Thank you, Mr President. I hope you know that we will continue to stand up for the principle that borders may not be redrawn by force. And we will continue to stand up for an open world of rules, rights and responsibilities. Again, thank you for being here today.”

US defence secretary urges West to ‘dig deeper’ to support Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 10:10 , Emily Atkinson

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin urged allies to “dig deeper” to support Ukraine at the start of a meeting of dozens of defence ministers at an air base in Germany.

Nato and defence leaders from roughly 50 countries are meeting at Ramstein Air Base, the latest in a series of arms-pledging conferences since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.

“Russia is regrouping, recruiting, and trying to re-equip,” Mr Austin said at the start of the meeting.

“This is not a moment to slow down. It’s a time to dig deeper. The Ukrainian people are watching us,” he said without making specific reference to tanks.

Zelensky urges speed in pledges of military support for Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 09:58 , Emily Atkinson

President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Western leaders to fast-track their offers of military support for Ukraine, insisting Moscow does not “allow delays.”

Speaking at a meeting of Nato defence ministers on Friday, he said: “Do we have a lot of time? No. Terror does not allow for discussion. The terror which burns city after city becomes insolent so that the defenders of freedom run out of weapons against it.

“The war started by Russia does not allow [for] delays.”

The president said he could thank Nato leaders hundreds of times for their support for Kyiv, but added: “Hundreds of thank yous are not hundreds of tanks.”

Kremlin warns Western tanks will change nothing in war

Friday 20 January 2023 09:52 , Emily Atkinson

Russia has insisted that Western countries supplying additional tanks to Ukraine would not change the course of the conflict.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday the tanks would add to the problems of the Ukrainian people and would not stop Russia from achieving its military goals.

It follows the announcement at the weekend that the UK is to become the first nation to respond to president Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for modern Western tanks with the dispatch of 14 British Army Challenger 2s.

The UK’s bold move piled pressure on Germany to approve sending Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine – hopes of which have been bolstered by support from Finland and Poland.

Since Berlin holds the licence for the tanks, Warsaw and Helsinki rely on the approval of German chancellor Olaf Scholz before they can be sent to Kyiv.

Russia wants to teach world to ‘hate’, says Zelensky

Friday 20 January 2023 09:36 , Emily Atkinson

Russia is trying to teach the world to hate and president Vladimir Putin wants people to believe that their “hatred is stronger than the war”, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has warned.

He expressed gratitude for those weapons provided by the west so far, but urged a meeting of Nato defence ministers to “work fast”.

“Evil and hatred will always lose,” he said. “The Kremlin must lose.”

ICYMI: EU assembly wants special court for Russia’s war in Ukraine

Friday 20 January 2023 09:30 , Matt Mathers

The European Union’s assembly called on the member states on Thursday to back the creation of a special court to judge any war crime of aggression by Russia in Ukraine.

The nonbinding resolution was approved by a 472-19 vote with 33 abstentions in the European Parliament, and underscored the EU’s willingness to make sure Moscow should be brought to justice for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Full report:

EU assembly wants special court for Russia's war in Ukraine

ICYMI: Poland reviews security after divers found near key port

Friday 20 January 2023 09:05 , Matt Mathers

Poland’s prime minister said Thursday that the country was reviewing the supervision of its gas and oil installations and other strategic locations after a weekend incident in which three foreign divers had to be rescued from near a key oil port where they had no authorization to be.

Premier Mateusz Morawiecki also said he had requested the secret security services to produce a detailed report on the incident.

Monika Scislowska reports:

Poland reviews security after divers found near key port

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