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Putin ally claims defeat ‘may trigger nuclear war’


Russia’s defeat in its war against Ukraine could “trigger a nuclear war”, an ally of President Vladimir Putin has claimed.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president, reportedly made the comments on Telegram while discussing Nato support for Kyiv.

“Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends,” he said. “Defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger a nuclear war”

Earlier, Germany stalled on 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.

Key Points

  • Germany sets precondition on sending tanks for Ukraine

  • US to send $125m to Ukraine to support energy systems

  • Ukraine appoints acting interior minister after helicopter crash

  • Russia likely bringing its new battle tanks to Ukraine war – MoD

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.

Ukraine urges West to hurry up with supplies of tanks, air defences

07:55 , Matt Mathers

Ukraine urged Western allies on Thursday to hurry up and supply tanks and air defences to Kyiv, saying it was paying with Ukrainian lives at the front for the slow pace of discussions in foreign capitals.

“We have no time, the world does not have this time,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

EU president heads to Kyiv

07:30 , Arpan Rai

European Union council’s president Charles Michel has said that he is going to Kyiv today in a show of support.

“On my way to #Kyiv. Ukrainians are fighting for their land, for the future of their children. But they are also fighting for our common European values of peace and prosperity. They need and deserve our support,” the top EU official said on Twitter.

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

06:58 , Arpan Rai

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

Russia likely bringing its new battle tanks to Ukraine war – MoD

06:42 , Arpan Rai

The British defence minister has assessed that Russia is likely considering deploying a small number of its new T-14 Armata main battle tanks in Ukraine.

“In late December 2022, imagery showed T-14s on a training area in southern Russia: the site has been associated with pre-deployment activity for the Ukraine operation,” the defence ministry said today in its latest intelligence update.

It pointed out that this comes after pro-government Russia media outlets claimed that T-14s were being prepared for deployment. However, it is unclear whether Russia has yet moved the type into Ukraine, the ministry said.

“Any T-14 deployment is likely to be a high-risk decision for Russia. Eleven years in development, the programme has been dogged with delays, reduction in planned fleet size, and reports of manufacturing problems,” it added. An additional challenge for Russia, the ministry said, is adjusting its logistics chain to handle T-14 because it is larger and heavier than other Russian tanks.

“If Russia deploys T-14, it will likely primarily be for propaganda purposes. Production is probably only in the low tens, while commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat,” the MoD said.

US packing massive security aid for Ukraine, including Stryker combat vehicles

06:31 , Arpan Rai

The US is building up finalise a huge military aid package for Ukraine worth $2.5bn, including weaponry – and in a first – Stryker combat vehicles, reported CNN, citing two sources briefed on the next tranche of aid.

While the package is not yet finalised, one of sources said, it could come before the end of the week.

The latest US aid would also include more armoured Bradley Fighting Vehicles combined with the Strykers. This will mark a significant escalation in the armoured vehicles the US has committed to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, are also on the list, the person said, reported CNN. The US has already committed to sending Ukraine nearly 500 MRAPs.

The state department spokesperson Ned Price said “Two words: stay tuned” when asked by the CNN if the White House was preparing to announce another Ukraine security package.

Canada to send 200 armoured vehicles to Ukraine

06:00 , 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)

LLyod Austin reaches Berlin ahead of talks over supplying military help to Ukraine

05:53 , Arpan Rai

US secretary of defence Lloyd J Austin III has reached Berlin to meet his new German counterpart ahead of the Ukraine defence contact group meeting at Ramstein Air Base later this week.

The secretary will meet the newly appointed German defence minister Boris Pistorius as well today.

“We’ve worked with Germany very closely since the beginning of this crisis,” a US senior defence official said speaking on background.”

The United States is really focused right now on making sure that Ukraine has what it needs to deal with what is right in front of it,” the official said.

The secretary of defence will be joined by chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A Milley at Ramstein.

“This will be the eighth meeting of the UDCG and the fifth in-person session since the international group was formed in April. They will join ministers of defence and chiefs of defence from nearly 50 nations from around the world to discuss Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, and the continued close coordination to provide the Ukrainian people with the means necessary to defend their sovereign territory,” a statement from the US department of defence said.

US eyes shifting dynamic in Ukraine war without Abrams tanks

05:34 , Arpan Rai

The United States is looking to break the dynamic of grinding warfare inflicted by Russia as front lines in Ukraine remain near-frozen with newly announced military capabilities that it hopes will catapult Kyiv’s offensive against Russian forces, a senior Pentagon official has said.

But, the Pentagon is still not prepared to fulfil Kyiv’s calls for gas-guzzling M1 Abrams main battle tanks, said Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s top policy adviser.

“I just don’t think we’re there yet,” Mr Kahl said, after just returning from a trip to Ukraine.

“The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It’s expensive. It’s hard to train on. It has a jet engine.”

The west and Ukraine have entered a stalemate with demands of modern battle tanks as Volodymyr Zelensky has urged his allies, especially those in Europe to help his troops with better artillery instead of the Soviet-era tanks still being used.

Nato chief urges ‘significant increase’ in weapons for Ukraine

05:00 , 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 defence 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.”

Stoltenberg in Davos today (Reuters)

Stoltenberg in Davos today (Reuters)

US to send $125m to Ukraine to support energy systems

04:56 , Arpan Rai

The US will provide $125m to Ukraine to support its war-hit energy and electric grids battered in the targeted attacks on those utilities by Russian forces, secretary of state Antony Blinken has said.

“USAID will utilize the $125m to procure vital equipment including additional gas turbines, high voltage autotransformers, distribution substation repair equipment, and backup power for Kyiv’s water supply and district heating services,” US administrator Samantha Power has said.

She announced the Biden administration’s intent to work with Congress to provide $125m to support the resilience of Ukraine’s energy and utility infrastructure in the face of the Russian federation’s relentless, systematic attacks. Funding will be drawn from the 2023 Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act passed in December, she said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Since the beginning of the war, and particularly since October 2022, the Russian Federation forces have deliberately targeted critical infrastructure like heating, power, and gas systems in an effort to weaponise the winter,” the US official said yesterday. She

Ukraine has demonstrated tremendous resilience in the wake of these attacks, she said, adding that utility workers have routinely risked their lives to repair the damage, often within hours of air strikes.

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.





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