Thursday, January 19, 2023
MOSCOW STUDIES AN AMERICAN ‘SPY’
The Russian Security Services (FSB) announced on Thursday that they had launched an investigation into “espionage” against an American citizen amid a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. The FSB did not reveal the identity of this American citizen, whether he had been arrested, or whether he was in Russia or abroad.
“The American is suspected of gathering information on biological matters contrary to the security of the Russian Federation,” the FSB said in a brief statement. Several American citizens are being detained in Russia, adding to the poisoning of relations between Moscow and Washington.
SEVERAL THEORIES EVALUATED AFTER THE CRASH
The investigation into the helicopter crash near Kyiv that killed Ukraine’s Interior Minister and 13 others on Wednesday is considering “several theories,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday. “The investigation is ongoing. Several theories are being investigated and I am not authorized to speak about the various hypotheses pending the outcome of the investigation,” said the Ukrainian leader, speaking via video conference at the Davos Forum.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL JOURNEY TO Kyiv
EU Council President Charles Michel announced on Thursday that he was “on his way to Kyiv” where he will discuss new support measures for Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has called for faster arms deliveries.
The two leaders will “discuss concrete measures (…) to ensure that (Ukraine) becomes stronger and more powerful,” Charles Michel said in a video message published on Twitter. NATO allies have pledged “increased support with heavier and more modern weapons” to Kyiv to counter Russia’s offensive.
On the way to #Kiev. The Ukrainians are fighting for their country, for the future of their children. But they also fight for our common European values of peace and prosperity. They need and deserve our support. pic.twitter.com/ewLY4E9udX — Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) January 19, 2023
V. ZELENSKY WANTS TO CONQUER CRIMEA BACK
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday he intends to retake Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and urged his western partners to supply more arms. “Our goal is to liberate all our territories,” he said via video conference during a breakfast on the sidelines of the Davos Forum. “Crimea is our land, territory, sea and mountains. Give us your guns and we’ll get our land back,” he added.
V. ZELENSKY CRITICIZES BERLIN’S REluctance
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday criticized Germany’s reluctance to allow heavy tank deliveries, saying it was not the “right strategy”. “There are times when you shouldn’t hesitate or compare. If someone says I don’t deliver tanks when others do,” said the Ukrainian leader at the time, speaking for the second time via video conference during a breakfast at the Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland .
He referred to press reports that Berlin would only supply advanced tanks if the United States supplied Abrams tanks.
WASHINGTON DOES NOT SUPPLY ABRAMS TANKS
The United States is unwilling to provide Ukraine with its most advanced heavy tank, the Abrams, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday, citing maintenance and training issues as the reason for the refusal. “I don’t think we’re there,” said Colin Kahl, number three, when asked about the possibility of sending Abrams tanks to Kyiv during a press conference.
Ukraine has been asking the West for modern tanks to repel the Russian invasion for weeks, but the latter have so far only sent light tanks and armored personnel carriers. Britain last week became the first country to pledge heavy tanks, Challenger 2.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AFTER HELICOPTER SHUTTLE
Kyiv on Thursday began a criminal probe ordered by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into the death of Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky in the crash of his helicopter, which killed at least 14 people, according to a recent official report.
“The Security Service of Ukraine has opened a criminal investigation into this terrible incident,” he said in a speech on Wednesday evening. “I instructed the head of the Security Service of Ukraine to clarify all the circumstances of the disaster in cooperation with all other authorized bodies,” he said.