War in Ukraine, live: US Secretary of Defense urges Allies to step up support for Ukraine

War in Ukraine, live: US Secretary of Defense urges Allies to step up support for Ukraine

Cover Photo: Volodymyr Zelensky speaks via video link to his allies gathered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to coordinate their material assistance January 20, 2023. WOLFGANG RATTAY/ Portal

  • Defense secretaries and senior military officials from about 50 countries supporting Ukraine gather around US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for a meeting at Ukraine’s Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, on Friday. Their talks will focus on coordinating assistance to Ukraine, and in particular on the supply of heavy armor and advanced anti-aircraft systems.
  • Several countries are expected to announce their intention to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, assured the Lithuanian defense minister on Thursday and spoke of several hundred units. The green light from Germany, necessary for the export of these tanks, is expected on Friday.
  • Several European countries announced the delivery of large quantities of military equipment to troops in Kyiv on Thursday: the UK will supply 600 Brimstone missiles; Denmark has decided to donate all of its nineteen French-made Caesar long-range guns; Sweden will supply long-range Archer-pattern SPGs; and Estonia will send howitzers, ammunition and grenade launchers in particular.
  • For its part, the United States on Thursday announced a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine totaling $2.5 billion. This new envelope envisages sending armored vehicles, but not heavy tanks like the Abrams, which Washington is not yet ready to deliver to Kyiv, and justifies this refusal with maintenance and training issues.
  • The Kremlin issued a clear warning on Thursday : The delivery of longer-range weapons that could strike Russian territory in depth “would mean that the conflict would reach a new level that would not bode well for European security.”
  • The Russian army has launched a “local offensive” near Orekhiv in southern Ukraine. where the front has been largely frozen for several months, said an official of the Russian occupation administration in the Zaporizhia region. “Our troops are holding the occupied positions. The territory of the Zaporizhia region liberated from Ukrainian militants is gradually increasing,” Vladimir Rogov added, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy revealed his ambitions to join the European Union after his meeting with European Council President Charles Michel on Thursday. “I am confident that we will achieve this goal,” said the Ukrainian president, adding that the country will start negotiations “this year”.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said Thursday that he intends to retake Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. “Crimea is our land, territory, sea and mountains. Give us your guns and we will take back our country,” he pounded on the Davos Forum via video conference.
  • This was confirmed by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, to Volodymyr Zelenskyy the establishment of a permanent IAEA mission to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants on Ukrainian soil.

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