Each week we round up the must-reads from our coverage of the war in Ukraine, from news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinions.
Germany and the US pawn tanksA Bundeswehr Leopard 2 main battle tank fires during an exercise at the military compound in Ostenholz, northern Germany, on October 17, 2022. Photo: Ronny Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images
When the US and Germany announced they would supply Ukraine with long-demanded tanks, The Guardian’s defense and security editor Dan Sabbagh drew a marked escalation in Western efforts to counter Russian aggression.
“Politically, Western unity is crucial,” he wrote. “The West may not be fighting directly in Ukraine, but it cannot afford to lose the war. If Russia is able to hold the one-fifth of Ukraine it has captured over the course of 2023, the Kremlin, which now runs the world’s biggest rogue state, will only become more confident.
“Instead, the Western alliance has shown it can hold together by upgrading its arms supplies to Ukraine at the price of 30 Abrams tanks from its arsenal for the US – despite their fuel requirements being “three gallons per mile,” according to the Pentagon, means that simple logistical supply will be a challenge for Kiev’s armed forces.
“However, tanks per se are not war-winning weapons, although heavy chain armor is crucial to conducting any type of offensive across open terrain against entrenched Russian positions, not least because they can advance further once they meet the inevitable resistance.”
Peter Beaumont explained what Leopard tanks are and why Ukraine wants them so badly.
Map showing areas where Ukraine has regained controlMap showing areas where Ukraine has regained control
Eleven people were killed in a Russian missile attackLocal residents remove rubble from a neighbor’s house damaged by a Russian military strike in the town of Hlevakha outside Kyiv on January 26, 2023. Photo: Valentyn Ogirenko/Portal
Ukraine’s top general vowed his country would not be “broken” after successfully shooting down 47 of the 55 rockets launched by Russia in an attack that followed Western bids for tanks. Daniel Bofey reported.
General Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said 20 of those intercepted were en route to the Kyiv region, where a 55-year-old man was killed and two others injured by falling fragments.
A total of 11 people died and another 11 were injured as a result of the Russian attack from the air and sea on Thursday morning, the 13th such rocket fire in this war, an emergency services spokesman said.
The man leading Ukraine’s fight against corruptionOleksandr Novikov, the head of Ukraine’s National Agency for Corruption Prevention, speaks in a boardroom at the agency’s offices in Kyiv, Ukraine, January 24, 2023. Photo: Ed Ram/The Guardian
As a number of Ukrainian officials were fired or resigned this week amid corruption allegations. While Volodymyr Zelenskyy tries to take a zero-tolerance approach on this issue, Daniel Bofey profiled the head of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency, Oleksandr Novikov.
Fifteen senior officials have left their posts since Saturday, six of whom have been accused of corruption by journalists and Ukraine’s anti-corruption authorities.
During the first two months of the war in Ukraine, 40-year-old Novikov lived with a clique of his associates in the basement of the austere offices of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention in Kyiv.
“We have an ammunition room – it has machine guns. We were ready to fight on those streets,” says Novikov, looking out the window of his third-floor boardroom.
It is his fourth and final year as head of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency, and while the Russians didn’t land on his doorstep in the Ukrainian capital last February, the former prosecutor’s appetite for fighting against all odds has not yet been sated.
In 2021, Transparency International ranked Ukraine as the second most corrupt country in Europe, behind only Russia, a position Novikov sought to reverse only to find his task made significantly more difficult by Covid and Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine Hotline calls on Russians to surrenderVitaly Matvienko of the I want to Live handover hotline speaks in his boardroom in Kyiv, Ukraine, on January 23, 2023. Photo: Ed Ram/The Guardian
More than 6,500 Russian military personnel have attempted to surrender via a bespoke “I want to live” hotline, the Ukrainian government has claimed, with the call center reportedly recently relocated to a secret location to avoid Moscow’s interference. Daniel Bofey reported from Kyiv.
Vitaly Matvienko, spokesman for the prisoner of war department, said those who had been contacted through the service had been verified as serving in the Russian Armed Forces using their personal information and service number.
Between September 15, when the hotline was launched, and January 20, 6,543 Russian employees reportedly contacted the Ukrainian government to surrender to their care, often from the front lines.
The hotline, operated by 10 employees, was set up following Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a mobilization of 300,000 civilians with no prior military experience to join the Russian war effort.
Doomsday clock hits record 90 seconds to midnight amid Ukraine crisisMembers of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists pose for a photo with the 2023 doomsday clock set for ninety seconds to midnight. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
A panel of international scientists warned this week that human survival is in greater danger than ever, mainly as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Julian Boerger reported.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has set its doomsday clock at 90 seconds to midnight, the clock closest to midnight since it was established in 1947 to illustrate the global existential threats at the dawn of the nuclear weapons age.
Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin’s president and CEO, said the clock has been advanced from 100 seconds to midnight, where it has been for the past three years, “mainly, but not exclusively, because of the increasing dangers of the war in Ukraine.”
Ukrainian families are venting their frustration at finding a home in the UKSome of the Ukrainians are struggling to find homes after their sponsorship programs end. In the picture – Oksana and Yegor. Photo: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian
Maria, 22, arrived in the UK from Ukraine in March last year, shortly after the outbreak of war. She and her mother traveled on the Ukrainian family visa to stay with her aunt. But when their aunt was evicted, they became homeless. Maria and her mother have been living in emergency accommodation in south London for five months. Tobias Thomas reported this story.
“It’s actually terrible, the corridors are so old and so dirty,” says Maria. “The advice was not very helpful. The room is so small and it’s hard with two adults in one room.”
Maria hopes to find private housing, but it’s unaffordable living on Universal Credit. “You have to put down a deposit and you have a lot of savings, but we don’t have that at the moment,” adds Maria.