Ukraine news – latest: Abrams tanks pose ‘no offensive threat’ to Russia, insists Biden

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Boris Johnson visits Ukraine amid fresh sleaze allegations

The US will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine and Germany will send its own Leopard 2s – after weeks of persistent calls from Kyiv for the weaponry to help it fight off Russia’s invasion.

President Joe Biden said that the battle tanks pose “no offensive threat”, as Russia denounced the decisions as an “extremely dangerous” step, while Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the move.

Urging allied to provide large quantities of tanks quickly, he said: “The key now is speed and volumes. Speed in training our forces, speed in supplying tanks to Ukraine. The numbers in tank support.”

Ukraine has been seeking hundreds of modern tanks to reclaim occupied territory in the south and east with the two warring countries have been relying primarily on Soviet-era T-72 tanks.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said any Abrams shipments would be a waste of money as they “burn” like other tanks.

“It overestimates the potential it will add to the Ukrainian army. These tanks burn just like all the others,” Mr Peskov told reporters

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US vows ‘long term commitment’ to Ukraine as it sends in fleet of Abrams tanks and tow vehicles to Kyiv

The United States will provide 31 new M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of America’s efforts to help bolster Ukraine’s defence against the nearly year-old war being waged by Russia, multiple Biden administration officials have said.

The 31 tanks will be accompanied by eight M88 recovery vehicles — heavily armoured tow trucks used to rescue tanks that have been disabled or damaged in battle — and will be enough to equip an entire Ukrainian tank battalion with the American-made beasts, which first gained worldwide recognition for their firepower and armour capability during engagements with Iraqi forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Read this report from my colleague Andrew Feinberg to find out more about President Joe Biden’s commitments to Ukraine:

Namita Singh26 January 2023 03:22

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Ukraine’s Odesa city put on Unesco heritage in danger list

The United Nations’ cultural agency decided yesterday to add the historic centre of Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa to its list of endangered World Heritage sites.

The decision was made at an extraordinary session of the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay praised the move, saying the “legendary port that left its mark in cinema, literature and arts” is “now placed under the reinforced protection of the international community.”

Namita Singh26 January 2023 05:30

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Japan’s top finance diplomat calls Ukraine responses G7 top priority

Japan, as this year’s G7 chair, expects Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to dominate talks this year among the world’s major advanced economies, its top finance diplomat, Masato Kanda, told Reuters.

“Sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine will be a top priority at G7 finance track under Japan’s chair,” Mr Kanda, who will oversee deputy-level negotiations on economic policy among the Group of Seven (G7) nations this year, said in an interview.

Among other issues at the top of the G7 agenda would be global debt problems, he said.

While aggressive US interest rate increases last year weighed on emerging market dollar-denominated debt, middle-income countries have been left without an international arrangement to address the debt crisis.

“Japan is closely coordinating with international organs such as Paris club or IMF in order to ensure participating of non-Paris Club members such as China and India,” Mr Kanda said yesterday.

“It is desirable to work with these non-Paris Club countries in the same way with the Common Framework,” he said, referring to a Group of 20 mechanism designed to provide a swift and comprehensive debt overhaul to nations buckling under debt burdens after the Covid-19 shock.

“If this realised, it would pave the way for other middle-income countries to carry out with debt restructuring.”

Namita Singh26 January 2023 05:15

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Western tanks set for Ukraine as Sunak hails ‘right decision’

Dozens of Nato’s modern battle tanks are to be sent to Ukraine to bolster the fight against Vladimir Putin’s invasion, ending weeks of diplomatic deadlock over the supply of armour to the country.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz approved the supply of the Leopard 2 to Kyiv, which would also allow other allies operating the tanks to re-export them.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak said it was the “right decision”, and the move would bolster Ukraine’s “defensive firepower”.

The US confirmed it will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to the warzone.

Namita Singh26 January 2023 05:00

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Zelensky urges UN action on deportations

President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged a senior UN official to help find a way to resolve what Ukrainian authorities decry as a serious consequence of 11 months of war – the deportation to Russia of thousands of adults and children.

Ukraine has for months denounced reports of mass deportations to Russia, often to remote regions thousands of kilometres from Ukraine. Russia denies any suggestion of mistreatment or criminal intent, describing the mass movements as evacuations.

President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart following their talks in Kyiv, on 24 January 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

“The discussion focused above all on our people that the occupiers have deported to Russia,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly video address, referring to talks with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi earlier yesterday.



These are adults, these are our children. A mechanism is needed to protect and bring back people and to bring to account all those who are guilty of deportations. I am certain the UN institutions can show leadership in resolving this issue.

Volodymyr Zelensky

Namita Singh26 January 2023 04:30

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Biden says tanks pose ‘no offensive threat’ to Russia

President Joe Biden said Abrams tanks pose “no offensive threat” to Russia as he announced plans to supply them to Ukraine.

He said that they were needed to help the Ukrainians “improve their ability to manoeuvre in open terrain”, a decision that Russia denounced as an “extremely dangerous” step.

President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the commitment and urged allies to provide large quantities of tanks quickly.

“The key now is speed and volumes. Speed in training our forces, speed in supplying tanks to Ukraine. The numbers in tank support,” he said in a nightly video address yesterday. “We have to form such a ‘tank fist’, such a ‘fist of freedom’.”

US president Joe Biden makes an announcement on additional military support for Ukraine as secretary of state Antony Blinken listens in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on 25 January 2023 in Washington, DC

(Getty Images)

Ukraine has been seeking hundreds of modern tanks to give its troops the firepower to break Russian defensive lines and reclaim occupied territory in the south and east. Ukraine and Russia have been relying primarily on Soviet-era T-72 tanks.

The promise of tanks comes as both Ukraine and Russia are expected to launch new offensives in the war and as fighting has intensified in Bakhmut in Ukraine’s east, officials said.

Namita Singh26 January 2023 04:22

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Ukraine dismisses five top regional prosecutors in shakeup

Five top regional prosecutors were dismissed from their jobs on Wednesday, a day after president Volodymyr Zelensky launched Ukraine‘s largest political shakeup of the war.

The officials, who were the most senior prosecutors in their respective regions, were dismissed “voluntarily” by prosecutor general Andriy Kostin, his office said in a brief statement.

“Andriy Kostin signed orders on voluntary dismissal from administrative positions of the heads of the Zaporizhzhia, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy and Chernihiv regional prosecutors’ offices,” it said on its website.

Over a dozen senior officials, including one of the prosecutor general’s deputies, were removed from their posts on Tuesday in what analysts said was a reaction to recent corruption and abuse of office scandals.

Emily Atkinson26 January 2023 04:00

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‘German-made tanks will face off against Russian tanks in Ukraine once more’

Ekkehard Brose, head of the German military’s Federal Academy for Security Policy, noted the deeper historical significance of Berlin’s decision to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv’s frontlines.

“German-made tanks will face off against Russian tanks in Ukraine once more,” he said, adding that this was “not an easy thought” for Germany, which takes seriously its responsibility for the horrors of World War II.

“And yet it is the right decision,” Brose said, arguing that it was up to Western democracies to help Ukraine stop Russia’s military campaign.

Emily Atkinson26 January 2023 03:00

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Russian warship simulates hypersonic missile strike in the Atlantic Ocean

A Russian warship has conducted a simulated hypersonic missile strike on a mock enemy ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Admiral Gorshkov frigate ran a “computer simulation” for the Zircon missile that Moscow said had “hit” a target around 500 miles away.

The Russian defence ministry said: “In accordance with the training situation, the frigate practised arranging [a] Tsirkon hypersonic missile strike against a maritime target at a distance over 900 kilometres away.

Read our report in full here:

Emily Atkinson26 January 2023 02:00

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Watch: Meme depicts Ukraine’s newest tank brigades meeting for the first time

Meme depicts Ukraine’s newest tank brigades meeting for the first time

Emily Atkinson26 January 2023 01:00



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