Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: After tanks, Kyiv wants fighter jets
Jan 31 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s defence minister is expected in Paris on Tuesday to meet President Emmanuel Macron amid a debate among Kyiv’s allies over whether to provide fighter jets for its war against Russia, after U.S. President Joe Biden ruled out giving F-16s.
* Ukraine’s general staff said Russia had carried out air strikes and three missile strikes in the past 24 hours, one of them on Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine. It is also continuing offensive operations in the areas of Bakhmut, Avdiivka and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, it said.
* Ukraine said it had repelled assaults on Vuhledar and Blahodatne, a village just north of Bakhmut. The administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province, Denis Pushilin, said Russian troops had secured a foothold in Vuhledar.
* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
* U.S. President Joe Biden said he will visit Poland but does not know when after reports suggested he is considering a trip to Europe to coincide with the Feb. 24 anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
* Russia and Belarus have started a week-long session of staff training for the joint command of their regional grouping of forces, the Belarusian defence ministry said.
* The International Olympic Committee on Monday rejected fierce criticism from Ukrainian officials, who have accused it of promoting war after the body said Russians could potentially be given the opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in the southern city of Mykolaiv during a rare visit by a foreign leader to a region close to the war front.
* NATO will continue to strengthen its partnership with Japan amid the ongoing Ukraine war, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday during a visit to Japan, where he will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
* German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s bid this week to rally support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion during his first South American tour fell flat, with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reiterating his view both parties shared blame.
* France and Australia on Monday unveiled plans to jointly manufacture ammunition for Ukraine as the two countries seek to shore up defence cooperation and move past a row over Canberra’s decision to ditch plans to buy French submarines two years ago.
* Ukraine’s military will spend nearly $550 million on drones in 2023, and 16 supply deals have already been signed with Ukrainian manufacturers, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.
* Tanks donated by Britain to Ukraine will be on the front line before summer, Defence Minister Ben Wallace said, without giving an exact timetable.
* Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said further supplies of Western weaponry to Ukraine would lead to further escalation of the conflict there and draw NATO members more deeply into it.
“The more defence support our heroes at the front receive from the world, the sooner Russia’s aggression will end and the more reliable security guarantees will be for Ukraine and all our partners after the war,” President Zelenskiy said.
Compiled by Simon Cameron-Moore
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.