Ukraine news – live: Russian shells kill 10 as Putin’s forces seek gains before tanks arrive

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Moment Zelensky told tanks would be delivered

Moscow has taken its invasion of Ukraine to a “different stage” with Russian President Vladimir Putin now considering it “a war against Nato and the West,” a senior EU official has said.

Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European Union’s European External Action Service, said that thanks to Western provisions of military equipment to Ukraine – including pledges of tanks from Germany, the US and UK – Russia has “moved from a concept of special operation to a concept now of a war against Nato and the West.”.

“I think that this latest development in terms of armed supply is just an evolution of the situation and of the way Russia started moving the war into a different stage,” Mr Sannino said, referencing indiscriminate attacks on civilians and non-military targets.

In providing military equipment, the EU as a whole and other nations are “just giving the possibility of saving lives and allowing the Ukrainians to defend (themselves) from these barbaric attacks”, he added at a news conference in Tokyo.

The US and Germany announced on Wednesday that they would send advanced battle tanks to Ukraine in what one expert has described as an “armoured punching force.” The military equipment will help Kyiv to break through combat stalemates as the conflict enters its 12th month.

Meanwhile, UK defence minister Alex Chalk has confirmed that the UK will begin training Ukrainian soldiers on Monday.


Main developments from Friday

  • President Volodymyr Zelensky described the situation at the front as “extremely acute”, particularly in the eastern Donetsk region where Russia is stepping up an offensive.
  • Zelensky reported major battles for Vuhledar, to the southwest of Donetsk’s regional capital, and Bakhmut, to the northeast. Bakhmut has largely been pulverised by repeated Russian attacks.
  • Local Ukrainian officials reported heavy shelling in the north, northeast and east.
  • A 74-year-old Spanish man arrested earlier this week over a spate of letter bombs sent to institutions including the Spanish Prime Minister and the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid in late 2022 sought to pressure his country’s authorities to drop support for Ukraine, an investigating magistrate said.
  • A Russian graveyard revealed Wagner’s prisoner army. There were around 200 graves at the site on the outskirts of Bakinskaya village in Krasnodar region when Reuters visited in late January.
Sam Rkaina27 January 2023 20:42

Watch: Zelensky thanks allies following tank announcements

Zelensky thanks allies following German tank announcement
Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 07:00

Who is sending tanks to Ukraine?

Germany has announced it is sending its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine – and will allow other nations to do so too. Berlin will send 14 to begin with, with Poland also saying it will send 14 and Canada saying it will send four.

Norway has also said it will send Leopards, while Spain has said it is open to providing them.

Ukraine‘s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the tanks are crucial to replenish his nation’s military hardaware ahead of what he believes will be increased Russian offences in the spring – with intense fighting having already been taking place in eastern Ukraine for weeks. Kyiv also wants them to try and recapture territory taken by Moscow’s forces.

Chris Stevenson reports:

Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 06:00

Pyongyang attacks US for tanks pledge to Ukraine

North Korea has condemned the decision by the US to supply Ukraine with advanced battle tanks to help fight off Russia’s invasion, saying Washington is escalating a sinister “proxy war” aimed at destroying Moscow.

The comments by the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un underscored the country’s deepening alignment with Russia over the war in Ukraine as it confronts the US and its Asian allies over its own growing nuclear weapons and missiles programme.

North Korea has blamed the US for the crisis in Ukraine, insisting the West’s “hegemonic policy” forced Moscow to take military action to protect its security interests.

It has also used the distraction created by the war to accelerate its own weapons development, test-firing more than 70 missiles in 2022 alone, including potentially nuclear-capable weapons believed able to target South Korea and the US mainland.

Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 05:00

ICYMI: US joins Germany to become latest country to send additional tanks to Ukraine

US joins Germany to become latest country to send additional tanks to Ukraine
Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 04:00

What are Abrams tanks and why is the US sending them to Ukraine?

Russian state TV has since made a point of mocking the Abrams as “battered” and prone to getting stuck in a segment downplaying the threat the new additions to Kyiv’s arsenal pose.

Joe Sommerlad has more:

Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 03:00

Ukraine to set up drone assault companies to be equipped with Elon Musk’s satellite communications

Ukraine said on Friday it was setting up drone assault companies within its armed forces that will be equipped with Starlink satellite communications, as it presses ahead with an idea to build up an “army of drones”.

Commander-in-chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi signed off on the creation of the units in a project that will involve several ministries and agencies, the General Staff said.

“The most professional servicemen” have already been chosen to lead the companies, each of which will receive drones and ammunition, Starlink terminals and other equipment, it said on Facebook.

“We are doing everything to provide soldiers with modern technologies,” it said.

Starlink is a satellite internet system operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, and widely used both by civilians and the military in Ukraine.

Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 02:00

Watch: Russian state TV describes vulnerabilities of Nato tanks promised to Ukraine

Russian state TV describes vulnerabilities of Nato tanks promised to Ukraine
Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 01:00

Russian shells kill 10 in Ukraine as Putin’s forces seek gains before Western tanks arrive

Russian shelling killed at least 10 Ukrainian civilians on Friday – the second day of bombardments by Putin’s forces after Western nations pledged to send military aid including modern tanks.

Moscow is trying to breach Ukrainian lines in the east and northeast ahead of the arrival of new weaponry from the United States, Britain, Germany and others.

Poland gave Ukraine a further boost on Friday by promising an additional 60 tanks on top of 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks it had already pledged.

Alastair Jamieson reports:

Emily Atkinson28 January 2023 00:00

‘No single quiet minute in Bohoiavlenka and Vuhledar’

Fighting around Bohoiavlenka village and the nearby town of Vuhledar has intensified, with Russian troops constantly trying to advance and capture it, according to Ukrainian soldiers.

Vuhledar had come under intense shelling in the past 24 hours, with seven buildings and two schools damaged, Yevhen Nazarenko, spokesman for the Ukraine army’s 68th brigade, told Reuters.

“They constantly use artillery fire, aviation. There is no single quiet minute here,” he said.

Emily Atkinson27 January 2023 23:00