In February 2022, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Vladimir Putin on the phone for a “very long time”. He wanted to dissuade him from invading Ukraine. But instead of negotiating, Putin threatened the British with a rocket attack. Volodymyr Zelenskyj meanwhile believes in a victory in 2023. What happened tonight.

All reports on the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.

Speaking to the BBC, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him on the phone with a missile attack on Britain. In February 2022, Johnson told Putin in a “very long” phone call that this war would be an “absolute disaster”.

Johnson said in the BBC interview: “He said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a rocket, it would only take a minute’ or something like that. But I think he said it in a relaxed tone, he was kind of distant. I guess he was just trying to downplay my efforts to negotiate with him.”

Serious threat or not – in the diplomatic arena, the mere suggestion of such a possibility is a very unusual affront.

Johnson adds that he warned Putin on the phone that an invasion of Ukraine would lead to Western sanctions and more NATO troops on Russia’s borders. The ex-prime minister also tried to avert the invasion by assuring the Russian despot that Ukraine would not be admitted to NATO in the “foreseeable future”.

Despite the currently difficult situation at the front, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has shown himself confident of victory against the Russian attackers. “2023 must and will definitely be the year of our victory!” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram on Sunday. In his video speech every evening, he also conceded with a view to the hard-fought east of his country: “The situation is very tough.”

In the Donetsk region, the cities of Bakhmut and Wuhledar in particular are still subject to constant Russian shelling, Zelensky said. Despite high losses in their own ranks, the Russians did not reduce the intensity of their attacks there. “Russia hopes to prolong the war and exhaust our forces.”

“So we must make time our weapon. We need to accelerate events,” said the Ukrainian leader. In particular, the speed of delivery of foreign military aid is a key factor in this war. Selenskyj also insisted once again on further arms deliveries beyond the main battle tanks recently promised by the West.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has criticized the debate over the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine. “It is idiosyncratic that this debate is being held. Some people have to ask themselves: Why is he asking the question when it’s about helping the Ukrainians,” said Scholz on Sunday evening (local time) at a press conference in Santiago de Chile. A serious debate is now necessary and not “an outbidding competition (…), in which perhaps domestic political motives are in the foreground instead of supporting Ukraine”. In an issue as important as arms deliveries, it must be about the matter and rational considerations, emphasized Scholz.

Ukraine is demanding fighter jets, and the United States has not fundamentally ruled out a delivery. The SPD leader Saskia Esken did not fundamentally rule out the delivery of combat aircraft on Sunday in the ARD.

According to the authorities, three people were killed by Russian fire in Cherson, southern Ukraine. Six others were injured, the Kherson regional administration announced. Among other things, a clinic building was hit. The regional capital of the Kherson region of the same name, which the Ukrainian army recaptured a few months ago, has repeatedly come under heavy fire from Russia’s armed forces.

For their part, the Russian occupiers in the neighboring region of Zaporizhia reported four deaths from Ukrainian shelling. The information from the war zone is often difficult to independently verify.

Along with Cherson, Donetsk and Luhansk, Zaporizhia is one of the Ukrainian regions that Russia occupies in part and annexed last year. In addition, Moscow annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in violation of international law back in 2014.

A residential building in the city center was hit in a rocket attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv late on Sunday evening. At least one person died and three other residents were injured. According to military administrator Oleh Sinegubov, helpers were looking for other possible victims in the rubble.

The Ukraine showed glee over an attack on a military facility in Iran. In recent months, Kyiv has repeatedly criticized Tehran for supplying combat drones to Moscow. “The logic of war is inexorable and murderous,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter. “And he issues heavy bills to the originators and accomplices. (…) Ukraine warned you.”

According to a report by the Iranian state news agency IRNA, an ammunition factory belonging to the Ministry of Defense near the metropolis of Isfahan was attacked with several small aircraft on Sunday night. According to the Iranian Defense Ministry, it was a military attack, but no one was injured. The Iranian government announced that it would send a team of experts to the city to investigate the background.

On Monday (10:00 a.m.) in Brussels, the agriculture ministers of the EU countries will discuss, among other things, the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

Also Read:The Ukraine Update of January 29th