The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius plans to travel to Ukraine soon. In the debate about the delivery of German battle tanks, he remains vague. Wagner boss Prigozhin presents himself as Russia’s “victim hero” and Kyiv is meanwhile shaken by corruption scandals. what happened in the night
The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) wants to go to Ukraine as soon as possible. “What is certain is that I will travel quickly to Ukraine. Probably even within the next four weeks,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”. Pistorius took office on Thursday after Christine Lambrecht resigned as head of department.
When asked when the decision on Leopard tanks for Ukraine would be made, he said: “We are in very close dialogue on this issue with our international partners, above all with the USA.” In order to be well prepared for possible decisions, he instructed his house on Friday to “check everything so that we don’t lose time unnecessarily if the worst comes to the worst”.
At the Ukraine conference in Ramstein on Friday, Germany had not yet decided to deliver battle tanks to the war zone, despite considerable pressure from its allies.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, increasingly wants to present himself as Russia’s “victim hero” in comparison to corrupt Russian authorities. Prigozhin’s press service circulated a letter from the family of a deceased mercenary, in which Prigozhin was described as “the only person who cares about the fate of the defender of Russia and his family.” Prigozhin also took on a mayor who had refused a funeral for a mercenary. Wagner would “tug their children’s nostrils” in order to take part in the Ukraine war, he threatened. According to the ISW, Prigozhin is becoming less and less popular with Russian officials, but is a “hero” among the voiceless.
According to official information, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov is to address reports in front of the parliament in Kyiv about overpriced food purchases for the army. Reznikov has been invited to a hearing, Vice-Chair of the Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Reconnaissance Marjana Besugla told national broadcaster Suspilne Media on Saturday. In addition, the Court of Auditors will take a close look at the Ministry of Defense.
Earlier, media reports in Kyiv caused a stir that the Defense Ministry was buying food to feed its soldiers at prices up to three times higher than retail prices in stores. The contract for 13 billion hryvnia (a good 300 million euros) is said to be about feeding the soldiers at the front, but in the rear.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, the deputy minister has been arrested in another ministry for accepting a six-figure bribe. “The National Anti-Corruption Bureau searched the home of Deputy Minister for Municipal, Territory and Infrastructure Development Vasyl Losynsky and arrested him,” the online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda reported on Saturday. The ministry has already responded to the report and fired the top official.
In view of the lack of delivery of Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, Green politician Anton Hofreiter is pushing for Ukrainian soldiers to be trained on the tanks. In Ramstein, Germany “made a significant mistake and thus lost further prestige,” said the chairman of the Bundestag’s Europe Committee to the newspapers of the Funke media group on Sunday. “That must now be corrected quickly.”
Specifically, Hofreiter called for Ukrainian soldiers to start training on Leopard battle tanks “right now”. The Leopard 2 is “a crucial support that Germany can offer,” said Hofreiter. “Putin will not be willing to negotiate until he realizes he cannot win this war.”
US intelligence estimates the total number of Russian forces in Ukraine as of Jan. 20 at 188,000, implying 47,000 Russians killed, The Sun reports. The war wounded-to-kill ratio is 3:1, suggesting that Russian losses in Ukraine so far are close to the total US deaths in the Vietnam War (58,000 in eight years).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi bid an emotional farewell to Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, who died in a helicopter crash. “Every day we lose people who we will always remember and who we regret not being able to bring back,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Saturday. The 44-year-old was also previously at the memorial service for the victims of the crash.
In contrast to most of the other video messages that he had spread since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, Zelenskyy made no reference to current events at the front or to the demands made on the West, where a sharp debate about tank supplies to Ukraine is going on, especially in Germany .