The British government accuses Moscow of disinformation and lying about the number of victims of the war. Meanwhile, the United States wants to send Ukraine more modern Abrams tanks. All the latest news on the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
Saturday, January 28, 10:30 a.m.: According to British intelligence services, Russia intentionally misrepresents the number of its casualties in the war against Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense in London referred on Saturday to findings of a Ukrainian attack on a Russian military base in the Donetsk region on New Year’s Eve. Subsequently, Russia had reported the death of 89 soldiers. According to the British secret services, however, there is a high probability that more than 300 victims have died.
For London, this illustrates a “pervasiveness of disinformation in all Russian public statements.” The report said that this was caused by deliberate lies that were nodded off by high-ranking officials and inaccurate reports by lower-level officials who wanted to downplay their own shortcomings for fear of being fired.
In the specific case from New Year’s Eve, Russia probably decided to take the unusual step of naming a specific number of victims because there had been a lot of criticism from Russian commanders and a comment had become unavoidable. The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine eleven months ago. Moscow accuses London of a disinformation campaign.
5:34 p.m .: The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) sees a red line in a delivery of German fighter jets to Ukraine. “I think that’s out of the question,” Pistorius told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Fighter aircraft are much more complex systems than main battle tanks and have a completely different range and firepower. We would venture into dimensions that I would warn against at the moment.”
After the fundamental decision to deliver 14 Leopard main battle tanks, Pistorius urged further strengthening of the air defense in the country attacked by Russia. However, the German-made Gepard anti-aircraft tanks used in Ukraine are running out of ammunition. When asked if ammunition could be obtained from Brazil and Qatar, which had received Gepard tanks to protect their stadiums at the 2014 and 2022 World Cups, Pistorius said: “We are in talks with several partners to make progress here come. But I’m also hopeful that we’ll get our own production line in Germany.” So far, the problem with ammunition has been that everything was manufactured in Switzerland at the time, but because of the neutrality requirement, the country doesn’t want to hand over these stocks to the Pass on to Ukraine.
11:25 a.m .: Poland is delivering 60 main battle tanks to Ukraine. This was announced by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy via Twitter. The package includes 14 Leopard tanks and 30 PT-91 Twardy tanks. 60 tanks are significantly more than other NATO allies deliver. Germany, for example, is moving 14 Leopards to Ukraine, and the United States is moving 30 Abrams tanks.
08:51: The mercenary group Wagner has problems finding new recruits. The reason is said to be the high losses of the mercenary troops in eastern Ukraine. In these, the recently recruited prisoners were often used as cannon fodder. In the last round of recruitment in Russian prisons, only eight volunteers are said to have volunteered – a round earlier there had been over 100.
“Everyone else has a clear picture of what happens to prisoners who go to the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine,” writes former US Marine Paulk Whelan. The Telegram channel VChK-OGPU reports, citing an insider, that it is a “big headache” where to get people for Wagner from. “There are already ‘crumbs’ coming out of the zones [penal colonies] that nobody wants.”
In order to get more people again, Wagner is now looking for new recruits among the large community of immigrants and in prisons in Central Asia. However, this is the wrong way, says the insider to VChK-OGPU. “Instructors say they are not suitable. Only a major mobilization and a decision to turn over ‘resisters’ to PMCs can help. And without a large mobilization, even the handing over of the refusers will not be a saviour,” it says.
“Who will find so many of them? And we need tens of thousands of people, with replenishment literally every day,” the source continued. The problems are so great that there is even speculation about a merger between the Kadyrov army and Wagner. Due to different troop structures, however, this is likely to be rather unlikely.
8:20 a.m.: The US wants to send Ukraine updated and more modern Abrams tanks. This emerges from a report by the US medium “The Hill”. According to this, the Ukrainians should get tanks that are more modern than their predecessors, run on digital systems and are considered more deadly. That’s why it takes longer to send the Abrams to Ukraine.
However, the US could not send the tanks immediately because the US military “does not have an excess of these tanks in its inventory,” a Pentagon spokeswoman said. According to the report, it could take several months to send the modern tanks to Ukraine. But the procurement time would give US officials time to train Ukrainian forces on the Abrams tank. In particular, the maintenance of the tank must be taught to the Ukrainians.
President Biden announced on Wednesday that the United States will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The United States had previously spoken to its NATO partners about supplying main battle tanks.
Tip: US successor to the M60 – M1 Abrams: That’s why the US tank is called that
Friday, January 27, 7:16 a.m .: Experts have repeatedly analyzed in recent months that Russia’s missile stocks are running out. But according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Putin’s army hardly has any stocks of cheap drones from Iran. According to the ISW, the supplies after the large-scale attack on Thursday are only sufficient for “a few” such attacks – unless Iran delivers new supplies.
7.30 p.m .: After the German announcement that it would deliver battle tanks to Ukraine, the “Killnet” hack activist group loyal to Putin apparently tried to take websites from German companies and authorities offline. This was announced by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to the AFP news agency. In particular, websites of airports and “individual targets in the financial sector” as well as websites of the federal and state administration were attacked. The attacks were announced in advance. So did the hackers on Telegram with the hashtag
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s website was also unavailable on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly before, “Killnet” had posted on Instagram that they had attacked the site. Nevertheless, it cannot be verified whether the pro-Russian hacker group is responsible.
According to the ministry, a so-called DDoS attack is a deliberate overload of a server. The overload is triggered by a large number of targeted requests to the server, which emanate from numerous sources.
The Ministry of the Interior in Baden-Württemberg also stated that “DDoS attacks were taking place nationwide on various German websites and institutions” since Wednesday evening. This included the areas of infrastructure and administration, as well as the website of the Baden-Württemberg police force.
6:09 p.m .: The US government has declared the Russian private army Wagner a transnational criminal organization and imposed sanctions on the mercenary group and its network. This was announced by the US State Department and the US Treasury Department on Thursday in Washington. The US government had already announced the step last week and said that the classification would allow the US and other countries to restrict the international business of the mercenary group and its global network of supporters.
As previously announced, the US government imposed punitive measures against the Wagner Group and its subsidiaries, as well as against various people and companies who work with it. The US State Department also continued to impose sanctions on several other Russian entities and supporters of President Vladimir Putin. The aim was to weaken Moscow’s abilities in the war against Ukraine and to put further pressure on Russia’s defense sector, the reasoning said.
3.40 p.m .: According to the authorities in Kyiv, at least eleven people were killed in Russian attacks on Ukraine with drones and rockets on Thursday. Another eleven were injured, said the spokesman for the civil protection service, Olexander Khorunschyj. According to the military, the Russian army used more than 50 missiles and almost two dozen so-called kamikaze drones. The war has lasted for more than eleven months.
1:02 p.m .: The US is organizing another meeting on February 14 in Brussels to coordinate arms sales to Ukraine. The consultations in the so-called Ramstein format are taking place on the sidelines of talks between NATO defense ministers, as the alliance announced on Thursday. The “Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine” met on Friday last week at the US Ramstein Air Force Base in Rhineland-Palatinate. The main focus was on the now officially announced delivery of Western battle tanks to Ukraine.
11.17 a.m .: After the decision on the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine, the West is increasingly making itself a war party from the Kremlin’s point of view. “Everything that the alliance and the capitals I mentioned (Europe and the US) do is seen in Moscow as direct involvement in the conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. This effort is constantly growing.
Moscow has repeatedly accused the US and EU of waging a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Nevertheless, Russia will not declare war, said Peskov. Russia continues to call the invasion of Ukraine a “military special operation” and its status will not change.
10:57 a.m .: A 55-year-old man was killed in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as a result of the Russian rocket attack. Two other people were injured, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Thursday in the Telegram news service. An impact crater was presumably seen in pictures in an eastern part of the city of three million.
In the Odessa and Vinnytsia regions there were reports of hits from objects of important infrastructure. In the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa, there are problems with the electricity and water supply, it said. The authorities called on people to take the air alert seriously. More than 15 Russian rockets are said to have been shot down around the capital Kyiv alone.
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