After the federal government’s Leopard yes, the USA now want to deliver Abrams tanks. It should be around 30 to 50 pieces. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
5:53 a.m .: According to reports from several US media, the USA now wants to deliver Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. This was reported by the “New York Times” on Tuesday evening (local time), citing insiders. According to the newspaper, there could be official confirmation as early as this Wednesday. It could be 30 to 50 tanks, the newspaper wrote.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that a US announcement of the commitment of “a larger number” of M1 Abrams could come later this week. According to this, US President Joe Biden is said to have promised Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a telephone call last week to have such a delivery checked. Neither the White House nor the Pentagon officially confirmed the reports on Tuesday.
Shortly before, it had become known from coalition circles that the federal government, after weeks of back and forth, would deliver German Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and also want to allow the alliance partners to do the same. The Chancellery has not yet commented on this. Recently there had been reports that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had made the delivery of the Abrams tanks a condition. Berlin and Washington had rejected these reports. The USA had previously emphasized that it did not consider the provision of the Abrams tank to be sensible for practical reasons.
Wednesday, January 25, 3:33 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has defended as “necessary” the dismissal of senior government officials in the wake of an alleged corruption scandal in the army. “We need a strong state,” he said in his daily video address on Tuesday evening. The layoffs are “necessary for our defense – and it helps our rapprochement with the European institutions”.
“All internal problems that prevent the strengthening of the state are being settled – and they will be settled in the future,” the president said. Several deputy ministers, governors and high-ranking officials resigned or were fired on Tuesday following an alleged corruption scandal in the Ukrainian army.
Earlier reports had been published accusing the Ministry of Defense of contracting at inflated prices when procuring food. They are said to have been two to three times higher than the usual purchase prices. If the reports are true, it would be the first such major corruption scandal in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. The Ministry of Defense had denied the allegations.
7.45 p.m .: In the Ukraine war, the Wagner mercenary group is playing an increasingly prominent role. In an interview with the “Tagesspiegel”, a German who is fighting for Ukraine in the Donbass now confirms that non-Russian recruits are also deployed for this purpose. He tells of two captured Germans from Bachmut who fought for Wagner.
One of the two men traveled to Russia in September “without any prior military experience to join the Wagner troops,” reports the German Ukraine fighter. “He said he did it for the money alone.”
While the German gets 3,000 euros a month for his work in the Ukraine, the basic salary of the Wagner mercenary from Berlin was “5,000 US dollars plus allowances, which brings him to up to 7,000 dollars”. In addition, he could earn a bonus. “If he kills one of us foreigners and shows the body’s passport as proof, he gets an additional $10,000.”
In addition to Germans, other Wagner mercenaries from other countries were also captured in Bachmut. These included an American, a Frenchman, a Briton and a Syrian.
11:26 a.m .: The Kremlin has warned of a further deterioration in German-Russian relations should the federal government have Leopard main battle tanks delivered to Ukraine. “Such deliveries do not bode well for the future of relations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. They would leave inevitable traces. The relationship is already at a certain low point.
There is currently no dialogue either with Berlin or with other EU and NATO countries, said Peskow. In the past, Moscow had repeatedly criticized Western arms deliveries to Ukraine as an escalation in the war. Last week, however, the spokesman for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin also said that even Western battle tanks could not prevent Russia from achieving its war goals. In his view, they would only prolong the suffering of civilians.
10:47 a.m .: According to the US Institute for War Studies (ISW), Western military aid to Ukraine is still necessary so that the country does not lose its advantage in a potentially decisive Russian military offensive in the coming months. The Ukrainian military intelligence service expects such an attack in the spring or early summer of 2023, the Washington-based think tank wrote in its latest report on Monday evening (local time).
According to the Ukrainian side, there are signs that Russian troops are regrouping in preparation for a “major offensive” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. This is partly in line with predictions by the ISW, which had also previously observed Russian armed forces preparing for an action – offensive or defensive in nature – in Luhansk. Attacks on northern Ukraine from Belarus or in southern Ukraine are still unlikely, it said.
6.28 a.m .: Emotional debates are currently underway about the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine. But even they are vulnerable in a war, experts say. But there can’t be a victory without the tracked vehicles, military expert Nicolas Drummond explains to the “stern”.
“It is likely that you will have to cede territory. Even if you succeed in the decisive battle and inflict significant casualties on the attackers, you still have to beat the melee battle or the second battle,” Drummond said. In view of the upcoming spring offensive by the Russians, which Putin is apparently planning, it is important for Ukraine to reconquer lost territories. To do this, Kyiv must “master modern blitzkrieg,” which NATO calls Combined Arms Maneuvers. For this reason, main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers are still important.” They are indispensable for an attacking force to gain and hold ground, the strategy consultant continued.
The Russians, too, were only able to capture Ukrainian territory “when they used tanks and infantry together, which moved forward under the protection of artillery,” Drummond told Stern.
His conclusion: “If you don’t have armored vehicles or a certain degree of protected mobility, you definitely won’t survive”.
1:20 a.m .: According to the UN children’s fund Unicef, the war in Ukraine has affected the schooling of more than five million children. The past eleven months of the conflict have only exacerbated the major problems in the education sector caused by the corona pandemic, Unicef announced in New York on Tuesday. Children in eastern Ukraine have also been suffering from the conflict with Russia for eight years. Fighting in residential areas has now resulted in thousands of schools and other educational institutions across the country being damaged or destroyed. At the same time, many parents did not let their children go to school for safety reasons.
1.9 million schoolchildren in Ukraine would only follow the lessons virtually, 1.3 million would use the digital offers partially. But this type of education is also in danger because of the Russian attacks on the infrastructure: power outages mean a “constant challenge” for the schools.
Tuesday, January 24, 12:00 a.m.: The armaments group Rheinmetall could deliver a total of 139 Type 1 and Type 2 Leopard tanks. His spokesman told the editorial network Germany (RND) against the background of the deliveries to Ukraine that are currently being debated. “We still have 22 vehicles from the Leopard 2A4 that we could prepare for use and deliver to Ukraine,” he told RND. “The repair of these vehicles would take almost a year. Delivery would be possible at the end of 2023/beginning of 2024. There are also 29 Leopard 2A4s that we are working on for the ring exchange projects and that we will have ready by April/May 2023.” The spokesman added: “We could make 88 vehicles available from the Leopard 1.” Mixed situation due to the security policy framework, various forms of direct or indirect delivery and the changing priorities for orders “very volatile”. “It is therefore difficult, for example, to name specific periods for deliveries,” emphasized the spokesman.
At a meeting in Brussels on Monday, several EU foreign ministers increased the pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to deliver Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine or at least agree to the delivery of Leopard tanks by other countries. Poland has already announced that it will apply to the federal government for approval to supply its own Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine, but if necessary to supply them without Germany’s consent.
7:58 p.m .: Russian occupation troops and Ukrainian defenders fought again on Monday for Bakhmut and Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. The Russian attacks were repelled with heavy losses, the Ukrainian general staff said in Kyiv in the evening. In order to conquer the entire Donetsk region, the Russian army attacked “regardless of their own losses”. The representation could not initially be independently verified.
The Russian military meanwhile spoke of an intensification of the fighting in the central Zaporizhia region. After advances by the Russian units in the past few days, a regrouping and repositioning of units on the Ukrainian side has now been observed, the state agency TASS reported.
3:17 p.m .: During a visit to South Africa on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov again made allegations that the West was waging war against Russia in Ukraine. “When we talk about what’s happening in Ukraine, it’s not a hybrid war, it’s almost a real war that the West has been preparing against Russia for a long time,” Lavrov said after meeting his South African colleague Naledi Pandor According to Russian state news agency Tass, the West wants to destroy everything Russian, from language to culture, he said.
South Africa, part of the Brics group of emerging economies along with Russia, China, India and Brazil, has taken a neutral stance on the war in Ukraine. South Africa abstained in a United Nations vote condemning the Ukraine conflict last year. Nevertheless, South Africa has traditionally maintained close ties with Moscow, also because the then Soviet Union supported the fight against apartheid.
In addition, South Africa is planning joint military exercises with the Russian and Chinese navies off the south-eastern port city of Durban in the second half of February. The naval exercises coincide with the one-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine (February 24) and, according to the South African Army, are intended to “strengthen the already blossoming relationship between South Africa, Russia and China”.
Lavrov’s visit to South Africa is taking place, among other things, in preparation for a Russia-Africa summit planned for July. By mid-2022, Lavrov had already visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia. The visits also demonstrate Moscow’s participation in the “race for Africa” with China and the USA: Last week, China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang made his first trip abroad to Africa; US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is currently on a trip to Senegal, Zambia and South Africa .
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