The Russian military reports a new offensive around Zaporizhia. Harvard economist Rogoff sees Russia in times of “incredible poverty”. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius plans to travel to Ukraine soon. You can find all the latest news about the Ukraine war in the Newsticker.
11:35 p.m .: According to Norwegian estimates, almost 180,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. On the Ukrainian side, more than 100,000 soldiers are believed to be dead or wounded, said Chief of Staff Eirik Kristoffersen in an interview with Norwegian broadcaster TV2 on Sunday. In addition, 30,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far. The general did not explain how the numbers came about.
Despite heavy casualties, Russia is capable of “continuing this war for quite a long time,” Kristoffersen said, citing Moscow’s mobilization and weapons production capabilities. The Norwegian general also called for the rapid delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine, where Germany in particular has been slowing down so far.
4:37 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has again emphatically spoken out in favor of his country joining NATO to protect against Russian aggression. At a meeting with former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Zelenskyy called membership in the alliance the “best security guarantee” for the country, said the head of the presidential office, Andriy Yermak, in Kyiv on Sunday. It is important to actively promote the goal of NATO membership.
Russian President Vladimir Putin cited Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO as one of the reasons for the war. Moscow had always mentioned Kiev’s renunciation of membership in the military alliance as a condition for resolving the conflict.
According to Yermak, Zelenskyy and Johnson also discussed the peace summit proposed by Ukraine. A date for such a meeting has not yet been set. Russia has also rejected Zelenskyy’s demands, which demanded security guarantees and a complete withdrawal of Kremlin troops from Ukrainian territory, as unrealistic.
In a video published by Zelenskyy on Telegram in Kyiv, Johnson emphasized that he had come to help the country in difficult times. The politician had previously visited the Kiev suburbs of Bucha and Borodjanka, where Russian troops are accused of the most serious war crimes.
2 p.m .: The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has denied allegations of corruption in connection with the procurement of food for the military. The food for the soldiers was bought according to “the legally established procedure”, the ministry said on Sunday. Media reports to the contrary are “wrong”. An investigation will be launched into the dissemination of this “misleading” information, which harms Ukraine’s “defense interests”.
Reports emerged on Saturday accusing the Defense Ministry of contracting out food supplies at prices “two to three” times higher than usual wholesale prices. According to the news website “zn.ua”, the contract in question has a volume of the equivalent of 325 million euros.
On Sunday, the ministry referred to internal control mechanisms designed to prevent corruption. At the same time, it announced an internal audit of purchasing food for soldiers. An emergency meeting with department head Oleksiy Resnikov is also planned for Monday. If violations were found by Defense Department officials, they would be “held accountable under applicable law.”
Another corruption scandal shook Ukraine’s Ministry of Local and Regional Development over the weekend. Deputy Minister Vasyl Losynskyi was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of bribery, the Ukrainian anti-corruption authority (Nabu) announced. Losynskyi received $400,000 “to facilitate the conclusion of contracts to purchase equipment and generators at inflated prices.” Ukraine has been struggling with widespread power outages for months because of Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure.
11.02 a.m .: The Russian head of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin has warned of a possible “tragedy of global proportions” if main battle tanks are delivered to Ukraine. “The delivery of offensive weapons to the Kiev regime leads to a global catastrophe,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday. Russia will use even “more powerful weapons” if the US and NATO states supply Kyiv with weapons that could be used to retake territory.
The head of the State Duma made it clear that Russia regards attacks on the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Cherson, which are occupied by its own troops, as attacks on its territory. Russia had annexed the areas itself with tanks and other heavy weapons. The members of the German Bundestag and parliaments in other countries should be aware of their “responsibility before humanity”, said Volodin. Such decisions led to a “terrible war” with completely different combat operations than before.
10:09 a.m .: According to British estimates, Russia will find it difficult to implement the announced significant increase in its military. “Russia will most likely have difficulty finding personnel and equipment for the planned expansion,” the Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence briefing in London on Sunday.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced, among other things, that he intends to increase the number of troops from 1.15 to 1.5 million. “Shoigu’s plans signal that the Russian leadership most likely assumes that an increased conventional military threat will persist for many years beyond the current Ukraine war,” it said in London.
08:29: Russia will face “incredible poverty compared to what [they] have become accustomed to” in the face of international sanctions in the future. That said the Harvard professor and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Kenneth Rogoff, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“Look at Iran, look at North Korea, look at Venezuela, look at Cuba. This is where Russia is headed,” Rogoff said at the forum. Rogoff said he “doesn’t believe anything the Russians say when it comes to numbers.” Several factors, including the fact that much of Russia’s revenue now seems to come from the oil business, would suggest that manufacturing and other sectors of the economy have already slowed. He also expressed hope that long-term sanctions could lead to regime change in Russia, even if the war initially ends in a military victory for Ukraine.
6:22 a.m .: Green politician Anton Hofreiter is pushing for Ukrainian soldiers to be trained on the tanks in view of the lack of delivery of Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. In Ramstein, Germany “made a significant mistake and thus lost further prestige,” the chairman of the Bundestag’s Europe Committee told 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.”
At the meeting of the Ukraine contact group at the US Ramstein Air Force Base in Rhineland-Palatinate on Friday, no decision was made on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, the participants in the Ukraine meeting promised numerous other armaments to ward off the Russian attack.
Sunday, January 22, 12:00 a.m.: The new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) has announced that he will go to Ukraine as soon as possible. “What is certain is that I will quickly travel to Ukraine,” said Pistorius of “Bild am Sonntag”. This will “probably even happen within the next four weeks,” he added.
Under him as minister, the Bundeswehr should take the top spot in Europe, Pistorius said. “Germany is the largest economy in Europe, so it should also be our goal to have the strongest and best-equipped army in the EU.”
However, that cannot be done in three years before the next federal election, Pistorius emphasized that it would take a few more years for that. “My job is now to set the course for the turning point to succeed.” Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) proclaimed this almost a year ago after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
According to Pistorius, there are three central tasks that must now be implemented quickly: the procurement of weapons and equipment, the modernization of the barracks and the recruitment of personnel. In addition, the troops must “feel that you trust them and are grateful for what they do,” said the former Interior Minister of Lower Saxony.
9:49 p.m .: According to the newspaper “Kyiv Independent”, the Ukrainian general staff has confirmed the offensives reported by Russia in the regions around Bakhmut, Zaporizhia and Donetsk. The newspaper also reports that in the region around the city of Zaporizhia alone, 25 settlements have been shelled in the last 24 hours.
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