Russia is now said to use an armored train for its conquests in Ukraine. Ukraine expects up to 140 main battle tanks from western alliance. A Russian governor offers a bounty on German tanks. All the latest news on the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
7.15 a.m .: According to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the federal government’s Ukraine policy is causing increasing distrust of Germany in Europe. “I would say that a year ago there was a lot of trust in Germany from many other countries. And now this pendulum has swung in the direction of distrust,” Morawiecki told the “Bild”. This applies “especially within the family of Central and Eastern European countries and also the members of the European Union”.
According to Morawiecki, Berlin could do a lot more for Kyiv. “Germany has the potential to provide much more support than it has done so far, it has decision-making power within the European Union, it has money for Ukraine, it has diplomatic power.”
Morawiecki also expressly criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Many people would have expected a complete change from Germany, says the Polish President. “But we see that Germany is trying to be half pregnant, to think a little bit differently and to support Ukraine.”
Despite support for Ukraine, Scholz “still seems to believe that you should get back to business as usual with Russia.” However, he does not believe “that this will ever be possible with this quasi-totalitarian regime,” said the Polish head of government.
04:38: Ukrainian soldiers have arrived in Germany for training on the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. The group had already landed on Tuesday and should start training this Thursday, the German Press Agency was told by security circles in Berlin. Altogether it is a group of about 70 Ukrainians.
In consultation with the United States, the federal government wants Ukraine to have an entire Patriot system to ward off Russian attacks with drones, rockets or planes. These typically include a fire control center, radar, power generator, and six or more of the truck-mounted launchers.
Meanwhile, the Patriot units that had been relocated to Poland reported “initial operational readiness”, as the operational command had already announced on Wednesday. The Bundeswehr wants to support the defense of Polish airspace with three anti-aircraft missile squadrons.
Bundeswehr soldiers have been on site in Poland since January 16 to work with Polish units to ensure that the components of the weapon system are installed. The aim is to protect NATO airspace and thus also Polish territory, the infrastructure and the population. The assignment is initially limited to six months. Poland’s neighbor Ukraine has been at war with Russia since the Russian attack in February 2022.
After a missile hit Polish territory in November last year, then Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and her Polish colleague Mariusz Blaszczak agreed that German Patriot missile defense systems would be relocated to Poland. Two Polish citizens died in the missed shot.
Thursday, February 2, 12:36 a.m .: In the trial of the November 2020 terror attack in Vienna, two defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder as supporters of the perpetrator. Two other defendants received 19 and 20 years in prison in the Vienna district court on Thursday night. The jury found it established that the four men had assisted in selecting the target for the attack and in obtaining firearms and ammunition.
The 20-year-old perpetrator was a sympathizer of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia. He killed four people in Vienna city center on November 2, 2020 before being shot dead by police. One of the fatalities was a German student. 23 passers-by were injured, some seriously, including some Germans.
The public prosecutor’s office had also accused two other men of having contributed to the murder by preparing the assassination. However, the jury acquitted her of this main charge due to lack of evidence. But they were each sentenced to two years in prison for spreading Islamist terror propaganda. Some of the sentences were suspended. The judgments are not yet final.
11:23 p.m.: According to the Ukrainian authorities, at least two people were killed and seven injured when a rocket hit a residential building in the city of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. “Another terrorist attack by criminals and terrorists from Russia,” wrote the head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak on Wednesday evening on the Telegram news channel. He also published a picture of a house in ruins. The exact extent was initially unclear. People could still be lying in the ruins, it said.
In the course of the Russian war of aggression, rockets repeatedly hit residential buildings, even though the Defense Ministry in Moscow claims to be attacking military targets. Again and again there are many dead and injured among civilians. The Russian troops want to take control of the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region and the entire region. The war has now lasted more than eleven months.
5:04 p.m .: The Russian journalist Alexander Nezorov was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison by a Moscow court. He was guilty of spreading “fake news”.
The investigation into him began when Nezorov posted on social media that Russian forces had deliberately shelled a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Russia had denied the allegation at the time.
Eight days after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia passed a law that punishes disseminating critical statements about what Russia has dubbed the military “special operation” with up to 15 years in prison. The use of terms such as “attack”, “invasion” and “declaration of war” are prohibited in the media in Russia.
Nezorov fled Russia in March and was granted Ukrainian citizenship in June. He had publicly denounced the Russian invasion. If Nezorov ever returns to Russia, he will have to serve his sentence in a penal colony, the court said. The journalist, who has a YouTube channel with almost two million subscribers, described the investigation as ridiculous.
4:50 p.m .: British intelligence sees the dismissal of a senior Russian military as a sign of a lack of unity in Moscow’s military leadership. Colonel-General Mikhail, who has played an important role in the Ukraine war, has allegedly been fired, the British Ministry of Defense said in its daily briefing on Tuesday. According to the British, Teplinsky was responsible for the withdrawal of the Russians west of Ukraine’s Dnipro River in November last year. In Russia, he was praised as a capable and pragmatic commander, it said.
It is currently unclear whether Teplinski still has his responsibilities as head of the Russian airborne troops. However, it is possible that a debate about the role of these forces contributed to his dismissal. The airborne troops were often used for tasks that did not correspond to their specialization.
3:37 p.m .: The scope of the current EU training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces is to be doubled. The new goal is to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers in EU countries, several EU officials said in Brussels on Wednesday. So far, the goal has been to train around 15,000 soldiers.
The start of the EU training mission was decided in November by the foreign ministers of the member states. At that time it was said that up to 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers should first be trained in Germany, Poland and other EU countries. With the mission, the EU wants to help ensure that Ukrainian troops can defend themselves even better than before against attackers from Russia.
As part of the EU mission, the Bundeswehr offers, among other things, combat training for companies and tactical exercises for a brigade staff and the subordinate battalion staffs. The German offer also includes training for trainers, medical training and weapon system training in close cooperation with industry.
According to the original plans, Germany wanted to train a brigade with up to 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the first few months. The number should also depend on how many soldiers the Ukrainian Defense Ministry can send for training given the ongoing war.
2:29 p.m .: Boris Johnson supports the delivery of Western fighter jets to the Ukrainian military. He said that to Fox News. Boris Johnson urged Western leaders to “give Ukraine what they need”.
He literally said: “Every time we have said that it would be a mistake to supply this or that weapon, in the end we did it and it was the right thing for Ukraine”. Deploying fighter jets would save “time, money and lives,” according to Johnson.
“This is not the moment to delay support to Ukraine, this is the moment to redouble our support. Give them what they need,” Johnson said.
The request also comes in response to decisions by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden to reject Ukraine’s request for fighter jets.
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