The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the Ukrainian armed forces of targeting a hospital in the Luhansk region. Meanwhile, the United States wants to send Ukraine more modern Abrams tanks, while Ukraine is setting a new target for arms deliveries. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
9.46 a.m .: After the decision to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called for prudence in the debate about further arms deliveries. He warns against “entering into a constant outbidding competition when it comes to weapon systems,” Scholz told the “Tagesspiegel” (Sunday edition) with a view to demands that Ukraine now also be supplied with fighter jets. “If, as soon as a decision has been made, the next debate starts in Germany, it doesn’t seem serious and shakes the trust of the citizens in government decisions.”
Following the commitment by Germany and other Western countries to supply battle tanks to Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested combat aircraft on Wednesday, among other things. The federal government rejects this.
As Chancellor, he must “do everything to ensure that Russia’s war against Ukraine does not turn into a war between Russia and NATO,” said Scholz to the “Tagesspiegel”. There is no such thing, and he will “not allow such an escalation. We in the Federal Government are completely in agreement on this, and the Foreign Minister also sees it that way”.
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) called on Tuesday in the Council of Europe for the cohesion of the western allies in view of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. She said in English: “We are waging a war against Russia and not against each other.” The Federal Foreign Office later qualified Baerbock’s statement to the “Bild” newspaper and made it clear that supporting Ukraine in exercising its right to self-defense is not doing Germany ” to a party to the conflict”.
Scholz announced in the “Tagesspiegel” interview that he would continue to try to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin in direct talks. “I will also be on the phone with Putin again – because it is necessary to talk to each other,” he said. “It’s up to Putin to withdraw troops from Ukraine and end this horrific, senseless war that has already killed hundreds of thousands.”
In the phone calls, Putin repeatedly made it clear that he wanted to “take parts of his neighboring country by force,” which was “unacceptable,” said Scholz. “Sometimes there were also specific questions about the exchange of prisoners, grain exports from Ukraine and the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.” The decisive question, however, is: “How will the world get out of this terrible situation?” The prerequisite for this is “the withdrawal of Russian troops ” from Ukraine.
07.10: “The Russians are clearly planning an offensive in February. It might even start next week,” Oleksandr Danylyuk, corresponding member of Britain’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told Ukrainian newspaper NV. However, according to the military expert, the situation with this Russian offensive is different compared to February 24 last year. The reason: he estimates that the quality of the Russian units will be worse than those that attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
“Now we have to understand that we were very lucky then, that these marching columns, which were absolutely not prepared for military resistance, were easy prey for the armed forces,” Danylyuk continues. “A situation like this will not be repeated. There will be normal logistics and much more. The most important thing is that there will be a quantitative advantage, which was not there last year,” adds the expert.
He is skeptical about the military support announced at the most recent summit of the defense ministers of the partner countries at Ramstein Air Base. The weapons aid will not reach Ukraine in time for the expected Russian offensive, as the aid – especially the modern battle tanks – could take longer to get to the war zone, Danylyuk said.
Sunday, January 29, 7:08 a.m.: A few days after the fatal helicopter crash involving the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior near Kyiv, a government helicopter is said to have crashed in the Russian capital. This is reported by “Newsweek” and “Ukrainska pravda” and refers to the Interfax news agency. The helicopter, which is part of the fleet tasked with transporting senior Russian officials and also Vladimir Putin, crashed near Moscow, sources say.
It is a Mil Mi-8 helicopter that is said to have crashed onto the ground with its tail and rotor blades while landing at Vnukovo International Airport (about 25 km from the center of Moscow). According to the latest reports, the incident happened on Friday (02/27/23).
“According to our information, it is a Mi-8MTV-1, manufactured in 2013 and designed for 22 passengers,” the Telegram post reads.
Pilot error is suspected to be the cause of the accident. “When the helicopter landed, the propeller caught on the ground and damaged the tail section,” a source at the airport told the agency.
As reported by “Aerotime”, the helicopter belonged to the special flight department “Rossiya”, which operates aircraft for the transport of Russian government officials. It is unclear who was on board the helicopter and if anyone was injured in the incident. Contradictory information came from Russia. Inquiries at Moscow’s Vnukova Airport have so far gone unanswered.
Aerotime further reports that the government fleet’s helicopters are equipped with special defense systems and other modifications to safely transport their VIP passengers. The helicopters frequently transport Putin around Russia, supplementing his fleet of long-haul Il-96 planes and other jets, sources say.
The Ukrainian news agency “Ukrainska Pravda” reports that it was a pilot error. According to Interfax, the hard landing could have been caused by poor weather conditions or equipment failure.
10:55 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has imposed sanctions on 185 companies and individuals supporting Russia’s war. According to this, companies and entrepreneurs who transport personnel and military technology by train on behalf of the “aggressor state” will be punished, said Selenskyj in his video message published every evening on Saturday. The confiscated available assets will benefit national defense, he said.
Belarusian companies that support Russia with the transports are also on the list published in the evening with 182 companies and 3 people. Ukraine is working to ensure that other states also block the companies’ assets. At the same time, Zelenskyy thanked “everyone who is helping to strengthen sanctions against Russia” and those investigators who uncovered and prosecuted Russia’s evasion of sanctions.
The President once again emphatically demanded that Russia not be admitted to the Olympic Games in Paris next year. As Zelenskyj announced, he wrote to the presidents of the leading international sports associations that they should commit themselves with regard to plans by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow Russian athletes to compete in world sports again.
Ukraine is threatening to boycott the games in Paris if athletes from Russia or Belarus are allowed there. Belarus is also a war party from Ukraine’s point of view. Zelenskyj had previously stressed that the Olympic principles were incompatible with war. He warned that Russia would take advantage of the IOC’s “flexibility” to present it as a concession.
Nobody can ignore the fact that Russia is continuing its terror every day, said Selenskyj. In the city of Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region, 3 people were killed and 14 others injured in Russian rocket attacks against residential buildings on Saturday. With regard to the prospect of military aid from the West, the President emphasized that Ukraine urgently needs longer-range missiles to repel such attacks.
7:01 p.m .: According to the Swedish government, tensions with Turkey over Islamophobic actions have an impact on the country’s NATO accession process. The incidents of the past few weeks have led to a temporary interruption in the NATO process, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said on Saturday, according to the Expressen newspaper. The Swedish government is investing time and effort to move forward again and still hopes that the process can be completed in the summer. A few days ago, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson was also optimistic on this issue.
Sweden, along with Finland, wants to become a member of the western military alliance as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. NATO member Turkey has so far refused to agree to admission.
Earlier this week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden could not count on his country’s support for accession after an Islamophobic politician burned a Koran near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
5:14 p.m .: Ukraine wants to receive F-16 jets from western countries as next weapons aid package. Yuri Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, told the Spanish newspaper “El País”. The goal: as part of the next delivery, there should be 24 combat aircraft, it is said. However, Inhat made it clear that this is not a weapon aid that can also be used quickly in war. He refers to the extensive training of the pilots and the staff, which then still has to take place.
4:55 p.m .: The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the Ukrainian armed forces of targeting a hospital in the Luhansk region. The ministry in Moscow announced on Saturday evening – around ten hours after the alleged incident – that the hospital in Nowoaydar had been fired upon by a US-type Himar multiple rocket launcher. 14 people were killed and 24 patients and clinic staff were injured. The Luhansk region is largely occupied by Russia. The information could not be independently verified. The ministry initially published neither videos nor photos of the impact, which is said to have happened in the morning.
The ministry accused the Ukrainian armed forces of a “deliberate missile strike” against the civilian hospital, which was a “serious war crime by the Kiev regime”. The authorities did not initially publish any evidence. Those responsible would be found and held accountable, the statement said.
In the evening, Russian state television published unverifiable images showing a destroyed building. A board with the opening hours of the clinic was also displayed. No people or ambulances were seen in the video footage. There was initially no reaction from Ukraine to the allegations. Russia has largely occupied the Luhansk region, which is why Ukrainian forces are trying to liberate the region with the help of Western weapons.
4:29 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has condemned the attacks in East Jerusalem as cynical terrorist attacks. “One of the victims is a Ukrainian woman,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter on Saturday. On Friday evening, an attacker shot at visitors to a synagogue, seven people died and several were injured. Selenskyj spoke of a “cynical crime” on the day of remembrance for the Nazi genocide of the Jews. The 45-year-old, who has Jewish roots, expressed his condolences to the relatives.
On Saturday, a 13-year-old also injured two people with gunshots in East Jerusalem. “Terror has no place in today’s world. Neither in Israel nor in Ukraine,” Zelenskyy continued. Ukraine has been fighting a Russian invasion since February 24. Selenskyj repeatedly describes Russia as a terrorist state.
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.
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