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Ukraine-Russia news latest: Putin could order ‘final push’ on anniversary of invasion, officials fear

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Vladimir Putin could order his troops to make a final “final push” on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials in Kyiv fear.

Oleskiy Danylov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, made the comments on Tuesday as he urged Western countries to urgently send more weapons.

“We must prepare for such events every day,” he said. “And we are preparing… The first and last question is always about weapons, aid to help us defeat this aggressor that invaded our country,” Mr Danylov said.

Earlier, Russia announced a major overhaul of its army following a series of setbacks in the war in Ukraine, it has been announced.

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement on Tuesday the changes will be implemented over the next three years.

“Only by strengthening the key structural components of the armed forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation,” he said.

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Putin could order ‘final push’ on anniversary of invasion, Ukraine officials fear

Vladimir Putin could order a “final push” on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials in Kyiv fear.

Oleskiy Danylov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, made the comments on Tuesday as he urged Western countries to send more weapons.

“We must prepare for such events every day,” he said. “And we are preparing… The first and last question is always about weapons, aid to help us defeat this aggressor that invaded our country,” Mr Danylov said.

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 14:30

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Zelensky: Perpetrators of attack on apartment building will be ‘brought to justice’

The Russian soldiers responsible for the deaths of 44 Ukrainians killed when a missile hit an apartment block in Dnipro will be “brought to justice”, Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed.

In his overnight address on Monday, the Ukraine president said authorities will use “all available opportunities”  to find and prosecute the perpetrators of the attack.

“The Security Service of Ukraine has already started to gather information about those Russian military who prepared and carried out this strike,” Mr Zelensky said.

“There is no doubt: every person guilty of this war crime will be identified and brought to justice.”

(Ukraine President’s Office)

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 14:00

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Ukraine soldiers launch attacks from frontline in Donetsk region

Pictures show Ukrainian soldiers launching attacks on Russian targets from the frontline in Donetsk.

Ukrainian servicemen were photographed firing a Polish self-propelled howitzer Krab toward Russian positions on Tuesday.

Fierce fighting continues across several regions including Donetsk, where battles between the opposing sides have intensified in recent weeks.

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 13:29

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Lunchtime re-cap

Ukraine came a step closer on Tuesday to winning the fleet of modern battle tanks it hopes could turn the course of the war against Russia, after the West’s big holdout Germany said this would be the first item on its new defence minister’s agenda.

CONFLICT

* The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said on Tuesday that a French Foreign Legion soldier had been found dead in eastern Ukraine, and posted an image of what appeared to be his identity documents.

* A former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group who fought in Ukraine said he has fled to Norway and is seeking asylum in fear for his life after witnessing the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners brought to the frontline.

* Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych tendered his resignation on Tuesday after a public outcry over comments he made suggesting a Russian missile that killed at least 41 people in the city of Dnipro had been shot down by Ukraine.

* Russia said on Tuesday that it would make “major changes” to its armed forces from 2023 to 2026, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

* Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region said on Tuesday they were in control of Soledar, repeating their earlier claim about the salt-mining town where intense fighting has taken place.

* NATO surveillance planes were due to arrive in Romania on Tuesday to bolster the military alliance’s eastern flank and help monitor Russian military activity.

* More than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion last February, a senior Ukrainian presidential aide said on Tuesday.

DIPLOMACY

* Germany’s allies on Tuesday ramped up the pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to allow the supply of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

* The Kremlin said on Tuesday that another meeting between President Vladimir Putin’s foreign spy chief and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns would be useful but gave no indication when it might happen.

* The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said he hoped to make progress on a safe zone deal around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine, but stressed it was a tough negotiation.

* Russia should halt its efforts to recruit Serbs to fight alongside its Wagner paramilitary group in Ukraine, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.

* Russian and Belarusian flags have been banned from the Melbourne Park precinct during the Australian Open after a complaint from the Ukraine ambassador to the country.

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 13:00

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Ukraine ends search for survivors in Dnipro, death toll hits 44

Ukraine called off search and rescue operations on Tuesday at the rubble of an apartment building in the eastern city of Dnipro where at least 44 people were killed in a Russian missile attack.

The State Emergency Service said 20 people were still unaccounted after Saturday’s attack and that the 44 confirmed dead included five children. Thirty-nine people had been rescued from the rubble and a total of 79 had been hurt, it said.

“At 1:00 p.m. on January 17, search and rescue operations in the city of Dnipro at the site of the rocket attack were completed,” the emergency service wrote on the Telegram messaging app under a photograph from the scene.

The attack was the deadliest for civilians since the start a three-month Russian missile bombardment campaign. Regional authorities said on Tuesday the body of a child was among the last pulled out of the rubble.

Ukraine says the apartment building was struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile. Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, said its wave of missile strikes on Saturday did not target any residential buildings.

(REUTERS)

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 12:17

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Ukraine’s first lady pleads for global help to stop Russia

Ukraine’s first lady has called for international action to end Russian aggression during a rare international address at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in the Swiss town of Davos.

As the anniversary of the war in Ukraine nears, Olena Zelenska said parents are in tears watching doctors trying to save their children, farmers are afraid to go back to their fields filled with explosive mines, and that “we cannot allow a new Chernobyl to happen”.

She criticised government leaders and corporate executives in a speech on Tuesday for not always using their influence enough.

With the war raising inflation and expanding food insecurity in developing nations, she called it “an insult to mankind and human nature to have mass starvation”.

She said the war could expand beyond Ukraine’s borders and worsen the crises but “unity is what brings peace back”.

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, left, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at Davos

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 11:46

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Pistorius confirmed as German defence minister

Boris Pistorius has been confirmed as Germany’s new defence minister.

Christine Lambrecht resigned from the position on Monday, ahead of a conference on Friday at the US military base in Ramstein on Western plans to provide Kyiv with more arms.

Earlier, German economy minister Robert Habeck said the issue of sending tanks to Ukraine would be at the top of the agenda for whoever took over the defence brief.

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 11:33

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Russian mercenary group chief says French soldier killed in Ukraine

The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said on Tuesday that a French Foreign Legion soldier had been found dead in eastern Ukraine, and posted an image of what appeared to be his identity documents.

“Colleagues from the French Foreign Legion asked us to find Yevhenii Koulyk,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a post on Telegram. “We regret to inform you that a French Foreign Legion soldier has been found dead on DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) territory.”

Russia says it has annexed Ukraine’s Donetsk province, proclaimed as the Donetsk People’s Republic in 2014 by separatists supported by Moscow, although Kyiv still controls a large part of the province.

The claim could not be independently verified.

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 10:58

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Russia to make ‘major changes’ to armed forces from 2023 to 2026

Russia said on Tuesday that it would make “major changes” to its armed forces from 2023 to 2026, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

In addition to administrative reforms, the Defence Ministry said it would strengthen the combat capabilities of its naval, aerospace and strategic missile forces.

“Only by strengthening the key structural components of the Armed Forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation,” defence minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Sergei Shoigu (right) with Putin

(Sputnik)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the changes had been made necessary by the “proxy war” being conducted in Ukraine by the West, which has been sending increasingly heavy weaponry to Ukraine to help it resist Russian forces.

The defence ministry, which has faced sharp domestic criticism for the ineffectiveness of its drive to take control of large tracts of Ukraine, vowed in December to boost its military personnel to 1.5 million.

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 10:22

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Boris Pistorius to take over as next German defence minister – sources

Social Democrat (SPD) interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony Boris Pistorius is to serve as Germany’s next defence minister, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday, at a time when Berlin is under pressure to boost military support for Ukraine.

Christine Lambrecht resigned as defence minister on Monday as allies increase calls to send Ukraine heavy tanks, at the start of what is likely to be a pivotal week for Western plans to further arm Kyiv.

The appointment, if confirmed, could result in a wider reshuffling of the German cabinet as chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised to staff his cabinet with equal numbers of men and women.

Mr Pistorius has been interior minister in Lower Saxony since 2013 and has long been seen as a candidate to assume a national position. He ran for the leadership of the Social Democrat party in 2019.

((c) Copyright 2022, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten)

Matt Mathers17 January 2023 09:50



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