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Ukraine Hit by Russian Missiles Day After US and Germany Offer Tanks, NATO-Russia on Path to Full-Fledged Military Conflict

January 27, 2023


A Russian warship fire a Kalibr missile, file, January 26, 2023

The aftermath of a Russian strike was seen on Thursday in the town of Hlevakha, outside Kyiv, January 26, 2023 reut


US and NATO on path to full-fledged military conflict in Europe – Moscow

RTV, January 27, 2023

America’s "reckless neo-colonialist expansionist policy" has put Europe and possibly the world on the brink of a devastating conflict, Russia’s deputy envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has warned. Continued escalation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could spiral into an all-out war that would see no victors, Maksim Buyakevich told the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday.

"The leaders of the US and their NATO client states have come close to a red line," the diplomat warned, citing the US and other western nations’ plans to send dozens of modern battle tanks to Kiev. Buyakevich accused Washington and its allies of "deliberately escalating the military standoff" in Ukraine and of provoking Kiev into "military action against the Russian population."

"This is a straight path into a full-blown conflict in Europe, which absolutely all people living on our continent definitely stand to lose from," the Russian diplomat warned. He also said that the US and the UK, which he described as the "puppet masters" of the ongoing escalation, would hardly be able to "sit it out" either.

The latest decisions on new armed deliveries for Ukraine taken by Western nations only mire them "deeper involved in the armed standoff with Russian troops," Buyakevich said. These decisions could result in further escalation and more intense warfare, which would only lead to more civilian victims and further destruction, he added.

The diplomat also accused the "collective West" of turning Ukraine into an "instrument for realizing their geopolitical plans," adding that the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev was a result of the Western-backed 2014 Maidan coup.

Buyakevich also blamed the US and its "longstanding ambitions for global domination" for the current European security crisis. "The logic of the OSCE principle of indivisibility of security consistently dictates that either there is security for all [OSCE] member states or there is no security for any of them," the diplomat said, adding that the principle had been violated and this collective security had been lost.

Earlier this week, both the US and Germany announced plans to send modern Western tanks to Ukraine. Other NATO nations have already voiced similar intentions. Russia responded by saying that NATO’s "direct involvement" in the conflict in Ukraine was "growing." Moscow previously warned that the West’s continued arms supplies to Kiev risked a direct military conflict between Russia and NATO.

US and NATO on path to full-fledged military conflict in Europe – Moscow — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union


Major wave of airstrikes reported in Ukraine

Air-raid warnings have been activated all over the country

RTV, January 26, 2023

Ukraine was subjected to a huge wave of Russian airstrikes on Thursday morning, with explosions at energy facilities reported from various parts of the country, including the capital, Kiev.

“A blast in Kiev. Stay in shelters,” Mayor Vitaly Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

Videos on social media have shown thick black smoke rising from an undisclosed location in the city. The Kiev metro has reportedly ceased its operations during the airstrikes.

Ukrainian Railways have announced that some trains will be delayed as news of the airstrikes started coming in.

Reports of explosions also came from the Black Sea port of Odessa, where at least two electrical substations were said to have been hit. According to social media accounts, there’ve been power shortages and issues with internet access in the city.

Blasts were also reported from Dnepr, Vinnitsa, Krivoy Rog, Nikolaev and from some other locations.

Ukrainian officials said that air defenses had been activated in Kiev, Vinnitsa and Zhytomir Regions.

Earlier, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said that Russian missiles were incoming from the direction of the Caspian Sea.

Moscow has stepped up pressure on Ukraine since October last year, when it accused Kiev of using “terrorist tactics” and of targeting Russian infrastructure, including the strategic Crimean Bridge. Since then, a number of large-scale missile strikes have been carried out against Ukrainian military installations and energy facilities, leading to rolling blackouts across the country.

Major wave of airstrikes reported in Ukraine — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union


Ukraine hit by Russian missiles day after West's offer of tanks

BBC, January 26, 2023

Russia launched a wave of missiles at Ukraine on Thursday, a day after Germany and the US pledged tanks to aid Kyiv's fight against the invasion.

Eleven people died and 11 others were injured after 35 buildings were struck across several regions, the state's emergency service said.

It added the worst damage to residential buildings was in the Kyiv region.

Officials also reported strikes on two energy facilities in the Odesa region.

The barrage came as Russia said it perceived the new offer of military support, which followed a UK pledge to send Challenger 2 battle tanks, as "direct" Western involvement in the conflict.

In what was a sustained and wide-ranging attack, the head of the Ukrainian army said Moscow launched 55 air and sea-based missiles on Thursday.

Valery Zaluzhny added that 47 of them were shot down, including 20 around Kyiv.

Earlier, Ukraine's air force said it had downed a cluster of Iranian-made attack drones launched by Russian forces from the Sea of Azov in the south of the country.

A 55-year-old man was killed and two others wounded when non-residential buildings in the south of the capital were struck, officials reported.

The offensive was a continuation of Russia's months-long tactic of targeting Ukraine's infrastructure. The freezing winter has seen power stations destroyed and millions plunged into darkness.

After Thursday's strikes, emergency power cuts were enforced in Kyiv and several other regions to relieve pressure on the electricity grid, said DTEK, Ukraine's largest private power producer.

A day earlier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised to provide Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks, following weeks of international pressure. They are widely seen as some of the most effective battle tanks available.

The heavy weaponry is expected to arrive in late March or early April.

President Joe Biden later announced the US would send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks, marking a reversal of longstanding Pentagon arguments that they are a poor fit for the Ukrainian battlefield.

Canada has also promised to supply Ukraine with four "combat-ready" Leopard tanks in the coming weeks, together with experts to train Ukrainian soldiers in how to operate them.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that 12 countries had now joined what he called the "tank coalition".

But for tanks to be "game-changer", 300 to 400 of them would be needed, an adviser to Ukraine's defence minister told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The sooner we defeat Russia on the battlefield using Western weapons, the sooner we will be able to stop this missile terror and restore peace," Yuriy Sak said.

Speaking on the same programme, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said sending tanks to Ukraine would make a big difference to the country's ability to win the war.

He also warned that Russia was planning a fresh offensive, just as reports began emerging from Ukraine of missile strikes following drone attacks overnight.

On Thursday, the US designated Russia's Wagner group, which is believed to have thousands of mercenaries in Ukraine, a transnational criminal organisation.

It also imposed fresh sanctions on the group and their associates to "further impede [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's ability to arm and equip his war machine", Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the statement.

Ukraine hit by Russian missiles day after West's offer of tanks - BBC News


US joins Germany in sending battle tanks to Ukraine

BBC, January 26, 2023

By Gareth Evans in Washington

The US will send 31 powerful battle tanks to Ukraine, joining Germany in sending the vehicles to support the fight against Russia's invasion.

The decision to deliver the M1 Abrams tanks was announced just hours after Germany said it would send 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to the battlefield.

Berlin also cleared the way for other European countries to send German-made tanks from their own stocks.

Ukraine has lobbied Western allies to send the military equipment for months.

It hailed the twin announcements as a turning point that would allow its military to regain momentum and take back occupied territory almost a year after Moscow invaded. It also said the tanks could help deter a potential Russian offensive in the spring.


"An important step on the path to victory," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said. "Today the free world is united as never before for a common goal - liberation of Ukraine."


Russia, meanwhile, condemned the moves as a "blatant provocation" and said any supplied tanks would be destroyed. "These tanks burn like all the rest. They are just very expensive," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said.


"Putin expected Europe and the United States to weaken our resolve," President Joe Biden said while announcing the decision at the White House on Wednesday. "He was wrong from the beginning and he continues to be wrong."


"We're also giving Ukraine the parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks in battle," he said. "This is about helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land. It is not an offensive threat to Russia."


A Ukrainian tank battalion typically consists of 31 tanks, which is why that number has been agreed upon, Mr Biden said.


The US decision, however, marks a reversal in their position as the Biden administration has insisted for some time that the heavy M1 Abrams tanks would be difficult to deliver, expensive to maintain and challenging for Ukrainian troops to operate.

Graphic showing details of the US M1 Abrams tank. Updated 24 Jan

The US-made military vehicle is one of the most modern battle tanks in the world and requires extensive training to operate. The $400m (£323m) American package also includes eight recovery vehicles that can tow the tanks if they become stuck.

But it is likely to be many months before the tanks reach the battlefield, experts say, as they will be purchased from private contractors and not sent from an existing stockpile.


The German-made Leopard 2 tanks, however, will be drawn from existing stock and are expected to arrive in two to three months. They are widely seen as one of the most effective battle tanks available.


The decision to send the heavy weapons follows weeks of diplomatic wrangling. Germany faced mounting international pressure to send the tanks, and there are reports that the eventual decision to do so was conditional on the US doing the same.


Both sides participated in "good diplomatic conversations" that made the difference and contributed to the "extraordinary shift in Germany's security policy", a senior US official said on condition of anonymity earlier on Wednesday.


When asked if the US decision was designed to give Germany cover to send tanks, national security spokesman John Kirby said: "I wouldn't use the word cover. What this decision does do is show how unified we are with our allies."


He attributed the change in Washington's position to the conditions on the ground as well as Russia's tactics, without giving further details.

Graphic showing characteristics of the German-made Leopard 2 tank. The Leopard 2 is heavier and better armoured than Russian or Soviet-made tanks and uses Nato-standard ammunition.

Mr Kirby also said the decision was based on the "kinds of fighting... that we believe the Ukrainians are going to need to be capable of in the weeks and months ahead".


Ukrainian crews would soon be trained to use the Leopard tanks in Germany, officials in Berlin said. Mr Biden said troops would be trained to use the American-made tanks "as soon as possible" but added that delivering them would take time.


While the acquisition of tanks from the West will be considered a diplomatic coup for President Volodymyr Zelensky, he said on Tuesday that his country required at least 300 of them to defeat Russia.


Several European countries have Leopard 2 tanks in their stocks, and the German decision means some of these can also be sent to Ukraine. Germany hopes around 90 will ultimately be delivered to the battlefield.


Norway announced later on Wednesday that it would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but did not specify how many it would deliver.

US joins Germany in sending battle tanks to Ukraine - BBC News

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