Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: Germany answers Ukraine’s plea for tanks

Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: Germany answers Ukraine’s plea for tanks By Reuters

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(C) Reuters. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meet to discuss how to help Ukraine defend itself
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(Reuters) – Germany announced plans to deliver heavy tanks to Ukraine, and the United States was poised to do so too, a breakthrough hailed as a decisive military boost by Kyiv and condemned by Moscow as a reckless provocation.

ARMAMENTS

* Germany announced plans to send an initial company of 14 Leopard 2 tanks from its own stocks, and also approve shipments by allies who field them, with the aim of supplying Ukraine with two full battalions.

* Poland and Britain, which have pledged 14 tanks each, welcomed the decision

* Netherlands, Finland and Spain said they were prepared to send tanks to Ukraine.

* France, which is sending lighter armoured combat vehicles, welcomed the German move but did not promise to send its own heavy tanks.

* The United States is poised to start a process that would eventually send dozens of M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

* Norway is considering whether to send some of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Oslo-based newspapers Aftenposten and Dagens Naeringsliv reported.

* Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, said a delivery of U.S. tanks to Ukraine would be a “another blatant provocation” against Russia.

* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. tanks would “burn just like all the rest”.

* The Russian Defence Ministry said the frigate Admiral Gorshkov had tested its strike capabilities in the western Atlantic, running a computer simulation on hypersonic Zircon missiles.

DIPLOMACY

* Germany will support Ukraine as long as necessary but without becoming a party to the war, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said

BATTLEFIELD

The Russian-installed governor of Ukraine’s Donetsk region said units of the Wagner contract militia were advancing in the town of Bakhmut, with fighting taking place in previously Ukrainian-held neighbourhoods.

CIVILIANS

* The Ukrainian Red Cross said it was preparing for more aid to the civil population in war zones in light of a possible new Russian offensive.

UKRAINIAN POLITICS

* Five top Ukrainian regional prosecutors were dismissed on Wednesday, a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy launched Ukraine’s largest political shakeup of the war.

* Ukraine’s ruling party drew up a bill aiming to boost transparency in defence procurement after an army food contract became the focus of high-profile corruption allegations, according to parliament’s website.

* Democratic and Republican U.S. lawmakers praised Ukraine’s government for taking swift action.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY

* President Vladimir Putin said there were shortages of some medicines in Russia and that prices had gone up, despite the production of more of its own drugs.

* The Kremlin said it wanted skilled workers based abroad to return to Russia and work to benefit the country, after hundreds of thousands of people fled abroad in the past year.

QUOTES

“A few hundred tanks for our tank crews …. This is what is going to become a real punching fist of democracy,” Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s administration, wrote on Telegram.

“We will not become a party to the war, we will make sure of that.” – German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius

“They burn just like all the rest.” – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, on the prospect of U.S. tanks going to Ukraine

Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: Germany answers Ukraine’s plea for tanks

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