It is a new massive attack by Russian forces, while the United States and Germany have finally decided to deliver tanks to support Ukraine. This Thursday morning, the spokesman for the Ukrainian air force announced that the country was targeted by “more than thirty Russian missiles”, launched from the Murmansk region. In kyiv, fifteen Russian cruise missiles were shot down. One person was killed and two others injured in Russian strikes against kyiv on Thursday morning, announced the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Vitali Klitschko.
Overnight, Ukrainian forces have already destroyed a set of 24 Russian-launched suicide drones, according to the Air Force. Two key energy sites in the Odessa region (south) were damaged in the strikes.
Ukraine attacked by thirty Russian missiles
A missile attack was underway on Thursday morning against Ukraine, targeted by “more than thirty Russian missiles”, said the spokesman for the Ukrainian air force on television. “Six Tu-95s took off from the (Russian) region of Murmansk and launched missiles. We are expecting more than 30 missiles” in total, Yuri Ignat said, while media have already reported explosions in several regions and governors reported on the operation of anti-aircraft defence. One person was killed and two others injured in Russian strikes against kyiv on Thursday morning, announced the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Vitali Klitschko. “Emergency” power cuts were triggered Thursday morning in kyiv and in three regions.
The previous evening, Ukraine had already shot down a set of 24 Russian-launched, Iranian-made suicide drones, according to the Air Force.
31 Abrams tanks delivered by the United States
After long procrastination, Washington announced on Wednesday the delivery of 31 Abrams tanks to theUkraine, thereby further pushing the boundaries between aid and co-belligerence. To avoid being accused of participating directly in the war, Joe Biden also immediately affirmed that the act did not constitute an “offensive threat against Russia”.
Until recently, the United States said it was not ready to provide its most advanced heavy tanks, the Abrams, to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion, justifying this refusal by questions of maintenance and training. Last week, the Pentagon’s number three, Colin Kahl, pointed out that the Abrams tank was “a very complicated piece of equipment”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed this turnaround during his daily address, while calling for long-range missiles and fighter jets. In the immediate term, “the key now is the speed and volume” of tank deliveries, he said. The delivery of these tanks is “an important step for the final victory”, added Volodymyr Zelensky.
Leopard tanks: the green light from Germany
Under pressure for several weeks, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine, despite his reluctance, and while claiming to want to avoid “an escalation” which would lead to a war between Russia and NATO. The German government also allowed its Western allies with these German-made armor to do the same. A message heard by Norway, which, a few hours later, also announced that it would donate this type of armament to Ukraine. The Ukrainian presidency hailed this series of decisions as a “decisive” act for the country’s “future victory”.
Moscow, for its part, denounced an “extremely dangerous decision which will bring the conflict to a new level of confrontation”, according to the Russian ambassador in Berlin Sergei Netchaev. “This convinces us once again that Germany, like its closest allies, does not want a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis and wants a permanent escalation,” he said. said again.
Odessa added to UNESCO’s list of endangered sites
The historic center of Odessa in Ukraine was inscribed on Unesco’s list of world heritage in danger on Wednesday because of the “threats of destruction” hovering over this site since the start of the Russian invasion, a decision deemed “political by Moscow. During a sometimes stormy extraordinary session of the World Heritage Committee in Paris, the inscription of this city, in the middle of the war, was voted by six votes in favor, one against (Russia) and 14 abstentions. Although generally spared since the start of the Russian offensive in February 2022, Odessa, known in particular for its monumental Potemkin staircase and its architecture, has been hit several times by Russian bombardments.
France welcomed UNESCO’s decision which, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “underlines the exceptional value of this port city, its architecture and its history for Ukraine and for humanity”.
Russia excluded from Auschwitz commemorations
Russian representatives were not invited to the celebrations marking the 78th anniversary of the Red Army’s liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp following Russian aggression against Ukraine, a the site museum announced on Wednesday. “In view of the aggression against a free and independent Ukraine, the representatives of the Russian Federation have not been invited to participate in this year’s celebration of the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz” which is to take place this Friday, said Piotr Sawicki, spokesman for the museum.
Until now, Russia has always taken part in the ceremonies held annually on January 27. Its representative spoke at the main ceremony.
European country seeks to send cluster bombs to Ukraine
A European official, who did not want to be identified by name or country of origin, said his government was seeking to send Ukraine cluster bombs, a type of bomb banned by a convention signed in 2008 by most Western countries, but not by Russia which has been accused of using them in Ukraine.
“The Ukrainians are asking for them. These are legitimate weapons. The collateral damage is not so important anymore. It was extremely important in the 1940s and 1950s, today it is rather manageable,” the European official said during of a visit to Washington.