NATO announces heavier weapons, Putin talks about “positive dynamics” on the front
AFP, Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 6:47 pm.
On Sunday, NATO said Ukraine could expect to receive “new heavy weapons from the West in the near future,” while Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of “positive dynamics” for his frontline troops.
Meanwhile, emergency services were still on Sunday searching for survivors in the ruins of a building in eastern Ukraine’s Dnipro, where a strike killed at least 30 a day earlier. Dozens of people are still missing.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Vladimir Putin “overestimated” the power of his troops by invading Ukraine. “We see their missteps, their lack of morale, their team problems, their poor equipment, as well as their ‘heavy losses,'” he told Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper.
“We are in a decisive phase of the war,” Mr. Stoltenberg continued. “Also, it is important that we provide Ukraine with the necessary weapons for victory.”
“The recent pledges for the supply of heavy weapons are significant and I hope there will be more in the near future,” he added, days before another coordination meeting. , on January 20, Western countries help Ukraine at the US base in Ramstein, Germany. .
Western nations have long been reluctant to deliver heavier weapons to Ukraine, fearing war or provoking Russia. But at the beginning of the month, France, Germany and the United States finally promised to send armored infantry or reconnaissance tanks – 40 German Marders, 50 American Bradleys and French AMX-10 RCs.
– “According to plans” –
Britain announced on Saturday that it will deliver 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine in the coming weeks, making it the first country to supply Kiev with Western-made heavy tanks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked London for its decisions “which will not only strengthen us on the battlefield, but also send the right signal to other partners.”
Russian diplomacy believed that this shipment of weapons “will in no way speed up the end of hostilities, but will intensify them and cause new victims.”
Kyiv has already received about 300 Soviet-designed heavy tanks from its allies, but not yet Western-made.
Poland said on Wednesday it was ready to hand over 14 German-designed Leopard 2 heavy tanks, subject to Berlin’s approval.
While his army appears to be struggling against Western-backed Ukrainian forces, Vladimir Putin assured Russian public television in an interview on Sunday that “everything is going according to plan.”
“The dynamics are positive and everything is going according to the plans of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff. I hope that our fighters will still please us many times with their military results.” He asked a Rossia-1 journalist about “news from Soledar”, which the Russian army claimed to have conquered on Friday.
– Dozens missing –
The capture of this small Ukrainian city was presented as a success in Moscow after months of Russian failures, notably the fall of Kharkiv Oblast (northeast) and the large city of Kherson (south) to Ukrainian counterattacks. .
According to Moscow, the capture of Soledar is an important step towards encircling the nearby town of Bakhmut, which the Russian army and the Wagner paramilitary group have been trying to capture for months.
On Saturday, Pavlo Kirilenko, the governor of Donetsk region (east), assured that Soledar is still “under the control of Ukraine” and that “fighting continues in the city and outside”.
A new wave of fire hit a number of Ukrainian cities and facilities on Saturday and Sunday, including a residential building in Dnieper on Saturday.
Nataliya Babachenko, adviser to the head of the military administration of Dnepropetrovsk region, told national television on Sunday: “Currently, the attack of the enemy has killed 30 people. 30-40 people are still under the rubble.”
According to the information provided by the military administration, more than 70 people were injured, one of them seriously. In a video released by Ukraine’s emergency services, rescuers dug through the rubble of a building that was split in half at night and managed to pull out about 40 survivors.
The United States condemned “a new example of Russia’s brutal and barbaric war against the people of Ukraine.” The spokesman of the National Security Council assured that they “will continue to provide Ukraine with everything it needs to defend itself.”
– “Russian terrorism” –
In southern Kryvyi Rih, one person was killed and another injured when apartment buildings were destroyed on Saturday, according to an official report.
Russian forces heavily bombed Kherson again on Sunday, hitting infrastructure and Red Cross buildings and injuring seven people, including one seriously, according to regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevich.
“The world must stop this evil,” said Vladimir Zelensky, condemning “Russian terrorism”.
The headquarters of the Ukrainian army said that on Saturday, “the enemy launched a total of three aerial and about fifty missile strikes during the day.”
For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday that the day before, it carried out “missile fire” on “the military command system of Ukraine and its related energy infrastructures” and achieved its goal.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, after these new attacks, there have been blackouts in most parts of the country. Neighboring Moldova claimed to have found rocket remains on its territory, near the village of Larga in the north.