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When the Ukrainian military unit called Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) briefly entered a Russian village in Bryansk Region near the Ukrainian border, the Russian authorities claimed that the attackers had killed two civilians and wounded a small boy.
Ukraine is the most mine-contaminated country on Earth. Red warning signs bearing skulls and crossbones litter the fields and forests of liberated territories.
The West has been increasingly supplying Ukraine with more and more powerful weapons, but always in insufficient amounts and always with a delay that does not change the tide of the conflict to Kyiv’s advantage.
European countries are struggling to fulfil their promises to send hundreds of tanks to Ukraine quickly. So far only two have arrived and the total number pledged is shrinking slowly.
The great tank taboo has finally been broken with the United States announcing it will send 31 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine just hours after Germany agreed to sending 14 Leopard 2 tanks, Washington and Berlin announced on January 25.
What just happened? Did the war in Ukraine just take a decisive turn? Did the West just change its tactics from helping Kyiv defend itself from the Russian aggressor to committing itself to offensive weapons and ensuring Russia’s defeat?
Ukraine has lost control of Soledar, although fighting is still ongoing in the war-torn Donetsk town, the Kyiv Independent reported on January 22.
There is no decision yet on Leopard tanks for Ukraine. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on January 20 that an agreement on providing Ukraine with Leopard tanks had not been reached yet.
Countries that have the Leopards in their stock need Germany’s approval to send them to fight abroad, a commitment that Berlin has also been unwilling to make up to now.
Germany’s refusal to send its powerful Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine will prolong the war in Ukraine and makes a Berlin Wall-type scenario to end the conflict more likely.
Despite the intense pressure being brought on Berlin to allow Europe’s Nato members to send their advanced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, a summit at the Nato Ramstein airbase failed to approve the measure.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy again urged allies to send Ukraine tanks at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 18.
The European Union will send the first tranche of its €18bn package this week, Economic Pravda reported on January 16.
At least 30 people were killed in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro following a Russian missile strike on an apartment block on January 14.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had the opposite effect Moscow intended. Kyiv and the EU are now closer than ever, with Ukraine having been granted EU candidate status in a landmark event over the summer, and the bloc pledging to support Kyiv.
Ukraine’s government is struggling to sell new bonds on the local market amidst an ailing hryvnia and a closed Eurobond market.
For Poland the visit will underline the country’s newly gained clout in a fast rebalancing global security and geopolitical order.
A no-fly zone in all but name could be established by providing Ukrainian forces with significant anti-aircraft weaponry, rather than by the insertion of Nato jets into Ukrainian airspace.
US fears that direct supply of major-grade weaponry could escalate the conflict and engulf the alliance in a war with Russia.