If Russia does launch a massive offensive by March, as Ukraine claims, the invading forces will face new, more powerful weapons from the West.
The Netherlands became the third country to pledge air defense help to Ukraine through the Patriot surface-to-air system, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte told President Joe Biden in an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday: “We intend to join what you’re doing in Germany. Patriot project on.”
Rutte told reporters his country had become more steadfast in its support for Ukraine after a Russian missile attack on a building in Dnipro killed more than 40 civilians over the weekend.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude in an evening video address on Tuesday, adding: “We already have three guaranteed batteries. But this is only the beginning. We are working on a new decision to strengthen our air defense capabilities.”
Aid is also growing in other areas. Britain has vowed to deliver 14 Challenger 2 tanks as part of a larger weapons package, while trying to persuade other allies to beef up advanced military equipment.
France and Poland have committed to sending modern tanks, and they are among the countries urging Germany to supply its advanced Leopard 2 tanks or at least allow other countries to supply Ukraine with them. This was a requirement because the tanks were made in Germany.
U.S. leads military support to Ukraine, but no tanks
► On Tuesday, the top US military officer, Army Gen. Mark Milley, met with Ukrainian President Gen. Valerii Zaluznyi for the first time near the Ukraine-Poland border.
►Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska urged world leaders and business executives to use their influence to counter the global toll of Russia’s war in Ukraine at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. hazards, such as food shortages.
►Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that the strength of the Russian army will increase from 1.15 million to 1.5 million by 2026. He also promised to increase the number of training grounds – including “in new territories in Russia”, apparently Ukraine.
►Under pressure to supply Ukraine with advanced tanks, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz appointed regional official Boris Pistorius as defense minister. Pistorius succeeds Christine Lambrecht, who resigned on Monday after being heavily criticized for the country’s hesitation over the war in Ukraine.
►Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other U.S. officials met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday. State Department spokesman Ned Price said they reaffirmed Washington’s “strong commitment” to Ukraine.
criminal procedure Russians behind missile strikes begin; Ukrainian soldiers arrive at Fort Sill: Live updates
Putin sets sights on defending Donbass and ‘annexing all of Ukraine’
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday declined to comment on Ukrainian intelligence’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military chiefs to finish Confiscation of the industrial Donbass region Eastern Ukraine by March.
Asked to comment on the claim, Peskov said, “I cannot and do not have the will to do so,” Russian state-run TASS news agency reported.
Ukrainian intelligence spokesman Andrei Yusov said Putin had given the order to the new commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Valery Gerasimov. The report comes as Western nations scramble to supply Ukraine with tanks and missile defense systems to repel a Russian invasion that began about 11 months ago.
For months, the Donbass region has been the main focus of the fighting. It includes the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts or provinces where Russian-backed militants are trying to establish what they call a “people’s republic”. Russia “annexed” the region late last year but failed to gain full military control.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that Donbass is not all that Putin wants to capture.
“Mr. Putin has not given up on his larger strategic goals here,” Kirby said. Mr Putin continued to talk about annexing all of Ukraine to Russia.
Death toll rises as Russian missile strikes Dnepr apartment complex
Russian missile attack kills at least 45, including 6 children The attack crashed into an apartment building in central Ukraine over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday.
National police chief Igor Klymenko said a search and rescue operation had been completed at the site of the nine-storey building in Dnipro, which can accommodate about 1,700 people. Of the 79 people, 16 children were injured, with 28 hospitalized and 10 in serious condition, Klymenko said in a Facebook update.
Nearly 20 people are still missing, including four children. Some people were trapped upstairs and some were using their mobile phones to send out distress calls. About 400 people lost their homes.
“There is no doubt: everyone who commits war crimes will be identified and brought to justice,” Zelensky said.
The Kremlin denies responsibility and claims Ukraine’s air defenses caused the damage.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Russian armed forces do not attack residential buildings or social infrastructure. They attack military targets.”
Russian missile hitting apartment building ‘notoriously inaccurate’
The missile that hit the apartment building in Dnipro on Saturday was one of dozens of missiles Russia fired at Ukrainian infrastructure, possibly by accident, The British Ministry of Defense said in its latest assessment of the war on Tuesday. An AS-4 KITCHEN large anti-ship missile launched from a Russian bomber was the likely culprit, the assessment said.
“Russia incorrectly suggested that Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles were to blame,” the assessment said. “KITCHEN is notoriously inaccurate when used on ground targets, as its radar guidance system is poor at distinguishing targets in urban areas.”
Similar weapons have caused other civilian mass casualties, including an attack on a Kremenchuk shopping mall in June that killed at least 20 people.
“While missiles such as KITCHEN are not suitable for precision strikes, evidence from the Ukraine war suggests that Russian long-range strike capabilities are more dysfunctional,” the assessment said.
Ukrainian official resigns after mistakenly blaming air defense for construction strike
A senior Ukrainian official has resigned after falsely claiming that a Russian missile that struck a Dnipro building on Saturday exploded and fell after Ukrainian air defenses shot it down – a report Russia seized on quickly to evade accusations of an attack that killed dozens of civilians. blame.
Presidential adviser Oleksii Arestovych said he had “made a serious mistake” in an interview late Saturday, prompting an outcry.The Ukrainian air force immediately refuted his claims, saying the country’s military was not capable of shooting down Russian Kh-22 hypersonic missiles, the kind that hit apartment buildings
“Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression, more than 210 of these missiles have been launched into Ukraine,” the Air Force said. “None were shot down by air defense systems.”
Arestovich wrote In the Facebook post, “I want to show an example of civilized behavior: wrong in principle, therefore, resign.”
Australian Open flag waving
Flags from Russia and Belarus were banned at the Australian Open on Tuesday because officials deemed them disruptive. Flags are normally allowed at this year’s inaugural Grand Slam, but flags representing Russia and Belarus, the countries that prompted Moscow’s invasion, were excluded.
“Our initial policy was that fans could bring (flags) in, but they could not use them to cause disruption,” Tennis Australia said in a statement. “We had an incident yesterday where a flag was placed on the sidelines. We will continue to work with Players and fans work together to ensure this is the best environment to enjoy tennis.”
A Russian flag is displayed during Ukraine’s Katerina Berndell’s three-set win over Russia’s Kamila Rahimova on Monday. Later in the day, top-ranked Russian player Daniil Medvedev received a Russian flag for his autograph after beating Marcos Giron 6-0, 6-1, 6-2.
Russian and Belarusian players were banned from last year’s Wimbledon tournament because of the war in Ukraine. They have been cleared to compete in the other three Grand Slam tournaments, but do not recognize their home countries as “neutral” athletes.
Contribution: Associated Press