The United States appears ready to initiate a process that would eventually send dozens of its M1 Abrams battle tanks to UkraineUS media reportedin a reversal that could have significant implications for Kyiv’s efforts to repel Russian forces.
The move follows reports on Tuesday that Berlin succumbed to enormous international and domestic pressure and was preparing to announce that he will send German-made tanks to Ukraineand allow other countries to do the same.
The decision should be officially taken on Wednesday and the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholzmust be questioned in the Bundestag in the morning in a debate likely to be dominated by the char decision.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was confident the alliance would find a solution soon, after meeting with the German Defense Minister. “At this pivotal moment in the war, we need to deliver heavier and more advanced systems to Ukraine, and we need to do it faster,” Stoltenberg said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that Kyiv needed allies to decide whether they would provide modern tanks to bolster the country’s defense against Russia. Zelenskiy said the issue was not five, 10 or 15 tanks, as Ukraine’s needs are greater, but making final decisions on actual deliveries. “When the necessary important decisions are made, we will be happy to thank you for every important decision,” Zelenskiy said.
In Ukraine, fifteen senior civil servants have left their posts since Saturday, six of them have been the subject of corruption allegations by journalists and Ukrainian anti-corruption authorities. The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on Tuesday that he had asked Zelenskiy on Monday to relieve him of his duties amid the wave of government resignations and dismissals.
Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, responsible for supplying troops with food and equipment, also resigned, citing media “corruption accusations” which he and the ministry say are baseless. Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko was removed from his post and two deputy ministers resigned from the Ukrainian Ministry of Community and Territorial Development.
Five regional governors are also removed from office: Valentyn Reznichenko from Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksandra Starukha from Zaporizhzhia, Oleksiy Kuleba from Kyiv, Dymtro Zhivytskyi from Sumy and Yaroslav Yanushevich from Kherson. Kherson and Zaporizhia are two of the regions of Ukraine that the Russian Federation intends to annex.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has set its doomsday clock, intended to illustrate the existential risks to the world, 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight the clock has come since its introduction in 1947. This is “largely” due to the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, they said.
Ukraine has enough coal and gas reserves for the remaining winter months despite repeated Russian attacks on its energy system, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has signaled a possible pause in talks with Turkey over Finnish ambitions to join NATO alongside Sweden, which he says is due to the pressure of the upcoming elections in Turkey.
Supporters of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny gathered for a protest in Berlin on Tuesday to highlight the conditions of detention in Russia in which he is being held.
Russia does not plan to rebuild Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol which came under heavy shelling during the first weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
Russian football officials met their UEFA counterparts on Tuesday as they tried to negotiate Russia’s return to international football in Europe. It has been banned by Uefa and Fifa since the invasion of Ukraine.