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NATO Defense Chiefs to Meet; Wagner’s former commander flees to Norway

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Ukraine’s calls for increased military aid – including air defense systems and advanced Western tanks – are expected to dominate the agenda as senior US officials and allies meet in Europe this week.

NATO defense chiefs meet in Brussels on Wednesday. And on Thursday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will join members of the Ukraine Contact Group, a body of about 50 nations that meets to discuss Kyiv’s needs. Some allies are pushing for more sophisticated weapons to be provided to help Ukraine’s military retaliate against Russian forces in the south and east, and prepare for a possible spring offensive by Moscow.

Here is the latest news on the war and its ripple effects around the world.

4. From our correspondents

“This is no ordinary rotation,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the program. “It’s one of those times when if you want to make a difference, that’s it.”

Kyiv sent a battalion of more than 600 troops to spend up to six weeks learning how to layer tanks, artillery and other weapons to maximize their effects ahead of an expected counteroffensive against Russian forces, writes Dan Lamothe.

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