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Russia denounces “blatant provocation” as the United States and Germany prepare to deliver tanks

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Boris Johnson visits Ukraine amid new sleaze allegations

Russia has condemned the possible deliveries of battle tanks by the United States and Germany to Ukraine, calling them “another blatant provocation” against Moscow.

Anatoly Antonov, Russian Ambassador to the United States, said early Wednesday: “It is obvious that Washington is deliberately trying to inflict a strategic defeat on us.

The United States is about to announce the start of deliveries of dozens of M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine, two US officials told Reuters.

Germany also reportedly bowed to international pressure and agreed to send tanks to Ukraine to bolster the war effort against Vladimir Putin.

Although there has been no official confirmation from Berlin yet, officials in Kyiv have been quick to hail what they believe could be a game-changer on the battlefield.

“A few hundred tanks for our tank crews – the best tank crews in the world,” Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Zelensky’s chief of staff, wrote on Telegram. “This is what will become a real punch of democracy against bog autocracy.”

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Russia condemns US tank deliveries as ‘blatant provocation’

Washington’s expected decision to supply battle tanks to Ukraine would be “another blatant provocation,” Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, said early Wednesday.

“It is obvious that Washington is deliberately trying to inflict a strategic defeat on us,” Antonov said in remarks posted on the embassy’s Telegram messaging app.

“If the United States decides to provide tanks, then justifying such a move with arguments about ‘defensive weapons’ will certainly not work. This would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation.

The United States is about to announce the start of deliveries of dozens of M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine and could begin the process later on Wednesday, two US officials told Reuters.

Shweta SharmaJanuary 25, 2023 04:32

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Russian Foreign Ministry Says US ‘Waging Hybrid War’

Thoughts about the United States crossing “red lines” are now a thing of the past since the United States declared its plan for the strategic defeat of Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry told TASS.

“A hybrid war is being waged against our country,” the ministry said.

“Reflections on red lines are now a thing of the past. The United States has unequivocally declared its intention to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia,” the ministry continued. “It is impossible not to notice this reality.”

He was referring to comments by Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, that “not all red lines have yet been crossed” by the West.

He said that NATO and Western countries were de facto involved in the conflict in Ukraine, but that all red lines had not yet been crossed.

Shweta SharmaJanuary 25, 2023 05:04

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Zelensky removes top officials in Ukrainian government reshuffle to tackle corruption allegations

In case you missed it, here is one of yesterday’s big developments in Ukraine:

President Volodymyr Zelensky expelled a number of senior Ukrainian government officials as he launched a new crackdown on corruption, reports my colleague Chris Stevenson.

The deputy head of the President’s office Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who faced a scandal over the use of expensive cars, resigned on Tuesday morning. He had helped lead President Zelensky’s election campaign in 2019 and had more recently played a role in overseeing regional policy. So did Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who cited what he called baseless “media accusations” of corruption. A statement on the Defense Ministry website said Mr Shapovalov’s resignation was “a dignified act” that would help retain confidence in the ministry.

A deputy to the attorney general, Oleksiy Symonenko, was also removed from office as part of the reshuffle. The statement announcing his dismissal gave no reason for the decision but said it had been “according to his own wish”. Mr Symonenko had been criticized by the Ukrainian media for taking a holiday in Spain.

Mr Zelensky’s cabinet secretary, Oleg Nemchinov, also said the heads of five estates had been removed from their posts. Two deputy ministers responsible for regional development were also among the others who left.

Andy GregoireJanuary 25, 2023 4:51 a.m.

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Watch: Doomsday Clock is 90 seconds to midnight ‘largely’ due to war in Ukraine

Doomsday Clock is 90 seconds to midnight ‘largely’ due to war in Ukraine

Andy GregoireJanuary 25, 2023 3:45 a.m.

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Zelensky talks about the 11th anniversary of Putin’s invasion

Today marks the start of the 12th month since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

On the eve of the grim anniversary, President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to spend the day “in the same way as the 334th, uniting all our forces for one thing: victory”.

“For the good of all Ukraine. For the victory of our whole country in the war for the freedom and independence of all Ukrainians,” he added.

“It will happen. And all the necessary measures for that will be taken.

Andy GregoireJanuary 25, 2023 2:39 a.m.

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Zelensky calls for “decisions” on German battle tanks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Kyiv needs ‘decisions’ on actual deliveries of modern tanks – after reports that Germany was set to announce a decision to send Leopard 2 main battle tanks to the war-torn nation.

There has been no official confirmation of the move yet, and such deliveries could take weeks or months to become a reality.

“There is a lot of talk about tanks now,” Mr. Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “About the modern tanks we need. And how to fill this gap. Lots of effort, words and promises.

“But it’s important to see the reality: it’s not about five, or ten, or fifteen tanks. The need is greater. Every day, we do everything necessary to make up the shortfall. And I thank all those who support us in this process.

“Discussions must end with decisions. Decisions on the real strengthening of our defense against terrorists. The allies have the required number of tanks. When the necessary important decisions are made, we will be happy to thank you for each important decision.

Andy GregoireJanuary 25, 2023 1:33 a.m.

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Zelensky’s aide hails ‘punch of democracy’ following reports of German tanks

A senior Voldymyr Zelensky official has welcomed reports that Germany may be on the verge of announcing plans to send a convoy of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Kyiv – and allow its allies to do the same.

“A few hundred tanks for our tank crews – the best tank crews in the world,” wrote Andriy Yermak, the head of the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Telegram.

“This is what will become a real punch of democracy against bog autocracy.”

Andy GregoireJanuary 25, 2023 12:25 a.m.

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Biden set to authorize shipment of Abrams tanks to Ukraine

President Joe Biden is about to announce that the United States will supply dozens of M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

The official announcement could come as early as Wednesday, according to several media outlets that cited US officials at first news.

Our correspondent in Washington DC John Bowden reports:

Andy GregoireJanuary 24, 2023 11:27 p.m.

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Washington’s new ambassador to Moscow meets his Russian counterpart

The new US ambassador to Russia had a meeting with Moscow’s top envoy in Washington, the State Department said.

Lynne Tracy, who was confirmed by the US Senate in December, will depart for Russia in the coming days and is expected to be in place later this month, spokesman Ned Price said.

He declined to detail what the two envoys discussed, but said they did not discuss any “form of negotiated settlement” regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“She is currently having consultations with offices and individuals here in Washington and in this case she had the opportunity to have a discussion with Ambassador [Anatoly] Antonov,” Mr. Price said.

Andy GregoireJanuary 24, 2023 10:39 p.m.

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A Swiss parliamentary group proposes to lift the ban on the re-export of ammunition for Ukraine

A Swiss parliamentary committee has proposed lifting a re-export ban that prevents ammunition it manufactures from being re-exported from another country to Ukraine.

Switzerland has previously rejected calls from Germany to allow it to re-export Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine, saying such a move would violate its neutrality. But pressure is mounting for Bern to review its policy, especially during the World Economic Forum it hosted in Davos last week.

The committee argued on Tuesday that its proposals did not violate Swiss neutrality rules since the weapons would pass through another country and not directly into a conflict zone – and its recommendation passed with 14 votes in favor and 11 against. It will require subsequent parliamentary approval.

Andy GregoireJanuary 24, 2023 9:53 p.m.

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