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Ukraine War: NATO Urged to Provide More Firepower; Russia Launches Missile Strikes

The U.S. and Germany's decision to supply battle tanks to Ukraine has generated a lot of discussion about the possibility of supplying other types of firepower, such as fighter jets

January 26, 2023
5 minutes
minute read

The U.S. and Germany's decision to supply battle tanks to Ukraine has generated a lot of discussion about the possibility of supplying other types of firepower, such as fighter jets.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to Kyiv’s allies Wednesday for their assistance in sending tanks. He said he had asked NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for more help.

"It is important for us to unlock the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine, expand our cooperation in artillery, and achieve the supply of aircraft to Ukraine. This is a dream and a task that we must accomplish."

Ukraine has been clear that it would like to receive fighter jets, such as the U.S. F-16 fighter jets, from its allies to help it fight Russia.

Zelenskyy has announced that Ukraine has secured tanks from its allies, and now the focus is on practical matters such as how many tanks will be delivered and how quickly. This is a significant diplomatic victory for Ukraine, and Zelenskyy is hopeful that it will help to improve the country's security situation.

Germany announced Wednesday that it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and would allow other countries to send their own German-made tanks to the country. The U.S. later announced plans to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Russia has expressed anger at the decision, calling it “extremely dangerous.”

Britain is hoping that the Challenger 2 tanks it is supplying to Ukraine will arrive in the country at the end of March, defence department minister Alex Chalk said on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Britain announced that it would be sending 14 main battle tanks to Ukraine, along with additional artillery support. This move comes amid increased tensions between Ukraine and Russia, and is seen as a show of support for the Ukrainian government.

He told parliament that the tanks would arrive in Ukraine at the end of March.

He said that between now and then, Ukrainian forces would be trained intensively on how to operate and maintain the vehicles.

Other nations have also committed to supplying tanks to Ukraine, in moves hailed by Kyiv as a potential turning point in its battle to repel Russia’s invasion. This includes the United States and Germany, who have both pledged to provide tanks to help Ukraine defend itself.

The Kremlin said Thursday that it sees the sending of Western tanks to Ukraine as tantamount to the West’s “direct involvement” in the war. This is a direct challenge to the West, and we will not stand for it.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that European capitals and Washington are constantly making statements that sending various weapons systems, including tanks, to Ukraine does not mean the involvement of these countries or NATO in the fighting in Ukraine."We strongly disagree with this," he told reporters, according to a NBC News translation.

In Moscow, the actions of NATO and other Western capitals are seen as direct involvement in the conflict. And we see that it is growing,” he added.

Russia reacted angrily to announcements by Germany and the U.S. on Wednesday that they would both be sending dozens of tanks to Ukraine. Both Berlin and Washington insisted that the provision of offensive weaponry did not represent a threat to Russia.

Valerii Zaluzhny, the Commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces, has described this morning's missile attacks on the country as "massive". He says that Russia has used a variety of air- and sea-based missiles in the attacks.

"The enemy launched 55 air and sea-based missiles (X-101, X-555, X-47 "Kinzhal", "Kalibr", X-59) from Tu-95, Su-35, MiG-31K aircraft and ships from the Black Sea," Zaluzhny said in a Telegram post Thursday.This information was released by Zaluzhny in a Telegram post on Thursday. The enemy missiles were launched from Tu-95, Su-35, and MiG-31K aircraft, as well as from ships in the Black Sea.

The air defense forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were able to destroy 47 cruise missiles, 20 of them in the vicinity of the capital city. Three of the four Kh-59 guided air missiles did not reach their targets, but the remaining forces were able to take them down.

The commander said that Russia's goal of putting psychological pressure on Ukrainians and destroying critical infrastructure had not changed.

CNBC was unable to verify the details in Zaluzhny's post. However, various Ukrainian officials reported missile strikes in Ukraine on Thursday. This was a day after Ukraine's allies had agreed to send Western tanks to the country.

The Kyiv city military administration announced Thursday that 20 missiles of various types had been detected in the city's airspace that morning. However, they were quickly destroyed by the city's air defense units.

A 55-year-old man was killed and two others were injured when rocket parts fell on them.

Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, said that the air alert is continuing due to the take-off of a potential carrier of Kinzhal missiles - a MiG-31 fighter jet and an A-50 control plane in Belarus.

Popko warned that people should stay in shelters until the alarm is over.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Thursday that Russia's missile strike on the southern port city was President Vladimir Putin's response to UNESCO's decision to put the city on its list of endangered World Heritage sites. Kuleba said that the attack was a clear message from Putin that he does not want the city to be recognized as a World Heritage site.

The World Heritage Committee at UNESCO has decided to inscribe the historic center of Odesa on the World Heritage List. This is a significant recognition of the city's cultural importance and will help to preserve its unique character for future generations.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that Odesa is a city with a rich cultural history that should be protected. She said that the city has been a major center for the arts, including cinema and literature, and that it is important to preserve its unique character.

"As the war continues, we are determined to preserve this city from further destruction. This city has always overcome global upheavals, and we are committed to keeping it safe."

After missile strikes targeting Kyiv on Thursday morning, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person is known to have died and two others injured.

One person has been confirmed dead and two others have been injured after a rocket hit a non-residential building in the Holosiivskyi district, according to a statement on Telegram. The injured have been taken to hospital by medics.

There have also been reports of damage to critical energy facilities in the cities of Odesa and Vinnytsia, to the southwest of Kyiv.

Yuri Kruk, head of the Odesa District Military Administration, said on Thursday that Russian forces were still firing missiles at Ukrainian territory from the air and sea.

"We have reports of damage to two critical energy infrastructure facilities in Odesa," he said. "There are no casualties at this time, but we urge all civilians to remain in shelters until further notice."

In Vinnytsia, the head of the regional military administration Serhiy Borzov posted on Telegram that "there are hits of the enemy's missiles in Vinnytsia. There are no casualties. All operative services are working on the site."

Emergency power outages have been introduced in Kyiv city and the wider region as well as Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Zhytomyr as the threat of missile strikes from Russia looms. Air raid warnings are sounding out across Ukraine as the country braces itself for more attacks.

Kyiv's Mayor Vitali Klitschko has warned civilians to take shelter after reports of explosions in the city. Serhiy Popko, the head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, has said that Russian forces have launched more than 15 cruise missiles in the direction of Kyiv.

According to Popko, the air defense did an excellent job in shooting down all air targets. However, he warned that the danger of air strikes has not passed yet.
Emergency blackouts have been introduced in the city, with the city's military administration saying that they are necessary to avoid potential damage to critical infrastructure facilities in the event of a missile attack.

Moscow is angry after Ukraine's allies sent battle tanks to the country for the first time on Wednesday. Russia reacted angrily, with officials saying it was "extremely dangerous" and crossed "red lines."

Serhii Bratchuk, the press person for the Odessa RMA (regional military administration), said earlier this morning that "around six Tu-95 aircraft (preliminary from the Murmansk region) took off and fired missiles at the port city. We expect more than 30 rockets, which have already begun to appear in several areas. Air defense is working, but we have no information about drones yet," Bratchuk said.

CNBC was unable to verify the reports immediately.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during a parliamentary session that he would consider visiting the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, depending on “various circumstances,” Kyodo News reported.

At this point, nothing has been decided, but we will take it into consideration, Kishida was quoted as saying.

After a ruling party lawmaker urged him to follow the lead of allied countries in the Group of Seven, the prime minister responded that Japan is preparing to host an upcoming G7 summit in Hiroshima in May.

The U.S. and Germany's decision to supply Ukraine with combat aircraft has already generated a lot of discussion. Some people are in favor of the move, while others are opposed to it. There is no doubt that supplying Ukraine with this type of weaponry would be a major development.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to Kyiv’s allies Wednesday, stating that the decision by the United States, Germany and Britain to send tanks to Ukraine was “historic.” He said he had also spoken to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday and during that call he called for more assistance.

Zelenskyy thanked his allies for their support and said he hoped for even more assistance in the future.

"It is important for us to unlock the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine, and to expand our cooperation in artillery. We have to achieve the supply of aircraft to Ukraine. This is a dream, and an important task for all of us."

Ukraine has made it clear that it would like to receive fighter jets from its allies to help it fight Russia, but there has been little positive response. The U.S. has F-16s that Ukraine would be interested in, but so far there has been no movement on this front.

Zelenskyy has just achieved a diplomatic victory in securing tanks for Ukraine. Now the focus is on practical matters, such as how many tanks Ukraine will be receiving. This is a key issue for Zelenskyy and his government.

"The most important thing now is speed and volume. We need to train our military quickly and supply tanks to Ukraine in large numbers."

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Pentagon's upcoming training for Ukrainians using the M1A1 Abrams tanks will take place outside of Ukraine.

Kirby said the training will be conducted in a "safe and secure location."

Kirby said that the U.S. has not yet decided on a specific location or timing for the training.

He also said that the Pentagon does not have any extra tanks that it can provide to Ukraine.

Kirby said that the M1A1 Abrams tanks would not be ready for Ukrainian forces, adding that it would take many months to get them ready even if there were excess tanks. He declined to provide a timeline for when the tanks would be ready.

President Zelenskyy thanked President Biden for his decision to provide Kyiv with 31 Abrams tanks as well as training and maintenance support. He said that this would be a great help in protecting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Zelenskyy said that receiving the M1A1 Abrams tanks is, “an important step on the path to victory.”

Today, the free world is more united than ever before in our quest to liberate Ukraine.

The State Department has played down reports that Germany and the United States are at odds over whether to provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 and M1A1 Abrams tanks.

Price noted that Germany has repeatedly shown itself to be a reliable ally of the United States, and that the two countries have had only constructive discussions on security assistance in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Berlin would provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. This is a significant move by Germany, as it provides Ukraine with much-needed military support in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Germany has announced that it will be supplying 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine in what it has called a "first step." The country said its goal is to "quickly assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine."

The Biden administration has announced that it will provide Ukraine with M1A1 Abrams tanks, a significant reversal of the West's previous policy on arming Kyiv. This move comes as Ukraine prepares for a possible Russian offensive.

The 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks that have been donated by the United States will help to expand the capabilities of the Ukrainian tank battalion. This donation is in addition to the more than $26 billion that the United States has already committed to Kyiv's fight against Russian aggression.

The U.S. plans to purchase new M1s using funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which was approved by Congress.

It will take some time for the tanks to be delivered to Ukraine, a senior Biden administration official said Wednesday. The official said that it would be "months as opposed to weeks."

Russia is expressing increasing anger at the prospect of Western tanks being sent to Ukraine, calling it "extremely dangerous" and saying that previous "red lines" are now a thing of the past.

Germany announced on Wednesday that it was ready to send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, and to allow other countries to send their own German-made tanks to Kyiv. The U.S. is also expected to announce its own intention to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine in the near future.

The Russian Embassy in Berlin has criticized the German government's decision to allow the construction of a new NATO base in the country, calling it "extremely dangerous." The foreign ministry has warned that "red lines" are a "thing of the past" and that the West is waging a "hybrid war" against Russia.

The use of modern Western tanks by Ukraine is likely to add momentum to its efforts to push Russian forces out of occupied areas of the country, particularly the eastern Donbas region. However, Russia sees the gift of tanks as further evidence that the West is fighting what it sees as a proxy war against it in Ukraine.

The United States and Germany are sending tanks to Ukraine, a move that Russia says is a "blatant provocation."

Cathy Hills
Associate Editor
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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