News Ukraine-Russia War – The Latest: Putin assembles 500,000 troops for major new offensive
Boris Johnson criticizes Rishi Sunak’s decision not to give Ukraine fighter
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Vladimir Putin had mobilized nearly half a million troops to attack Ukraine to mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
Mr Putin had called for 300,000 Russian men to take part in a general mobilization in September, but Mr Reznikov told the French BFM network last night that the actual number of conscripts deployed to fight in Ukraine could be much higher.
Volodymyr Zelensky further asserted this claim, saying that Ukraine saw “the occupiers on the front lines – an increase in offensive operations in the east of our country”.
In yesterday’s nightly speech, he said the situation had become more dire.
The leader of the Moscow-backed Donetsk region has claimed that Russian troops have now surrounded the troubled eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian army chiefs said late on Tuesday that Bakhmut and his village south of Donetsk were under heavy new Russian artillery fire.
Nearly 500,000 troops could be involved in major new Russian offensive, Ukraine’s defense minister says
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in his latest speech that Vladimir Putin may be preparing to launch a new major offensive and could strike Ukraine around February 24, the first anniversary of the war.
Ukrainian intelligence indicated that Russia had assembled nearly 500,000 troops for the attack.
Mr Reznikov said Russia had a much larger new army than the 300,000 they officially announced in their first wave of mobilization in September.
“Officially they announced 300,000 people, but when we saw the troops at the border, according to our assessment, the number was much higher,” he told France’s BFM network.
The minister added that Moscow might “try something” on February 24 to mark the first year of the invasion, suggesting a grim new chapter in the ongoing war.
However, he added that Ukrainian commanders and troops would “stabilize the front and prepare for a counter-offensive” ahead of the expected Russian advance.
Reznikov said he “believes that 2023 will be a year of military victory” and that the Ukrainian army “cannot afford to lose” the initiative they have gained in recent months.
ApanlayFebruary 2, 2023 at 03:41
Germany needs new tanks soon, says Pistorius: ‘Don’t care about the money’
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the country needed to quickly order new Panther tanks to replace those being shipped to Ukraine.
He added that he doesn’t care where the money to replace the Panthers comes from.
“The key fact for me is that we have to order new tanks, not within a year, but quickly so that production can start,” Mr Pistorius said during a visit to a tank in the western town of Augustorf. The tank battalion said it had 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.
“Where does the money come from? Let me put it this way: frankly, I don’t care. It’s crucial that we can supply them (tanks) quickly,” Pistorius added.
ApanlayFebruary 2, 2023 at 05:20
ICYMI: Russia would not have invaded Ukraine without Brexit, top MEP says
Russia would not have invaded Ukraine without Brexit, top MEP says
Katie CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 at 05:01
Zelensky says fighting in East is getting ‘dire’
In his evening speech, Vladimir Zelensky made a sober assessment, saying the situation on Ukraine’s eastern front had “become more dire”.
“There has been an increase in offensive operations by the occupiers on our eastern front. The situation has become more dire,” he said.
Mr Zelensky added: “From February to February, we have been steadfast through that time. The enemy is now trying to get at least something to show on the anniversary of the invasion that Russia allegedly has some Chance.
“We all need to be extra united in this situation, extra nationally focused and therefore extra resilient. I’m sure we’ll stay that way,” he said.
ApanlayFebruary 2, 2023 at 04:48
Brexit makes UK ‘do things differently’ in backing Ukraine, says Johnson
Former prime minister Boris Johnson said Brexit would allow the UK to “do things differently” in supplying Ukraine with weapons to fight invading Russian troops.
If the UK does not leave the EU, he does not believe that anti-tank missiles will be supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces.
Mr Johnson made the comments after a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington today.
Read the full story here:
ApanlayFebruary 2, 2023 at 04:35
UK: Fighter jets not an immediate solution
The minister for the Duchy of Lancaster has said providing fighter jets “is not an immediate solution” for Ukraine in its war with Russia because of the time it takes to train Kyiv pilots.
Oliver Dowden was asked what he thought of former prime minister Boris Johnson urging the UK government to commit to supplying Ukraine with fighter jets.
The Cabinet minister told ITV’s Peston programme: “I certainly think we need to stand firmly behind our Ukrainian ally.
“Right now, I think it’s too early to start talking about the Jets and everything, but we’re certainly not ruling anything out.
“There’s also training time and all that, so it’s not an immediate solution, no.”
Katie CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 at 04:01
Johnson criticizes Sunak’s decision not to give Ukraine fighter jets
Boris Johnson criticizes Rishi Sunak’s decision not to give Ukraine fighter
Katie CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 at 03:01
Russia ‘may prevent officials from going on vacation abroad’
Russian lawmakers will discuss a request by one of Vladimir Putin’s closest allies to ban officials from taking wartime holidays abroad, state media quoted a senior lawmaker as saying.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the powerful Wagner Group Private Army, said it was unacceptable for officials and lawmakers to vacation in countries hostile to Russia.
Vasily Piskaryov, chairman of the State Duma or lower house security and anti-corruption committee, said lawmakers would study whether changes should be made.
“This initiative … certainly deserves attention,” TASS quoted him as telling reporters. Prigozhin made this request in a letter to Piskarev, which the Wagner Group has made public.
Katie CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 at 02:01
Brexit backs UK’s tank pledge, says Johnson
Former prime minister Boris Johnson has said Britain would not have delivered the next generation of light anti-tank weapons to Ukraine without Brexit.
Asked after a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington, US, Mr Johnson said: “I seriously think that part of it is because of Brexit that we have been able to take the decision and take a very different approach to Brexit. The old EU approach, which, by the way, is fully bound by the fabled Normandy format agreed in Normandy in 2014.
“For reasons that are unclear to me now, the UK government decided they didn’t want to be involved. France and Germany lead the way, and that’s the EU framework.
“If we had stuck with that, I don’t believe we would have delivered NLaws, and I think we would have taken a very different approach, frankly.
“I think we’ll be able to do things differently because of Brexit, I hope in a way that works for Ukraine.”
In his speech, Mr Johnson called for Kyiv to join NATO and the European Union.
Katie CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 at 01:00
Zelensky: I will make as many personnel changes as necessary
Volodymyr Zelensky said he would make as many personnel changes as needed to fight corruption, stressing that the Ministry of Defense must be honest.
“Unfortunately, in some areas, the only way to guarantee the rule of law is to change the leadership … with as many changes as necessary,” he said in a video address.
Police earlier raided the home of an influential billionaire in what one Zelensky ally said was a sweeping crackdown on corruption.
Katie CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 at 00:01