Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


Ukrainian servicemen undergo rehabilitation in Lviv

Ukrainian serviceman Andriy Askerov (L) and another serviceman Andriy sit at the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Yuriy Dyachyshyn | Afp | Getty Images

Yuriy Dyachyshyn | Afp | Getty Images

Yuriy Dyachyshyn | Afp | Getty Images

Yuriy Dyachyshyn | Afp | Getty Images

-Yuriy Dyachyshyn | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine to receive 60 more tanks from Poland

Ukraine is set to receive 60 more tanks form Poland, in addition to the 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks Warsaw pledged to send earlier this week.

“Poland sent 250 tanks as the first country half a year ago or even more than that,” Polish Foreign Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told CTV News.

“Right now, we are ready to send 60 of our modernized tanks, 30 of them PT-91. And on top of those tanks, 14 tanks, Leopard 2 tanks, from in our possession.”

Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies from the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022. It has long pressed Berlin to allow it to send Ukraine its German-made Leopard 2 tanks, and after months of refusal, Germany relented this week.

— Natasha Turak

Hungary plans to veto EU sanctions on nuclear energy from Russia

Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban — a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin — has said that ending Russian oil purchases would be an “atomic bomb” on Hungary’s economy.

Attila Kisbenedek | Afp | Getty Images

Hungary made clear its intention to veto any EU sanctions that target Russian nuclear energy during an interview of its prime minister Viktor Orban on Hungarian state radio.

Ukraine has asked the 27-member bloc to put sanctions on Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, but Orban, in an interview quoted by Reuters, said any such move by the EU “must obviously be vetoed.”

“We will not allow the plan to include nuclear energy into the sanctions be implemented,” the Hungarian leader said. “This is out of the question.”

Hungary is home to a Russian-built nuclear power plant that it aims to expand jointly with Rosatom. Orban is also on friendly terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has previously stood in the way of EU sanctions on other Russian energy commodities.

— Natasha Turak

Ukrainian presidential advisor issues warning to colleagues over corruption

The head of Ukraine’s presidential office Andriy Yermak posted what appeared to be a warning to fellow officials in his country’s government, shortly after several were removed from their positions over corruption and graft charges.

“Every official should understand they are responsible to the state and nation. Especially in the wartime,” Yermak wrote on Twitter.

“Whoever forgets it gets a quick response. Regardless of their names and positions. Period.”

Ukraine is regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe and the world, and that reputation has raised concerns among some Western officials as to the transparency over where foreign military and financial aid goes.

Tuesday saw more than a dozen Ukrainian officials fired, in an announcement by Ukraine’s cabinet ministry. While the ministry did not outline reasons for the firings, they came shortly after publicized reports and accusations of corruption by members of the government.

— Natasha Turak

UK Defence Ministry casts doubt on Russian claims of territorial advancement

The UK’s Defence Ministry expressed doubt over Russian claims of gaining significant territory in Ukraine’s eastern Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

“Russian units have probably conducted local, probing attacks near Orikiv and Vuhledar [in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, respectively], but it is highly unlikely that Russia has actually achieved any substantive advances,” the ministry wrote in its daily intelligence update on Twitter.

“There is a realistic possibility that Russian military sources are deliberately spreading misinformation in an effort to imply that the Russian operation is sustaining momentum,” it added.

— Natasha Turak

Explosions heard near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant: IAEA

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power station.

Carl Court | Getty Images

Monitors from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported hearing explosions near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as Russia hit the country with a new wave of attacks.

Rafael Grossi, IAEA chief, made a repeated call for a security zone to be established around the plant, which is Europe’s largest of its kind and currently occupied by Russian forces.

A representative for Russian state nuclear energy company Rosenergoatom, Renat Karchaa, called the comments baseless and a “provocation.”

— Natasha Turak

10 Ukrainian regions suffer emergency power outages

Ukraine’s Kherson residents receive humanitarian aid as the city experiences electricity and water shortages, in November 2022.

Paula Bronstein | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Several of Ukraine’s regions have to implement emergency power cuts because of outages caused by Russia’s wave of attacks on Thursday, Ukrainian state news channel Suspilne reported.

“Currently, ten regions of Ukraine are already using emergency power outages due to a power shortage in the network after yesterday’s Russian shelling, and the restoration of damaged facilities is ongoing,” it wrote on its official Telegram channel.

Millions of Ukrainians are enduring regular power outages, enduring freezing winter temperatures as Russia targets critical infrastructure and energy facilities.

— Natasha Turak

Zelenskyy calls for more sanctions on Russia after deadly strikes

“This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons. The terrorist state will not understand anything else,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday.

Yan Dobronosov | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for more sanctions on Russia after a wave of missile and drone attacks on Thursday left at least 11 people in Ukraine dead.

“This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons. The terrorist state will not understand anything else. Weapons on the battlefield. Weapons that protect our skies,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Thursday.

“New sanctions against Russia, i.e. political and economic weapons. And legal weapons – we need to work even harder to establish a tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

The Russian attacks on civilians came a day after Western allies pledged to send battle tanks to Ukraine, something European allies like Germany had until then been reluctant to do for fear of provoking Moscow.

— Natasha Turak

Japan bans exports of robots, semiconductor parts to Russia in new sanctions

Japan on Friday announced additional sanctions in response to Moscow’s latest actions in Ukraine, banning exports to Russia of key strategic goods and freezing assets of dozen individuals.

Japan will prohibit Russia-bound shipments of goods that can be used to enhance military capability, including semiconductor equipment and components, robots, power generators, explosives and vaccines, according to the trade ministry.

The new export ban will take effect on Feb. 3, it said.

Japan also froze assets of an additional three entities and 22 individuals in Russia and 14 pro-Moscow individuals related to the “annexation” of the southeastern Ukraine region.

— Reuters

A rapidly expanding cemetery in Russia offers insight into the Wagner Group convicts who are dying in Putin’s war

For months, Wagner has been locked in a bloody battle of attrition to take the towns of Bakhmut and Soledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. Western and Ukrainian officials have said it is using convicts as cannon fodder to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenses. 

Videos and photographs of the graves first appeared on social media channels in the Krasnodar region in December. Reuters geolocated these images to the Bakinskaya cemetery and reviewed satellite imagery of the site from Maxar Technologies and Capella Space.

Satellite pictures show that the Wagner plot was empty in the summer, had three rows of graves by the end of November and was three-quarters full by early January. Virtually the entire plot was used by Jan. 24.

Read the full story from Reuters here.

— Reuters

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