Ukraine updates: Germany vows to back Kyiv amid tank dispute – DW – 01

Ukraine updates: Germany vows to back Kyiv amid tank dispute – DW – 01

Updated: 9 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, 12 seconds ago

As Germany faces mounting pressure to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Berlin's support for Kyiv "as long as necessary." DW rounds up the latest.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday said Berlin and Paris would support Ukraine in its fight against Russian occupation, and would not allow Europe to revert back to "hatred and national rivalries."

"We will continue to provide Ukraine with all the support its needs for as long as necessary. Together, as Europeans, to defend our European peace project," he said while on a visit to Paris to celebrate 60 years of landmark Franco-German Elysee Treaty.

Scholz's remarks come amid increasing pressure on Germany to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine. Berlin has been hesitant to send the highly advanced, German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or allow other nations to transfer them. 

Poland has repeatedly slammed Berlin over its hesitant stance.

"Germany's attitude is unacceptable. It has been almost a year since the war began. Innocent people are dying every day," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the national Polish PAP news agency.

"Russian bombs are wreaking havoc in Ukrainian cities. Civilian targets are being attacked, women and children are being murdered."

Germany has denied unilaterally blocking the shipment of the battle tanks, and said it would send them if there was consensus among allies. Meanwhile, UK said it was seeking an international deal to allow for donation of German tanks.

No deal on tanks, but hope remains

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Here are other updates on the war in Ukraine on Sunday, January 22:

Germany's new defense minister planning to visit Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said he was "certain" that he would travel to Ukraine soon. "Probably even within the next four weeks," he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Pistorius, who took office on Thursday after his predecessor Christine Lambrecht resigned, said his ministry was looking into how to be best prepared for any possible decisions on the matter.

"We are in very close dialogue with our international partners, first and foremost with the US, on this issue." 

Putin ally warns against supplying Ukraine with offensive arms

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, warned that the West delivering offensive weapons to Ukraine would lead the world to a "terrible war."

"If Washington and NATO countries supply weapons that will be used to strike civilian cities and attempt to seize our territories, as they threaten, this will lead to retaliatory measures using more powerful weapons," Volodin said on the Telegram messaging app.

"Deliveries of offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime will lead to a global catastrophe," he said.

The head of the State Duma said Moscow considered attacks on the Ukrainian territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which Russia annexed and occupied, as an attack on its territory. 

War prompted 'new revival' of unity, says Zelenskyy 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was confident of victory as he marked the Day of Ukrainian Unity. Ukrainians celebrate the 1919 unification between the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic on January 22.

Zelenskyy said in an emotional video that Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to a "new revival of our Ukrainian unity" as millions of Ukrainians stood together to defend the country. 

"Each region protects the other," he said. "And all of us together are defending Kyiv. And all of us together defend Kharkiv. And all of us together are liberating Kherson." 

UK intelligence: Russia struggling to expand army

The British Defence Ministry said in its regular intelligence update that Russia was likely struggling to find the material and staff it needed after Moscow announced plans to expand its armed forces. 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced measures to expand the military, including increasing troop numbers from 1.15 million to 1.5 million.

"Shoigu's plans signal that the Russian leadership highly likely assesses that an enhanced conventional military threat will endure for many years beyond the current Ukraine war," the British report said.  

"However, Russia will highly likely struggle to staff and equip the planned expansion." 

The British ministry has released daily intelligence reports on the war since Russia launched the war in Ukraine last year. Russia accused the UK of a disinformation campaign.

More DW coverage on the war in Ukraine

A new investigation by a German newspaper said Bulgaria's former government quietly supplied Ukraine with weapons soon after Russia invaded last year. DW looks into the news about the secret weapons supplies and what it means for Bulgaria.  

Russia's attacks on Ukraine's energy grid has forced many cities to roll out power cuts to save energy. Kyiv residents speak about the serious consequences for people out on the streets.

Ukraine: Kiev is dangerous after dark

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fb/dj (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)