Ukraine is one step closer to having the German-manufactured state-of-the-art battle tanks approved for their fight against Russia’s invading forces. In addition, Kyiv has been promised additional Patriot defense missiles from its allies, who are apparently ready to join them in the next stage of the conflict. (Check out our SOFREP reporting on the $100M budget approval for US-donated patriot systems).
The Ukrainian government, which has primarily utilized Soviet-style T-72 tanks, has stated that the acquisition of newer tanks would augment the mobility and security of its ground forces in preparation for a probable Russian attack and the recapturing of some of its lands.
On Tuesday, a cabinet minister declared that the question of Germany offering tanks to the West would be the first order of business for the new Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius. This has been a topic of contention in Germany, as the country has previously been reluctant to commit to such a pledge.
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) January 17, 2023
The Leopard 2 tank, a German-made military vehicle with a global presence in almost 20 countries, is highly regarded as one of the most elite tanks of the West. Weighing more than 60 tons and equipped with a 120mm smoothbore gun, the tank has a maximum firing range of 5 km.
Western Allies on the Move
Since Russia started its so-called “special military operation” on February 24th last year, Western nations have been furnishing Ukraine with arms. Ukraine and its allies believe this is an act of aggression on Russia’s part aimed at taking over the land. However, Russia claims its actions were taken to protect its safety due to Ukraine’s closeness to the West.
This Thursday, a gathering of numerous defense ministers at Ramstein air base in Germany will be preceded by a visit from American Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Meanwhile, James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign minister, noted during a trip to Washington that Western allies must increase their military assistance to Ukraine to break the stalemate at the front lines.
He emphasized the devastating number of casualties in violent conflicts is not something anyone desires; therefore, now is a crucial moment to step up support for Ukraine.
On the other hand, during a visit to Washington, Mark Rutte of the Netherlands told US President Joe Biden about his government’s intention of offering Ukraine the Patriot missile defense system designed by the United States.
As part of a package of significant combat power to accelerate Ukrainian success, the UK will send a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Here’s a minute of the Challenger 2 doing what it does best.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) January 16, 2023
The US and Germany have vowed to deliver Patriot missile systems to Ukraine, in addition to other promises.
Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s Defence Minister, declared that the instruction of Ukrainian officers in the operation of the Patriot advanced long-range air defense system will span a total of 10 weeks.
At the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska implored members to take additional measures to terminate the war. Additionally, she declared her intention to bring a letter from her husband to the Chinese delegation, in which he outlined Ukraine’s plan for peace.
Moscow has a significant relationship with China, which has declined to censure the Russian incursion into Ukraine.
Eastern Line of Defense
In the city of Dnipro in the middle of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy reported that the number of casualties resulting from a missile that struck an apartment block on Saturday had increased to 45, with six of them being children, including an infant of 11 months. On Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities terminated the hunt for survivors.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff reported that both forces had engaged in combat on the eastern front line, showing no signs of advancement in recent months.
Russian troops have been intensely striking the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the past day. In these regions, nearly 30 places were bombarded, including the towns of Soledar and Bakhmut and Klishchiivka village, which was mentioned in the military’s report.
The Ukrainian military successfully pushed back aggression in Bakhmut, and the village of Klishchiivka, located south of Bakhmut in Donetsk, stated an official report.
Moscow has asserted that they are in control of Soledar, a mining town close to Bakhmut, which has been the scene of protracted clashes, yet Kyiv maintains that their forces are still embroiled in combat there.
Petro Kuzyk, the leader of the “Freedom” battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard, informed the Espreso TV news website that the circumstances are complex. There is still combat on the roads of Soledar, and Ukrainian soldiers are fighting decisively. Moreover, a portion of the city is under occupation.
In a video posted to YouTube, Oleh Zhdanov, an expert on the Ukrainian military, mentioned that people who had seen the events reported Russian troops at the train station in Sil, located just north of Soledar.
Recent advances in Donbas have been greatly aided by Wagner fighters-for-hire, albeit in smaller numbers, according to the source. He said Russian soldiers and conscripts are now taking the lead in the attacks.
This Wednesday marks the 80th anniversary of the day Soviet forces created a narrow land route to St Petersburg – formerly known as Leningrad – thereby ending the Nazi blockade that had been in place since September 1941. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, stated that reports that President Putin would declare a general mobilization or any other alteration to the conflict were utterly unfounded.