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Putin orders troops to take Donbass by March

Putin orders troops to take Donbass by March

If Russia is indeed ready for a major offensive by March, as Ukraine claims, the invading forces will be confronted with new and more powerful weapons supplied by the West.

The Netherlands became the third country to pledge air defense assistance to Ukraine through Patriot surface-to-air systems, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte told President Joe Biden during a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday: “We intend to go along with what you do Germany through the Patriot project.”

Rutte told reporters his country was even more determined to support Ukraine after the Russian missile attack on a building in Dnipro that killed more than 40 civilians over the weekend.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his thanks in his nightly video address on Tuesday, adding: “We already have three guaranteed batteries. But this is just the beginning. We are working on new decisions to strengthen our air defenses.”

More help is coming in other areas. The UK has promised to deliver 14 Challenger 2 tanks as part of a larger arms package while trying to persuade other allies to upgrade with advanced military equipment.

France and Poland have pledged to send modern tanks, and they are among the nations urging Germany to contribute its sophisticated Leopard 2 tanks, or at least give other countries permission to supply them to Ukraine. This is a requirement because the tanks are made in Germany.

The US has led the charge in providing military support to Ukraine, but has not sent any tan

Further developments:

►Army General Mark Milley, the top US military officer, met for the first time with his Ukrainian counterpart, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, near the Ukraine-Polish border on Tuesday.

►Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska urged world leaders at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to use their influence to counter the global damage caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, such as: B. Food shortages.

►Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that his country’s military would increase its armed forces from 1.15 million troops to 1.5 million by 2026. He also promised to increase the number of practice sites – including “in the new areas of Russia”, apparently in Ukraine.

►Under pressure to supply Ukraine with advanced tanks, Chancellor Olaf Scholz appointed regional official Boris Pistorius as defense minister. Pistorius replaces Christine Lambrecht, who resigned on Monday amid criticism over the country’s hesitant response to the war in Ukraine.

►Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and other US officials met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Monday. They reiterated Washington’s “strong and unwavering commitment to Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS start for Russians behind missile attack; Ukrainian soldiers arrive at Fort Sill: live updates

Putin wants to secure Donbass and “unite all of Ukraine under himself”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday declined to comment on Ukrainian intelligence’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military chiefs to complete the seizure of the industrial Donbass region in eastern Ukraine by March.

Peskov, who was asked to comment on the allegation, said: “I cannot and have no intention to do so,” Russia’s state-run Tass media outlet reported.

Andrey Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s intelligence service, said Putin gave the order to Valery Gerasimov, the new commander of Russia’s forces in Ukraine. The report comes as Western nations scramble to supply Ukraine with tanks and missile defense systems aimed at repelling the Russian invasion that began nearly 11 months ago.

The Donbass region has been at the center of the war for months. These include the Donetsk and Luhansk regions or provinces, where Russian-backed militants have tried to establish self-proclaimed “people’s republics”. The Russians “annexed” the region late last year, but failed to gain full military control.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a CNN interview on Tuesday that Donbass is not all that Putin wants to conquer.

“Mr. Putin has not abandoned his larger strategic goals here,” Kirby said. “This is not just about the Donbass or a city called Bakhmut or Kherson. Mr. Putin keeps talking about incorporating all of Ukraine into Russia.”

Death toll rises in Russian rocket attack on home in Dnipro

Six children were among the at least 45 dead when a Russian missile hit a residential building in central Ukraine last weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday.

National police chief Igor Klymenko said search and rescue operations were complete at the site of the nine-story building in Dnipro, which housed about 1,700 people. Among the 79 injured were 16 children – 28 of them in hospital, 10 in serious condition, Klymenko said in a Facebook update.

Almost 20 people remained missing, including four children. Some people were trapped on the upper floors, and some signaled for help with lights on their cellphones. About 400 people lost their homes.

“There is no doubt: every person guilty of this war crime will be identified and brought to justice,” said Zelenskyy.

The Kremlin denied responsibility, claiming that Ukrainian air defense systems caused the damage.

“Russian forces are not attacking residential buildings or social infrastructure,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “They attack military targets.”

Russian missile that hit apartment building ‘notoriously inaccurate’

The missile that hit the Dnipro apartment building on Saturday was one of dozens fired by Russia at Ukrainian infrastructure and likely hit the apartment building accidentally, Britain’s Defense Ministry said in its latest assessment of the war on Tuesday. A large AS-4 KITCHEN anti-ship missile fired by a Russian bomber was the likely culprit, the assessment said.

“Russia falsely implied that a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile was responsible,” the assessment reads. “KITCHEN is notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets, as its radar guidance system is poor at distinguishing targets in urban areas.”

Similar weapons have been responsible for other mass civilian casualties, including an attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk in June that killed at least 20 people.

“While some missiles like KITCHEN are unsuitable for precision strikes, evidence from the war in Ukraine suggests the dysfunction of Russia’s long-range strike capability is more profound,” the assessment said.

Ukraine official resigns after mistakenly blaming air defense for construction strike

A senior Ukrainian official has resigned after falsely saying the Russian missile that hit the Dnipro Building on Saturday exploded and crashed after Ukraine’s air defenses shot it down – a report Russia immediately seized on to deny To avoid blame for an attack that killed dozens of civilians.

Presidential adviser Oleksii Arestovych said he “made a serious mistake” in his remarks in an interview late Saturday, sparking an outcry. Ukraine’s Air Force immediately denied his statement, saying the country’s military was unable to shoot down Russia’s supersonic Kh-22 missiles, the type that hit the apartment building

“Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression, more than 210 missiles of this type have been fired on the territory of Ukraine,” the Air Force said. “None was shot down by anti-aircraft.”

Arestovych wrote in a Facebook post: “I want to show an example of civilized behavior: a fundamental mistake, that is, resignation.”

Flag fluttering at the Australian Open

The Australian Open tennis tournament on Tuesday banned flags from Russia and Belarus after officials deemed them disruptive. National flags are usually allowed at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, but those representing Russia and Belarus – the country that made Moscow’s invasion possible – have been excluded.

“Our initial policy was that fans could bring in (flags) but not use them to cause disruption,” Tennis Australia said in a statement. “Yesterday we had an incident where a flag was set up on the sidelines. We will continue to work with the players and our fans to ensure this is the best possible environment to enjoy tennis.”

A Russian flag was shown while Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl defeated Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova in three sets on Monday. Later in the day, senior Russian player Daniil Medvedev was presented with his country’s flag for an autograph following his 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 win over Marcos Giron.

Russian and Belarusian players were banned from last year’s Wimbledon tournament because of the war in Ukraine. They have been permitted to compete in the other three Grand Slam events, but as “neutral” athletes without recognition from their home nation.

Contribution: The Associated Press

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