Ukraine Russia war – latest news: Putin amassing 500,000 troops for major new offensive
Boris Johnson criticized Rishi Sunak’s decision not to provide Ukraine with fighter jets
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Vladimir Putin had mobilized nearly 500,000 troops to attack Ukraine as part of a renewed offensive to mark the anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
Mr. Putin demanded that 300,000 Russian men be enlisted in September for general mobilization, but Mr. Reznikov told France’s BFM network last night that the actual number of conscripts sent to fight in Ukraine could be much higher.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed this statement and said that in Ukraine there is “a certain increase in the offensive actions of the occupiers at the front – in the east of our country.”
The situation is getting even more serious, he said in his overnight address yesterday.
Russian troops have now surrounded the military town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, a Moscow-backed leader in the Donetsk region has said.
Bakhmut and the villages on its southern approaches to Donetsk again came under heavy fire from Russian troops, the commander of the Ukrainian army said late on Tuesday.
About 500,000 troops are likely to be involved in a major new Russian offensive, the Ukrainian defense minister said.
Vladimir Putin is likely preparing a major new offensive and could strike Ukraine on the anniversary of the war on February 24, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in his latest speech.
Russia has amassed almost 500,000 troops for the attack, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
Mr. Reznikov said Russia had many more new troops than the officially announced 300,000 received in the first mobilization wave in September.
“Officially, they announced 300,000 people, but when we see troops at the borders, we estimate it is much more,” he told the French network BFM.
The minister added that Moscow could “try something” to mark the first year of the invasion on Feb. 24, suggesting a grim new chapter in the ongoing war.
However, he added that Ukrainian commanders and forces would move to “stabilize the front and prepare for a counter-offensive” ahead of the expected Russian offensive.
Mr. Reznikov said he “believes that 2023 can be the year of military victory” and that Ukrainian forces “cannot lose the initiative” they have gained in recent months.
Arpan RaiFebruary 2, 2023 03:41
Zelensky: fighting in the east is escalating
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his nightly address, said that the situation on the front line in eastern Ukraine had “toughened up”.
“There is some intensification of the offensive operations of the occupiers at the front – in the east of our country. The situation is getting even more serious,” he said.
Zelensky added: “We steadfastly passed all this time, from February to February. The enemy is trying to get at least something now to show on the anniversary of the invasion that Russia supposedly has some chance.
“In such conditions, we all need to be especially united, especially oriented towards the national interest and, as a result, especially resilient. I’m sure we will stay that way,” he said.
Arpan RaiFebruary 2, 2023 04:48
Brexit allowed Britain to ‘do things differently’ in support of Ukraine, Johnson says
Brexit allowed the UK to “do things differently” when it came to providing weapons to Ukraine in its fight against invading Russian troops, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
He argued that without the UK leaving the European Union, the provision of anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian armed forces would not have happened.
Mr. Johnson made the comments after speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington today.
Read the full story here:
Arpan RaiFebruary 2, 2023 04:35
UK: Fighters are not an immediate solution
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said the provision of fighters “is not an immediate solution” for Ukraine in the war against Russia due to the time spent training Kyiv pilots.
Oliver Dowden was asked what he thinks of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the UK government to commit to providing Ukraine with fighter jets.
A cabinet minister told ITV’s Peston: “I certainly think we must be determined to support our Ukrainian allies.
“Now I think it’s a little premature to start talking about planes and everything else, but of course we don’t exclude anything from the discussion.
“It has to do with training time and so on, so it’s not an immediate decision, no.”
Katy CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 04:01
Johnson criticized Sunak’s decision not to provide Ukraine with fighter jets
Boris Johnson criticized Rishi Sunak’s decision not to provide Ukraine with fighter jets
Katy CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 03:01
Russia may ban officials from vacations abroad
Russian lawmakers will discuss a request by one of Vladimir Putin’s closest associates to ban officials from vacations abroad during wartime, state media reported, citing a senior parliamentarian.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the powerful private army of the Wagner group, said that it is unacceptable for officials and parliamentarians to rest in countries hostile to Russia.
Vasily Piskarev, head of the security and anti-corruption committee in the State Duma, or the lower house of parliament, said lawmakers would consider making changes necessary.
“This initiative … certainly deserves attention,” TASS quoted him as saying to journalists. Prigozhin made a request to Piskarev in a letter that the Wagner group made public.
Katy CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 02:01
Johnson says Brexit is behind UK tank commitment
According to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, without Brexit, the UK would not have supplied Ukraine with a new generation of light anti-tank weapons.
Mr Johnson, answering questions after speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, USA, said: “I seriously think that partly because of Brexit, we were able to make a decision and have an approach that is very different from the old EU approach, which, by the way , was fully regulated by the legendary Normandy format, which was agreed in Normandy in 2014.
“For reasons that are not clear to me now, the British government decided they didn’t want to get involved in this. It was led by France and Germany, such was the structure of the EU.
“If we had stuck with that, I don’t think we would have introduced NLaws and I think we would have taken a completely different approach, to be completely frank.
“I think because of Brexit we were able to act differently, and I hope that it was useful for Ukraine.”
Mr. Johnson used his speech to urge Kyiv to be accepted into both NATO and the European Union.
Katy CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 01:00
Zelensky: I will make as many personnel changes as necessary
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would make as many personnel changes as needed to fight corruption, and stressed the need for honesty in the Defense Ministry.
“Unfortunately, in some areas, the only way to guarantee the rule of law is a change of leadership… there will be as many changes as necessary,” he said in a video message.
Police had previously raided the home of a powerful billionaire in what a Zelenskiy ally touted as a massive anti-corruption fight.
Katy CliftonFebruary 2, 2023 00:01
Johnson says returning bridge would mean ‘game over’ for Putin
Giving Ukraine weapons to retake the so-called “land bridge” seized by Russian troops would be “game over” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson said.
The former prime minister, when asked after a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington, USA, what kind of land bridge he had in mind, said: “This is the area, as it was, between Mariupol, between Donbass and Crimea, which Putin has. that long strip of land was taken, which basically prevents the Ukrainians from reaching the Sea of Azov. This is an area.
“If they get that back – and they can, and they have a plan – if they can take back Melitopol, Berdyansk and Mariupol, get those areas back, it’s game over for Putin. This is what needs to happen.”
Katy CliftonFebruary 1, 2023 23:00
We need new tanks, German defense minister says
Germany urgently needs to order new Leopard tanks to replace those being sent to Ukraine, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, adding that he doesn’t care where the money comes from.
“The decisive thing for me is that we must order new tanks not in a year, but quickly so that production can begin,” he told reporters during a visit to a tank battalion in the western city of Augustdorf, which was chosen to deliver 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks.
“Where will the money come from? Let me casually put it this way: Honestly, I don’t care. It is imperative that we can provide them (tanks) quickly,” Pistorius said.
He intends to speed up arms purchases and ramp up supplies of ammunition in the long term after almost a year of donating arms to Ukraine depleted German military stocks.
Jane DaltonFebruary 1, 2023 22:05