LIVE – Updated at 06:43
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is willing to mediate in Russia’s war on Ukraine if he is asked to take up the diplomatic role by both the nations and the US.
“If asked by all relevant parties, I’ll certainly consider it, but I’m not pushing myself in,” Mr Netanyahu told CNN in an interview, adding that it would have to be the “right time and the right circumstances.”
The US will also need to ask, Mr Netanyahu said, because “you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen.”
This comes as Volodymyr Zelensky said his administration, military and intelligence team are responding to Moscow’s plans to extract “revenge” from Ukraine.
“What the occupier is preparing for, and how we are already responding to Russia’s preparations for a revanche attempt,” he said in his nightly address.
And in a fresh boost to Ukraine’s war effort, the US is preparing a new delivery of more than $2bn of military aid including longer-range rockets for the first time along with other munitions and weapons, two US officials briefed on the matter said.
- Netanyahu would consider Ukraine-Russia mediator role if asked
- Russia faced with battle for ‘every metre’ in eastern Ukraine
- Ukraine responding to Russia’s revenge attempt, says Zelensky
- UK says ‘not practical’ to give British fighter jets to Ukraine
Netanyahu would consider Ukraine-Russia mediator role if asked
04:52 , Arpan Rai
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is willing to consider the role of mediating in the war between Russia and Ukraine if he is asked by both the nations and the US.
“If asked by all relevant parties, I’ll certainly consider it, but I’m not pushing myself in,” Mr Netanyahu told CNN in an interview.
It would have to be the “right time and the right circumstances,” he said.
He added that the US will also need to ask for its close ally because “you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen.”
Kherson most consistently shelled city by Russia – MoD
06:43 , Arpan Rai
Ukraine’s Kherson remains the most consistently shelled city outside of the Donbas region, the British defence ministry said today.
Russia’s precise rationale for expending its strained ammunition stocks here is unclear, the MoD added.
Russian forces had to exit Kherson in October last year in a massive territorial loss after capturing the region for more than eight months of the war, but the occupying forces have continued to attempt multiple attacks to recapture the strategic city.
“In recent days, some of the most intense shelling in the conflict has likely taken place along the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine.
This has included continued Russian shelling of Kherson city with artillery firing from the east of the river,” the ministry pointed out.
It added that local authorities reported another three civilians killed in Kherson on Sunday, while two foreign-owned ships moored on the river were damaged, causing an oil spill.
“However, commanders are likely partially aiming to degrade civilian morale and to deter any Ukrainian counter-attacks across the Dnipro River,” according to the defence ministry’s latest intelligence update.
US packs $2bn-plus military package with longer-range weapons
06:28 , Arpan Rai
The US is packing more than $2bn worth of military aid for Ukraine and is including longer-range rockets in a first for the war-hit country along with other munition and weapons, said two US officials aware of the matter.
This tranche of military aid, expected to amp up Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian attacks, will also include support equipment for Patriot air defence systems, precision guided-munitions and Javelin anti-tank weapons, the officials said.
They added that the announcement for this aid is expected as soon as this week.
US accuses Russia of failing to comply with nuclear weapons treaty
05:59 , Arpan Rai
Russia’s refusal to allow on-the-ground inspections to resume is endangering the New Start nuclear treaty and US-Russian arms control overall, the Biden administration said last night.
The finding was delivered to Congress and summarised in a statement by the State Department. It follows months of more hopeful US assessments that the two countries would be able to salvage cooperation on limiting strategic nuclear weapons despite high tensions over Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Read the full story here:
US accuses Russia of failing to comply with nuclear weapons treaty
Boxer Klitschko joins fight against Olympic path for Russia
05:56 , Andy Gregory
Olympic gold medalist Wladimir Klitschko – brother to the mayor of Kyiv – has joined Ukraine’s fight against the International Olympics Committee’s plans to let some Russians compete at the 2024 Paris Summer Games.
Graham Dunbar reports:
West ‘should have no fear of escalation’ when providing weapons to Ukraine, claims Boris Johnson
04:54 , Andy Gregory
Boris Johnson has insisted that the West “should have no fear of escalation when it comes to the provision of weaponry”, as he met with Republicans in Washington on Tuesday to drum up further support for Ukraine.
Some hardline members among the Republicans, which took control of the House of Representatives at the start of the year, have called for an end to US military and other assistance to Ukraine.
In a statement, the former prime minister said: “I am here primarily to recognise and pay tribute to the immense US contribution to the security of the Ukrainian people.
“My mission is to demonstrate that Ukraine will win – and that there is no conceivable case for delay in further supporting the Ukrainians to win this year. We should have no fear of escalation when it comes to the provision of weaponry.”
Ukraine responding to Russia’s revenge attempt, says Zelensky
04:07 , Arpan Rai
Volodymyr Zelensky has said that his administration, military officials and the intelligence team is already responding to Moscow’s plans to extract revenge from Ukraine.
“Today, as in fact every day, I held several meetings with the military and the head of intelligence. We are studying the situation in detail in all major operational directions and in the long term. What the occupier is preparing for, and how we are already responding to Russia’s preparations for a revanche attempt,” he said in his nightly address.
He added: “Our defence and security forces, the Ukrainian government, our partners – all of us are making efforts to ensure that Russia not only fails in regaining ground on the battlefield, but also loses its last hope for aggression in its revanche attempts.
“Russia’s defeat will prevent any alternatives to a lasting and reliable peace. I thank all our partners who support this position of Ukraine,” Mr Zelensky said.
Boris Johnson meets with Republicans as part of campaign for Ukraine
03:50 , Andy Gregory
Boris Johnson met with Republican politicians in Washington yesterday, as he continued his personal international campaign in support of Ukraine.
The former prime minister spoke with House of Representatives speaker Kevin McCarthy and was scheduled to speak at a private Republican club on Tuesday evening, Reuters was told.
On Wednesday, the Tory MP and former London mayor will discuss the need for “Western unity and support for Ukraine and what more can be done against the threat Russia poses” at the Atlantic Council think-tank.
UK says ‘not practical’ to give Ukraine British fighter jets
03:48 , Arpan Rai
Rishi Sunak has said that it is “not practical” to provide Ukraine with British fighter jets but he has pledged to accelerate support to enable “decisive gains” against Russian invaders.
Downing Street said training Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces on “extremely sophisticated” Typhoons and F-35s would take too long, but it does not oppose allies sending their own jets.
After completing a review, the prime minister told his Cabinet that a “prolonged stalemate” in the war in Ukraine “would only benefit Russia” and its president Vladimir Putin, according to No 10.
UK says it is ‘not practical’ to give Ukraine British fighter jets
Watch: A day in the life of a frontline medic in Donbas
02:42 , Andy Gregory
US slaps new trade curbs on Iranian entities over drones used in Ukraine
01:34 , Reuters
The United States has put new trade restrictions on seven Iranian entities for producing drones that Russia has used to attack Ukraine, the US Department of Commerce has said.
The firms and other organisations were added to a US export control list for those engaged in activities contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests.
The additions to the Commerce Department’s “entities list” were posted in a preliminary filing in the US Federal Register, the government’s daily journal, and will be officially published on Wednesday.
Belarus willing to help Russia with invasion, Lukashenko claims
00:29 , Andy Gregory
Alexander Lukashenko has said that Belarus is willing to offer more assistance to its close ally Russia in its war against Ukraine – but claimed that Moscow does not need “any help” right now.
“However, if our Russian brothers need help, we are always ready to offer such assistance,” the authoritarian leader told reporters during a state visit to Zimbabwe.
Despite allowing Russia to use its territory to launch its invasion on Kyiv last year, Belarus has not committed any of its troops to the war. Nonetheless, Ukraine says it has maintained forces along its border with Belarus to fend off any potential invasion.
Memorial held in Lviv for ex-US Navy Seal killed in Ukraine
Tuesday 31 January 2023 23:42 , Andy Gregory
The mayor of Lviv has attended a memorial service held in the western Ukrainian city for former US Navy Seal Daniel Swift, who was killed fighting for Kyiv.
Swift had fought for Ukraine’s International Legion, and earned an award during his service, said mayor Andriy Sadovyi, who wrote on Facebook: “Sincere condolences to the family and eternal memory to the defender.”
Dozens of people, including Swift’s brother Thomas, attended the service at a Catholic church in central Lviv.
According to a statement by the US Navy, Swift deserted from the US military in 2019, and was killed while fighting in Ukraine on 18 January.
Foreign companies holding property in the UK have until midnight to identify their “beneficial owners” in a new public register – announced after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – aimed at cracking down on oligarchs and corrupt elites laundering “dirty money” in Britain.
But a Reuters analysis of government data has found that the people behind thousands of UK-property owning foreign companies remain veiled in secrecy, the news agency reports.
More than 19,000 overseas companies had disclosed ownership of UK property as of Tuesday morning in Britain, according to data from Companies House, which runs the new register. That represents about two thirds of all the property-owning foreign companies, based on official land-ownership records.
Furthermore, roughly a quarter of the companies that registered did not identify any individual owners, many of which disclosed entities in countries known for business secrecy, such as the British Virgin Islands or Panama. The guidance defines a “beneficial owner” as either an individual or an entity.
Ukraine ‘hopes war will be over by time Eurovision takes place’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 22:12 , Andy Gregory
Ukraine is hoping that the war will be over in May so citizens can travel to see the Eurovision Song Contest, a manager at the country’s public broadcaster has said.
The Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) is also hoping to provide the BBC and authorities in Liverpool with as much expertise as possible to bring a “Ukrainian vibe” to the music event, said Oksana Skybinska.
Ms Skybinska said she “really hopes” no other country is put in a similar situation due to an invasion, adding: “We all hope that the war will be over by May, and as many people as possible from different groups of [the] population will be able to come.”
Ukraine ‘hopes war will be over by time Eurovision 2023 takes place’
US accuses Russia of violating key nuclear limitation treaty
Tuesday 31 January 2023 21:37 , Andy Gregory
Washington has accused Russia of violating the last major pillar of post-Cold War nuclear arms control between the two countries, by refusing to allow inspections on its territory.
The New START Treaty, which came into force in 2011 and was extended in 2021 for five more years, caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the United States and Russia can deploy, and the deployment of land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.
“Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control,” a State Department spokesperson told Reuters.
Moscow suspended its cooperation with inspections under the treaty in August, blaming travel restrictions imposed by Washington and its allies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but said it was still committed to complying with the provisions of the treaty.
The State Department spokesperson added that Russia had a “clear path” for returning to compliance by allowing inspection activities, and said Washington remains ready to work with Russia to fully implement the treaty.
Bel Trew | What we’re missing in the tragedy of the Ukrainian war volunteers
Tuesday 31 January 2023 20:55 , Andy Gregory
In a column for Independent Voices, our international correspondent Bel Trew, writes:
“On Sunday, friends and fellow volunteers gathered at Kyiv’s St Sophia’s Cathedral to bid goodbye to British volunteers Andrew Bagshaw, 47, and Christopher Parry, 28, who were killed trying to rescue elderly residents from Soledar.
“It is an east Ukrainian town in the claws of the fiercest frontline of the entire war. We embedded with medics manning field hospitals in this area. They were working 24 hours a day treating the wounded who were coming in thick and fast under this constant wall of Russian shelling.
“When the pair went missing, their friends sent me the route they had planned to take in order to answer a call for help. Their destination was a north eastern corner of the salt-mining town and so close to Russian positions that at some point during that day when Moscow’s men made a push forward, they were swallowed up in the moving frontline. The family later informed the world that they had indeed been killed in the shelling.
“Since then, there has been some criticism of the two British citizens, who had never dealt with conflict beforehand: Chris was a running coach, Andrew was a scientific researcher. Some people have said that their killing showed why people who have no experience in war should not engage in conflicts like the devastating invasion of Ukraine.
“Firstly the truth is – no matter how battle hardened you are – there is no way for anyone to truly protect themselves against shelling, which is inherently indiscriminate and bloody. The only way to be safe is to simply not go there.
“Secondly, there is an immense need right now for help evacuating civilians in Ukraine, and there are just not enough people – who are brave or crazy enough – to do the job.”
What we’re missing in the tragedy of the Ukrainian war volunteers | Bel Trew
Iran and Russia move to link their banking systems, top bank official in Tehran says
Tuesday 31 January 2023 20:20 , AP
Iran and Russia have taken a key step toward linking their banking systems, in a move that further boosts their cooperation in the face of Western sanctions, an Iranian official has said.
At a signing ceremony on Sunday, Mohsen Karami, the deputy central bank governor, said banks in the two countries had connected their messaging networks following agreements reached over the past year, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
It was not clear whether those links would allow for the transfer of funds, and services were not yet available to bank customers. Karami said 100 banks in 13 other countries were connected to the network, without naming them.
Iran and Russia have strengthened ties following Russia’s invasion, with Iran supplying attack drones that have dive-bombed infrastructure and other civilian targets across Ukraine. After initially denying that it had armed Russia, in November Iran acknowledged the drones transfer, saying it took place before the war began.
US secretary of state to bring up Ukraine war in upcoming China trip, White House says
Tuesday 31 January 2023 19:48 , Andy Gregory
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will bring up the war in Ukraine during an upcoming trip to China, the White House has said.
Moscow has looked to Beijing for closer ties since invading its neighbour, and there is concern in Washington that a prolonged war could further cement ties between the two large nations.
Poland ‘aiming to cut Leopard 2 training times in half’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 19:22 , Andy Gregory
Poland is aiming to reduce training time on Leopard 2 battle tanks from around 10 to five weeks, at a centre where Ukrainian soldiers are likely to be taught how to operate the vehicles.
The village of Swietoszow in western Poland, near the German border, hosts one of just three Leopard training centres in Europe – the others are in Germany and Switzerland, and military experts say this is the most likely location where Kyiv’s troops will be trained.
A coalition of Ukraine’s Western supporters formed in January to provide Kyiv with German-made Leopard tanks, and on Jan. 20 Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Ukrainian troops would be trained on Leopards in Poland.
“If we intensify training [by maximising the number of] instructors, our time and our weekends, we can train an entire crew in five weeks,” Major Maciej Banaszynski, Poland’s Leopard training centre commander, told Reuters.
Rights group urges Ukraine to investigate reported use of rocket-fired landmines
Tuesday 31 January 2023 18:54 , Andy Gregory
Human Rights Watch has urged Ukraine to investigate accusations that its military used thousands of rocket-fired antipersonnel landmines in and around the eastern city of Izium when the Kharkiv region was occupied by Russia.
“Ukrainian forces appear to have extensively scattered landmines around the Izium area, causing civilian casualties and posing an ongoing risk,” said Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch, noting the the organisation also issued three reports last year accusing Russia of using the weapons.
“Russian forces have repeatedly used antipersonnel mines and committed atrocities across the country, but this doesn’t justify Ukrainian use of these prohibited weapons,” he said.
Human Rights Watch said Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Oleksandr Polishchuk responded in a letter in November, writing that Ukraine fully commits to all international obligations in the sphere of mine usage, including “the non-use of anti-personnel mines in the war.”
Mr Polishchuk told Human Rights Watch that Ukraine’s forces strictly adhere to international humanitarian law and the 1997 antipersonnel mine convention. Ukraine’s foreign ministry echoed those sentiments on Tuesday and said the report would be “properly analysed by the relevant institutions”.
Kyiv warns of ‘irreparable consequences’ in relations with Hungary over Orban’s ‘anti-Ukrainian rhetoric’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 18:27 , Andy Gregory
Ukraine has warned of “irreparable consequences” in its relations with Hungary unless Budapest’s leadership desists with what Kyiv said was anti-Ukrainian rhetoric.
Kyiv summoned Hungary’s ambassador over “disparaging” comments made by Viktor Orban on Tuesday, delivering him with “a strong protest in connection with the recent disparaging statements” by Mr Orban, the foreign ministry said.
“It was emphasised to the Hungarian diplomat that the anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, which has been heard from the Hungarian leadership for a long time, is absolutely unacceptable and causes serious damage to Ukrainian-Hungarian relations.”
The ministry added: “The Hungarian side was urged to stop this negative trend in order to avoid irreparable consequences for the relations between the two countries.”
Hungary has criticised EU sanctions against Russia, saying they failed to weaken Moscow meaningfully and risked destroying the European economy, and opted last year not to send weapons to Ukraine.
Kyiv also complained to Hungary last year after Mr Orban went to a football match wearing a scarf that it said depicted some Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary.
No 10 rejects Verhofstadt’s Brexit-Ukraine claim as ‘nonsense’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 17:51 , Andy Gregory
Downing Street has rebuffed senior MEP Guy Verhofstadt’s suggestion that Russia may not have invaded Ukraine if Brexit had not happened (see post at 11:15am).
The prime minister’s official spokesperson said: “Putin’s illegal invasion has nothing to do with Brexit. In fact, the invasion has demonstrated the UK’s commitment to European security.
“We have from the start been working extremely closely with our European allies, which is a real tangible demonstration of the UK’s continued commitment to the security of the continent.
“That will not change and it’s nonsense to suggest otherwise”.
Sunak rules out sending UK fighter jets to Ukraine as ‘impractical’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 17:27 , Andy Gregory
Rishi Sunak believes it is “not practical” to send British fighter jets to Ukraine, despite being keen to boost support to Kyiv to avoid a lengthy stalemate in the country’s war with Russian invaders.
Downing Street said training Volodymyr Zelensky’ forces on “extremely sophisticated” Typhoons and F-35s would take too long.
No 10 did not, however, oppose allies sending their own jets, as France makes noises to that effect today (see post below).
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has more details in this report:
‘No taboo’ on supplying fighter jets to Ukraine, says French minister
Tuesday 31 January 2023 16:55 , Andy Gregory
“There is no taboo” on supplying fighter jets to Ukraine, France’s defence minister has suggested – as No 10 insisted it would not be “practical” for the UK to do so.
Speaking after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu also announced that Paris would send Kyiv 12 additional Caesar howitzers and dispatch 150 army staff to Poland to train up to 600 Ukrainian troops there each month.
Mr Lecornu set out France’s position when it came to supplying arms to Ukraine, saying it should not weaken France’s own defence capacity, that it should be useful to help Ukraine in the conflict with Russia and that the weapons be used only by Ukraine to defend itself.
Ukraine to receive up to 140 tanks in ‘first wave’ of deliveries, says Kyiv
Tuesday 31 January 2023 16:28 , Andy Gregory
Last week’s volte face from Washington and Berlin will see Ukraine receive between 120 and 140 tanks in a “first wave” deliveries from 12 countries, Kyiv’s foreign minister has announced.
While Kyiv has said that hundreds of tanks will be needed to make a significant difference on the battlefield, Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukrainian officials are working behind the scenes to persuade more countries to send tanks.
“The tank coalition now has 12 members. I can note that in the first wave of contributions, the Ukrainian armed forces will receive between 120 and 140 Western-model tanks,” Mr Kuleba told reporters.
“We continue to work on both expanding the membership of the tank coalition and increasing the contributions of those already pledged,” the foreign minister added.
Russia stepping up attacks with ‘systematic shelling’ and ‘redeployment of troops’, claims Zelensky aide
Tuesday 31 January 2023 16:04 , Andy Gregory
A presidential aide to Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia has intensified its attacks as he called for Ukraine’s allies to send more weapons.
Mykhailo Podolyak alleged that “systematic shelling of frontline cities, accumulation of ordnance, redeployment of troops, additional forced mobilisation surely do not indicate” Moscow’s readiness for peace.”
“These are direct signs of significant escalation. Therefore, weapons, weapons and more weapons for Ukraine,” he wrote.
Since winning Western pledges last week to provide main battle tanks, Kyiv has requested more weapons – including fighter jets. France has indicated a willingness to potentially send jets, but Downing Street warned on Tuesday that it would not be practical for the UK to do so.
Ukraine ‘stops Russia from seizing supply line to Bakhmut’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 15:41 , Andy Gregory
Ukraine has prevented Russia from gaining control of a crucial supply line leading to the frontline town of Bakhmut from Chasiv Yar, a Kyiv military spokesperson has said.
Speaking after Moscow said its forces had seized control of Blohodatne, a small village just north of Bakhmut, Serhiy Cherevaty said: “Russian troops could not cut off the road which is used for supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Ukrainian army in Bakhmut is supplied with everything necessary.”
KEY POST: Conflict will grind on throughout 2023, say officials
Tuesday 31 January 2023 15:22 , Andy Gregory
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest reports:
Western defence officials have said that Russia is unlikely to make significant breakthroughs beyond recent gains in the outskirts of the city of Bakhmut in south-east Ukraine.
The Russian capture of the salt-mining town of Soledar and creeping gains in villages near Bakhmut were described a “sideshow”.
The conflict is likely to grind on throughout 2023, officials said, even if both sides make territorial gains at different times.
Officials also said the pledges made by UK, US, Germany and others to send tanks now exceeds the 300 vehicles president Volodymyr Zelensky has asked for in recent weeks.
But tanks are unlikely to be sent to the battlefield until the end of March.
Russia may have lost more troops than Ukraine, says official
Tuesday 31 January 2023 15:13 , Andy Gregory
Russia and Ukraine are both thought to have suffered more than 100,000 casualties since Moscow’s invasion, Western officials have said.
However, one official suggested that, Russia has sustained a higher number of fatalities than Kyiv given that they have been on the offensive.
“I would say the ratio is different on each side,” the official told reporters. “The Russians have been attacking and that means they have suffered more fatalities than the Ukrainians have, on balance.”
‘I’m a scoundrel to you’: Ex-Wagner mercenary apologises to Ukrainians
Tuesday 31 January 2023 14:51 , Andy Gregory
A former member of the Wagner mercenary group now seeking asylum in Norway has apologised to Ukrainians also living in the Scandinavian country who object to his presence there.
“I’m a scoundrel to you, but I only ask you to take into account that I have come to realise that, albeit belatedly, and I spoke against all that,” Andrey Medvedev told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “I ask you not to condemn me, and in any case I apologise.”
Earlier this month, the former mercenary described leaving the group after his contract was extended without his extent, before fleeing across the Russian border into Norway.
He told Russian human rights group Gulagu.net hat he is ready to testify about potential war crimes. Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service, which is taking part in the Ukraine war crimes probe, has said it is questioning Medvedev, who “has the status of a witness.”
Man convicted of attempting to burn down enlistment office in Siberia
Tuesday 31 January 2023 14:33 , Emily Atkinson
A man has been found guilty by Moscow of attempting to burn down a military enlistment office in Siberia, reports say.
He has been jailed for 12 years in a ruling that classified his crime as an “act of terrorism”.
According to the TASS state news agency, the decision by a military court in Yekaterinburg was the first time a Russian court had used the terrorism designation to punish someone for an arson attack on an enlistment office.
In Tuesday’s ruling, Vladislav Borisenko, who was accused of trying to burn down such an office in the Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk in May, was sentenced to 12 years — to be spent first in prison, and then in a maximum security prison colony.
TASS said the fire had spread across an area of one square kilometre, but that nobody had been hurt.
Borisenko had carried out the attack with another man and they had both allegedly confessed their guilt, it said, saying they had purportedly acted on the promise of receiving a financial reward from a third party.
The court said in a statement that its ruling could be appealed.
ICYMI: Russia wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine without Brexit, suggests top MEP
Tuesday 31 January 2023 14:15 , Emily Atkinson
Russia claims it has control of village near Bakhmut
Tuesday 31 January 2023 13:55 , Emily Atkinson
Russia said on Tuesday that its forces had taken control of Blahodatne, a village just north of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, where some of the heaviest fighting of the war has taken place in recent weeks.
Blahodatne, about 5 km (3 miles) north of Bakhmut, was captured with the help of aerial support, Moscow’s defence ministry said.
Sending UK fighter jets to Ukraine ‘not practical’, says No 10
Tuesday 31 January 2023 13:29 , Andy Gregory
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest reports:
Rishi Sunak believes it is “not practical” to provide Ukraine with British fighter jets but has pledged to accelerate support to enable “decisive gains” against Russian invaders.
Downing Street said training Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces on “extremely sophisticated” Typhoons and F-35s would take too long but did not oppose allies sending their own jets.
After completing a review, the PM told his cabinet on Tuesday a “prolonged stalemate” in the war in Ukraine “would only benefit Russia” and its president Vladimir Putin, according to No 10.
He said they must seize an “opportunity to accelerate UK support” to give Ukraine “the best chance of success and make the most of the window of opportunity where Russian forces were on the back foot”.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace shared US estimates that 180,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured in the year-long invasion. That is compared to around 15,000 killed during the decade-long war in Afghanistan.
The Kremlin has also lost two-thirds of its tanks, Mr Wallace said, according to Downing Street’s account of the cabinet meeting.
Boris Johnson ‘to urge US to sustain aid for Ukraine’
Tuesday 31 January 2023 12:55 , Emily Atkinson
Boris Johnson will meet with Republican lawmakers this week as he presses the US to sustain aid to Ukraine as it fights off Russia’s assault.
The former prime minister is scheduled to speak at a private Republican club in Washington on Tuesday evening, said Representative Joe Wilson, a member of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
He is also scheduled to meet with a group of Republican senators, said senator Todd Young on Monday, though he said he was unaware of the exact timing of the talks.
On Wednesday, Mr Johnson will discuss the need for “Western unity and support for Ukraine and what more can be done against the threat Russia poses” at the Atlantic Council think tank.