The United States and Germany are set to give a significant boost to Kyiv’s war effort with the delivery of heavy battle tanks to Ukraine, sources say, a move Moscow has condemned as a “flagrant provocation”.
Washington was due to announce as early as Wednesday that it would send M1 Abrams tanks and Berlin decided to send Leopard 2 tanks, the sources said, a policy reversal that Kyiv said would help reshape the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy again urged Western allies to provide their most modern battle tanks, saying in his nightly video address that “discussions must end with decisions”.
Germany and the United States have so far refrained from providing heavy armor, wary of moves that might give the Kremlin reason to widen the conflict.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I will bring you the latest news shortly.
Our main story this morning: the United States and Germany are said to be about to give a significant boost to Ukraine’s war effort with the delivery of heavy battle tanks. However, there has been no official confirmation.
Germany’s decision is expected to be made official on Wednesday and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to be questioned in the Bundestag in the morning in a debate likely to be dominated by the tank decision.
Meanwhile, late Tuesday evening, Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that “Russia is preparing for a new wave of aggression with the forces it can muster”.
We’ll have more on these stories shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:
In Ukraine, fifteen senior officials have left their posts since Saturday, six of whom have been the subject of corruption allegations brought against them by journalists and Ukrainian anti-corruption authorities. The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on Tuesday that he had asked Zelenskiy on Monday to relieve him of his duties amid the wave of government resignations and dismissals.
Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, responsible for supplying troops with food and equipment, also resigned, citing media “corruption accusations” which he and the ministry say are baseless. Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko was removed from his post and two deputy ministers resigned from the Ukrainian Ministry of Community and Territorial Development.
Five regional governors are also removed from office: Valentyn Reznichenko from Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksandra Starukha from Zaporizhzhia, Oleksiy Kuleba from Kyiv, Dymtro Zhivytskyi from Sumy and Yaroslav Yanushevich from Kherson. Kherson and Zaporizhizhia are two of the regions of Ukraine that the Russian Federation has claimed to annex.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has reset its doomsday clock, intended to illustrate the existential risks to the world, 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight the clock has come since its introduction in 1947. This is “largely” due to the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, they said.
Ukraine has enough coal and gas reserves for the remaining winter months despite repeated Russian attacks on its energy system, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has signaled a possible pause in talks with Turkey over Finnish ambitions to join NATO alongside Sweden, which he says is due to the pressure of the upcoming elections in Turkey.