A review of the last 24 hours
Ukrainian Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky was killed in a helicopter crash near Kiev on Wednesday, January 18, in which at least 14 people were killed. At the same time, Volodymyr Zelensky, via video conference in Davos, called for “speed” in decisions to help Ukraine. Highlights from the last 24 hours.
Sweden arms Ukraine
Sweden to supply long-range archer rifles to Ukraine
Wagner ‘things to learn’ from Ukrainian army
Evguéni Prigojine, head of the Wagner mercenary group, said his troops had “a few things to learn” from the Ukrainian army amid a fierce battle to capture Bakhmout in eastern Ukraine. “The Ukrainian army is working efficiently and coherently. We have things to learn from them. But in any case, Wagner’s divisions are moving forward meter by meter,” he said in a statement. The news service released the news on Thursday. “Artiomovsk (the name given to Bakhmout by the Russian authorities, editor’s note) will be replaced,” he promised.
Moscow investigates an American “spy”.
The Russian Security Services (FSB) announced on Thursday that it had opened an “espionage” investigation against a US citizen, amid a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. The FSB did not specify the identity of this American citizen, or whether he was arrested, or even if he was in Russia or abroad.
“The American is suspected of having collected intelligence related to biological matters against the security of the Russian Federation,” the FSB said in a brief statement. Many US citizens are detained in Russia, contributing to toxic relations between Moscow and Washington.
Several theories were evaluated after the accident
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that “several theories” were being evaluated in the investigation into the crash of a helicopter near Q that killed Ukraine’s interior minister and 13 others on Wednesday. “The investigation is ongoing. Many theories are being studied, and I am not authorized to talk about different hypotheses until the results of the investigations,” explained the Ukrainian head of state, speaking via video conference at the Davos forum.
The President of the European Council goes to Kiev
European Council President Charles Michel announced on Thursday that he was “on his way to Kyiv” where he is to discuss new support measures for Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has called for rapid arms deliveries.
The two leaders will discuss “concrete steps (…) to ensure that (Ukraine) remains strong and powerful,” Charles Michael said in a video message posted on Twitter. NATO allies have pledged “increased support with heavy and modern weapons” to Kyiv to counter Russian attacks.
I’m on my way to #Kyiv . Ukrainians are fighting for their land and the future of their children. But they also fight for our common European values of peace and prosperity. They need and deserve our support. pic.twitter.com/ewLY4E9udX — Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) January 19, 2023
V. ZELENSKY wants to retract the crime
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that he wants to retake Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, and called on his Western partners to provide arms. “Our goal is to liberate all our territories,” he said, speaking via video conference during a breakfast on the sidelines of the Davos forum. “Crimea is our land, our territory, our sea and our mountains. Give us your weapons and we will take back our lands,” he added.
V. ZELENSKY criticizes Berlin’s reluctance
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday criticized Germany’s reluctance to allow heavy tank deliveries, saying it was not the “correct strategy”. “You should not hesitate or compare yourself. If someone says, ‘I will not supply tanks if someone else does,'” the Ukrainian president said at the time. The second speaker was a video conference during breakfast at the Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He was referring to press reports that Berlin would offer advanced tanks only if the US offered Abrams tanks.
Washington does not supply Abrams tanks
The U.S. is not ready to deliver its most advanced heavy tanks, Abrams, to Ukraine, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday, citing maintenance and training issues as reasons for the refusal. “I don’t think we’re there yet,” said Number Three Colin Call, when asked during a press conference about the possibility of sending Abrams tanks to Kyiv.
Ukraine has been asking the West for weeks for modern tanks to repel a Russian invasion, but the latter has so far only sent light tanks and armored personnel carriers. The UK was the first country to commit to Challenger 2 heavy tanks last week.
Criminal investigation after helicopter crash
Kyiv on Thursday launched a criminal investigation ordered by President Volodymyr Zelensky after the death of Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky in a helicopter crash that killed at least 14 people, according to the latest official statement.
“The Security Service of Ukraine has opened a criminal investigation into this terrible event,” he said in a speech on Wednesday evening. “I instructed the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, in cooperation with all other authorized bodies, to clarify all the circumstances of the disaster,” he added.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”