(L to R): Germany’s Boris Pistorius, Lloyd Austin of the US, and Ukraine’s Oleksiy Reznikov at the meeting of Defense Ministers in Ramstein, Germany, January 20, 2023

Friday’s Coverage: Tanks to Kyiv Today?

Source: Institute for the Study of War


Moscow police take away a woman laying flowers at a makeshift memorial for at least 44 Ukrianians killed in a Russian missile strike on an apartment block in Dnipro last Saturday.

The memorials were set up in Moscow near the monument to Ukrainian writer Lesya Ukrainka, and in St. Petersburg at the base of the monument to Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko.

Moscow’s authorities have prohibited the taking of any photographs of the memorial.


Ukraine Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweets about the failure on Friday to agree the delivery of battle tanks to Kyiv.


Anticipating that Germany will eventually allow Poland to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Kyiv, Ukrainian forces will begin training on the armored vehicles.

Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said, after Friday’s meeting of Defense Ministers in Germany, “We will start with this and then we will move further.”

He continued, “I see this in an optimistic way. Because the first step has been taken – we will start training missions on the Leopard 2.”


As Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine faces defeat, Russian State TV is daring to feature commentators questioning the assault.

Boris Nadezhdin, President of the Institute of Regional Projects and Legislation, said in a discussion:

It is now becoming clear — and this can be seen from Putin himself — how disastrous a decision to start the “Special Military Operation” was. This is quite obvious.

When all this began, it is absolutely clear that this was supposed to be a colonial war.


As air defense systems are set up in Moscow — including near Vladimir Putin’s residence and atop the headquarters of the Defense Ministry — the Kremlin has declined to say whether it believes Ukrainian drones could soon strike the Russian capital.

Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov referred questions to the Defense Ministry: “They are responsible for ensuring the security of the country in general and the capital in particular, therefore it is better to ask [them] about all measures that are taken.”

Video and photographs on Friday confirmed the placement of Pantsir-S1 systems at the Defense Ministry’s eight-story building on the Moskva River, near Putin’s residence, and close to the Ostafyevo military airfield, the Gazprom-Avia business airport.

Yevgeny Lebedev, a member of the State Duma Defense Committee, said, “I don’t know anything about it. I think these are fakes, a montage.”


Russian attacks on the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine killed three civilians and injured four others on Friday.

Two people were killed in Bakhmut, near the frontline, and one in Zhelanne.

One person was also killed in the Kharkiv region and another in the Zaporizhzhia region.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Friday’s meeting of Defense Ministers from 50 countries in Ramstein, Germany ended with no decision — notably from the US and the Germans — on heavy battle tanks for Ukraine.

Countries such as Poland and Finland had hoped for Berlin’s permission to confirm delivery of their German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

But German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told reporters that the Scholz Government has not yet reached a decision on the delivery, either directly or through the assent to the provision by others.

Pistorius only went as far as to tell the Defense Ministry to “undertake an examination of the stocks” of the available tanks.

He added, “I’m very sure there will be a decision in the short term, but I don’t know how the decision will look.”

In a press conference after the meeting, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that there had been no resolution over the Leopard 2s.

Austin did not refer to the Biden Administration’s deliberations on supply of M1-Abrams tanks. However, a “senior Biden Administration official” said the Administration is maintaining its decision not to provide them at this time.

The official said Washington is advising Ukraine against a major offensive until the latest supply of US weaponry — including armored vehicles such as Bradley and Stryker Infantry Fighting Vehicles — is in place and training has been completed.

Austin summarized this week’s commitments by a series of countries of other armored vehicles, air defense systems, weapons, equipment, and training to “provide the capability that Ukraine needs to be successful in the near term”.

I really do believe that it will enable the Ukrainians to be successful going forward. This is not dependent upon a single platform, this is this is a combined arms effort that we brought together that I truly believe is going to provide them the best opportunity for success.

Disappointed that Germany had not lifted its ban on re-export of Leopard 2s, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau was not so charitable about the Germans:

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted on behalf of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania:

But Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote hopefully:

Ramstein 8 meeting at Ramstein Air Base has ended. It was a great meeting of friends. The free world stands with Ukraine and applauds brave Ukrainian soldiers and our courageous nation. The Ukrainian Army will receive more weapons and ammo. We will win. Evil will be defeated.