EA on Pat Kenny Show and BBC: “A Game-Changer” — Tanks to Ukraine
Wednesday’s Coverage: Germany Approves Leopard Battle Tanks to Kyiv
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1503 GMT:
Ukraine emergency services spokesperson Oleksandr Khorunzhyi says the toll from today’s Russia strikes is 11 people killed and 11 wounded.
UPDATE 1457 GMT:
An early-morning Russian missile attack has killed three people in the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine.
A Russian S-300 air defense missile was fired on a “critical infrastructure facility” about 3:40 a.m. Technical property and buildings were destroyed.
UPDATE 1450 GMT:
Russian authorities have blacklisted the independent news outlet Meduza as an “undesirable organization”.
The label effectively prevents the site from operating in Russia and bans any Russian from cooperating with Meduza or its journalists.
Russia’s general prosecutor said Meduza, now based in Latvia, “poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system and the security of the Russian Federation”.
Meduza responded with an article in Russian and English noting the consequences: “Anyone who ‘participates or cooperates’ with such groups can face felony prosecution — an especially serious limitation for journalists who must speak to sources to report the news.”
More than 50 organizations are currently on the “undesirable” list, including Russian investigative news outlets iStories and Proekt and Dutch-based Bellingcat.
UPDATE 1431 GMT:
Ukraine air defenses shot down 47 of 55 Russian missiles fired on Thursday, according to the head of the Ukrainian military, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny.
Zaluzhny said the Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile was among those used. In and near the capital Kyiv, 20 missiles were downed.
UPDATE 1129 GMT:
Electricity provider DTEK, updates on the situation in Odesa in southern Ukraine: “Due to damage to the energy infrastructure, emergency power outages may last for several days until the objects damaged by shelling are restored.”
UPDATE 1022 GMT:
One person has been killed and four wounded by Russian shelling of Kochubeivka in the northern Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
An administrative building was reportedly struck.
UPDATE 0931 GMT:
Viacheslav Chaus, the governor of the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine, has posted:
A large-scale virus attack was carried out on the authority servers yesterday. For the purpose of protection, part of the systems was disabled. The regional authority site and local authority sites are temporarily down. Specialists are working on restoring the system. This is not the first attack, there have been dozens of such attacks over the past year.
IT specialists say that this virus attack was well planned, the virus program entered the system in advance. And now it has been activated. Fortunately, we have enough means of communication and information exchange. Such attacks do not have any effect on our work, except that it takes a little more time to exchange information.
UPDATE 0926 GMT:
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko says at least one person was killed and two wounded “as a result of a rocket hitting a non-residential building in the Holosivskyi district” during Russia’s attacks this morning.
Maksym Marchenko, governor of the Odesa region in southern Ukraine, said:
Due to damage to several energy infrastructure facilities in Odesa and other regions of Ukraine, there are significant problems with electricity supply. Energy workers have already started repair work, but it will take some time to repair the damage.
UPDATE 0810 GMT:
US manufacturer Lockheed Martin says it is ready to meet demand for F-16 fighter jets if there is an international commitment of supply to Ukraine.
Chief operating officer Frank St. John said Lockheed Martin is not directly involved in “a lot of conversation about third party transfer of F-16s”.
But he said the company is “going to be ramping production on F-16s in Greenville [South Carolina] to get to the place where we will be able to backfill pretty capably any countries that choose to do third party transfers to help with the current conflict”.
A US defense official said, “Along with our international allies and partners, we are in regular communication with the Ukrainians on their needs and requests. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding F-16s.”
UPDATE 0804 GMT:
Officials in Kyiv say 15 Russian cruise missiles have been downed by air defenses.
Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said there were explosions in the center of the city, but did not say if they were from anti-aircraft fire or missile strikes.
UPDATE 0759 GMT:
The moment when Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy learned, during a TV interview, of Germany’s commitment to supply Leopard 2 battle tanks….
UPDATE 0747 GMT:
Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak says that “he first Russian missiles have been shot down” in Moscow’s latest wave of attacks.
The governor of the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine, Vitaly Kim, said two missiles were spotted over the territory.
UPDATE 0732 GMT:
Kyiv’s air defenses have repelled an overnight attack by Russian drones.
The military administration said 24 “enemy UAVs” were shot down.
Air raid alarms are now sounding in most regions, including Kyiv. The electricity provider DTEK has implemented emergency shutdowns in the Kyiv, Odesa, and Dnipropetrovsk regions, and there are outages in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
The mayor of Vinnytsia in western Ukraine, Serhiy Morgunov, said there were explosions from “the work of anti-aircraft fire”.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s officials have hailed the international commitment to deliver battle tanks, calling it “only the beginning” in the support to defeat Russia’s 11-month invasion.
Appeals by Kyiv since last April were finally answered on Wednesday, with Germany and then the US confirming their provision of tanks. More importantly, Berlin will allow third countries to re-export German-made Leopard 2 tanks, ensuring a much larger supply.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the direct provision of 14 Leopard 2s, and the 31 M1 Abrams pledged by US President Joe Biden will not appear in Ukraine for months. However, Spain alone may deliver 53 Leopard 2s and Poland, Finland, Norway, and Portugal made commitments yesterday. The UK broke the ice last week with the announcement that 14 Challenger 2s will be delivered.
Scholz said the aim is to have two Ukrainian battalions, each of which typically has 31 tanks, equipped with the Leopard 2s by the spring.
In his nightly address to the nation, Ukraine President Vladimir Zelenskiy expressed gratitude for the “extremely good news” while asking for an even greater commitment, including the first provision of fighter jets.
There is a tank coalition. There is a decision to launch the supply of tanks for our defence. Modern tanks….
The key now is speed and volumes. Speed in training our forces, speed in supplying tanks to Ukraine. The numbers in tank support.
Western officials have said 100 advanced tanks could enable Ukraine not only to resist any renewed Russian offensive, but also to seize the initative and liberate more territory. Ukrainian counterparts said, in the run-up to Wednesday’s breakthrough, that 300 tanks are necessary.
From Tanks to Fighter Jets?
Zelenskiy was quick to follow up on Wednesday. He spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, including discussion of the supply of long-range missiles and warplanes.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he conferred with Polish counterpart about fighter jets. Yuriy Sak, an advisor to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, said the jets would be “the next big hurdle”.
If we get them, the advantages on the battlefield will be just immense. It’s not just F-16s. Fourth generation aircraft, this is what we want.
The US and European countries have rebuffed Kyiv’s approaches for the jets since last spring, but the Netherlands says it will now consider transfer some of its 50 planes if this is coordinated with allies.
Throughout Wednesday, Russian officials betrayed their concern and agitation over the developments.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blustered, “Unfortunately, more weapons from NATO bring more suffering for people in Ukraine. It also brings more tension to the continent. But it cannot prevent Russia from reaching our goals.”
The Russian Ambassador to Germany, Sergey Nechayev, fumed that the delivery of the Leopard 2s was the “final refusal” of the German Government “to recognize its historical responsibility to our people for the terrible, timeless crimes of Nazism during the Great Patriotic War, and the consigning to oblivion of the difficult path of post-war reconciliation between Russians and Germans”.