UN Secretary General António Guterres with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv, August 18, 2022
Wednesday’s Coverage: Wagner’s Prigozhin Accuses Russian Military Leaders of “Treason”
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1737 GMT:
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has confirmed, in his meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv, that Madrid will deliver six German-made Leopard 2 A4 tanks in the near-future and four more after that.
UPDATE 1726 GMT:
The European Union has failed, despite two days of intense discussion, to agree on the 10th set of sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
The package would ban the export of components for drones and helicopters and spare parts for military vehicles.
Ambassadors will resume talks on Friday.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv that the EU was seeking confirmation of the measures by the first anniversary of the Russian invasion on February 24.
Agreement is reportedly held up by the issue of rubber trade with Russia.
Amid the setback, Von der Leyen tweeted:
🇪🇺🇺🇦 We are with you.
We have been with you in this existential fight from the beginning.
Ukraine has become the centre of our continent.
The place where our values are upheld, where our freedom is defended, where the future of Europe is written.
Слава Україні. pic.twitter.com/SUDfSamkKZ
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 23, 2023
UPDATE 1337 GMT:
Italy has suffered a series of cyber-attacks by a Russian group, a day after Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv.
Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Wednesday’s attacks targeted Italian companies and public institutions, including the websites of the Defense Ministry and the police. Damage was limited by strong cyber-defense systems.
The Russian group NoName057 claimed the attacks, saying Italy was “Russiaphobic” as it approved a sixth military aid package for Ukraine.
UPDATE 1130 GMT:
Moldovan officials have rejected the Russian Defense Ministry’s disinformation that Ukraine plans to attack Moldova’s Russian-occupied Transnistria region.
The Russians put out the disinformation of a “false flag” operation after Moldovan President Maia Sandu warned that Russia and its proxies are plotting a coup to replace the Government in Chișinău.
Moldova’s new Prime Minister, Dorin Recean, said on Sunday, “The Russian troops in Transnistria must be expelled.”
Russian Deputy Foreign minister Mikhail Galuzin issued the unsupported claim that the “West” had instructed the Moldovan Government to stop all interaction with the Russian proxy administration in Transnistria.
UPDATE 0750 GMT:
The head of the Wagner Group mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is claiming a small victory in his battle with Russia’s political and military leadership.
Prigozhin said on Thursday that an ammunition shipment is on its way to his fighters in eastern Ukraine after his video accusation of Russia’s defense establishment as “traitors”.
Progozhin said on Telegram that the shipment began at 6 a.m. local time: “I would like to thank all who helped us accomplish this. You saved hundreds, maybe thousands of lives of men who are defending their homeland.”
The Wagner leader has alleged that Russia’s “monstrous bureaucracy” were deliberately cutting off ammunition to the mercenaries on the frontline and not helping with air transport.
UPDATE 0713 GMT:
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is the latest foreign leader to visit Kyiv and meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Earlier this week, Zelenskiy welcomed US President Joe Biden and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Prime Minister of #Spain Pedro #Sanchez arrived in #Kyiv on an official visit. He will meet with President #Zelenskyy, as well as visit #Bucha and #Irpin. pic.twitter.com/9mDYBnOcdN
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 23, 2023
ORIGINAL ENTRY: The UN General Assembly is expected to approve a resolution on Thursday demanding an unconditional, immediate Russian withdrawal from all of Ukraine.
A large majority is likely, despite abstentions from countries such as such as China, South Africa, and India.
Last October, the Assembly voted 143-5 for a resolution condemning Vladimir Putin’s invasion and calling for withdrawal.
Debate on an updated resolution opened on Wednesday, with Putin’s ally Belarus proposing an amendment removing any criticism of Russia.
"This invasion is an insult to our collective conscience," stated Secretary General António #Guterres during an opening speech at a meeting of the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the anniversary of the #Russian full-scale aggression against #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/M9x5uTdMrZ
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 23, 2023
Ukraine had sought a reference to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace plan, presented to a G20 summit in November, and to the establishment of a special tribunal to try Putin for the crime of aggression. However, its allies are still debating the mechanics of a tribunal, and there were concerns that an explicit reference in the resolution would lead to abstentions by other countries.
Instead, the resolution cites “the need to ensure accountability for the most serious crimes under international law committed on the territory of Ukraine through appropriate, fair, and independent investigations and prosecutions at the national or international level, and [to] ensure justice for all victims and the prevention of future crimes”.
On Wednesday, Ukraine First Lady Olena Zelenska told a special meeting at the UN on human rights violations:
Regardless of our country or nationality, we have the right not to be killed in our own homes. However, Ukrainians are being killed in front of the whole world for already a year now. Ukrainians are being killed in their own cities, villages, apartments, hospitals, theaters….
In any city of Ukraine, in London, Berlin or New York we have the right to live free, not to be killed or tortured. The right not to be blown to pieces by a Russian missile. Each of us has this right.
"We have a right to live freely, not to be killed or tortured. The right not to be blown to pieces by a Russian missile" ~ First Lady of Ukraine to UN Wednesday @olena_zelenska https://t.co/fUl8C8LuB5@CBSNews | UnitedNations pic.twitter.com/sCyWAy4G8X
— Pamela Falk CBS News Correspondent United Nations (@PamelaFalk) February 22, 2023
The text focuses on “the need to reach, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in line with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”, and for “member States and international organisations to redouble support for diplomatic efforts” to achieve that piece.
It also notes deep concern at “the adverse impact of the war on global food security, energy and nuclear security and safety, and the environment”.