The death toll from the rocket attack on the Dnieper, organized by Russia, has risen to 40 people. Last Minute GERMANY, Berlin, France, England, Russia headlines and events
It was reported that the death toll in a Russian rocket attack on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro today rose to 40 people, many were missing. Dnipro has seen the bloodiest of three months of rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities far from Moscow’s war front.
On the other hand, the resignation of German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has become one of the most important events of today, as we have entered one of the most important weeks in terms of Western support for Ukraine.
On Friday, the allies will meet at the American Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss military assistance to Ukraine. In this situation, pressure is increasing on Berlin to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. Ukraine hopes that Leopard tanks will form the basis of its new armored power.
While Ukrainian officials acknowledged that there was little hope of finding survivors amid the debris of Saturday’s rocket attack on the Dnieper, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that rescue efforts in the Dnieper “will continue as long as there is even the slightest chance of saving lives.”
In his late-night speech, Zelensky said: “Dozens of people, including six children, have been rescued from the rubble. We fight for every life.”
Rejecting allegations that the airstrikes it has carried out since October were deliberately targeting civilians, Moscow noted that Ukrainian air defenses were responsible for the Dnipro incident.
At the same time, Kyiv reported that it was not possible to hit a rocket that hit a residential building in the Dnieper on Saturday.
Gennady Korban, one of the officials of the Dnipro city administration, said that at least 40 people were killed in the attack, 30 people were missing. According to Korban, 75 people were injured in the attack, including 14 children.
The issue of tanks on the agenda this week
Intensive diplomatic contacts are expected this week to secure additional arms supplies to Ukraine.
This month, France, America and Germany pledged to supply Ukraine with armored fighting vehicles. However, Western countries have so far hesitated to send large battle tanks to Ukraine. The UK overcame this hesitation and over the weekend announced the delivery of Challenger battle tanks to Ukraine.
British Challenger tanks
While Moscow blames Western countries for the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, it says tank deliveries will not change the course of the war. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement today that Britain’s Challenger tanks “will burn like everyone else.”
NATO members from Eastern and Central Europe have German-made Lepoard battle tanks, which are considered the most suitable vehicles for Ukraine to form the basis of its new armored power. Last week, Poland and Finland said they wanted to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, this requires permission from Berlin.
“Whether we supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine depends on Germany”
Finnish Defense Minister Mikko Savola said today that the issue of supplying Leopard tanks to Ukraine is decided by Germany, that German permission is required for the export of German-made tanks.
Savola told Reuters: “What we do with the Leopard tanks depends on how Germany behaves. This requires a German export permit. In addition, the German defense industry plays a very important role in obtaining spare equipment.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said last Thursday that his country can transfer a small number of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine only if other European countries decide to take the same step.
Finnish Defense Minister Savola said the issue would be discussed later this week, most likely first in the Estonian capital Tallinn, where “like-minded countries” were invited, and then visiting US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He noted that on Friday his meeting with the leaders of Germany and other EU countries could be discussed.
Ukrainian forces recaptured large areas in the second half of 2022. However, the situation on the front lines remains stagnant despite intense clashes over the past two months, which are believed to have resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Kyiv emphasizes that the new armored vehicles that the West will supply will put an end to this stagnation and provide Ukrainian forces with the opportunity to break through Russian defense lines.
Last week, Moscow said it had captured the eastern city of Soledar, famous for its salt mining. Despite this victory, which can be called the biggest achievement of Russia since August last year, Kyiv says that there are still forces in Soledar and the clashes continue.
Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Anna Malyar said in a message she shared on Telegram: “To put it simply, THE CONFLICT CONTINUES. Everything else is unconfirmed information.”
Ukraine’s Western allies believe that the fight for Soledar, which had a pre-war population of about 10,000, is unlikely to have any large-scale consequences. It is noted that the heavy losses suffered by both sides in Soledar reduced the number of people needed for the conflicts that will determine the course of the war.
On the other hand, today Russia and Belarus started joint air exercises. The statement from Minsk notes that the exercises are defensive in nature and will not participate in the war.
According to a statement published yesterday on the Telegram account of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, Belarus Security Council spokesman Pavel Muraveiko said: “We are acting with restraint and remaining patient, we continue to remain vigilant.”
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