The European Union has pledged to double a subject assistance programme for Ukraine by training an other 15,000 soldiers as portion of a blizzard of announcements aimed astatine showing it will “stand by Ukraine for nan agelong haul”. Speaking astatine nan commencement of a two-day travel to Kyiv, nan European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, reiterated that nan EU aimed to person a tenth package of sanctions against Russia successful spot by 24 February.
Von der Leyen besides reiterated that nan EU would headdress nan value of Russian petroleum products, arsenic portion of a broader G7 scheme to restrict lipid revenues disposable to nan Kremlin’s warfare machine. The G7 and nan EU person already agreed connected a value headdress connected crude lipid that came into unit past December and, according to Von der Leyen, costs Russia €160m (£143m/$174m) a day. The EU’s 27 personnel states are yet to work together on nan latest lipid value cap.
The EU besides intended to activity pinch Ukrainian prosecutors to group up an world centre for nan prosecution of nan crime of aggression successful Ukraine to beryllium located successful The Hague, Von der Leyen said. The intent of this centre was to cod and shop grounds for immoderate early trial, whether that took spot via a typical tribunal aliases immoderate different way.
The European parliament has voted successful support of a roadmap for Ukraine’s accession to nan EU. The Ukrainian premier minister, Denys Shmyhal, has said he wanted Ukraine to subordinate nan EU successful 2 years, but successful reality it was likely to return overmuch longer.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has urged nan EU to enforce much sanctions connected Russia, and said he had discussed a caller sanctions package pinch Von der Leyen. Zelenskiy said nan velocity of nan EU sanctions run against Russia had “slightly slowed down” while Russia had been “increasing its gait of adapting to sanctions”.
The British premier minister, Rishi Sunak, said sending combatant jets to Ukraine would require “months if not years” of training and that he was looking for nan astir effective measurement of helping Kyiv unafraid victory.
Russia is readying a awesome violative to coincide pinch nan one-year day of nan warfare successful Ukraine connected 24 February, according to nan country’s defence minister. Speaking to French media, Oleksii Reznikov said Russia would telephone connected a ample contingent of mobilised troops. Referring to nan wide mobilisation of 300,000 conscripted soldiers successful September, he claimed that numbers astatine nan separator propose nan existent size could beryllium person to 500,000.
Russia has warned it has “the potential” to respond to occidental arms deliveries to Ukraine that will not conscionable beryllium astir “using armoured vehicles”. In a reside marking nan 80th day of nan Soviet triumph against Nazi Germany successful nan Battle of Stalingrad, Vladimir Putin appeared to allude to Russia’s tremendous atomic weapons arsenal, informing that “those who expect to triumph connected nan battlefield apparently do not understand that a modern warfare pinch Russia will beryllium utterly different for them”.
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia’s arms suppliers will “significantly” summation their deliveries of subject hardware during this year. Medvedev, who is lawman president of nan powerful Security Council and oversees a authorities committee connected arms production, said caller supplies would thief Russia inflict a “crushing defeat” complete Ukraine connected nan battlefield.
Two Russian missiles struck Kramatorsk connected Thursday, aft an flat artifact successful nan eastbound Ukrainian metropolis was deed connected Wednesday night, sidesplitting astatine slightest sidesplitting 3 group and injuring 20. The latest strikes resulted successful civilian casualties, said nan caput of nan location subject administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, but it was not clear really many. In addition, 2 group were killed by Russian shelling successful nan confederate Kherson region.
At slightest 8 group died aft a occurrence astatine a dormitory for building workers successful nan Crimean metropolis of Sevastopol, Russian officials said. The occurrence collapsed retired successful impermanent accommodation for workers building nan Tavrida highway, a roadworthy linking nan cities of Sevastopol and Simferopol, according to nan Russia-installed politician of Sevastopol.
Russia’s overseas minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said everybody wanted nan conflict successful Ukraine to end, but that nan west’s support for Kyiv was playing an important domiciled in really Moscow approached nan campaign. In an question and reply connected Russia’s authorities TV, Lavrov besides said Moscow had plans to overshadow pro-Ukrainian events arranged by occidental and allied countries astir nan world to people nan penetration of Ukraine connected 24 February.
A elder Russian lieutenant who fled aft serving successful Ukraine has described really his country’s troops tortured prisoners of warfare and threatened immoderate pinch rape. “I person personally seen our troops torture Ukrainian soldiers,” Konstantin Yefremov, who is nan astir elder worker to speak retired against nan war, told nan Guardian successful a telephone call. “I consciousness relieved that I tin yet speak retired astir nan things I person seen.”
A state-of-the-art rocket defence strategy provided by Italy and France should beryllium up and moving successful Ukraine wrong nan adjacent 2 months, Italy’s overseas minister, Antonio Tajani, has said. France and Italy agreed to proviso their SAMP/T aerial defence strategy to Ukraine, connected Kyiv’s request, to thief protect nan country’s captious infrastructure and cities from nan regular barrage of Russian missiles hitting Ukraine.
Poland’s premier minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has said he is unfastened to supplying Ukraine pinch F-16 combatant jets if nan determination were taken together pinch Nato allies. In an interview pinch Bild, he stressed that his appraisal was “based connected what Nato countries determine together” and that nan determination required nan “strategic information of nan whole” alliance.