Live updates on the war in Ukraine: Boris Johnson says Putin threatened him with a missile attack in advance; Berlin excludes fighter jets for Kyiv (2023)

Poland ready to deliver F-16 fighter jets, Ukraine says

An F-16 fighter takes part in the NATO Air Shielding exercise near the airbase in Lask, central Poland, on October 12, 2022.

Radoslaw Jozwiak | AFP | fake images

Andrii Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's chief of staff, said in his official telegram that Poland is ready to hand over some of its F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

“Work continues to obtain F-16 fighters. We have positive signals from Poland, which is ready to provide them to us in coordination with NATO," Yermak said, according to a translation by NBC News.

He added that "tanks and fighter jets are great company to turn Russian enemies into fertilizer," he added.

Kyiv had already asked Western nations to supply fighter jets and tanks.

–Amanda Macias

According to the UN, more than 7,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war.

An elderly man walks among the graves of unidentified people who were killed during the Russian occupation and buried in a mass grave in the small Ukrainian town of Bucha, near Kyiv, on January 12, 2023.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | fake images

The United Nations has confirmed at least 7,110 deaths and 11,547 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its former Soviet neighbor nearly a year ago.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely to be higher because the armed conflict could delay reporting of deaths.

“Most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with long-range effects, including heavy artillery shelling, multiple launch missile systems, missiles and airstrikes,” the international organization wrote in a statement.

–Amanda Macias

Turkey favors approval of Finland's NATO offer over Sweden's

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrives for a two-day NATO foreign ministers meeting in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2022.

Michele Tantussi Reuters

Turkey could give Finland the green light to join NATO before Sweden if the military alliance and the two Nordic countries agree, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday.

However, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haaivisto coldly criticized this proposal, saying it was important that Finland and Sweden join NATO at the same time.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described Finland's request as "less problematic" than Sweden's. Turkey has accused Stockholm of failing to take concrete steps to crack down on groups Ankara views as terrorists.

"In my opinion, it would be fair to distinguish between the affected country and the least affected country," Cavusoglu told reporters during a joint news conference with his Portuguese counterpart. "We believe that if NATO and these countries make such a decision, we can evaluate (Finnish's candidacy) separately."

- Associated Press

US ambassador to Russia arrives in Moscow

US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearing on the next ambassador to Russia in the Senator Dirksen Building on Capitol Hill November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | fake images

presidentJoe BidenMoreAmbassador to Russia Lynne Tracy met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the US embassy in Moscow wrote in a statement.

The note did not provide further details about the meeting between the two diplomats.

Tracy, who was nominated by Biden in September and was sworn in this month, is the first woman to serve as the US ambassador to the Russian Federation.

"Ambassador Tracy begins her tenure in Moscow, focused on maintaining dialogue between our capitals at a time of unprecedented tension," the statement said. "She will work to ensure the safety and fair treatment of all US citizens detained in Russia."

–Amanda Macias

Ukraine says it is repelling attacks in Donetsk - Russia says it is gaining strength

Members of a Ukrainian artillery unit cover their ears as an M109 self-propelled artillery unit fires from a front line position at Russian mortar positions around Vuhledar on December 19, 2022 in Donetsk, Ukraine. Much of the Donetsk region has been in the hands of Russian-backed separatists since 2014. Russia has been trying to expand its control here since the February 24 invasion.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images Media | fake images

Ukraine said it was repelling Russian attacks near the Donetsk town of Marinka, while a Russian official said its forces were consolidating in the Vuhledar area near Marinka.

The Mykolaiv 79th Air Assault Brigade, a paratroop brigade based in Mykolaiv, spokeFacebookon Monday that his paratroopers "repelled the attack of the Russian army on several positions near Marinka in the Donetsk region and inflicted significant casualties on the enemy."

The post, accompanied by images apparently showing ammunition being dropped on Russian soldiers, said: "Mykolaiv paratroopers' aerial reconnaissance timely detected enemy movements and fired at them, intensively dropping ammunition from drones."

“As a result, the enemy suffered casualties as it closed in on our front line,” the Post added.

A senior Russian official in Ukraine, acting head of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" (a pro-Russian breakaway region in eastern Ukraine), said on Monday that Russian forces were "entrenched" in the eastern part of Wuledar. Donetsk, a city about 30 minutes from Marinka.

Denis Pushilin told the Rossiya-24 news channel:In comments from the Tass news agency,that the Russian units "continue to advance" in the direction of Vuhledar, saying: "Now we can say that the units have established themselves in the eastern part of Vuhledar."

Pushilin said it was too early to make any predictions about taking control of Vuhledar as Ukrainian forces "did not receive an order to withdraw and...had time to gain a foothold in the city."

CNBC was unable to verify the information in the posts. Ukraine has denied that Russia has seen any gains.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that the situation on the Donetsk front was "very difficult."

“Bakhmut, Vuledar and other areas in the Donetsk region are constantly under attack by Russia. There are constant attempts to break through our defenses," he said in his evening address.

– Holly Ellyatt

Finland says it will stick with Sweden in the NATO process

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto attend a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after signing their countries' accession protocols at the alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on July 5, 2022.

Yves Hermann | Reuters

Finland is sticking to its plan to join NATO at the same time as its Nordic neighbor Sweden, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Monday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan signaled on Sunday that Ankara may agree to Finland joining NATO before Sweden amid rising tensions with Stockholm, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made similar comments on Monday.

"Our strong desire remains to join NATO together with Sweden," Haavisto told a news conference in Helsinki.

– Reuters

Erdogan suggests Turkey could accept Finland into NATO, without Sweden

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency during a press conference following National Security Council and cabinet meetings at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, on July 20 and vowed to go after the group. "terrorist" behind the 2016 coup. try. 2016. After the coup, the newsroom was repressed and several legal proceedings against journalists were initiated.

Adem Altan | AFP | fake images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dealt another blow to Sweden's NATO bid by hinting that his government might approve Finland's bid to join NATO without its Nordic neighbor.

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the 73-year-old defense alliance in May last year, reversing their longstanding non-alliance policy following Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine. The two promised to advance their steps together.

Erdogan,Angry at the Swedish government for various reasons, is about to make or break both countries' NATO membership plans, as each state's bid requires the unanimous approval of all 30 current members. Hungary is the only country, together with Turkey, that has not yet approved the candidacies of the Nordic countries, which want to speed up the rest of the member states.

“We can send a different message to Finland [in their app] and Sweden would be surprised to see our message. But Finland must not make the same mistake as Sweden," Erdogan said during a speech on Sunday.

Read the full story here

Russia will soon release new history textbooks for high school students

A student looks at a computer screen showing a map of Russia including annexed Ukrainian territories in Moscow on October 12, 2022.

Alexander Nemenów | AFP | fake images

Russia will launch a new history textbook for high schools in the coming months, in which students will learn about the "military special operation," as Russia calls the invasion of Ukraine, according to a report by the Interfax news agency. .

The history books will cover Russia's version of events in Ukraine, including the "entry of the Donetsk and Lugansk 'People's Republics' into Russia, as well as Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, four regions Russia is said to have annexed last September after of bogus referendums."

Russian Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov said on Monday that the new textbooks should be ready by March and could appear in schools starting in the new school year, Interfax said in a report translated by Google.

History textbooks are being produced at breakneck speed as Russia tries to popularize its version of events in Ukraine among students. In December,said the Minister of Education KravtsovA working group was to be formed to create "unified textbooks on Russian history" and world history.

Ukraine and its Western allies do not recognize Russia's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory and see Russia's attempts to spread and “Russify” Russian culture and language in these areas as another abuse of Ukrainian sovereignty.

– Holly Ellyatt

Kremlin rejects claims of Boris Johnson rocket attack

Spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitry Peskov.

Employees | Getty Images News | fake images

The Kremlin has dismissed Boris Johnson's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile attack.

The former UK prime minister claimed in a BBC documentary that he spoke to Putin on the phone before Russia invaded Ukraine. Johnson said on the show that Putin "threatened me at one point and said, 'Boris, I don't want to hurt you, but with a missile it would only take a minute' or something."

"But I think because of the very relaxed tone that he took, the kind of distance that he seemed to have, he was just playing to my attempts to get him to negotiate," Johnson said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday called the claim a "lie" and told reporters: "What Mr. Johnson said is not true. More specifically, it is a lie," he said in a translation of the comments, according to NBC News.

"This could be a deliberate lie on the part of Mr. Johnson and then the question arises as to his motives for his interpretation of such a version of events. Or did he really not understand what President Putin was talking about? And in this case, it will be , although a little worrying for our president's interlocutors,” Peskov said.

"But I repeat officially: that is a lie, there were no missile threats."

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine's PM says Kyiv wants to join the European Union within two years

Ukraine has made no secret of its desire to join the EU and has already applied to join the bloc.

nurfoto | nurfoto | fake images

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has stated that Kyiv wants to join the European Union within two years and has set a very ambitious timetable for joining the bloc.

talking to the politicianShmyhal said: "We have a very ambitious plan to join the European Union in the next two years... So we hope that this year, 2023, we can already have that phase of negotiations prior to membership," he said.

Ukraine has made no secret of its desire to join the EU and has already applied to join the bloc. It is not the only candidate country. Others, like North Macedonia and Montenegro, have waited more than a decade for progress on their respective membership applications.French President Emmanuel Macron said Ukraine's accession to the EU was likely to be a process that would take "decades".

EU commissioners travel to Kyiv on Friday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Politco said his job will likely be to "manage expectations around such a tight timetable for EU accession."

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia warns US that end of nuclear arms control could be near

Russia told the United States on Monday that the last remaining pillar of bilateral nuclear arms control could expire without replacement in 2026 amid US efforts to inflict a "strategic defeat" on Moscow in Ukraine.

Both Russia and the United States still possess vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, currently limited in part by the 2011 New START treaty, which ran from 2021 to 2026.

However, what comes after February 4, 2026 is unclear, although Washington has indicated that it wants to reach a follow-on agreement with Russia.

Asked if Moscow could imagine there would be no nuclear arms control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the new state news agency RIA: "That is a possible scenario."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the risk of direct clashes between Moscow and Washington has increased after the US decision to supply Ukraine with more advanced missile systems.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | fake images

Ryabkov, Russia's top arms control diplomat, said that in recent years the United States has ignored Russia's interests and dismantled most of the arms control architecture.

"The new START could very well fall victim to that," Ryabkov told RIA. "We are prepared for such a scenario."

His comments serve as a warning to Washington that its continued military support for Ukraine could undermine the last major post-Cold War bilateral arms control treaty with Russia.

The United States has provided more than $27 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24, including more than 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, 8,500 Javelin anti-tank missile systems, and more than 1 million missiles. 155mm artillery.

“The entire security situation, including arms control, was taken hostage by the American line to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia,” Ryabkov said.

"We will defend ourselves against this as strongly as possible with all the methods and means at our disposal."

– Reuters

Boris Johnson claims Putin threatened him with a missile attack

Russia welcomed the departure of Boris Johnson from office.

Justin Tallis | AFP | fake images

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to have threatened him with a missile attack in what he described as an "extraordinary" phone call before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In an excerpt from a BBC documentary titled "Putin vs. the West," Johnson says he spoke to Putin in February 2022, just before Russia invaded Ukraine. During that call, he said that he told Putin the war would be a "total disaster" and would involve sanctions against Moscow and likely more NATO troops on Russia's borders.

Johnson said that after making these comments during the phone call, in which he said Putin was "very familiar", Putin appeared to have threatened him.

"He threatened me at one point and said: 'Boris, I don't want to hurt you, but with a rocket it would only take a minute' or something like that," he said.Johnson said in the documentary, the BBC reported.

"But I think because of the very relaxed tone that he took, the kind of distance that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate."

It's impossible to know if Putin was serious about his comment, but relations between the UK and Russia were tense before the war, particularly after a Russian nerve agent attack in the UK in 2018. Britain to United with Kyiv increased tensions.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia keeps options open for another mission: Britain

The Russian authorities are likely to keep open the option of another round of withdrawals as part of their "partial mobilization programme", according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

In an intelligence update on Twitter last week, the ministry cited media reports that Russian border guards were preventing dual-passport Kyrgyz migrant workers from leaving Russia and telling the men their names were on mobilization lists.

Russian citizens recruited during partial mobilization were sent to combat coordination areas following a military call for Russia-Ukraine war in Moscow, Russia, on October 10, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | fake images

Separately, on January 23, the ministry noted that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the decree on partial mobilization,announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin last September, "remains in force and maintains that the decree was still necessary to support the work of the armed forces."

"Observers have questioned why the measure was not formally lifted," the UK ministry said, adding that "Russian leaders are likely to continue to explore ways to assemble the large numbers of personnel needed for a future major offensive in Russia. ". Ukraine is required. while minimizing internal dissent".

Speculation is growing that Putin could announce another wave of mobilizations given theThe recent announcement by the Russian Ministry of Defense that it plans to increase its combat personnel to 1.5 million people, from a currently reported level of around 1.1 million.

— Holly Ellyatt

Zelenksyy urges Western allies to speed up arms deliveries

“The situation is very difficult. Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other areas in the Donetsk region are constantly under attack by Russia. There are constant attempts to break through our defenses," Zelenskyy said in his Sunday night video.

Jan Dobronosov | Getty Images Media | fake images

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged his allies to speed up arms deliveries as fighting in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the Donetsk region, remains fierce.

“The situation is very difficult. Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other areas in the Donetsk region are constantly under attack by Russia. There are constant attempts to break through our defenses," Zelenskyy said in his Sunday night video.

“We do everything possible to ensure that our pressure exceeds the inmates' ability to attack. And it is very important to maintain dynamic support for our partners' defenses,” he said, adding that “the speed of supply was and will be one of the key factors in this war.”

“Russia hopes to prolong the war and weaken our armed forces. Therefore, we must make time our weapon. We need to speed up events, speed up supplies and open up new options for weapons Ukraine needs,” he said.

Ukraine's allies Germany and the United States agreed last week to send dozens of tanks to Kyiv, while other allies in Europe pledged to send their own German-made tanks as well, and Britain sent British tanks to Ukraine.Ukraine's ambassador to France Vadym Omelchenko said on Friday that 321 Western tanks will be delivered to Ukraine.

— Holly Ellyatt

Germany's Scholz insists in Berlin that no fighter jets will be sent to Ukraine

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks in front of the Bundestag in Berlin on January 25, 2023.

Fabricio Bensch | Reuters

Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz insisted over the weekend that no fighter jets would be delivered to Ukraine, telling a German newspaper that there must be no "bidding war" for arms and that Germany "would not allow a war between Russia and NATO".

Scholz reiterated Germany's objections to sending fighter jets to Ukraine, telling the Tagesspiegel on Sunday that it was not possible.

“The question of fighter jets doesn't even come up,” Scholz said, according to Politico's translation.the original story.

“I would advise against engaging in constant competition to outdo each other on weapons systems,” he added.

Germany agreed last week to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine after months of resisting pressure to do so. Berlin also said it would allow other allies to send their own German-made tanks to Kyiv. The United States also agreed to send several M1 Abrams tanks.

A Belgian F-16 fighter jet takes part in the NATO Steadfast Noon nuclear air exercise at Kleine-Brogel Air Force Base, Belgium, on October 18, 2022.

Kenzo Tribouillard | AFP | fake images

Ukraine welcomed the decision to send tanks but immediately said it needed more firepower to counter the Russian invasion and called for fighter jets from its allies. A Defense Department adviser told CNBC that he was confident that Kyiv would receive F-16 fighter jets from its allies and that there should be no delay in making the decision as there were tanks.

Over the weekend, another Ukrainian official said talks about possibly sending attack aircraft to Ukraine were "ongoing."

“Our partners understand how war plays out. They understand that the attack planes are absolutely necessary to cover the manpower and armored vehicles they provide us,” the president's cabinet aide Mykhailo Podolyak told Freedom TV on Saturday.

"To drastically reduce the main tool of the Russian army, artillery, we also need missiles. Therefore, negotiations are already underway, negotiations are accelerating," Podolyak said in a comment translated by NBC News.

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukrainian tank crews arrive in Britain to start training on Challenger 2

A Challenger 2 main battle tank on display for the Royal Tank Regiment Regimental Parade on September 24, 2022 in Bulford, England.

Finnbarr Webster | Getty Images Releases | fake images

Ukrainian tank crews arrived in Britain over the weekend to begin training on Challenger 2 tanks that Britain has supplied to the country.

The UK said it would deliver 14 tanks in early January, before the US and Germany announced last week that they would also deliver tanks.

The tank crews will receive training to operate and maintain the tanks, which will be delivered to Ukraine in March.

— Holly Ellyatt

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