January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (2023)

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8:18 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

We conclude our live coverage of the day. You can read more about the Russian invasion of Ukraineon here.

12:12 PM ET, January 29, 2023

It's night in Kyiv: stay up to date with the latest developments

Russian forces continued to bombard cities in the east on Friday, according to Donetsk Region Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. The town of Chasiv Yar, west of Bakhmut, was shelled for over an hour and a half on Friday morning, killing two people and wounding five and damaging "about ten houses".

This is what else happens:

Eastern Attacks:Ukraine's eastern front is under heavy shelling and the city of Vuhledar is facing a "constant" attack, Kyrylenko told Telegram on Friday morning. Two people have been killed in what Kyrylenko described as a "permanent Vuhledar bombing" in the past 24 hours. reported two cases of "massive artillery shelling of Avdiivka during the night".

Rocket attack on Thursday:Two of the 70 rocketsfired by Russia at Ukraine on ThursdayThe Ukrainian air force said they were Kinzhal-type hypersonic missiles, urging the West to equip them with advanced air defense systems that could shoot them down. At least 11 people have died in Ukraine after Moscow fired 70 rockets, includingtwo hypersonic missiles- intended for power systems on Thursday. Ukraine's state electricity supplier warned on Friday of provoked strikes"Significant Damage"to the power grid.

military help:Poland plans to send 60 moremodern battle tanksfor Ukraine plus 14 Leopard 2 tanksalready engaged, said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

And in Belgium, the government announced its biggest-ever aid package for Ukraine, including $97.5 million in military aid. The military assistance is part of a larger package that also includes humanitarian and civilian assistance.

As for the US, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told CNN on Friday that the newly announced tranche of Abrams tanks, announced by the US as part of this week's aid to Ukraine, "it will be many months before they can reach the bottom". Despite that timeframe, Kirby said the Biden administration will "waste no time" by providing training and strengthening supply chains to ensure Ukrainian forces are better equipped to deploy them when they finally arrive in Ukraine.

And in Germany, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has ruled out sending German warplanes to Ukraine, according to an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.

#To update##

3:35 PM ET, January 27, 2023

Poland sends 60 more tanks to Ukraine: PM

CNN's Niamh Kennedy and Sugam Pokharel

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (1)

Poland plans to send 60 moremodern battle tanksfor Ukraine plus 14 Leopard 2 tanksalready engaged, said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Morawiecki is pleased that Poland "can convince our Western European allies and partners that they need to be much more active in supporting Ukraine," the prime minister told Canadian broadcaster CTV on Friday.

from Germanydecided earlier this weekafter many diplomatic talks, send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Morawiecki said Poland likes to "lead by example" and praised the country's decision to send 250 tanks to Ukraine last year, adding that it was the first country to do so.

"At the moment we are ready to send 60 of our modernized tanks, 30 of them PT-91," said the Prime Minister, referring to the country's most important tank, the PT-91 Twardy. "And in addition to these tanks, 14 tanks, Leopard 2 tanks, which are in our possession."

Poland has a habit of telling its partners "how many tanks we have already delivered".

"I quoted President Zelenskyy (to explain) how important it is to have modern tanks in this type of warfare. The Russians have several thousand, some even say more than 15,000 tanks in their depots,” Morawiecki added.

Poland sharply criticized Germany last weekinitial hesitationto grant Warsaw's request to transfer some of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

1:46 PM ET, January 27, 2023

It will take Ukrainian pilots "about 6 months" to master the F-16 fighter jets, says the Ukrainian Air Force.

By CNN's Vasco Cotovio in London and Maria Kostenko in Kyiv

It will take Ukrainian pilots "about six months" to master the F-16 multirole fighter, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said in an interview on Friday.

“Our pilots can learn to fly these planes in a matter of weeks. It will take time to master how to fight these planes, about six months," Ihnat said. "They would have to learn to use all kinds of weapons that modern aircraft carry."

After Western nations agreed to supply Ukraine with tanks, some analysts were quick to suggest that European and NATO allies would eventually supply Ukraine with older aircraft like the F-16.

Ihnat added that in addition to the pilots, "intense training" is required for the ground crews operating the F-16s.

1:41 PM ET, January 27, 2023

The German defense minister has ruled out sending fighter jets to Ukraine

By Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (2)

According to an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has ruled out sending German fighter jets to Ukraine.

"That's out of the question," said Pistorius when asked whether Germany would send fighter jets to Kyiv.

Fresh public calls from the Ukrainian government for Western warplanes followed after Germany approved deliveries of Leopard 2 main battle tanks earlier this week.

"Jet fighters are much more complex systems than main battle tanks and have a completely different range and firepower. We would venture into dimensions that I would currently warn against, ”said Pistorius in an interview.

Pistorius, who took office last week after his predecessor resigned, also told the newspaper that Germany's €100 billion ($108 billion) special defense fund set up last year is no longer sufficient to meet their needs.

"100 billion will not be enough," Pistorius said, adding that he also believes Germany needs to increase its regular annual defense budget, which is currently set at around 50 billion euros (about $54 billion).

Pistorius also said that Germany's decision to suspend conscription in 2011 was "a mistake," adding that he was open to discussing a new model to strengthen the relationship between citizens and the state.

12:30 p.m. Eastern Time, January 27, 2023

Belgium announces nearly $100 million in military aid to Ukraine as part of its biggest-ever aid package

By CNN's Mick Krever and Niamh Kennedy in London

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (3)

The Belgian government has announced its biggest-ever aid package for Ukraine, which includes $97.5 million in military aid.

“Today the Council of Ministers decided to add a new €90 million ($97.5 million) military aid package. This is the largest military aid package for Ukraine that our country has decided so far," said the first Belgian minister. Alexander De Croo to reporters. Friday. "This new package comes on top of the 146 million euros (about $158 million) that Belgium has already donated to military aid."

The military assistance is part of a larger package that also includes humanitarian and civilian assistance.

The military aid will include anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank missiles, grenades and ammunition, allowing Ukraine to continue "protecting its citizens," Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said, adding Belgium will also provide military vehicles, trucks and armored ships to light Ukraine In the coming weeks".

In addition to military aid, the package also includes 86 million euros ($93.3 million) in civilian aid, including 69 million euros ($74.9 million) for humanitarian aid and 10.6 million euros ($11.5 million) for reconstruction Of Ukraine.

That civilian assistance will include medical supplies and an ambulance, De Croo added.

1:44 PM ET, January 27, 2023

Satellite images show the fast-growing burial ground of the Russian Wagner mercenary group

By Vasco Cotovio, Paul P. Murphy and Anna Chernova of CNN

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (4)

Satellite images of an area near a city in Russia show a fast-growing cemetery where many of those killed fought for the Wagner Group, a private Russian mercenary organization.heavily involved in the war in Ukraine- They're buried.

Images of rows of fresh graves near the village of Bakinskaya in the Krasnodar Territory surfaced on social media in December. And on January 2, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti showed Wagner's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin visiting the site and laying a wreath on one of the graves.

"Here we bury the fighters who indicated in their will that they want to be buried here," Prigozhin said, according to RIA. "Or orphans and those whose bodies loved ones don't want to take with them for whatever reason."

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (5)

Satellite images taken on November 24, 2022 show three rows of graves in Neuland. When Prigozhin visited in early January, he told RIA Novosti that 93 graves had been dug. Another Maxar satellite image taken on Jan. 24 shows the property is already nearly full with 14 additional lines.

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (6)

According to the Institute for the Study of War, about 1,000 dead Wagner soldiers may lie at the Bakinskaya Cemetery seen on satellite imagery, as well as a nearby secondary site in nearby Goryachy Klyuch.

Local activists reported that the mercenary group began using Bakinskaya Cemetery after running out of space in a Wagner-related chapel in Goryachy Klyuch.

"Most of the Wagner Group personnel buried at these sites were allegedly prisoners, as a result of the Wagner Group's overwhelming reliance on prison recruitment and its operational use of these personnel in costly raids," ISW said in its analysis on Friday.

"The high casualty toll will likely limit the ability of the Wagner group to continue offensive operations at a rapid pace and will likely lead to further prison recruitment efforts," he added.

More on Wagner's role in Ukraine:Wagner's fighters engaged in a long battle of attrition with Ukrainian forces as they capturedthe city of Soledarand now they are involved in the attack on Bakhmut and neighboring villages. Ukrainian officials say Wagner sent waves of infantry towards their positions, suffering heavy casualties.

The high death toll has earned the area the nickname "the meat grinder," and the fast-growing cemetery on Bakinskaya illustrates the high death toll.

Few of the group's fighters are buried there, according to Wagner's founder Yevgeny Prighosin.

The US Treasury Department on Thursday referred to Wagner aslarge transnational criminal organizationand imposed a series of sanctions on a transnational network that supports them.

12:08 a.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Top EU official calls for Radio Free Russia project to allow Russian media to report without censorship

CNN's Amy Cassidy and Sugam Pokharel

A senior European Union official on Friday called for the creation of a "Radio Free Russia" project that would allow independent Russian journalists to report without Kremlin censorship.

"I want to start a project of Radio Free Russia," said European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová, similar to the idea of ​​Radio Free Europe or Voice of America, which were founded to combat propaganda and uncensored news and information during the war to spread. Cold or World War II. .

It would not mean launching a new radio station, he said during a speech in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, but a platform "to support those who are already doing a lot, to help them achieve economies of scale and to fill the gaps." , so that they can produce more. Content.” and continue to distribute it without editorial intervention.”

Many independent journalists have been expelled from Russia following censorship since the invasion of Ukraine, so several news outlets such as Novaya Gazeta are now operating in the EU, presenting a "unique opportunity", he said.

"We need to create the conditions for them to work and tell the Russian audience the EU story they see and experience," continued Jourová. "It's not just a moral duty, it's in our own interest."

The commissioner reflected on her childhood in the Soviet-era Czech Republic in order to "reject" the argument that "all Russians" support the Moscow government and urged Europe not to "abandon Russian society [...] real news, not Kremlin." -Propaganda."

Some background:The Russian government passed a law criminalizing the dissemination of so-called “intentionally false” information about the Russian military in early March, just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The maximum penalty provided by law is 15 years in prison.

12:23 p.m. EST, Jan. 27, 2023

Moscow orders Latvian ambassador to leave Russia in two weeks

De Uliana Pavlova von CNN

January 27, 2023 Russia-Ukraine News (7)

Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday it had ordered Latvia's ambassador to Moscow Maris Riekstins to leave Russia within two weeks in return.

"The Ambassador of Latvia M. Riekstins has been ordered to leave the Russian Federation within two weeks," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Latvia expelled the Russian ambassador in Riga, citing its solidarity with Estonia.

Moscow blamed Riga for deteriorating bilateral relations between the two countries.

"It is emphasized that the provocative move by the Latvian authorities to lower the level of diplomatic relations will have consequences," the statement said.

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