Moscow appoints Gerasimov as commander of Russian forces
Moscow has decided to entrust the conduct of joint forces operations in Ukraine directly to the Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov due to the “expansion of the size of the tasks” and the need for “greater efficiency”. This was announced by the Ministry of Defence, quoted by the Interfax agency. Gerasimov’s deputies will be, for the aerospace forces, general Sergei Surovikin, so far commander of operations, and for the army Oleg Salyukov. Gerasimov’s third deputy will be Alexey Kim.
GB opens supply of tanks to Kiev
The British government is preparing plans for a possible supply of tanks to Ukraine for the war against Russia. This was confirmed by a Downing Street spokeswoman while specifying that at the moment a final decision has not been made. The spokeswoman said that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has instructed Defense Minister Ben Wallace to coordinate with allies on plans for further war supplies to Kiev, “including the transfer of tanks” that the Ukrainian authorities have been calling for for months. If it were Challenger 2 tracked vehicles, London would become the first NATO country to send heavy tanks.
Pro-Russian: Kiev has lost 25,000 men at Soledar
Ukrainian forces reportedly lost 25,000 men in the battle for the town of Soledar, announced former Luhansk People’s Republic envoy to Moscow, Rodion Miroshnik. «Ukraine has paid an incredible price for the political need to maintain control of Soledar. In an attempt to maintain a city of 10,000 inhabitants, they have lost at least double that,” he said, quoted by the Tass news agency. “By sending insufficiently equipped and trained units into action, Zelensky’s regime wanted to create the myth of the possibility of a Ukrainian victory,” he concluded.
Gerasimov commander of joint Russian forces in Ukraine
Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov has been appointed head of the joint grouping of forces engaged in the special military operation in Ukraine. This was announced by the Moscow Defense Ministry quoted by the Interfax agency.
Wsj: US-EU towards new sanctions against Russia’s oil
The United States and their allies are preparing a new package of sanctions against Russian oil, with the aim of limiting the export prices of some refined products such as diesel. The writes it Wall Street Journal citing informed sources. US Treasury officials are in Europe for a series of meetings with counterparts from across Europe to discuss in detail the new measures that are expected to take effect on February 5. The new fines on refined products. which follow those imposed in early December by the US-G7 and Australia, could have more serious economic consequences, according to experts, above all because they will come into force on the same day that the ban on imports of Russian diesel and other diesel will start in the EU refined products.
Ukraine decree approved by the Senate: new military aid
With 125 votes in favor, 28 against and 2 abstentions, the Ukraine decree was approved by the Senate. The provision, which extends the transfer of military materials to Ukraine until 31 December 2023, will pass to the Chamber for the final ok. As sources from the M5s group later specified, the senators of the Movement voted ‘no, like those of the Greens-Italian Left who had announced their opposition in the Chamber.
Kremlin: there is no perspective for peace talks with Kiev
There will be no peace talks with Kiev as long as talks with Russia remain prohibited by Ukrainian law, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said. Commenting on a statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that Russia is willing to hold talks with Ukraine, Peskov said that “in a situation where Ukrainian law prohibits the Ukrainian president from contacting us or engaging in any with us and the West is obviously reluctant to grant Kiev some flexibility, it is not possible to discuss any prospects (of dialogue) at this point». The Tax reports it.
Turkey has sent Cold War cluster bombs to Ukraine
Turkey has begun sending a US-designed form of cluster bomb, a powerful and controversial Cold War-era weapon, to Ukraine to destroy Russian tanks, US and European officials told Foreign Policy. The weapons are designed to detonate in smaller submunitions, they can stay in the field for years if they don’t detonate right away. The law prohibits the US from exporting them. “After the US denied Kiev access to this ammunition, only Turkey could supply it. This shows that Ankara is a major military supporter of Ukraine,” the sources explained.
The move, which Turkey has been trying to keep under wraps for months, highlights the leading role that Ankara has played throughout the conflict, writes Foreign Policy: «supporting Ukraine with Bayraktar TB2 armed drones which helped disrupt Russia’s advance on Kiev and act as diplomatic intermediary for the UN-negotiated deal for the export of grain from the Ukrainian port of Odessa». It is currently unclear whether these Turkish surface weapons have already been used in combat. Neither the Turkish embassy in Washington nor the Ukrainian defense ministry responded to Foreign Policy’s request for comment. Although Turkey has not shared information on the quantities of cluster munitions it has in its stockpiles, the Ankara-based Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation has in the past produced a long-range artillery shell that can be fired from 155-caliber guns. millimeters with self-destructing Dpicm submunitions, as well as similar US-licensed shells. Roketsan, another major Turkish arms manufacturer, has in the past produced TRK-122 rockets for 122mm artillery systems, which are also capable of delivering Dpicm submunitions. Slovakia, Chile and the United States have transferred cluster munitions to Turkey in the past.
Kiev denies the capture of Soledar by the Russians
The Ukrainian army denies the claims of the head of the «Wagner» mercenaries Yevgeny Prigozhin that the city of Soleadr is under Russian control. “The Russians say that Soledar is under their control, this is not true,” says the representative of the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Serhiy Cherevaty as reported by Ukrainska Pravda. “It appears that Prigozhin’s location is not true, and he is not in the Soledar mines,” adds Kiev.
Tajani: “Italy ready to send more weapons”
«For Ukraine we are doing everything we can. We are ready to send as much more weapons as possible, obviously Parliament will be informed before doing so. We have sent over 50 tons of electrical material for the reconstruction of the electricity grid destroyed by the Russian attacks. We are in discussions with the French for air defense weapons. Also yesterday during the meeting between the Japanese premier and Giorgia Meloni we reaffirmed our intention to support the total independence of Ukraine”.
Gerasimov is the new head of the Russian forces in Ukraine: he will take Surovikin’s place