Britain plans to supply a handful of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, the first time that a Western country has indicated that it could supply its homemade heavy armor to Kyiv in the war against Russia. No final decision from Downing Street has been made, British sources added, but Ukraine hopes a positive decision from the UK could help persuade Germany to do the same later this month with its Leopard 2 battle tanks.
The United States is reportedly considering sending Stryker armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine. The move could be announced next week, but no final decision has been made, Politico reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
Germany has no plans to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, a government spokesman said. Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, said on Sunday that Berlin could not rule out delivering Leopard tanks – which are heavier combat vehicles than Marders – to support Ukraine’s military forces in the future.
Two British men have disappeared in Ukraine, the British Foreign Office has announced. The men were named in the reports as volunteers Andrew Bagshaw and Christopher Parry. The couple were last known to have traveled from Kramatorsk to Soledar on January 6, according to Sky News.
Russian troops are again trying to advance on the town of Soledar in the eastern region of Donbass, according to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar. Russian attacks in recent days have focused on Soledar in an apparent effort to cut off the city. Capturing Soledar, which lies northeast of Bakhmut, would put Ukrainian forces in the area at risk of being surrounded and provide Russia with a potential avenue of approach against that town.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in overnight video remarks on Monday that Bakhmut and Soledar were holding on despite the widespread destruction. He cited new, fiercer attacks at Soledar, where he said no walls were left standing and the ground was covered in Russian corpses. “Thanks to the resilience of our soldiers in Soledar, we have won additional time and additional forces for Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said.
Ukraine strengthens its positions around Bakhmut in the eastern region of Donbass, after days of relentless assaults by Russian forces led by the Wagner mercenary group. Bakhmut and Soledar have been the subject of intense efforts by Moscow to advance in an area where Russian forces have been desperately trying to advance since the start of the summer.
Two women were killed and six people injured, including a 10-year-old girl, after a Russian missile attack on a market in a village in eastern Ukraine on Monday morning, officials said. A 60-year-old woman was among two women killed after the missile hit the market in the village of Shevchenkove, about 80 km (50 miles) southeast of the city of Kharkiv, regional prosecutors said.
Serious doubts have emerged over Russian claims that 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in barracks in Kramatorsk. Journalists visiting the city could not find evidence of large-scale casualties. However, the Kremlin said it was confident its defense ministry was right when it said 600 Ukrainian servicemen were “destroyed” in the attack.
The Kremlin has dismissed a Ukrainian claim that a senior Russian official floated the idea of a possible peace deal with European officials. Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told the country’s public broadcaster on Thursday that Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, had held meetings with European officials in a bid to force Kyiv to sign what he called an unfavorable peace agreement.
Italy will not make a decision on supplying new weapons to Ukraine until next month, according to a report. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni faces resistance to approving a decree sending arms to Ukraine from his allies Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, La Repubblica reported, as well as concerns over costs and military shortages.
New Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss the “crisis” in Ukraine, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. The ministry said Qin called for efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s human rights commissioner will meet his Russian counterpart for talks in Turkey this week, news agencies in both countries reported. Tatiana Moskalkovathe Russian commissioner, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that the meeting with Ukraine Dmytro Lubinets will take place at an international forum in Turkey between Thursday and Saturday. The talks will likely focus on the possibility of further POW exchanges.