Baltic countries urge Germany to send tanks ‘now’; Ukraine adviser tells allies ‘think faster’ over arms supply
An adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that caution and slow decision making over whether to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine is costing lives. Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Saturday his frustration at “global indecision” over arms supply to Ukraine: “Today’s indecision is killing more of our people. Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster.”
Baltic countries have told Germany to send the tanks “now” to Ukraine after perceived heel-dragging by the government in Berlin. The Latvian foreign minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, tweeted they are “needed to stop Russian aggression”. The same tweet was put out by his counterparts in Estonia and Lithuania.
The German defence minister, Boris Pistoriusm said that despite heightened expectations “we still cannot say when a decision will be taken, and what the decision will be, when it comes to the Leopard tank”. Germany has said it is doing a stocktake of its current tank numbers ahead of a possible decision.
Some 50 nations agreed on Friday to provide Kyiv with billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware, including armoured vehicles and munitions needed to push back Russian forces.
A tearful Volodymyr Zelenskiy attended a memorial service on Saturday to commemorate seven senior interior ministry officials killed in a helicopter crash on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The interior minister, Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy and five others were killed when their helicopter plummeted amid fog into a nursery on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv. Including those on the ground, a total of 14 people were killed.
Agence France-Presse has reported the Russian army as saying its troops have launched an offensive in the Zaporizhzhia region in south-east Ukraine. Russian forces claimed to have taken “more advantageous lines and positions” during the assault.
A 17-year-old boy has been injured by Russian shelling of Sumy oblast, Ukraine.
Russian attacks on Friday killed one person in Kharkiv, three people in Donetsk and one person in Zaporizhzhia. Four were also injured in Kherson, according to Zelenskiy’s office.
The war in Ukraine is in a state of deadlock, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. In an intelligence update, it said there was a possibility of Russian advances around the heavily contested city of Bakhmut in the Donbas region, but otherwise little movement.
Near Kremina in the north-east, Ukraine’s forces have made small gains and defended against Russian counterattacks.