After a visit to the border region with Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy once again emphasized the strength of the Ukrainians in the face of the ongoing threat from Moscow. According to US reports, after suffering heavy losses, Russia is meanwhile taking outdated tanks from the depots, some of which date back to the 1950s.
Selenskyj after a visit to the troops: We are stronger
"The threat is constant, our border is constantly being shelled," said Zelenskyy yesterday in his nightly video speech about the impressions of his visit to the Sumy region in north-eastern Ukraine. "But life and our people are obviously stronger than all fears."
During his visit to Sumy, Zelenskyi met the commanders of the border troops deployed there. "The strong positions along the entire border with the terrorist state (Russia) are a result of the strength of our people, who are ready to defend the border at any time," said Zelenskyy. In the north-east, Ukrainian border troops are shielding a several hundred-kilometre stretch of the common border with Russia in order to prevent Russian units from penetrating there.
Situation in Bachmut "very dynamic"
According to a Ukrainian military officer, the situation in the heavily contested city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine is "very dynamic". Sometimes even the enemy has tactical advantages, said the spokesman for the Ukrainian Eastern Front, Serhiy Cherevatyy, on television in the evening. But these benefits are predictable. "We recognize them and take countermeasures."
There is no strategic advantage whatsoever. "The situation is stable but difficult," said Cherevaty. "Combat and countermeasures are about denying the opponent the ability to successfully expand their attacks." The fight for Bachmut has been going on for months. The mercenary troupe Wagner, acting on the Russian side, threatens the city from the east, north and south.
Pentagon: Russia wants to use old tanks
According to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the massive destruction of armored vehicles by the Ukrainian military has forced Russia to resort to decades-old Soviet-era tanks. Ukraine has depleted Russia's inventory of armored vehicles "in a way no one could have imagined," Austin said at a Senate hearing. "That's why we see Russia now scrambling for T-54 and T-55 tanks given the extent of the damage Ukraine has inflicted on them."
The tank models were essentially developed by the Soviet Union after World War II. According to the US Institute for War Studies (ISW), the tanks have significantly lighter armor and smaller guns than more recent models.
Ukrainian grid operator promises electricity
Despite the large number of Russian rocket attacks on its energy infrastructure in winter, Ukraine does not expect a power shortage for the next six months. "The Ukrainian energy system is part of the European one, so we have the opportunity to import electricity if our own is not enough," said the head of the state energy company Ukrenerho, Volodymyr Kudrytskyj. In this way, the situation in the spring and summer months in the energy system can be balanced. "But you have to prepare well for next winter," emphasized the 36-year-old. The main focus here is on repairing damaged power plant blocks from thermal and hydroelectric power plants.
Russia invaded Ukraine more than 13 months ago. From October onwards, it attacked the neighboring country's power grid massively with rockets and drones. As a result, in many areas of Ukraine electricity was only available by the hour. Millions of people suffered from problems with the water and district heating supply.
Kiev: Iranian drones with components from the West
According to the Ukrainian military, the so-called kamikaze drones used by Russia from Iranian production consist to a large extent of components from Western production. As reported by Ukrainian media on Tuesday, experts disassembled and examined the downed and less damaged Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drones. Most of the components come from the West and can be ordered, for example, from the Chinese online retailer Aliexpress.
The most important component is a CRPA antenna, which receives signals from a navigation satellite and therefore cannot be disturbed by the electronic air defense system. Even if the satellite connection fails, the drone can continue its flight with near-precision. The required technology was developed in Israel, among other places, it said.
What is important today
Iran's Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian meets his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. Iran supports Moscow in the war against Ukraine with so-called kamikaze drones.
In a current hour in the German Bundestag requested by the coalition factions, the MPs want to talk about the massacre in the Kiev suburb of Butscha a year ago. SPD, Greens and FDP are calling for a commemoration and a "criminal investigation". In the spring of 2022, after the withdrawal of Russian troops, hundreds of civilian bodies were found in Bucha.