Russia Ukraine war live: Warning Putin could fire nuclear weapons as his forces advance on Avdiivka

Firefighters battle blaze in Ukraine’s Odessa after Russian airstrike on residential building

A warning has been issued over Vladimir Putin firing nuclear weapons as the Russian president’s forces advance on Avdiivka.

A leading Western think-tank said the war in Ukraine has dented Russia’s confidence in its conventional forces and increased the importance to Moscow of non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNWs) as a means of deterring and defeating NATO in a potential future conflict.

Monday’s report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) raised the question of whether Russia might look to fire a NSNW in the belief that the West lacks the resolve to deliver a nuclear response.

NSNWs are nuclear weapons with a range of up to 5,500 km, as opposed to longer-range ones that Russia or the US could use to strike each other’s homeland.

Meanwhile, a US war think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), reported Ukrainian military observer, Kostyantyn Mashovets, said Russian soldiers had advanced to the south and south-west of the eastern industrial town of Avdiivka, currently held by Ukraine.

Elsewhere, in his first visit to neighbouring Ukraine as prime minister, Poland’s Donald Tusk delivered a message of friendship to President Volodymyr Zelensky.


Ukraine war drives shift in Russian nuclear thinking – study

The war in Ukraine has dented Russia‘s confidence in its conventional forces and increased the importance to Moscow of non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNWs) as a means of deterring and defeating NATO in a potential future conflict, a leading Western think-tank said on Monday.

NSNWs include all nuclear weapons with a range of up to 5,500 km (3,400 miles), starting with tactical arms designed for use on the battlefield – as opposed to longer-range strategic nuclear weapons that Russia or the U.S. could use to strike each other’s homeland.

Monday’s report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) raised the question of whether Russia might be emboldened to fire a NSNW in the belief that the West lacks the resolve to deliver a nuclear response.

“The Russian perception of the lack of credible Western will to use nuclear weapons or to accept casualties in conflict further reinforces Russia‘s aggressive NSNW thought and doctrine,” it said.

It said the logic of using a NSNW would be to escalate a conflict in a controlled fashion, “either to prevent the US and NATO from engaging, or to coerce them into war termination on Russian terms”.

Moscow denies wielding nuclear threats but several of President Vladimir Putin’s statements since the onset of the war in Ukraine have been interpreted as such in the West – starting on day one of the Russian invasion when he warned of “consequences that you have never faced in your history” for anyone who tried to hinder or threaten Russia.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 January 2024 18:30


Russia sharply criticises Western military aid to Ukraine at UN meeting

Russia sharply criticised Western military aid to Ukraine at a UN meeting on Monday.

Just before it started, diplomats from more than 40 countries surrounded Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya who read a joint statement underscoring Russia’s “hypocrisy” in criticizing lawful arms transfers to help Ukraine defend itself.

Ukraine’s supporters called Monday’s meeting another Russian attempt “to distract from its war of aggression,” and they condemned military support to Moscow — drones from Iran and ballistic missiles from North Korea — in violation of UN sanctions, as well as military equipment from Belarus.

Tara Cobham23 January 2024 05:00


Russia’s ally China raises concern over threat to global security from war in Ukraine

Russia’s ally China warned that further global chaos could impact the slowing global economy at a UN meeting on Monday.

The council heard many calls for stepped up peace efforts, and there was growing concern from China about the increasing threat to global security from the ongoing war in Ukraine at the same time that Israel and Hamas are at war in Gaza following the militant group’s surprise attacks in southern Israel on 7 October.

“We must spare no effort to stem the spillover of the (Ukraine) crisis at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict drags on, and some hotspot issues are at the risk of flaring up,” China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said. “The world cannot afford to see further spreading of geopolitical clashes at the same time the global economy is slowing down.”

Zhang told the council “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected,” which Ukraine has insisted on and which Russia has violated by annexing four Ukrainian regions. But the Chinese ambassador criticized Ukraine for seeking to join NATO and warned Kyiv, without naming Russia, that this would deepen Moscow’s security concerns.

Zhang urged the resumption of direct Russia-Ukraine negotiations as soon as possible. He did not mention the peace plan China issued in February 2023 that called for a ceasefire, negotiations and an end to sanctions against Russia but he did focus on the war’s disruption to the world economy.

“The negative impacts of the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have added snow to the icy cold global economy,” Zhang said. “Countries with significant influence should — refrain from politicizing, instrumentalizing or weaponizing the world economy, and should instead work together to maintain global food, energy and financial security as well as the stability and smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains.”

Tara Cobham23 January 2024 04:00


Russia rules out any peace plan backed by Kyiv and the West

Russia’s foreign minister clashed with the United States and Ukraine’s supporters at a UN meeting Monday where Moscow ruled out any peace plan backed by Kyiv and the West.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, claimed that Ukrainian forces have been “a complete failure” on the battlefield and are “incapable” of defeating or weakening Russia.

He told the UN Security Council that Moscow is always ready to negotiate peace, but he claimed peace plans presented by Ukraine and its Western “masters” are “only used as cover to continue war and continue getting money from Western taxpayers.”

“All of these formulas are a road to nowhere, and the sooner Washington, London, Paris and Brussels realize this the better for Ukraine and the West,” he said, warning that their “crusade against Russia has already created new, clear, reputational and existential risks.”

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood dismissed Lavrov’s claims as “just blatant disinformation” and countered that it was Russia’s 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine that started the war, and it is President Vladimir Putin ‘s “single-minded pursuit of the obliteration of Ukraine and subjugation of its people that is prolonging it.”

“Russia’s imperialist designs are obvious,” and “for Russia, anything other than capitulation — total capitulation by Ukraine is the only solution, and that’s just not acceptable to the international community,” Wood said. stressing that the war could end tomorrow if Moscow withdrew hundreds of thousands of troops in Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

Delegates attend a Security Council meeting on International Security and Ukraine on Monday at the United Nations in New York City

(Getty Images)

Tara Cobham23 January 2024 03:00


Grant Shapps is right – the world must do all it can to avoid a global conflict

In a remarkably candid speech the other day, defence secretary Grant Shapps, reflecting on the conflicts that have built up around the world since the end of the Cold War, said that “we find ourselves at the dawn of a new era” and that we are “moving from a post-war to a pre-war world”.

It was intended as a warning, if not an apocalyptic prophecy – but it was, if anything, understated, and it already feels out of date. The war in Ukraine is, after all, almost two years old, with little sign of an early conclusion – and Europe feels threatened. It is also more than three months since Hamas launched its war on Israel, and Israel responded with unprecedented (and often disproportionate) force.

Again, there is no early end in sight, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to continue the conflict and reject the principle of Palestinian statehood has exacerbated tensions once again. That conflict has spread to Yemen, where Houthi forces – effectively a de facto government in much of that country – have waged a sporadic war against international shipping in the Red Sea, in support of Hamas.

Tara Cobham23 January 2024 02:00


Recap: Watch as firefighters battle flames in Russian chemical terminal

Firefighters battle flames in Russian chemical terminal after reported drone strikes

Tara Cobham23 January 2024 01:00


Poland’s prime minister visits Ukraine in latest show of foreign support

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk arrived in Ukraine’s capital Monday for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on how Poland can keep supporting the country’s almost two-year war with Russia and resolve a dispute between the neighboring nations over grain shipments and trucking.

Tusk, who returned to power in Poland last month and is keen to show that a change in government won’t bring a change in Ukraine policy, was also due to meet with Ukrainian Defense Minister Denys Shmyhal.

“There are some conflicts of interest, we know it well and we will talk about them, but not only in the spirit of friendship, which is obvious, but with the attitude to solve these problems as soon as possible, not to maintain or multiply them,” Tusk said, according to comments posted on X, formerly Twitter, by his office.

Tara Cobham23 January 2024 00:00


Ukraine ‘must and will be on the world’s agenda’, says Zelenskiy

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukraine “must and will be on the world’s agenda” as the country aims to strengthen its position.

He said Ukraine continues to work with its partners in the coming months in his nightly video address posted on social media on Monday.

Tara Cobham22 January 2024 23:00


Recap: Zelenskyy calls Trump’s rhetoric about Ukraine’s war with Russia ‘very dangerous’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was worried at the prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House, branding Trump’s claim that he could stop Ukraine‘s war with Russia in 24 hours as “very dangerous.”

In an interview with Channel 4 News that aired Friday, Zelenskyy invited the former president and front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination to visit Kyiv, but only if Trump delivers on his promise.

“Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kyiv. If you can stop the war during 24 hours, I think it will be enough to come,” Zelenskyy said.

Tara Cobham22 January 2024 20:08


Ukraine among topics discussed by Biden and Sunak on Monday, says White House

US President Joe Biden spoke to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday about the Red Sea, Gaza, and Ukraine, White House spokesman John Kirby said.

“They talked about what’s going on in the Red Sea and the need for a continued international multilateral approach to disrupting and degrading Houthi capabilities,” Kirby told reporters in Washington.

Biden and Sunak also spoke about the need to bring down the number of civilian casualties and to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza and the urgent need for supplemental funding and support for Ukraine, Kirby said.

Tara Cobham22 January 2024 19:11

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