Russia Ukraine war live: Moscow playing with lives of Ukrainian PoWs, says Zelensky

Moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “playing with the emotions” of the Ukrainian prisoners of war after a Russian military transport plane with 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers was shot down, killing all of them.

“It is clear that the Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners, the feelings of their loved ones and the emotions of our society,” the war-time Ukrainian president said in his evening address.

He said the facts concerned with the plane downed on Russian territory must be presented.

The Ilyushin Il-76 military aircraft carrying 74 people – 65 prisoners of war, six Russian crew members and three Russian soldiers – was shot down near the Russian city Belgorod, just 40km north of the border with Ukraine on Wednesday.

Photos and videos of the plane crash on social media and Telegram channels show it dwindled down after an explosion near Yablonovo village in the northeast Belgorod at 11am yesterday.

The Ukrainian military accused Russia of putting the lives of its prisoners of war at risk, adding that they had not been informed by Russia to ensure providing a safe airspace over Belgorod – a territory witnessing heavy aerial attacks in the past year.


Russia attacks Odesa with drones and missiles

Russia launched 14 attack drones and five missiles at Ukraine overnight, Ukraine’s air force said, with air defence systems destroying 11 of the drones.

Odesa regional Governor Oleh Kiper said on Telegram that two people were injured during the attack on the Black Sea port city.

“Despite the effective and fruitful work of air defence to repel enemy attacks, unfortunately, an industrial facility was hit in Odesa, and residential buildings and civilian infrastructure were damaged,” Kiper said.

Alexander Butler25 January 2024 07:25


UK offers cruise-missile swap to Germany to aid Ukraine, says German newspaper

Britain has offered Germany a swap of cruise missiles that could allow the German government a way to overcome concerns over a suggested delivery of missiles to Ukraine, Germen newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday.

Kyiv has been pushing Berlin to supply its Taurus missiles, which could give Ukraine the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory, but the German government has remained hesitant out of concern that could trigger an international escalation of the conflict.

The paper cited government and diplomatic sources as saying that the British government has proposed to Berlin several weeks ago that it could export Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine and, in turn, receive the German Taurus missiles.

The office of German chancellor Olaf Scholz has been analysing this proposal, the report added.

The German government declined to comment.

A person familiar with the negotiations said that the proposed swap could potentially find support in Berlin.

The German government has repeatedly said it will only act in concert with Washington on arms deliveries to Ukraine.

A handout photo made available by the press office of the President of Ukraine shows Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) walking with General Darryl Williams


Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 06:00


Moscow playing with lives of Ukrainian prisoners, says Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Vladimir Putin of playing with the emotions of the Ukrainian prisoners of war after a Russian military transport plane with 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers was shot down, killing all of them.

“It is clear that the Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners, the feelings of their loved ones and the emotions of our society,” Mr Zelensky said in his evening address.

The Ukrainian war-time president said the facts concerned with the plane downed on Russian territory must be presented.

“All clear facts must be established. To the extent possible, given that the aircraft crashed on Russian territory – beyond our control. ‘Facts’ is the key word now,” he said, without directly confirming who shot down the plane.

Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence wing said the country was not alerted about ensuring airspace security like in previous swaps, or the information of what transport will be used and which routes will be taken. No reliable information about who was on the downed plane was shared with Ukraine, officials said.

“On this basis, we may be talking about planned and deliberate actions by Russia to destabilise the situation in Ukraine and weaken international support for our state,” GUR said in a statement on Telegram.

Arpan Rai25 January 2024 05:43


ICYMI – Doomsday Clock remains at 90 seconds to midnight

The Doomsday Clock has remained at 90 seconds to midnight for a second year in a row as scientists say “humanity continues to face an unprecedented level of danger”.

Maintaining last year’s setting – the closest to 12 it has ever been – means the clock’s keepers believe the threat of global apocalypse has not cooled off in the past 12 months.

And they emphasised it is not an indication of stability in the world.

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 05:00


ICYMI – Nato signs £950m contract so Ukraine has more artillery rounds: ‘The war is now a battle for ammunition’

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has become a battle for ammunition, the head of Nato has warned, as the alliance signed a £950m contract to buy thousands of artillery rounds to help Kyiv’s battle against Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance had signed contracts to purchase 220,000 rounds of 155-millimetre ammunition.

“This is important to defend our own territory, to build up our own stocks, but also to continue to support Ukraine,” Mr Stoltenberg said. “Russia’s war in Ukraine has become a battle for ammunition, so allies must refill their own stocks, as we continue to support Ukraine.”

The announcement came just hours after Russia launched more than 40 missiles into Ukraine’s two biggest cities – Kyiv and Kharkiv – killing at least seven people.

Read the full story by Tom Watling here…

Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 04:00


Voices – Dud’s army: How on earth will Gen Z cope with conscription?

These kids today, with their iPhones and their TikTok dances and their impenetrable slang. What does “based” even mean? Based on what?

Generation Z have it so easy. They don’t know what it was like for the rest of us, growing up in the real world, before everything got all “woke” and PC. You can’t say anything these days. You know what would really sort them all out? Being sent to war!

Yes, that might seem like a wild overreaction to a non-existent problem. And no, I’ve never personally been to war, nor have most people who agree with conscription as a concept. But trust me on this: mandatory service may be closer than you think.

Read the full take by Ryan Coogan here…

Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 03:00


Britons face call-up to fight in the armed forces if UK goes to war with Russia, top army chief warns

Britain must be prepared to form a “citizen army” of tens of thousands in the event of war with countries such as Russia, the head of the army has warned in an ominous intervention.

Speaking at a conference on armoured warfare in southwest London, Gen Sanders said that within three years Britain should be able to increase its army to 120,000, including regular soldiers, reserves and a “strategic reserve” group – which is understood to mean retired troops who have been recalled.

According to the latest Ministry of Defence statistics, army regulars and reservists currently total 102,520.

“Our friends in Eastern and Northern Europe, who feel the proximity of the Russian threat more acutely, are already acting prudently, laying the foundations for national mobilisation,” he said.

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 02:00


The UN refugee chief says that he’s worried that the war in Ukraine is being forgotten

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Wednesday that he’s worried that the war in Ukraine has been forgotten as the country prepares to mark two years since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi also told The Associated Press in an interview that it was important to remind the international community that Ukrainians were living through a brutal war despite other global crises taking the spotlight.

Speaking at the end of a weeklong visit to Ukraine, Grandi said that the invasion, which was launched by Moscow on Feb. 24, 2022, continues to bring devastation to civilians with houses destroyed, health centers hit and many facilities not functioning.

“I think the big difference from last year to this year is that this year, this is not news anymore in the world,” Grandi said. “There is somehow a trend towards getting used to Ukrainian suffering.”

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 01:00


What we know about the plane crash so far – What was the planned prisoner exchange?

Russia’s defence ministry said an exchange had been due to take place at the Kolotilovka checkpoint on the border between Russia and Ukraine.

It said the plane that was shot down had been flying from the Chkalovsky airbase near Moscow to Belgorod, in which case it would have been in the final stage of its flight.

Ukrainian military intelligence confirmed a swap was planned for Wednesday and said Kyiv had met all the terms for it, but it was not informed by Russia about the means of transport for the prisoners of war, and their routes. It said that unlike in previous exchanges, Ukraine had not been asked to guarantee the security of airspace over Belgorod at a specific time.

Russian lawmaker Kartapolov said the plane had not been escorted by Russian fighter planes because the flight had been agreed with the Ukrainians in advance. He said a second Il-76 transport plane carrying around 80 more Ukrainian soldiers to the exchange had managed to turn around.

Russia and Ukraine have carried out several big prisoner swaps in the course of the war.

Russian state TV journalist Margarita Simonyan published what she said was a list of the 65 names of the Ukrainian POWs on the plane. Reuters could not independently confirm it.

Traffic police officers block off a road near the crash site of the Russian Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane outside the village of Yablonov


Lydia Patrick25 January 2024 00:00


What we know about the plane crash- What caused it?

Russia’s defence ministry accused the “Kyiv regime” of shooting down the plane, saying Russian radar had detected the launch of two Ukrainian missiles from Ukraine‘s Kharkiv region.

Earlier, Russian lawmaker and former general Andrei Kartapolov had spoken of three missiles and said they were either U.S. Patriots or German-made IRIS-Ts.

He said investigators would determine exactly what kind of missiles were used when they recovered fragments from the crash site.

Ukrainian military intelligence did not confirm that Ukraine had shot down the plane, and said Russia’s accusations could be “a planned action to destabilise the situation in Ukraine and weaken international support for our state”.

Lydia Patrick24 January 2024 23:00

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