Ukrainian forces repelled recent Russian assaults within the east, the Ukrainian army mentioned on January 16, as Western allies debate whether or not to ship support comparable to heavy tanks that Kyiv has requested because it seeks to interrupt by Russian strains.
In the meantime, the loss of life toll from a Russian missile strike on an condominium constructing that housed round 1,700 folks within the central Ukrainian metropolis of Dnipro has risen to 40, Ukraine’s army mentioned. Some 30 individuals are nonetheless unaccounted for, officers added.
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The assault on Dnipro was a part of a widespread wave of Russian missile strikes that included Ukraine’s largest cities — the capital, Kyiv, and Kharkiv.
Throughout a name on January 16 with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov once more denied that Russian forces goal residential buildings, suggesting as a substitute that it was hit on account of Ukrainian air-defense operations.
Russian forces continued to focus on Ukrainian positions and civilian settlements in Luhansk and Donetsk, Ukraine’s Normal Employees mentioned in its every day report on January 16, as uncertainty continued over which aspect controls Soledar — which has been shelled into principally ruins by Russian forces.
The Russian army has mentioned it’s answerable for Soledar, a declare denied by Kyiv, which mentioned that heavy preventing is constant in and across the strategic salt-mining city within the Donetsk area.
A Russian victory in Soledar would enable Moscow’s forces to inch nearer to the larger metropolis of Bakhmut to the south, the place pitched battles have been raging for months.
The British Protection Ministry mentioned that, as of January 15, Ukrainian forces “nearly actually maintained positions” in Soledar, the place intense preventing continued over the weekend.
The Ukrainian army mentioned that Russian forces additionally continued to focus on vitality and civilian infrastructure within the Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kherson areas.
Because the preventing rages on with each side apparently struggling heavy casualties, Kyiv has been pushing for heavier weaponry comparable to tanks and armored autos that may assist it punch holes in Russia’s entrance strains.
Over the weekend, Britain pledged 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, which might make it the primary Western nation to heed the calls.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki ratcheted up strain on Germany on January 16 to comply with swimsuit and supply extra weapons to Ukraine, together with Leopard 2 battle tanks.
Warsaw and Helsinki have already pledged to ship a few of their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Analysts say Leopard 2s are superior to the tanks Russia has deployed and would give Kyiv a determined benefit.
The calls come as U.S. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin prepares to go to Berlin on January 19 after which attend a gathering of the Ukraine Protection Contact Group the next day on the U.S. army base in Ramstein to debate additional help — together with army support — for Ukraine with allies.
Austin’s go to comes as U.S. Normal Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, mentioned an expanded and extra complicated combat-training program of Ukrainian forces started in Germany on January 15.
Milley mentioned this system, which is concentrated on large-scale fight, goals to get a battalion of about 500 Ukrainian troops again on the battlefield to combat the Russians within the subsequent 5 or 6 weeks.
Milley plans to go to the Grafenwoehr Coaching Space, the place this system is beneath method, on January 16.
“This help is admittedly vital for Ukraine to have the ability to defend itself,” Milley instructed the Related Press. “And we’re hoping to have the ability to pull this collectively right here in brief order.”
America has already educated greater than 3,100 Ukrainian troops on find out how to use and keep sure weapons techniques, together with howitzers, armored autos, and the Excessive-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). Different Western allies are additionally conducting coaching on the weapons they supply.
WATCH: Firefighters continued to clear the rubble and extricate survivors within the Ukrainian metropolis of Dnipro on January 15, a day after a Russian missile strike hit a nine-story condominium constructing.
In a separate improvement, German Protection Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on January 16 after coming beneath heavy criticism over Berlin’s hesitant response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Lambrecht’s departure got here as Germany was as soon as once more beneath intense strain to offer battle tanks to Kyiv after different Ukraine allies pledged such gear.
Peskov on January 16 denied that such deliveries would have an effect on the course of the battle, saying that British tanks promised to Ukraine will “burn” on the battlefield.
“The particular army operation will proceed. These tanks are burning and can burn,” Peskov mentioned, utilizing Moscow’s time period for the Ukraine offensive.
He added that such deliveries will “not change the scenario on the bottom. It should solely lengthen this story.”
The chief of the UN’s nuclear watchdog on January 16 mentioned the company was boosting its presence in Ukraine to assist keep away from a nuclear accident after Russian strikes have been additionally reported within the southern Zaporizhzhya area, residence to Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant.
Presently, solely the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya plant, which is close to the entrance line, has a everlasting IAEA presence of as much as 4 consultants.
“@IAEAorg is increasing its presence in #Ukraine to assist forestall a nuclear accident throughout the ongoing battle,” Rafael Grossi mentioned on Twitter.
“I am proud to guide this mission to Ukraine, the place we’re deploying in the entire nation’s [nuclear power plants] to offer help in nuclear security & safety,” he mentioned.
Additionally on January 16, Belarus mentioned Moscow and Minsk started joint air pressure drills. Belarus mentioned the drills are defensive, however the announcement got here as issues are on the rise that Moscow is pushing Minsk to affix the struggle in Ukraine.