Our live coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine has moved here.
A high-level United States delegation met Monday in Kyiv with top Ukrainian officials "to reaffirm the United States’ strong and steadfast commitment to Ukraine and its defense against Russia’s unprovoked aggression," according to a State Department readout.
Here's who was on the US delegation:
- Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman
- Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer
- Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl
Here's who they met with in Ukraine:
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
- Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal
- Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov
- Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov
- Ukrenergo CEO Volodymyr Kudrytskyi
"Prior to the visit, the delegation made stops in Germany and Poland to review U.S. security assistance to Ukraine," the readout said.
During the meetings, the leaders talked about how international assistance "has helped stabilize Ukraine's economy" as well as how the US and Ukraine could continue to have an economic and trade relationship when the war is over, according to the readout.
Leaders also discussed efforts to repair Ukraine's energy infrastructure, it added.
Lithuania’s minister of foreign affairs said the only way to end the war in Ukraine is for Western allies to send weapons, particularly tanks, to counter Russian attacks.
“The discussion in the West is still about the end of the war, and there are those who believe that maybe a frozen conflict would be suited better, which I completely disagree with that notion," Gabrielius Landsbergis told CNN’s Becky Anderson in an interview on Monday. "This thinking I think is the main obstacle for some countries to send the weapons that Ukrainians need.”
As Russian attacks increase on civilian areas of Ukraine, Western allies have stepped up their support for Ukrainian forces with more advanced weaponry. Germany, however, has received some heightened criticism over its reticence to send Leopard 2 battle tanks.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on the German government to supply “all sorts of weapons” to Ukraine on Monday.
Asked whether the Germans should be doing more, Landsbergis agreed. And he also noted that many countries had procured German-made tanks.
"They are willing to send the tanks to Ukraine. So far, they have not got a greenlight from Berlin, and I truly truly hope that this might change – and that will reduce the pressure on Germany itself,” he added.
Rescue crews in Ukraine are still working to reach victims under debris after a Russian missile hit an apartment building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro this weekend.
The strike killed at least 40 people — making it one of the deadliest single attacks of the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack a "war crime."
Meantime, the UN nuclear watchdog is working on setting up a permanent presence at all of Ukraine's nuclear power facilities.
Here are the top headlines:
- Dnipro attack: The Russian strike on a residential building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro has killed 40 people, including three children, and injured 75 others, emergency services said Monday. The core of that building is now gone, transformed into a mountain of jumbled concrete. Apartments were sliced in half when the missile – with a warhead of nearly one metric ton – penetrated all the way to the basement. Rescuers have removed 8,500 metric tons of debris in an effort to reach victims.
- Russia denies targeting apartments: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Dnipro strike was the result of counter-missiles and air defense, contradicting Ukraine's claims that a Russian Kh-22 missile was used. In response to a question about the attack, Peskov said the Russian Armed Forces only strike "against military targets, whether they are obvious or disguised," and not at residential buildings.
- Ongoing fighting in Soledar: Russian fighters from the Wagner private military company appear to have captured the main train station west of Soledar, the town in the Donetsk region over which Russia appeared to have largely established control last week, according to a video posted on Wagner’s Telegram channel. Ukrainian and Russian authorities have not commented on the claim. But, the Ukrainian Armed Forces Eastern Group said fighting is ongoing, with a spokesperson saying, "Ukraine maintains its positions in the town."
- Patriot training: Ukrainian troops have arrived at Fort Sill in Oklahoma to begin training on the Patriot missile system, the US Army base announced Monday. The training will take “several months” on the advanced but complex long-range aerial defense system, according to Pentagon officials.
- Ukraine's nuclear power plants: The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency was at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant to mark the permanent presence of the nuclear watchdog at the site. While the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant already has IAEA team members on location, experts will also be stationed at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant in western Ukraine in "the coming days." The director of the IAEA will also visit the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, as well as Chernobyl.
- Pressure on Germany: Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is calling on the German government to supply “all sorts of weapons” to Ukraine. It comes after the resignation of German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht. She has faced criticism as Germany is under increasing pressure to ramp up military support for Kyiv, which has been insignificant compared to support from other Western allies during her time as minister.
- Belarus-Russia aviation drills: Joint military aviation drills involving Belarusian and Russian forces are underway, the Belarusian defense ministry said. The exercises are taking place on Belarusian territory and the main goal is to "increase operational compatibility in the joint performance of combat training missions," said the ministry. Kyiv has, for some time, warned that Russia may once again attempt an invasion of Ukraine from Belarus.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday visited the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant to mark the permanent presence of the nuclear watchdog at the site.
The head of the agency is in Ukraine this week to "establish a continuous presence of nuclear safety and security experts at all the country’s nuclear power facilities," the IAEA previously announced.
“Now we are setting this permanent presence here,” Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “I think it is highly symbolic that we start this cold evening here, but with a warm spirit and with great determination.”
While the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant already has IAEA team members on location, experts will also be stationed at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant in western Ukraine in "the coming days," the IAEA said in a statement on Saturday, ahead of the director's visit.
Grossi will also visit the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, as well as Chernobyl. Two IAEA members are expected to be posted at each site, the watchdog said.
A former commander in Russia’s private military company, Wagner, has fled to Norway and is seeking asylum after crossing that country’s arctic border, according to Norwegian police and a Russian activist.
Andrei Medvedev, in an interview with a Russian activist who helps people seek asylum abroad, said that he feared for his life after refusing to renew his service with Wagner.
Medvedev said that after completing his contract and refusing to serve another, he was afraid of being executed in the same way asYevgeny Nuzhin — a defector from Wagner who was killed on camera with a sledgehammer.
“We were just thrown to fight like cannon fodder,” Medvedev told Vladimir Osechkin, head of Gulagu.net, a human rights advocacy group, in a conversation published on YouTube.
A spokesperson for Norway’s Police Security Service confirmed to CNN on Monday that Medvedev was in Norway and seeking asylum.
“This is so far a local police investigation,” Eirik Veum told CNN. “But the Security Service, we are informed, and follow the investigation of course.”
In a phone call from Norway with Osechkin, which was published online, Medvedev said that he crossed the border near the Russian town of Nikel. That aligns with the account of the Finnmark Police District, which without naming Medvedev said that it made an “undramatic” arrest of a man in Pasvik on the Norwegian side of the border at 1:58 a.m. on Jan. 13.
In his own account, Medvedev said that he crossed the border and approached the first house he could find. “It was a miracle I managed to get here,” he told Osechkin in the phone call.
Medvedev had previously tried to cross into Finland twice and failed, Osechkin told CNN Monday. The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, confirmed on Telegram on Monday that Medvedev had served in his company, and said that he “should have been prosecuted for attempting to mistreat prisoners.”
In a December conversation with Osechkin, which was published on YouTube, Medvedev denied that he had committed any crimes in Ukraine.
“I signed a contract with the group on the 6th of July 2022. I had been appointed commander of the first squad of the 4th platoon of the 7th assault detachment,” he recalled. “When the prisoners started arriving, the situation in Wagner really changed. They stopped treating us like humans.”
He claimed that prisoners were “shot dead for refusing to fight, or betrayal.”
“I am afraid for my life,” Medvedev said in December. “I did not commit any crime. I have refused to participate in maneuvers of Yevgeny Prigozhin.”
Osechkin told CNN that he began helping Medvedev after being approached by a friend at the end of November.
Ukrainian troops have arrived at Fort Sill in Oklahoma to begin training on the Patriot missile system, the US Army base announced Monday.
CNN was first to report that the training was set to begin as soon as this week.
Fort Sill is home to the Fires Center of Excellence where the US conducts Patriot training for its own military and other countries.
“The same instructors who teach U.S., allied and partner nations will conduct the Ukrainian training, and these classes will not detract from the ongoing training missions at Fort Sill,” the base said in a statement.
The training will take “several months” on the advanced but complex long-range aerial defense system, according to Pentagon officials. It’s not clear how much the military can accelerate the training program.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called the Russian attack on an apartment building in Dnipro a “war crime” and vowed to bring its perpetrators to justice.
“There is no doubt: everyone who is guilty of this war crime will be identified and brought to justice,” Zelensky said in his evening address.
At least 40 people have died and 25 remain missing following the attack.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) named six members of the Russian military whom it claimed were involved in the strike, according to what the agency described as "preliminary investigation" findings.
“This strike on Dnipro, as well as other similar strikes, falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” Zelensky said. “And we will use all available opportunities — both national and international — to ensure that all Russian murderers, that everyone who gives and executes orders on missile terror against our people, receive legal sentences. And that they serve their sentences.”
Russian fighters from the Wagner private military company appear to have captured the main train station west of Soledar, the town in the Donetsk region over which Russia appeared to have largely established control last week, according to a video posted on Wagner’s Telegram channel Monday.
CNN has been unable to verify that claim and Ukrainian and Russian authorities have not commented on the claim.
The station is Sil (or Sol, in Russian) just about three kilometers northwest of Soledar and about 14 kilometers north of Bakhmut. It lies along the main north-south railway and road.
In the video, seven Russian fighters are holding a Wagner flag in front of Sil’s train station. “Well, look here, we've taken Sol,” one man says. The men then fire their weapons in the air, and the camera pans to the rail tracks.
In the Ukrainian military’s regular update Monday morning, it said that an attack on Sil had been repelled “over the past 24 hours.”