Western allies need to "step up" military support to Ukraine, European Commission president tells CNN
From CNN's Ben Kirby
Western allies need to “step up” the level of military support and equipment being sent to Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told CNN's Christiane Amanpour Tuesday.
Ukraine needs “all the military equipment" that "it can handle, and this also includes the advanced systems,” von der Leyen said.
“I hope very much that [at] Ramstein … that there will be a big move forward,” she added, referring to an upcoming meeting in Germany on Friday, where allies will meet Ukrainian defense officials at Ramstein Air Base as part of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.
Germany has come under pressure in recent days over the levels of military support it is sending to the war-torn nation, with the UK urging Berlin to send German-made Leopard tanks and to authorize others to do the same.
Von der Leyen also confirmed that a tenth round of sanctions against Russia is coming.
The tenth round “will be mainly focused on closing these loopholes, on finishing off with these circumventions, and on having massive consequences for those who circumvent the sanctions of the European Union," she said.
11:32 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
Top US general visits Ukrainian training site in Germany
From CNN's Michael Conte, Oren Liebermann and Inke Kappeler
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Monday visited a site in Germany where the US is training Ukrainian forces.
The Defense Department released an image of Milley speaking with US Army officers at Grafenwoehr Training Area where the US began a previously announced joint maneuver and combined arms operations training program for Ukrainian battalions on Sunday.
Milley is in Germany ahead of a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group that he will host with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Base.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and told him that Germany “stands firmly by your side!”
According to a readout of the German Presidential Office on Tuesday, Steinmeier said the two countries “have never been as close and as important as they are now in the face of the Russian war of aggression.”
Steinmeier said: "Germany stands firmly by your side! We support Ukraine politically, humanitarianly, financially, militarily — with what we can and what is necessary, in coordination with our allies. “
9:39 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
Australian military personnel will deploy to the UK to train Ukrainian troops
From CNN’s Alex Hardie
Australian military personnel are set to be deployed to the United Kingdom to help train Ukrainian military, UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace said on Monday.
While speaking in parliament, Wallace said that the UK will train another 20,000 Ukrainian troops in 2023.
“None of the international support is an attack on Russia, or NATO-orchestrated aggression, let alone a proxy war. At its heart, it is about helping Ukraine defend itself, upholding international law and restoring that country’s sovereignty,” Wallace said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russia said it was planning to increase its armed forces to 1.5 million servicemen due to what Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the “proxy war” in Ukraine that the West is waging.
Some background: Australia will be the ninth country to join the UK-led training mission, with Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, New Zealand, and the Netherlands already part of it, Wallace added.
Australia’s Ministry of Defense announced the move in a statement in October, saying it would deploy up to 70 Australian Defense Force personnel to the UK starting this month.
“Our soldiers will be part of a large training program in the United Kingdom to help prepare their Ukrainian mates for their struggle against Russia’s unwarranted and unlawful aggression,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles said in that statement.
11:12 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
Dnipro attack has orphaned 5 children, Ukrainian authorities say
From CNN's Mick Krever
Russia’s attack on a Dnipro apartment block in central Ukraine on Saturday has left five children without parents, Ukrainian police said on Tuesday.
“Five children have been left orphans,” National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko said in a statement on Tuesday. “Three of them are under the guardianship of relatives. Two children are currently under public guardianship, as they have no relatives who could take care of them.”
Klymenko said that 20 people remain missing, and 15 bodies are still unidentified.
At least 44 people were killed in the attack, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service. Among them were five children.
8:53 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
Memorial to victims of Dnpiro missile attack appears in Moscow
From CNN's Seb Shukla
A small memorial at the foot of a statue to a Ukrainian writer appeared in Moscow Tuesday commemorating the dead in the Dnipro apartment bombing.
A CNN producer was able to visit the statue of Lesya Ukrainka in central Moscow and see flowers continuing to be laid. As part of the memorial there is a toy and a framed photograph of the damaged Dnipro apartment block.
A video on social media appeared on Monday night showing a small gathering of flowers and the framed photo.
It is not clear who started the memorial.
Some context: At least 44 people have died following a Russian cruise missile strike on an apartment block in Dnipro over the weekend. The strike is one of the deadliest single attacks of the war and is now confirmed to have killed at least four children.
8:15 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
It's mid-afternoon in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know
From CNN staff
Search teams are continuing to sift through the rubble left by a Russian missile strike on an apartment block in Dnipro Saturday. The attack killed at least 44 people, making it one of the deadliest single attacks of Moscow's nearly eleven-month invasion of Ukraine.
Here are some of the latest developments:
Dnipro death toll: Forty-four people, including four children, died after a Russian cruise missile hit a nine-story block in the central Ukrainian city. President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strike amounts to a "war crime."
Ukraine on the agenda in Davos: World leaders and business moguls gathered at the World Economic Forum, where European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the alliance's support for Kyiv is "unwavering," following a speech by Olena Zelenska.
Australian Open: Tennis Australia said fans will no longer be allowed to bring the Russian or the Belarusian flag to the site of the tennis tournament, afterUkraine’s ambassador to Australia “strongly condemn[ed]” the Russian flag being displayed in the stands at the grand slam.
US officials meet in Kyiv: The State Department said a high-level US 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."
Former Wagner commander seeks asylum: A former commander in Russia’s Wagner private military company has fled to Norway and is seeking asylum after crossing that country’s arctic border, according to Norwegian police and a Russian activist.
Here's where the state of control stands in Ukrainian territory:
7:21 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
Ukrainian presidential adviser resigns over Dnipro missile attack remarks
From CNN's Sebastian Shukla and Maria Kosentko
An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed his resignation, after he suggested the rocket that hit an apartment block in Dnipro was downed by Ukraine.
“I wrote a letter of resignation. I want to set an example of civilized behaviour. A fundamental mistake means resignation," Oleksiy Arestovych, posted on Facebook alongside a photo of his resignation letter.
Arestovych initially suggested that the rocket that hit the apartment block had been downed by Ukrainian air defense systems, rather than a direct hit. The rocket was a Kh-22.
However, the Ukrainian Air Force said Sunday that they did not have the capability to shoot down that type of rocket. Therefore, the attack was a direct hit.
Arestovych posted on Facebook ahead of his resignation that he acknowledges he had made “a serious mistake” on Ukrainian national TV following the Dnipro attack.
“I sincerely apologize to the victims and their relatives, the residents of the Dnipro and everyone who was deeply wounded by my premature error version of the reason the Russian missile hit a residential building," he added.
At least 44 people died, including four children, after a Russian cruise missile struck the nine-story block in the central Ukrainian city. President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack and said Russia's actions amount to a "war crime."
7:00 a.m. ET, January 17, 2023
"Europe will always stand with you," EU chief tells Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska
From CNN's Livvy Doherty
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska that the alliance's support for her nation is "unwavering," as world leaders and policymakers gathered at the World Economic Forum Tuesday.
“In this last year your country has moved the world and has inspired Europe and I can assure you that Europe will always stand with you,” von der Leyen said, following an address by the Ukrainian first lady.
The European Commission president said Europe had implemented “the strongest sanctions ever which leave the Russian economy facing a decade of regression and its industry starved of any modern and critical technologies.”
She reiterated that there would be “no impunity” for Russia’s actions and that there would be “no let-up in our steadfast support to Ukraine.”
Some context: Western allies of Kyiv, including the US, the UK and the European Union, have remained steadfast in their support for Ukraine amid Russia's invasion.
German allies hopeful Chancellor Scholz will greenlight sending tanks to Ukraine
From CNN's Chris Liakos in Davos
The leaders of Poland and Lithuania said they are optimistic that Germany will authorize the export of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, as business tycoons and policymakers came together for the annual World Economic Forum Monday.
“If we still send a lot of military equipment for the defenders of Ukraine, cutting edge military equipment, they still have this potential to stop Russians,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday during a panel session in Davos, Switzerland.
His comments came after Poland announced last week that it plans to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. The country has called on the German government to supply “all sorts of weapons” to Kyiv, as it needs permission from Germany to export German-manufactured Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Duda said he hopes “there are a few partners, a few allies, who will give tanks to Ukraine," when asked about his expectations as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also attended the summit in Davos.
“We hope that producer of the tanks Germany will also participate in this, in my opinion, very good idea. I was asked by Volodymyr Zelensky for that military support few times, he said to me Andrzej we need modern tanks because it’s the only way to stop the Russian invasion now,” Duda added.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that “someone has to take this leadership, to take the decision in order to support Ukraine," when asked about divisions within the alliance.
“I strongly believe that Chancellor Scholz will decide on this and I was a witness of a very important break point or turning point in the thinking or mentality of Germany,” he added.
Some context: Numerous countries in the Western alliance have pledged to soon send tanks for the Ukrainian military to use in its efforts to defend against Russia's invasion.
France, Poland and the United Kingdom for the first time answered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s longstanding call to supply modern battle tanks to Kyiv.
However, Scholz insisted that any such plan would need to be fully coordinated with the whole of the Western alliance, including the United States.
Scholz is scheduled to make an address at the World Economic Forum Wednesday.