January 25, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Leinz Vales, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT) January 26, 2023
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12:10 p.m. ET, January 25, 2023

Biden: US and Europe are fully united in support of Ukraine 

From CNN's Aditi Sangal


Marking 11 months of Russia's war in Ukraine as of yesterday, US President Joe Biden said that he had a call with NATO allies to coordinate their support for Ukraine.

"The United States has worked in lockstep with our allies and partners around the world to make sure the Ukrainian people are in the strongest possible position to defend their nation, their families and against the brutal, truly brutal aggression of Russia."

Europe and the US are "fully united," he added, saying on his call with NATO leaders, they spoke about continuing "our close coordination and full support of Ukraine."

"The expectation on the part of Russia is we're going to break up. We're not going to stay united. But we are fully, thoroughly, totally united," he added.

12:31 p.m. ET, January 25, 2023

NOW: Biden to announce US is sending tanks to Ukraine

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein

US President Joe Biden is speaking from the White House about continued support for Ukraine and is set to announce he plans to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing the administration’s longstanding resistance to requests from Kyiv for the highly sophisticated but maintenance-heavy vehicles.

Biden spoke with the leaders of Germany, the UK, Italy and France prior to his remarks.

Germany earlier announced it would send Ukraine Leopard 2 tanks, while CNN reported yesterday that the US plans to send its M1 Abrams tanks to the country.

11:48 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

Leopard tanks "will significantly strengthen" Ukraine's combat capabilities, NATO chief says


NATO Security General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Germany’s announcement of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, telling CNN that it “will significantly strengthen their combat capabilities.”

"We have seen how the Russians are digging in and are building fortifications," Stoltenberg said. "If we want Ukraine to be able to both to defend against upcoming Russian offenses, we know the Russians are planning for new offenses, and also if we want Ukraine to be able to retake territory, we need to give them more armor, more heavy and modern weapons."

Berlin said it will provide a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks, with the training of the Ukrainian crews to begin quickly in Germany. In addition to training, the package will also include logistics, ammunition and maintenance of the systems.

Asked if the introduction of the Leopard tanks and reports that the US is finalizing its plans to send Abrams tanks will give Ukraine the capability to win, Stoltenberg said Western allies "need to provide even more support, not only to ensure that Ukraine survives but actually ensure that Ukraine is able to liberate more territory, win and prevail as a sovereign."

11:36 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

Biden spoke with other foreign leaders ahead of White House remarks on Ukraine 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

US President Joe Biden spoke with his German, United Kingdom, Italian and French counterparts Wednesday morning, moments before he’s set to give remarks on continued support for Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room. 

The White House said Biden spoke with President Macron of France, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Meloni of Italy, and Prime Minister Sunak of the United Kingdom "as part of our close coordination on support for Ukraine.” 

Biden's remarks come after Germany confirmed it will send a long-demanded contingent of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and as CNN reports the US is finalizing plans to send US-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

11:09 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

Ukrainian defense minister says "more good news" to be announced following call with US counterpart

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in Kyiv

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov had a phone call with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday, Reznikov tweeted.

“Discussed the results of #Ramstein 8, further strengthening of #UAarmy, including tanks supplies&maintenance of the new armament,” the Ukrainian official said, adding that “more good news” will be announced soon.

See the tweet:

10:54 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

War in Ukraine has disrupted the education of more than 5 million children, UNICEF says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko in Kyiv

Ukrainian evacuees queue as they wait for further transport at the Medyka border crossing in southeastern Poland, on March 29.
Ukrainian evacuees queue as they wait for further transport at the Medyka border crossing in southeastern Poland, on March 29. (Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)

The ongoing war in Ukraine has disrupted education for more than 5 million children, UNICEF said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to UNICEF, the impact of the 11 months of war only compounds the two years of learning lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, and more than eight years of war for children in eastern Ukraine.

“There is no pause button. It is not an option to simply postpone children’s education and come back to it once other priorities have been addressed, without risking the future of an entire generation,” Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia said.

Some context: Explosive weapons being used, especially in populated areas have left thousands of schools, pre-schools or other education facilities across the country damaged or destroyed, and have led to many parents and caretakers reluctant to send children to school amid safety concerns, according to UNICEF.

Attacks on electricity and other energy infrastructure have caused widespread blackouts, impacting the more than 1.9 million children utilizing online learning opportunities and the 1.3 million children enrolled in a combination of in-person and online learning.

Outside of the country, an estimated two out of three Ukrainian refugee children are not currently enrolled in the host country’s education system.

11:10 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

Zaporizhzhia city struck in Russian attack, city council says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko and Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv

The southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia came under Russian attack on Wednesday, according to the city council.

One woman has been killed, Anatoliy Kurtiev, secretary for Zaporizhzhia's City Council, said on Telegram. “We offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends,” he said.

“The damned Russian creatures have viciously attacked Zaporizhzhia today in broad daylight. A private house in one of the city's districts was destroyed as a result of an enemy strike.”

10:29 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

UNESCO adds Ukrainian city of Odesa to World Heritage List

From CNN's Hira Humayun, Laura Smith-Spark and Mick Krever.

The National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet reopened in Odessa, Ukraine, on June 22.
The National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet reopened in Odessa, Ukraine, on June 22. (Matteo Placucci/NurPhoto/Getty Images)


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday said that it had added the Ukrainian city of Odesa to its World Heritage List.

Under UNESCO’s founding Convention members, that include Russia and Ukraine, are obligated to “not take any deliberate measures that directly or indirectly damage their heritage or that of another State Party to the Convention.”

Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO, said in a statement that he hoped it would help protect Odesa from the war.

“Odesa, a free city, a world city, a legendary port that has left its mark on cinema, literature and the arts, is thus placed under the reinforced protection of the international community,” Azoulay said. “While the war continues, this inscription embodies our collective determination to ensure that this city, which has always surmounted global upheavals, is preserved from further destruction.”

The statement said that the decision would give Ukraine access to “technical and financial international assistance” to protect and rehabilitate the city center.

9:52 a.m. ET, January 25, 2023

Ukraine's foreign minister thanks Polish counterpart for tank pledge and says "fighter jets" are next goal

From CNN's Mick Krever

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba talks during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine, on December 26.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba talks during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine, on December 26. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Ukraine’s foreign minister said Wednesday that he had thanked his Polish counterpart in a phone call for leading the way on pledging Leopard 2 battle tanks.

“I had a call with @RauZbigniew and thanked Poland which was the first country to publicly announce Leopard 2 delivery, thus contributing crucially to the forming of the tank coalition,” Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

“We have new tasks ahead: Western-type fighter jets, sanctions, Peace Formula implementation.”

He said that the two discussed how better to support passenger and cargo rail between Poland and Ukraine.