Here is the situation as it stands on Saturday, January 21, 2023:
- US General Mark Milley expressed strong doubt that Ukraine would succeed in driving Russian troops out of its territory this year.
- Senior US officials urged Ukraine to hold off on launching a major offensive against Russian forces until the latest supply of weaponry is in place and training has been provided.
- Russian-backed forces in Donetsk said Russian troops had taken control of Klishchiivka, a small settlement south of Bakhmut.
- Germany’s defence minister said no decision was reached at the US-hosted meeting at the Ramstein Air Base on whether to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. He said Berlin was not alone among Ukraine’s allies in its concerns about the delivery.
- Addressing the meeting, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said partners needed “not to bargain about different numbers of tanks but to open that principal supply that will stop evil”.
- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said countries backing Ukraine need to focus not only on sending new weapons to Kyiv but also on providing ammunition for older systems.
- The Kremlin said Western countries supplying tanks to Ukraine would not change the course of the conflict but would add to the problems of the Ukrainian people.
- The US has designated Russia’s Wagner Group as a “transnational criminal organisation”, raising pressure on the private Russian army fighting in Ukraine.
- The paramilitary group has denied it was recruiting Serbians, a day after activists filed criminal complaints against the organisation in Belgrade.
- The Kremlin said its relations with the US were at an all-time low halfway through President Joe Biden’s term and there was no hope of improvement.
- For the first time since Russia’s war in Ukraine began, a United Nations humanitarian convoy arrived in the eastern region of Donetsk with aid for civilians.