What happened this week in the Russian-Ukrainian war? Find the essential news and analyzes | Ukraine

What happened this week in the Russian-Ukrainian war?  Find the essential news and analyzes |  Ukraine

Each week, we round up the must-read for our coverage of the war in Ukraine, from news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinion.

Germany and the United States promise tanks

A Leopard 2 main battle tank of the German Bundeswehr armed forces fires during a visit by the German Chancellor of the troops during a training exercise at the military field in Ostenholz, northern Germany, on October 17, 2022.
A Leopard 2 main battle tank of the German armed forces fires during a training exercise at the military field in Ostenholz, northern Germany, October 17, 2022. Photograph: Ronny Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images

As the United States and Germany announced they would provide Ukraine with the tanks it had long requested, a significant escalation in Western efforts to counter Russian aggression, the Defense Editor and Guardian security guard Dan Sabbagh provided the update.

“Politically, Western unity is essential,” he wrote. “The West may not be fighting directly in Ukraine, but the war is not one it can afford to lose. If Russia is able to hold onto the fifth of Ukraine it has captured throughout 2023, the Kremlin, now in charge of the world’s largest rogue state, will only gain in confidence.

“Instead, the Western alliance has shown it can stick together by improving its arms supply to Ukraine, at the cost to the United States of 30 of its arsenal of Abrams tanks – although their fuel requires , “three gallons per mile” according to the Pentagon, means that a simple logistical supply will be a challenge for Kyiv forces.

“Tanks are not weapons of war in themselves, however, although heavy tracked armor is essential for mounting any type of open-field offensive against entrenched Russian positions, not least because they can continue to move forward once they meet the inevitable resistance.”

Peter Beaumont explained what Leopard tanks are and why Ukraine wants them so desperately.

Map showing areas where Ukraine regained control
Map showing areas where Ukraine regained control

A Russian missile attack killed 11 people

Local residents remove debris from a neighbor's house damaged by a Russian military strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Hlevakha outside Kyiv on January 26 2023.
Local residents remove debris from a neighbor’s house damaged by a Russian military strike in the town of Hlevakha outside Kyiv on January 26, 2023. Photo: Valentin Ogirenko/Reuters

Ukraine’s top general has vowed his country won’t be ‘broken’ after the successful downing of 47 out of 55 missiles launched by Russia in an attack that followed the Western supply of tanks, Daniel Boffey reported.

General Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, said 20 of those intercepted were heading towards the Kyiv region, where a 55-year-old man was killed and two others were injured by falling fragments.

As a result of Thursday morning’s Russian air and sea assault, the 13th missile barrage of the war, a total of 11 people died and 11 others were injured, an emergency services spokesman said.

The man leading the fight against corruption in Ukraine

Oleksandr Novikov, the head of Ukraine's National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, speaks in a conference room at the agency's offices on January 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Oleksandr Novikov, the head of Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, speaks in a conference room at the agency’s offices on January 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Ed Ram/The Guardian

As a number of Ukrainian officials were fired or resigned this week amid corruption allegations. As Volodymyr Zelenskiy tries to take a zero-tolerance approach to the issue, Daniel Boffey introduced the head of the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency, Oleksandr Novikov.

Fifteen senior officials have left their posts since Saturday, six of whom have been the subject of corruption allegations brought against them by journalists and Ukrainian anti-corruption authorities.

For the first two months of the war in Ukraine, Novikov, 40, lived with a coterie of his staff in the basement of the austere offices of the national agency for the prevention of corruption in Kyiv.

“We have an ammunition room – it has machine guns. We were ready to fight in these streets,” Novikov said, looking out his third-floor conference room window.

It’s his fourth and final year as head of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency, and although the Russians didn’t end up on his doorstep in Ukraine’s capital last February, the former’s appetite prosecutor for the battle against all odds has not been satisfied.

In 2021, Transparency International ranked Ukraine as the second most corrupt country in Europe, behind only Russia, a position Novikov decided to reverse, only to find his task made much more difficult by Covid and Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine hotline encouraging Russians to surrender

Vitaly Matvienko from the surrender hotline
Vitaly Matvienko of the ‘I want to live’ surrender hotline speaks in his conference room on January 23, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Ed Ram/The Guardian

More than 6,500 Russian servicemen have sought to surrender via a bespoke ‘I want to live’ hotline, Ukraine’s government claims, the call center was recently moved to a secret location to avoid interference from Moscow, Daniel Boffey brought from Kyiv.

Vitaly Matvienko, spokesman for the POW department, said those who made contact through the service were verified as serving in the Russian forces using their personal data and service number.

Between September 15, when the hotline was launched, and January 20, 6,543 Russian personnel are said to have contacted the Ukrainian government to come into its custody, often from the front line.

The hotline, made up of 10 operators, had been set up following Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a mobilization of 300,000 civilians without prior military experience to join the Russian war effort.

Doomsday clock hits record 90 seconds to midnight amid Ukraine crisis

Members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stand for a photo with the 2023 Doomsday Clock which is set at ninety seconds to midnight.
Members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stand for a photo with the 2023 Doomsday Clock which is set at ninety seconds to midnight. Photography: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A panel of international scientists warned this week that humanity’s continued existence is more at risk than ever, largely due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Julien Borger reported.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has set its Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight, the closest clock to midnight since its inception in 1947 to illustrate global existential threats at the dawn of the age of weapons nuclear.

Rachel Bronson, President and CEO of the Bulletin, said the clock had been moved forward 100 seconds to midnight, where it had been for the previous three years, “largely, but not exclusively, at because of the growing dangers of the war in Ukraine”.

Ukrainian families express frustration over struggle to find accommodation in UK

Some Ukrainians struggle to find housing after their sponsored housing programs end.  In the photo - Oksana and Yegor.
Some of the Ukrainians are struggling to find housing after their sponsored housing programs end. In the photo – Oksana and Yegor. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian

Maria, 22, arrived in the UK from Ukraine in March last year, shortly after the outbreak of war. She and her mother traveled using the Ukrainian family scheme visa to stay with her aunt. But when his aunt was evicted, they became homeless. For five months, Maria and her mother have been living in temporary accommodation in south London. Tobi Thomas reported this story.

“It’s horrible actually, the hallways are so old and so dirty,” Maria says. “The advice wasn’t very helpful. The room is so small and it’s difficult with two adults in one room.

Maria hopes to find private accommodation, but it’s unaffordable when she’s living on Universal Credit. “You have to pay a deposit and have a lot of savings, but we don’t have any at the moment,” adds Maria.

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