As of Monday, 40 people had been killed and dozens more were missing as a result of a Russian missile assault on the Ukraine city of Dnipro. This makes it the bloodiest civilian event during Moscow’s three-month campaign of firing missiles at communities far from the front.
After comments about the conflict were criticized as tone-deaf, Germany’s defense minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on Monday, setting the stage for what is anticipated to be one of the most significant weeks in defining Western military backing for Kyiv.
Berlin is under great pressure to authorize exports of its Leopard combat tanks, which Ukraine hopes would serve as the foundation of a new armored army, as allies are scheduled to meet on Friday at a U.S. air base in Germany to discuss military help.
Although Dnipro’s strike on Saturday left little hope for discovering any more survivors among the wreckage, president Volodymyr Zelensky stated the rescue effort will continue “as long as there is even the slightest opportunity to preserve lives.”
“Six children were among the dozens of victims who were rescued from the wreckage. For each and every one of them, we fight!” In a late-night television address, Zelensky said.
Moscow claims the event in Dnipro was brought on by Ukrainian air defenses, but it denies deliberately targeting civilians in a campaign of airstrikes that has disrupted power and water in Ukraine cities since October.
In response to Russia’s most recent round of attacks, Kyiv claims it was unable to fire down the anti-ship missile that it claims hit an apartment building in Dnipro on Saturday.
According to local official Gennadiy Korban, the attack claimed the lives of at least 40 people, with another 30 still missing. He claimed that there were 14 youngsters among the 75 injured.
According to the German government, Chancellor Olaf Scholz accepted Lambrecht’s resignation and would shortly name a new defense minister to take her position.
Only three days have passed since she was scheduled to host her American counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and four days have passed since the next conference of allies to coordinate military support for Kyiv to take place at the German air base of Ramstein.
After a positive New Year’s Eve message that was recorded in front of pyrotechnics and in which Lambrecht boasted of the opportunity she had to meet “interesting, amazing individuals” as a result of the Ukraine war, she has since come under fire for being tone deaf.
Intense diplomacy to gain other arms for Kyiv is anticipated in the upcoming week, with the focus on Germany’s until to this point hesitation to provide tanks or allow its friends to deliver them.
This month, France, the United States, and Germany all committed to providing armored fighting vehicles, but Western nations had so far refrained from supplying primary battle tanks. By offering a group of Challengers over the weekend, Britain broke that taboo.
Although Russia also claims that the supply of tanks would not have an impact on the outcome of the war, Moscow has blamed the West for escalating the conflict. According to Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, the British tanks “will burn like the rest.”
German-built Leopard tanks, which are seen to be the Western tanks best suited to forming the foundation of a new Ukrainian armored force, are primarily used by NATO partners in Eastern and Central Europe. Last week, Poland and Finland indicated that they would like to send them, but that would require approval from Berlin.
Throughout the second half of 2022, Ukrainian forces reclaimed large areas of land. However, despite a severe battle in which both sides are thought to have suffered significant losses, the front lines have mostly remained in place for the previous two months.
According to Kyiv, new Western armor would end the standoff and give its soldiers the power to breach Russian defenses.
Last week, Moscow claimed to have taken control of the eastern salt mining town of soledar, marking its greatest military victory since last August. Fighting, according to Kyiv, is still going on throughout the town.
Hanna Maliar, the deputy minister of defense, posted on the Telegram messaging service, “Put simply, THE BATTLE CONTINUES.” “Everything else is based on rumors,”
The battle for Soledar, which had a pre-war population of fewer than 10,000, is not expected to have a significant impact on other areas of the world, aside from the possibility that both sides’ manpower requirements for future decisive battles may be reduced as a result of the enormous losses there.
Russia has been using Belarus as a staging area for its attacks, but Belarus has so far refrained from immediately joining the conflict. Ukraine has warned that Moscow may be preparing a major assault in the upcoming weeks.
On Monday, joint military aviation drills between Russia and Belarus got underway. As defensive exercises, Minsk declared that it will stay out of the conflict.
According to a post on the Telegram app of the Belarusian defense ministry on Sunday, first deputy state secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Pavel Muraveyko said, “We’re preserving restraint and patience, keeping our gunpowder dry.”