The Russian-Ukrainian War at a Glance: What We Know as of Day 346 of the Invasion | Ukraine
The US has announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $2.2bn (£1.8bn) which will include precision-guided rockets and Hawk air defense firing units, as well as other munitions and weapons, the US State Department said. Significantly, it includes for the first time the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), which will double Ukraine’s strike range and allow the Ukrainian military to strike deep behind the front lines of war. .
Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine will continue to fight for Bakhmut as long as they can. swearing that “no one will cede” the eastern “fortress” city. Speaking at a press conference following a summit in Kyiv with European Union leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, Ukraine’s president said the country would be able to start liberating occupied Donbass if the supply of weapons was “accelerated, especially long-range weapons”.
France and Italy have finalized technical discussions for the joint delivery of the Samp/T air defense system to Ukraine in spring 2023, announced the French Ministry of Defense. It comes after Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on Thursday that the system would be operational in Ukraine “within seven to eight weeks”. The system can track dozens of targets and intercept 10 at a time. It is the only European-made system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.
The EU has promised that a tenth package of sanctions against Russia will be in place by February 24, the first anniversary of the war. EC President Ursula von der Leyen said the package would cover trade worth €10 billion (£8.9 billion/10.8 billion dollars) and “hit the trade and the technology that supports [Russia’s] war against Ukraine”. The next round of EU sanctions, however, is unlikely to include nuclear power, which Hungary has already threatened to block.
Air raid sirens sounded twice across Ukraine on Friday as Zelenskiy welcomed EU leaders to Kyiv. The first air alert in Kyiv came on Friday morning. The second, a few hours later, followed a joint press conference involving Zelenskiy, von der Leyen and Charles Michel. There were no immediate reports of Russian airstrikes on Kyiv throughout the day.
EU member countries have agreed on a European Commission proposal to set price caps for Russian petroleum products, said the Swedish EU Presidency. Ambassadors from the 27 EU states agreed in a meeting on Friday to impose a cap of $100 a barrel on high-end products such as diesel and a cap of $45 on low-end products, according to diplomats. The price cap comes into effect on Sunday, as does the EU’s ban on imports of Russian petroleum products.
EU leaders offered strong support for Ukraine but set “no rigid timetable” for its joining the bloc. Zelenskiy had hoped the EU would put Ukraine on a fast track to membership, but western EU member states fear that Kyiv’s expectations for speedy membership talks may be unrealistic. “There are no rigid deadlines but there are goals you have to achieve,” von der Leyen said at the press conference.
An American doctor was killed while working on the front lines in Ukraine, just weeks after arriving in the country. Pete Reed, 34, was killed Thursday while helping to evacuate civilians when his vehicle was reportedly hit by a missile in Bakhmut.
EU to launch €25 million humanitarian demining program in Ukraine, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, confirmed, saying mine clearance was “crucial to saving the lives of the civilian population”.
New tanks supplied by NATO allies will serve as an “iron fist” in a Kyiv counter-offensive to break through the Russian defensive lines, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said. Western supplies of 155mm artillery would be vital for Ukraine to deter Russian attacks in the south and east, Reznikov told a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Błaszczak.
Germany has approved the export of ex-Leopard 1 battle tanks, which would be added to the fleet of combat vehicles that Berlin promised last week. A spokesman said the government of Olaf Scholz granted an export license for German-made tanks first produced in the 1960s and replaced in the German army by Leopard 2 tanks in 2003.
Ukraine unveiled a criminal case against Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries fighting on the Russian side in Ukraine. Prigozhin was charged with undermining the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine and waging a war of aggression against Ukraine. Ukraine’s Attorney General Andriy Kostin said Wagnerian fighters of all ranks would be held accountable, including those who fled abroad.