Day 353 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia may have Lost Half of its Heavy Tanks in UkraineUkraine | February 11, 2023, Saturday // 11:58| views
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
The fierce battle for Bakhmut continues
The founder of the Russian private military company "Wagner" - Yevgeny Prigozhin, admitted that his military faced serious resistance in the Bakhmut attack.
According to him, the capture of the city is of strategic importance to continue the Russian advance.
“The situation around Bakhmut is likely to remain the most difficult sector facing Ukraine's forces as Russia deploys more conscripts there,” military experts say.
According to the Pentagon, Moscow has probably already lost half of its heavy tanks on the battlefield in Ukraine.
The situation at the front and the diplomatic marathon of recent days were a highlight of President Zelensky's midnight address.
"We discussed the situation at the front in detail. Mostly in the Donetsk region - Bakhmut and other places. A difficult area. The second important thing this week was the diplomatic marathon. London, Paris, Brussels - everywhere I talked about the strength of our military. There were many important agreements and we received good signals. It is about long-range missiles and tanks, the next level of our cooperation is combat aircraft, but there is still work to be done on it," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Russia may have lost half of its heavy tanks in Ukraine, Washington believes
Half of Russia's heavy tanks have probably been destroyed or captured by Ukraine, a senior Pentagon official said yesterday, AFP reported.
Russia has "probably lost half of its main reserve of battle tanks in combat and because of their capture by the Ukrainians," Celeste Wallander said at an online event organized by the Center for a New American Security.
Wallander's assessment, which did not give exact numbers on the tanks Russia has lost since the start of its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, came as Kyiv prepares to receive heavy tanks from its Western allies.
The UK said its Challenger 2 tanks would be deployed to Ukraine in March, and Germany and its allies plan to send a battalion of Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev in April.
Washington has also promised an Abrams tank battalion, but it will take longer for the combat vehicles to arrive in Ukraine.
Russia: We are ready to negotiate without preconditions...
“We are ready to negotiate without preconditions... just based on existing reality.”
This portion of controversial talk was served to us by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Vershinin.
"Yes, the classics say that any military action ends with negotiations, and we, of course, have already said that we will be ready for such negotiations," Vershinin said in an interview with the Zvezda TV channel.
At the next moment, he emphasized that the Russian Federation is only ready for negotiations without preconditions, which would be a significant change to Moscow's initially announced position - negotiations only if Ukraine gives up the occupied territories. Therefore, Vershinin quickly specifies that there will be no change in practice - talks would be conducted "only based on the existing reality and taking into account the goals we have already expressed".
Under "existing reality", Russia accepts the fake referendums in the four conquered Ukrainian regions.
Vershinin fully revealed his cards when he blames US President Joe Biden for the impossibility of achieving peace.
"It does not depend on us. We have clearly stated our position: if Mr. Biden shows discretion, wisdom - he and his entourage... but we have clearly expressed our position".
1/3 Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Vershinin on the possibility of negotiations on Ukraine: "Any military action ends with negotiations, and we naturally already said that we would be ready for such negotiations. pic.twitter.com/uJ5m97xxV4— Victor vicktop55 (@vicktop55) February 11, 2023
More than 30 countries want to ban the participation of Russia and Belarus in the Olympic Games
A group of 35 countries, including the US, Germany and Australia, will demand that Russian and Belarusian athletes be banned from the 2024 Olympics, Lithuania's Sports Minister Jurgita Šiugždinienė announced on Friday, deepening uncertainty surrounding the Paris games.
The move increases pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is desperate not to link the games to the military conflict in Ukraine.
"We are moving in a direction where we will not need a boycott, because all countries are unanimous," commented Šiugždinienė
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the online meeting, in which 35 ministers participated. The issue of the call for a ban was also discussed at it.
"If there is an Olympic sport of assassination and missile strikes, you know which national team will take first place," Zelenky said. "Terror and Olympism are two opposites, they cannot be combined".
In recent weeks, tensions have increased after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened the door to the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in the Paris Games. This led to a threat of a boycott by Ukraine.
Polish Minister of Sports and Tourism Kamil Bortniczuk later said that up to 40 countries could join the boycott. Finally, the five Olympic committees from Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway) joined the call for a boycott.
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