Good morning from Kyiv where the energy situation continues to improve every day. The capital is still plagued by rolling blackouts due to Russia’s months-long missile and drone attacks, but the city is nowhere near as dark as it was during the most intense weeks at the end of last year.

 

Authorities this morning announced every region in Kyiv will receive at least one day per week without outages for the next three weeks.

 

What’s happening today?

 

The Leopard tank saga rumbles on. In the latest development, Poland said on Monday evening that it would make a formal request to Germany for permission to send the heavy tanks to Ukraine, but reiterated that it would do so even if Berlin says no. You can read more about that story here.

 

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters: "We will seek this approval.”

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He added: "Even if we [don’t] get such an approval… we will give our tanks to Ukraine anyway within a small coalition of countries, even if Germany isn't in that coalition.”

 

Elsewhere, Russia’s new top commander General Valery Gerasimov made his first public comments since being appointed, giving us a little insight into his plans and priorities.

 

His tactics so far have led Wagner’s Chief to label him and his superiors a “bunch of clowns.”

 

You can read more about that story here.

 

What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?

NATO Needs to Get its Act Together Now, Before it’s Too Late
Other Topics of Interest

NATO Needs to Get its Act Together Now, Before it’s Too Late

With the US dithering, the implications need to be recognized and decisive action taken to avoid disaster in the shape of a Russian victory in Ukraine.

 

President Volodymyr Zelensky sought to emphasize that fierce fighting was still ongoing, claiming that some Ukrainians living in cities far from the front lines “have completely forgotten about the war and started to ignore reality.”

 

He added: “Ignoring the war is a luxury that no one can afford.”

 

Zelensky also announced a new decree forbidding officials from travelling abroad unless on a work trip.

 

“If they want to rest now, they will rest outside the civil service,” he said during his daily address on Monday evening. “Officials will no longer be able to travel abroad for vacation or for any other non-governmental purpose.”

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What’s the latest military situation?

 

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Jan. 24 focuses on yet more turbulence in the upper echelons of Russia’s military, saying General Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky has “likely been dismissed as one of Russia’s key operational commanders in Ukraine.”

 

The MoD notes that Teplinsky had been a capable commander who oversaw Russia’s “relatively successful withdrawal from west of the Dnipro in November.”

 

While the MoD does not know the exact reasons why he was dismissed or what if any role he retains, it says the news is likely another symptom of continued divisions within the senior hierarchy of Russia’s operation as General Valery Gerasimov attempts to impose his personal authority on the campaign.

 

The Institute for the Study of War’s (ISW) Jan. 23 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:

 

·       Ukrainian intelligence has assessed that Russian forces are preparing for an offensive effort in the spring or early summer of 2023, partially confirming ISW’s standing assessment that Russian troops may undertake decisive action in the coming months;

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·       The Wagner Group’s outsized reliance on recruitment from penal colonies appears to be having increasing ramifications on Wagner’s combat capability;

·       Russia continues to deepen military and economic relations with Iran in an effort to engage in mutually beneficial sanctions evasion.

 

And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.

 

Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.

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