Good morning from Kyiv where the air raid sirens have just sounded for the second day in a row. This alert is due to a certain type of Russian aircraft – the MiG-31 – taking off from bases in Belarus.
Due to the fact it is capable of carrying hypersonic missiles, every time one takes to the air, the air raid sirens sound across the entirety of Ukraine.
Lots of news over the last 24 hours, with more certain to come today.
What’s happening today?
It’s President Zelensky’s birthday. The Ukrainian leader turns 45 in circumstances he surely could not have imagined this time last year.
Birthdays aside, once again, today is all about tanks, tanks, tanks. Germany might finally be about to decide on the exporting of its powerful Leopard heavy battle tanks to Ukraine.
An announcement from Berlin is widely expected today, and German media reported on Tuesday evening that it should be positive news for Kyiv, which has been requesting the vehicles for months.
UPDATE: Germany has given the green light – so what happens now?
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
During his daily address on Tuesday evening, President Zelensky touched on the mass resignations of a dozen Ukrainian officials amid a backdrop of corruption scandals.
The news rocked Ukraine on Tuesday and was the country’s biggest political shake-up by far since Russia’s reinvasion last year.
Zelensky said the move was needed and that additional measures would also be taken. Western allies have allocated billions of dollars in financial and military aid to Kyiv to counter Russian aggression, often preconditioning the support on anti-corruption reforms.
“It is fair, it is needed for our defense, and it helps our rapprochement with European institutions,” he said.
“We need a strong state, and Ukraine will be just that.”
Zelensky also reminded those watching that Tuesday marked "exactly 11 months of full-scale war."
"The 335th day," he added. "A day that we will pass in the same way as the 334th, uniting all our forces for the sake of one thing – victory. For the sake of Ukraine's victory."
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Jan. 25 once again examines Russia’s T-14 Armata battle tank, it’s top-of-the-line fighting vehicle, but one beset by problems.
The MoD notes that Russian forces were “reluctant” to accept deliveries of the first batch of them “because the vehicles were in such poor condition.”
It adds: “It is unclear exactly what aspects of the vehicles prompted this reaction, but within the last three years, Russian officials have publicly described problems with the T-14’s engine and thermal imaging systems.
“In 2021, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu described the planned production run for 2022 as only an ‘experimental-industrial’ batch. Therefore, it is unlikely that any deployed T-14 tanks will have met the usual standards for new equipment to be deemed operational.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Jan. 24 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov continued efforts to portray himself and the traditional Russian military command structure as the true defenders of Russia.
· Russian sources claimed, likely to distract from the lack of progress in Bakhmut, that Russian forces launched an offensive around Vuhledar.
· Russia’s defense industrial base (DIB) is reportedly increasing the production of drones and loitering munitions.
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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