Good morning from Kyiv. It was quite a noisy day yesterday with three air raid alerts, all sparked by the activities of a Russian fighter jet capable of carrying hypersonic missiles.
Every time one takes to the air, the air raid sirens sound across the entirety of Ukraine. Fortunately, these alerts did not turn into missile attacks yesterday.
What’s happening today?
As is so often the case these days, at least part of the day will be spent digesting the latest comments from a world leader about supplying Ukraine with weapons.
Today it’s the turn of Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated his country could be close to a long-awaited shift in its stance on military aid to Ukraine.
Up until now, Israel has condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine but has limited it assistance to humanitarian relief. But on Tuesday, in an interview with CNN, he said he was “certainly looking into” doing more.
You can read more about that story here.
And officials in Kyiv have a very busy few days ahead as they prepare for a summit with the European Union to be held in the capital on Friday, in the hope the conference will bring the war-battered nation closer to membership in the bloc almost a year after Russia launched its invasion.
President Zelensky has said that in order to facilitate this, some big changes are coming. Speaking of which…
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
During his daily address on Tuesday, he said: “And very importantly, we are preparing new reforms in Ukraine. Reforms that will change the social, legal and political reality in many ways, making it more human, transparent and effective.”
He said full detains of these reforms would be released at a later date, but added: “In general, this week will be a week of European integration in every sense of the word.
“We are expecting the decisions from our partners in the European Union that will be in line with the level of cooperation achieved between our institutions and the EU, as well as with our progress. Progress, which is obvious – even despite the full-scale war.”
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Feb. 1 focuses on the continued Russian shelling of along the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine, particularly Kherson city where three civilians were killed on Sunday.
The MoD notes: “Kherson remains the most consistently shelled large Ukrainian city outside of the Donbas. Russia’s precise rationale for expending its strained ammunition stocks here is unclear.
“However, commanders are likely partially aiming to degrade civilian morale and to deter any Ukrainian counter-attacks across the Dnipro River.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Jan. 31 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· The introduction of Russian conventional forces to the Bakhmut frontline has offset the culmination of the Wagner Group’s offensive and retained the initiative for Russian operations around the city.
· ISW does not forecast the imminent fall of Bakhmut to Russian forces, although the Ukrainian command may choose to withdraw rather than risk unacceptable losses.
· Ukrainian officials continue to support ISW’s assessment that an imminent Russian offensive in the coming months is the most likely course of action (MLCOA) and further suggested that Ukrainian forces plan to launch a larger counteroffensive.
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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