- Macron promises Kyiv “hundreds” of bombs, and some 40 long-range missiles
- US lawmakers invited to White House to re-visit Ukraine aid
- Putin furious that Riga plans to kick out non-Latvians
- Moscow advances along Kupyansk-Svatove-Kremmina front
- Russians keep up pressure on Bakhmut area
- EU to audit countries to make sure they are sending Kyiv what they promised
Macron pledges another Kyiv visit and more air-launched SCALP missiles
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday promised Ukraine approximately 40 SCALP long-range cruise missiles, as well as “several hundred bombs.” Macron said at a news conference that Europe “must not let Russia win”.
“Letting Russia win would mean accepting that international law is not respected,” Macron said.
The French president announced he would make another visit to Kyiv in February, AFP reported.
The air-launched SCALP missiles, named for a French acronym for “Long Range Autonomous Cruise Missile System” and which have a range of about 350 miles, are essentially identical to the British/French-made Storm Shadow missiles that also have been supplied to Kyiv.
During the conference, Macron hinted at a new bilateral security agreement with Ukraine, similar to a pact agreed between Kyiv and London, that he would announce during his February visit.
⚡️🇫🇷France will deliver 40 additional Scalp cruise missiles to 🇺🇦Ukraine - French President Macron pic.twitter.com/Xop0aSFF14— 🇺🇦Ukrainian Front (@front_ukrainian) January 16, 2024
Biden invites right-wing Republicans to White House to convince them of importance of Ukraine aid
For more than a month, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and a right-wing group of Republicans on Capitol Hill loyal to former president Donald Trump have been stalling or denying a vote on Biden’s request for $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. The Trump-supporting lawmakers say they want to exchange aid to Ukraine for their goal of enacting US immigration reform.
Trump beat his Republican competitors on Monday in the Iowa caucuses (always the nation’s first state contest to determine a party’s presidential nomination) and re-asserted in his victory speech that Moscow would not have attacked Ukraine had he been re-elected because he and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin “get along fine.”
Biden will host members of Congress at the White House ‘to discuss the critical importance of his national security supplemental request,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
Deportation of ethnic Russians from Baltics “affects our national security,” Putin says
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) highlighted claims by Putin on Tuesday that Latvia and other Baltic states are “throwing [ethnic] Russian people” out of their countries and that this situation “directly affects [Russia’s] security.”
“Changes to Latvia’s immigration law stipulated that Russian citizens’ permanent residence permits would become invalid in September 2023 and that Russian citizens would need to follow the general procedure for obtaining EU permanent residence status in Latvia, including passing a Latvian language exam, by November 30, 2023,” the ISW wrote.
Latvia has said it would deport about 1,200 Russian citizens who failed to apply for a new residence permit by the deadline.
Russia has long claimed that it has the right to protect its ‘compatriots abroad,’ including ethnic Russians beyond its borders.
Operations: Kupyansk area
Russian forces recently made advances near Kreminna during fighting along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, the ISW reported Tuesday. Specifically, geolocated footage published Monday appears to show that Moscow’s troops advanced north of Dibrova (southwest of Kreminna).
Both Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that battles have dragged on northeast of Kupyansk near Synkivka; east of Kupyansk near Petropavlivka; northwest of Kreminna near Makiivka and Ploshchanka; and west of Kreminna near Terny, Torske, and Yampolivka.
Meanwhile, a Russian source claimed that Moscow’s officers have stepped up the use of armored vehicles in the Serebryanske forest after a hiatus of Russian activity in the area, while the Luhansk regional military administration head, Artem Lysohor said Tuesday that Russian forces launched a large number of glide bombs at Ukrainian positions in the forest.
Operations: Bakhmut area
Russian forces recently made marginal gains near Bakhmut on Tuesday and continued engagements with Ukrainian forces in the area, the ISW reported. Geolocated footage published on Monday indicates that the Kremlin’s troops continue to push forward slowly along fronts north of Klishchiivka (southwest of Bakhmut).
Meanwhile, fighting continues in and around the strategically important stronghold of Avdiivka, although no advances were reported on Tuesday.
AFU 5th brigade repelled a mech. assault on the klishchiivka heights pic.twitter.com/zw78CSkghF— imi (m) (@moklasen) January 15, 2024
Are EU countries sending all the weapons they have pledged?
The ISW also reported that “three unspecified EU diplomats” told the Financial Times in an article published Tuesday that Brussels is conducting an audit of weapons that EU member states actually have provided to Ukraine since February 2022.
“The diplomats stated that the EEAS intends to conduct the audit in response to claims that some unspecified EU countries have not sent as much aid to Ukraine as they can and intends to present the findings before the EU summit on Feb. 1,” ISW reported.
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