Overview:

  • Europe agrees on fund ear-marked for weapons bound for Ukraine
  • Two turn up dead, with a dozen injuries including young children, in Sumy attack
  • US downplays nuclear threat while Russia says its triad is “more modern”
  • AFU cedes more territory west of Avdiivka
  • Moscow’s spec ops brigades reportedly attack near Antonivsky Bridge

Brussels creates €5 billion pool to finance Ukraine’s war against Russian aggression

Member states Germany and France set aside their differences as the European Union on Wednesday announced a long-awaited €5 billion ($5.47 billion) fund to spend on weapons to send to Kyiv.

AFP reported that Belgium, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said bloc representatives had agreed “in principle” on the plan, after settling disagreements on some issues between Berlin and Paris.

France had insisted that only European-made weapons, machinery and ammunition should be purchased with the fund, but ultimately allowed for some wiggle room if such weapons were not readily available from EU producers.

Germany, the union’s largest contributor to Ukraine to date, struck an agreement with Brussels that the EU would offset a portion of Berlin’s existing bilateral support with Kyiv against its future contributions to the fund.

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In total, EU members are estimated to have contributed at least €28 billion ($30.6 billion) to Kyiv already, in defense of its war against the Russian invasion. Including humanitarian and refugee assistance, the total euro figure for aid to Ukraine is more like €96 billion ($105 billion), according to EU estimates.

Rescuers recover two bodies in Sumy, with 12 injured in Shahed attack

After Russian-launched Shahed drones demolished an apartment building in the city of Sumy on Tuesday, the death toll reached two on Wednesday as the bodies of two men were recovered from the debris.

Eurotopics: Ukraine Aid - Turning Point in Washington Decisive for Kyiv?
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After months of wrangling, the US House of Representatives has passed a legislative package for 61 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine. Europe's press examines the implications of the decision.

“While clearing the rubble of a five-story residential building, State Emergency Service workers retrieved the body of the second dead person,” Ukraine’s State Emergency Service posted on Telegram. (A previous post had reported only one dead.)

About a dozen civilians were injured, including children aged 6 and 10.

 

On Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed revenge for an attack on his hometown of Kryvyi Rih that killed three civilians and wounded many others. Russian missiles were blamed for that attack, which targeted a similar residential apartment building.

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White House says it has seen no indication that Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons

“We have not seen any reasons to adjust our own nuclear posture, nor any indication that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in her regular briefing to reporters on Wednesday.

“Nevertheless, Russia’s nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout this conflict,” she said.

Nuclear saber-rattling from the Kremlin previously seemed to have been the brief of Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, who was internationally ridiculed for his regular warnings of the apocalypse. But Russian President Vladimir Putin more recently has been taking on that job, warning on Wednesday that nuclear strikes would be in play if the US were to “threaten its sovereignty” by sending troops to Ukraine.

“Our triad, the nuclear triad, is more modern than any other triad. Only we and the Americans actually have such triads. And we have advanced much more here,” Putin said in a televised interview. “We are ready to use weapons, including any weapons, including the weapons you mentioned if it is a question of the existence of the Russian state or damage to our sovereignty and independence.”

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Operations: Avdiivka

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Russian forces have recently advanced northwest and southwest of Avdiivka, almost exactly a month after Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) units began to retreat, leading to the city’s capture.

Geolocated footage published on Tuesday seems to show Russian units moving forward near the eastern outskirts of Berdychi (northwest of Avdiivka) and also along Pershotravneva Street in Pervomaiske (southwest of Avdiivka).

Kremlin-loyal bloggers additionally claimed on Wednesday that Russian forces expanded their control in Tonenke (west of Avdiivka) and captured new positions in forest areas between Orlivka (also west of Avdiivka) and Tonenke. One of them noted that the most intense fighting is ongoing between Berdychi and Tonenke, while another Russian blogger noted that “fighting overall has slowed down in this area,” ISW analysts wrote.

Operations: Dnipro River

Russian observers, including the Moscow-installed governor of the occupied Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, claimed on Wednesday that Russian naval infantry, airborne troops, and volunteers “conducted a limited raid on Ukrainian positions” on the right bank of the Dnipro River, near the base of the Antonivsky Bridge.

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A Kremlin blogger specified that elements of the Russian 45th Spetsnaz Brigade were involved in the raids, but the ISW stressed that it has not observed any visual confirmation of Russian activity on the west bank and there are no confirmed changes to the frontline there

Saldo also claimed that all Russian personnel involved in the raid returned to their left bank positions, rather than trying to establish permanent positions there, while spokespeople from the AFU’s General Staff reported that fighting continued near Krynky, the left-bank fishing town where advancing Ukrainian troops had been holding down positions for months.

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Comments (3)

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Sasha
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yes the russian nuclear triad is more modern, it is the only one that can launch nuclear stolen washing machines!

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John
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The only think Putler is ready for is to run away to Saint Petersburg if anyone comes to Moscow for him.

John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ Hi troll "jack" trying to be John



Did you get bored with your MRGA assigned name and decide to steal someone else's today hoping no one would notice? 



You are right though that putin put's preserving his life above all others. He and putinrump are two peas in a pod.

Jack Griffin
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@John, sending messages to yourself now? You delusional moron! Get some professional help.

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David Steel
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It is perfectly fair for NATO or the UN to enter Ukraine at the invitation of its legal govenment in Kyiv.

Under what legal basis does Russia hope to defend its right to strike civillian targets in the international courts?

Putin says he will go nuclear if we help Ukraine, in fact all he will do is call his lawyer and issue a strongly worded message. The boy has cried wolf one too many times.

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