Ukraine news latest — Angry Putin planning 'revenge' offensive as Russia sees 'nearly 200,000 troops' lost in brutal war | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin is planning to launch a new "revenge" offensive in Ukraine as Russia losses near 200,000, Western intelligence claims.

According to new numbers, Vladimir Putin has seen some 200,000 soldiers wounded or killed in the Ukraine war, according to a report that cited US and Western officials.

Citing US and Western officials, The New York Times reports senior diplomats now believe the number has climbed above the 100,000 figure published in November last year.

Meanwhile, president Volodymyr Zelensky gave a warning to the West by claiming the Kremlin was building up its forces to take “revenge.”  

Speaking in a joint press conference with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, the hero leader warned: “Now Russia is concentrating its forces. We all know that. It is preparing to try to take revenge, not only against Ukraine, but against a free Europe and the free world."

Read our Ukraine war blog below for the latest news…

  • Jimmy Grant

    One dead in shelling of Donstsk

    One person was killed and around half a dozen more were injured by Russian shelling in Donetsk, Ukraine's state broadcaster Suspiline has said.

    Suspiline posted on Telegram: "Russian troops shelled the center of Toretsk in Donetsk region: one person was killed, six were injured.

    "Kurakhivka was also shelled from artillery, three people were injured, the Donetsk regional prosecutor’s office reported."

  • Jimmy Grant

    Russian foreign minister claims they want conflict to end but is responding to the West

    Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said the country’s forces would respond to the West’s involvement and will try to to push Ukrainian forces further away from its borders, Reuters reports.

    In an interview on Russia’s state TV, Lavrov said everybody wanted the conflict to end, but that the West’s support for Kyiv was playing an important role.

  • Jimmy Grant

    Zelensky claims Russian forces ‘increase offensive actions’

    Volodymyr Zelensky has said that “a certain increase in the occupier’s offensive actions at the front — in the east of our country.”

    It comes as the head of Ukraine’s marines, said: “I will separately address the Russian military: before it’s too late, run, return to your “Maruskas” [Russian women] or surrender, otherwise it’s the fate of a fertiliser on someone else’s land; a black bag or disability awaits you, this is your “happy” future. 

  • Jimmy Grant

    Russian claims forces ‘tortured Ukrainians’

    Konstantin Yefremov, the most senior officer to speak openly, told the BBC that Russian forces “tortured Ukrainians”.

    Russia now sees him as a traitor and defector Yefremov said after he was dismissed for refusing to return to Ukraine.

    Yefremov said: “I decided to quit. I went to my commander and explained my position. He took me to a senior officer who called me a traitor and a coward…A colonel had promised to put me in prison for up to 10 years for desertion and he’d alerted the police.”

    The Russian added: “I apologise to the entire Ukrainian nation for coming to their home as an uninvited guest with a weapon in my hands.

    “Thank God I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t kill anyone. Thank God I wasn’t killed.”

  • Jimmy Grant

    Estonia may boycott Olympics

    Estonia may boycott the Paris 2024 Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes compete.

    Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said: "Our efforts should be on convincing other friends and allies that participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes is just wrong. Boycotting is the next step.

    "Russia has been destroying Ukrainian nation, state and people for a year. Russia has killed hundreds of Ukrainian athletes, including Olympic and world champions."

    She added: "To allow athletes to enter the Olympic arena at the price of blood of Ukrainians – is that a fair play?"

    Credit: Reuters
  • Jimmy Grant

    In pictures: Russian missile attack on Kherson shopping centre

    A Russian missile attack struck a shopping centre in the port city of Kherson today.

    According to local authorities, a school, shipyard and residential buildings were also hit.

    Thankfully, no casualties have been reported.

    Credit: AP
    Credit: AP
    Credit: AP
  • Jimmy Grant

    EU to launch €25million de-mining programme in Ukraine

    The EU is set to launch a €25million (£22.3million) programme to remove mines from Ukraine.

    EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell tweeted: "Demining action is crucial to safe the lives of civilian population, to allow them return to a normal life, to prevent the random walk of the death in the forest.

    "The EU will support Ukraine with a new €25 million package for humanitarian demining."

  • Jimmy Grant

    NATO calls on Russia to comply with nuclear obligations

    Today NATO told Russia to comply with its obligations under START – the nuclear reduction treaty between the US and Russia.

    NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: "#NATO Allies agree the #NewSTART Treaty contributes to international stability.

    "We note with concern that #Russia has failed to comply with legally-binding obligations, including on inspection, & call on Russia to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty."

  • Jimmy Grant

    Russian losses hit 129,870

    According to Ukraine’s armed forces, Russia has lost a further 840 troops, taking the total number of losses to 129,870.

    Defense of Ukraine tweeted: "'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' George Santayana"

  • Jimmy Grant

    Zelensky to meet with EU leaders today

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is meeting with EU leaders later today to make the case for Ukraine joining the bloc.

    As the war with Russia escalates, Zelensky emphasised the urgency of his country’s application yesterday.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Ukraine yesterday.

    Discussions today are expected to focus on more sanctions against Russia.

  • Jimmy Grant

    Next six months 'crucial' in war

    CIA director William Burns believes the next six months will be "crucial" in Ukraine's resistance to the illegal Russian invasion.

    Burns said: "Putin, I think, is betting right now that he can make time work for him.

    "The key is going to be on the battlefield in the next six months, it seems to us."

    He said what's necessary is "Puncturing Putin's hubris, making clear that he's not only not going to be able to advance further in Ukraine, but as every month goes by, he runs a greater and greater risk of losing the territory that he's illegally seized from Ukraine so far.

    The director added: "This next period, I think, is going to be absolutely crucial."

  • Jimmy Grant

    MoD’s latest intelligence update

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) shared its latest intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine.

    MoD tweeted: “The scale of Russian paramilitary Wagner Group’s convict recruitment programme has probably significantly reduced from its peak between summer and autumn 2022.

    “The Russian Federal Penal Service (FSIN) figures released on 31 January 2023 reported a national penal population of 433,000, suggesting a decrease of 6000 inmates since November 2022.

    “In contrast, FSIN data had indicated a decrease of 23,000 from September to November 2022. Wagner recruitment was likely a major contributing factor to this drop.

    “Separately, anecdotal evidence from Ukrainian combatants over the last ten days suggests a reduced Russian reliance on human wave style assaults by Wagner convict fighters in key sectors.

    “Significant tensions between Wagner and the Russian Ministry of Defence are playing out in public; competition between factions in the Russian elite is likely to be partially responsible for the reduced supply of convicts.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine urges EU accession talks this year ahead of key summit

    Ukraine will host a key summit with the European Union on Friday, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying he wants to hold talks "this year" on his war-battered country joining the bloc.

    EU leaders granted candidate status to Ukraine in June last year, just months after Russia sent troops into the pro-Western country. But the path to full membership remains long, and could take years.

    The bloc's chief Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Thursday with the EU's most senior diplomat, Josep Borrell.

    "I believe that Ukraine deserves to start negotiations on EU membership this year," Zelensky said Thursday after talks with von der Leyen.

    "Only together a strong Ukraine and a strong European Union can protect the life we value."

    Earlier this week, Ukraine expanded anti-corruption efforts by raiding the residences of an oligarch and a former interior minister, a key issue for Kyiv to secure approval to join the EU.

    Von der Leyen tweeted that Ukraine was "taking notable steps forward to meet our recommendations, while at the same time fighting an invasion".

    "We have never been closer," she said, noting that the EU was "working on extending tariff-free access to our market".

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraines allies push IMF to approve $14 bn-$16bn loan – FT report

    The Financial Times reports Ukraine's allies are pushing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finalise plans for a multibillion-dollar lending programme.

    IMF representatives are planning to meet Ukrainian officials in mid-February to advance discussions over a loan that could range from $14 billion to $16 billion, the report said, citing officials familiar with the talks.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Modern warfare ‘accelerating away from the MoD’ say MPs (1/2)

    PAC is calling for a fundamental change in the way the MoD administers technological upgrades, calling the failures to deliver "worrying".

    Labour MP Dame Meg said: "The MoD as it currently operates is frankly not up to the task it faces.

    "The scale and nature of the challenge of modern warfare is accelerating away from the Ministry, while it's bogged down in critical projects that are years delayed and at risk of being obsolescent on delivery.

    "Two of its major digital transformation projects have been written off as 'unachievable' by the oversight body.

    "There is no world in which that is an acceptable situation at the heart of our national defence."

    The MoD said it has made "significant progress" in delivering IT projects.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Modern warfare 'accelerating away from the MoD' say MPs (1/2)

    Modern warfare is "accelerating away" from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) due to its failure to overhaul technological and IT systems, MPs have said.

    A report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee found the department had been "struggling for years" to deliver upgrades, some of them needed for use by UK warships and satellites.

    Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the committee, said the delays meant some projects were in danger "of being obsolescent on delivery".

    Two vital systems have been deemed "unachievable" by the oversight body, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, MPs said.

  • Jimmy Grant

    Rishi Sunak sticks to Fighter Jet decision

    Rishi Sunak has praised Boris Johnson on his stance with the Ukraine war, however he insists that the former PM is “acting in his own capacity”.

    Mr Sunak’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister welcomes all colleagues’ backing for Ukraine and is pleased the former prime minister is continuing his staunch support of the United Kingdom’s efforts to help Ukraine secure a lasting peace.”

    But he said Mr Johnson is “acting in his own capacity”.

    When asked about sending jets the official said: “It’s currently not practical to send UK jets. We will continue to work closely with the Ukrainians to understand their needs and how allies can further support them.

    “Given the complexity of UK fighter jets and the length of time required to train them, we do not currently think it is practical to do so.”

  • Jimmy Grant

    Boris Johnson addresses Atlantic Council

    Former prime minister Boris Johnson addressed the Atlantic Council in Washington DC yesterday, speaking about the importance of Western unity and the need to supply weapons to Ukraine, calling on leaders to “intensify” support.

    Johnson said: “Give them the deep fire and artillery systems. Give them the tanks. Give them the planes. Because they have a plan. They know what they need to do.

    “Every time we’ve been asked to intensify our support, we’ve been met with the same argument that we risk an escalation by Putin.

    “How can we seriously worry about provoking him when we have seen what he will do, without the slightest provocation?

    He added: “We need to stop focusing on Putin and focus entirely on Ukraine because they are fighting for all of us.

    “They’re fighting for our values, and they have reminded us that those values of freedom and democracy are worth fighting for. So there are no conceivable grounds for delay.”

    Credit: PA
  • Jimmy Grant

    Ukrainian military’s ability to train quickly ‘unbelievable’

    A top US official said Ukraine’s ability to train quickly means Western tanks could be utilised before Russia launches its expected spring offensive.

    US ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, told Sky News: “The one thing that’s been unbelievable over the last year is the Ukrainian military’s ability to train up on equipment and utilise it in real-time.

    “The way they have condensed the period of training that is often required for the systems that we have given them is nothing short of remarkable.”

  • Jimmy Grant

    Russia hits out at Boris claims

    Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed what the former prime minister said was not true, or “more precisely, a lie”.

    It comes after the former PM revealed to the BBC that Putin had threatened to kill him.

    He recalls: “I got Putin on the blower again. He said, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join Nato any time soon. What is ‘Any time soon?’.

    “And I said, ‘Well, it’s not going to join NATO for the foreseeable future. You know that perfectly well.

    “He sort of threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute’, or something like that.

    “I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate.”

  • Jimmy Grant

    Latvia will not send athletes to Olympics if Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete

    Latvia will not send athletes to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics if Russia and Belarus are allowed to take part.

    A spokesperson for Latvia’s Olympic committee said: “If we need to make a decision now, of course we will not go to such competition. But the Paris Games is a year and half away.

    “We will see what happens in Ukraine – we hope Ukrainian people will win this war, and we will be in a new situation.”

    The International Olympic Committee said last week that it was working on enabling Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the games.

  • Jimmy Grant

    Turkey to block Sweden from joining NATO

    Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, will not support Sweden‘s bid for NATO membership.

    Following Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland filed simultaneous applications to join the trans-Atlantic defence pact.

    Erdogan said: “Sweden should not bother to try at this point. We will not say ‘yes’ to their NATO application as long as they allow burning of the Koran.”

    The only countries yet to ratify Sweden and Finland’s NATO memberships are Turkey and Hungary.

  • Jimmy Grant

    ‘Lack of Western support’ to blame for Ukraine’s slowed advance, think-tank claims

    A US-based think-tank has suggested the West’s delay in sending equipment to Ukraine is to blame for the country’s lack of advances since November.

    The Institute for the Study of War think-tank said “the West’s failure to provide the necessary materiel” is to blame for Ukraine’s lack of gains.

    This comes as Putin’s continue to gain territory in the east.

  • Jimmy Grant

    British tanks to be delivered to Ukraine ‘by the summer’

    The UK’s defence minister confirmed on Monday the squadron of tanks promised to Ukraine will be delivered “by the summer.”

    Speaking to Parliament on Monday, Ben Wallace said: “It’ll be this side of the summer or May – it’ll be probably towards Easter time.”

    He went on to say further details could not be provided for security reasons.

  • Jimmy Grant

    Watch: Russian command post destroyed

    The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine posted a video on social media showing a Russian command post and ammunition depot being destroyed.

    Defense of Ukraine tweeted: “The gunners of the 28th Brigade, together with the air reconnaissance of the 4th brigade of the National Guard, have destroyed the command post and ammunition depot of the occupiers.”

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