Read Time:8 Minute, 57 Second

Key events

Belarus’ Ministry of Defence has just issued this most recent statement regarding its joint air force drills with Russia this morning.

Today, a joint tactical flight exercise of the aviation units of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation, which are part of the aviation component of the regional grouping of troops (forces), has started.”

The ministry added that the main goal of the exercise is “to increase operational compatibility in the joint performance of combat training tasks”.

Belarus begins air force drills with Russia

Russia and Belarus have begun joint air force drills this morning, triggering fears in Kyiv and the west that Moscow could use its ally to launch a new ground offensive in Ukraine.

According to a statement published to the Telegram account of the Belarus Ministry of Defence, units from Russia’s aerospace forces arrived at the airfields of Belarus late on Sunday night.

Just after 8am local time the ministry said the planned combat training tasks had begun.

A subdivision of the 120th Separate Guards Mechanised Brigade, as part of the coordination of the Belarusian and Russian parts of the regional grouping of forces, began to carry out a number of combat training tasks.

After the march to the 227th combined-arms training ground, the military personnel will begin to conduct control classes in combat training subjects.”

В рамках проведения совместных мероприятий боевого слаживания РГВ (С) Беларуси и России артиллерийские подразделения 11 омбр приводятся в готовность к выполнению задач по предназначению.

Ход выполнения мероприятий проверил генерал-майор Виктор Гулевич. pic.twitter.com/RFwmFnGBHk

— Минобороны Беларуси (@MOD_BY) January 13, 2023

Minsk earlier said the drills are defensive, however the ongoing buildup of Russian troops in Belarus, combined with a flurry of military activity in the country, is an echo to what was happening there just before Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine when Moscow used the country as a springboard to launch the attack.

Together with Moscow, Minsk has also been bolstering the drills with weaponry and military equipment.

Unofficial Telegram military monitoring channels have been reporting a series of fighters, helicopters and military transport planes coming to Belarus since the start of the year – eight fighters and four cargo planes on Sunday alone.

The Belarusian defence ministry said only that “units” of Russia’s air forces have been arriving in Belarus.

During the tactical flight exercise, all airfields and training grounds of the Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of Belarus will be involved,” the ministry said in a statement as cited by Reuters.

The situation on Belarus’s southern border – the border with Ukraine – was “not very calm,” and Ukraine has been “provoking” Belarus, said Pavel Muraveyko, first deputy state secretary of Belarusian Security Council, according to a post on the Belarusian defence ministry’s Telegram app on Sunday.

We’re maintaining restraint and patience, keeping our gunpowder dry,” Muraveyko said. “We have the necessary set of forces and means that will respond to any manifestations of aggression or a terrorist threat on our territory.”

Ukraine has continuously warned of possible attacks from Belarus and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week that the country must be ready at its border with Belarus.

The Kremlin has denied that it has been pressuring Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to take a more active role in the conflict in Ukraine. Minsk has said it will not enter the war.

A series of haunting images show the aftermath of Sunday’s missile attack on a residential block in Dnipro.

Emergency workers search the remains of a residential building that was struck by a Russian missile on Sunday. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Firefighters battle the blaze at a multi-story residential building.
Firefighters battle the blaze at a multi-story residential building. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images
The number of people killed in a Russian missile attack on a residential block in Dnipro has risen to 30, according to Ukrainian officials.
The number of people killed in a Russian missile attack on a residential block in Dnipro has risen to 30, according to Ukrainian officials. Photograph: Ukrinform/REX/Shutterstock
Red Cross and UNHCR representatives distribute food, heating and humanitarian aid to the victims in Dnipro.
Red Cross and UNHCR representatives distribute food, heating and humanitarian aid to the victims in Dnipro. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images
Dnipro’s mayor Borys Filatov said he believes the chances of saving people ‘now are minimal’
Dnipro’s mayor Borys Filatov said he believes the chances of saving people ‘now are minimal’ Photograph: Ukrinform/REX/Shutterstock
A rescue worker scours the rubble during search and rescue operations at a residential building hit by a missile in Dnipro, Ukraine.
A rescue worker scours the rubble during search and rescue operations at a residential building hit by a missile in Dnipro, Ukraine. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

Death toll from Dnipro strike rises to 35

The number of people killed in a Russian missile attack on a residential block in Dnipro has risen to 35, according to Ukrainian officials.

Dnipro’s regional governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, confirmed 35 people were killed in the attack in an update shared to Telegram about 8.30am on Monday.

The search and rescue operation in Dnipro has been going on for almost 40 hours.

At night, rescuers pulled out several more dead from under the rubble of a high-rise building destroyed by a Russian missile.

At that time, the enemy attack claimed the lives of 35 residents of the building. Among them are two children.

39 people were saved, 75 were injured. Among the injured are 14 children.

The fate of another 35 residents of the building is unknown. The search for people under the rubble continues.

Dnipro’s mayor, Borys Filatov, told Reuters:

The chances of saving people now are minimal. I think the number of dead will be in the dozens.”

Claiming responsibility for the missile strikes across Ukraine, Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that it achieved its goal.

A ministry statement posted on Telegram said: “All designated targets have been hit. The goal of the attack has been achieved.” However, it did not mention the attack on the Dnipro residential building.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy condemned the Russian people’s “cowardly silence” over the attack, noting that Ukraine had received messages of sympathy from around the world over “this terror.”

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments as they unfold over the next few hours.

Rescuers continue to comb the rubble of a nine-story apartment building that was destroyed by a Russian strike in Dnipro on Sunday, as the death toll from the attack climbs to 35.

Russia and Belarus will begin joint air force drills on Monday, which have triggered fears in Kyiv and the west that Moscow could use its ally to launch a new ground offensive in Ukraine.

Minsk says the drills are “purely defensive in nature” though Ukraine has warned of possible attacks from its neighbour to the north.

If you have just joined us, here are all the latest developments:

  • The number of people killed in a Russian missile attack on a residential block in Dnipro has risen to 35, according to Ukrainian officials. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his latest address that “the list of the dead includes 30 people, including one child – a girl, she was 15 years old”. At least 73 people were wounded and 39 people had been rescued as of Sunday afternoon. The city government in Dnipro said 43 people were still reported missing. “The chances of saving people now are minimal,” Dnipro’s mayor, Borys Filatov, told Reuters. I think the number of dead will be in the dozens.”

  • Claiming responsibility for the missile strikes across Ukraine, Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that it achieved its goal. A ministry statement posted on Telegram said: “All designated targets have been hit. The goal of the attack has been achieved.” However, it did not mention the attack on the Dnipro residential building.

  • President Vladimir Putin has told Russian state television that what he calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine has gained positive momentum. “The dynamic is positive,” he told Rossiya 1 state television. “Everything is developing within the framework of the plan of the ministry of defence and the general staff.” Putin said he hoped soldiers would deliver more wins after Russia claimed control of the eastern Ukrainian salt-mining town of Soledar – a claim disputed by Kyiv.

  • Battle tanks from German industrial reserves wanted by Ukraine will not be ready to be delivered until 2024. The warning from arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will dampen Kyiv’s hopes that the UK’s promise to deliver Challenger 2 tanks would encourage other European nations to swiftly follow suit. “Even if the decision to send our Leopard tanks to Kyiv came tomorrow, the delivery would take until the start of next year,” Rheinmetall’s chief executive, Armin Papperger, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

  • The UK prime minister has confirmed the country will provide 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks and other advanced artillery support to Ukraine in the coming weeks. Downing Street said Rishi Sunak made the pledge during a call on Saturday morning with Volodymyr Zelenskiy as a sign of the UK’s “ambition to intensify our support to Ukraine”. Russia’s embassy in Britain said the move would only “intensify” the conflict.

  • The UK foreign secretary has said “now is the time to accelerate and go further and faster” in giving Ukraine the support it needs. In a column for British tabloid the Sun on Sunday, James Cleverly writes that the Russian army is on the defensive and morale among its troops is pitiful, blaming the “shambolic state of Russian military logistics”.

  • Nato’s secretary general said Ukraine could expect more deliveries of heavy weapons from western countries soon. “The recent pledges for heavy warfare equipment are important – and I expect more in the near future,” Jens Stoltenberg told Germany’s Handelsblatt daily on Sunday. Western allies will consider sending battle tanks to Kyiv ahead of a meeting in Ramstein in Germany next Friday where governments are expected to announce their latest pledges of military support.

  • Belarus’s security council said on Sunday that joint air force drills with Russia, due to start on Monday, were purely defensive in nature and would focus on reconnaissance missions and how to thwart a potential attack. “The exercise is purely defensive in nature,” said Pavel Muraveyko, first deputy state secretary of the Belarusian security council, according to a post on the Belarusian defence ministry’s Telegram app on Sunday. “It will be a set of measures to prepare our and Russian aviation to carry out the relevant combat missions.”

For any updates or feedback you wish to share, please feel free to get in touch via email or Twitter.

Red Cross and UNHCR representatives distribute food, heating and humanitarian aid to the victims of the Dnipro attack.
Red Cross and UNHCR representatives distribute food, heating and humanitarian aid to the victims of the Dnipro attack. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images




Source link

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Previous post Russia loses over 116,000 soldiers in its war against Ukraine
Next post ISRO pushing Venus mission ‘Shukrayaan’ to 2031? – The Knowledge Pal