The arrival of the first "UN" humanitarian aid convoy to Solidar, Ukraine

Russia controls a town near Bakhmut.. and Kiev is waiting for European tanks

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius speaks during a meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group at the US Air Base in Ramstein, Germany.


Yesterday, Russia announced the control of Klishchevka, the small town to the south of Bakhmut, which has become a center of battles.

In its violent campaign that has been going on for months towards the city, and while military analysts warned that the tanks that Western allies might send to Kyiv would not be a "magic wand" in the war, the Kremlin said that sending Western tanks to Ukraine would not prevent Russia from achieving its goals.

Meanwhile, the United Nations announced that the first international humanitarian aid convoy had arrived in the vicinity of the town of Solidar in eastern Ukraine, which witnessed some of the fiercest battles since the start of the Russian war.

In detail, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, said, in a regular press conference, that the village of Klishchevka, nine kilometers south of Bakhmut, was taken over by Russian forces.

The Russian announcement could not be independently verified, and Ukrainian officials have yet to comment on it.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian presidential office said, yesterday, that at least five civilians were killed during the past 24 hours, while six others were wounded, as Russian forces bombed seven regions in the south and east of the country.

In the context, said John Logue of the Chatham House think tank in London, the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine is "inconclusive" with renewed Russian pressure expected in the spring.

Meanwhile, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said yesterday that some European countries are ready to send heavy tanks to Ukraine, adding that he hopes that the decision to send them will be taken during talks held by defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

NATO defense ministers and their counterparts from about 50 nations are meeting at Ramstein Air Base, the latest in a series of arms pledge conferences since Russia's war with Ukraine.

The main focus of the talks is whether Germany will allow the re-export of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

"This is the debate that will take place in Ramstein, and in which the European Union will be represented," Borrell told reporters in Madrid.

We have to give Ukraine the weapons needed to not only repel the attacks as they are doing now, but also to take back territory.”

Hours before the start of the meeting, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark announced that new and large batches of weapons had been sent to Kyiv.

For its part, Britain pledged to provide Ukraine with 600 additional Brimstone missiles, while Denmark promised to provide it with 19 French-made Caesar guns and Sweden with Archer guns.

In turn, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: "There is a need for German tanks, Finnish tanks, Danish tanks, and French tanks."

In Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the allies meeting in Germany to expedite shipments of heavy weapons to his country, especially tanks and long-range missiles, in support of Kiev in its upcoming decisive battles against Russia.

The Kremlin responded immediately, stressing that these tank shipments would not change the situation on the ground.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "These shipments cannot change anything, but rather will cause new problems for Ukraine," mentioning in particular the burden of "maintenance and repair."

He stressed, "The importance of delivering such weapons or its ability to change anything should not be exaggerated. This will not change anything in terms of the Russian side's progress towards achieving its goals."

In Geneva, the United Nations announced yesterday that the first UN humanitarian aid convoy had arrived in the vicinity of the town of Solidar in eastern Ukraine, which witnessed some of the fiercest fighting since the start of the war.

"This is the first aid convoy for relief organizations to arrive in the region," said Jens Larky, spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA), during a press conference.

He pointed out that the convoy, which includes three trucks carrying water, food and basic commodities for about 800 people, began unloading its cargo, explaining that the United Nations is trying to send additional aid. 

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