Zelensky fires top military commander • Ukrainian army commander visits Bachmut

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In this live blog you can read the most important developments about the war in Ukraine. It’s been a little over a year since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Ukrainian army commander visits Bachmut for moral support

The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces Oleksandr Syrskyi has visited Bachmoet to boost morale among the soldiers. He spoke, among others, with Ukrainian army units that defend the city and surrounding villages.

Syrskyi has had hero status in Ukraine since the war. He is credited with masterminding the defeat of Russian forces as they advanced to Kyiv at the start of the war and into the Kharkiv region in September.

In Telegram groups, soldiers from Bachmoet are full of praise for the visit of the 57-year-old army commander. “Syrskyi listened to the unit commanders, addressed urgent problems, helped resolve them and supported the military,” one of the messages reads.

In recent months, there has been a fierce battle for Bachmoet. Many residents have fled. The Russian army is trying to take over the city. Military experts tell Reuters they expect Ukrainian forces to devote their “maximum effort” to the defense of Bachmut in the coming days.

The leader of the Russian Wagner group claimed this weekend that the mercenary army has taken the village of Yahidne north of Bachmut, but the Ukrainian army command denies that.

Zelensky fires top military commander

Ukrainian President Zelensky has fired a senior military commander. Eduard Moskalyov co-led the army fighting Russian troops in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

A reason for the dismissal was not reported. In a one-sentence decree, Zelensky announced the resignation of his commander. Moskalyov took office in March 2022, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“American tanks are of little use, sent to convince Germany”

The White House has given the green light to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine in order to persuade Germany to send Leopard tanks. That said the national security adviser of US President Biden, Jake Sullivan, in an interview with TV channel ABC.

Sullivan says Biden was initially reluctant to send the 31 Abrams tanks because the Pentagon had told him they would not be useful on the battlefield in Ukraine. Leopard tanks could make a difference, but Germany emphasized that it would not send tanks without US commitment. So, according to Sullivan, Biden agreed to the tank delivery in the interests of “unity of the alliance” and “to make sure Ukraine gets what it wants.”

Incidentally, there is a chance that the American tanks will not be in Ukraine until next year. A senior U.S. military official said earlier this week that the delivery of the Abrams tanks is still under investigation and that “longer timelines” are involved.

An M1 Abrams tank

Weekend overview

Welcome to this live blog about the main developments surrounding the war in Ukraine. A quick look back at the main events of Saturday and Sunday:

  • President Putin has said that Russia should take NATO’s nuclear capabilities into account as its aim is to defeat Russia. Russia should not ignore their capabilities, Putin said in an interview on Russian state TV. He went on to say that the West intends to “liquidate” Russia.
  • The US intelligence service CIA is convinced that China is considering supplying weapons to Russia. That says director Burns in an interview. He emphasizes that Beijing has not yet taken a final decision. He also says that by sharing the information, the US is trying to convince China to refrain from doing so. US Secretary of State Blinken also said earlier that China is considering supplying weapons. He then said that this will have “serious consequences”.
  • Several hundred Russians protested at the Russian embassy in The Hague on Saturday. They carried banners against the war in Ukraine, which started exactly one year ago on Friday. The protesting Russians called for the release of those arrested in Russia, because they also demonstrated there against the war and President Putin’s policies.

Read more? Here you will find the previous live blog.

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