Ukraine's latest war: North Korea 'will continue to supply weapons to Wagner Group,' US says, as West fails to make decision to send tanks to Ukraine (2023)

Important points
  • There is 'evidence' that North Korea is supplying weapons to the Wagner Group: White House
  • Satellite images show 'wagons traveling from Russia to North Korea'
  • Zelenskyy veiledly criticizes Germany's reluctance to share tanks
  • Poland ready for "non-standard" measures in this matter
  • Dominic Waghorn analysis:Why do we hear so much about tanks?
  • Diana Magay:Wagner Group suffers heavy losses as Yevgeny Prigozhin steps into the spotlight
  • Live reports frombelieve in the riddle. Updates also from Alex Rossi in Ukraine, Diana Magnay in Moscow and Mark Stone in Washington DC

21:50:01

Ukrainian minister has "open discussion" with his German counterpart over tank deliveries

We received an update on the situation on German-made tanks in the last few minutes.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov said he had "an open discussion" with his German counterpart Boris Pistorius about the delivery of the Leopard 2.

He added that talks between the two ministers continue.

Reznikov made the remarks after attending a meeting of Western allies in Germany, where Ukraine's partners did not agree to hand over the tanks to Kyiv.

Germany, which makes Leopard tanks, would have to agree to any transfer.

21:28:14

"Ukrainian blood" is the price of hesitation in tank deliveries, says Polish minister

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau reacted to the West's failure to reach a decision on the relocation of German tanks at a meeting today.

He said that "Ukrainian blood" is the "price of hesitation in Leopard deliveries." We must act now."

Mr. Rau added: "Arming Ukraine to prevent Russian aggression is not a form of decision-making."

21:03:28

(Video) CBC News: The National | Russia-Ukraine war, Ohio derailment safety, Masai Ujiri

Remarkable statistics show that 50,000 Wagner Group fighters were deployed to Ukraine

Analysis by Mark Stone, US correspondent

As reported by Sky News from the Russian city where the Wagner mercenary group trains its fighters (see 4:49 p.m. post), officials in Washington - at the White House - have revealed some striking statistics.

White House National Security Council spokesman Admiral John Kirby told us tonight that some 50,000 Wagner Group fighters are currently stationed in Ukraine.

Kirby based his assessments on US intelligence reports, saying 10,000 of them were contractors and the other 40,000 were convicts.

"Over 90% of Wagner's victims were ex-convicts who were bailed out of prison with no training and thrown into the fray," he said.

He also claimed that Wagner was becoming the rival power of the Russian Defense Ministry. He built the image of a growing power struggle in Russia.

The Americans also announced that Wagner was labeled a transnational criminal organization, a label that unlocks various mechanisms to disrupt his work.

A greater number of nations and institutions will now be better able to stop the flow of money to Wagner.

It is a form of sanction, but as we know, sanctions in this war have so far been clearly ineffective in stopping Russian aggression.

As part of their trial against Wagner, the Americans released two satellite images showing North Korea supplying Russia with weapons.

Two released images show, the Americans say, rolling stock operated by Wagner at locations on either side of the small shared border between North Korea and Russia.

For some time, the West has believed that North Korea, together with Iran, helped replenish Russia's arms reserves.

20:40:01

The Wagner group denies recruiting Serbs for the Ukraine war, a day after the activists filed a complaint.

Russia's Wagnerian mercenary group has denied recruiting Serbs to fight in Ukraine, a day after activists filed criminal charges against the organization in Belgrade.

Among those named in the complaints were the Russian ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, and Aleksandar Vulin, head of Serbia's State Security and Information Agency.

"I don't recruit Serbs," Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement, saying he was not Botsan-Charchenko's or Vulin's manager.

(Video) Brave Move from North Korea: Kim Jong-un Will Stop Putin!

Earlier this week, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Russia should halt efforts to recruit Serbs to fight alongside Wagner's forces.

He said that Russian websites and social media groups posted ads in Serbian calling for volunteers from the Wagner group.

It comes as the United States said it was imposing new sanctions on the Wagner Group, accusing them of supplying North Korean weapons to Russia for the Ukraine war.

Wagner denies it.

20:20:01

Satellite images show wagons running between Russia and North Korea

We previously reported on when the White House claimed it had evidence that North Korea was providing weapons to the Russian Wagner Group for use in Ukraine.

The satellite images below, released by White House spokesman John Kirby, purportedly show Russian railcars moving between Russia and North Korea.

20:13:42

Former US Navy SEAL dies in Ukraine

A former Navy SEAL has been killed in the Ukraine, a US official has confirmed.

Daniel W. Swift of Oregon was reportedly killed on January 18.

The Navy Absentee Collection and Information Center confirmed that Mr. Swift had "active deserter status" as of March 11, 2019.

The official added: "We cannot speculate why the former sailor was in Ukraine."

19:55:01

It's unclear how the problem with German-made tanks will be resolved, says a US official.

The United States is "frustrated" by Germany's "back and forth" in providing much-needed tanks to Ukraine, a senior US official told a briefing.

A visit by several US officials to Germany, Poland and Ukraine followed.

The source said that Berlin was "trying to embarrass the US into sending its own Abrams tanks, but it won't work."

They added that the United States "will not provide Ukraine with expensive and difficult-to-maintain tanks that government officials believe the Ukrainians do not need their targets just to give another country cover for their own internal decisions."

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley were also said to not believe the Abrams tanks "will be a positive outcome for the Ukrainians given how difficult they are to operate and maintain."

They insisted that the United States "does not refrain" from providing its own tanks, fearing this could escalate.

The official also said that the United States "does not know" how to solve the problem with the German-made Leopard 2 tanks.

(Video) North Korea: US expanding proxy war for destroying Russia | Latest World News | Top News | WION

19:35:01

Ukraine "will still have to fight" to secure tank supplies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said tonight that Ukraine still has to fight to secure supplies of "modern heavy weapons."

His comments came after allied Western nations failed to agree on whether or not to hand over German-built Leopard main battle tanks.

“Every day we make it clearer that there is no alternative to a decision on the tanks,” he said.

Currently, the export license for Leopard 2 is held by Germany, which means that other countries also need a permit to ship their stock abroad.

Given the lack of an agreement at Ramstein Air Force Base today, expect that argument to continue to resonate.

Some nations may decide to send their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, regardless of whether or not they get permission from Berlin; indeed, Poland's prime minister has already suggested that his government might pursue this course of action.

(Video) NATO's Stoltenberg urges South Korea to supply weapons to Ukraine | DW News

19:15:02

War Diaries from Ukraine: Coping with War with Comedy

The idea of ​​an evening of comedy in a war-torn country is somewhat jarring against the backdrop of dizzying living conditions and rising casualties in eastern Ukraine.

But in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, where blackouts and electricity rationing have become a feature of winter life, the need for humor as a means of escape persists, according to Oksana Koshel, a writer for Sky's Ukrainian War Diary. News.

In the latest episode of the podcast, she reluctantly attends a comedy night with her husband and colleague Seva.

It is an experience that involves both reflection and perspective, as well as some deep insights into war.

18:53:43

A "significant step" by the US: As the White House claims, North Korea is supplying weapons

Here is an immediate response to the US claim that North Korea is supplying weapons to the Russian mercenary group Wagner in Ukraine.

OurMark Stone, US correspondentI had that to say...

"It is very interesting and interesting that he comes now.

“The White House has labeled the Wagner Group a transnational criminal organization. Also, they have now ordered the US Department of Justice to look into this specifically.

“All of this effectively opens the doors and allows both the Americans and others…to also investigate Wagner and be about to cut off financial supplies.

“At first glance, a significant move by the White House.

“In addition, in the last 20 minutes they have released some satellite images that they believe show the transfer of weapons from North Korea to Russia.

"They say this happened sometime recently."

(Video) Retired colonel predicts what could happen if China supports Russia

Videos

1. US Rep. Adam Smith: 'Ukraine War must be a strategic failure for Russia' | DW Interview
(DW News)
2. Can North Korea ACTUALLY Pull Off an Invasion?
(Task & Purpose)
3. Abrams, Leopard and Challenger 2 vs. T-72: How Western Tanks Compare to Russia’s Armor | WSJ
(Wall Street Journal)
4. U.S. intelligence suggests Russia getting weapons from North Korea
(CBS New York)
5. Wagner Group chief openly criticizes Russian military leaders
(CNN)
6. Ukraine urges western allies to speed up decision on tanks as Russia attacks south east
(Channel 4 News)
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