Ukraine War Briefing: Zelensky warns US aid delays could force Ukrainian troops to ‘gradually withdraw’

  • Ukraine’s troops will have to retreat in “small steps” if they don’t get promised U.S. military aid blocked by congressional disputeVolodymyr Zelensky has said, “Without U.S. support, it means we have no air defense systems, no Patriot missiles, no electronic warfare jammers, no 155mm artillery shells,” the Ukrainian president told The Washington Post Newspaper”. “That means we’re going to step back, step back, step by step, baby step. We’re trying to find ways to not step back.”

  • Massive Russian missile and drone attacks on thermal and hydroelectric power plants in central and western Ukraine The latest attack on the country’s crippled power infrastructure was carried out overnight, officials said on Friday. Zelensky said the Kaniv hydroelectric power plant and the Dnist nuclear power plant on the Dnist river that flows through neighboring Moldova were among the targets. Moscow “Hope” The environmental disaster in the Kherson region is being repeated. But now not only Ukraine, but Moldova is also under threat,” he said on Telegram.

  • Ukraine said it had imposed emergency power outages in several regions following the Russian attack. State grid operator Ukrenergo said its dispatch center “was forced to implement an emergency power outage schedule until the evening in the Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Kirovograd regions.” After last week’s strike in Russia, Hal Restrictions have already been implemented in the cities of Kov and Krivoy Rog.

  • Polish Prime Minister said Europe is entering the “pre-war” era, Warning that continent is not ready yet and urged European countries to increase defense investment. “I don’t want to scare anyone, but war is no longer a concept of the past. It is real and it started more than two years ago,” Donald Tusk said in an interview with a European newspaper reported by the BBC. The comments came days after a brief Russian missile launch. Violation of Polish airspace The attack on Ukraine prompted Warsaw to put its troops on a state of readiness.

  • 1 dead, 2 injured in Belgorod, Russia Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said the attack was the result of a Ukrainian drone strike.

  • Russian security services say they have arrested three people from “Central Asian countries” who planned the attack According to Russian news agencies, a terrorist attack occurred in the southern region of Russia. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Friday that the three “planned to carry out a terrorist attack by blowing up a device in a public place in the Stavropol region”. Photos were shown of several men being pushed to the ground by FSB agents.

  • Russia has six times the firepower of Ukrainian troops on the front linesUkraine’s recently appointed commander-in-chief Alexander Silsky said in a rare interview published on Friday that the attack had caused losses in troops and positions. He also said that the number of Ukrainian troops that would need to be mobilized would be smaller than initially expected. Zelensky said in December that his army had proposed mobilizing an additional 500,000 Ukrainians to join the armed forces as Russia stepped up its attacks on the 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) front, but Silsky said in an interview with Ukrainian media It said the media released news on Friday that the number had been “significantly reduced” following a review of resources.

  • Ukraine receives $1.5bn (£1.2bn) under World Bank programMinister Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said it would help cover budget and social expenditures during the war.

  • Zelensky continues to demand changes for officials close to him, fired two deputy directors of his office and appointed a former senior security official as ambassador to neighboring Moldova. A presidential decree on Friday announced the dismissal of Andriy Smyrnov, who was responsible for legal policy affairs, and Oleksiy Dniprov, who was in charge of the office’s “institutions”. Zelensky said he had appointed Oleksiy Danilov, the former chairman of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Council, as ambassador to Moldova.

  • NATO member Romania says it has discovered debris from a suspected drone On a farm near the Danube River and the Ukrainian border.

  • Zelensky announces income rise to 12.42 million hryvnias ($316,000/£250,000) in 2022 Compared with 3.7 million hryvnia ($94,000) in the previous year, the increase was attributed to improvements in rent collection and the sale of some government bonds. Zelensky and his family make most of their income from his salary, bank interest and rent payable on properties, the president’s website said. Zelensky called on public officials to disclose their income as part of an effort to increase transparency.

  • Russian prosecutors ask Justice Department to consider labeling Soviet pop queen Alla Pugacheva a “foreign agent”The move would formally designate Russia’s most famous star as an enemy of the Kremlin. Pugacheva expressed her distaste for the war in Ukraine.

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