Kyiv – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged on Saturday to provide Ukraine with tanks and artillery systems amid renewed missile strikes by Moscow targeting the Ukrainian capital and other cities.
Sunak’s Downing Street office said in a statement that it had promised to provide Challenger 2 tanks and other artillery systems after speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday.
The delivery date and quantity of the tanks have not been disclosed. British media reported, without citing sources, that four British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks would soon be sent to Eastern Europe, followed soon after by eight more.
In a tweet on Saturday, Zelensky thanked Sunak “for the decision that not only strengthens us on the battlefield, but also sends the right signal to our other partners.”
For months, Ukraine has sought supplies of heavier tanks, including the U.S. Abrams and Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks, but Western leaders have proceeded cautiously.
The Czech Republic and Poland donated Soviet-era T-72 tanks to the Ukrainian Army. Poland also announced its readiness to provide a company of Leopard tanks, but President Andrzej Duda said during a recent visit to the Ukrainian city of Lviv that the move was part of a larger international coalition of tank aid to Kyiv. He emphasized that it is possible only as a department.
Earlier this month, France pledged to supply Ukraine with the AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicle (called “light tank” in French).
Sunak’s announcement came hours after a series of explosions rocked Kyiv on Saturday morning. Infrastructure targets were hit in what Ukrainian officials said was a missile strike.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said the explosion was heard in the residential Dniprovsky district on the left bank of the Dnieper. Klitschko also said fragments of the missile fell on a non-residential area in the Holoseevsky district on the right bank, causing a brief fire in a building there. So far, no casualties have been reported.
It was not immediately clear whether several facilities in Kyiv had been targeted or if only one reported facility had been attacked. The Ukrainian capital has not been hit by missiles since New Year’s Eve on January 1.
In the suburban Kyiv region, a house in the village of Kopylib was attacked and the windows of a nearby house were blown out, Tymoshenko said.
A total of 18 private homes were damaged in the area, according to Regional Governor Oleksii Kuleba. “The roof and windows are damaged,” but there were no casualties, Kreba said in a Telegram post.
Earlier on Saturday, two Russian missiles hit Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, the governor of the Kharkiv region reported.
Oleh Syniehubov said the Russian military fired two S-300 missiles at the industrial area of Kharkov. Snieubov said the strike targeted “energy and industrial targets in Kharkov and the (suburb) region”. No casualties were reported, but officials said emergency power outages could occur in the city and other settlements in the region.
The attack follows conflicting reports about the fate of the hotly contested salt-mining town of Soledar in eastern Ukraine. Russia claims its forces have captured the town. This would mark a rare victory for the Kremlin after a series of humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.
Ukrainian officials and President Zelensky insist the battle over Soledar will continue.
Moscow fought the battle of the town and the nearby city of Bakhmut as a key to capturing the eastern region of Donbass, which consisted of the partially occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and crushing the best Ukrainian forces, smashing their offensive. Designed as a way to prevent. Launch counterattacks elsewhere.
However, Ukraine says that strong defenses of its eastern strongholds are helping to detain Russian forces, so it is dear to both sides. Western officials and analysts say the two towns’ importance is more symbolic than strategic.
Arhirova reported from Kyiv, Ukraine.
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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/01/14/ukrainian-officials-report-russian-missile-attack-on-kyiv/ UK supplies tanks to Ukraine as Russian missile hits Kyiv