A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Russian T-14 Armata tanks are now in use in Ukraine, “but they have not yet participated in direct assault operations,” according to the RIA state news agency. The T-14, unveiled in 2015, features an unmanned turret. A minimal number of tanks have actually been produced and their reliability in combat is questionable. Their deployment may primarily be for propaganda purposes.
The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, an alliance of NATO and other countries, met recently to discuss Ukraine’s military requirements. Discussions focused largely on bolstering air defenses, particularly for civilian populations and infrastructure. Other critical items being provided include ammunition and other military enablers.
Approximately 8,800 Ukrainian troops have received training from U.S. forces, according to U.S. officials. Another 2,250 Ukrainian troops are currently taking part in a U.S. training program in Germany. Around half of the U.S.-trained troops are in mechanized battalions. These troops represent only a small fraction of Ukraine’s armed forces, which grew from around 246,500 before the invasion to more than 700,000, according to the Ukrainian government.
Russia says it stopped a naval drone attack on the port of Sevastopol on Monday. Meanwhile, a Ukrainian UJ-22 unmanned aerial vehicle reportedly crashed into a forest 200 kilometers east of Moscow. The aircraft was carrying 17 kilograms (37 lb) of explosives.
Canada announced a CAD39 million ($28.6 million) security assistance package to Ukraine that includes fuel, modular floating bridge assets, medical supplies, 40 .50-caliber sniper rifles from PGW Defence Technologies, and 16 radio sets from L3Harris that will be used alongside Leopard 2 tanks. Earlier this month, Ottawa announced plans to donate CAD59 million ($43.3 million) worth of equipment to Ukraine, including 21,000 assault rifles, 38 machine guns, and 2.4 million rounds of ammunition. Donated weapons include M16A4 rifles, M5 carbines, and C8A2 carbines.
Ukraine’s military forces have all the equipment, weapons and ammunition they need to launch their long-awaited spring offensive, according to a top U.S. military commander. Western tanks, including British-made Challengers and German-made Leopards, began arriving in Ukraine last month.
Russia recently launched more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones deep into Ukraine, including the first missile attack targeted at Kyiv in nearly two months. Ukrainian officials say at least 22 were killed, most of whom were in an apartment building in the city of Uman.