Ukraine War Updates: Russia Strikes Sumy Region 187 Times in 1 Day, Report

Live Updates
  • Today marks 11 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, over 18,400 civilian casualties have been recorded by the U.N., though officials continue to warn actual figures are "considerably higher."
  • Poland asked Germany for permission to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine; German lawmakers are expected to debate the ongoing issue tomorrow. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to approve Poland's request, according to reports by German media outlets.
  • Meanwhile, the Biden administration is expected to approve sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. A decision could also come as soon as tomorrow.
  • In a major government shake-up, several senior Ukrainian officials lost their jobs today amid a corruption scandal.
  • Ukraine has reclaimed control of about 54 percent of the territory temporarily occupied by Russian forces, according to the latest British intelligence.

Live updates have ended.

Destroyed building, swing set in Kharkiv
A swing set sits near a destroyed building in a section of Kharkiv that was heavily damaged by the Russians on January 24, 2023 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Russia Strikes Sumy Region 187 Times in 1 Day, Report

Russian strikes hit border towns in the Sumy region 187 times on Tuesday, according to Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the region's recently departed governor.

Artillery and mortar attacks impacted the Novoslobidsk, Bilopol, Esman, Shalyginsk, Myropol, Krasnopilsk and Putivl communities, Zhyvytskyi said in a post on Telegram. Strikes in Bilopol impacted the dining room and a utility structure at a psychoneurological boarding school, he said.

No casualties were reported in connection with Tuesday's strikes around Sumy border towns, Zhyvytskyi said.

Later Tuesday, Zhyvytskyi was one of five Ukrainian governors that officials with Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers said were dismissed amid allegations of government corruption. Other top Ukrainian officials, including the deputy minister of defense and the deputy minister of social policy, were also removed from their roles.

As Ukraine on Tuesday marked 11 months since the start of Russia's invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia "is preparing for a new wave of aggression," with a recent uptick in military pressure on Ukraine's Bakhmut and Vuhledar cities.

This anticipated increase in Russian aggression led Zelensky to again call on Ukraine's international partners to "respond to Russia's regular crimes" and "prevent new Russian criminal actions as much as possible."

"Our forces must retain the initiative in the war," Zelensky said during a Tuesday evening address.

Russia Planning 24 New Penal Colonies in Ukraine, Report

Russia is reportedly planning to launch 24 new penal colonies in parts of Ukraine that are currently under the control of Russian forces.

A decree from the Russian government obtained Tuesday by The Kyiv Independent said half of the new penal colonies will be created in the Donetsk region, about 50 percent of which is controlled by Russian troops. An additional seven penal colonies are planned for the Luhansk region, three will reportedly be in southern parts of Kherson, and two will be in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions last fall. Ukraine and its international partners refused to acknowledge these territories as part of Russia in the months that followed as Ukrainian troops worked on reclaiming territories occupied by Russian soldiers.

Switzerland Moves Toward Allowing Re-Export of Weapons

Some politicians in Switzerland's parliament are supporting a measure that, if approved, would allow Swiss weapons to be re-exported to Ukraine.

The Security Policy Commission of Switzerland's National Council, the country's lower chamber, voted 14-11 this week in favor of changing the rules on the re-export of Swiss weapons so that other countries would be allowed to provide Ukraine with their Swiss-made weapons.

In a Tuesday news release, the Security Policy Commission said the rule "should become invalid if it is certain that the war material was re-exported to Ukraine in connection with the Russian-Ukrainian war." The proposed change would be in effect through the end of 2025 if approved, the release said.

Those who voted against moving forward with the proposed rule change believe that doing so would be "problematic" due to Switzerland's stance on neutrality.

The full Swiss parliament has not yet voted to approve of the proposed change, according to The Kyiv Independent. News of the parliament's consideration of the issue came amid continued calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for additional military assistance as the war reached its 11-month mark.

Two British Volunteers Killed in Ukraine, Report

Two British civilians who were providing humanitarian assistance in Ukraine were reportedly killed earlier this month.

The family of 28-year-old Christopher Parry announced the deaths of Parry and his colleague, 48-year-old Andrew Bagshaw, in a statement released to several media outlets by the United Kingdom's Foreign Office. Bagshaw was reportedly a British national but had a home in New Zealand.

"It is with great sadness we have to announce that our beloved Chrissy has been killed along with his colleague Andrew Bagshaw whilst attempting a humanitarian evacuation from Soledar, eastern Ukraine," said a copy of the Parry family's statement that was shared with The Associated Press.

The statement went on to say that Parry "helped those most in need," including more than 400 people and "many" animals since traveling to Ukraine shortly after Russia's invasion began nearly one year ago.

The two men went missing earlier this month. At the time they were last spotted, they were trying to help an elderly woman evacuate, Bagshaw's family told the BBC. Parry and Bagshaw were en route to Soledar, a city near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, when their vehicle was struck by shelling, according to Bagshaw's family.

Cherilyn Mackroy, a member of the U.K. Parliament, offered her "deepest condolences" in response to the news of the two deaths and identified Parry as one of her constituents in a statement released on Twitter, according to the BBC.

"My thoughts are with his family at this time, and I understand they are receiving support from Foreign Office staff," her tweet said.

Kherson Reports Russian Strike on Maternity Hospital

Russian shelling damaged a maternity hospital in Ukraine's Kherson region, Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevich said Tuesday.

Yanushevich said on Telegram that a school and a clinic were also impacted by shelling.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, though medical staff were at the maternity hospital at the time, Yanushevich said. The hospital's building was damaged, as were windows and doors at the school and clinic. Parts of what Yanushevich identified as a "Russian projectile" struck a gas pipe, though he did not specify whether that occurred at the school or at the clinic.

The post included four pictures showing some of the damage, including torn walls at one location and debris scattered on the ground in front of a building.

Yanushevich's report preceded an announcement that he is leaving his role. Yanushevich is one of five regional governors dismissed this week after reportedly being linked to a government corruption scandal.

Russian troops shelled the Kherson region 29 times in the last day, according to Ukrinform, Ukraine's national news agency. One death was reportedly linked to those attacks. Four people, including two children, were also injured amid fighting in the Donetsk region, Ukrinform reported.

Senators Urge U.S. to Send Tanks to Ukraine

U.S. Senators are pushing the Pentagon to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

In a press briefing after a trip to Ukraine, a bipartisan group of Senators urged the Biden administration to send tanks as soon as possible.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the issue of tanks has become "center stage" in the world.

"We're convinced that the Ukrainians need heavy tanks, that the best tank for the fight is the German Leopard tank that American tanks can be helpful in this regard. If we send some Abrams tanks, it will open the floodgates to more tanks coming from allies," he said.

Graham said it is "impossible" to dislodge Russians from Ukraine without tanks.

The goal, he said, is to give Ukraine the weapons they need to beat Russians on the battlefield, not to send in U.S. troops or start World War III.

"I am more optimistic today than any time in recent memory about military assistance going into Ukraine in the form of tanks," he said.

Graham hopes Germany will send their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, saying this is a "moment for Germany to shine" and to "be a force of good."

"The sooner you can make this decision, the better off for the world," he said, adding that the day Germany send tanks and allows allies to send their tanks "is a day closer to liberating Ukraine and ending this nightmare."

He is urging the U.S. to lead by example ,and follow the precedent set by the United Kingdom, as it send 14 Challenger tanks to Ukraine.

Senators Urge US to Send Tanks toUkraine
(L-R) Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) speak during a news conference about their recent trip to Ukraine, at the U.S. Capitol January 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. The group of bipartisan Senators encouraged the U.S. and other allies to send more military aid to Ukraine in their fight against Russia. Drew Angerer//Getty Images

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said the time to send tanks is now.

"I want to thank President Biden for saying that Ukraine will get everything it needs to win I wish he had added 'everything it needs to win now,'" he said. "There is an urgency to now, time is not on our side."

He said the Russians are coming and their onslaught will begin in weeks, not months, according to both Ukrainian and U.S. intelligence.

"The Ukrainians can win if they have the tools that are necessary, beginning with tanks," he said.

He said the Leopard tanks are important because they are already in Europe, making transport, training and fueling easy.

"If it takes sending three, five, 10 Abrams tanks there, let's do it," he said. "The Pentagon ought to come forward with those tanks if that's what is necessary for the Germans to give permission to our allies to provide the Leopard 2 tanks and for the Germans to provide those tanks themselves."

Both Senators also expressed the need to send Ukraine more long-range missiles, HIMARS, Patriot systems and civilian infrastructure support like generators.

Graham said long-range missiles long are needed to counter the Russian offensive building in the east.

"We're not asking for a blank check, we're asking for a big check with oversight and scrutiny," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal Urges US to Send Ukraine Tanks
(L-R) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speak during a news conference about their recent trip to Ukraine, at the U.S. Capitol January 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

EU Proposes €145M to Moldova Amid Energy, Refugee Crisis

The European Commission proposed up to €145 million in additional assistance to the Republic of Moldova Tuesday to support the country's economy and energy security.

The funding announcement comes as the tiny county battles an energy crisis and continues hosting a large number of refugees amid Russia's ongoing war in neighboring Ukraine, the Commission said.

"We stand in solidarity with Moldova as shockwaves of Russia's brutal war continue to impact the country," European Commission President Urusla von der Leyen said. "This will greatly support the country's economy and energy security."

Next, the proposal heads to the European Parliament and Council for consideration and adoption.

President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu thanked von der Leyen and the Commission for the "constant support" in these "difficult times."

Hundreds of thousands of refugees began fleeing Ukraine into Moldova last spring.

Over the course of the war, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has recorded 750,780 border crossings from Ukraine into Moldova, most of whom were women, children and older people.

As of its most recent report on January 16, UNHCR estimates more than 102,000 refugees have remained in Moldova.

Refugees arrive in Moldova
Refugees from Ukraine enter the Republic of Moldova at Palanca-Maiaky-Udobne border crossing point between Moldova and Ukraine, on March 30, 2022. DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Reportedly Plans to Send Tanks

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reportedly decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, according to a German newspaper.

After "months of debate," newspaper Der Spiegel is reporting that Germany will send much-needed tanks to Ukraine. This move would allow allies like Poland to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine as well.

"Today the Chancellor made a decision that no one took lightly. The fact that Germany will support Ukraine with the Leopard tank is a strong sign of solidarity," Christian Duerr, parliamentary leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) said, according to t-online news portal.

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, the vice president of the German Bundestag, tweeted "The #Leopard's freed!" with a link to a news report about the decision.

Zelensky Holds Virtual Meeting With Brad Paisley

Country music singer Brad Paisley is the newest ambassador for Ukraine's United24 fundraising platform, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Tuesday.

Zelensky's office shared photos on social media showing the Ukrainian president meeting with Paisley virtually. Government officials said Paisley "will promote the Rebuild Ukraine direction" and will create "a personal fundraiser for one of the damaged buildings in the Kyiv region."

Zelensky created United24 after Russia's invasion. It serves as his country's primary platform for donation collections. United24 directs the funds it receives toward defense, demining efforts, medical aid and rebuilding initiatives.

United24 has collected more than $274 million since Zelensky launched it last May, according to the platform's website. More than $14 million in donations has already been allocated for rebuilding efforts.

Ukraine must "engage as many famous people as possible, who will draw attention to the restoration of homes for Ukrainians affected by the war," Zelensky said in a Tuesday Instagram post. In a news release from Zelensky's office, the Ukrainian president thanked Paisley for joining United24 and reiterated Ukraine's "need to involve as many celebrities as possible" to support rebuilding efforts.

The Grammy Award-winning artist also posted a photo from his virtual meeting with Zelensky on Instagram.

"I know I am not alone in wanting to help Ukraine, but like a lot of people in America, until now I haven't been sure exactly how to lend a hand from over here in the U.S.," Paisley wrote, adding that he is "excited" to join United24. Paisley directed his fans to a link through his Instagram account, which provides another link to the United24 donations page.

Top Ukrainian Officials Dismissed Amid Reports of Scandal

There are reports of a widespread corruption scandal among top Ukraine officials, leading to several resignations.

The head of Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers, Oleh Nemchinov, announced on Telegram that several officials were dismissed.

They include:

  • Vyacheslav Shapovalov – Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine
  • Ivan Lukeria – Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine
  • Vyacheslav Nehoda – Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine
  • Vitaliy Muzychenko – Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine

Shapovalov was in charge of logistical support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine's (AFU). His dismissal comes after a report from Ukrainian media outlet ZN revealed an alleged scandal involving the officials at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the purchasing of food for Ukraine's armed forces.

Nemchinov also announced that five regional governors were also dismissed, including:

  • Valentyn Reznichenko – Dnipropetrovsk OVA
  • Oleksandra Starukh – Zaporizhia OVA
  • Oleksiy Kuleba – Kyiv OVA
  • Dmytro Zhyvytsky – Sumy OVA
  • Yaroslav Yanushevych – Kherson OVA

Ukrainian President Zelensky said this move is a "signal to all those whose actions or behavior violate the principle of justice."

"Of course, now the main focus is on defense, foreign policy, and war. But this does not mean that I do not see or hear what is being said in society at different levels," he said in a Telegram post.

Among those who left their jobs was Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelensky's office. The reason for his resignation is unknown.

Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko also quit for an unknown reason.

The Cabinet of Ministers also dismissed Vasyl Lozynskyy, the Deputy Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine.

According to the Kyiv Independent, the High Anti-Corruption Court placed Lozynsky under house arrest after he allegedly received a $400,000 bribe.

"The Government of Ukraine is committed to the principle of zero tolerance to corruption and continues to develop the anti-corruption framework. In particular, it expects the competition for the position of Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to be completed as soon as possible," the Cabinet of Ministers said in a statement.

Top Russian Commander in Ukraine Reportedly Dismissed

A top Russian commander has reportedly been dismissed due to "continued divisions" among the Kremlin's senior leadership, according to the latest British intelligence.

General Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky, one of Russia's key operational commanders in Ukraine, has "likely been dismissed," the U.K. Ministry of Defence said in its Tuesday update.

"Teplinsky was the officer on the ground in charge of Russia's relatively successful withdrawal from west of the Dnipro in November 2022, and he has received praise in Russia as a capable and pragmatic commander," the ministry reports.

"Teplinsky's dismissal is likely another symptom of continued divisions within the senior hierarchy of Russia's operation as General Valery Gerasimov attempts to impose his personal authority on the campaign."

The map below shows the areas of eastern and southern Ukraine under Russian control, shaded in pink.

US to Reportedly Send Abrams Tanks to Ukraine

The United States is reportedly preparing to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to top U.S. officials.

The Associated Press reports that the decision could be announced by Wednesday but it could take months or years for the tanks to be delivered.

According the U.S. officials, details on the plan are still be worked out. It is unknown how many tanks would be approved.

One official said the tanks would be bought under an upcoming Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package, AP reports.

This comes as Germany seems poised to approve Poland's request to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, according to reports.

The U.S. has been hesitant to send tanks to the front lines of the ongoing battle in Ukraine.

Russian officials have warned western leaders that supplying Ukraine with more powerful weapons could cause a "global tragedy."

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. General Pat Ryder would not confirm whether the U.S. has any plans to send tanks to Ukraine during a press briefing Tuesday.

He said the Pentagon has no announcements about Abram tanks for Ukraine but that discussions about what they may need in the medium to long term will continue.

When asked about the tanks, he said M1 tanks are a "capable battlefield platform." The U.S. would want to ensure Ukraine has the ability to maintain, sustain and train on the tanks, Ryder added.

US-Made Radar Destroyed in Kherson, Report

Russian forces reportedly "wiped out" a U.S.-made radar system in the Kherson region this week.

The radar was identified by Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Defense, as a AN/TPQ-50 counter-battery radar located near Antonovka. The radar was destroyed by the Russian Airborne Force, Konashenkov told the Russian state-owned news outlet TASS.

Two additional U.S.-made radar systems, identified as AN/TPQ-37 counter-battery radars, were destroyed by Russian troops in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, according to Konashenkov.

In addition to claiming responsibility for destroying the U.S.-made radar, Russia also said its troops caused more than 40 casualties among Ukrainian troops near Kupyansk and another 30 in the Krasny Liman area this week. Additional Ukrainian casualties were reported by Russian defense officials in the Donetsk and Zaporozhye regions, TASS reported.

WATCH: Pentagon Press Briefing

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. General Pat Ryder is providing the latest on the situation in Ukraine.

The news briefing is now underway, watch live here.

Germany Expected to Approve Leopard Tanks Transfer

Germany is reportedly expected to approve a request Poland's prime minster made earlier this week to transfer German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

The German Parliament will discuss the proposed transfer on Wednesday, according to CNN. Germany's Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union parties reportedly called for the debate, warning that Germany "must fear losing the trust of its allies" as NATO leaders call for more military support for Ukraine as the war approaches its one-year anniversary.

Germany has thus far resisted allowing the Leopard 2 tanks in possession of other countries to be sent to Ukraine, likely due to a fear of instigating a larger war between Russia and NATO allies like Germany. But Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stepped up calls for the tanks earlier this week, saying Ukraine and the European countries that support Ukraine will win the war "with or without Germany."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he anticipates a decision will be made about the Leopard 2 transfers soon. He was expected to notify Poland of Germany's approval for the transfer by Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.