Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in Kiev on Thursday for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion. US President Joe Biden on Wednesday criticized Russia’s decision to suspend a key nuclear treaty, but said there was no evidence Moscow was moving closer to actually using a nuclear weapon. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
09:04: Sweden is open to sending leopards to Ukraine, says the Minister of Defence
Sweden is open to sending some of its Leopard combat thoughts to Ukraine as the Nordic country prepares to unveil another aid package to help the country fight the Russian invasion, its defense minister told local news agency TT.
The latest military and civilian aid package from Sweden to Ukraine includes armored infantry fighting vehicles, which Defense Minister Pal Jonson told the news agency would be the country’s main contribution to Ukraine in terms of ground warfare equipment.
Sweden is also preparing to send the advanced Archer artillery system to Ukraine, but support in the Swedish parliament has increased to further contribute some of the country’s approximately 120 Leopard tanks.
“We are open to it and we are in close dialogue with above all Germany about it,” Jonson was quoted as saying by TT.
8:13: Prigozhin says the Wagner group is now receiving ammunition for Ukraine’s war
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force, has said his troops had begun receiving additional supplies of ammunition after a public spat with Russia’s top army.
“Today at 06:00 it was announced that the transportation of ammunition has begun,” Prigozhin said in a statement on Telegram. “Most likely the ball is rolling now. So far everything is on paper, but, as we were told, the main documents have already been signed.”
Prigozhin’s The Wagner group has spearheaded Russia’s months-long battle for the city of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
In recent days, a long-running feud with Russia’s military chiefs has escalated dramatically, with Prigozhin claiming officials denied Wagner ammunition out of personal desire against him.
8:11 a.m.: Russia may be preparing for offensive in eastern Ukraine’s Vuhledar, British intelligence says
Russian forces are possibly preparing for another offensive around the town of Vuhledar in the eastern Donbas region, where the town is under heavy shelling, UK said in an intelligence bulletin on Thursday.
Britain added that fighting has also continued in the eastern city of Bakhmut for the past two days.
8:11: Spain’s prime minister in Kiev talks with Zelensky ahead of Ukraine’s war anniversary
SpainPrime Minister Pedro Sanchez traveled to Kiev on Thursday to show support the day before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Returning to Kiev today, one year since the war started,” Sanchez tweeted along with a video of him getting off the train in the Ukrainian capital. “We will stand with Ukraine and its people until peace returns to Europe,” he tweeted in Spanish and Ukrainian.
04:53: Russia accuses Ukraine of planning to invade the breakaway region of Moldova
Russia’s defense minister accused Ukraine on Thursday of planning invasions Moldovas breakaway region of Transnistria following a false flag operation, the RIA news agency reported.
The ministry said Ukraine planned to stage an attack by alleged Russian forces from Transnistria as a pretext for the invasion, according to RIA.
04:00: Biden says no signs Russia is considering nuclear use after deal repeal
United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday offered fresh criticism of Russia’s abrogation of a key nuclear arms deal, but stressed there was no indication Moscow was moving closer to actually using a nuclear weapon.
“It’s a big mistake to do that, not very responsible,” Biden told ABC News in Poland on the sidelines of a meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Eastern European leaders in Warsaw.
“But I don’t read into it that he’s thinking about using nuclear weapons or anything like that,” the US president added, noting that he had seen “no evidence” of any change in posture on the use of nuclear weapons in Moscow.
02:04: US considers releasing intelligence on China’s potential arms transfer to Russia
The Biden administration is considering releasing intelligence it believes shows China is considering whether to provide weapons to support Russiawar in Ukrainethe Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
Originally published on France24