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Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Stories under this heading cover Ukraine and Eastern Europe. 

German government approves delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

The German Federal government has approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, according to German government sources cited by German outlet Der Spiegel.

The Tuesday 7 February decision concerns deliveries of Leopard 1A5 tanks from a number of countries that have pooled their industry stocks, which the German government has now approved.

patrickn97 Tue, 02/07/2023 - 17:51 EU to give Ukraine €25m in demining support

During the EU-Ukraine summit occurring in Kyiv on Friday (3 February), the EU High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell announced an additional €25 million to support Ukraine’s demining of territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

Speaking on a visit to a demining site, Borrell said:

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 12:32

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Monday Commentary
Monday Commentary: Sharing Ukraine's pain

Monday Commentary: Sharing Ukraine's pain

As winter approaches, Vladimir Putin’s strategy in Ukraine is becoming increasingly clear. The war that he initiated in February of this year against the Ukrainian state is now becoming a punitive action against the entire Ukrainian people. The targets of the missile and rocket attacks launched by the Russian army are no longer the military installations of the Ukrainian army, but the civilian infrastructure that helps keep the nation supplied with energy, heating and water, in a false hope that this would bring Ukraine down on its knees. This strategy, like the failed military strategy that Russia pursued in the last nine months, will not succeed. The Ukrainian nation has proved already its determination and resilience in front of Russian aggression. But this heroism does not lessen the pain that the Ukrainians are enduring, and will likely have to endure for some time. "There has never been a moment when it was as important to support Ukraine as now. The question is whether the world, and particularly the people in the countries of Europe and North America that have supported Ukraine generously so far, have the perseverance to stick with Ukraine until victory", writes Dennis Sammut in today's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu
Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia disconnected from power grid again

Ukraine's Soviet-build Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on the banks of the Dnieper River has switched to emergency power, reports the International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday (23 November). Europe's largest nuclear power plant is running on diesel generators after losing access to the power grid.

This is not the first time the power plant has been cut off from the grid. Earlier this month, the plant also had to switch to diesel generators after high-voltage cables were damaged by suspected Russian shelling.

Maximiliaan va… Wed, 11/23/2022 - 21:51
IAEA: Shelling has damaged Zaporizhzhia radioactive storage facilities

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Monday (21 November) that shelling over the weekend has damaged radioactive storage facilities near the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine.

patrickn97 Mon, 11/21/2022 - 13:33
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Editorial
Kherson: The end of the beginning

Kherson: The end of the beginning

The withdrawal of the Russian army from the city of Kherson ends the first chapter of Vladimir Putin's misadventure in Ukraine, which started on 24 February when he ordered his army to invade. Ukrainians rightly celebrated, as the Ukrainian army returned to the city which Russia illegally annexed only a few weeks ago. Kherson was the only regional centre the Russians were able to occupy following their February invasion, which, let us not forget, initially aimed to take Kyiv and all other Ukrainian cities. But as the Ukrainian president, and other Ukrainian officials warned, the war is far from over yet. But the Russian army is still in Ukraine, and now consolidating its positions on the left bank of the Dnipro river.  The river will now serve as a natural defence barrier for the Russians in the face of Ukrainian attempts to liberate the rest of the territory under Russian occupation. And the coming winter may prove challenging for Ukraine in other ways too, given the Russian attempts to destroy key infrastructure and disrupt energy supplies. But still Kherson can be seen as the end of the beginning. The journey for the liberation of Ukraine will take longer. And after all Ukrainian territory is liberated, another journey will have to start: that of rebuilding Europe's security architecture on new foundations. Where Russia will stand in this is still not clear. Despite the facade of defiance and bravado, it is already evident that soul-searching has already started amongst the Russian elite about the Ukrainian adventure, and indeed about how Russia itself is governed. That, the Russian people will have to figure out by themselves, and the process is not likely to be either short, or easy.
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News
"Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevastopol"

"Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevastopol"

Russia's leadership has ordered its troops to withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Kherson. It was the only regional capital Russian forces were able to capture after invading in February. The news was welcomed cautiously in Ukraine, where the government said it will proceed carefully to avoid losses. Some commentators however are saying that it is the first step to forcing a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. "Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevatopol" is what many Ukrainians hope, referring to the port city on the Crimean peninsula. Russia's commander in Ukraine, Gen Sergei Surovikin, said on Wednesday (9 November) it was no longer possible to keep supplying the city. The withdrawal means Russian forces will pull out entirely from the western bank of the River Dnipro. The military's top brass announced the decision on Russian state TV, with Gen Surovikin reporting on the situation on the ground in Kherson. "In these circumstances, the most sensible option is to organise the defence along a barrier line along the river Dnipro," Gen Surovikin told the meeting. Russia's annexation of Kherson, and three other occupied regions, was announced with a lot of fanfare by president Putin at the end of September.