Ukraine Latest: Germany Sees Little Hope of Peace Coming Soon

(Bloomberg) — German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said there’s little sign that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to end his war on Ukraine anytime soon “despite all international efforts.”

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“The Russian president started this brutal war of aggression and he alone can end it,” Baerbock said in an interview with news website Table.Media. “If Russia stops bombing and withdraws its soldiers, we will have peace.”

Putin plans to hold talks Wednesday with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Interfax reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Erdogan has sought to play the role of intermediary between Moscow and Kyiv.

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On the Ground

Russian forces focused on a push toward Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine and were attempting to improve their positions near Kupyansk, Avdiivka and Lyman, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks near 10 settlements mainly in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, it added. In the past 24 hours, Russian forces launched seven missile strikes, 18 air attacks and targeted civilian infrastructure in the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions with multiple-launch rocket systems, according to the statement.

(All times CET)

Germany Approved Arms for Ukraine Worth €2.2 billion (9 a.m.)

Germany authorized deliveries of military equipment to Ukraine worth about €2.2 billion ($2.3 billion) last year, more than a quarter of the total approvals for arms exports of €8.4 billion, according to a government report.

“The balance sheet of the German government in its first year in office shows the results of value-driven arms-export policy in the face of the changing times,” Sven Giegold, a deputy economy minister, said in an emailed statement.

Russia Says 89 Died in Ukraine Attack (8:50 a.m.)

Russia said 89 soldiers died in a Ukrainian rocket attack on New Year’s Day, raising the estimate for the number killed from 63 in what is the deadliest acknowledged Russian death toll of the war.

The defense ministry in Moscow blamed soldiers’ mobile phone use for the incident, saying it allowed Ukrainian forces to locate their coordinates, according to a Telegram statement. Russian military bloggers have accused defense chiefs of negligence for stationing mobilized conscripts next to a weapons depot, multiplying the casualties after Ukrainian forces fired at the base in the Russia-controlled part of eastern Ukraine with US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers.

Ukraine Hopes to Get Bradleys in Coming Months (8:30 a.m.)

Ukraine is talking with US officials about taking delivery of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and is hopeful of getting them within the next few months, according to Andriy Melnyk, a deputy foreign minister in the government in Kyiv.

“Of course we’re discussing weapons deliveries and the Americans know what we need,” Melnyk said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “Right now we’re mostly talking about the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which can be delivered, and I am hopeful that we’ll also get this support in the next months.”

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