Ukraine war live updates: Wagner mercenaries claim capture of village outside Bakhmut;

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The whole West is threatened if an aggressor isn’t challenged, Dutch PM says

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could eventually affect more of Europe if other nations do not challenge Moscow.

“If an aggressor is not challenged and can go about his business, it won’t end with Ukraine. The whole West is threatened,” Rutte told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“People feel that this is about values, that we cannot accept one country invading another country … It is also about our collective safety,” he added. 

If an aggressor isn't challenged, the whole West is threatened: Dutch PM says

Rutte also said Europe needs to do more to help Ukraine, but that the issue of sending tanks is “a sensitive decision.”

“I do agree there is an argument to send [tanks] to Ukraine. There is also an argument to take the decision in conjunction with others, including our friends in the U.S.,” he said, adding that he was “fairly optimistic” that the situation “could get to a landing spot.”

“We have to do everything we can to help Ukrainians,” Rutte said.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Coast Guard says it’s monitoring a Russian intelligence gathering vessel off Hawaii’s coast

U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

The U.S. military is monitoring what it says is a Russian intelligence-gathering ship off the coast of Hawaii.

“In recent weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard has continued to monitor a Russian vessel, believed to be an intelligence gathering ship, off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands,” the Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific wrote in a video caption showing the vessel.

“The Coast Guard continues to coordinate with Department of Defense partners, providing updates to foreign vessel movements and activities and to appropriately meet presence with presence to encourage international maritime norms,” the caption added.

The 22-second video shows multiple jump cuts of a Russian vessel with people on the top deck in orange clothing.

— Amanda Macias

Ukraine deminers attend training in Cambodia

A group of 15 deminers from Ukraine traveled to remote eastern Battambang province in Cambodia for a week of special training. Cambodia is among the most heavily mined countries in the world following 30 years of civil war which ended in 1998, with the work continuing to this day.

A group of 15 deminers from Ukraine travelled to remote eastern Battambang province in Cambodia Thursday for a week of special training.

Tang Chhin Sothy | AFP | Getty Images

Ukrainian deminers put on protective gears before going to a mine field during a technical training session on demining technologies in Battambang province on January 19, 2023.

Tang Chhin Sothy | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine deminers (L) listen to a Cambodian deminer (2R) at a mine field during a technical training session on demining technologies in Battambang province on January 19, 2023.

Tang Chhin Sothy | AFP | Getty Images

A Ukraine deminer (L) and a Cambodian deminer prepare to explode mines during a technical training session on demining technologies in Battambang province on January 19, 2023.

Tang Chhin Sothy | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine deminers (in white) listen to a Cambodian deminer at a mine field during a technical training session on demining technologies in Battambang province on January 19, 2023. 

Tang Chhin Sothy | AFP | Getty Images

– Tang Cchin Sothy | AFP | Getty Images

Death toll from missile strike on residential building in Dnipro rises to 46

Rescuers work on a residential building destroyed after a missile strike, in Dnipro on January 16, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. – According to State Emergency Service report, as of 1:00 pm on December 16, 40 people died, including 6 children; 75 people got injured, including 14 children; 39 people were rescued, including 6 children; the fate of 34 people is still unknown.

Vitalii Matokha | Afp | Getty Images

The head Ukrainian official of Dnipropetrovsk Valentyn Reznichenko said the death toll from a Russian missile strike on a residential building has risen to 46 people.

Reznichenko said that at least 11 bodies have not been identified, according to an NBC News translation. Another 80 were wounded and 25 of those are recovering in the hospital.

— Amanda Macias

Sweden prepares latest military aid package of combat vehicles and anti-tank weapons for Ukraine

Sweden’s military said that its latest security assistance package for Ukraine will include 90 infantry fighting vehicles and 57 light anti-tank weapons. Sweden is also sending the mobile Archer artillery system.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Sweden for the “powerful weapons” in the new military assistance package.

— Amanda Macias

German industry ready to supply over 100 battle tanks to Ukraine, Handelsblatt reports

A new Leopard 2 A7V heavy battle tank, the most advanced version of the German-made tank.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

German companies are ready to supply more than 100 battle tanks to Ukraine, including Leopard tanks and refurbished British Challenger 1 tanks, Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Thursday, citing industry sources.

Germany could send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine that were originally intended for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the paper said.

Ukraine is pleading for the West to finally send it heavy tanks as the defence chiefs of the United States and Germany headed for a showdown over weapons that Kyiv says could decide the fate of the war.

— Reuters

Moldova says requests air defense systems, stems Russia destabilizing efforts

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pose for a picture during a meeting, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continue, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 27, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters

Moldova has requested air defense systems from its allies as it looks to strengthen its capabilities as the war in neighboring Ukraine continues, but Russian efforts to destabilize the country have so far failed, its president said on Thursday.

“We have requested air surveillance and defense systems,” Maia Sandu told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We understand that Ukraine is a priority and should receive that but we (also) hope to receive some.”

Sandu added that the country would need at least the same amount – 600 million euros (around $650 million) of budget support in 2023 as last year, to help shield its population from inflation.

— Reuters

Combination of factors could have contributed to helicopter crash, official says

Firefighters work near the site where a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten in Brovary, outside the capital Kyiv.

Sergei Supinsky | Afp | Getty Images

A combination of factors could have contributed to a helicopter crash in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on Wednesday in which the country’s interior minister and 13 other people, including a child, were killed. Twenty-five others were injured.

Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said all possible causes would be investigated but that it could take time to reach any conculsions as to the cause.

“Usually, air crash investigation takes a lot of time. The practice is so not only in Ukraine but all over the world. Each part of the helicopter is collected, each detail can say something, give more information on what had happened. Air crashes can have various reasons that might have had effect,” Ihnat said during a nationwide telethon, reported by news agency Ukrinform.

“A combination of factors could have contributed, as well as the weather conditions that had not been very favorable. The established commission will determine all the factors and give an assessment. It is not a matter of several days. It is necessary to fully establish, find out the details of what happened on that day,” Ihnat said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Western allies are stronger when they’re united, Austrian foreign minister says

Antony Blinken, U.S. secretary of state (left) and Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s foreign minister, at an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council at the European Union in 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Austria’s foreign minister said Western allies must stick together over Ukraine while it is fighting Russia’s invasion.

“The biggest challenge and task we have is to keep this unity,” Alexander Schallenberg told CNBC’s Silvia Amaro at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Austrian minister discusses new era of European foreign policy

“We have proven [over] the last 10 months that if you stand together — and I’m not just talking about the Europeans but the ‘Free World,’ as such — then we have formidable force,” he said.

“Each time there’s a crisis then actually the European Union steps up and succeeds and commits. I believe these are the key words: unity and commitment,” he said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia and Belarus have ‘unified position’ on goals in Ukraine, Lavrov says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both Moscow and Minsk have a “unified position” on the goals they believe need to be achieved in the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Russian State Duma | Reuters

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a visit to Belarus that both Moscow and Minsk have a “unified position” on the goals they believe need to be achieved in the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine.

“We exchanged views on how the situation is developing around events in Ukraine in the course of the special military operation,” Lavrov told reporters following his meeting with Belurusian President Alexander Lukashenko, news agency Interfax reported in comments translated by NBC.

“We have a unified position here on what goals need to be achieved and how to ensure that neither Russia nor Belarus are threatened from our neighbours,” he added.

Belarus is a staunch ally of Moscow and has given Russia logistical assistance during the war, allowing Russia to launch its invasion of northern Ukraine from Belarusian territory.

It has repeatedly insisted that it would not participate directly in the war. However, it has carried out several joint military exercises with Russia, with whom it has a joint military grouping. Currently, the neighbors are carrying out joint air force drills.

— Holly Ellyatt

Putin ally Medvedev says defeat in Ukraine could trigger nuclear war

Russia’s Former President Dmitry Medvedev, currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, warned Thursday that a Russian defeat in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war.

“The loss of a nuclear power in a conventional war can provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war. Nuclear powers do not lose major conflicts on which their fate depends,” he said, according to comments translated by NBC.

“This should be obvious to anyone. Even to a Western politician retaining only some trace of intelligence.”

Medvedev, a close ally of Putin, has repeatedly taken to Telegram during the war to criticize the West and Ukraine and to issue threats over the possibility of a nuclear conflict, given Russia’s holding of nuclear weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Former President Dmitry Medvedev in 2020.

Anadolu Agency

Medvedev’s latest comments come ahead of a meeting of Ukrainian officials and their Western counterparts at the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, to discuss Ukraine’s military needs.

Medvedev said officials there “will discuss new tactics and strategies, as well as the supply of new heavy weapons and strike systems to Ukraine. And this was right after the forum in Davos, where underdeveloped political party-goers repeated like a mantra: ‘To achieve peace, Russia must lose.'”

The Kremlin said on Thursday that the remarks by Medvedev were in full accordance with Moscow’s nuclear doctrine, Reuters reported.

— Holly Ellyatt

European Council President Michel visits Ukraine for talks

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomes European Council President Charles Michel before a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine April 20, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters

European Council President Charles Michel arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for talks on Thursday, and said he hoped the coming year would be one of “victory and peace”.

“Back in #Kyiv to discuss all strands of cooperation,” he wrote on Twitter, posting a photograph of himself on the platform of a train station.

— Reuters

Wagner chief says village has been captured on outskirts of Bakhmut

The head of the Wagner Group, a private military company fighting alongside regular Russian units in Ukraine, has claimed his forces have taken full control of Klishchiivka, a village just south of Bakhmut, a prime target for the Russian military.

The press service of Wagner founder and leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Telegram Thursday that it had received an audio message from Prigozhin that stated, “we can safely say that the settlement of Klescheevka [the Russian name for Klishchiivka], which is one of the important suburbs of Bakhmut … has been completely taken under the control of the Wagner PMC units,” he said, according to a Google translation of the post.

“Kleshcheevka is released. Fierce fighting is still going on around Kleshcheevka. The enemy clings to every meter of the earth.”

Prigozhin contradicted reports that Ukrainian forces were fleeing Bakhmut (known as Artemovsk in Russia) saying, “contrary to various opinions that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are fleeing from Artemovsk, this is not so. The APU works clearly and harmoniously. We have a lot to learn from them. But in any case, the units of PMC “Wagner” are moving forward meter by meter. The settlement of Artemovsk will be taken.”

Ukrainian soldiers outside the strategic city of Bakhmut on Jan. 18, 2023, in Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Capturing Bakhmut is a key target for Russian forces as they look to take control of the Donetsk region and then the wider Donbas in eastern Ukraine, a key goal in the war for Russia. Its forces have made gains toward the city following the capture of nearby Soledar.

There is increasing tension between Prigozhin and his Wagner forces, and the Russian Defense Ministry. Prigozhin claimed his Wagner forces had captured Soledar in early January, only for the defense ministry to say its own troops had captured the town.

For its part, Ukraine maintains it has not even lost Soledar and said Thursday morning on Facebook that its armed forces had repelled Russian attacks near 14 settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the previous day, including those around Soledar and Bakhmut. It also said it had repelled an attack on Klishchiivka, the village claimed to have been captured by Wagner forces.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s security service opens espionage case against U.S. citizen

Russia’s Federal Security Service (the FSB) said Thursday that it had initiated a criminal case against a U.S. citizen on suspicion of espionage.

In a statement on its website, the FSB said “the American is suspected of collecting intelligence information on biological topics directed against the security of the Russian Federation,” according to a google translation of the post.

The FSB did not give any further information in its post, including whether or not it had arrested the U.S. citizen it did not name. CNBC has asked the FSB for more information.

The arrest of another U.S. citizen on criminal charges in Russia comes just a month after American basketball star Brittney Griner was freed after being detained in Russia last year on drugs charges. Ultimately, Griner was freed from a Russian penal colony in exchange for high-profile Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is being held on suspicion of spying, in the courtroom cage after a ruling regarding extension of his detention, in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 22, 2019.

Shamil Zhumatov | Reuters

Spying charges add a layer of complexity to cases of foreigners being arrested in Russia, but Moscow continues to refuse to swap Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who was convicted of espionage in a Russian court in 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Whelan pleaded not guilty and denied the charges.

At the time of Griner’s release in December, the U.S. said it would continue to petition for Whelan’s release.

— Holly Ellyatt

Helicopter crash is a result of the war, Zelenskyy says

“Mobilization of the world must outpace a next military mobilization of our joint enemy,” Zelenskyy said via videoconference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As investigations continue into the cause of a helicopter crash near Kyiv on Wednesday that killed the country’s interior minister and several of his colleagues, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the tragedy was a consequence of the war.

“This [helicopter crash] is not an accident because it has been due to war and the war has many dimensions, not just on the battlefields – there are no accidents at war time. These are all war results … every death is a result of the war,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

After repeated revisions to the death toll yesterday, it’s now believed that 14 people died in the incident, including all nine people on board the helicopter, and at least one child. The crash took place near a kindergarten and residential buildings.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian embassy tweets map that shows Crimea as part of Ukraine

A Twitter account operated by the Russian Embassy in Sweden on Wednesday posted an image of Europe which identifies Crimea—shown at the lower right—as part of Ukraine.

Twitter / Russian Embassy, SWE / Forum Mapping HU.

A Twitter account operated by the Russian Embassy in Sweden posted a map identifying Crimea as part of Ukraine.

Officially, Moscow claims Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula that extends into the Black Sea, as part of Russia. Crimea was seized from Ukraine when Russia invaded the region in March 2014.

— Ted Kemp

U.S. Defense Secretary Austin will meet new German counterpart in Berlin

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on “Department of Defense’s Budget Requests for FY2023”, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 7, 2022.

Sarah Silbiger | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Berlin, where he will meet with his new German counterpart Boris Pistorius.

The two are expected to hold a joint press conference.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz named Pistorius as Germany’s next defense minister on Tuesday after Christine Lambrecht resigned on Monday. Lambrecht had previously faced criticism for her handling of the slow supply of offensive weapons to Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

IAEA sends staff to all Ukraine nuclear plants in safety bid

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi talks to media in Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2023. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finalized the stationing of permanent missions at 3 Ukrainian nuclear power plants: Rivne, Chornobyl and Pivdennoukrainska NPPs. 

Sergii Kharchenko | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The International Atomic Energy Agency is placing teams of experts at all four of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants to reduce the risk of severe accidents as Russia’s war against the country rages on, agency head Rafael Grossi said Wednesday.

The IAEA, which is affiliated with the United Nations, already has a permanent presence at Ukraine’s — and Europe’s — largest nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia that is held by Russian forces.

The IAEA’s permanent presence at all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, with at least 11 staff in total, marks an unprecedented expansion for the agency. IAEA technicians will also be at Chernobyl, the now-closed nuclear plant that was the site of a deadly nuclear accident in 1986 that spread fallout over much of Europe.

“From tomorrow, there will be two flags at all of the nuclear facilities in Ukraine; one of Ukraine and the second of the international nuclear agency,” Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said at a joint press conference with Grossi at the government headquarters in Kyiv on Wednesday.

— Associated Press

NATO warns Russia is preparing for a long war in Ukraine, vows to be ready

A fire engulfed a CHP power station hit by Russian missile on October 10, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia is preparing for an extended war so NATO must get ready “for the long haul” and support Ukraine for as long as it takes, the alliance’s deputy secretary general told top military chiefs from across Europe.

Speaking at the opening of the military chiefs’ meeting in Brussels, Mircea Geoana said NATO nations must invest more in defense, ramp up military industrial manufacturing and harness new technologies to prepare for future wars.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine nears the one-year mark, NATO chiefs are expected to discuss how allies can expand the delivery of weapons, training and support to Ukraine in the coming months, and how they can further shore up their own defenses.

“We have no indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goals have changed,” said Geoana, adding that Russia has mobilized more than 200,000 additional troops. “So we must be prepared for the long haul. 2023 will be a difficult year and we need to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

— Associated Press

Zelenskyy says Western countries should send tanks before another Russian attack

“Mobilization of the world must outpace a next military mobilization of our joint enemy,” Zelenskyy said via videoconference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that Western countries should send tanks before Russia’s next offensive.

His comments come as analysts fear the Kremlin could soon launch a new mobilization drive — and once again pile the pressure on the country’s Western allies to deliver heavily armored vehicles to Kyiv.

Speaking via videoconference, Zelenskyy said, “Mobilization of the world must outpace a next military mobilization of our joint enemy.”

“The supplying of Ukraine with air defense systems must outpace Russia’s next missile attacks. The supplies of Western tanks must outpace another invasion of Russian tanks,” he added.

Read the full story here.

— Sam Meredith

Death toll from missile strike on residential building in Dnipro rises to 45

Rescuers carry the body of a dead person during a missile attack by the Russian army in Dnipro.

Sergei Chuzavkov | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Mayor of Dnipro Borys Filatov said the death toll from a Russian missile strike on a residential building has risen to 45 people.

Filatov said that at least 17 people remain missing in Dnipro and 12 bodies have not been identified, according to an NBC News translation. Another 25 people are recovering in the hospital.

— Amanda Macias

Putin says war victory is ‘inevitable’ as NATO chief calls for more weapons for Kyiv

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that victory in the war in Ukraine was “inevitable” while NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Putin must realize he cannot win on the battlefield.

Speaking to workers at a weapons factory in St. Petersburg, Putin said “victory is assured, I have no doubt about it,” state news agency Tass reported. Putin made the comments on the same day on which he commemorated the 80th anniversary of Soviet forces breaking the Nazi siege of Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown).

In this screen shot made on Ocober 12, 2022 French president Emmanuel Macron (R) speaks during an interview in front of pictures of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ludovic Marin | Afp | Getty Images

Meanwhile, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg commented Wednesday that we have reached a “pivotal moment” in the war.

“President Putin has shown no sign of preparing for peace and therefore he must realize he cannot win on battlefield. This is a pivotal moment in the war and the need for a significant increase in support for Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“If we want a negotiated peaceful solution tomorrow we need to provide more weapons today.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukrainian officials killed in helicopter crash were flying to front line

The senior officials of the Ukraine’s Interior Ministry who died this morning in a helicopter crash were on their way to the front line, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential administration, said in a briefing Wednesday.

“The purpose [of the flight] was to make a working visit to one of the hot spots in our country. The Minister of Internal Affairs was heading there,” deputy head of the President’s Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said at a briefing in comments reported by news agency Ukrinform.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi died in a helicopter crash in Ukraine.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, First Deputy Minister Yevheniy Yenin, and State Secretary of the Interior Ministry Yuriy Lubkovych were killed in the crash. Nine people were on board the helicopter and all perished in the crash near a kindergarten and a residential building in Brovary on the outskirts of Kyiv.

— Holly Ellyatt

Zelenskyy says investigation into ‘terrible tragedy’ has begun

Military stand at the site where a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten in Brovary, outside the capital Kyiv, killing Sixteen people, including two children and Ukrainian interior minister, on January 18, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has commented on the heliptor crash outside Kyiv that killed several of his colleagues in the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

“Today, a terrible tragedy occurred in Brovary, Kyiv region. A SES [State Emergency Service] helicopter crashed, and a fire broke out at the crash site,” Zelenskyy posted on Telegram.

“I have instructed the Security Service of Ukraine, in cooperation with the National Police of Ukraine and other authorized bodies, to find out all the circumstances of what happened.”

He said the exact number of victims of the tragedy is currently being established. The head of Kyiv’s regional military administration said earlier that there were 18 known victims, including three children.

Police cordon off the site where a helicopter crashed in Brovary in the Kyiv region on Jan. 18, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Zelenskyy confirmed that officials from the Interior Ministry were on board as he sent his condolences to the victims of the crash.

“Among them [the victims] are Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denys Monastyrskyi, his first deputy Yevhen Yenin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yuri Lubkovych, their assistants and the helicopter crew.” 

“25 people were injured, including 10 children. As of this minute, 3 children died. The pain is unspeakable. The helicopter fell on the territory of one of the kindergartens,” he said, in comments translated by NBC.

“All services are working on the scene of the tragedy,” he added.

— Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:





Read More: Ukraine war live updates: Wagner mercenaries claim capture of village outside Bakhmut;

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