Ukraine receives modern tanks to confront Russia
As a shipment of high-tech tanks pledged to Ukraine's military arrives, experts are optimistic that they will provide better electronics, maneuverability, and protection for the Ukrainian soldiers. The new technology is expected to give Ukraine a military advantage over the T-72 and T-80 tanks that are dominant in the Russian military. However, concerns are raised that the technology will arrive in a "gradual, piecemeal manner" that will make it difficult for Ukraine to take full advantage of the tanks.
A game-changer in the conflict?
Former Ukrainian officer and member of the Ukrainian think tank Center for Defense Strategies, Viktor Kivliuk, believes that the modern tanks will surpass any Russian tank in terms of firepower, sighting, and navigation systems. He believes this will allow the Ukrainian army to defeat all the assault and shock units that Russia has in the south in one operation. Meanwhile, the Russians have made modest gains while the Ukrainians await delivery of the tanks and get trained on how to operate them. The Russian death toll in Ukraine has reached 140,460 since the beginning of its full-scale invasion a year ago, the General Staff of Ukraine’s military estimated on Thursday.
The EU called to send fighter jets to Ukraine
The European Parliament has called for "serious consideration" to deliver fighter jets, helicopters, missile systems, and a substantial increase in munitions to Ukraine. The Parliament condemned Moscow’s aggression and reiterated its solidarity with the people and leadership of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the United States and Britain have declined to provide fighter jets that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been heavily lobbying for. The resolution calls on EU member states to adopt their 10th sanctions package against Russia and its allies by the end of February and to substantially broaden its scope.
New Russian tactics
On Thursday, air raid alerts rang out across Ukraine as Russian drones and missiles hammered targets mostly in the north and west of the country. The Ukraine air force said half of the 32 missiles were intercepted, and a woman was killed while at least seven people were wounded. Authorities have assured that the attacks will not lead to blackouts. Ukrainian officials have reported that the Kremlin has become more discerning due to the shortage of missiles and is employing diversionary tactics, such as deploying decoy missiles without explosive warheads and air balloons with reflectors. Russia is trying to overload Ukraine's anti-aircraft system to get an extra chance to hit infrastructure facilities. As a result, Ukraine is adapting its defenses to the change and needs more weaponry that may allow it to hit Russian troops deeper behind the front lines.
Norway becomes a significant donor to Ukraine
Norway has announced a five-year, $7.4 billion support package for Ukraine, half of which will fund more weapons and training for the Ukrainian military. Meanwhile, the other half will fund civilian support. This package aims to fend off claims of profiteering from inflated energy prices fueled by the war. In a video address, President Zelenskyy thanked Norway's 169-seat parliament and described their support as a precedent for long-term financial aid for a state defending its independence.