1:30pm: Poland redeploys Patriot missiles to Warsaw for drills
Patriot missile batteries that Poland acquired from the US last year have been deployed to the country’s capital Warsaw as part of military exercise, according to Poland’s defence ministry.
Poland is taking additional steps to strengthen its defensive capabilities as Russia’s war in neighboring Ukraine enters its second year later this month. At least three ground-to-air missile launchers were seen Monday at Warsaw’s Bemowo airport.
Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter over the weekend that the redeployment of the missile batteries from their base in Sochaczew, central Poland, to Warsaw was “an important element to the training” of the 3rd Warsaw Brigade of Missile Air Defense
1:07pm: Ukraine’s defence minister will not be replaced this week, MPs say
The replacement of Ukraine‘s defence minister announced over the weekend in the wake of corruption scandals will not take place this week, lawmakers said Monday.
“We are waiting for the appointment of the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Security Service of Ukraine. The personnel changes in the defence sector will not take place this week,” David Arakhamia, who is the head of President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s party, said on social media.
On Sunday evening, Arakhamia said that Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov will replace Oleksiy Reznikov as defence minister.
1:04pm: Russian forces claim control of Mykolaivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk
Russia’s defence ministry said on Monday that its forces had taken control of Mykolaivka, a small village in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, according to state media.
12:30pm: Russian forces keep up pressure as Ukraine anniversary nears
Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with fighting in the eastern Donbas region as Moscow assembles additional combat power there for an expected offensive in the coming weeks, Ukrainian officials said Monday.
Weeks of intense fighting continued to rage around the city of Bakhmut and the nearby towns of Soledar and Vuhledar, Ukraine’s presidential office said. They are located in the Donetsk region, which with neighboring Luhansk region makes up the Donbas region, an industrial area bordering Russia.
“The battles for the region are heating up,” Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said in televised remarks, adding that “the Russians are throwing new units into the battle and eradicating our towns and villages.” Luhansk Governor Serhii Haidai said shelling there had subsided because “the Russians have been saving ammunition for a large-scale offensive.”
12:05pm: Norway plans five-year $7.3-billion aid package to Ukraine
Norway‘s government said Monday it was planning a five-year aid package to Ukraine worth 75 billion kroner ($7.3 billion), as well as additional aid to other countries affected by the conflict.
“We are proposing that Norway gives a binding and lasting contribution to Ukraine”, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told reporters. “We are proposing that 15 billion kroner be given per year to Ukraine for five years, or 75 billion kroner”.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
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