All the latest from the Ukraine war this Thursday.
Germany says no to fighter jets for Ukraine
Berlin will not join an international effort to provide Kyiv with sought-after fighter jets.
This comes one day after the UK and Netherlands announced plans to help Ukraine obtain F-16 warplanes, which Kyiv says are essential to help beat back Russian forces.
Germany said it will instead focus on delivering other forms of military aid, such as tanks and ammo.
Though uncertainty surrounds the deal – with a spokesperson for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte saying there had been no concrete agreement – Germany has ruled out taking part.
“We cannot play an active role in such an alliance, in such a coalition, because we have neither the training capacities, the competencies or the planes,” said German defence minister Boris Pistorius.
Germany is not blocking the delivery of planes to Ukraine, recently greenlighting Poland’s request to send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine. Berlin’s permission was needed as they had previously belonged to communist East Germany.
There are concerns supplying fighter jets to Ukraine could escalate tensions with Russia.
Kyiv hit in ninth night of strikes
Ukraine shot down 29 of 30 missiles launched by Russia in overnight air strikes, with loud explosions heard in the Ukrainian capital early Thursday morning.
One person was killed in an attack on the southern city of Odesa, while falling debris caused a fire in a non-residential building in the capital Kyiv.
It was the ninth time this month that Russian air raids have targeted Kyiv, a clear escalation after weeks of lull, and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive using newly supplied advanced weapons.
The attack was carried out by strategic bombers from the Caspian region, probably using cruise missiles, according to AP.
All enemy targets were destroyed, according to preliminary information.
Sophisticated Western air defence systems, including US-made Patriot missiles, have helped spare Kyiv from the destruction witnessed along the main front line in the country’s east and south.
While most of the ground fighting is at a stalemate, both sides are targeting other territories with long-range weapons.
Ex-Russian PM claims Baltic countries belong to Russia
Firebrand Russian politician Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that the Baltics belong to Russia.
Writing on Twitter, the former Russian Prime Minister referred to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as “our” provinces, saying they had “soiled themselves” over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The incendiary comments were made in response to remarks made by Emmanuel Macron last week that Moscow had “already lost geopolitically”.
“De facto, it [Russia] has entered a form of subservience with regards to China and has lost its access to the Baltic, which was critical, because it prompted the decision by Sweden and Finland to join NATO,” the French President told the Opinion newspaper.
The three small Baltic States were occupied by the USSR until it collapsed in 1991. The Soviet Union is viewed negatively by large swathes of the population, who have embraced their future within the EU and NATO.
Worries have grown in the Baltics about the threat posed by Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February. They are vocal supporters of Ukraine, providing aid, arms and hosting significant populations of Ukrainian refugees.