Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest for the next while.
Our top story this morning: The United States and Germany are reportedly poised to provide a significant boost to Ukraine’s war effort with the delivery of heavy battle tanks. There has been no official confirmation, however.
Germany’s decision is expected to be made official on Wednesday and Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is due to be questioned in the Bundestag in the morning in a debate likely to be dominated by the tank decision.
Meanwhile late on Tuesday night Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that “Russia is preparing for a new wave of aggression with the forces it can mobilise.”
We’ll have more on these stories shortly. In the meantime here are the other key recent developments:
In Ukraine, fifteen senior officials have left their posts since Saturday, six of whom have had corruption allegations levelled at them by journalists and Ukraine’s anti-corruption authorities. The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on Tuesday he had asked Zelenskiy on Monday to relieve him of his duties as part of the wave of government resignations and dismissals.
Deputy defence minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, responsible for supplying troops with food and equipment, also resigned, citing “media accusations” of corruption that he and the ministry say are baseless. Deputy prosecutor general Oleksiy Symonenko has been removed from his post, and two deputy ministers resigned from Ukraine’s ministry of communities and territories development.
Five regional governors are also being removed from power: Valentyn Reznichenko, of Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksandra Starukha of Zaporizhzhia, Oleksiy Kuleba of Kyiv, Dymtro Zhivytskyi, of Sumy and Yaroslav Yanushevich, of Kherson. Kherson and Zaporizhizhia are two of the regions of Ukraine which the Russian Federation has claimed to annex.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has reset its Doomsday Clock, intended to illustrate existential risks to the world, at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight the clock has ever been since it was first introduced in 1947. It is “largely” because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they said.
Ukraine has enough coal and gas reserves for the remaining months of winter despite repeated Russian attacks on its energy system, prime minister Denys Shmyhal has said.
Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto has signalled a possible pause in discussions with Turkey over Finnish ambitions to join Nato alongside Sweden, which he says is due to the pressure of Turkey’s forthcoming election.