January 25, 2023 – Russia-Ukraine news

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Retired general lays out what to expect after tanks are sent to Ukraine02:14

January 25, 2023 – Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara SubramaniamAditi SangalAdrienne VogtLeinz Vales, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 10:35 PM ET, Wed January 25, 2023

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Our live coverage for the day has ended. Follow the latest Ukraine news here or read through the updates below.4 hr ago

German Leopard tanks will get on the ground in Ukraine faster than US Abrams, White House says

John Kirby speaks with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.
John Kirby speaks with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. CNN

The German Leopard tanks will be on the ground in Ukraine faster than the US Abram tanks, said John Kirby, the White House’s strategic communications coordinator for national security.

Kirby would not specify a timeline as to when the US would be able to deliver the Abram tanks to Ukraine, and told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday it would take “many months.”

“These Leopard tanks are very sophisticated, too. They’re very good tanks and there’s a lot of them on the European continent. We’re grateful that the Germans are going to contribute immediately 14 of them, but that they’re going to work with allies and partners to flesh out, you know, a full two-tank battalion, so that’s about 60 tanks, Wolf. And they’re very, very good tanks and you’re right, they will be able to get on the ground in Ukraine faster than the Abrams,” Kirby said.

He added: “We do believe that they can have a significant impact as the fighting begins to get more violent coming in the spring and summer months.”

US President Joe Biden announced the US plans to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine after Germany confirmed it will deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks from its own stock to the country, following weeks of diplomatic pressure on Berlin. 5 hr 45 min ago

Air sirens across central and eastern Ukraine signal a possible Russian attack, officials warn

From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv

Air sirens rang across much of central and eastern Ukraine as officials warn residents to shelter from a possible Russian attack.

“Threat of a missile strike,” Mykola Lukashuk, head of the Dnipropetrovsk Region Council, said on Telegram. “Stay in safe places until the end of the alert. The threat is not over.”

Lukashuk urged others on Telegram not to report the locations of possible interceptions by Ukrainian air defense.

“Do not help the enemy,” he said. “Wait for official information.”

In the southern Mykolaiv region, there were also official reports of possible incoming Russian fire.

“They write that three groups of mopeds [Shahed attack drones] have already taken off,” Vitaliy Kim, head of the Mykolaiv Region Military Administration (or governor), said on Telegram. “The petty crooks couldn’t come up with anything better on the best president’s birthday.”

In the northeastern Kharkiv region, the military administrator warned residents to remain in their shelters: “There is a threat of missile attacks. Do not ignore the alarms.”

In the central Kirovohrad region, the military administrator said on Telegram: “The level of missile threat remains high.”6 hr 35 min ago

What you need to know about the US and German announcements on tanks for Ukraine — and why it is significant 

From CNN staff

US President Biden announced Wednesday that he plans to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing the administration’s longstanding resistance to requests from Kyiv for the highly sophisticated but maintenance-heavy vehicles.

Biden said in White House remarks that this US support is about helping Ukraine “defend its sovereignty” and that sending tanks does not mean it is an “offensive threat.”

Biden’s announcement came after Germany confirmed earlier Wednesday that it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine from its own stock. The two nations had appeared to be in standoff as German officials indicated Berlin would only send their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if the US sent the M-1 Abrams tanks.

If you are just reading in, here’s what you need to know about today’s developments:

Why this is significant: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “At This Hour” Wednesday that the tanks “will significantly strengthen” Kyiv’s combat capabilities. Ukraine’s President  Volodymyr Zelensky has consistently asked Western allies for modern tanks as his country prepares for an expected major Russian counteroffensive in the spring.

With both the US and Germany pledging to send tanks to Ukraine, other countries, especially those with the German-made tanks, have also announced contributions to the front lines. CNN cannot confirm the total number of Leopard 2 tanks to be delivered, but pledges made by multiple countries so far mean the Ukrainian military is in line to receive dozens of the tanks. Germany’s main governing party said on Wednesday that Ukraine’s Western allies will send the country a total of around 80 Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Why send tanks now: Sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine will provide Kyiv’s forces with a modern and powerful military vehicle ahead of a potential Russian spring offensive. It will also come as a blow to the Kremlin, which has seen a growing campaign to equip Ukrainian troops with high-tech fighting systems as Russia’s ground war nears the one-year mark.

Speaking ahead of Biden’s announcement, senior US officials framed the decision as an investment in Ukraine’s “longer term capabilities,” an indication the administration sees the now 11-month-long war extending well into the future. Ukraine hopes the new tanks can help it retake territory seized by Russia, including in the

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