Ukrainian anti-corruption officials detained Vasly Lozynskyi, a deputy minister, in an investigation over bribery and abuse of office, Ukrainska Pravda reported late Saturday.
Some Ukrainian officials on Saturday criticized allies’ indecision over battle tank donations at a key meeting in Germany, but defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said he expected Kyiv’s troops to start training soon on Leopard tanks in Poland.
Poland said it plans to build a “smaller coalition” of nations prepared to deliver tanks to Ukraine.
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On the Ground
Russian forces are “likely making incremental gains” around Bakhmut, the hotly-contested city in Donetsk, said the Institute for the Study of War. Ukraine’s forces have repelled attacks in the direction of Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Lyman, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Russia has recently increased the use of aviation in the Bakhmut offensive. Russia in the past day carried out one missile strike and 27 air strikes, the general staff said. Ukrainian aviation delivered 14 strikes at Russian strongholds and three strikes at Russian anti-aircraft complexes.
(All times CET)
Poland Plans Build Coalition to Transfer Tanks (9:20 a.m.)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki described as “unacceptable” Germany’s reluctance to send Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine in an interview with PAP state newswire on Sunday.
The Polish government is going to build a “smaller coalition” of countries willing to deliver tanks, he said. Poland wants to send 14 German-made combat vehicles. Morawiecki has signaled previously that his government may do so without consent from Berlin, which is currently required.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister Dismissed in Corruption Probe (8 a.m.)
Ukrainian anti-corruption officials detained Vasly Lozynskyi, deputy minister of communities, development and infrastructure, Ukrainska Pravda reported late Saturday citing officials it didn’t identify.
He’s is being investigated for abuse of office and bribery by the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau, according to Pravda. The news outlet said an investigation was initiated in September.
Read more: Ukrainian Deputy Minister Dismissed After Report of Corruption
German Defense Chief to Visit Ukraine Soon (12 a.m.)
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has announced that he will travel to Ukraine as soon as possible. “What is certain is that I will travel to Ukraine quickly. Probably even within the next four weeks,” Pistorius told newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Regarding the decision on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine Pistorius said: “We are in very close dialog on this issue with our international partners, first and foremost with the USA. In order to be best prepared for possible decisions, I instructed my ministry on Friday to check everything to such an extent that we do not lose unnecessary time if the worst comes to the worst.”
Russia’s RT Says Its French Unit Will Close (6 p.m.)
RT France, a unit of the Russian television channel RT, said it was closing after the French government froze its bank accounts.
“Under the guise of the 9th package of sanctions against Russia, which doesn’t target our channel but our shareholder and parent company, the Treasury has decided to freeze RT France’s accounts, making it impossible to continue operating,” it wrote in a statement published on the Twitter account of Xenia Fedorova, the channel’s president.
Minister Says Ukraine Will Train on Leopards in Poland (3 p.m.)
Kyiv’s troops will train on German-made Leopard tanks in Poland, a “breakthrough” reached during the Ramstein allies meeting, Ukraine’s defense minister said.
Oleksii Reznikov told Voice of America’s Ukrainian service in an interview that his country’s tank teams will begin training soon. So far, the battle tanks haven’t been offered by Germany for deployment – but Reznikov said he was “very satisfied” with Friday’s outcome and that “some new packages” were agreed but not announced.
“We will start with that, and we will go from there,” he said. “I have a hope that Germany in a quiet pace of its internal consultations will reach the decision that the transfer of tanks is possible.”
Zelenskiy, Wife Attend Service for Interior Minister (1 p.m.)
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena Zelenska, attended a ceremony in Kyiv for Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, his deputy Yevhen Yenin, and ministry staff killed Wednesday in a helicopter crash east of the capital.
Thousands of people paid their respects during and after a procession from the ministry’s offices to Independence Square, according to ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko.
A separate memorial for three pilots killed in the incident will take place at a helicopter base in the Chernihiv region. The cause of the crash, which also killed children near a kindergarten, hasn’t been determined.
Ukraine Official Calls Tank Impasse ‘Huge Disappointment’: CNN (10:10 a.m.)
Germany indecision on whether to send its main battle tanks to Kyiv is a “huge disappointment for all Ukrainians,” Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk told CNN.
In an interview Friday, Melnyk praised the UK’s recent decision to pledge its Challenger 2 tanks, adding he hoped the move might prompt other countries to follow suit. “That might be a trigger, hopefully, for other countries but unfortunately not for Germany yet,” he said.
Separately, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak urged allies to “think faster” and said indecision “is killing more of our people.”
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