Ukraine battles Russian troops trying to pierce its lines in east and northeast, and artillery bombardments intensify after allies promised hundreds of tanks to Kiev, as fighting enters its 339th day.

A Russian Mi-28 military helicopter flies above a settlement in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in the Luhansk region.
A Russian Mi-28 military helicopter flies above a settlement in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in the Luhansk region. (Reuters)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

1519 GMT 

Russia's defence ministry has accused the Ukrainian army of striking a hospital in the eastern Luhansk region, leaving 14 dead and injuring 24 others. 

On Saturday morning in the town of Novoaidar, "the Ukrainian armed forces deliberately attacked the building of a district hospital with rockets of a US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket system", the ministry said in a statement. 

The ministry added that 14 were killed and 24 wounded among the "hospital patients and medical staff".

Here are other key developments:

1525 GMT 'Fast-track' talks underway for missiles, planes — Ukrainian presidential aide 

Ukraine and its Western allies are engaged in "fast-track" talks on the possibility of equipping Kiev with long-range missiles and military aircraft, a top Ukrainian presidential aide has said. 

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Ukraine's supporters in the West "understand how the war is developing" and the need to supply planes capable of providing cover for the armoured fighting vehicles that the United States and Germany pledged at the beginning of the month.

0924 GMT Three killed in Russian strike on east Ukraine city

Three people were killed and at least two others wounded after Russian forces struck a residential neighbourhood in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka, the regional governor has said.

Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app that four apartment buildings and a hotel had been damaged and that rescuers and police officials were at the site to "carefully document yet another crime by the Russian occupiers".

Earlier on Saturday Kyrylenko said four people had been killed and at least seven wounded from Russian strikes over the past 24 hours.

0741 GMT Russia's deputy foreign minister to meet new US envoy early next week - RIA

Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov will hold a meeting with Lynne Tracy, the new US ambassador to Moscow, early next week, the RIA news agency has reported.

Tracy arrived in Moscow earlier this week. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that the new US ambassador would not improve ties between the two countries because of what she called Washington's ongoing "hybrid war" against Russia.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been at rock bottom since Russia's offensive on Ukraine last February.

0638 GMT – Mali defends Russian ties 

Mali’s foreign minister defended the military government’s cooperation with Russia.

Abdoulaye Diop told the UN Security Council that security is the country’s top priority and Mali will not continue to justify its partnership with Russia, which is providing training and equipment to the military.

He did not mention Russia’s Wagner Group, the private military contractor with ties to the Kremlin.

2300 GMT (January 27) – North Korea slams US over Ukraine tank deliveries 

North Korea has denounced US pledges of battle tanks to Ukraine, claiming Washington was "further crossing the red line" to win hegemony by proxy war, state media KCNA reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, made the remarks in a statement carried by KCNA, saying that North Korea will "stand in the same trench" as Russia against the United States.

"I express serious concern over the US escalating the war situation by providing Ukraine with military hardware for ground offensive," she said in the statement.

The United States and Western countries "have neither right nor justification to slander sovereign states' exercise of the right to self-defence."

For live updates from Friday (January 27), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies