Ukraine says talks are under way among Kiev and its allies about long-range missiles that it says are needed to fight Russia's aggression as conflict enters its 340th day.

"The lack of reaction from the US and other NATO countries to this (strike) by Kiev once again confirms their direct involvement in the conflict," says Russian Foreign Ministry. (Reuters)

Sunday, January 29, 2023

1214 GMT – 'Deliberate shelling' of hospital 'grave war crime': Moscow

Russia said the West's muted reaction to a Ukrainian missile strike on a hospital in Luhansk confirms its direct involvement in the war. 

Moscow has blamed Kiev for Saturday's strike on a hospital in Novoaidar, an area currently under Russian control, which it said killed at least 14 people and injured 24 others. 

"The lack of reaction from the United States and other NATO countries to this yet another monstrous trampling of international humanitarian law by Kiev once again confirms their direct involvement in the conflict," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

The "deliberate shelling of existing civilian medical facilities and the targeted killing of civilians are grave war crimes of the Kiev regime and its Western masters," the ministry said.

Here are other key developments:

1117 GMT – After tanks, Ukraine seeks warships from Germany 

Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk has called on Germany to help boost Kiev's naval capabilities, proposing the handover of a submarine and a decommissioned frigate. 

Germany this week agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, finally giving in to months of pressure from the US and its NATO allies. 

Berlin also said it would allow other countries who have the German-made tanks to deliver them to Ukraine. 

"A month ago, Germany decommissioned frigate Lubeck. True, it was 32 years old. But still – with political will – it could be transferred to Ukraine to combat Russian submarines & war ships in the Black Sea," Melnyk said on Twitter. 

If not the entire ship, then "its weaponry like Sea Sparrow & Harpoon missiles," he added.

1109 GMT – Ukraine 'repels attack' around Blahodatne while Russia's Wagner claims control

Ukraine's military has said its forces repelled an attack in the area of Blahodatne in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia's Wagner private military group said it took control of the village.

"Units of Ukraine's Defence Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of ... Blahodatne ... in the Donetsk region," the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said in its daily morning report, referring to fighting.

The Wagner Group said on the Telegram messaging app that its units had taken control of Blahodatne. 

0954 GMT – North Korea denies arms dealing with Russia

North Korea denied providing arms to Moscow after the United States said the nuclear-armed state supplied rockets and missiles to Russia's private military group Wagner.

Washington earlier this month designated the Wagner group as a "transnational criminal organisation", citing its weapons dealings with Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The White House showed US intelligence photographs of Russian rail cars entering North Korea, picking up a load of infantry rockets and missiles, and returning to Russia, according to national security spokes man John Kirby.

GMT 0910 – Stoltenberg suspects North Korea provided weapons to Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in South Korea the first stop on a trip that will include Japan and is aimed at strengthening ties with the US allies in the face of the war in Ukraine 

Stoltenberg told South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin in remarks at the beginning of their meeting, that NATO suspected North Korea is providing military support to the Russian war effort.

"This just highlights how we are interconnected," he said.

0843 GMT – US, NATO using Ukraine as training ground to test weapons: Russian lawmaker

A senior Russian lawmaker accused Western nations of using Ukraine as a training ground to test their weapons.

“Today, Ukraine is a training ground for Washington and NATO to test their weapons and test out new ways of waging war,” Vyacheslav Volodin, head of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said in a Telegram post.

The West has no regard for the lives of Ukrainians and views them as disposable, he added.

0130 GMT – North Korea hits out at US over Ukraine tank pledges

North Korea has criticised for a second day a US decision to send tanks to Ukraine, calling it a "criminal act against humanity" aimed at perpetuating an unstable international situation.

Washington's allegations that North Korea has provided arms to Russia are a "baseless" effort to justify its own military aid to Ukraine, Kwon Chung-keun, director of US affairs at North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

"The United States' attempt to slam offensive armed equipment such as the main tank, into Ukraine, ignoring the legitimate concerns and condemnation of the international community, is a criminal act against humanity aimed at perpetuating the unstable international situation," the statement said.

The baseless claims of North Korea-Russia arms deals are an "unacceptable and a grave provocation that must be responded to," Kwon added.

2300 GMT – Ukraine needs long-range missiles: Zelenskyy

President Volodymr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine needs long-range missiles to fight more effectively against the Russian army.

"Ukraine needs long-range missiles ... to deprive the occupier of the opportunity to place its missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and destroy Ukrainian cities," he said in his fresh video address.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine needed the US-made ATACMS missile, which has a range of 297km. Washington has so far declined to provide the weapon.

For live updates from Saturday (January 28), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies