Ukraine’s military claimed on Tuesday that the last 24 hours were the deadliest of the war for Russian troops. It increased its tally of Russian military dead by 1,030 overnight to 133,190, the biggest increase in daily Russian military deaths since the war began last February. Russia has also said it killed large numbers of Ukrainian troops in recent weeks, claiming it had inflicted 6,500 Ukrainian casualties in the month of January. These figures could not be independently verified, but the assertion that the fighting was the deadliest so far fits descriptions from both sides of an escalating campaign of close-contact trench warfare.
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have announced they plan to provide Ukraine with at least 100 refurbished Leopard 1 battle tanks. In a joint statement, the defence ministers of the three countries said the shipment of older Leopard 1 tanks was part of an effort “to support Ukraine in their endeavour to withstand Russian aggression”. The delivery of Leopard 1 tanks will occur “within the coming months” and include logistical support and training, it added.
Germany’s defence ministry has said Leopard 2A6 battle tanks will be available in Ukraine by the end of March. Meanwhile, Berlin has reportedly approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine. The head of the German arms maker Rheinmetall has also said it expects to send 20 to 25 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine this year. The news comes as Germany’s defence minister, Boris Pistorius, made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Tuesday.