Awacs planes will be deployed in Romania to “monitor Russian military activity”, announces NATO

Cover image: A NATO Awacs (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) surveillance aircraft, on exercise in Portugal, in February 2018. RAFAEL MARCHANTE / REUTERS

  • The Russian Defense Ministry says its forces have captured the town of Soledar. The Russian army claimed on Friday that it had completely conquered the city of Soledar. “The liberation of the town of Soledar, which is important for the continuation of offensive operations, was completed on January 12 in the evening” in the Donetsk region, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
  • The Ukrainian army denies the loss of Soledar. Spokesman for the Eastern Command of the Ukrainian army, Serhi Cherevaty, told Ukrainian television on Friday that “Heavy fighting is still going on in Soledar.” “Ukrainian armed forces keep the situation under control in difficult conditions”he added.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised on Thursday to provide “everything necessary” to the soldiers resisting the Russian assaults in Soledar and Bakhmouttwo cities in the east of the country that Russia is trying to conquer at all costs to change the course of the war.
  • According to the Ukrainian authorities, more than 500 people still live in Soledar, which it is no longer possible to leave due to the fierce fighting. “All the people who wanted to left, and we provided them with transport”said Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the military administration of Donetsk Oblast.
  • More than half of the members of the European Commission must go to Kyiv on February 2 for a meeting with members of the Ukrainian government, on the eve of a summit between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine.
  • Like Poland, Finland plans to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, President Sauli Niinistö told the STT news agency on Thursday. According to him, the number of tanks provided would be limited, because Finland, which is not a member of NATO, shares its border with Russia.
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