Ukrainian officials aired their frustration after a key meeting of Western allies at Ramstein Air Base in Germany failed to come up with a deal to supply Kyiv with the battle tanks it says are a crucial part of its bid to take on entrenched Russian forces.
In his nightly address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine “will still have to fight for the supply of modern tanks,” adding that the “war started by Russia does not allow delays.” Earlier, addressing the Ramstein group, he said that words and discussions will not suffice on the field of battle.
Germany has so far been unwilling to supply its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, or authorize other nations that use the German-made vehicles to transfer them, despite coming under increasing pressure to do so. In a news conference Friday, Germany’s new foreign minister, Boris Pistorius, sought to push back on the perception that the country was a roadblock for other allies willing to send tanks.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
What is the Wagner Group, the Russian mercenary entity in Ukraine? The Kremlin-linked Wagner Group, a network of private security contractors, will be designated a criminal organization, the White House announced Friday. The group, which has an estimated 50,000 fighters on the ground in Ukraine, has reportedly led key offensives including the recent fighting in Soledar.
But Wagner’s growing presence on the battlefield has also irked Russian military leaders who have either ignored or dismissed its claims of victory, write Miriam Berger and Adam Taylor. In recent years, the group has served primarily as a tactical tool of Moscow in places where Russia has political or financial interests, such as Syria.