Leopards approved by Germany, Russian skull-waving neo-nazi shot in the head

8 February, 03:25 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Wednesday, February 8th, 2023.

•   The German government has approved the delivery of Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine from industrial stocks and is in talks with Qatar over purchasing back 15 Gepard armored anti-aircraft guns to send to Kyiv.

The delivery of the Leopard tanks to Ukraine could happen at any time once the tanks are repaired, the newspaper reported, citing government sources. Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) want to recondition dozens of Leopards 1 tanks and could supply them to Ukraine if Kyiv was willing to buy them, it added.

Video of day

•   The U.S. Department of Defense has announced another military aid package for Ukraine, worth $2.18 billion, which includes Hawk air defense systems and high-precision missiles.

Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder confirmed the aid package includes Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) munitions, which can be launched from HIMARS and M270 rocket artillery systems and have a range of 150 kilometers.

•   At least $5.4 million of confiscated assets of sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev will be transferred to Ukraine.

That’s according to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who said that “Russian war criminals will find no refuge in the United States.”

•   Throughout 2023, inflation rate in Ukraine will slow down to 18.7%, while real GDP will grow only marginally – by 0.3%.

That will be due to an expected reduction of national security risks, the National Bank of Ukraine explained, as well as a tight monetary policy, a slowdown in global inflation, improved logistics, business adaptation, and weaker consumer demand amid electricity shortages.

•   A volunteer from the United States, Pete Reed, was killed in Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.

The aid worker was killed when the ambulance he was in was shelled by Russian forces, media reported. The volunteer was on a mission for aid organization Global Response Medicine when he was killed.

•   Igor Mangushev, a Russian mercenary and propagandist, who months ago staged a gruesome stunt in which he brandished the skull allegedly of one of the fallen Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal, has been shot in the head.

According to reports circulating on social media, Mangushev was shot in the head at close range, execution-style, at a checkpoint in the Russian-occupied part of Luhansk Oblast. “Mangushev got shot through his own skull. He is still alive, but with such an injury, the prospects are not very good,” wrote Ukrainian journalist Denys Kazanskyi.

•   Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stripped Ukrainian citizenship from several ministers and officials from the administration of runaway former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The officials were found to have Russian citizenship, RBC-Ukraine outlet reported on Feb. 5, citing the head of state. The officials include the former Ministers of Education, Internal Affairs, and Revenues, as well as the former head of the SBU and Yanukovych’s chief-of-staff.

•   The price ceiling on Russian oil deprived Moscow of $8 billion in revenues in January.

Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said the restriction on prices for Russian oil has achieved its goals. In particular, the oil markets have stabilized and Moscow's revenues from oil and gas exports have fallen.

•   The fall in revenues has resulted in $25 billion deficit in the Russian budget, reported Bloomberg.

•   A Russian who decided to punch a camel didn’t land the same knockout blow that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous barbarian character managed in the classic 1982 sword and sorcery movie.

Instead, the animal killed the Russian in retaliation, according to a video posted on social media. The animal is seen grabbing its abuser by the arm and hurling him from side to side like a rag doll. It then tramples the man, before picking his now limp body up again, hurling it around some more, and then trampling him some more.

•   The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has supported an appeal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) demanding that athletes from the Russian Federation and Belarus be banned from participating in the Olympics.

“As long as the war continues and Russia is destroying the Ukrainian people, the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes will look like supporting the war and appeasing the aggressor,” MP Oleksiy Honcharenko wrote. In addition to the IOC, the parliament also addressed the parliaments of the world, national Olympic committees and international sports federations.

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•   The Appeals Chamber of Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court has approved the confiscation of all assets of Demurynskyi Mining and Processing Plant LLC, owned by Russian citizen Mikhail Shelkov.

The Economic Security Bureau, together with Ukraine’s SBU security service, also expropriated the company's movable and immovable property and cash on accounts worth UAH 14.4 million ($392,000).

•   The ESB also confiscated approximately $49 million of iron ore belonging to Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov.

•   Widows of Russian puppet authority fighters in occupied Donbas receive only a fur coat, instead of a car. 

Kremlin propagandists have posted on Telegram photos of widows of dead soldiers from the puppet authorities who were given fur coats as compensation for the loss of their husbands.

•   The Ukrainian government has supported the appointment of new heads of Zaporizhzhya, Dnipro, and Kherson oblast state administrations.

The candidacies were previously mentioned in the relevant draft decrees of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He said that regional governors with military experience would be appointed in the frontline oblasts.

The day’s long read: Bad Luck London: New court ruling against Kolomoisky reveals sale of Kryviy Rih mine for $926 to Russian citizen Voevodin

Prior to the nationalization of PrivatBank, Ihor Kolomoisky entered into an unusual agreement with Russian businessman Mikhail Voevodin. Kolomoisky sold Voevodin shares in an iron ore plant, but continued to manage it. PrivatBank is now looking for the money received for the asset. NV explains the ins-and-outs of this particular case.

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