Russia’s war on Ukraine latest: Poland signals intent to send tanks

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FILE PHOTO: Polish Leopard 2PL tank fires during Defender Europe 2022 military exercise at the military range in Bemowo Piskie

(Reuters) – Poland will seek Germany’s permission to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and will provide them whether or not Berlin agrees, its prime minister said on Monday.

WEAPONS AND DIPLOMACY

* Germany’s approval for the re-export of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine is of secondary importance as Poland could send those tanks as part of a coalition of countries even without its permission, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.

* European foreign ministers, meeting on Monday to discuss aid to Ukraine, pressed Berlin to let countries send German-made Leopard tanks, after Germany appeared to open the door to such shipments by allies.

* Russia and Estonia downgraded their diplomatic relations and expelled each other’s ambassadors after Moscow accused Tallinn of anti-Russian policies. Latvia also expelled Russia’s ambassador in solidarity with Estonia.

FIGHTING

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* Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that its forces were improving their positions in Zaporizhzhia region, a southern part of Ukraine.

* The top Russian-installed official in the occupied parts of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine said he had visited the town of Soledar that Russia claimed to had captured earlier this month.

* Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

UKRAINE ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES

* The head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party said on Monday corrupt Ukrainian officials would be jailed, after a deputy infrastructure minister was held on suspicion of graft and a newspaper accused the military of overpaying suppliers.

(Compiled by William Maclean, Frances Kerry, Peter Graff; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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