Ukraine says Russia launched two hypersonic Kinzhal missiles on Thursday

A senior EU official accused Russia on Friday of pushing the war on Ukraine to a “different stage” by targeting civilian and non-military targets, prompting Germany and the United States to provide Ukraine with military equipment so the country can better defend itself.

Russia “has moved from the concept of special operations to the concept of war now against NATO and the West,” Stefano Sannino, secretary-general of the European Union’s External Action Service, told a news conference in Tokyo.

“I think the latest developments in terms of armed supplies are just the evolution of the situation and the way Russia is starting to push the war to different stages,” Sonnino said, adding that Putin was “on civilians and on cities.”

He added that the latest EU action was aimed at “offering the possibility of saving lives and enabling Ukrainians to protect (theselves) from these barbaric attacks”.

Tank Promise: The leaders of the United States and Germany each announced on Wednesday that they would send tank task forces to Ukraine, reversing their long-held fears about supplying Kyiv with offensive armored vehicles and unleashing powerful new tools to help Ukraine retake territory occupied by Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz’s announcement that he would send Leopard 2 tanks coincided with US President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would supply Ukraine with 31 M1 Abrams tanks, reversing the government’s long-standing stance against Kyiv. Resistant to highly complex but maintenance demanding – heavy vehicles.

The two announcements came as a landmark moment after weeks of intense pressure on Berlin from some NATO allies. The decisions are the result of long-term diplomacy between Germany, the United States and other European allies, and come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky prepares for a new Russian offensive this spring.

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