All 27 EU leaders seal a deal on a 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine. Ukraine strikes the Belbek airfield and sinks a Russian missile boat in Crimea.
EU agrees 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine
European Union leaders on Thursday reached a deal to provide EUR 50 billion in aid to Ukraine.
“All 27 leaders agreed on an additional EUR 50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget,” European Council President Charles Michel wrote on X, a few minutes after the formal start of the Council meeting on Thursday.
“This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine. The EU is taking leadership and responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake,” he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said he was “grateful” to Charles Michel and EU leaders for establishing the EUR 50 billion Ukraine Facility.
“It is very important that the decision was made by all 27 leaders, which once again proves strong EU unity,” Zelenskyy tweeted. “Continued EU financial support for Ukraine will strengthen long-term economic and financial stability, which is no less important than military assistance and sanctions pressure on Russia,” he added.
The European leaders managed to persuade Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to drop his veto over funding to Ukraine with three additions, diplomats said, according to Politico.
There will be an annual report by the European Commission on the implementation of the aid package, there will be a debate at leaders’ level on the implementation of the package and, if it is needed, in two years the European Council will ask the Commission propose a review of the new budget, according to the latest version of the draft European Council conclusions.
Ukraine strikes Belbek airfield, sinks Russian missile boat in Crimea
Ukrainian missiles struck five targets at the Belbek airfield in occupied Crimea, spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command, Colonel Natalia Humenyuk said. The Ukrainian Air Force has “some tools” to target Russian military installments in Crimea, according to spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Colonel Yuriy Ihnat.
“We now have some tools to conduct regular air strikes [at Russian targets] and degrade their military capabilities, we can do that. We surely need more of [these tools]. We also need more fighter jets to launch the strikes. We would like to get the aircraft from our partners as soon as possible,” Ihnat said in televised comments.
He asked to wait for satellite images and intelligence reports that would give an accurate account of the damaged Russian military equipment.
“We hope [the attack] has put out of service as many planes as possible. Russia is decreasing its presence in Crimea, which is not the first time that has happened. Our tactical aircraft pilots are cleansing Crimea with partner-supplied cruise missiles,” Ihnat said.
In a separate episode on the night of January 31 into February 1, the special unit “Group 13” of Ukraine’s defense intelligence destroyed the “Ivanovets” missile boat of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said.
“The successful operation was made possible with the support of the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation and the United24 platform,” the Main Intelligence Department of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine said in a statement Thursday.
The boat was destroyed in Lake Donuzlav in Crimea.
“As a result of a series of direct hits to the hull, the Russian ship suffered damage incompatible with further movement – the Ivanovets listed to the stern and sank,” the statement reads.
The cost of the ship is estimated to be between USD 60 and USD 70 million. A Russian search and rescue operation in the area was unsuccessful, it added.
Russia has up to five such boats in its Black Sea Fleet, according to open source information. The Ivanovets’ crew consists of 40 members.
How Art Serves as a Shield for Mental Health. Ukraine in Flames #567
Among the events that have a negative impact on the psycho-emotional state of a person, the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war is the most relevant for Ukrainians today. In this regard, an important topic for research is the therapeutic features of art in wartime conditions. It is especially important to observe how art aims to make people feel less alone as its primary therapeutic goal. Watch Ukraine in Flames #567 to find out about how war affects theater art and how it is able to heal society in its wartime conditions.
- Lesya Khemraeva, Head of the Barrier-Free Policy, Gender Equality and Mental Health Department
- Serhiy Mazanyi, Artistic Director of the Dnipro Academic Theater of Drama and Comedy
- Ihor Tuluzov, Artistic Director of the Kharkiv Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet