Russia's war on Ukraine latest: Germany sets condition for U.S. on supplying tanks

(Reuters) - Ukraine pleaded on Thursday for the West to finally send it heavy tanks as the defence chiefs of the United States and Germany headed for a showdown over weapons that Kyiv says could decide the fate of the war.


* U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met Germany's new Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on Thursday to press Berlin to allow the transfer of German-made tanks to Ukraine, U.S. officials said, as the two allies remained at loggerheads over the issue.

* A U.S. official said the Biden administration was set to approve a new aid package to Ukraine, worth more than $2 billion, which would likely include Stryker armoured vehicles for Kyiv, but not M1 Abrams tanks.

* Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address to the World Economic Forum in Davos that Western supplies of tanks and air defence units should come more quickly and before Russia mounted fresh missile and armoured assaults.

* The Kremlin said that the sooner Ukraine accepted Russia's demands, the sooner the conflict there could end.

* The Swedish government announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine that will include armoured infantry fighting vehicles and the Archer artillery system.


* The Kremlin said Ukrainian strikes on Russian-annexed Crimea would be "extremely dangerous", after the New York Times reported that U.S. officials were warming to the idea of helping Kyiv attack the peninsula.

* Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that the defeat of Russia in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war.

* The founder of Russia's Wagner mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin said his forces had taken the village of Klishchiivka, on the edge of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, but said that Ukrainian forces could not be forced from Bakhmut swiftly.

Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

(Compiled by Angus MacSwan; editing by John Stonestreet)