Good morning from Kyiv where the snow is melting and an unseasonably warm few days are forecast.
The capital has been quiet since Russia’s double attack on Saturday but over in Dnipro, the operation to account for those still missing after the missile attack on a residential building continues. The death toll currently stands at 40.
What’s happening today?
It’s day two of Davos, the annual World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss Alps where a large Ukrainian delegation of ministers and mayors, headed by Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska, are all hoping to secure more aid and weapons for Ukraine.
"That's why I'm here," said Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko, adding: "it's very important to talk directly... it's very important to have a personal connection."
Zelenska is scheduled to speak this evening and President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to speak via videolink at side events of the forum on Wednesday and Thursday.
You can read more about what’s already happened at Davos here.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
During his daily address on Monday evening, President Zelensky focused on the ongoing rescue operation at the site of the residential building hit by a Russian missile on Saturday in which at least 40 people – including three children – died.
“The Security Service of Ukraine has already started to gather information about those Russian military who prepared and carried out this strike,” he said.
“There is no doubt: every person guilty of this war crime will be identified and brought to justice.”
Zelensky also praised the U.K. for the latest package of British military aid it is sending to Ukraine, including 14 Challenger 2 tanks.
“A new package of defense assistance has been announced, exactly what we need,” Zelensky said.
“Tanks, other armored vehicles, artillery [are topics] discussed with Prime Minister Sunak. I thank you, Rishi, I thank every Briton for the tangible and timely support!”
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Jan. 17 focuses on the missile that struck Dnipro on Saturday, saying despite the Kremlin’s claims it was not responsible, it was “highly likely” that the rocket was an “AS-4 KITCHEN large anti-ship missile, launched from a Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE medium bomber”.
The MoD adds: “Russia falsely implied a Ukrainian air defense missile was responsible. KITCHEN is notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets as its radar guidance system is poor at differentiating targets in urban areas.
“Similar weapons have been responsible for other incidents of civilian mass-casualties, including the Kremenchuk shopping center strike of June 27, 2022.
“While some missiles such as KITCHEN are unsuitable for precision strikes, evidence from the Ukraine war suggests that the dysfunction of Russia’s long-range strike capability is more profound. It highly likely struggles to dynamically identify targets, and to access rapid and accurate battle damage assessment.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Jan. 16 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· The Kremlin continues to publicly challenge Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s claims that Wagner Group forces were solely responsible for capturing Soledar, Donetsk Oblast;
· NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg dismissed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s repeated concerns that the Western provision of weapons to Ukraine could cause a nuclear escalation.
· A prominent milblogger revived pre-February 2022 discussions of Kremlin intent to return close Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk to power in Ukraine.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.
Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.
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