Good morning from Kyiv. It was a quiet weekend in the capital with no attacks or air raid alerts, but unfortunately this was not the case elsewhere in Ukraine.
Russian shelling in the southern city of Kherson left at least three people dead on Sunday and one person was killed when a Russian strike hit "a four-story residential building", the governor of the regional military administration said.
On Sunday, one of Ukraine's most distinguished veteran literary figures and political activists, Dmytro Pavlychko, died at the age of 94.
What’s happening today?
As you’ll no doubt be aware, last week was all about tanks, tanks, tanks. And while the dust has barely settled over the debate on their supply to Ukraine, talk is already turning to even bigger weapons systems.
Last week a bipartisan trio of senators released a press statement calling for the bolstering of military support for Ukraine by sending ATCAMS long-range artillery systems and F-16 fighter jets, echoing long-standing calls from Kyiv.
This has prompted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to make a statement saying that Germany will not send fighter jets to Ukraine and that it is "necessary" to continue speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
You can read more about that story here.
Elsewhere, a new BBC documentary to be aired this evening features an extraordinary claim from former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that during a call just before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Putin threatened to kill him with a missile.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
Zelensky’s daily address on Sunday evening also concerned western weapons heading to Ukraine, of which the “speed of supply has been and will be one of the key factors in this war.”
The president added: “Russia hopes to drag out the war, to exhaust our forces. We must speed up the events, speed up the supply and opening of new necessary weaponry options for Ukraine.”
Zelensky also spoke of the shelling in Kherson over the weekend, saying:
“Today, the Russian army has been shelling Kherson atrociously all day. Residential buildings, various social and transport facilities, including a hospital, post office, and bus station, have been damaged.
“Two women, nurses, were wounded in the hospital. As of now, there are reports of six wounded and three dead.
“My condolences to all those who have lost loved ones to Russian terror...”
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Jan. 30 focuses on the possibility of “another round of call-ups under the ‘partial mobilization’” by Russia.
It notes that earlier this month “media reported that Russian border guards were preventing dual passport holding Kyrgyz migrant workers from leaving Russia, telling the men that their names were on mobilization lists.”
“Separately, on 23 January 2023, Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the decree on ‘partial mobilization’ continues to remain in force, claiming the decree remained necessary for supporting the work of the Armed Forces,” the MoD adds. “Observers had questioned why the measure had not been formally rescinded.”
“The Russian leadership highly likely continues to search for ways to meet the high number of personnel required to resource any future major offensive in Ukraine, while minimising domestic dissent.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Jan. 29 daily assessment focuses exclusively on the “impact of delays in sending high-end weapons systems to Ukraine on Ukraine’s ability to take advantage of windows of opportunity throughout this war.
It notes that:
· Delays in the provision to Ukraine of Western long-range fires systems, advanced air defense systems, and tanks, have limited Ukraine’s ability to take advantage of opportunities for larger counter-offensive operations presented by flaws and failures in Russian military operations;
· If the West’s aim had been to shorten the war by speeding Ukraine’s liberation of occupied territory, the assessment that stocks of Soviet-era weapons held by friendly states were running low should have triggered a fundamental change in the provision of Western aid starting in June 2022;
· The Russians have taken advantage of these delays and failures to benefit from the windows of vulnerability their own defeats and incompetence produced by mobilizing manpower and equipment and starting to rationalize their own forces.
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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