Overview:

  • Two fishermen killed, others injured by Moscow’s air strikes in Kharkiv area
  • Vessel en route to grain depot on Danube hits Russian mines
  • More than 500 children dead so far as a result of war, mostly in Donetsk region
  • Russians gain along Kupyasnk-Kreminna line
  • US National Security Advisor announces more financial crackdowns on Kremlin
  • Moscow’s troops reportedly advance in Zaporizhzhia region

Russian mines blow up another grain ship in the Black Sea

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) reported that a cargo ship in the Black Sea, on its way to load grain by the Danube River, exploded on Thursday, injuring two sailors.

According to reports, the vessel lost control after hitting a Russian mine and a fire broke out on the deck. The captain of the Panamanian-flagged ship managed to steer the ship into shallower waters to avoid sinking. Ukrainian tug boats and search-and-rescue boats from the Maritime Guard were sent to evacuate the crew.

According to the Associated Press, the mine incident occurred about 130 kilometers southwest of Chornomorsk, near Odesa. The ship with 18 crew reportedly was on its way to Izmail, a port on the Ukraine-Romania border by the mouth of the Danube.

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More than 500 kids killed so far by Kremlin’s forces

State news agency Ukrinform reported, citing the Prosecutor General’s office, that 513 children have been killed over the course of the Russian invasion of the past almost two years.

“More than 1,674 children were injured in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s full-scale armed aggression. As of the morning of December 28, according to the official reports from juvenile prosecutors, 513 children have been killed” by Russian strikes, the prosecutor’s office stated in a release on Thursday.

Ukrinform clarified that “the reports are not final as work is ongoing to verify data coming from the hostility zones, temporarily occupied and liberated areas.” The largest numbers of child casualties were reported in Donetsk region (497), Kharkiv region (304), Kherson region (140), Kyiv region (129), Zaporizhzhia region (100), Dnipropetrovsk region (98), Mykolaiv region (97), Chernihiv region (72), and Luhansk region (67).

Russia’s Combat Losses in Ukraine Up by 1,100 in Past Day, Per Kyiv Government
Other Topics of Interest

Russia’s Combat Losses in Ukraine Up by 1,100 in Past Day, Per Kyiv Government

Official Russian losses according to Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) General Staff, as reported to the Ukrinform state news agency. Human casualties include those killed and wounded, unable to fight.

Two killed in Zaporizhzhia region, at least three others injured in air strikes near Kharkiv

The AFP reported on Thursday that Russian shelling killed two civilians and wounded others in a village on the banks of the frontline Dnipro River, citing the general prosecutor’s office.

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Russian armed forces carried out artillery shelling of the village of Bilenke of Zaporizhzhia region," the general prosecutor’s office said.

Two fishermen died in the attack, the prosecutor said.

Meanwhile, the AFP continued, in the Kharkiv region, Russian attacks killed a 66-year-old woman and wounded a 63-year-old in the town of Vovchansk, and injured three women during air strikes on the village of Glushkivka.

Operations: Kupyansk-Kreminna line

Russian forces this week reportedly advanced along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, with Kremlin-affiliated bloggers claiming that Moscow’s forces advanced southeast of Yampolivka (west of Kreminna, in the Donetsk region) and up to three kilometers in unspecified parts of the Serebryanske forest area (southwest of Kreminna), although the Washington DC think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said it has not observed visual confirmation of these claims.

Both Ukrainian and Russian sources claimed that fighting occurred northeast and southeast of Kupyansk near Synkivka, Petropavlivka, and Ivanivka and west and southwest of Kreminna near Dibrova and the Serebryansky forest area.

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US adds more sanctions on financial institutions working with Russia

The AFP reported Thursday that, under an executive order signed by US President Joe Biden, his administration will impose “so-called secondary sanctions against financial institutions that back companies already targeted for supporting Russia’s defense industry.” 

“We are sending an unmistakable message: anyone supporting Russia’s unlawful war effort is at risk of losing access to the US financial system,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

“We will continue tightening the screws on Russia’s war machine and its enablers,” Sullivan said in a statement, adding that, in the US administration’s estimation, such sanctions have “significantly degraded” Russia’s military.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia

The ISW reported on Thursday that Russian forces recently made confirmed gains in eastern Zaporizhzhia, and reportedly also advanced in western parts of the region. Geolocated footage seems to confirm that Moscow’s troops now occupy Dorozhnyanka, south of Hulyaipole.

Russian forces have claimed to be operating in Dorozhnyanka since December 2022.

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Russian military bloggers also claimed that their invading forces advanced west and northwest of Robotyne and along the Robotyne-Verbove line. The ISW said it has not observed visual confirmation of these claims.

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