Overview:

  • AFU renews air strikes on Belgorod on Thursday
  • Ukrainian 17-year-olds face conscription to Russian units in occupied lands
  • Russia used foreign missiles, including from North Korea, in recent attacks, US says
  • Zelensky discusses air defenses with incoming leader of the G-7
  • Moscow’s forces build on gains in Luhansk region
  • Russia continues to gain a grip around Avdiivka

Ukraine hits Russian border region once again

At least two people were wounded on Thursday when Ukrainian air strikes once again hit the Russian region of Belgorod, AFP reported, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

“According to preliminary data, there are two victims. One man has a shrapnel wound to the forearm, the other has a shrapnel wound to the shin,” local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. “Our air defense system worked over Belgorod and the Belgorod district: 10 air targets were shot down on approach to the city.”

A previous strike on targets in the Russian region on Saturday killed 25 people, which AFP described as “the deadliest strike on civilians in Russia since the war began.”

Other reports indicate Ukraine attacked military targets and the civilian casualties were caused by debris from drones shot down by Russian air defense systems.

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Several schools in the area were ordered to extend their holidays beyond the planned return just after Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7, out of concern about prolonged Ukrainian strikes.

Moscow fired North Korean missiles at Zaporizhizhia, US says, calls peace talks “ballyhoo”

The US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby asserted on Thursday that Russia used missiles manufactured in North Korea during the past week’s attacks on various targets in Ukraine, to compensate for slowed domestic production caused by sanctions. He also dismissed the notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin is interested in negotiations.

Rear Attacks – Ukraine Strikes Russian Oil Refineries and Air Base in Crimea and Leningrad
Other Topics of Interest

Rear Attacks – Ukraine Strikes Russian Oil Refineries and Air Base in Crimea and Leningrad

Russian milbloggers frequently complain that Ukraine seems to be able to strike at strategically important military and infrastructure facilities on the Crimean Peninsula with impunity.

“I mean, so, for all the ballyhoo that I heard in the last few days about Mr. Putin in some press reports that he’s all of a sudden willing to negotiate, he sure doesn’t act like a guy who’s willing to negotiate,” Kirby said.

At the White House briefing, Kirby revealed, “As Russia continues to launch these brutal attacks, the United States has new information to share: about the support that Russia is receiving from third countries.”

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“On Dec. 30, 2023, Russian forces launched at least one of these North Korean ballistic missiles into Ukraine. This missile appears to have landed in an open field in the Zaporizhzhia region,” Kirby said.

He added that Russia likely will use additional missiles from Pyongyang, each with ranges of up to about 500 miles (900 km), which they have given to Moscow in exchange for future shipments of Russian warplanes, armored vehicles, and assorted missiles and launchers.

Russia plans to use Ukrainian teens in occupied lands as “cannon fodder”

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) cited Ukrainian sources as saying that Russian authorities in occupied regions are planning to mobilize Ukrainian teenagers living there.

The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on Thursday that Russian military registration and enlistment offices in occupied Ukraine plan to require 17-year-old Ukrainians living in southern occupied Ukraine to register for military service with the Russian Armed Forces beginning in March 2024.

The Center warned that Russian forces will “likely use Ukrainian citizens serving in the Russian military as ‘cannon fodder’,” the ISW reported.

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Operations: Luhansk and Donetsk

Russian forces made confirmed gains near Kreminna on Thursday, the ISW reported, citing geolocated footage. The images published on Jan. 4 indicate that Moscow’s troops moved east of Terny in Donetsk, just northwest of the Luhansk town of Kreminna.

Along that same front, both Russian and Ukrainian sources reported fighting east of Petropavlivka (east of Kupyansk) and near Synkivka (northeast of Kupyansk), Ivanivka (southeast of Kupyansk), and Karmazynivka (southeast of Svatove)

A Ukrainian military observer noted the following Russian units as being active in the area: the 25th Motorized Rifle Brigade (6th Combined Arms Army [CAA], Western Military District [WMD]) (recently active just northeast of Kupyansk), along with elements of the Russian 128th Motorized Rifle Brigade (6th CAA, WMD) while the 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment (2nd Motorized Rifle Division, 1st Guards Tank Army, WMD) have been attacking positions west of Kupyansk. Meanwhile, the 123rd Motorized Rifle Brigade and 6th Motorized Rifle Brigade (both of the 2nd Luhansk People’s Republic [LNR] Army Corps) reportedly continue to operate just south of Kreminna.

Operations: Avdiivka

Russian forces recently advanced near Avdiivka as the battles for the keystone AFU city intensified. Geolocated footage published on Thursday seems to show that the Kremlin’s troops advanced by the city’s strategic “Terrikon” waste heap, while a Russian source claimed that Moscow has taken over some rural cottages southeast waste heap as well, the ISW reported.

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Both Russian and Ukrainian sources said on Thursday that fighting continues northwest of the city near Novobakhmutivka, Berdychi, and Stepove and near Avdiivka Coke Plant.

Zelensky and Giorgia Meloni discuss G-7 collaboration, Peace Formula

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday spoke with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the incoming rotating leader of the Group of Seven. The President described the escalation of Russian attacks on civilian targets and discussed future collaboration with Italy and other European countries on joint production of air defense systems.

“I had a call with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to congratulate Italy on taking over the presidency of the Group of Seven,” Zelensky posted to social media.

“We appreciate the inclusion of the issues of Ukraine’s defense capabilities and reconstruction in the priorities for 2024. This is a powerful signal that demonstrates the continued support for Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor

“We also discussed the frontline situation. I am thankful to Italy and personally to Giorgia for the willingness to further assist in strengthening our air defense.

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“This is extremely important for saving lives and ensuring the possibility of normal life for the cities and villages of our country,” Zelensky said.

“Together, Ukraine and Italy can strengthen the defense of not just our two nations, but the whole of Europe. This will also be a significant contribution to global security.”

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Comments (6)

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John
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Don't mind @Jack Griffin folks: "jack"is a russian paid troll most likely assigned to meddle in the next USA election. Putin is strategizing that if faith in the current Ukraine supportive president is diminished, that his troll farm can sway concerned USA voters that putins' Maga cult leaders and their orange potato are the best hope for Ukraine to win. Now keep in mind that these same MAGA cult leaders are presently the ones holding up badly needed Ukraine aid in US Congress.

The russian MAGA trolls would like readers to think thats because the USA border is the most important thing, and only once addressed can they help Ukraine. Sadly thats not true. Firstly the US border crisis is due to hybrid war being conducted against the USA by the likes of the putin regime. It will never stop while putin is in power. Secondly some of the leading MAGA cult congress trolls have surprisingly strayed from putins' common talking points recently to say they will not support Ukraine even if if the USA border crisis was appropriately addressed. They will just find other ways to delay aid.

So all that makes "Jacks" job frustratingly hard for him. To vet his anger he will need to lash out with profanity. The tirade should also include his favourite new word (briben) as it earns "jack" a ruble (1 cent USD).

...don't keep us waiting jack.

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pootie your time is up dude
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the best way to end this war is for russian folk to stop pootin from re-electing himself,there will be a sham election which pootin will put himself in power,if pootin gets a tap on the shoulder and be asked to step aside,then Ukraine would consider peace talks,this would be the best outcome,for pootins generals say to pootin your time is up dude,if not pootie boy will face the full force of Ukraine.There is no way Ukraine is backing down

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Jack Griffin
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Iran, China, and North Korea are all aiding & arming Russia. Joe BRIBEn not only allowed this to happen. He engineered it and built it. And now he is feeding it ever so slowly to draw it out for as long as possible. Joe BRIBEn could very well be the father of World War III.

Blueant
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@Jack Griffin, They are coming with your straight jacket Jack.

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DJ
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Andrew
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Russia has lost more trying to capture Avdiivka than they lost in the 10 years Afgan war they lost. If this is Russia winning I am all for it.

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pootinisloosing
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they are living in fairyland if they even think pootin will do peace talks,sure Ukraine will one day sit down and talk peace but it sure wont happen with pootin in power,stop dreaming.

John
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@pootinisloosing, Well stated! Nothing anyone from putins' regime states can be trusted.

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