• Zelensky will join Yermak in Switzerland for peace talks
  • AFU shows signs of adapting air defenses to Russian missile and drone strikes
  • Paris and London promise more aid, including air defenses
  • Moscow moves forward along Kupyansk front lines
  • Top brass meets with commanders on the battlefields
  • Russian pressure on Avdiivka continues

Zelensky plans to join peace talks in Davos on Monday

President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Switzerland on Monday, his office said on Sunday, joining his envoy, presidential aide Andriy Yermak.

On Sunday in Davos, national security advisors from 83 countries held a fourth round of discussions based on Zelensky’s 10-point proposal for peace with Russia. The talks were co-chaired by Yermak and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

Zelensky is due to “meet the heads of both houses of parliament, party leaders and the President of Switzerland, and participate in the World Economic Forum,” AFP reported.

The talks thus far have focused on the various criteria to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, the withdrawal of Russian troops, justice for war crimes and the prevention of further escalation.


Russia launched air strikes on Ukraine over the weekend

Ukrainian military sources said that Russian forces launched 40 long-range strikes at Ukraine from various directions on Saturday, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported, and Ukrainian air defenses appear to be increasing their proficiency in electronic warfare against incoming munitions.

The day’s strike included: seven S-300/S-400 anti-aircraft missiles from the Belgorod area; three Shahed-131/131 drones from the Kursk region; six Kh-47 hypersonic Kinzhal missiles from six MiG-31K aircraft from the Tambov region; up to 12 Kh-101/555/55 cruise missiles from 11 Tu-95MS strategic bombers over the Caspian Sea; six Kh-22 cruise missiles from Tu-22M3 bombers and and four Kh-59 cruise missiles and two Kh-31P anti-radar missiles from Su-34 bombers over the Bryansk region.

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The Ukrainian Air Force reported that Ukrainian air defense destroyed seven Kh-101/555/55 cruise missiles and one Kh-59 cruise missile

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) claimed that 20 of the missiles were disabled via e-warfare. The ISW deduced that this development “may be an inflection in Ukrainian electronic warfare capabilities that are normally credited with disabling Russian drones but not missile systems. ISW previously assessed that Russia’s ongoing strike campaign against Ukraine, and Ukrainian adaptations to counter new Russian strike packages, is part of a wider tactical and technological offense-defense race between long-range strike and air defense capabilities.”


Meanwhile, Air Force Spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat noted that the Russian strike package used on Saturday was similar to that used on January 8 and in previous recent strikes, “suggesting,” the ISW added, “that Ukrainian forces may be able to discern patterns in recurring Russian strike packages and innovate and adapt accordingly.”

On Sunday, Inhat commented that Russian rockets are likely diminishing in quality due to sanctions.

Operations: Kupyansk

Fighting continued along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line over the weekend, with Russian forces making advances west of Kreminna on Saturday, followed by a standstill on Sunday.

Geolocated footage put forth by the ISW indicates that Moscow’s troops advanced east of Torske (15 km west of Kreminna) as both sides battled for territory northeast of Kupyansk near Synkivka and Petropavlivka; southwest of Svatove near Makiivka; west of Kreminna near Terny and Torske; and southwest of Kreminna near Dibrova, Hryhorivka, with no further gains confirmed.


The ISW further reported that elements of the 1st Guards Tank Army (Western Military District) are reportedly operating near Synkivka, and elements of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) 7th Motorized Rifle Brigade (2nd Army Crops) are reportedly operating near Bilohorivka (south of Kreminna).

Commander-in-Chief continues tour of the front lines

AFU top general Valery Zaluzhny along with General Staff leader Serhiy Shaptala visited with the high-ranking officers commanding units in the Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Zaluzhny’s office announced Sunday on Telegram. The top brass agreed on steps to raise the efficiency of troops’ deployment, state news agency Ukrinform reported.

“Together with Chief of the General Staff Serhiy Shaptala, we worked for several days in the areas of responsibility of the Tavria and Odesa operational and strategic grouping of troops,” Zaluzhny’s office posted.

The statement added that the situation in the Black Sea area was discussed in detail with Ukrainian Navy Commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa.


Operations: Avdiivka

Russian forces made gains outside of the long-contested AFU stronghold of  Avdiivka again this weekend, the ISW reported, moving forward northwest of the city amid non-stop fighting.

Geolocated footage published on Saturday seems to show that Moscow’s troops gained ground on the western outskirts of Stepove (3 km northwest of Avdiivka) and east of Stepove. 

Some boots-on-the-ground Russian sources also claimed over the weekend that the Kremlin’s foot soldiers inched forward northwest of Avdiivka near the ciy’s coke-and-chemical plant, and southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske. Fighting also continued in Novokalynove, Novobakhmutivka, and Stepove; west of Avdiivka near Sjeverne; and southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske and Nevelske.

Incoming French top diplomat meets with Zelensky and Kuleba

France’s new Foreign Minister, Stephane Sejource, met with Zelensky on Saturday on his first official visit abroad, the AFP reported, promising continued French aid, a day after the British prime minister made his own surprise visit to Ukraine.

 “Despite the multiplying crises, Ukraine is and will remain France’s priority,” Sejourne told Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a joint news conference on Saturday. “France’s support remains constant and unchanged.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a package of military help for Ukraine while in Kyiv, including additional air defenses, saying in his press conference, “Ukraine will never be alone.”

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