- Ukraine’s weekend air strikes in Russia has Moscow rethinking its air defense strategy
- Russian artillery causes more civilian casualties in Kharkiv region
- EU foreign policy chief mocks Trump’s promise to solve Ukraine war in 24 hours
- Kyiv thanks Warsaw for loan package, offer to manufacture weapons together
- Russian gains reported around Kupyansk and Avdiivka
- Ukrainian troops make headway near mine west of Donetsk city
Operations: Donetsk region
In areas to the south of the long-contested city of Avdiivka, geolocated footage from Monday appears to show that Russian forces recently gained bits of territory south of the city, advancing beyond a section of railway line and further consolidated positions in the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant area, and along Sportyvna, Soborna, and Cherenyshevskoho streets.
A Russian military blogger claimed on Monday that Ukrainian forces (AFU) still control the area between the aforementioned restaurant and the Avdiivka quarry, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported.
Meanwhile, AFU units made marginal advances west of Donetsk City, according to geolocated footage published on Saturday.
Images seem to show that Ukrainian forces gained ground by the Trudovska mine south of Krasnohorivka, west of Donetsk City, while Russian bloggers made claims (not yet confirmed by the ISW analysts) that Moscow’s forces advanced up to 300 meters deep along Zhovetna Street and 240 meters deep near the All-Saints Church in Heorhiivka, also west of Donetsk City.
The Kremlin’s forces also made a confirmed advance in the Vuhledar area southwest of Donetsk City, and, judging from images of destroyed Russian machinery in the area, Moscow also marginally advanced north of Mykilske (southeast of Vuhledar).
Two apparently undocumented russian tanks abandonned/destroyed north of Mykil's'ke, Donetsk— PJ "giK" (@giK1893) January 22, 2024
47.774672, 37.306443@GeoConfirmed @UAControlMap pic.twitter.com/04lGJgk8uM
EU diplomat says Ukraine would love to hear Trump’s “magical formula” for peace
Replying to US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s repeated boast that he could bring peace to Ukraine in 24 hours, the EU’s foreign policy chief on Monday mockingly asked the former president to share his “magical formula.”
“I thought miracles only happened in Lourdes,” Josep Borrell said, in a nod to the French pilgrimage site by the Spanish border where the Catholic faithful believe the ill and incapacitated have been miraculously healed, AFP reported.
The Spanish-born Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, added that “we haven’t been able to come up with a magical formula to resolve the problem in 24 hours, but… I'm sure the [Ukrainians] would be delighted if [former] president Trump could give them the magical formula to end the war in 24 hours.”
Despite facing myriad criminal and civil charges in court, Trump is the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the US presidential elections. One of his two major opponents in the primaries, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, withdrew his candidacy over the weekend, leaving the former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, as Trump’s only serious Republican competitor.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, "Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kyiv. If you can stop the war in 24 hours it will be enough to come.. I mean, who knows. Maybe Donald Trump really has an idea to stop the war" @ZelenskyyUa #C4News @mattfrei pic.twitter.com/oZb53kKdme— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) January 19, 2024
Operations: Kupyansk area
Moscow’s forces seem to have advanced southeast of Kupyansk on Monday, footage shows.
Several Russian bloggers claimed that troops advanced southwest of Krokhmalne (25 km southeast of Kupyansk) and along a 1.5-kilometer-wide front towards the Kotlyarivka-Kyslivka line (20 km southeast of Kupyansk) the day before.
The ISW clarified that it has not yet observed visual confirmation of Russian gains towards Kotlyarivka.
On-the-ground sources theorized that Russian advances in this area will allow their forces to access the P07 Kupyansk-Svatove road and open a new front against Kupyansk.
Geolocated footage posted on Sunday appears to show at least 20 Russian vehicles destroyed while attempting an assault on Terny, about 45 km south of Svatove.
AFU continues to repel russian attacks near Terny.— imi (m) (@moklasen) January 21, 2024
20 *new* vehicle losses can be seen. pic.twitter.com/dNpSxovvpG
Zelensky thanks Warsaw for its new loan package
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday thanked Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for his country’s “unwavering support” after the announcement in Kyiv of a new military aid package that includes a loan to buy larger weapons and plans to jointly manufacture arms in Ukraine.
“Since the beginning of the full-scale war, Poland has provided Ukraine with arms and equipment worth almost $3.5 billion,” Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said at the Kyiv meeting with his Polish counterpart. He pointed out that the funding included hundreds of tanks, warplanes, helicopters, air defense systems, artillery systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, etc.
Today, we had very productive talks in Kyiv with @DonaldTusk about all aspects of Ukrainian-Polish bilateral relations.— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 22, 2024
We appreciate Poland's unwavering support and the new military aid package for Ukraine, as well as a new form of cooperation aimed at larger-scale arms… pic.twitter.com/m5QCm67acD
Russian artillery kills a civilian in his car
On Monday, Moscow’s artillery batteries targeted the Kharkiv region once again, this time killing one person in Kupyansk and injuring another civilian. The shelling, targeting a residential neighborhood, resulted in a car catching fire and the destruction of an apartment building and a nearby store.
According to local police investigative chief Serhii Bolvinov, the killed victim is believed to have been driving his car when the artillery hit. The 66-year-old injured in the attack sustained cuts to his back, torso, and forearm, police said.
Russia likely repositioning air defenses around St Petersburg, ISW notes
As a result of the Ukrainian strikes over the weekend in western Russia, Moscow’s military is likely repositioning its air defenses to better intercept Ukrainian drones, the ISW noted.
Russian air defense systems in the Leningrad region around St Petersburg are “most likely positioned to defend against strikes from the northwest and west, as Russia has historically arrayed its air defense in the area to defend against hypothetical NATO attacks,” the ISW analysts wrote.
“The Russian military is currently reforming the Leningrad Military District (LMD) with the expressed intent to prepare for a potential future conventional war against NATO and may be arranging military assets in a way to posture along the border with NATO members. Ukrainian strikes in Leningrad [region] may prompt Russian forces to reposition short-range air defense systems along expected flight routes of Ukrainian drones to defend potential targets of strategic value,” the think tank concluded.
“Russian forces using short-range systems such as the Pantsir may not be able to cover all important potential targets in Leningrad [region] without bringing additional systems into the area.”
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