Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, January 5

Russia plans to buy ballistic missiles from Iran -- Russian Su-34 jet set on fire at Chelyabinsk airbase -- Russian occupation authorities to force Ukrainian teenagers into military registration -- Ukrainian strike hits Russian command post in Crimea -- and more

Friday, January 5

Russia’s war against Ukraine

This photograph taken on January 2, 2024 in the centre of Kharkiv shows a damaged residential building after a missile strike, amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced “Russian terror” January 2, 2023 as fresh missile strikes on Kyiv and Kharkiv killed at least four people after Moscow intensified it’s campaign against Ukraine. (Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

Explosions reported in Crimea, Russia claims 36 Ukrainian drones downed. Multiple explosions were heard in several cities of Russian-occupied Crimea as well as in Russia’s Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk late on Jan. 4, Krym. Realii, a project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, reported.

Commander: Russia doubles attacks in southeastern sector. Over the past day, Tarnavskyi said that Russian forces in the sector had launched almost 900 artillery barrages, 25 airstrikes, and dozens of assaults on Ukrainian positions. As a result of the clashes, Russia suffered heavy losses, including 423 personnel and 72 pieces of military equipment.

SBU uncovers scheme to help Ukrainians evading mobilization escape to Transnistria. As part of the joint operation, the SBU and its Moldovan counterparts caught conspirators both in Transnistria and Odesa. The main organizers of the scheme were from Transnistria and had both Moldovan and Ukrainian passports.

Zaluzhnyi, Umerov start talks with parliamentary committee on new mobilization law. Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi and Defense Minister Rustem Umerov arrived at Ukraine’s parliament for talks on the new law on mobilization, David Arakhamia, head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People faction, reported on Telegram on Jan. 4.

Over 220 Russian soldiers surrender through ‘I want to live’ hotline. More than 220 Russian soldiers have surrendered to Ukraine via the “I want to live” hotline as of December, HUR spokesperson Vitalli Matviienko said, and another 1,000 cases are pending.

Military intelligence: Russian Su-34 jet set on fire at Chelyabinsk airbase. Ukraine’s military intelligence agency (HUR) shared a video of a fighter jet being set on fire at the Shagol airbase, confirming the incident, but did not explicitly take responsibility for the torching.

National Resistance Center: Russian occupation authorities to force Ukrainian teenagers into military registration. The move is part of Russia’s preparations for a mass mobilization campaign in the occupied territories of Ukraine, according to the center run by the Ukrainian military. The Kyiv Independent could not immediately verify this information.

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Interior Minister: Police open 9,000 criminal cases related to draft evasion. Ukraine’s National Police have opened 9,000 criminal proceedings regarding mobilization evasion, of which 2,600 have started court proceedings, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said on air on Jan. 4.

Military: Ukrainian strike hits Russian command post in Crimea. Over the recent months, Russian-occupied Crimea saw an uptick in Ukrainian attacks in an attempt to disrupt Russian logistics and derail its southern defenses.

Lukashenko approves amendments on Belarus’ presidency law. Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko approved amendments to the law on the Belarusian presidency on Jan. 3, guaranteeing immunity for any former president of Belarus and introducing stricter rules on who is eligible to become president.

SBU cybersecurity chief: Hackers had access to Kyivstar months before December attack. Russian hackers likely penetrated Kyivstar’s cybersecurity as far back as May 2023, and gained full access in November, said Illia Vitiuk, the cybersecurity chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Russian media: Blackouts reported in Moscow following energy facility fire. The Russian Telegram news channel Mash reported that the fire erupted at a substation in northeastern Moscow at around 6 a.m. local time, causing outages in the municipal districts of Otradnoye, Bibirevo, as well as Northern and Southern Medvedkovo.

Tusk vows to convince Polish carriers to halt their blockade. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he would convince Polish carriers blocking the border with Ukraine not to use such methods, the Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported on Jan. 3.

Polish official on reported Russian missile in Poland’s airspace: We cannot rule out provocation. Jacek Siewiera, the head of Poland’s National Security Bureau, said that Polish authorities “have enough information to confirm that this missile was launched from Russian systems.”

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Ukraine war latest: Russia fires North Korean-supplied missiles into Ukraine, White House says

Russia has already used ballistic missiles supplied by North Korea to attack Ukraine. Additionally, Ukrainian forces struck a Russian military command post near Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea at around 3 p.m. Kyiv time on Jan. 4.

Photo: MIKHAIL METZEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Aerial targets shot down over Belgorod, 2 reportedly injured. Russian air defense units shot down multiple targets over Belgorod and the Belgorod region during the evening hours of Jan. 4, reportedly injuring two individuals, Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov alleged via Telegram.

Authorities: Russian attack on Kherson Oblast village injures 1. Russian troops hit Novoberyslav in Kherson Oblast on Jan. 4, wounding a 42-year-old man, the regional administration said on Telegram.

Prosecutor’s Office: Russian attacks against Donetsk Oblast kill 2, injure 2. Russia’s military targeted Katerynivka, Krasnohorivka, and Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast on Jan. 4, killing two residents and wounding another two, the regional prosecutor’s office reported.

Authorities: Russian attacks on Kherson Oblast kill 1, injure 3. Kherson and other regional settlements on the west bank of the Dnipro River have been subjected to near-daily Russian strikes since Ukraine liberated the area in November 2022, and Russian troops were pushed to the river’s east bank.

Update: 8 injured, 1 killed in Russian missile attack against Kropyvnytskyi. The injured victims, who are employees of the enterprise, suffered shrapnel wounds and have been provided medical care, Governor Andrii Raikovych noted.

Russian shelling of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast injures 2 civilians. Both of the victims suffered leg injuries. One of them is in serious condition, the Governor Serhii Lysak noted.

Update: 2 killed, 62 injured in Russian Jan. 2 strike against Kharkiv. As a result of a Russian missile strike against Kharkiv on Jan. 2, one more woman died in the hospital, and a 23-year-old woman sought medical care due to contusion, the regional prosecutor’s office reported on Jan. 4.

Russian attacks kill 3, injure 9 over past day. In Donetsk Oblast, one civilian was killed and another injured in Avdiivka, said the Donetsk Oblast Military Administration. One person was also reported wounded in Toretsk and another in Hirnyk.

Russia attacks industrial facility in Kirovohrad Oblast, kills 1, injures 1. A Russian missile strike against an industrial facility in Kirovohrad Oblast’s Kropyvnytskyi on Jan. 4 killed one civilian and injured another, Governor Andrii Raikovych reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 362,280 troops in Ukraine. This number includes 780 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

Update: Death toll in Dec 29 Russian attack on Kyiv rises to 32, 30 injured. The figure previously increased to 30 on Jan. 3 after another wounded person died in the hospital.

International response

White House: Russia fires North Korea-supplied missiles into Ukraine. Unnamed U.S. officials previously told the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post that North Korea has provided Russia with launchers and several dozen ballistic missiles. Kirby’s statement is the first official report of Russia deploying these missiles.

Germany sends Skynex air defense system, other military aid to Ukraine. Germany handed over a Skynex air defense system, 10 Marder armored vehicles, ammunition for Leopard tanks, and other aid in its latest delivery to Ukraine, the German government announced on Jan. 4.

Ukraine designates Lithuanian food company as ‘international sponsor of war.’

Lithuanian food company Viciunai Group has been added to Ukraine’s list of “international sponsors of war” for its continued activities in the Russian market, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) announced on Jan. 4.

Belgium to send F-16 fighter jets to Denmark for Ukrainian pilots training. The training program will include instruction for Ukrainian pilots, technicians, and mission planners.

Foreign Ministry condemns event on Russia’s ‘rebirth’ of Mariupol to be held in Italy. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry condemned an event on the “rebirth” of Mariupol after Russia’s brutal siege, planned by an Italian pro-Russian association, as propaganda and a provocation, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Jan. 4, citing Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko.

WSJ: Russia plans to buy ballistic missiles from Iran. U.S. officials said that they believed the deal had not been completed yet but added that it was possible Russia could receive the missiles in the spring of 2024. They also said that North Korea has already provided Russia with launchers and several dozen ballistic missiles.

Polish farmers resume blockade at Poland-Ukraine border crossing. Roman Kondrow, the leader of a Polish farmers’ organization, “Betrayed Countryside,” involved in the protest, has demanded written assurances about subsidies for growing corn, increased loans, and maintenance of the agricultural tax at the current rate.

White House: No money left for Ukraine aid without bill from Congress. Due to a lag between the signing out of funding packages and their actual delivery, Ukraine will still receive items allocated on Dec. 27 for the “coming days and weeks,” said U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Olga Rudenko, Martin Fornusek, Nate Ostiller, Francis Farrell, Dinara Khalilova, Lance Luo, Brad LaFoy, and Olena Goncharova.

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