Ukraine Daily Summary - Sunday, January 21

Does Russia really want to negotiate peace? [video podcast] -- Russian air defense sufficient on front lines, in Crimea but not on Russian soil -- Slovak PM promises to block Ukraine's NATO entry, says it must cede territory -- Europe to produce around 1.3 to 1.4 million shells by the end of 2024 -- and more

Sunday, January 21

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A damaged building is seen after a Russian strike on Donetsk Oblast, on Jan. 20, 2024. (Governor Vadym Filashkin / Telegram)

Ukraine sets national record for number of female tennis players in 4th round of Grand Slam tournament. Three Ukrainian female tennis players, Elina Svitolina, Marta Kostyuk, and Dayana Yastremska, have reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, one of the Grand Slam tournaments, for the first time ever, Suspilne Sport reported on Jan. 20.

Media: Putin preparing to visit North Korea. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced his willingness to visit Pyongyang in the near future during a visit with North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui in Russia last week, North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, reported on Jan. 21.

Slovak culture minister reverses ban on working with Russia, Belarus. The ministry issued the ban on communicating and cooperating with both countries a week after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, 2022. This did not affect the performances of Russian artists or organizations that spoke out against the war.

Defense Ministry: Ukraine, US hold first joint inspection of US-supplied weaponry. The inspectors examined serial numbers, technical conditions, and proper storage conditions of the weapons, and the results are yet to be established, according to the Defense Ministry. “During the joint work, there were no complaints from the U.S. representatives.”

Ukraine puts head of banned Communist Party on wanted list. Symonenko fled to Russia in March 2022 and became a deputy head of an international alliance of communist parties, according to Ukrainian investigators.

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UK Defense Ministry: Poor training, coordination likely limiting Russia’s offensive capabilities in Kherson Oblast. “Russia’s Dnepr (the Russian name for the Dnipro River) Grouping of Forces has been unsuccessful in all its attempts to dislodge the Ukrainian defenders, despite almost certainly having a significant advantage in the balance of forces on this axis,” the ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.

Air Force: Russian air defense sufficient on front lines, in Crimea but not on Russian soil. The Air Force spokesperson’s statement follows reports that Ukrainian drones attacked oil depots in Klintsy in Russia’s Bryansk region and in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on Jan. 18-19.

Reuters: Russia has become China’s largest oil supplier. According to the report, Russia shipped 107.02 million metric tons of crude oil to China last year, which is the equivalent of 2.14 million barrels per day.

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Why ideology still matters for an expanding BRICS

BRICS, a loose coalition of nations initially forged by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, was created to act as a forum for rising economies. It is still an association based on an idea: the vision of a world economy that is less centered on Western Europe and North America. For countries such as Russia, exploiting that ideology has become another tool within their foreign policy.

Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/POOL/AFP

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Human cost of war

General Staff: Russia has lost 375,270 troops in Ukraine. This number includes 750 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

Russian forces shell Donetsk Oblast, injure 2. Two people were injured and 33 private homes and an administrative building were damaged by three missiles fired at Novohrodivka, Governor Vadym Filashkin reported.

Does Russia really want to negotiate peace? 

Does Russia really want to negotiate peace? | This Week in Ukraine — S2 E2

International response

Slovak PM promises to block Ukraine’s NATO entry, says it must cede territory.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is scheduled to meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Jan. 24.

Defense firm denies German politician’s claim on missile supplies to Ukraine. The company effectively denied a statement made earlier by Johannes Arlt, an expert at Germany’s Social Democratic Party. He claimed that Germany’s defense industry would struggle to replenish its needed stockpiles if it sent the missiles to Ukraine.

Bloomberg: EU discussing reforming its $5 billion Ukraine military aid fund. The European Union’s foreign affairs agency has presented a proposal to member states to reform a fund that provides military aid to Ukraine as the EU transitions from sending arms from existing stockpiles to purchasing new ones, Bloomberg reported on Jan. 19.

Romanian protesters end blockade, Ukraine’s border guard service says. Romanian protesters have ended their blockade at the Porubne-Siret crossing along the Romanian-Ukrainian border, Border Guard Service reported. The crossing, which borders Chernivtsi Oblast, has been blocked intermittently since Jan. 13, as Romanian farmers and truck drivers cited high business costs.

EU Commissioner: Europe to produce around 1.3 to 1.4 million shells by the end of 2024. “We need to make sure that most of this is coming to Ukraine, in priority, because this is where there is an urgent need,” said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton during a visit to Estonia.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Oleksiy Sorokin, Andrea Januta, Olga Rudenko, Dinara Khalilova, Igor Kossov, Oleg Sukhov, and Rachel Amran.

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