Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, January 24

Russia using relatively accurate, recently designed North Korean missiles against Ukraine -- Russian marine oil exports hit 2 month low after storms, suspected Ukrainian attack on refinery -- Russia to be grilled on fate of forcibly deported Ukrainian children at UN Committee -- ‘I thought it was the end’: Russian missile strike hits apartment complex outside Kyiv -- and more

Wednesday, January 24

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Kharkiv following a Russian missile attack on Jan. 23, 2024. (Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov / Telegram)

Turkish parliament approves Sweden’s NATO membership bid. After months of discussions, Turkey’s parliament voted to ratify Sweden’s application to join NATO on Jan. 23, leaving Hungary the only country that has yet to approve Sweden’s accession to the alliance, Bloomberg reported.

Ukrainian government to create business support council amid claims of law enforcement pressure. The move follows the recent detention of influential investment banker Ihor Mazepa, perceived by some as an escalation of law enforcement pressure on businesses. Mazepa is suspected of illegally seizing land in Kyiv Oblast in 2020-2021, which he has denied.

Defense Ministry after Ramstein summit: Ukraine to receive more long-range weapons. Allies will provide Ukraine this year with more weapons needed to effectively strike Russian targets both on the front line and in the rear as well as to destroy Russia’s logistics hubs, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry officials said following the 18th Ramstein summit on Jan. 23.

Bloomberg: Russian marine oil exports hit 2 month low after storms, suspected Ukrainian attack on refinery. The weekly average of Russia’s maritime transport of oil dropped by 340,000 barrels a day to a seven-week low of 3.06 million per day.

NYT: Russia using relatively accurate, recently designed North Korean missiles against Ukraine. Russia used more North Korean missiles to attack Ukraine in the past few days, and U.S. officials believe they are “proving as accurate as Russia’s home-built” weapons, the New York Times reported in its Jan. 23 morning briefing.

Russia’s parliament considers bill on property seizure for ‘discrediting’ Russian army. Lawmakers of the ruling United Russia party submitted on Jan. 22 to Russia’s parliament a bill that further tightens the prosecution of people who criticize the Russian Armed Forces and call for actions to “jeopardize state security.”

General Staff: Ukraine downs 21 of 41 Russian missiles. The Russian Armed Forces launched 41 missiles against Ukraine overnight on Jan. 23, of which 21 were shot down by Ukraine’s air defense, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported.

Russian proxy leader in occupied Moldovan territory calls for military preparedness. There have been heightened tensions between Moldova and Transnistria since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, when there were fears that armed conflict could erupt in Moldova.

US ambassador urges support for Ukraine following latest Russian attacks. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink called for continued support for Ukraine after Russia launched its latest mass missile attack on Jan. 23.

Media: Russia issued $566,000 in fines in 2023 to TV providers for showing LGBT content. A fine was issued in one case because a music video depicted two women hugging, implying they were a couple.

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Government supports appointing Melitopol’s exiled mayor as Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the appointment of Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, as governor of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Taras Melnychuk, the government’s representative in parliament, said on Jan. 23. The decree now awaits President Volodymyr Zelensky’s signature.

Zelensky posthumously awards 4 cultural figures killed by Russian forces. President Volodymyr Zelensky has given posthumous awards to four Ukrainian cultural figures, Victoria Amelina, Maksym Kryvtsov, Vasyl Kukharskyi, and Volodymyr Vakulenko, according to a decree published on Jan. 23.

Russian anti-war politician Nadezhdin collects enough signatures to register for presidential run, says he still needs more. Nadezhdin, who previously served in Russia’s parliament, has attracted attention for repeatedly voicing his opposition to the war on television. He called the full-scale war a mistake and said that Russia could not defeat Ukraine using its current methods.

Russian forces attack critical infrastructure in Shostka, Sumy Oblast. The extent of the damage and amount of casualties, if any, is being clarified, authorities said.

Court prolongs oligarch Kolomoisky’s detention until March. Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky will remain in custody until March 2 with a bail set at Hr 2.65 billion ($71 million), Suspilne reported on Jan. 22, citing the Shevchenkivskyi district court’s decision.

UPDATED: Russia launches mass missile strikes at Kyiv, Kharkiv, other cities.

Russia launched a series of missile strikes on Kyiv, Kharkiv, Pavlohrad, and other areas in the early morning of Jan. 23, killing and injuring civilians.

Russia to be grilled on fate of forcibly deported Ukrainian children at UN Committee. Russia is set to respond to questions posed by various countries on the fate of forcibly deported Ukrainian children at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on Jan. 23.

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Ukraine war latest: Russian mass missile strike on Ukraine kills 9, injures over 80, including children

Russian troops launched a mass missile attack against Ukrainian cities on the morning of Jan. 23, killing at least nine people and injuring over 80, according to local authorities. The attack hit Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Sumy oblasts. Russia targeted Ukraine with 41 missiles, of which 21 were shot down by air defenses, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said.

Photo: Yevhen Titov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

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‘I thought it was the end’: Russian missile strike hits apartment complex outside Kyiv

The morning routine on Jan. 23 of the residents of an apartment complex in a western suburb of Kyiv was violently disrupted by a Russian missile strike. Missile debris landed a few dozen meters from a children’s playground in the complex, damaging two stories of a new high-rise residential building.

Photo: Anna Myroniuk/The Kyiv Independent

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Investigative Stories From Ukraine: Increasing attacks on journalists signal weakening state of freedom of speech

Investigative journalists in Ukraine came under two attacks in just the past week. Both violated privacy and aimed at discrediting media workers who routinely watchdog officials and expose corruption and abuse of power.

Photo: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Authorities: Russia attacks Kharkiv for 3rd time in 24 hours, injures 8. Russian troops launched new strikes against Kharkiv, most likely using S-300 missiles, in a third attack on the city’s civilian infrastructure in a day, Oleksandr Filchakov, head of the regional prosecutor’s office, said on Jan. 23.

Governor: Russian air strike on Kherson Oblast village kills woman. Russian forces dropped six guided aerial bombs on the Beryslav district’s settlements in Kherson Oblast on the evening of Jan. 23, killing a woman, according to Oleksandr Prokudin, the regional governor.

Official: Body of 8-year-old girl found on site of Russia’s morning strike against Kharkiv. The girl was likely the daughter of a woman previously found dead under the rubble of an apartment building damaged in the attack, according to Serhii Bolvinov, the head of the investigative department of the regional police.

Authorities: Russian attacks kill 3, injure 2 in Kherson Oblast. Russian strikes against Kherson Oblast in southern Ukraine killed three people and wounded two more on Jan. 23, regional authorities reported.

Interior Ministry: Russian strike injured 22 people, damaged 28 sites in Kyiv.

The Russian missile strike on Kyiv on the morning of Jan. 23 left 22 people injured and caused damage to 28 sites, the Interior Ministry reported at 5:45 p.m. local time as rescue operations ended.

Update: 7 killed, over 70 injured in Russian strikes across Ukraine. Five people were killed in Kharkiv and one person was killed in Pavlohrad in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. The death toll then rose to seven people after the body of a 21-year-old woman was found in Kharkiv.

Update: Russian attack on Kharkiv kills 5, injures 51. The Russian strike on Kharkiv in the early morning of Jan. 23 killed five civilians and wounded 51 others, including four children, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported at 12:40 p.m. local time.

UPDATED: Russian attacks on Kharkiv kill 4, injure 42. Among the wounded are two children, ages 10 and 12. Five of those injured are in serious condition, said Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

General staff: Russia has lost 377,820 troops in Ukraine. Russia has lost 377,820 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Jan. 23.

International response

Canada announces new military assistance. Canada will provide Ukraine with a new military aid package worth up to $20 million, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair announced on Jan. 23 during the 18th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

Germany to transfer military helicopters to Ukraine for the first time. Germany will transfer decommissioned Sea King MK41 multi-purpose military helicopters to Ukraine, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced on Jan. 23. This would be Germany’s first provision of military helicopters to Ukraine.

CIA’s new video encourages Russian spies to collaborate. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has released a new video to encourage Russian intelligence employees to cooperate. It was published under the headline “Why I contacted the CIA: For the Motherland” in the Russian language on Jan. 22 on X.

Reuters: Italy seeks to use G7 chair to boost support for Ukraine. Italy will use its presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) this year to challenge the increasingly popular narrative that Russia is winning in Ukraine and that the West is tiring of the war, Reuters reported on Jan. 23, citing an unnamed source familiar with Italy’s plans.

Euractiv: Bulgaria urges tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian grain imports to EU. Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia sent a joint letter to EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski last week saying that their farmers were “suffering significantly” since the EU lifted relevant restrictions in 2022.

Politico: EU may sanction Russian aluminum as part of next package. “Russian aluminum products are among the goods in focus for the EU’s next sanction package on Russia,” according to EU diplomats, Politico said.

Ukraine, Poland discuss creating 4 additional border crossings. “We discussed the creation of four more new crossing points in addition to the current 14,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a briefing with his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, on Jan. 22.

NATO signs contracts for $1.2 billion worth of artillery shells. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency concluded the deal on behalf of allies who will either pass shells to Ukraine or use them to refill their own arsenals.

In comments at UN, Lavrov rules out Western, Ukraine-backed peace proposals.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia is always ready to negotiate peace, but emphasized that Ukraine’s peace formula or other proposals suggested by the West would not be a possible starting point for talks.

In other news

Investment banker Mazepa released on reduced bail. Ihor Mazepa, a Ukrainian businessman and the founder of the Concorde Capital investment firm, has been released from pre-trial detention on a Hr 21 million ($550,450) bail, according to a statement by his company’s press service.

Belarus charges journalist with ‘discrediting the state.’ Alexander Lukashenko’s regime regularly targets those who have voiced opposition his rule or openly hold pro-democracy views and continues to crack down on those with links to the mass protests that followed the Belarusian presidential election in 2020.

Ukrainian film ‘20 Days in Mariupol’ receives Oscar nomination in Best Documentary category. The documentary records the Russian siege of Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast from the perspective of journalist Mstyslav Chernov and his crew during the first weeks of the full-scale invasion. “20 Days in Mariupol” has become the first Ukrainian film made by a Ukrainian director to receive an Oscar nomination since the country gained independence in 1991.

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