Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, January 31

These are the most important Russian ships destroyed by Ukraine -- Russia launches 5 attacks with chemical weapons on southeastern front lines in past day -- Ukraine may receive first new long-range bombs from US this week -- Key corruption index sees Ukraine improve, Russia worsen in 2023 -- Ukraine ends 2nd month of winter with stable energy sector -- and more

Wednesday, January 31

Russia’s war against Ukraine

The remains of a Russian drone in the courtyard of a residential building following an attack in Kharkiv on Jan. 30, 2024. (Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

Orban says he is willing to compromise on $54 billion Ukraine aid package. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary had sent a compromise offer. The counter-proposal, which Orban considered to be the result of EU “blackmail,” would require the aid package to be reviewed on a yearly basis.

Hungarian FM says long way to go before Orban-Zelensky meeting. There is a long road ahead before a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can take place, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a briefing on Jan. 30, as reported by Reuters.

Kuleba: Orban is pro-Hungarian, not pro-Russian. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba considers Hungarian President Viktor Orban and Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to be pro-Hungarian, not pro-Russian, Hungarian news outlet Telex reported on Jan. 30.

Official: Russia launches 5 attacks with chemical weapons on southeastern front lines in past day. The munitions used by Russian troops in southeastern Ukraine on Jan. 29 were likely K-51 grenades with chloropicrin, according to Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesman for the Tavria group of forces.

Politico: Ukraine may receive first new long-range bombs from US this week. The U.S. is expected to deliver the first batch of new long-range bombs to Ukraine on Jan. 31, Politico reported, citing a U.S. official and three other people familiar with the matter.

Budanov says Russia’s ongoing offensive to die down by early spring. Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) chief Kyrylo Budanov said on national television on Jan. 30 that Russia’s current offensive has not made any significant advances since its start in November 2023.

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Key corruption index sees Ukraine improve, Russia worsen in 2023. Transparency International’s corruption perception index saw Russia drop to the worst score in years, while Ukraine’s score has improved, continuing the decade-old trend.

PM Shmyhal: Ukraine ends 2nd month of winter with stable energy sector. “Last year, we lived in conditions of constant restrictions and blackouts. Today, no such measures implemented or planned in any region,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a governmental meeting.

3 NATO countries sign deal to speed up military deployments to eastern flank. Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands approved a deal aimed at speeding up the process of cross-border movement of troops and weapons along one of the main corridors leading from the North Sea to NATO’s eastern flank, Reuters reported on Jan. 30.

Ex-NATO chief: Not inviting Ukraine to join alliance gives Putin incentive to continue the war. NATO should extend an invitation to Ukraine at the Washington Summit in July, as it could serve as “an instrument” to ending Russia’s war, the alliance’s former Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said on Jan. 30 in Kyiv. “I know that (NATO’s invitation to Ukraine) would be a

Military intelligence: Russia shows no intent to return bodies of POWs allegedly on crashed Il-76. Russia shows no willingness to return bodies of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POW) allegedly killed in an Il-76 plane crash on Jan. 24, Ukraine’s military intelligence (HUR) spokesperson Andrii Yusov said in a comment to Suspilne, published on Jan. 30.

Minister: Ukraine cannot outproduce Russia, needs to focus on advanced technology. With over $100 billion in U.S. and EU aid stalled over political disputes, Kyiv has been focusing on revitalizing the domestic industry, aiming to build up a homemade arsenal of drones and missiles.

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Ukraine war latest: Cabinet of Ministers submits updated draft law on mobilization to parliament

The Cabinet of Ministers submitted an updated draft law on mobilization to Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry announced on Jan. 30. The updated bill sets out “transparent rules for the mobilization process, as well as necessary regulation of the rights of servicemen and conscripts.”

Photo: Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Russian shelling of Avdiivka kills civilian. A Russian artillery strike against Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast on Jan. 30 killed a woman, Governor Vadym Filashkin reported.

Russian attacks kill 6, injure 9 over past day. In Sumy Oblast, Russian attacks killed three people and injured one in the Znob-Novhorodske community and killed one more person in the Yunakiv community, the regional military administration said.

Russian attacks injure 3 in Chasiv Yar, Niu-York in Donetsk Oblast. Russia targeted the streets of Chasiv Yar, a city some 10 kilometers west of Bakhmut, with drones at around 9 a.m. local time, prosecutors said.

Governor: Russian drone attack injures 3 civilians in Kharkiv.

Russian drone attack on Kharkiv injured 3 people and damaged civilian infrastructure on the evening of Jan. 30, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov wrote on Telegram.

Russian attacks in Kherson Oblast kill 1, injure 1. Russian forces struck Beryslav and Tokarivka in Kherson Oblast, killing a person and wounding another, the regional administration reported on Jan. 30.

Russian drone strike on Kherson Oblast’s Beryslav injures man. A Russian drone dropped explosives near a humanitarian aid base in the city of Beryslav in Kherson Oblast early on Jan. 30, wounding a male resident, the regional administration reported.

International response

Tusk: EU will find way to pass Ukraine aid funding ‘with or without Orban’. The European Union will find a way to pass a proposed 50 billion euro ($54 billion) aid package for Ukraine “with or without” the support of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk concluded at a press conference on Jan. 30.

CIA director: Failing to pass Ukraine aid would be mistake ‘of historic proportions’. Western allies failing to support Ukraine with sufficient military aid would mark a mistake “of historic proportions,” CIA Director William Burns wrote in a column for Foreign Affairs Magazine on Jan. 30.

Bloomberg: Russian government forming its own mercenary group in Africa.

With much of Wagner’s network and business interests still in place in Africa, the Russian government has sought to capitalize on existing relationships with countries in the Sahel.

Pavel: Europe, Ukraine need to prepare for a Trump presidency. Europe and Ukraine must consider the realistic possibility that Donald Trump will win the 2024 U.S. presidential election and very quickly conclude an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Czech President Petr Pavel said on Jan. 29, as reported by Polish media outlet TVN24.

Kuleba invites newly appointed Moldovan foreign minister to Kyiv. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba congratulated Moldovan politician Mihai Popsoi on his appointment as the country’s new foreign minister and invited him to Kyiv, Kuleba said on Jan. 30.

ISW: Russia exploiting far-right nationalism in Europe against Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also explicitly invoked the various territorial claims that irredentist movements in countries neighboring Ukraine have made.

Latvian member of European Parliament accused of spying officially under investigation. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola “takes these allegations very seriously and is referring the case to the Advisory Committee on the Code of Conduct,” a parliamentary spokesperson said.

Opinions and insights

These are the most important Russian ships destroyed by Ukraine.

One of the most unexpected developments of the full-scale invasion was how many big, expensive Russian ships were taken out by Ukraine, a country that technically has no navy. Around 20% of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been destroyed as of December 2023, according to National Security and Defense

Photo: Max Delany/AFP via Getty Images

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In other news

Russia, Belarus to create joint state media outlet. The announcement was made by Maksut Shadaev, the head of Russia’s Digital Development Ministry, and initially reported by the Russian state-run media outlet TASS.

Russian dissident Kara-Murza transferred to punishment cell in new prison, his lawyer says. Jailed Russian journalist and opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza has been transferred to a punishment block in a new penal colony in the Russian city of Omsk, independent Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta reported on Jan. 30, citing his lawyer.

Media: Moscow, St. Petersburg to bear brunt of predicted Russian population decline. Moscow and Saint Petersburg are projected to lose more than almost 700,000 and close to 467,000 people over the next two decades, respectively. At the same time, the expected inflow of migrants will likely mean that the cities’ total populations will remain similar.

Governor: Lviv first oblast to complete decommunization process. Lviv Oblast Governor Maksym Kozytskyi said that 312 Soviet monuments were removed in 2023, with the final remaining structure taken down in the community of Lopatyn, located around 90 kilometers from the city of Lviv.

Russia stripped of 2022 Olympics gold medal for team figure skating after Valieva ban. The International Skating Union (ISU) dismissed on Jan. 30 the results of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva from her team’s total score at the 2022 Winter Olympics, stripping it of the gold medal and declaring the U.S. the winner.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Nate Ostiller, Martin Fornusek, Toma Istomina, Dinara Khalilova, Katya Denisova, Rachel Amran, Dmytro Basmat, and Abbey Fenbert.

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