Residents remove debris from a house damaged by a Russian missile strike in Hlevakha, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 26, 2023 (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)
EA on Australia’s ABC, Ireland’s Pat Kenny Show, and BBC: “A Game-Changer” — Tanks to Ukraine
Thursday’s Coverage: “Only the Beginning” — Tanks to Kyiv
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1534 GMT:
Russian shelling of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine has killed two people and injured at least five.
The shelling started about 9 a.m. today and lasted for more than 90 minutes.
The Russians also attacked Avdiivka. There is no information about casualties.
UPDATE 1525 GMT:
Belgium has announced an additional €93.6 million ($104.7 million) in military aid for Ukraine.
The package includes surface-to-air missiles, anti-tank weapons, machine guns, grenades, and munitions. Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said armored jeeps and trucks will also be sent.
UPDATE 1330 GMT:
Writing in Polish, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has thanked Warsaw for its commitment to supply 60 Polish tanks — “30 of which are the famous PT-91 Twardy” — as well as 14 German-made Leopard 2s (see 0809 GMT).
Zelenskiy referred to an unsuccessful Polish uprising against Russian rule in 1863, “Like 160 years ago, we are together, but this time the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. Together we will win!”
Dziękuję @AndrzejDuda @MorawieckiM @mblaszczak @JacekSiewiera i Narodowi 🇵🇱 za tak ważne decyzje o przekazaniu Ukrainie 60 polskich czołgów, 30 z których to słynny PT-91 Twardy, i 14 Leopardów-2. Jak 160 lat temu jesteśmy razem, ale tym razem wróg nie ma szans. Razem zwyciężymy!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 27, 2023
UPDATE 1115 GMT:
The independent Russian outlet Meduza has responded to Thursday’s court ruling effectively banning its operations inside Russia, and threatening criminal action against any Russian cooperating with it.
Back in 2021, Russia’s Justice Ministry designated Meduza as a “foreign agent”. After Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian authorities started blocking Meduza’s website. Despite the Kremlin’s efforts, we have continued our work, maintaining an audience of several million people inside Russia, and becoming the largest uncensored Russian-language news outlet in the world.
We’d like to tell you that our new “undesirable” status doesn’t worry us – that it means nothing. But that would be untrue. We are afraid. We fear for our readers and for those who have collaborated with Meduza for many years. We fear for our loved ones and our friends.
But we believe in what we do. We believe in free speech. And we believe in a democratic Russia. The greater the pressure against us and our values, the harder we will resist.
UPDATE 1050 GMT:
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, says Russia is violating the “fundamental principles of child protection” in wartime as it puts Ukrainian children up for adoption and gives them Russian passports.
Grandi spoke at UNHCR offices in Kyiv following a six-day tour of Ukraine in which officials asked him to do more to help Ukrainian children Russian-occupied regions.
Grandi said the UNHCR is unable to estimate the number of children put up for adoption or given passports because of Russian obstacles: “We are seeking access all the time, and access has been rather rare, sporadic and not unfettered, if you see what I mean.”
Ukraine’s Presidential advisor for children’s rights, Daria Herasymchuk, said last week that officials had confirmed the deportation of 13,899 to Russia with many sent to new families.
Herasymchuk added, “Unfortunately, we can say that only 125 we managed to return home.”
UPDATE 1013 GMT:
In its latest posture over Vladimir Putin’s “annexation” of four Ukrainian region — Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south and Donetsk and Luhansk in the east — Moscow is ordering them to use Moscow time instead of Kyiv time.
Moscow is currently two hours ahead of GMT, while Kyiv is one hour ahead.
UPDATE 0957 GMT:
Ukrainian soldiers have arrived in Germany for training on the Marder infrantry fighting vehicle.
Berlin committed 40 Marders on January 6, the same day that the US pledged 50 — later increased to 100 — Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
The vehicles to enter service in March.
UPDATE 0951 GMT:
The last of Russia’s major State-owned banks has been cut off from international transactions in US dollars.
Gazprombank, the third-largest Russian bank and the only one still able to use the SWIFT global system, will stop cross-border transfers in dollars from January 27.
The move was prompted by the closure of correspondent accounts by the US-based JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon.
Gazprombank will continue transfers in other currencies, its press service said. An official maintained, “These are not new sanctions, not a disconnection from SWIFT, not a freezing of accounts.”
Other Russian State banks were cut off from the US dollar by last August. Gazprombank retained access because it is a hub for payments for Russian gas.
UPDATE 0945 GMT:
There are emergency power outages in 10 regions of Ukraine as damaged facilities are repaired and restored after Thursday’s Russian attacks.
UPDATE 0826 GMT:
Japan has banned a range of items for export to Russia including vaccines; medical equipment; robots; equipment for nuclear facilities and for oil and natural gas exploration; drilling rigs; portable power generators; radioactive materials; and raw materials for the production of chemicals for military purposes.
Tokyo also announced sanctions on 22 Russian individuals and three companies.
The blacklist includes First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko, Chairman of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova, Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Mizintsev, Lt. Gen. Sergei Ryzhkov, and polemicist Alexander Dugin.
Fourteen Russian proxy officials in occupied areas of Ukraine are also cited.
UPDATE 0817 GMT:
The US has announced sanctions targeting the global support network for Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries.
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control listed 16 entities including a Russian-based technology firm, a Chinese-based satellite imagery company, a Central African Republic security company, and a UAE-based aviation firm, as well as six Russian nationals.
OFAC designated Wagner as a “significant transnational criminal organization”, citing its role in Russian operations in Ukraine and in serious criminal activity in the Central African Republic and Mali.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “Today’s expanded sanctions on Wagner, as well as new sanctions on their associates and other companies enabling the Russian military complex, will further impede [Vladimir] Putin’s ability to arm and equip his war machine.”
Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin sneered in response, “We conducted an internal check on the subject of the Wagner group’s crimes, but found nothing damaging. If anybody has any information about Wagner’s crimes, please send it to our press service or publish it in the media, so we can help our American colleagues formulate their position.”
UPDATE 0809 GMT:
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says Warsaw is ready to send not only 14 German-made Leopard tanks but 60 Polish-made PT-91s to Ukraine.
Poland has also opened an energy hub for emergency aid, delivering power generators to Ukraine.
UPDATE 0803 GMT:
Canada has joined the international coalition sending battle tanks to Ukraine.
Ottawa will provide four German-made Leopard 2 A4 tanks and Canadian Armed Forces trainers, Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Thursday.
These heavily armored and highly protective vehicles provide soldiers with a tactical advantage on the battlefield thanks to their excellent mobility, their firepower and their survivability.
These tanks will allow Ukraine to liberate even more of its territory and defend its people from Russia’s brutal invasion. These four tanks are combat-ready and will be deployed over the coming weeks.
UPDATE 0747 GMT:
Amid Russian missile attacks on the Ukrainian-held areas of Zaporizhzhia Province, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has warned of the danger to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
Rafael Grossi said IAEA monitors reported powerful explosions near the plant on Thursday and renewed calls for a security zone around the complex in southern Ukraine.
Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Russian nuclear company, brushed away Grossi’s concern as a “provocation”.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia has again failed with a missile barrage trying to cause significant damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
In its largest assault since New Year’s Eve, Moscow sent 55 cruise missiles. Ukrainian air defenses downed 47 of them, including 20 fired on the Kyiv region.
The air defenses also knocked out all 24 attack drones which Russia launched early Thursday morning.
There was damage to energy infrastructure in the Odesa and Zaporizhzhia regions in southern Ukraine, with some effect on electricity supply. But beyond those areas, there was no sign of the widespread destruction wreaked by Russia in its earlier waves of strikes since October 10.
However, Moscow still succeeded in a mass killing of civilians — 11 were slain and another 11 wounded, either from the eight missiles which got through defenses or from fragments of the 47 which were downed.
The head of the Ukrainian military Gen. Valery Zaluzhny — who said the Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile was among those used — posted on Telegram:
The goal of the Russians remains unchanged: psychological pressure on Ukrainians and the destruction of critical infrastructure. But we cannot be broken!
Zelenskiy: Stop This Russian Aggression With “Adequate Weapons”
Ukrainian officials have assessed that, with depleted stocks of missiles after at least 11 waves in 3 1/2 months, Russia only had enough for another two or three mass assaults.
Moscow’s decision to carry out one of those assaults on Thursday may have prompted by the confirmation of battle tank deliveries to Ukraine — with scores of German-made Leopard 2s likely to arrive by the spring — on the previous day.
In his nightly address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the tanks should be accompanied by more advanced weapons and by further sanctions on Russia.
Implicitly referring to Ukraine’s pursuit of fighter jets, the President asserted:
This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons. The terrorist state will not understand anything else. Weapons on the battlefield. Weapons that protect our skies.
New sanctions against Russia, i.e. political and economic weapons. And legal weapons – we need to work even harder to establish a tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine.