Emergency services at the site of a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv, Ukraine, January 23, 2024 (Sky)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1629 GMT:
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the Hungarian Government is now supporting Sweden’s joining the bloc, following the Turkish Parliament’s approval of the accession.
Good call with @PM_ViktorOrban of #Hungary. I welcome the clear support of the Prime Minister and his government for #Sweden’s #NATO membership. I look forward to the ratification as soon as parliament reconvenes.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 24, 2024
UPDATE 1335 GMT:
Slovakia will support Ukraine’s acccession to the European Union, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal after a meeting in the west of the country with Slovak counterpart Robert Fico.
“Slovakia will support the Ukraine Facility program which envisages the provision of €50 billion by the EU for Ukraine,” Shmyhal said.
Fico, who took office last autumn, had withdrawn Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine. However, Shmyhal said countries were developing policies of “new pragmatism”.
UPDATE 1016 GMT:
A Russian Il-76 military transport plane has crashed in Russia’s Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine, reportedly killing 63 people on board.
Officials of Ukraine’s General Staff had claimed responsibility, saying the plane was delivering S-300 anti-aircraft missiles used in Russia’s deadly attacks. However, Ukrayinska Pravda later removed the claim, with the Ukraine Defense Ministry saying it is “still sorting out the information”.
Russia’s Defense Ministry declared that the transport had 65 Ukrainian POWs, three people accompanying them, and six crew.
Video posted by Baza, a Telegram channel linked to Russian security services, showed a large aircraft falling towards the ground and exploding.
Big news coming in from #Belgorod region where a big military plane has crashed.
— Tim White (@TWMCLtd) January 24, 2024
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported an “incident” in the Korochansky district, with investigators and emergency workers on the scene.
UPDATE 1004 GMT:
Turkey’s National Assembly has accepted Sweden’s accession as the 32nd member of NATO.
The measure now must be confirmed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has held up Stockholm’s membership since its candidacy was declared in 2022. Seeking political advantage at home and leverage abroad, Erdoğan has demanded that Sweden crack down on Kurdish activists, claiming they are part of the “terrorist” Turkish Kurdish insurgency PKK.
Erdoğan also initially blocked confirmation of Finland’s entry, but relented and Helsinki joined NATO on April 4, 2023.
Hungary is the other NATO member yet to ratify Sweden’s accession. Budapest had indicated that it will follow a Turkish acceptance, but Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin — has summoned the Swedish Prime Minister for “discussions”.
UPDATE 0727 GMT:
Canada is sending 10 multi-engine inflatable boats, worth C$20 million ($14.85 million), to Ukraine.
The boats will support maritime operations including search and rescue, troop and cargo transport, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Canada is also providing trainers on F-16 fighter jets for the centers in Denmark and France preparing Ukrainian pilots for battlefield service with the warplanes.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia killed 18 people and injured 130 in its latest missile strikes on Ukraine early Tuesday.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced the toll in his nightly address to the nation. He noted that more than 200 sites were struck, including 139 dwellings, a sports club, and a day care center.
Today, Russia launched around forty missiles of various types in an attempt to evade our air defenses.
We were able to intercept the majority of them, but there were still some hits. Over 200 different objects were damaged. 130 residential buildings, all ordinary houses. 130… pic.twitter.com/Clep0GALtO
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 23, 2024
Most of the attacks were on the capital Kyiv and the second city Kharkiv, about an hour after air raid sirens sounded at 5.43 a.m.
The Ukraine Air Force said defenses downed 21 of 41 Cruise, ballistic, air, and anti-aircraft guided missiles. Those that got through damaged residential buildings and high-rise apartment blocks. In one block in Kharkiv, whose front collapsed, seven people were killed and 51 wounded.
Kharkiv’s Mayor Ihor Terekhov, said rescuers were still searching for survivors. Among the bodies discovered in the rubble was that of a nine-year-old girl, whose mother was also killed.
In Kyiv, a Russian missile hit the roof of the Lokomotiv sports club, near the southern railway station. Balconies and windows in a nearby 15-story block were damaged, as was a dormitory used by railway workers, families, and students.
The Russian Defense Ministry insisted that the missile strikes on residential buildings and apartment blocks were on production facilities for missiles, explosives, and ammunition. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov lied:
We are continuing our special military operation and our military does not hit social facilities and residential neighborhoods and does not hit civilians.
A resident of Kyiv, Margerita, put the Russian falsehoods in perspective:
It was fucking scary.
There was a metallic sound and then our windows blew in. I found glass on my face. The Russians are crazy. They don’t care about human life.
I really hope that the world helps us. We need more support because our enemy is more powerful than America.