Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

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Saturday’s Coverage: Russia Puts Mines “Back In Place” at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The Eastern European outlet NEXTA reports that the fire at the terminal of Russia’s largest gas producer, Novatek, has been burning for almost 10 hours.

The terminal, in the Leningrad region in northwest Russia, was reportedly struck by a drone early Sunday (see 0754 GMT). It has been seriously damaged.

The target is said to have processed fuel for Russia’s military. A Ukrainian official has told the BBC that the State security service SBU orchestrated the attack.


Local officials say at least 25 people have been killed in shelling of a market on the outskirts of Donetsk city in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine.

The officials say another 20 people, including two children, were injured in the suburb of Tekstilshchik.

Denis Pushilin, the Russian proxy head of the occupied part of the Donetsk region, claimed the shells were fired by the Ukrainian military.


Explosions and a fire are reported at a terminal of Russia’s largest independent gas company, Novatek, in the Leningrad region in the northwest of the country.

Russian Telegram channels say several explosions were heard, with residents reporting the sound of a drone just before the blasts.

Staff were evacuated as emergency services fought the fire.

On Wednesday, a drone struck an oil terminal in St. Petersburg, the first aerial assault on Russia’s second city during the 23-month invasion of Ukraine.

A Ukrainian official said the strike demonstrated that “military facilities in St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast are within reach of Ukrainian forces”.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke on Saturday night of the imminence of new military aid packages from international partners, bolstering Kyiv’s resistance of the 23-month Russian invasion.

In his nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskiy said:

We are preparing further work with our key partners, including specific defense support right now, in these weeks and months….

January and February should bring corresponding results. There are already specific dates when new and strong documents can be expected.

In the past 10 days, France, Germany, and the Baltic States — Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia — have made substantial commitments of armor, artillery, air defense, and other munitions and equipment.

However, US Republicans in Congress continue to block further American assistance, and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin — is obstructing €50 billion in European Union financial and economic aid through 2027.

Zelenskiy expressed gratitude to all those around the world “who understand that the battlefield cannot simply wait and that the saving of lives cannot be delayed. To all those who are trying to expedite the necessary decisions – they are needed right now.”

Noting Russia’s “human wave” assaults trying to reoccupy territory in eastern Ukraine, he assured, “Our resilience now, the destruction of the enemy now, is vital. There should be no illusions in Russia that they will succeed in anything.”

Zelenskiy: Trump’s Rhetoric “Very Dangerous”

In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4, Zelenskiy expressed his concern about Donald Trump’s return to the White House.

He cited the prospect of Trump making unilateral concessions to Russia, who supported the reality TV star’s Presidential election victory in 2016.

Trump’s claims that he could stop the war in 24 hours were “very dangerous”, Zelenskiy noted.

I am stressed he is going to make decisions on his own, without…I’m not even talking about Russia, but without both sides, without us.

If he says this publicly, that’s a little scary. I’ve seen a lot, a lot of victims, but that’s really making me a bit stressed.

Even if his idea [for ending the war] – that no one has heard yet – doesn’t work for us, for our people, he will do anything to implement his idea anyway. And this worries me a little.

During his Presidential term, Trump supported Vladimir Putin’s line on Russia’s occupation of parts of Ukraine. In 2019, he blackmailed the Zelenskiy Government, cutting off military aid until it spread disinformation about Joe Biden — an episode that led to Trump’s impeachment, although he was spared conviction by the Republican majority in the Senate.

Zelenskiy said in the interview, “Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kyiv. If you can stop the war during 24 hours, I think it will be enough to come.”