Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – JANUARY 1-7, 2024

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on January 08, 2024

  • Russian troops launched a massive missile attack on Kyiv and Kharkiv on January 2. As a result, more than 100 people were killed or injured. According to the White House, the Russian Federation used missiles received from the DPRK in this attack.
  • The Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out several strikes on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea, destroying the command post of Russian troops and hitting air defense positions.
  • On January 3rd, the largest exchange of prisoners of war took place between Ukraine and the Russian Federation since the full-scale invasion began. The Ukrainian side returned 230 military and civilian citizens from Russian captivity.


Positional battles continue on the front line. Russian forces continue attempts to advance in several directions on the eastern part of the front, but have not achieved significant results.

Russian troops launched a massive missile attack on the territory of Ukraine on the morning of January 2. The main target of the attack was Kyiv where residential buildings were hit. The victims of the attack in both the capital city and Kyiv region were 4 people killed; another 68 people were injured. As a result of missile strikes, 250 thousand residents of the Ukrainian capital were temporarily left without energy supply. There was also a missile attack on Kharkiv, as a result of which 2 people were killed and 62 people were injured. A total of 99 missiles were fired on the territory of Ukraine, of which air defense was able to shoot down 72. At the same time, the United States reports that it has evidence of Russia receiving ballistic missiles from the DPRK, which could already be used as part of strikes on the territory of Ukraine.

Daily attacks on the territory of Ukraine with the use of UAVs continue. Their intensity is evidenced by the reports of the Ukrainian military on the work of air defense: in particular, on the afternoon of January 1, 9 out of 10 drones uswd by the Russian military were shot down; on the night of January 2 – all 35 drones used; on the night of January 5 – 21 out of 29 drones; on the night of January 7 – 21 out of 28 drones.

In addition to the losses inflicted by missile strikes on January 2, the losses of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of the Russian military during the week were: in the Donetsk region – 18 people killed and 22 people wounded; in the Kherson region 7 people killed and 25 people wounded. In Kharkiv region, 3 people were injured.  2 people were killed in Sumy region. 1 person was killed and 8 people were injured in Dnipropetrovsk region. At least 1 person was injured in Zaporizhzhia region, 4 people were injured in Mykolaiv region.

The Ukrainian military struck Russian military facilities on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. On January 4, they managed to hit the command post of Russian troops and the objects of the air defense system, which simplifies further attacks. Another target of the attacks was the Saky airfield, where Russian aviation is based. Also, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine carried out a sabotage operation at an airfield in the Chelyabinsk region of the Russian Federation, as a result of which a Su-34 aircraft was destroyed. Russian sources also report about UAV attacks against Belgorod.


On January 3rd, the largest exchange of prisoners of war took place between Ukraine and the Russian Federation since the full-scale invasion began. The Ukrainian side returned 230 military and civilian citizens from Russian captivity. Among them were representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, the State Border Service, the National Police, as well as six civilians. Furthermore, among those returned were 48 military personnel who were considered missing in action.

According to the spokesperson for the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it will take up to 5 years to demine the Black and Azov Seas after the completion of active combat operations. Currently, Ukraine has established a headquarters to conduct current and future special operations for demining maritime communications and trade routes.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine calls on the International Criminal Court to consider the actions of the Russian leadership regarding the forced granting of Russian citizenship to deported Ukrainian children, which is considered one of the signs of genocide. On January 4th, Vladimir Putin signed a decree according to which Ukrainian orphaned children and children without parental care can obtain Russian citizenship based solely on the personal decision of the Russian president, bypassing the requirements of federal legislation. This respective document flagrantly violates Ukrainian legislation, norms of international law, and the rights of children who are Ukrainian citizens and have been forcibly displaced to Russia.

On January 6th, the Minister of Agriculture of Poland, Czesław Siekierski, along with representatives of the Polish farming movement, signed an agreement to end the blockade of the border crossing point with Ukraine in Medyka. According to the agreement, the Polish government plans to meet all the demands of the farmers concerning increased financing, maintaining the size of the agricultural tax at last year’s level, and subsidy issues. Later that evening, on the same day, the Polish side lifted the blockade at the “Medyka-Shehyni” border crossing point, concluding a protest action that had been ongoing since November 23rd, 2023.


Germany announced a new aid package for Ukraine, which includes the Skynex air defense system, additional missiles for the Patriot and IRIS-T SLM air defense systems, ammunition for the Leopard 2A6 tanks, Marder armored personnel carriers, WISENT demining tanks, and other equipment. From January 1, 2024, the Norwegian government allowed direct sales of weapons and defense products from its defense industry to Ukraine.

In turn, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria plan to sign an agreement for joint mine clearance in the Black Sea to enhance maritime safety and minimize risks associated with a full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation.

The European Union imposed additional restrictive measures against those responsible for actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine. This includes the inclusion of the Russian company “Alrosa” and its CEO in the sanctions list. In total, the EU’s restrictive measures currently apply to nearly 1950 individuals and legal entities.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yoko Kamikawa, arrived in Ukraine for an official visit, announcing a decision to contribute $37 million to NATO’s trust fund for unmanned aerial vehicle detection systems in Ukraine.

This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held phone conversations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The leaders discussed strengthening cooperation between their countries, increasing joint production of defense products, enhancing Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense, and working on security guarantees and the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.