Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on January 30, 2023
- 12 countries have joined Ukraine’s “tank coalition”: The Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive German Leopard 2, U.S. Abrams, British Challenger 2 and Polish PT-91 tanks from their partners.
- Russian troops stepped up their offensive in Donetsk (near Avdiivka, Bakhmut and Vuhledar), Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions.
- On January 26, another massive attack on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure was carried out with the use of missiles and kamikaze drones.
Russian troops intensified attacks in several parts of the frontline. In the Donetsk region, they continue to storm Bakhmut. The units of the so-called Wagner Group, exhausted by previous attacks, were replaced by regular Russian army units in this area. Near Donetsk, Russian troops stepped up their attacks in the area of Marinka and Avdiivka. In addition, they launched active attacks in a new direction, storming the town of Vuhledar. In the Luhansk region, Russian troops are conducting localized counterattacks in the area of Svatove-Kreminnato to drive the Ukrainian Armed Forces out of these populated areas.
On January 25-26, Russian troops undertook a new massive attack against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, using missile weapons and kamikaze drones. According to the Ukrainian military, Ukrainian air defense shot down 47 of the 55 air- and sea-launched missiles that were launched at the territory of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also reported intercepting all 24 UAVs involved in the strike. Despite the fact that most of the targets were intercepted by air defense forces, the attack hit energy facilities in Kyiv, Odesa, and Vinnytsia regions. A missile strike was also launched against the frontline regions of Ukraine, which resulted in damage to industrial and energy facilities in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. In total, the attack killed 11 people and injured 11 others.
Russian troops keep shelling the frontline and border regions of Ukraine, destroying civilian infrastructure. In recent days, attacks have become particularly intense on the territory of Donetsk region, where 19 people were killed and 54 others were wounded over the past week. In other regions, civilian casualties were also recorded over the same period: in Kharkiv region, at least 3 people were killed and 10 injured; in Kherson region, 11 people were killed and 32 people were injured. As a result of shelling of Kherson by the Russian military on January 24, a Turkish ship was hit, which had been blocked in the port since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. In addition, shelling continues in Sumy region (where 1 person was killed and 2 injured on January 23), areas in Zaporizhzhia region and the Nikopol district in Dnipropetrovsk region.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that it has jurisdiction to consider complaints against Russia for human rights violations in eastern Ukraine due to the recognition of Russia’s direct control and military presence in “territories in the hands of separatists” since May 11, 2014.
On January 24, a number of high-ranking Ukrainian officials resigned as part of the largest change in leadership since the start of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine. In particular, Viacheslav Shapovalov resigned as Deputy Defense Minister amid a scandal over inflated prices for the purchase of food for the military. The dismissal of Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksii Symonenko followed a publicized vacation trip to Spain. Volodymyr Zelenskyi also signed a decree banning officials from traveling abroad on personal business during martial law.
Along with that, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the President’s decision to dismiss the heads of five regional state administrations. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi also removed the Deputy Head of the Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, from his post (at his own request); Oleksii Kuleba was appointed in his place.
As of December 2022, direct losses to Ukraine’s infrastructure due to Russia’s invasion amounted to $137.8 billion, of which $54 billion was damage to the housing stock (149,000 residential buildings were damaged or destroyed).
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
On January 25, the German Federal Government decided to supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks and allowed third countries to re-export them. This week, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, and Norway also decided to transfer these tanks. In addition to the previously announced 14 Leopard 2 tanks, Poland declared that it would provide Ukraine with 60 PT-91 Twardy tanks (a modernized version of the T-72). In turn, U.S. President Joe Biden officially announced the delivery of American-made M1 Abrams tanks and equipment. Sweden is considering sending Stridsvagn 122 tanks (a modernized version of the Leopard 2A5) to Ukraine. In total, the President of Ukraine stated that 12 countries have joined the “tank coalition” so far.
The Belgian government also announced military assistance to Ukraine, providing the largest aid package since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, worth €92 million, including air defense missiles, anti-tank missiles, ammunition, and other weapons. Italy and France agreed to purchase 700 anti-aircraft missiles for the SAMP-T air defense system, which is being prepared for delivery to Ukraine.
International partners increase sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation. In particular, Japan is imposing additional personal sanctions against Russian officials and the military, as well as expanding export restrictions on goods from 49 companies that could be used to strengthen Russia’s military capabilities. Switzerland introduced new sanctions against Russia in accordance with the ninth EU sanctions package. The United States designated the Russian PMC Wagner as a transnational criminal organization, which entails additional sanctions.
On January 26, the first meeting of the financial donor coordination platform – the so-called financial Ramstein – was held with representatives of the G7 countries, the European Union, international financial institutions, and Ukraine.
Inspectors from the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) arrived in Ukraine, along with consultants from the World Bank and Deloitte. The main purpose of the visit is to improve independent oversight of U.S. assistance and to conduct the necessary audit of the use of funds.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi met with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who were on a visit to Kyiv. The leaders discussed defense cooperation, implementation of the peace formula, and cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. On January 26, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna visited Odesa.
During the week, the Head of State had phone conversations with the newly elected President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
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.