Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – JANUARY 15-21, 2024

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on January 22, 2024

  • Russian forces continue attacks in the eastern direction of the frontline and had limited tactical successes in the Kupiansk and Avdiivka areas.
  • On the night of January 15, Ukrainian air defense destroyed a Russian A-50 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in the sky over the Sea of Azov. The Il-22M airborne command post aircraft was also damaged.
  • The Armed Forces of Ukraine have intensified strikes on military facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation, using drones. The “Novatek” gas condensate processing plant located on the shores of the Baltic Sea has ceased operations after being attacked by Ukrainian UAVs.
  • The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, made a working visit to Switzerland, where he participated in the activities of the World Economic Forum in Davos.


Russian troops continue attempts to break through the defense line of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the eastern direction of the frontline. Within a week, they managed to advance in the areas of Kupiansk and Avdiivka, but these successes have only limited tactical significance.

Russian troops continue strikes at the territory of Ukraine, using missiles and drones. In particular, on the evening of January 16, ballistic missiles hit Kharkiv. On the night of January 17, Ukrainian air defense destroyed 19 out of 20 UAVs used by the Russian military; the next night, 22 of the 33 drones were destroyed; on the night of January 20 – 4 out of 7 drones used.

During the week, the losses of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of Russian attacks amounted to at least: in Donetsk region – 1 person killed and 7 people wounded; in Kherson region – 3 people killed and 18 people wounded; in Kharkiv region, 4 people killed and 24 people wounded (the majority were injured as a result of a missile attack on Kharkiv on the evening of January 16). 3 people were injured in Odesa region. According to Russian media reports, 28 people were killed and 30 others were injured as a result of shelling in the “Tekstilshik” microdistrict in Donetsk city on January 21.

During the week, an increase of the number of attacks on military and infrastructure facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation was recorded. In particular, reports were made about UAV strikes on Voronezh on the night of January 16; a fire at a polymer plant in the city of Shakhty in the Rostov region on January 17; an attack on an oil depot in the Leningrad region on January 18; attacks on the night of January 19 on the Tambov powder plant and an oil depot in Klintsy in the Bryansk region (a large-scale fire was recorded on the latter); attacks on the night of January 21 on Russian military facilities in Smolensk, Orel and Tula, as well as on the terminal in the sea port of Ust-Luga, Leningrad region. Also, during the week, there were strikes on Russian facilities on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea.

On the night of January 15, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to inflict a significant blow on Russian aviation. In the sky over the Sea of Azov, Ukrainian air defense destroyed an A-50 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. In addition, the Il-22M aircraft, which serves as an airborne command post, was damaged.


Representatives of Ukraine and the USA conducted the first joint inspection of provided weapons at one of the military units. During the collaboration, there were no remarks from the representatives of the USA. The concept of self-reporting by the partner country on the end use was initiated and signed by the Ministry of Defense on November 27, 2023. The plan for joint physical inspections for the first half of 2024 was agreed upon with the American side on December 14, 2023.

The Pechersk District Court of Kyiv decided to detain businessman and investment banker Ihor Mazepa, with bail set at 350 million hryvnias. On January 18, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, together with the police, arrested Mazepa at the border with Poland as he was leaving Ukraine. The grounds for the arrest were suspicions regarding the businessman in a case related to the alleged illegal seizure of land in the Kyiv region. Recently, the businessman had been criticizing the economic policies of the current Ukrainian government.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that pressure on journalists is unacceptable. This was his reaction to the unauthorized filming of employees of the investigative project Bihus.Info. Prior to this, several individuals in military uniforms visited the apartment of Yuriy Nikolov, editor of the project “Nashi Groshi,” and demanded that the journalist “go to the front.” Both incidents were aimed at discrediting projects that expose corruption in the upper echelons of the Ukrainian government.

The pace of agricultural exports through the “grain corridor” in the Black Sea has almost returned to pre-war levels, and the cost of cargo insurance has significantly decreased. Before 2022, Ukraine exported 7.5-8 million tons of grain monthly. These capacities are now almost restored.

Expenditures for payments to Ukrainian military personnel in 2023 reached 950 billion UAH, which is a third of the entire state budget. In addition, 516.8 billion hryvnias were allocated last year to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine (purchase of military equipment, weapons, ammunition, defense products, individual protective equipment, fuel-lubricants, food products).

Turkish banks have started refusing to work with Russian banks, fearing secondary sanctions from the USA. Almost all Turkish banks have already severed correspondent relations with credit organizations in Russia and suspended the processing of their payments. This is a consequence of the fact that in December 2023, the 12th package of EU sanctions came into effect, and US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on secondary sanctions. Turkish banks fear that being included in the US sanctions list – and thus being cut off from dollar payments – will lead to the outflow of local clients. Also, Russian companies are massively leaving Cypriot jurisdiction – firms are relocating to regions in the Russian Federation with special tax regimes or to neighboring countries, such as Kazakhstan.


On January 15, the President of Ukraine made a working visit to Switzerland, where he held negotiations with the President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd, the head of the National Council of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland Eric Nussbaumer, the head of the Council of Cantons Evi Herzog, as well as with the leaders of parties and factions of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland. On January 16, Volodymyr Zelenskyy participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, delivering a speech during a special session. On the sidelines of the forum, the head of state had a series of meetings, including negotiations with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, King Philippe I of Belgium, and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo of Belgium, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Poland Andrzej Duda, President of Singapore Tarmann Shanmugaratnam, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, and Prime Minister of Luxembourg Luc Frieden.

The President of Ukraine also held meetings with major global financial funds and representatives of large global companies. The main topics of discussions were Ukraine’s defense needs, the situation on the battlefield, key priorities on the agenda of relations between Ukraine and the EU, the creation of an effective mechanism for the confiscation of frozen assets of the aggressor, and the implementation of points of the Ukrainian Peace Formula.

The Ministry of Armed Forces of France announced the launch of an artillery coalition to support Ukraine, with the aim of assisting Ukraine in establishing and improving artillery production in the long term. As part of the coalition, France will supply Ukraine with 78 Caesar howitzers in 2024. The delivery in 2024 also includes about 40 long-range SCALP missiles and several hundred AASM air-to-ground missiles. The new military aid package from Germany to Ukraine includes ammunition for Leopard tanks, armored personnel carriers, materials for disposing of explosive objects, reconnaissance drones RQ-35 HEIDRUN, and other equipment. The Netherlands and Denmark prepared the first two Leopard 2 A4 tanks for transfer to Ukraine.

Switzerland plans to allocate 1.5 billion francs (approximately 1.75 billion dollars) to support Ukraine as part of international cooperation in the years 2025-2028. The United Nations presented strategic plans for humanitarian activities in Ukraine and will provide assistance of $4.2 billion to overcome the humanitarian consequences of the war in 2024.

This week, the President of Ukraine held telephone conversations with the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama.

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.