Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on January 15, 2024
- Great Britain has become the first country to sign a security cooperation agreement with Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Rishi Sunak, arrived on an official visit to Kyiv, where the Agreement on Security Cooperation was signed for a period of 10 years.
- Since Kyiv is reliably covered by air defense forces, Russian troops are concentrating missile strikes on other regions of Ukraine. The main targets are military industry enterprises and airstrips.
- President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy made his first foreign tour to the Baltic states in 2024.
- On January 14, another meeting of advisors on national security and foreign policy regarding the Ukrainian Peace Formula was held in Davos, Switzerland.
Positional battles continue on the front line. Russian troops are trying to break through the defense line of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In some areas, in particular, in the Kupyansk area, the intensity of Russian attacks has decreased due to the depletion of available resources.
Russian troops continue strikes at the territory of Ukraine, using missiles and drones. Realizing that Kyiv is well covered by air defense systems, they are attacking other Ukrainian regions. On the morning of January 8, they fired 51 missiles against the territory of Ukraine. This time, they actively used ballistic missiles that can only be shot down by the Patriot systems. This explained the relatively low results of the Ukrainian air defense, which shot down 18 missiles. The target of the strike was Kryvyi Rih, where a missile hit a shopping center. In addition, strikes on Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Khmelnytskyi regions were reported. On the evening of January 11, a missile attack was launched on a hotel in Kharkiv, as a result of which Turkish journalists were injured. On the morning of January 13, another large-scale attack was carried out against the territory of Ukraine. Russian troops used 40 missiles and drones. Ukrainian air defense shot down 7 missiles, while a significant part of the Russian strike weapons did not reach their targets due to the effective operation of electronic warfare. As a result of the attack, residential infrastructure was damaged in Sumy region, Dnipro and Chernihiv.
During the week, the losses of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of Russian strikes amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 2 people killed and 4 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 3 people killed and 18 people wounded. In Kharkiv region, 1 person was killed and 16 civilians were injured. In the Dnipropetrovsk region, 1 person was killed and 31 people were injured as a result of a missile strike on January 8. At least 3 people were killed and 2 were injured in Khmelnytskyi region. 2 people were injured in Zaporizhzhia region. 1 person was injured in Sumy region.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are striking at Russian military infrastructure. Russian sources report explosions in temporarily occupied Berdyansk, in Belgorod, at an oil depot and an energy enterprise in the city of Orel; drone attacks on the territory of Rostov, Tula, Kaluga and Voronezh regions.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
After two weeks of discussions, on January 11, the Verkhovna Rada refused to consider the government’s draft law on mobilization. Deputies criticized the Cabinet of Ministers’ project for provisions that violated constitutional rights of citizens. The government withdrew it for revision.
The Verkhovna Rada appointed Olga Pishchanska as the head of the Accounting Chamber. This appointment took place without waiting for the completion of the reform of this body and despite warnings from the US and other G7 members, allowing the avoidance of checks on this candidacy. Also, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Oleg Korykov as the head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine.
An internal audit of the Ministry of Defense revealed violations amounting to 10 billion UAH over four months. According to Minister Umerov, in December, the Security Service of Ukraine, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, eliminated a corruption scheme in the procurement of ammunition for the Armed Forces for almost 1.5 billion UAH.
The court seized the property of the family and affiliated companies of Lviv businessman Ihor Hrynkevych, one of the largest suppliers to the Ministry of Defense. In late December, the State Bureau of Investigations detained Hrynkevych on an attempt to bribe one of the heads of the Main Investigative Department of the State Bureau of Investigations to close the case against his companies. The court arrested him with an alternative of posting bail in the amount of 428 million UAH. It is related to a criminal case initiated regarding irregularities in procurement of clothing and underwear for the Armed Forces. According to the investigation, the businessman’s companies received 23 contracts for the supply of clothing to the Ministry of Defense for over 1.5 billion UAH but did not fulfill them.
The growth of Ukraine’s GDP for the year 2023 exceeded 5%, thanks to higher-than-expected international financial aid, a good harvest, no disruptions in the energy system, a new maritime corridor, and business adaptability. Inflation in Ukraine in 2023 was 5.1%.
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
This week, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made his first foreign visit in 2024 to the Baltic countries. As part of the visit to the Republic of Lithuania, Volodymyr Zelenskyy held negotiations with the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, signing a Joint Statement and Memorandum on support and development of cooperation in defense and security. The Ukrainian head of state also met with the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Simonyte, the Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, and the heads of parliamentary committees and leaders of the largest factions in the Lithuanian parliament. During the official visit to Estonia, President Zelenskyy held meetings with the President of the Republic of Estonia, Alar Karis, and the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas. Additionally, a Memorandum on cooperation in the defense industry was signed. As part of his visit to the Republic of Latvia, Volodymyr Zelenskyy held meetings with the President of Latvia Edgars Rinkevychs, with the Prime Minister of Latvia Evika Silinea, with the Speaker of the Saeima of Latvia Daiga Mierinea, in addition, an Agreement on technical and financial cooperation and a Memorandum on cooperation in the field of defense were signed and security.
On January 12, the President of Ukraine held talks with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, who visited Ukraine. During the meeting, the leaders signed an Agreement on Security Co-operation between Ukraine and the United Kingdom — the first bilateral agreement within the Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine adopted in Vilnius in July 2023 by G7 countries. Rishi Sunak also announced the largest defense aid package to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war, amounting to £2.5 billion (USD 3.2 billion).
On January 10, an extraordinary meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the ambassadorial level took place in Brussels, initiated by Ukraine in response to Russia’s mass missile strikes and drone attacks on Ukraine. Participants strongly condemned the escalation of Russian airstrikes on Ukraine and the use of ballistic missiles from North Korea and drones from Iran by Russia.
On January 14, the fourth meeting of security advisers on the Ukrainian Peace Formula took place in Davos, with representatives from 81 countries and international organizations. The meeting addressed the five points of the Ukrainian Peace Formula: withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities, restoration of justice, ecological safety, preventing escalation and repetition of aggression, and confirmation of the end of the war.
Estonia will provide Ukraine with assistance totaling 1.2 billion euros by 2027. Latvia announced a new military aid package for the needs of the Ukrainian army, including howitzers, ammunition, helicopters, drones, communication devices, equipment, and anti-tank weapons. The Swedish government allocates 50 million Swedish kronor (USD 5.8 million) through the NATO fund for the development of Ukraine’s defense capabilities.
Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey—NATO countries—signed a memorandum to create and operate a task force to more effectively combat mine danger in the Black Sea. Additionally, the first meeting of the coalition for demining Ukraine took place in Lithuania on January 11, with representatives from 25 countries to assess Ukraine’s needs in demining activities and the specific contribution of each coalition partner.
The U.S. State Department imposed sanctions against three organizations and one individual from Russia involved in transferring and testing North Korean ballistic missiles used against Ukraine. The U.S. also imposed sanction restrictions against the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Furthermore, Foreign Ministers of 47 countries issued a joint statement condemning the export of North Korea and Russia’s purchase of North Korean ballistic missiles. They also condemned Russia’s use of these missiles during attacks on Ukraine, violating numerous UN Security Council resolutions.
In addition, President Zelensky had meetings with the newly appointed Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, Stephane Séjourné, and with the U.S. Special Representative for Economic Recovery in Ukraine, Penny Pritzker, who visited Kyiv. He also held a video conference with the leaders of the coalition of the National Assembly of Bulgaria.
President Zelensky conducted phone conversations with the Emir of Kuwait, Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Viola Amherd. The leaders discussed bilateral cooperation, global food security, bilateral defense cooperation, consolidation of international support, and voting on key Ukrainian resolutions at the UN, as well as the implementation of the 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.