Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, January 26

Russia attacks Ukraine with missiles on Jan. 26 -- Russia planning new offensives, Ukraine needs more weapons -- Leopard tanks to arrive in Ukraine within 3 months -- Russian forces intensify assault in direction of Bakhmut, Vuhledar -- UNESCO places Odesa on endangered World Heritage sites list -- and more

Thursday, January 26

Russia’s war against Ukraine


Builders remove debris from a residential building as they renovate an apartment block, partially destroyed by shelling, in the outskirt of Kharkiv on Jan. 25, 2023, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia attacks Ukraine with missiles on Jan. 26. Head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said that the first missiles have already been intercepted. Governors of many Ukrainian oblasts urge residents to remain in shelters. Air raid alert is on in all Ukrainian regions.

Zelensky thanks Germany for decision to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine. “I am sincerely grateful to (German Chancellor) Olaf Scholz and all our friends in Germany,” Zelensky said in a Telegram post.

German minister: Leopard tanks to arrive in Ukraine within 3 months. “This is an important game change, possibly also for this war, at least in the current phase,” Pistorius told reporters after a cabinet meeting, as quoted by the Associated Press.

Kuleba: Ukraine’s next task includes receiving Western-made fighter jets. Ukraine’s new tasks ahead include getting Western-type fighter jets, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Jan. 25. He added that imposing new sanctions against Russia and implementing the Peace Formula is also on the list. Kuleba’s comments come shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

NATO chief: Russia planning new offensives, Ukraine needs more weapons. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on allies to provide heavier and more advanced systems to Ukraine “to win back territory and prevail as a sovereign state in Europe.” The path to peace in Ukraine “lies through the supply of weapons,” Scholz said in a Jan. 25 interview to Welt.

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Ukraine confirms withdrawal from Soledar, Donetsk Oblast. This is the first time Ukraine has confirmed its withdrawal from the town, located in Donetsk Oblast, ten kilomteres north of the embattled city of Bakhmut. While Russia had claimed complete victory in Soledar by Jan. 13, Ukraine repeatedly said that fighting still raged in the town.

Defense Ministry: Russian forces intensify assault in direction of Bakhmut, Vuhledar. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported heavy fighting near Bakhmut and Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast. Maliar said Russian forces were throwing a significant number of personnel, weapons, and military equipment to try and break Ukraine’s defensive lines.

Ukrainian intelligence: 5,800 Russian troops currently located in Belarus. The focus on Russian movements in Belarus comes amid speculation that Russia could launch a new large-scale offensive from the territory of Ukraine’s northern neighbor, after the first attempt failed in March 2022.

Ukrainian intelligence: Bayraktar manufacturer donates 2 drones to Armed Forces. Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar donated two Bayraktar TB2 drones to Kyiv, Ukraine’s military intelligence reported on Jan. 25. “We are infinitely grateful to the Baykar company for its uncompromising and constant support in the most difficult times for our state,” the intelligence added.

Training on Abrams tanks could begin in ‘weeks, not months.’ The Pentagon will likely finalize a training plan for Ukrainian soldiers on M1 Abrams tanks in “weeks, not months,” John Kirby, the White House’s strategic communications coordinator for national security, told reporters on Jan. 25.

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UNESCO places Odesa on endangered World Heritage sites list. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization put Odesa under its symbolic protection as Russian strikes have regularly targeted the southern port city since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24.

IOC seeks to allow Russians, Belarusians to compete in upcoming Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Jan. 25 announced its plan to let Russians and Belarusians participate at Paris Olympics as “neutral athletes” despite President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call to bar them.

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Ukraine war latest: US, Germany to send dozens of tanks to Ukraine, Kyiv admits the loss of Soledar.

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 45th birthday turned into a historic day for Ukraine, with the U.S. and Germany vowing to send scores of advanced Western tanks after a long wait.

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Biden announces decision to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced the decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine during a news briefing on Jan. 25. It is the equivalent of “one Ukrainian battalion,” Biden said.

Photo: Mateusz Slodkowski/AFP via Getty Images

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Germany confirms provision of Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine, green light for other countries to deliver.

Germany confirmed on Jan. 25 that it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine after months of delay, and allow other countries, to send their own stocks.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

1 killed, 8 injured in Russian attacks on 8 regions over Jan. 24. The eight regions attacked included Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said that Russian forces had shelled the region 52 times, killing one civilian and wounding six.

Russian shelling kills 2, injures 3 in Kherson Oblast. The Russian army has been shelling the Ukrainian-held part of Kherson Oblast daily. Ukrainian forces liberated Kherson and the western bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast on Nov. 11 after eight months of Russian occupation.

General Staff: Russia has lost 123,0080 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. The report reads that Russia has also lost 3,161 tanks, 6,307 armored fighting vehicles, 4,967 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,154 artillery systems, 450 multiple launch rocket systems, 220 air defense systems, 290 airplanes, 281 helicopters, 1,902 drones, and 18 boats.

International response

Axios: US asks Israel to deliver Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, Israel refuses. The U.S. reportedly asked the Israeli government to transfer its old Hawk anti-aircraft missiles in storage to Ukraine but Israel refused the request, three Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios.

Norway confirms sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Norway plans to send Leopard 2A4 to Ukraine, said Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram. He didn’t specify the number of tanks Norway would send to Ukraine, but Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv wrote on Jan. 24 that Norway is considering sending eight out of the 36 Leopard 2A4 tanks it currently has.

Media: Portugal preparing to hand over 4 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Portugal is now preparing to give Ukraine four Leopard 2 tanks, Correio de Manha reported on Jan. 25, citing unnamed government sources.

Spain, Netherlands, Sweden may supply Western tanks to Ukraine. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also said in an interview published on Jan. 24 that the Netherlands is considering delivering 18 Leopards to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Swedish Defense Minister Paul Johnson said he does not rule out sending its Stridsvagn 122 tanks to Ukraine if Germany green lights Leopards for Ukraine, Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reported on Jan. 25.

UNIAN: Slovakia ready to discuss MiG-29 jets transfer to Ukraine. Slovakia is ready to discuss the transfer of Soviet-made MiG-29 jet fighters to Ukraine, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad’ said on Jan. 25, according to UNIAN news agency.

EBDR, Netherlands to provide Ukraine with 25 million euros in aid for agricultural sector. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development announced on Jan. 24 a new joint initiative with the government of the Netherlands to protect Ukraine’s agricultural business sector and preserve global food security.

Switzerland imposes new sanctions on Russia. Switzerland introduced its new sanctions on the model of the EU’s ninth sanctions package against Russia on Jan. 25.

In other news

5 head regional prosecutors dismissed amid major reshuffle. The heads dismissed were in charge of Zaporizhzhia, Poltava, Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kirovohrad oblasts, according to a statement released by the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi defends Defense Ministry amid corruption scandal. Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said the Armed Forces and Defense Ministry “profess zero tolerance for corruption,“ throwing his support behind the ministry. He said any information about such corruption should be carefully checked, receive a legal assessment, and appropriate response. He thanked the ministry for its procurement efforts.

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