- Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation Staff reported two attacks by Russian-hybrid forces on 14 January, namely near Prychepylivka, Luhansk Oblast & Vodyane, Donetsk Oblast.
- JFO reported no attacks to take place on 15 January.
- On 16 January, one attack on Ukrainian positions took place near Katerynivka, Luhansk Oblast, one soldier was wounded on that day, as per JFO.
- As of 19:30 Jan 13, OSCE SMM recorded 175 violations, including 96 explosions in Donetsk Oblast; 151 violations, including 131 explosions in Luhansk Oblast.
- As of 19:30 Jan 14, OSCE SMM recorded 49 violations in Donetsk Oblast with two explosions among those, and 105 violations in Luhansk Oblast, including 30 explosions.
- Diplomatic consultations are currently being held on the possibility of Pope Francis’ visit to Ukraine, says Ambassador of Ukraine to the Vatican Andriy Yurash in an interview
- Ex-Ambassador of Ukraine to the US Valeriy Chaly says Russia won’t completely withdraw troops from Kazakhstan. Russia will demonstratively pull back CSTO troops, but some Russian units will remain to protect state facilities.
- Ukraine and NATO are going to sign an agreement on enhanced cooperation in the field of cybersecurity, as reported by the press center of the North Atlantic Alliance.
- Denmark will allocate 22 million euros to strengthen the Ukrainian security sector, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba.
Thank you, dear friend @JeppeKofod, for your timely visit proving Denmark’s solidarity with Ukraine in the time of Russia’s unprovoked and unacceptable threats. The decision to allocate additional €22 mln for strengthening Ukraine’s security sector is an act of true friendship. https://t.co/TlTl7ZkdC2
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) January 16, 2022
- A US congressional delegation visits Kyiv on Monday, 17 January, to express the US bipartisan support for the state’s sovereignty and territorial integrity amid Russian aggression and for Ukraine’s democratic reforms.
Glad to welcome a bipartisan congressional delegation led by @senrobportman with U.S. Senators @ChrisMurphyCT @SenatorShaheen @amyklobuchar @SenBlumenthal @SenatorWicker. This timely visit strengthens the US-Ukraine strategic partnership & helps deter further Russian aggression. pic.twitter.com/HiRiColtdP
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) January 17, 2022
- German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrives in Kyiv on 17 January, before going to Moscow the next day. According to Baerbock, Russia will face counter-measures against Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if it invades Ukraine. The Foreign Minister emphasizes that the pipeline’s certification is currently suspended.
- Handelsblatt reports that the US and EU will no longer consider isolating Russia from the SWIFT system if it invades Ukraine.
- Spokesman of Ukraine’s Security Service Artem Dekhtiarenko dismantles Belarus disinformation on Ukraine. Recently, self-proclaimed Belarusian President Lukashenka said Kyiv was bringing a military contingent of “radical nationalists” to the border with Belarus. Mr Dekhtiarenko referred to this statement as “political manipulation and part of the information war against Ukraine.”
- On the night of 14 January, more than 70 Ukrainian government sites saw a massive cyberattack. No personal data drainage has been verified. The US President’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that if Russia further attacks Ukraine, there will be “severe economic consequences” and a “price to pay.” According to Ukraine state officials, evidence suggests that Russia was behind the cyberattack. Moscow was accused of engaging in an increasing “hybrid war” against the country.
- US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke on phone with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Josep Borrelll regarding Russian troops near Ukrainian borders, according to the State Department press service.
- 22-year-old Ukrainian soldier Roman Stasiuk from Volyn Oblast died of a heart attack while on active duty in the war zone on 11 January 2022.
On the morning of 17 January, Ukraine’s fifth president Petro Poroshenko, the main political rival of current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, returned to Ukraine to face treason charges.
He returned after a series of international meetings “to defend Ukraine” in order to, in his own words, “battle them [the government of Volodymyr Zelenskyy – Ed.] in court.”
After six hours of thinking on the decision, the judge decided to postpone the court hearing to 19 January at 14:00.
In a statement published on its Facebook page on 15 January, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (GUR) informed that the Russian occupation administration lost control over chemical substances that are being brought into occupied Donbas. This could be part of a red-flag operation to intensify aggression against Ukraine, it warns.
British military aircraft brings weapons to Ukraine
British C-17 transport aircraft are currently moving “light anti-armor” weapons into Ukraine in light of “increasingly threatening” behavior from Russia.
On 14 January, over 70 German academics and experts issued an open letter calling upon Germany to change its policy towards Russia from tacit encouragement to open resistance to Putin’s expansionist politics.
Some of Germany’s and Austria’s leading East Europeanists are among the letter’s signatories.
The statement criticizes the German spineless response to Putin’s aggression and atrocities and urges the government to abate the “gap between its public rhetoric and real practice” concerning Moscow.
“Ukraine Doesn’t Need the West to Defend It. We Need Help Preparing for War”
“Western leaders at the negotiating table should remember that Ukrainians deserve to be able to plan their lives according to their dreams, not according to Mr. Putin’s imperialistic obsessions. And that Ukraine’s failure would be not just a win for Mr. Putin’s regime but also a blow to global democracy,” writes Alyona Getmanchuk in her op-ed on The News York Times.
Kremlin lying about NATO to lay claim to Ukraine, says Ben Wallace
Writing for The Times, Ben Wallace accuses President Putin of using “straw man” arguments with “selective and skewed reasoning” to present NATO as a threat. He highlighted an article by Putin on his government’s official website, which he urged people to read.
Russia-SWIFT disconnect off the table
The United States and the European Union are no longer considering disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system if aggression against Ukraine intensifies, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reports, citing government sources. Germany is insisting on exceptions so that gas and oil imports from Russia can still be paid for.
Italian public broadcaster pushes Russian lies about MH17 and war in Donbas
Italy’s public broadcaster RaiUno has broadcast several ‘reports’ from occupied Donbas which present a seriously biased view of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, one which corresponds to the narrative promoted by Russia and the self-proclaimed and Russian-controlled ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ (DNR). No attempt has been made to provide alternative points of view, nor to mention information from international bodies and human rights NGOs that paint a very different picture, according to KHPG.
Russia still keeps same number of troops in North Caucasus as at peak of 18-19th century Russo-Circassian War
Today, more than 150 years after the end of the Russo-Circassian War (1763-1864) ended, and despite all the twists and turns of Russian policy, there are almost exactly the same number of Russian troops in the North Caucasus as there were at the peak of the war there in the nineteenth century, says Aslan Beshto, president of the Kabardin Congress.
In recent weeks, the Russian economy is on the brink of panic for four reasons, something that threatens stock prices, ruble exchange rates, and indeed all economic activity because it introduces elements of uncertainty that no one involved can afford to ignore, according to Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin.
Russia is “attempting to maintain its global role with military threats to undermine the status quo at any time and in any place on the globe,” Russian commentator Lilia Shevtsova says, an approach designed to “compensate for its inability to secure the rebirth of Russia on the basis of internal change.”
Anton Krasovsky, director of broadcasting for the Russian state-funded RT channel, has used his chat show to assure Ukrainians, whom he calls ‘animals’, that Russia will invade on any sign that Ukraine is near joining NATO.
Russia’s trial in revenge for Crimean Tatar resistance provided vital proof for international courts about its invasion
Russia’s trial of Akhtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and other Crimean Tatars was planned as a triumphant victory over all Ukrainian resistance to its occupation of Crimea. Halya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group reports that it went badly wrong and, instead, exposed the methods Moscow used to try to mask its land-grab and Russia’s reprisals against those Crimean Tatars who demonstrated that Crimea had not asked to ‘join’ Russia. Some of the highly incriminating material gathered in the course of the trial is now with the International Criminal Court.
This day in history: Yanukovych’s Dictatorship laws
On 16 January 2014, the Parliament of Ukraine passed anti-protest laws, commonly referred to as the “dictatorship laws”, a group of ten laws restricting freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, those were signed into law by then-President Viktor Yanukovych. The laws were widely criticized for their undemocratic nature and their ability to significantly curb the rights to protest, free speech, and the activity of non-governmental organizations.
OPINION: Russia-West talks have ended in uncertainty. Now it’s time to act.
The week of Russia-West talks has not helped to achieve any meaningful agreements. To deter Russian aggression, the West must act instead of waiting, or risk being too little and too late, writes Marko Temnycky.
Why write to political prisoners?
So the prisoners understand that they’re not alone.
Khalide Bekirova, wife of Ukrainian political prisoner of the Kremlin Remzi Bekirov, explains why write letters to political prisoners.
“Letters to political prisoners are an expression of support and solidarity. They give the prisoners the strength they need to resist and carry on during their difficult period of imprisonment. The prisoners understand that they’re not alone. The prison authorities note which prisoners receive letters and treat them a little better.”
Join the Winter letter marathon for Ukrainian political prisoners of the Kremlin – 2022 and make one of the 127 Kremlin hostage’s winter a bit warmer.
Four Ukrainian green startups and ideas
Here are four startups and ideas from Ukraine for environmentally and socially conscious products:
- Organic glasses by Ochis company from Kyiv.
- Nuka – eternal notebooks, rewritable waterproof.
- Waffle cup and lids by Lekorna.
- Wheat straws.