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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 680: North Korea supplies Russia with missiles; Germany sends new military aid to Ukraine

North Korea sends ballistic missiles to Russia, with at least one already used against Ukraine. Ukraine confirmed destroying another Russian Su-34 bomber at a base inside Russia. Germany announced new military aid including air defense and armored vehicles.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 680: North Korea supplies Russia with missiles; Germany sends new military aid to Ukraine



From Russian prisoner to Ukrainian fighter: an extraordinary defection. Trapped in a Russian prison, Mikhail Pavlov faced two options – join the attacks on Ukraine as a Storm-Z combatant, or find a way to escape and fight alongside Ukrainian forces
Slovakia and Hungary quietly bolster Ukraine’s defenses despite political rhetoric. Business overrides politics in Slovakia and Hungary as both nations’ defense firms expand production and cooperation with Ukraine despite claims of not supplying weapons


Germany announced new military aid to Ukraine . Ukraine’s new German aid package includes the Skynex air defense system, Marder armored vehicles, and ammunition for the Leopard tank.

Ukraine’s intel confirms destruction of another Russian Su-34 bomber. Ukraine’s military intelligence confirmed the destruction of a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber aircraft at Shagol airbase near Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Intelligence and technology

North Korea supplies ballistic missiles, launchers to Russia, White House confirms. “Russian forces launched at least one of these North Korean ballistic missiles into Ukraine,” US National Security spokesperson John Kirby stated.

Ukraine receives 26 advanced howitzers from Czechia. One of the received Dana-M2 howitzers featured in the New Year’s greeting on the Facebook page of the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Mariupol Brigade.

Belgium to send F-16 jets to Denmark for Ukrainian pilots training. This initiative forms part of the F-16 coalition, comprising 13 countries, including Belgium, under the leadership of Denmark, the Netherlands, and the US.

Russia may intend to retrofit Kh-32 missiles with cluster munitions. Recently obtained documents indicate Russian intentions to upgrade Kh-32 cruise missiles with cluster munitions, known for causing high civilian casualties, Ukraine’s National Resistance Center reported.

British intel: Russia’s new ‘security’ structure displays increasing signs of paramilitary nature. The British intel said that the creation of the Moscow Government Security Force provides an opportunity for Muscovites to volunteer for “patriotic” wartime duties while avoiding frontline service in Ukraine


Latvia proposes to ban Russian grain imports into EU . Minister of Transport of Latvia Kaspars Briškens has proposed to ban the import of Russian and Belarusian grain into the EU, LSM has reported.

FT: China ramps up machine tool exports to Russia’s defense industry. July’s Russian customs returns revealed a significant increase in CNC tool imports from China, amounting to $68 million, compared to $6.5 million in February 2022.

Mexican embassy resumes operations in Ukraine. After the phone conversation with the Secretary of Mexican Foreign Affairs, the Head of the Office of Ukraine’s President, Andriy Yermak, said, “These steps open a new page in bilateral relations between the countries.” Earlier, Mexico claimed it would not impose sanctions against Russia.

Slovakia’s President Čaputová calls on allies to send Ukraine more air defense systems. After a series of missile attacks launched by Russian forces on Ukrainian cities before and after New Year’s Day, President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová said Kyiv needs to receive more air defense systems to protect its skies and end the war in 2024.

Humanitarian and social impact

Slovakia provides €203K in humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The 21-ton cargo includes electrical generators, heaters, clothing, and first-aid kits from the Slovak Armed Forces’ stores.

Russian morning attack on Nikopol injures 2 people. Over the last day, the Russian military attacked Nikopol eight times with drones and artillery, damaging private houses and outbuildings, seven solar panels, greenhouses, and cars.

Russian attacks kill 4 civilians, including girl, 15, in Mykolaiv, Kherson, Donetsk oblasts. In its attacks on Mykolaiv and Donetsk oblasts, Russia injured 5 people over the last day.

Ukraine accuses Russian propagandist of weaponizing education in occupied Crimea. The Security Service of Ukraine has accused Anna Grigoryan , the associate of the head of Russian occupation authorities in Crimea of Sergey Aksyonov, of brainwashing children and encouraging them to enlist in Russian armed forces.

New developments

Energoatom: Russian occupiers block IAEA access to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant’s critical areas, concealing issues. The recent move by Russian occupiers to block access to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s monitoring mission experts to the reactor halls at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (Zaporizhzhia NPP) is most likely an attempt to hide the real safety situation at the station, said Energoatom, the state energy company.

Russian losses

As of 04 Jan 2024, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

  • Personnel: 362280 (+780)
  • Tanks: 6002 (+12)
  • APV: 11128 (+21)
  • Artillery systems: 8574 (+28)
  • MLRS: 947 (+2)
  • Anti-aircraft systems: 630 (+1)
  • Aircraft: 329
  • Helicopters: 324
  • UAV: 6753 (+5)
  • Cruise missiles : 1785 (+2)
  • Warships/boats: 23
  • Submarines: 1
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11423 (+32)

Read the daily review for Thu Jan 04 2024 here

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