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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 689. New French Foreign Minister makes first foreign visit to Ukraine

Nordic nations hail US defense pacts, stand for a “realistic Russia policy.” Russia’s Orlan-10 producer ramps up production despite sanctions.

Exclusive

“Ironclad”: Ukrainian wheeled combat robot destroys Russian positions. The new Ironclad robot that can remotely pound Russians with heavy machine gun fire is the latest example of Ukraine’s tech-driven approach to warfare
Ukrainian MoD contractor nabbed amid $ 1.2 bn fraud probe as minister vows to clean house. Ihor Hrynkevych’s attempt to give a $500k bribe amid an ongoing probe of corruption at Ukraine’s Defense Ministry backfired badly as minister Rustem Umerov announces he will “clear the system”

Military

Ukraine military: Russia increases use of chemical weapons. Ukraine is now seeing up to 10 cases a day of Russian forces using munitions filled with toxic chemicals against Ukrainian troops and civilians.

Mobilisation is Ukraine’s word of the year in 2023 – Myslovo. Myslovo Dictionary declares ‘mobilization’ as Ukraine’s 2023 Word of the Year, amidst a backdrop of war-related terms like ‘counteroffensive’, ‘draft dodger’, and ‘drone’, reflecting the nation’s intense military and political landscape.

Explosions reported in Kropyvnytskyi and Dnipro as Russia launches morning missile attack. Russian cruise missiles were launched from Tu-95MS aircraft, and Kinzhal missiles were fired by MiG-31K fighters.

As of 13 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: 369160 (+700)
      • Tanks: 6065 (+5)
      • APV: 11269 (+15)
      • Artillery systems: 8728 (+18)
      • MLRS: 957
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 646 (+4)
      • Aircraft: 329
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 6848 (+12)
      • Cruise missiles : 1806
      • Warships/boats: 23
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11632 (+20)

Intelligence and technology

Russian drone manufacturer ‘Orlan-10’ ramps up production despite sanctions, Inform Napalm reports. Russia’s “Special Technological Center” has significantly increased the production of the Orlan-10 drones, utilizing imported components to circumvent restrictions.

Ukraine rolls out NATO-standard automated military logistics system. Ukraine has implemented a digital logistics platform aimed at fully automating its military’s supply chain management and eliminating paper-based processes.

Ukraine’s top general wants more military aircraft to turn the tide of war. The commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces told Reuters that the Western-made attack aircraft would be a game-changer in the ongoing war with Russia.

International

Denmark allocates $21 mn to Mykolaiv: funds to go toward recovery. In the spring of 2023, Denmark took patronage of the city and oblast of Mykolaiv. Since then, it has allocated $100 mn for its recovery.

Nordic nations hail new US defense pacts as historic step amid Russian threat. Finland, Sweden, and Denmark stand for a “long-term, clear-sighted, and realistic Russia policy,” their defense ministers write in an op-ed.

New French foreign minister visits Kyiv to affirm long-term support. Stéphane Séjourné arrived in Kyiv to reinforce France’s support commitments to Ukraine, marking his first official visit in this role.

Romanian farmers join Ukraine border blockade. Farmer protests have obstructed freight traffic at the vital Siret border crossing between Ukraine and Romania, a key export route for Ukraine.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukraine launches “I want to find” project to aid families of Russian POWs. With Russia providing little information on the fate of its soldiers in Ukraine, relatives are now looking to a new Ukrainian project for help finding captured troops.

Russia detains over 100 Ukrainian civilians without charges, human rights advocate reports. These individuals are kept incommunicado, with no legal charges, inaccessible to lawyers, and often transferred between locations, with some even moved to Russia.

Ukraine’s sunflower seeds plundered by Russia and shipped to Türkiye. An investigation by OSINT analysts revealed how Russia is using ports in occupied Crimea and Türkiye to illegally export thousands of tons of sunflower seeds stolen from the occupied territories of southern Ukraine.

New developments

Ukrainian frozen food chain opens first US location in Philadelphia. Halya Baluvana, a popular Ukrainian producer of frozen varenyky, pelmeni and other foods, has opened its first US location in Philadelphia.

Russia blocks IAEA access to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The IAEA Director General says Russia has not allowed its experts to enter the reactor halls of three units at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was occupied by Russian troops in March 2022.

War in Ukraine will not end in 2024 or 2025, NATO Deputy Secretary General says. Mircea Geoană, the NATO Deputy Secretary General, said in an interview that neither side has the military edge to end the war in the coming years.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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