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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 693: Ukraine uses new air defense system to down Russian drone

On 17 January, Ukraine intercepted a Russian drone with a new air defense system “FrankenSAM”, a joint project of Ukraine’s Defense Forces and the Pentagon.

Exclusive

Russian ex-president Medvedev confirms Russia seeks to destroy Ukrainian state, remains intransigent. In line with Russian propaganda’s genocidal rhetoric, Russia’s ex-president Medvedev declares Ukraine’s existence causes endless conflict with Russia, claiming that Ukrainians will ostensibly accept subjugation to Russia to save their lives.
Ukrainian media coalition decries “targeting” of journalists critical of authorities. A host of Ukraine’s top independent media outlets have accused authorities of provocations, surveillance and rights infringements against journalists.
9 reasons negotiations with Russia are utterly pointless. Despite over 200 rounds of negotiations since 2014, Russia continues to escalate its war against Ukraine, demonstrating it only sees talks as a means to force surrender.

Military

ISW: limited Russian gains near Kreminna, Bakhmut; positional battles across Donbas. Mostly, frontlines remain static as Russian and Ukrainian forces are locked in positional fighting

Fire breaks out in Russian polymer plant after explosion. A Russian partisan group says the explosion in Shakhty targeted a workshop producing FPV drones for the army

Intelligence and technology

FrankenSAM debut: Ukraine shoots down Russian drone 9 km away. Five hybrid FrankenSAM air defense systems, which pair Western missiles with Soviet launchers, are already operating in Ukraine. One that will use Patriot missiles to down ballistic targets is on the way.

ISW: Russian air operations drop over Azov Sea after Ukraine strikes hit radar plane, command aircraft. Russian tactical aviation presence over the Sea of Azov has reportedly dropped to unprecedented low levels after Ukrainian strikes eliminated an A-50 radar plane and damaged an Il-22 aircraft, degrading Russian air capabilities, ISW says.

Reuters: France to send long-range missiles to Ukraine, Macron to finalize security deal in Kyiv. France will send about 40 Scalp long-range missiles and several hundred bombs to Ukraine, as well as more equipment, to boost Ukraine’s defense capabilities against the Russian invasion.

International

Sweden does not rule out providing Gripen jets to Ukraine in future, foreign minister says in Davos. Sweden says it may send Ukraine its Gripen jets in the future. Any decision on this matter is contingent upon the country’s accession to NATO, Swedish FM says.

Swissinfo: Russia launches cyberattack on Switzerland after visit of Zelenskyy to Davos. Later, the hacker group known as “NoName,” which is linked to Russia, claimed responsibility for the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. They cited Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s participation in the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos as the reason for the attack.

Media: Germany sends ammunition for Leopard 1 tank, reconnaissance drones to Ukraine. Germany has updated the list of military aid provided to Kyiv for the second time in a month.

Biden to meet Congress members to discuss importance of Ukraine aid. Biden will meet congressional leaders to underscore passing his national security request containing over $60 billion in military and economic assistance for Ukraine.

Bloomberg: Davos meeting yields no progress on Ukraine peace plan. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented his 10-point peace plan to 83 delegations at the World Economic Forum but failed to secure a date for a leader-level meeting or a clear action plan to end the Russian invasion.

Polish truckers end Ukraine border blockade after two-month standoff. Polish truck drivers agreed to suspend their protest at the Polish-Ukrainian border until 1 March 2024 after blocking the passage of goods for months over fears of losing their market share to Ukrainian competitors.

Humanitarian and social impact

130 residents evacuated after Russian drone attack hits Odesa apartment building. Three residents have been injured, and 130 evacuated from an apartment building damaged in Russia’s overnight drone attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa.

Read our earlier daily review here

As of 17 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: 372820 (+730)
    • Tanks: 6126 (+13)
    • APV: 11372 (+14)
    • Artillery systems: 8811 (+10)
    • MLRS: 964 (+3)
    • Anti-aircraft systems: 653
    • Aircraft: 331
    • Helicopters: 324
    • UAV: 6884 (+7)
    • Cruise missiles: 1817 (+1)
    • Warships/boats: 23
    • Submarines: 1
    • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11755 (+24)
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