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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 694: Paris launches Artillery Coalition to bolster Ukraine’s defense

At the meeting, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu announced that France would manufacture 78 Caesar howitzers for Ukraine.

Exclusives

Balance of war in Ukraine set to shift, not in Russia’s favor. As Russia’s war against Ukraine nears its third year, a turning point seems imminent, with the balance of power likely to shift not in Russia’s favor. Factors such as intensified international backing for Ukraine, successful Ukrainian strikes on Russian military targets, and Russia’s domestic economic struggles are reshaping the war’s trajectory.
UK Minister declares end of “peace dividend” era in historic speech. The post-war world moves to a pre-war one, and Ukraine is a test case, says Grant Shapps, announcing a massive defense boost
UK security deal with Ukraine: Budapest Memorandum 2.0 or road to NATO?. Britain became the first of G7 nations to commit to a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine. Though lacking firm guarantees, it has enshrined that the UK’s aim is to help Ukraine restore its 1991 borders – making it the first nation to do so.
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.

Military

British Intel: War against Ukraine likely to negatively impact outlook of Russian economy. Russia’s war against Ukraine is highly likely to negatively impact the outlook for the Russian economy, an intelligence update by the UK Defense Ministry has suggested.

Media: Ukrainian drones strike oil depot in Saint Petersburg. The Saint Petersburg Oil Terminal is Russia’s largest oil products transshipment terminal in the Baltic region, as well as the largest stevedoring company at the Port of Saint Petersburg.

Intelligence and technology

Ukrainian-made drone flew 1,250 km and hit “target” near St. Petersburg, Minister confirms. “Yes, last night we hit the target, and this thing [drone] flew exactly 1,250 km,” Minister Kamyshin said.

Rheinmetall overhauls two of 14 Leopard tanks for Ukraine in nine months. Rheinmetall has finished the overhaul of two Leopard 2A4 tanks for Ukraine as part of a 14-tank commitment announced by the Netherlands and Denmark in April 2023.

Ukrainian Intelligence: Russia lacks reserves for simultaneous offensive efforts in multiple directions. On 17 January, Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate Deputy Chief Major General Vadym Skibitskyi said that Russia does not have enough reserves to conduct large-scale offensive operations in several directions at the same time, as per an update by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

International

BILD: NATO plans largest exercise since Cold War, involving 90,000 soldiers, to deter Russia. Steadfast Defender, NATO’s massive exercise, set to kick off in Norway, Lithuania, and Hungary, simulating a Russian attack triggering collective defense measures, as per BILD.

Russian Shahed sucide drone attack damages residential buildings, injures civilians. Overnight on January 17-18, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine involving 33 Shahed-136/131 drones. Ukrainian air defense units successfully intercepted and destroyed 22 of those Russian drones.

Artillery Coalition for Ukraine launches in Paris without Ukrainian Defense Minister. Rustem Umerov canceled his visit at the last minute “due to security concerns”.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russians shell residential building in Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast, killing woman. A 57-year-old woman was killed, and two men were injured. A multi-story residential building suffered severe damage.

ISW: Medvedev’s remarks on Ukraine signal Moscow uninterested in negotiations with Kyiv. Russia’s ex-President Dmitry Medvedev declared Ukraine’s existence causes endless war with Russia, claiming that Ukrainians will finally accept subjugation to Russia to save their lives.

“Brotherhood of nations”: Russia opens museum of looted Ukrainian belongings. Organizers claim the exhibit aims to showcase the “brotherhood” between Russians and Ukrainians.

New developments

Reuters: Russian-annexed Crimea hit by power blackout. Parts of Crimea, annexed by Russian troops in 2014, were left without electricity on the evening of 18 January, Reuters has reported. Later, the Russian Energy Ministry said power was restored.

Read our previous daily review here

As of 18 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: 373600 (+780)
    • Tanks: 6147 (+21)
    • APV: 11410 (+38)
    • Artillery systems: 8835 (+24)
    • MLRS: 966 (+2)
    • Anti-aircraft systems: 653
    • Aircraft: 331
    • Helicopters: 324
    • UAV: 6925 (+41)
    • Cruise missiles: 1818 (+1)
    • Warships/boats: 23
    • Submarines: 1
    • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11794 (+39)
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