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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 695: Ukraine allocates record $466 million for fortifications

Ukraine’s government has allocated a record UAH 17.5 billion ($466 million) for the construction of engineering and fortification structures aimed at bolstering border defenses. Meanwhile, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have agreed to build anti-mobility defensive installations along their borders with Russia and Belarus.

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Military

General: Russia keeps some 22,000 troops near Ukraine’s northern border. Ukrainian general says Russia has deployed 21,800 troops near Ukraine’s northern borders, but the situation remains under control.

UK new Russian A-50 radar plane kept distant from Ukraine after previous one downed. After the shootdown of Russia’s AWACS A-50 aircraft over Ukraine earlier, Russia has now deployed a replacement A-50 airborne early warning plane farther from Ukraine over Russian territory, per British intelligence.

Expert: FPV drones can not replace artillery but are comparable with battalion mortar systems. Military experts debate if the cheap first-person-view (FPV) drones can replace artillery in the future. Military analyst Serhii Berezutskyi told ArmyInform that it is early to say that drones can replace artillery despite the fact that both weapons have areas of combat use that partially overlap.

Ukraine allocates record $ 466 million for fortifications. Furthermore, the government approved a mechanism to distribute an additional UAH 33.4 billion (approx $800 million) in subvention to communities.

As of 19 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: 374520 (+920)
      • Tanks: 6167 (+20)
      • APV: 11445 (+35)
      • Artillery systems: 8854 (+19)
      • MLRS: 966
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 654 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 331
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 6929 (+4)
      • Cruise missiles : 1818
      • Warships/boats: 23
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 11831 (+37)

Intelligence and technology

Media: Ukrainian hackers steal tech docs on 500 Russian defense facilities. Earlier, the Blackjack group attacked a Moscow internet provider, erasing 20TB of data and websites, disrupting internet access; called it a “warm-up” attack before a bigger one in revenge for a hack on a Ukraine telecom, as per security source.

International

Baltic states to build defensive installations along borders with Russia, Belarus. The Estonian Ministry of Defense announced this development, stating that the move aims to bolster defenses and deter potential military threats.

Estonia to provide €14 million annually in development aid for Ukraine. Estonia’s annual support package for Ukraine aims to bolster Ukraine’s economy through business cooperation and to aid in the country’s post-war reconstruction.

CNN: Biden warns top lawmakers that US soldiers on the line if Russia-Ukraine war expands into NATO territory. Biden cautioned Congress leaders that curtailing assistance for outgunned Ukrainian forces risks a spillover of hostilities into neighboring NATO countries, thereby obliging US troops to directly confront the Russians, as per CNN sources.

Border Service: Romanian formers partially unblock Ukraine border. Romanian farmers have lifted their blockade at one of the Ukrainian border checkpoints but continue to obstruct the passage of trucks at another.

Investment firm founder detained in unlawful land privatization probe. Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations detains Concorde Capital founder, Ihor Mazepa, in connection with alleged unlawful land privatization involving the site of the Kyiv Hydroelectric Power Plant.

Russian FM Lavrov reiterates Russia’s maximalist goals in Ukraine. Russian FM Lavrov reiterates that Russia still wants to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine, denies Ukraine’s agency as a sovereign state.

New developments

Ukraine identifies US-made components in Russian missile used in Chernihiv attack. The investigation by Ukraine’s anti-graft agency revealed that the missile was manufactured no earlier than March 2023.

Read our earlier daily review here

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