Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, January 13

Ukrainian border guards strike Russian mercenaries in Soledar -- Russia to try to capture entire Donetsk Oblast, intensify offensive against Zaporizhzhia Oblast -- Putin seeks scapegoats for Russia’s struggle to address equipment, technological shortages -- Ukraine downs Russian aircraft, drone on Jan. 12 -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Friday, January 13

Russia’s war against Ukraine


A Ukrainian tank fires at Russian positions near Kreminna, Lugansk region, on Jan. 12, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Zelensky: Everything necessary for battles for Soledar and Bakhmut will be provided ‘promptly and uninterruptedly.’ “I emphasize that the units defending these cities are provided with ammunition and everything necessary promptly and uninterruptedly,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said, adding that the Armed Forces are reinforced with equipment and weapons supplied to Ukraine by the West.

Ukrainian border guards strike Russian mercenaries in Soledar. Ukraine’s Border Guard said on Jan. 12 it had struck mercenaries of Russia’s infamous Wagner Group with mortars in the town of Soledar, Donetsk Oblast.

Ukraine’s military: Russia shells Soledar near Bakhmut 91 times over past day. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Russia continues its offensive in the Soledar area, trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses and capture the city.

General Staff: Russia to try to capture entire Donetsk Oblast, intensify offensive against Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Ukraine’s military anticipates that Russian forces will attempt to capture all of Donetsk Oblast and seize the left bank of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, General Staff Deputy Chief Oleksii Hromov said on Jan. 12. Hromov said Russia will likely try to reach the “administrative borders” of Donetsk Oblast in the near future.

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Pentagon: No sign yet of offensive against Ukraine from Belarus. The U.S. doesn’t see signs of an imminent threat of an offensive against Ukraine from Belarus, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said. “We continue to closely monitor what we know to be excessive engagements with Belarusian forces by Russian forces, but there are currently no signs of any type of offensive action that appears imminent,” he said.

US says Russia replacing war commander reflects ‘systemic challenges.’ A decision by the Russian Defense Ministry to replace General Sergei Surovikin with Chief of the General Staff Valeriy Gerasimov as commander of Russia’s war against Ukraine indicates “systemic challenges” for Moscow, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said during a briefing on Jan. 12.

ISW: Putin seeks scapegoats for Russia’s struggle to address equipment, technological shortages. Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly criticized Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov for aviation companies not receiving state orders during a cabinet of ministers meeting on Jan. 11. Putin said that some busineses have yet to receive state orders for 2023 and are not hiring more staff or preparing to increase output for potential orders in the future.

General Staff: Ukrainian army strikes 3 Russian control centers. In their Jan. 12 update, the General Staff of the Armed Forces also reported that Ukraine’s rocket and artillery forces hit three temporary bases of Russian troops, an S-300 missile system, and three ammunition depots.

Air Force: Ukraine downs Russian aircraft, drone on Jan. 12. Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Su-25 aircraft and an Orlan-10 drone on the morning of Jan. 12 with anti-aircraft missile systems, reported the Ukrainian Air Force’s press service.

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Ukraine denies asking EU not to sanction Belarus. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, on Jan. 12 denied media reports that Ukraine had asked the West to exempt Belarus from the latest EU sacntions package imposed for the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrenergo: ‘Significant’ power deficit persists in Ukraine. Ukraine’s energy system continues to experience a “significant” power deficit as of Jan. 12, as power consumption has spiked due to colder weather, Ukraine’s state grid operator Ukrenergo reported.

HRW: Russian forces have committed litany of violations in Ukraine. Human Rights Watch presented its annual report reviewing human rights standards in nearly 100 countries. According to the report, Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February and ensuing atrocities quickly rose to “the top of the world’s human rights agenda in 2022.”

Watch: In Chornobaivka, children face one obstacle after another to go to school

In Chornobaivka, children face one obstacle after another to go to school

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Ukraine war latest: Russia sends conscripts to combat zones as Ukrainian military conducts counterattacks in Soledar.

As fierce fighting in and around Bakhmut is raging on, the Ukrainian military said it was conducting counterattacks in the devastated salt-mining town of Soledar.

Photo: Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Ministry: Ukraine retrieves bodies of 54 soldiers killed in Olenivka prison massacre. The bodies of 54 fallen defenders of Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast have been returned to Ukraine in a transfer organized with the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and their DNA is now being examined, the Reintegration Ministry reported on Jan. 12.

Governor: Russia continues heavy shelling in Donetsk Oblast, killing 1 person. Russian forces continued to shell Donetsk Oblast along the front line overnight and on the morning of Jan. 12, killing one person in Paraskoviivka, a village near Soledar, Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported.

Governor: Russian shelling of Kherson Oblast kills 1 on Jan. 12. Russian forces opened fire on the village of Yantarne, not far from the city of Kherson, hitting a residential house on Jan. 12, Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych reported. A day earlier, Russian attacks killed one person and injured five.

Governor: Russian missile attack on Zaporizhzhia Oblast kills 1. According to Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor Oleksandr Starukh, Russia launched a missile attack on the city of Huliaipole, killing a woman and injuring a man overnight on Jan. 12.

International response

Japan allocates $95 million to restore Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. The funds will be spent on restoring transport communication in the liberated territories, creating conditions for the return of citizens to their homes, and supporting the economy in the oblasts.

German minister: Berlin shouldn’t oppose transfer of Polish Leopard tanks to Ukraine. “There is a difference between making a decision for yourself and preventing others from making a decision,” Habeck said, as quoted by German newspaper Die Welt. “Accordingly, Germany should not stand in the way when other countries make decisions to support Ukraine, regardless of what decision Germany makes.”

In other news

Minister: Russian-controlled church in central Kyiv needs to be dismantled. Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said on Jan. 12 that the ministry supports dismantling a Russian-affiliated Orthodox church building on the territory of the National Museum of Ukraine’s History in central Kyiv. The building is located next to the ruins of the Desyatynna Church (Church of the Tithes, or the Dormition Church), which was built in the 10th century and became the first stone church in Kyivan Rus.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Teah Pelechaty, Daria Shulzhenko, Oleg Sukhov, Thaisa Semenova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Brad LaFoy, Anastasiya Gordiychuk, and Olena Goncharova.

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