Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, January 14

Over 2,000 Ukrainian children abducted by Russia since New Year -- Russia tries to build 2-million strong army -- Battle for Soledar near Bakhmut continues -- Ukrainian state defense company completes testing of long-range strike drone -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Saturday, January 14

Russia’s war against Ukraine


A destroyed residential building is seen as Kharkiv residences try to heal their wounds amid Russia-Ukraine war at Severnaya Saltivka district of Kharkiv, Ukraine on Jan. 12, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ukraine intelligence: Russia tries to build 2-million strong army. Mobilization set-ups, including legislative amendments and the preparation of educational centers, are already underway in Russia, according to Ukraine’s intelligence.

Ukraine denies fresh Russian claims of capture of Soledar. Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi reported that “ongoing battles” were continuing in the salt-mining town of Soledar in the eastern Donetsk Oblast on Jan. 13, denying an earlier claim by the Russian Ministry of Defense that the city was fully under Russian control.

General Staff: Battle for Soledar near Bakhmut continues. In its regular evening update on Jan. 13, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that the battle for Soledar continues, denying Russian claims that the city fell under Moscow’s control.

State Department: Incremental Russian gains near Soledar won’t change tide of war. According to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, no tactical advance will be able to shift the “strategic failure” that Russia’s army have encountered from the earliest days of this war, a failure intensified with Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

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Defense Minister Reznikov: Ukraine ‘de facto’ NATO member. Reznikov said he was confident Ukraine would receive tanks and fighter jets as Ukraine prepares for renewed assaults from Russia in the spring. “We understand they’ll be ready to start and, surely, we have to be ready to start,” he told BBC.

French general: Ukraine carried out ‘cyber defense revolution.’ Ukraine could have been “brought to its knees,” he said, as cyberattacks can be used to weaken the state permanently, but this “did not happen.” Bonnemaison has also noted that Ukraine now has a defensive advantage constituting a “real paradigm shift,” allowing the state to use other systems to rebound.

Zelensky to Lithuanian parliament: ‘We are on our way to victory.’ “Lithuania is and, I am sure, will continue to be one of the most sincere defenders of freedom, and this is the best tribute to the memory and feat of the heroes who defeated the empire on those winter days 32 years ago,” Zelensky said.

Ukrainian state defense company completes testing of long-range strike drone. The project to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle with a range of more than 1,000 kilometers and a payload of up to 75 kilograms “has reached such a stage that, unfortunately, we cannot talk about it,” Nataliia Sad, Ukroboronprom spokesperson, said.

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US official : Over 2,000 Ukrainian children abducted by Russia since New Year. Russian forces have unlawfully transferred or deported thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia, violating the Geneva Conventions. As of Dec. 22, 2022, Ukrainian authorities said that more than 13,000 thousand children were forcibly removed from Ukraine by Russia.

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Ukraine war latest: Russian army, Wagner group clash over Soledar win while Kyiv denies the town fell.

The Kremlin-backed Wagner mercenary group publicly accused Russia’s Defense Ministry of stealing credit for what it claims to be a victory in the battle for the salt-mining town of Soledar near Bakhmut in the Ukrainian eastern Donetsk Oblast.

Photo: Getty Images

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How many missiles does Russia have left? People have been having this argument since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Western claims that Russia is running out of advanced, high-precision missiles have floated in the news since March. But more than 10 months into the all-out war, Russian missiles continue to rain down on Ukrainian cities.

Photo: Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian forces shell Kharkiv Oblast, wounding 2 civilians. In Dvorichna, a 68-year-old man was injured. In Kupyansk, due to Russian shelling damaging a residential building and private houses, a 75-year-old man was wounded and hospitalised.

Governor: Russian attack on Kharkiv Oblast kills 2, injures 1. Russian troops attacked the village of Dvorichna in the Kupiansk district of the northeastern oblast, killing a 59-year-old woman, a 64-year-old woman, as well as injuring a 63-year-old woman.

Ukraine’s military: Russia shells Bakhmut area over 200 times in past 24 hours. According to preliminary data, 183 Russian troops were killed, and 137 were wounded in the battles for the area, Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi said.

International response

Scholz complains about ‘pressure’ to supply tanks to Ukraine, says he won’t rush with decisions. Since the beginning of Russia’s all-out invasion in February 2022, Scholz has been criticized for delaying and blocking arms supplies to Ukraine. Amid pressure from the media, the public and NATO allies, Germany has increased its arms supplies to Ukraine but Scholz is still accused of being reluctant to antagonize Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Bloomberg: Germany to give final decision on Leopard tank delivery to Ukraine next week. According to the unnamed German officials cited, Berlin will decide ahead of the Ramstein defense summit on Jan. 20. The day before the gathering, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht will meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Reuters: Germany says it didn’t receive Leopard tanks request from Poland, Finland. Polish President Andrzej Duda announced the delivery of a company of modern German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine on Jan. 11. Since the tanks are produced in Germany, the approval of the German government is required for their export.

France to deliver light wheeled tanks to Ukraine within 2 months. The defense ministers of Ukraine and France have discussed the organization of rapid training for Ukrainians to operate the light thanks.

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Kuleba, Blinken discuss military aid for Ukraine, including Western tanks. During a phone call on Jan. 13, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba discussed “ways to ramp up U.S. and international support for Ukraine“ with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

US: Russia’s deliberate slowdown of inspections delaying grain shipments from Ukraine. “Due to Russia’s deliberate slowdown of inspections, dozens of ships are waiting to depart. And dozens more are waiting for inspections before they can bring their grain cargo to the world,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Jan. 13.

In other news

Parliament strips Medvedchuk, 3 other pro-Kremlin MPs of their mandates. The four lawmakers who lost their mandates include Viktor Medvedchuk, a major ally of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Kyiv residents vote to rename 2 metro stations, streets, landmarks in capital. Kyiv residents cast more than 100,000 votes to rename some of the capital’s landmarks, including the metro station “Friendship of Peoples” (Druzhby Narodiv in Ukrainian) to “Zvirynetska”, the historical name of the area, and Lva Tolstoho, named after the Russian writer Lev Tolstoi, to “Ukrainian Heroes Square.”

Media: German defense minister to resign. Germany’s defense minister Christine Lambrecht plans to resign, German media reported on Feb. 13, citing a German government source, causing uncertainty at a time when Germany is weighing sending battle tanks to Ukraine.

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