Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, January 5

Russian forces increasingly reliant on Iranian-made drones against Ukrainian critical infrastructure -- Partisans stop movement of military convoys on Russian railroad -- Russia deploys new military units to northern part of Crimea -- Explosions heard in Sevastopol -- Kyiv eyes major counteroffensive in spring, warns there may be further strikes ‘deeper’ inside Russia -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Thursday, January 5

Russia’s war against Ukraine


Construction workers climb onto the roof of a destroyed church in the village of Bohorodychne, Donetsk region on Jan. 4, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Journalists identify 4 Russians operating Iranian-made drones in Ukraine. Russian servicemen Sergey Sozinov, Gleb Pivkin, Russian Air Force captain Andrey Stepovoy and Russian Air Force lieutenant Evgeny Glukhov are allegedly responsible for manning some of the Iranian-made kamikaze drones launched to attack Ukraine, according to a joint investigation by Slisdvo.Info and Nashi Groshi Lviv.

ISW: Russian forces increasingly reliant on Iranian-made drones against Ukrainian critical infrastructure. Russian forces have likely significantly depleted their current stock of drones, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate said on Jan. 4 that Russian forces have used about 660 Iranian-made Shahed-131 and -136 drones in Ukraine since their first appearance in September of 2022.

Court convicts Russian spies who collected data on HIMARS, energy facilities. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Jan. 4 that four Russian agents who collected data on HIMARS (High-Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems) and energy facilities in Donetsk Oblast had been convicted by a court.

Intelligence: Partisans stop movement of military convoys on Russian railroad. Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate reported that partisans had stopped the movement of civilian trains and military convoys on the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region overnight on Jan. 4.

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Zelensky: ‘We need to end Russia’s aggression this year.’ “It is necessary to put an end to Russian aggression this year and not delay any of those defense opportunities that can speed up the defeat of the terrorist state,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address to the nation on Jan. 4.

Explosions reported in Russian-occupied Melitopol. The Russian-installed authorities reported late on Jan. 4 that explosions were heard in the city of Melitopol in Ukraine’s southeast and its suburbs. Vladimir Rogov, a Russia-appointed member of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast administration, said that air defense had been activated. He did not provide any details.

Intelligence chief: Ukraine planning major counter-offensive in spring. Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, said in an interview with ABC News that Ukraine is planning a major offensive in spring.

Intelligence: Russia deploys new military units to northern part of Crimea. Russia is deploying new military units to the northern part of occupied Crimea, reported Andrii Cherniak, a representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate.

Media: Explosions heard in Sevastopol. Explosions were heard in Sevastopol in occupied Crimea on the morning of Jan. 4, Hromadske media outlet reported, citing occupying Russian officials in the city.

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Zelensky: France vowed to send light tanks, armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine. This is the first time that a Western country has agreed to give tanks to Ukraine — a supply that Kyiv has been asking for for months.

Ukrenergo: Emergency blackouts introduced as power consumption rises. On Jan. 4, Ukraine’s state grid operator Ukrenergo reported that power consumption in the country had increased due to colder weather and the intensification of business operations following the winter holidays.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church to hold historic Christmas celebration in Kyiv Pechersk Lavra on Jan. 7. The celebration will take place in the part of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra previously controlled by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, an affiliate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Ukraine war latest: Kyiv eyes major counteroffensive in spring, warns there may be further strikes ‘deeper’ inside Russia.

Ukraine anticipates the “hottest” fighting in March as it plans “a major push” in spring, and there may be further strikes “deeper and deeper” inside Russia, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview published on Jan. 4.

Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian attacks across 9 Ukrainian oblasts kill 4, injure at least 13 over past 24 hours. Russian strikes on nine Ukrainian oblasts in the east, south, and north killed four people and wounded at least 13 over the past 24 hours, according to local authorities.

Official: Russian attack on Kurakhove, Donetsk Oblast, kills 1 person, injures 4. The head of the Kurakhove military administration, Roman Padun, reported that Russia’s overnight attack on Kurakhove on Jan. 4 killed one person and injured four.

Civilian dies following Russia’s Jan. 4 attack on Nikopol. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported that a 64-year-old man who was injured in the Russian shelling of Nikopol on Jan. 4 has died in the hospital. Nikopol is located across the Dnipro River from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Police: Russian artillery kills 2 civilians in Bakhmut. Local police reported that the Russian artillery had killed two elderly women in the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on Jan. 4.

Unexploded device kills emergency service member on demining task in Izium. Serhiy Hotsuliak, a 42-year-old head of a pyrotechnic unit of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, was killed in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, on Jan. 4 due to the detonation of an unexploded device, the agency reported.

General Staff: 80 Russian soldiers killed, injured by Ukrainian strike on Russian-occupied Tokmak. A Ukrainian strike on Jan. 3 on Russian-occupied Tokmak in Zaporizhzhia Oblast killed and wounded 80 Russian soldiers, according to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

General Staff: Russia has lost 108,910 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Jan. 4 that Russia had also lost 3,038 tanks, 6,106 armored fighting vehicles, 4,745 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,039 artillery systems, 424 multiple launch rocket systems, 215 air defense systems, 283 airplanes, 270 helicopters, 1,842 drones, and 16 boats.

International response

Reuters: Biden confirms US considers sending Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine. According to Reuters, U.S. President Joe Biden answered positively to reporters on Jan. 4 when asked if the option of sending Bradley fighting vehicles to Ukraine was on the table.

Norway donates 10,000 artillery shells to Ukraine. The Norwegian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Jan. 4 that donated artillery shells can be used in the M109 howitzers that Norway has donated in the past.

Deutsche Welle: EU doesn’t confirm Kyiv to host Ukraine-EU summit. The Ukrainian President’s Office reported on Jan. 2 that the next Ukraine-EU summit would be held on Feb. 3 in Kyiv.

Romanian president asks Zelensky to revise bill necessary for EU accession. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to revise the bill on ethnic minorities during a phone call on Jan. 4.

Kyiv named honorary best city in the world. Kyiv has been named the “Honorary Best City of the World 2023” in the latest ranking released by the Resonance agency, a consultant in tourism, real estate, and economic development.

In other news

Deposit Guarantee Fund files $1.2 billion lawsuit against billionaire Zhevago. Ukraine’s Deposit Guarantee Fund has filed a Hr 46 billion ($1.2 billion) lawsuit against Kostiantyn Zhevago, the former owner of Finance & Credit Bank, seeking compensation for losses sustained by the bank and its creditors.

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