Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, January 18

West should supply all weapons that Ukraine can handle -- Russia primed to fire up to 44 Kalibr missiles from Black Sea -- International tribunal for Russian war crimes could be ready in 1 to 1.5 years -- Russian defense ministry confirms plan to expand army to 1.5 million troops -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Wednesday, January 18

Russia’s war against Ukraine


Flowers and toys are placed at a bus stop in front of residential building in Dnipro on Jan. 17, 2023, destroyed as a result of Russia’s Jan. 14 attack. The toll has climbed to 45 killed, making the strike one of the deadliest attacks since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago, but the Kremlin denies responsibility (Photo by Vitalii Matokha/AFP via Getty Images)

Emergency services: highly unlikely that survivors remain in destroyed Dnipro apartment building. Chances are “minimal” that any survivors will be found under the wreckage of a residential building destroyed by a Russian missile on Jan. 14, according to State Emergency Service spokesman Oleksandr Khorunzhyi. He promised that rescuers would do their best to find everyone.

Zelensky thanks allies for supplying Patriot air defense systems. In his regular evening address on Jan. 17, President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the Netherlands’ decision to provide Ukraine with Patriot air defense systems.

Von der Leyen: West should supply all weapons that Ukraine can handle. “Ukraine needs all the military equipment that it can handle, and this also includes the advanced systems,” von der Leyen said. “I hope very much that at Ramstein… that there will be a big move forward,” she added.

Official: International tribunal for Russian war crimes could be ready in 1-1.5 years. Andrii Smyrnov, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, told Ukrinform on Jan.17 that Ukraine has already collected many decisions in support of establishing such a body from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

Russian defense ministry confirms plan to expand army to 1.5 million troops. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian army to increase the number of service members to 1.5 million from 2023 to 2026, according to a briefing of Russia’s defense ministry.

ISW: Putin could announce new wave of mobilization in ‘coming days.’ Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver a speech on Jan. 18. According to the Institute for the Study of War, he could use this opportunity to declare a second wave of mobilization.

Your contribution helps keep the Kyiv Independent going. Become a member today.

Air Force: Ukraine downs Russian Su-25 aircraft near Soledar. The Su-25 aircraft was downed in the area of Soledar, a town located about 20 kilometers north of Bakhmut, where fierce battles are ongoing between Ukrainian and Russian forces.

Ukrainian military: Russia primed to fire up to 44 Kalibr missiles from Black Sea. Six Russian missile carriers in the Black Sea, including submarines, have been armed with an almost unprecedented number of Kalibr cruise missiles - up to 44, according to Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for Operational Command South of the Ukrainian armed forces.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia struggles to identify targets, uses inaccurate missile in urban setting. According to the ministry’s daily intelligence update, the Kh-22 missile, fired from a Tu-22M3 Backfire medium bomber, is “notoriously inaccurate” when used against ground targets in urban areas.

SBU catches alleged Russian agents searching for Ukrainian weapons placements. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, the two men allegedly sought the locations of Ukraine’s air defense installations, HIMARS systems and M777 howitzers, and had orders to destroy Ukrainian military assets, with a $20,000 bounty offered for each.

Official: Russia has abducted almost 14,000 Ukrainian children. “We managed to identify and verify the data of at least 13,899 children who were abducted and deported by the Russian army, and, unfortunately, we can say that only 125 (of them) we managed to return home,” Daria Herasymchuk, Ukraine’s presidential advisor for children’s rights and rehabilitation, said on Jan. 17.

First lady Zelenska speaks at Davos forum, warns attendees about Russian threat. “Russian aggression was never intended to restrict itself to the Ukrainian borders, this work will go further and make the crisis wider if the aggressor does not lose,“ Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska said.

Read our exclusives

Harder than ever: How power outages affect people with disabilities in Ukraine.

On Dec. 18, Kyiv resident Tetiana Venhlinska was without power at home for 10 hours straight. The blackout was imposed following another large-scale missile strike in a series of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Photo: Serhiy Rashchenko

Learn More

Hopes for a miracle die at Dnipro morgue, as relatives line up to identify victims of Russian attack.

Standing outside a hospital morgue in Dnipro, Yevhen Frantsev, 61, waited for his son to confirm that his missing daughter and grandchildren were killed by Russia.

Photo: Courtesy

Learn More

Ukraine war latest: Search for survivors ends in Dnipro.

Three days after a Russian Kh-22 missile struck an apartment building in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro, the search and rescue operation was completed, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Photo: Getty Images

Learn More

The human cost of Russia’s war

Death toll in Dnipro apartment complex strike rises to 45. The death toll of Russia’s Jan. 14 attack on an apartment building in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro has risen to 45, according to Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko.

General Staff: Russia has lost 116,950 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Jan. 17 that Russia has also lost 3,121 tanks, 6,215 armored fighting vehicles, 2,104 artillery systems, 441 multiple launch rocket systems, 220 anti-aircraft systems, 286 planes, 276 helicopters, 1,872 drones, and 17 boats and warships.

International response

Dutch PM pledges to supply Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine. During a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 17, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Netherlands would join the U.S. and Germany in sending Patriot air defense missiles to Ukraine.

Ukraine receives 3 billion euros in first package of EU financial assistance commitment. The financing will help Ukraine meet its budgetary needs through 2023, including making payments for public sector employees and social services, as well as maintaining macroeconomic stability.

Zelensky, Steinmeier discuss German military aid for Ukraine. They discussed German military, humanitarian, and financial aid for Ukraine, as well as a peace plan to end Russia’s war.

CNN: White House hints at additional military aid to Ukraine. “I suspect that you will continue to hear coming from the United States additional packages of security assistance, additional weapons and capabilities for Ukraine – perhaps as soon as the end of this week,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told CNN.

US, Ukrainian military commanders meet for the first time. “I extended my gratitude to General Mark Milley for the unwavering support and assistance provided by the United States of America and allies to Ukraine,” Zaluzhny wrote on Facebook.

Germany names new defense minister amid pressure to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Regional interior minister and Social Democratic Party member Boris Pistorius will replace Christine Lambrecht, who resigned on Monday, after her tenure was dogged by criticism of how she handled military aid to Ukraine as well as the project to improve the German military.

Serbia calls on Russia to stop recruiting its citizens as mercenaries for war in Ukraine. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic criticized Russian websites and social media groups that publish recruitment ads by Russian state-backed mercenary company Wagner Group, a private army of tens of thousands which has played a prominent role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In other news

Prime minister concerned over delay in selection of NABU chief. The appointment of an independent NABU chief who is free from political influence has been one of the key requirements of Ukraine’s Western partners. It is also a key condition for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Francis Farrell, Igor Kossov, Oleg Sukhov, Thaisa Semenova, and Anastasiya Gordiychuk.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming our patron on Patreon or donating via GoFundMe. Start supporting independent journalism today.