Here is the situation as it stands on Tuesday, January 17, 2023:
- The death toll from a Russian missile attack in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro rose to 40, with dozens more missing, making it the deadliest civilian incident of Moscow’s three-month campaign of firing missiles at cities far from the front lines.
- Dnipro city official Gennadiy Korban said 30 people remained unaccounted for after the missile struck the nine-storey apartment block, with 75 people wounded including 14 children.
- A three-floor shopping centre in Russia-controlled Donetsk was partially destroyed by shelling, according to Reuters news agency. At least three people were injured, a rescue worker told reporters. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack.
- The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol in Crimea said air defences had downed 10 drones over the city in what he called a “failed Ukrainian attack”.
- Russia has produced the first set of Poseidon nuclear capable super torpedoes being developed for deployment on the Belgorod nuclear submarine, TASS news agency reported, citing an unidentified defence source.
- Russia is stepping up its use of S-300 and S-400 air defence systems to conduct strikes on ground targets, suggesting Russian stocks of ballistic missiles are running low, Ukraine’s air force spokesman said.
Politics, diplomacy, military aid
- Russia and Ukraine have been working on a large prisoner exchange deal which will include 1,000 people in total, Turkish Chief Ombudsman Seref Malkoc said.
- The German government said Chancellor Olaf Scholz accepted the resignation of Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht and will soon appoint a replacement, the culmination of growing scepticism about her ability to bring the German army into shape against the backdrop of the Ukraine war.
- The United Kingdom urged ally Germany to permit the supply of Leopard tanks to Kyiv, stressing that such a move could unlock similar support from other nations and Berlin would not be acting alone.
- US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is expected in Berlin on Thursday and will attend a conference on Friday at the US military base in Ramstein to discuss further support for Ukraine.
- German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for the establishment of a special international tribunal to prosecute Russian leaders over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
- On the side of the World Economic Forum, Latvia President Egils Levits urged Western countries to step up military support for Ukraine to resist a potential new Russian offensive in February.
- Belarus began air force drills with Russia that it said were defensive in nature. But the move comes as concerns grow that Moscow is pushing Minsk to join the war in Ukraine.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies