Here is the situation as it stands on Wednesday, January 18, 2023:
- More than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in February, according to a senior Ukrainian presidential aide.
- Search and rescue efforts have ended in Ukraine’s central city of Dnipro, where a missile attack on an apartment block on Saturday killed at least 45 civilians in one of the war’s deadliest attacks.
- A senior Ukrainian official has blamed Russia for carrying out the bulk of more than 2,000 cyberattacks on Ukraine in 2022.
- Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from the outskirts of Bakhmut, said the situation for civilians remaining in the eastern Ukrainian city was “horrifying” as Russian shelling intensified.
- A man claiming to be a former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group who had fought in Ukraine said he fled to Norway and was seeking asylum after deserting in fear for his life.
- Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region said they were in control of Soledar, repeating their earlier claim about the salt-mining town.
- NATO surveillance planes were due to arrive in Romania on Tuesday to bolster the military alliance’s eastern flank and help monitor Russian military activity.
- Pressure is mounting on Germany to supply Ukraine with battle tanks as Kyiv’s Western allies prepare for a military aid meeting on Friday at a United States airbase in Germany.
- The Netherlands will send a Patriot missile defence system to Ukraine, Dutch news agency ANP reported, citing Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
- Top US General Mark Milley for the first time held face-to-face talks with his Ukrainian counterpart near the Ukraine-Poland border.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused Russia of carrying out “atrocious war crimes” in Ukraine and called for a special tribunal to be formed to investigate and prosecute them.
- Ukraine’s first lady told the World Economic Forum in Davos that some states were failing to use their influence to end Russia’s war against her country.
- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has called on Russia to crack down on alleged efforts by the Wagner Group to recruit Serbians to fight in Ukraine.
- Suspicion has fallen on Russia over a series of confirmed or apparent acts of sabotage and espionage that took place late last year in Western Europe, experts said, with European countries increasingly taking measures in response.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies