Here is the situation as it stands on Friday, January 27, 2023:
- Ukraine’s military said it shot down 47 of 59 Russian missiles, some of which were fired from Tu-95 strategic bombers in the Russian Arctic.
- It also said Russia launched 37 air strikes, 17 of them using Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones – all of which were downed.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency reported powerful explosions near Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and renewed calls for a security zone around it.
- Canada will send four Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, the Canadian defence minister said, after Germany this week allowed other countries to re-export the German-built tank.
- The Kremlin said it sees the Western commitments to deliver tanks as evidence of the growing “direct involvement” of the United States and Europe in the 11-month-old war.
- A former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group who fled to Norway has spoken about how he witnessed some of his comrades being shot as they were trying to flee from the front line in Ukraine, his Norwegian lawyer said.
- The chief of the UN refugee agency told AFP news agency that Ukraine and other European governments should prepare for another possible wave of people fleeing the fighting.
- Ukrainian skeleton racer Vladyslav Heraskevych criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for considering allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to international competitions in Asia.
- The United Nations’ cultural agency decided to add the historic centre of Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa to its list of World Heritage Sites to recognise “the outstanding universal value of the site and the duty of all humanity to protect it” as the city faces the threat of destruction.
- Ukraine threatened to boycott the 2024 Olympics in Paris if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to participate, a prospect described as “unacceptable” by the country’s sports minister. The IOC had earlier said a way to allow competitors from those countries to take part should be “further explored”.
- The US stepped up sanctions against the Wagner Group, labelling it a transnational criminal organisation responsible for widespread human rights abuses.
- Japan tightened sanctions against Russia following its latest wave of missile attacks in Ukraine, adding a number of products to an export ban list and freezing the assets of Russian officials and entities.
Source: News Agencies