Here is the situation on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would do everything it could to halt Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod as Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had brought down 10 rockets fired at the Russian border city in an attack that injured three. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from Belgorod since an attack last month that killed more than 20 civilians.
- One person was killed in Ukrainian shelling of Russia’s Kursk region near the border, while three people were injured after drones struck a fuel facility in the neighbouring region of Oryol, according to the governors of the two regions.
- One person was killed in Ukrainian shelling of Horlivka in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Donetsk region, according to the town’s Russian-installed mayor.
- At least 520 children have been killed and nearly 1,200 injured since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, according to the office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General.
- A body was found in the ruins of a Kyiv warehouse destroyed in Russia’s December 29 missile attack on the Ukrainian capital, bringing the number of deaths in the bombardment to 33.
- Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu assured security officials that his forces were in control along the roughly 1,500km (930-mile) front line, which has been largely static over the past year despite fierce fighting. “We retain the strategic initiative along the entire line of contact,” Shoigu said, accusing the United States of pressuring Ukraine to keep fighting against Russia. He claimed that Ukraine lost 215,000 soldiers in the fighting last year.
Politics and diplomacy
- A secret meeting took place last month in Saudi Arabia between Ukraine, its Group of Seven (G7) allies and a small group of Global South countries to build support for Kyiv’s peace plan, according to Bloomberg News. The report, citing people familiar with the situation, said China chose not to attend and Russia was not invited.
- Russia’s Interior Ministry put exiled Russian tycoon and opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky on its wanted list, accusing him of spreading false information about the Russian army, according to Russian state news agency TASS. London-based Khodorkovsky has been a vocal critic of the war in Ukraine
- The Italian city of Modena blocked the use of a public hall to host a private event on the reconstruction of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which is under Russian occupation, saying it appeared to openly support Russia’s invasion. The event was organised by the Russia Emilia-Romagna cultural association and panellists included the Russian consul general in Milan, Dmitry Shtodin, according to the organisers’ website.
- A group of 48 countries, including Argentina, Australia and the US condemned “in the strongest possible terms the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) export and Russia’s procurement of DPRK ballistic missiles, as well as Russia’s use of these missiles against Ukraine on December 30, 2023, and January 2, 2024”. Such transfers breached United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea, they added in a joint statement. The Kremlin’s Peskov declined to comment on the US and Ukrainian allegations.
- Ukraine’s Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat told national television that Russia’s recent escalation of missile and drone attacks was stretching Ukraine’s air defence resources, leaving the country vulnerable unless it could secure further weapons supplies. Russia fired more than 500 drones and missiles between December 29 and January 2, according to officials in Kyiv.
- Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov said an internal audit of the ministry had so far uncovered corruption schemes estimated at more than $262m, including over the purchase of ammunition.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there were “clear signs of a slowdown” in the activities of Russia’s defence industry and called for further action to eliminate loopholes in sanctions against Moscow. Zelenskyy did not provide evidence for his claim.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies