Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 691

Here is the situation as the war enters its 691st day.

A funeral for Ukrainian solider and poet Maksym Kryvtsov. A soldier in combat uniform is walking in front of his coffin with a photograph. Ukrianian flags are flying. People around are kneeling.
The funeral for Ukrainian soldier and poet Maksym Kryvtsov [Efrem Lukatsky/AP]

Here is the situation on Monday, January 15, 2024.


  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said fierce fighting continued on the front line with 86 attacks reported on Sunday.
  • The Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of War think tank said, “Russian forces will likely try to sustain or intensify localised offensive operations throughout eastern Ukraine in an attempt to seize and retain the initiative regardless of weather conditions”. But it added that they were unlikely to make any significant breakthroughs.
  • Oleg Gumenyuk, the former mayor of the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok who was jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of corruption, is fighting on the front line in Ukraine after signing up for the military, Russian media reported. Gumenyuk reported for duty on December 22.
  • The governor of Russia’s Kursk region said one man was injured after an alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the village of Tetkino, which is located on the border with Ukraine’s Sumy region.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will travel to Switzerland on Monday as Ukraine tries to shore up support from its allies. Zelenskyy will “meet the heads of both houses of parliament, party leaders and the President of Switzerland, and participate in the World Economic Forum” (WEF) in Davos, according to a statement from Zelenskyy’s office.
  • Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak said China needs to be involved in talks to end the war with Russia. Speaking after a high-level diplomatic meeting on Kyiv’s 10-point peace formula ahead of the WEF, Yermak said it was important that Beijing was at the table when Kyiv convenes further meetings on the plan. National security advisers from 83 countries attended the latest talks.
  • France and Germany reaffirmed their support for Ukraine. “We are in full agreement… that we must support the Ukrainians for as long as necessary,” newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne told a press conference alongside his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. Baerbock said they would remain “on the side of Ukraine as long as necessary, until Russia has withdrawn” from Ukrainian territory.
  • North Korea’s Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui is in Moscow from January 15 to 17 at the invitation of Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The United States and others have accused Pyongyang of transferring weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine.
  • Pope Francis said war was “a crime against humanity” as he reiterated a call for peace in Ukraine and the Middle East. “Let us not forget this… People need peace, the world needs peace,” the pope said after his weekly Angelus prayer.
Yampil at the Five Sisters Zoo. The bear is black and fluffy
Yampil the Asiatic black bear was rescued after the zoo in Lyman was bombed, killing most of the animals there [Five Sisters Zoo via AP Photo]
  • Aleksiy Uminsky, a prominent liberal priest, faces expulsion from the Russian Orthodox Church for refusing to read out a prayer asking God to guide Russia to victory over Ukraine. A church court said Uminsky should be “expelled from holy orders” for violating his priestly oath. The decision was forwarded for approval to Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church who strongly backs President Vladimir Putin.
  • Russian poet Lev Rubinstein, a key figure of the Soviet underground literary scene who signed an open letter condemning the invasion of Ukraine as a “criminal war” and accusing the Kremlin of “lies”, died days after being hit by a car in Moscow, his daughter said. Rubinstein was run over as he crossed the street on January 8. He was 76.
  • Yampil, a 12-year-old Asiatic black bear rescued from a bombed-out zoo in the city of Lyman, has found a new home in a zoo outside the Scottish capital Edinburgh.


  • The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration said it signed an agreement with the Nordic Ammunition Company to increase the production and delivery of 155mm artillery ammunition to support Ukraine.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies