Here is the situation on Monday, January 29, 2024.
- The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia launched drone and missile attacks across the country hitting both civilian and critical infrastructure. The air force said Moscow attacked the central Poltava region with two Iskander missiles. It also launched three S-300 surface-to-air missiles over the Donetsk region in the east. Air defence systems destroyed four of eight Russia-launched drones overnight, the air force said. Three civilians were injured in the attacks.
- Ukraine said Russia must provide proof that an Ilyushin-76 military transport plane that crashed in the Belgorod region last week was carrying dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, as Moscow claims. Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence, said Kyiv had no verifiable information about who was on the plane. Ukraine’s Coordination Staff for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said relatives of POWs on a list of names provided by Moscow were unable to identify their loved ones in crash site photos provided by Russian authorities.
Politics and diplomacy
- The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it had charged five people for corruption in weapons procurement. The SBU accuses the five of conspiring with Ministry of Defence officials to embezzle almost $40m earmarked to buy 100,000 mortar shells for the war. If found guilty, the group faces up to 12 years in prison.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared his income publicly for the first time, as part of his drive to promote transparency and root out corruption. Zelenskyy said that in 2021, the year before Russia began its full-scale invasion, he and his family had an income of 10.8 million hryvnias ($286,168). In 2022, the family’s income dropped to 3.7 million hryvnias ($98,535) as the war cut the family’s rental income from property.
- Russian officials in Ukrainian regions occupied by Moscow’s forces said the Ukrainian language had been stripped of any official status, effectively banning it from public use.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said chief Rafael Grossi will visit Ukraine, including its capital and the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the week after next.
- Zelenskyy warned that a drop in military aid from the United States to Ukraine would send a “bad signal”, as right-wing Republicans in the US block additional support unless it is linked to changes in US border policy. “Passivity from the United States or the lack of support would be a bad signal,” Zelenskyy told German national broadcaster ARD.
- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who began a visit to the US on Sunday, said continued US military funding for Ukraine had a key deterrent message for China. US President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $61bn in new aid to Ukraine. Stoltenberg said it was a “good deal”, noting that while the aid was a fraction of the Pentagon’s overall budget, it had enabled Ukrainian forces to “destroy and degrade” the Russian military. Stoltenberg is due to meet members of Congress on Tuesday.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies