Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 683

As the war enters its 683rd day, these are the main developments.

A woman holding a placard calling for the return of Russian men sent to the front. She has a scarf tied around her head and is holding a placard that reads "Free mobilised soldiers. Bring husbands, fathers, sons back!"
One of the women protesting in Moscow for the return of men mobilised to fight in Ukraine [Olga Maltseva/AFP]

Here is the situation on Sunday, January 7, 2024.

Fighting

  • At least 11 people, including five children, were killed by a Russian missile attack in and around the Ukrainian town of Pokrovsk. Vadym Filashkin, the regional governor of Ukraine’s partially-occupied eastern Donetsk region, said eight people were injured in the attack.
  • Ukraine’s military said it carried out a successful attack on the Saky military airbase in the west of the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula. “Saki airfield! All targets were hit!” Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on Telegram. He also published a photo appearing to show the airfield.
  • Russia said earlier that its air defence units brought down Ukrainian missiles and drones targeting Crimea and the western part of the Black Sea. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
  • Local officials in Belgorod – a Russian city some 40km (25 miles) from the border with Ukraine – said that an “air target” was shot down on approach to the city. As Russians prepared to celebrate Orthodox Christmas, Christmas Eve masses in Belgorod were cancelled due to the “operational situation”, Mayor Valentin Demidov said.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Speaking on the eve of the Russian Orthodox Christmas as he met families of soldiers killed in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin promised more support for soldiers who “with arms in hands” were defending Russia’s interests.
  • In a rare public protest, about 15 Russian women whose husbands have been sent to fight in the Russian full-scale invasion symbolically laid flowers at the flame of the unknown soldier beneath the walls of the Kremlin in Moscow and demanded the men’s return from the front. About 244,000 Russians have been mobilised to fight in Ukraine out of a total force of about 617,000 troops.
The remnants of a missile Russia fired at Kharkiv and officials suspect was supplied by North Korea
The remains of the suspected North Korea-supplied missile in the snow [Serget Bobok/AFP]
  • Shalanda Young, United States President Joe Biden’s top budget official, warned about the rapidly diminishing amount of time for lawmakers in Congress to replenish US aid for Ukraine. The funding has been blocked by Republicans demanding the $106bn plan, which also includes support for Israel, be linked to immigration measures at the US-Mexico border. Young said the situation was “dire”.

Weapons

  • Ukraine provided further evidence that Russia attacked Ukraine with missiles supplied by North Korea, as the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office showed the media fragments of a weapon that hit the northeastern city on January 2. Spokesman Dmytro Chubenko said the missile was slightly bigger in diameter than the Russian Iskander missile, while its nozzle, internal electrical windings and rear parts were also different.
  • Russia aims to produce more than 32,000 drones each year by 2030 and for domestic producers to account for 70 percent of the market, the state TASS news agency reported, citing First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies