Russian attacks kill 1, injure 11 over past day

Aftermath of a Russian attack on the village of Niu-York on Jan. 15, 2024. (Vadym Filashkin / Telegram)

Russian attacks against Ukraine have resulted in one civilian fatality and 11 injuries in the past 24 hours, according to regional authorities as of January 16.

Civilian casualties occurred in Donetsk, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. In Donetsk Oblast, Governor Vadym Filashkin reported one fatality and one injury in the front-line town of Krasnohorivka.

In the village of Niu-York, three people sustained injuries after Russian forces dropped two guided aerial bombs and launched a missile against the third floor of a building. An additional injury was reported in Avdiivka, as per Filashkin.

Kherson Oblast witnessed two injuries in the last 24 hours, according to Governor Oleksandr Prokudin. Russian attacks targeted residential areas, an administrative building, and a Point of Invincibility, a local refuge providing electricity, warmth, and internet access. The region experienced 99 attacks throughout the day, with the city of Kherson targeted 16 times.

In Mykolaiv Oblast, an artillery attack on the village of Kutsurub resulted in the injury of a woman and two children, reported Governor Vitalii Kim. The injured civilians received medical care, and their condition is reported as "satisfactory."

Zaporizhzhia Oblast experienced 162 attacks over the past day, with a 32-year-old woman sustaining injuries in a drone attack on the city of Zaporizhzhia. Additionally, 25 reports indicated infrastructure damage following Russian attacks, according to Governor Yurii Malashko.

Although attacks were reported in Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv oblasts, no civilian casualties were reported.

Kharkiv Oblast expands mandatory evacuation order

On January 16, Governor Oleh Syniehubov expanded the mandatory evacuation order for families with children to include 26 additional villages near Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast. The affected villages fall within the Kindrashivka and Kurylivka settlements, some of which had already received evacuation orders in August due to intensified attacks by Russian forces in the Kupiansk area.

In November, the police announced the completion of evacuating children from these settlements, with nearly 300 children assisted in leaving the area with their family members or legal guardians. Governor Syniehubov had mentioned in December that the authorities were contemplating further expansion of the evacuation order based on the security situation.

Kindrashivka, situated just north of Kupiansk, is merely seven kilometers from the front line, while Kurylivka, located to the south of Kupiansk, is 12 kilometers from the front. The new evacuation order affects 3,043 people, including 279 children, residing in the specified villages.

Governor Syniehubov assured that all evacuees are receiving housing and support from international humanitarian organizations. He emphasized the importance of community residents taking responsibility for their lives and the lives of their children in the face of the evolving situation.

Kupiansk, liberated from Russian occupation during Ukraine's counteroffensive in September 2022, has become a crucial target for renewed Russian offensives, serving as a key logistics hub for potential pushes further south or west. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a U.S.-based think tank, issued a warning on January 5, suggesting that Russian forces might escalate offensive operations in Kharkiv Oblast to seize Kupiansk in the coming weeks.

The loss of A-50 spy plane heavily impacted Russia's aviation

The recent downing of a Beriev A-50 spy aircraft by Ukraine is not expected to significantly alter the balance of forces in the Ukrainian sky, but it is likely to prompt Russia's aviation to exercise more caution, as stated by Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda on January 16.

The confirmation of the destruction of the Russian A-50 military observation plane and an Ilyushin Il-22 airborne command post was made by Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi a day earlier. The Il-22 managed to land in Russia after being hit but is deemed irreparable.

The A-50 aircraft played a crucial role in the ongoing conflict by performing functions such as detecting air defense systems, guiding missiles, and coordinating targets for Russian fighter jets. With only nine of these planes in Russia's possession, their loss is notable.

While the method by which the planes were brought down remains unclear, Ukraine acquired advanced air defense systems in 2023, including Patriots from the U.S., leading some analysts to speculate about their involvement.

Yurii Ihnat emphasized that the Ukrainian Air Force's capability to deliver effective strikes has increased, potentially prompting the aggressor (Russia) to adopt a more cautious approach. The loss of the A-50 represents a significant blow to Russian aviation and, more importantly, to the image of the Russian regime.

Despite this setback, Russia still maintains operational long-range radar detection aircraft, and Ihnat noted that the dictator (presumably referring to the Russian leadership) shows no signs of halting its activities.

Ukraine's destruction of at least seven Russian planes since the beginning of December is highlighted as a notable military achievement for the country, providing a positive development amid a lack of progress on the battlefield.

Zelensky asks Davos forum to invest in Ukraine's peace

President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 16, 2024. (Presidential Office)

President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the global business and political leaders at the Davos forum on January 16, urging them to show determination in supporting Ukraine as the quickest path to achieving a just and stable peace. Zelensky's presence in Switzerland aimed to bolster confidence among allies and partners amid softening international support for Kyiv.

Addressing the forum, Zelensky touched upon critical questions, including when the war would end, the possibility of a third world war, and the timing for negotiations with Putin. He emphasized that previous concerns about escalation and delays in resolute actions against Russia have proven unfounded, leading to the loss of many experienced warriors.

Highlighting Russia's threat not only to Ukraine but to the wider world, Zelensky stressed that all efforts to negotiate peace with Putin have failed, as the Kremlin's leader appears to seek war. He urged the free world to remain steadfast in their aspirations, actions, and goals, emphasizing the importance of investing in just and stable peace.

Zelensky's speech coincided with a critical time, as over $100 billion in EU and U.S. funds remain stalled due to political infighting. He held meetings with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and U.S. Secretary of State to discuss future support. However, Washington, as Ukraine's leading military donor, warned that it had delivered its final military aid package unless Congress approves additional funding, which faces challenges in the legislative process.

The president advocated for investments in Ukraine's reconstruction and industry, seeking increased participation from CEOs of global business and financial giants. With Ukraine in need of financial support due to ongoing Russian aggression, Zelensky proposed the confiscation of frozen Russian assets on Western accounts to fund Ukraine's defense and reconstruction.

While the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Canada are reportedly preparing options for asset confiscation, Germany, France, Italy, and the EU express reservations, fearing potential legal challenges. Zelensky called for a "strong decision" this year and invited the forum attendees to participate in building a just peace in Ukraine, extending an invitation to the upcoming Global Peace Summit hosted by Switzerland. The president emphasized the need to prevent a third world war and work towards global peace.