Russian airstrike against Kharkiv Oblast kills woman, damages school

The situation in Vilkhuvatka in the Kupiansk district of Kharkiv Oblast is deeply concerning, as Russian forces launched two guided aerial bombs on January 10, resulting in the tragic death of a 48-year-old woman. The attack occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. local time and had severe consequences for the village.

One of the bombs ignited a fire in a local school, partially destroying the educational facility. The State Emergency Service reported that the fire was successfully extinguished by rescuers at 4:20 p.m. The other bomb struck the residential area of the village, causing the loss of life and damaging multiple structures, including a shop and at least 10 houses.

Vilkhuvatka is situated less than 10 kilometers east of the Russian border, and the intensified military operations by Moscow in the Kupiansk area have raised concerns about the safety and security of the local population. The ongoing conflict underscores the devastating impact on civilian lives and infrastructure in the region as the situation continues to unfold. The international community closely monitors these developments, emphasizing the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Russia to start production of new glide bomb

Russia plans to begin production of a new glide bomb "Drel" in 2024, Russian state-run media TASS reported on Jan. 10, citing Rostec, the Russian state-owned arms manufacturer.

The bombs are designed to be dropped by jets at a safe distance from their targets. The bombs then use a guided flight path to accurately deliver a payload that Western analysts consider to be a cluster munition. Russia already has glide bombs in its arsenal and has used them against Ukraine.

Drel bombs are intended to be used against armored vehicles, ground facilities, and anti-air defenses, TASS reported.

Analysts cited by Reuters said the bombs may be resistant to jamming or radar detection.

Although glide bombs offer pilots the opportunity to drop bombs from a safer position away from air defenses, it does not mean that the jets would be completely removed from danger.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported in December that Russia had decreased aviation activity and use of glide bombs after Ukraine’s military shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber jets on Dec. 21-22.

40% of Ukraine's population will need humanitarian aid in 2024

The United Nations is highlighting a critical humanitarian situation in Ukraine, with over 14.6 million people, equivalent to 40% of the country's population, expected to require assistance this year. This information, released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on January 9, emphasizes the widespread need for support.

It's crucial to note that this estimate does not account for the 6.3 million Ukrainians who have been compelled to flee their country, as reported by OCHA.

Jens Laerke, OCHA's Global Deputy Spokesperson, addressed the urgency of the situation during a press briefing in Geneva. He announced the launch of the OCHA and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ukraine Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan for 2024 on January 15.

Laerke stated, "The first week of January brought a wave of attacks to Ukraine, starting on Dec. 29 and continuing to this day. On top of the violence, Ukraine is now in the grip of a deep winter. A continued, large-scale humanitarian operation is as urgent today as it ever was." This underscores the multifaceted challenges faced by Ukraine, encompassing both conflict-related issues and the harsh winter conditions, necessitating sustained humanitarian efforts.