US war plans for Ukraine don't foresee retaking lost territory
The Biden Administration is reportedly crafting a long-term strategy to support Kyiv amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. This plan, as reported by the Washington Post on January 26, shifts the focus from expecting significant territorial gains by the Ukrainian military to safeguarding against new Russian advances. The emphasis will be on reinforcing Ukraine's defense capabilities and strengthening its economy. The plan acknowledges the challenges of achieving major territorial changes and aims to position Ukraine on a more sustainable trajectory.
According to unnamed sources, a senior administration official stated that it would be difficult for Russia to mount a major offensive similar to the one in 2023. The objective is to assist Ukraine in maintaining its current position on the battlefield while simultaneously fostering long-term growth. The plan is part of a broader multilateral effort involving nearly three dozen countries committed to providing extended security and economic support to Ukraine. Each participating country is reportedly developing a comprehensive strategy spanning up to a decade.
The United States, as Ukraine's primary financial and weapons donor, plays a crucial role in the success of this strategy. The report suggests that the Biden Administration hopes to release its 10-year plan in the coming months. While continued funding for Ukrainian aid is pending approval in Congress, the strategy aligns with the international community's commitment to supporting Ukraine and demonstrating resilience against Russian aggression.
The Washington Post highlights the growing frequency of reports suggesting Western encouragement for Ukrainian leaders to negotiate an end to the war by ceding territory to Russia. However, Kyiv has maintained a firm stance, asserting that a full Russian withdrawal is a prerequisite for any talks. Such negotiations would also need to align with President Volodymyr Zelensky's peace formula and reflect the wishes of the majority of Ukrainians.
13-year-old girl dies in hospital following Russian attack on Kharkiv Oblast
A tragic incident was reported in the aftermath of a Russian air attack on the village of Malyi Burluk near Kupiansk on January 17. Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov announced on January 27 that a 13-year-old girl, who was injured in the attack, had succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. The girl had fallen into a coma after sustaining complex shrapnel injuries during the Russian airstrike.
The attack, which targeted Malyi Burluk, involved the use of an aerial bomb by Russian forces, as confirmed by the governor. The airstrike resulted in the death of a 62-year-old woman and caused injuries to a 10-year-old boy, who was reported to be in critical condition and had to undergo amputation of one leg.
In addition to the human toll, the attack inflicted damage on several structures in the village, including an administrative building and six residential houses. Kupiansk, where the incident occurred, had been liberated from Russian occupation in September 2022. However, its proximity to the front line, less than 10 kilometers away, makes it vulnerable to near-daily attacks due to the ongoing conflict in the region.
Russia carries out 8 missile strikes on Donetsk and Kherson oblasts
In the past 24 hours, intense combat activity has been reported on the front lines in Ukraine, with 94 clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provided details of the recent developments, as of 18:00 on January 26.
The Russians launched eight missile attacks and fired 38 times from multiple-launch rocket systems during this period. Notably, Russian forces targeted civilian infrastructure facilities in Myrnohrad and Novohradivka (Donetsk Oblast) and Antonivka (Kherson Oblast) using S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.
On the Kupiansk front, Ukrainian defenders successfully repelled 12 Russian attacks near Tabaivka (Kharkiv Oblast) and Stelmakhivka (Luhansk Oblast). The Lyman front saw Ukrainian defenders repelling seven Russian attacks near Terny and Torske (Donetsk Oblast).
In the Bakhmut sector, Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully resisted 10 Russian attacks near Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka (Donetsk Oblast). On the Avdiivka front, defenders repelled 19 Russian attacks in the areas of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, and Avdiivka, as well as nine attacks near Opytne, Vodiane, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske (Donetsk Oblast).
On the Marinka front, Ukrainian forces maintained their positions against Russian invaders near Heorhiivka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka (Donetsk Oblast). The defenders successfully thwarted 14 attempts by the Russians to improve their tactical position.
Additionally, on the Shakhtarsk front, Ukrainian defenders repelled a Russian attack near Zolota Nyva in Donetsk Oblast. In the Zaporizhzhia sector, Ukrainian forces successfully repelled five Russian attacks north of Pryiutne, south of Chervone, and west of Verbove (Zaporizhzhia Oblast).
Despite the challenges, Ukrainian troops continue to hold their ground, and the Russians persist in their attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from the bridgehead on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro River, with four unsuccessful assaults reported during the day.