Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, January 28

10 months after Mariupol theater bombing, family struggles to forget harrowing screams and dead bodies -- Ukraine needs 300-500 tanks -- Ukraine to form 'first in the world' attack drone units -- Poland to deliver 60 modernized tanks to Ukraine. -- and more

Saturday, January 28

Russia’s war against Ukraine


Ukrainian servicemen fire with mortars from their position not far from the embattled city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk Oblast on Jan. 27, 2023. (Photo by Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)

Zelensky: Ukraine needs 300-500 tanks. His comments come after the U.S., U.K., and Germany announced the delivery of main battle tanks to Ukraine. He thanked partners but added that they couldn’t waste time in getting tanks to the front line.

Ombudsman: 800 severely wounded Ukrainian POWs are held in Russia. Dmytro Lubinets, the chairperson of Ukraine’s Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, told RFE/RL that 800 severely wounded Ukrainian servicemen are held as prisoners of war (POW) in Russia. According to Lubinets, 200 severely wounded Russian POWs are held in Ukraine.

Ukrainian military: 109 Russian soldiers killed in Vuhledar sector over Jan. 26. “Fierce fighting is ongoing,” Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi said in comments to Ukrinform on Jan. 27. “The enemy is indeed trying to achieve an intermediate success there, but thanks to the efforts of our defenders, they are unsuccessful.”

UK Defense Ministry: ‘Highly unlikely’ Russia made significant progress near Orikhiv, Vuhledar. Russian forces may have carried out localized, probing attacks near Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast, but it is “highly unlikely” they made any significant progress there, despite recent claims by Russian bloggers, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Jan. 27.

Ukrainian troops arrive in Germany for training on Marder infantry fighting vehicle. Berlin promised to deliver 40 of the German-built Marders to Ukraine on Jan. 6, the same day that the Biden administration pledged 50 (later expanded to 100) of the U.S. equivalent, the Bradley.

Official: Russian missile hits infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia, injuring 1. Acting Zaporizhzhia Mayor Anatolii Kurtiev said Russian forces struck several infrastructure sites, injuring at least one. The fire broke out at one site after the attack, Kurtiev wrote in a Telegram post on Jan. 27. The injured man has been hospitalized.

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Northern Command: Russian forces shell Ukraine’s northern regions 49 times on Jan. 27. Ukraine’s Northern Command reported that Russian forces 49 times shelled Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts. The military said that the Russian troops shelled bordering districts in two northern regions with 120 mm mortars and the town of Hai in Sumy Oblast with artillery.

Air Force: Russia used Kinzhal missiles to hit infrastructure sites in Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia on Jan. 26. In its latest mass attack on Ukraine, Russian troops struck critical infrastructure sites in Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia with Kinzhal missiles, Yurii Ihnat, the spokesman of Ukraine’s Air Force, said on Jan. 27. Ukrainian air defense is currently unable to shoot down this type of missile, according to Ihnat.

PM: Russia’s Jan. 26 mass missile attack hit 5 high-voltage substations. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the Russian mass missile attack on Jan. 26 had damaged five high-voltage substations. Missiles hit energy facilities in central, southern, and southwestern regions, Shmyhal said.

General Staff: Ukraine to form ‘first in the world’ attack drone units. According to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, “most professional servicemen” have been selected to head the “first in the world” attack drone units that will soon be formed in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian documentary wins Sundance Film Festival audience award. Ukrainian journalist Mstyslav Chernov’s documentary “20 Days in Mariupol” won the audience prize at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States on Jan. 27.

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Ukraine war latest: Russia claims breakthrough toward Vuhledar, Ukraine says Moscow ‘exaggerating’

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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10 months after Mariupol theater bombing, family struggles to forget harrowing screams and dead bodies

llustration: Karolina Gulshani

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Prosecutor General’s Office: Russia’s attacks kill 2, injure 5 in Kherson Oblast. Russian shelling of Kherson Oblast, including the regional capital, killed two, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office. Five were injured.

Governor: 2 people killed, 5 injured by Russian shelling of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast. Dozens of residential and public buildings, as well as cars, were damaged in Chasiv Yar as a result of Russian shelling on Jan. 27, Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 124,710 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Jan. 27 that Russia had also lost 3,182 tanks, 6,340 armored fighting vehicles, 5,001 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,180 artillery systems, 452 multiple launch rocket systems, 221 air defense systems, 292 airplanes, 283 helicopters, 1,941 drones, and 18 boats.

International response

White House: Abrams tanks delivery to Ukraine to take ‘many months.’ “I don’t want to get too specific, because we’re still working the plans out, but it’ll be many months,” John Kirby, a White House national security spokesperson, told CNN.

President’s Office: Poland to deliver 60 modernized tanks to Ukraine. The Polish-made tanks, based on an upgraded Soviet T-72, will be delivered on top of the 14 Leopard 2 tanks pledged earlier in January, according to Andrii Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office. An unspecifed quantity of the Twardy tanks was delivered by Poland in July 2022.

German Defense Minister rules out supplying Ukraine with fighter jets. Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that sending fighter jets to Ukraine is “out of the question.” “Fighter aircraft are much more complex systems than main battle tanks and have a completely different range and firepower. We would venture into dimensions I would currently warn against,” Pistorius told Süddeutsche Zeitung.

EU prolongs economic sanctions against Russia by 6 months. “In the face of Russia’s war of aggression, the EU stands resolutely with Ukraine and its people, and is unwavering in its support of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” the statement reads.

Japan expands sanctions against Russia. Japan has introduced additional sanctions against Russian individuals and entities and expanded export restrictions to Russia, the Japanese Foreign Ministry reported on Jan. 27. Under the new sanctions package, Japan will ban exports of goods and technology that can be used for military purposes to 49 Russian companies from Feb. 3.

PM Orban: Hungary to veto EU sanctions on Russia’s nuclear energy. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio that Budapest would veto any European Union sanctions against Russia related to nuclear energy, Reuters reported on Jan. 27. “We will not allow the plan to include nuclear energy into the sanctions to be implemented,” Orban said. “This is out of the question.”

Belgium to provide Ukraine with 92 million euros military aid package. The package will include air defense missiles, anti-tank weapons, ammunition, grenades, machine guns, automatic rifles, and light armored vehicles, according to the country’s Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder, cited by HLN.

UN refugee chief: Russia violating principles of child protection in Ukraine. Russia is violating “fundamental principles of child protection” in wartime by granting Ukrainian children on occupied territories Russian passports and organizing their adoptions by Russian families, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told Reuters in an interview.

Estonia’s Intelligence: Russia may be capable of up to 9 months of massive missile strikes against Ukraine. According to Estonia’s Intelligence Chief Margo Grosberg, Russia still has up to 1,250 high-precision missiles left from its stock of 2,500 before the full-scale invasion. In addition to that, Russia continued to produce missiles throughout the invasion.

In other news

Scandal-hit lawmaker Tyshchenko expelled from parliamentary faction. Scandal-hit lawmaker Mykola Tyshchenko has been expelled from the parliamentary faction of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, the faction’s spokeswoman Yuliia Paliichuk said on Jan. 27. The day before, Tyshchenko was fired from his job of a deputy head of the faction and excluded from the party itself over his trip to Thailand.

Reuters: Baltic states bought twice as much LPG from Russia in 2022, some was likely sold to Ukraine. According to an unnamed trader cited by Reuters, Ukraine buys LPG from Latvia and Lithuania, “which is likely to be of Russian origin.”

Ukrainian Anastasiya Merkushyna wins women sprint at International Biathlon Union Cup. “It is great to win this gold medal, to listen to Ukraine’s anthem and hopefully bring some happiness to my country,” said Merkushyna.

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