[WGBH News 24] Kyiv – While the Russian Fall/Winter 2023 offensive has culminated, there was significant activity on and off the battlefield. The daily summary is created using our daily Situation Report.
Analyst Team Daily Assessment:
- Conclusion of Fall/Winter Offensive: The Russian Fall/Winter Offensive of 2023, initiated on October 6, has concluded without achieving operational or strategic goals.
- U.S. Military Aid Unlikely: It is unlikely that the United States will provide additional military or financial aid to Ukraine in 2024, contributing to Ukraine’s critical ammunition shortages.
- Global Implications: The U.S. Congress’s continued impasse on providing aid to Ukraine and a passive response to Russian aggression may be contributing to Russia’s expanding alliances with North Korea and Iran.
- Ukrainian Forces’ Capability: Ukrainian forces face ammunition shortages, reducing their combat potential and hindering their ability to maintain defensive lines.
- Russian Objectives: Russian forces aim to capture Chasiv Yar, west of Bakhmut, and remain committed to capturing the Avdiivka salient, irrespective of costs.
- Trench Warfare: Trench warfare, similar to World War I, will continue through meteorological winter, which ends on February 29.
- Nuclear Accident Threat: While the likelihood of a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant caused by Russian occupiers is low, it should be taken seriously. Our team remains deeply concerned by recent reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
- Kharkiv and Luhansk: In Kharkiv, Russia attempted to advance on Synkivka. The city of Kharkiv was attacked by S-300 or North Korean-sourced Kn-23 short-range ballistic missiles. An auto dealership, factory, and Park Hotel were struck, resulting in casualties.
- Northwest Donetsk: Ongoing positional fighting occurred in various areas, with reports of more intense fighting near Bohdanivka and Khromove, northwest of Bakhmut, and a Russian advance east of Ivanivske.
- Southwest Donetsk: Fighting persisted with no changes to the line of conflict, particularly in Novobakhmutivka and the Avdiivka Coke Plant compound.
Russian Front and Beyond:
- Russian Drone Attacks: Ukrainian drones reportedly attacked several Russian regions, causing damage to a pumping station near the city of Kaluga.
- Factory Fire in Moscow: An 8,000 square-meter Moscow plastics factory that produces polymers for Russian soldiers’ protective gear was heavily damaged by fire.
- Transnistria Border Incident: Ukraine was accused of firing on Transnistria using small arms and taking two people prisoner. The State Border Service of Ukraine denied the claim.
International Support and Diplomacy:
- U.S. National Security Council: The coordinator for Strategic Communications accused Russia of using North Korean-sourced missiles.
- European Aid: Lithuania announced a 200 million euro military aid package for Ukraine, and the EU Parliament continued discussions on providing macro-financial assistance despite Hungary’s opposition.
Military Developments and Human Rights:
- Senior Russian Officer Killed: Colonel Vadim Ismagilov of the Russian 3rd Radio Engineering Regiment was killed in occupied Crimea on January 4 during a Ukrainian missile strike.
- Russian Soldiers Captured: Ukrainian forces captured four Russian soldiers, including one from Somalia, with Russia turning to poorer nations to fill its ranks with foreign fighters.
- Three Arrested for Heating Failures Near Moscow: A Moscow court ordered the detention of three people, including two with connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin, for an accident at the Klimovsky Ammunition Factory that left over 21,000 people without heat.
- State Duma Deputy Calls for Investigation: After claims that Serbian volunteers are being abused by their Russian commanders, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, State Duma Deputy Alexy Zhuravlev, has called for a criminal investigation.
Putin’s Political Purge:
- Russian Orthodox Church Controversy: A Moscow priest has been ordered to court for refusing to recite a prayer for the “Victory of Holy Russia.”
- Propaganda and Control: Several prominent Russian military bloggers and propagandists claim they are facing criminal investigations and an organized smear campaign for discrediting the Russian Federal Armed Forces, reflecting the Kremlin’s tightening control over the information space.
War Crimes and Human Rights:
- Legal Actions Against Russian Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Irek Magasumov is facing murder and hooliganism charges for the kidnapping, assault, and murder of a teenage girl and the theft of a car in occupied Luhansk.
- I Want to Find Project: Ukraine launched a project to help families find captured Russian military personnel through Telegram.
- Millions Need Humanitarian Aid: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs reported that 40% of Ukraine’s population, 14.6 million people, will require humanitarian aid in 2024.
- Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is falling apart, and the world is ignoring the danger
- Record-setting January heatwave in Seattle ends
- Seattle Police Officer Daniel Auderer could be fired for unprofessional conduct
- Drive uninjured in Kirkland crash caused by bypassing I-405 construction barriers
- Unraveling Claims of Ukrainian Involvement: Donetsk Market Attack Points to Russian Origination