Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


Ukraine likely continues to maintain positions in Soledar, UK says

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Monday that Ukraine likely maintained positions in Soledar, a town Russia claims to have fully captured.

The ministry said intense fighting continued in both the Kremina and Bakhmut areas of the Donbas front over the weekend.

“As of 15 January 2023, Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) almost certainly maintained positions in Soledar, north of Bakhmut, in the face of continued Wagner Group [private military company] assaults,” the ministry said in an intelligence update on Twitter.

Members of Ukraine’s 95th Air Assault Brigade defend an area near the front line of fighting on Jan. 12, 2023, outside Kremina, Ukraine.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Around Kremina, a town in Luhansk around 40 miles north of Bakhmut, fighting has been characterized by a complex series of local attacks and counter-attacks in wooded country, the U.K. said, noting that overall, “the UAF continue to gradually advance their front line east on the edge of Kremina town.”

“Over the last six weeks, both Russia and Ukraine have achieved hard-fought but limited gains in different sectors,” the ministry noted.

“In these circumstances, a key operational challenge for both sides is to generate formations of uncommitted, capable troops which can exploit the tactical successes to create operational breakthroughs.”

— Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine reels from Dnipro attack in which 35 people are known to have died

A residential building destroyed after a Russian missile attack on Jan. 15, 2023, in Dnipro, Ukraine.

Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukraine is reeling from a major Russian missile attack on the city of Dnipro in central Ukraine on Saturday after an apartment block was hit.

Dnipro’s regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said in an update on Telegram Monday morning that 35 people had been killed in the attack, including two children. He added that 39 people had been rescued and 75 were known to have been injured in the attack, among them 14 children.

Ukraine’s emergency services said Sunday that there were 45 reports of missing persons and that “while 11 people have been identified, the fate of 34 people is being clarified.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday evening that a rescue operation continued as debris was cleared at the site of the strike, an attack that the president characterized as a terrorist act by Russia.

“As of now, the fate of more than 30 people who could have been in the house at the time of the terrorists’ missile hit remains unknown,” he said in his daily address.

“Dozens of people were rescued from the rubble, including six children. We are fighting for every person! The rescue operation will last as long as there is even the slightest chance to save lives.”

Fireman and rescuers carry a girl rescued from under the rubble on Jan. 15, 2023 in Dnipro, Ukraine.

Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Zelenskyy called on Russians to condemn the attack, stating, “I want to say to all those in Russia – and from Russia – who even now could not utter even a few words of condemnation of this terror… Your cowardly silence, your attempt to “wait out” what is happening will only end with those same terrorists coming after you one day.”

Ukraine’s Air Force said the apartment block was struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile, an anti-ship missile which is known to be inaccurate. Russia has said previously it does not deliberately target civilians but there have been multiple instances of civilian infrastructure, including schools, residential buildings and hospitals, being hit in missile strikes.

— Holly Ellyatt

Everything is going according to plan in Ukraine, Putin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with government members via a video link from a residence outside Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 11, 2023.

Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the dynamics of the war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation,” are positive.

“The dynamics are positive. Everything is developing within the plan of the Defense Ministry and the General Staff. And I hope that our fighters will please us more than once again with the results of their combat work,” Putin said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel, as reported by state news agency Tass.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday said Russian forces had captured Soledar in the eastern Donetsk region the previous day, after several days of conflicting reports over whether the town had fallen under Russian control.

This grab taken from AFP video footage shows smoke rising, as seen from the outskirts of Soledar, eastern Ukraine on Jan. 11, 2023.

Arman Soldin | Afp | Getty Images

A spokesperson for the ministry said controlling Soledar made it possible to cut off the supply routes of Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut and to then surround the town, a key target for Russia for months as it looks to extend its control over the Donetsk region, neighboring Luhansk and the entire Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has not conceded defeat in Soledar, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying Sunday evening that “the battle for Soledar, for Bakhmut, for the whole Donetsk region, for the Luhansk region continues without any respite, without any stop.”

— Holly Ellyatt

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