Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Friday, January 20th, 2023.
- The UK will be sending 600 Brimstone missiles and the Danish government has pledged 19 howitzers to Ukraine in military aid.
“Today I can say we’re also going to send another 600 Brimstone missiles into theatre, which will be incredibly important in helping Ukraine dominate the battlefield,” UK newspaper the Guardian quoted Wallace as saying on Jan. 19. The Danish government said the transfer of 19 French-made Caesar artillery systems to Ukraine would also include training for the Ukrainian military in their use.
That’s according to German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who claimed that Germany has fully diversified its energy infrastructure after Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. "Yes, of course Germany is still dependent on energy imports, but today, not on Russian imports, but from global markets," he said.
- Viktoria Apanasenko, Ukraine’s candidate for the Miss Universe 2022 beauty pageant, has said she was not allowed to speak about Russia’s war against Ukraine from the stage.
Apanasenko emphasized that there was no mention of Russia attacking Ukraine during the competition. “I had an hour-and-a-half interview, but they took only a small piece about my volunteering. In addition, I was presented with one of four special awards – Spirit of Carnival Award. Other girls were invited to the stage for the award during the finale, but I wasn’t. They recorded a video with me the day before the final. I thought it was a test video, but then it was shown in the broadcast. But they didn’t give me a microphone to speak.”
- Ukraine’s anti-corruption bodies suspect former Naftogaz chairman Andriy Kobolev of embezzling over $6 million.
He has been charged with misappropriation of funds. According to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, as head of the company (from 2014 to 2021) in May 2018, Kobolev issued an order to award the company’s employees with bonuses, on the basis of which he was paid almost UAH 261 million ($10 million) for extraordinary achievements. The amount of bonuses awards significantly exceeded the normatively defined amounts of such payments (UAH 37.48 million or $1 million), said the NABU.
The capacities have been declared only on one of the two entrances to the Ukrainian gas transit system, namely on the Sudzha gas metering station. In early 2023, the volume of pumping gas through Ukraine amounted to 43.3 mcm. However, in the first week of 2023, the figure decreased by 7.8 mcm, to 35.5 mcm.
- Renowned film director Martin Scorsese has recorded a video address to the Ukrainian people expressing his admiration for their tenacity and courage.
Scorsese said that Ukrainians have become “the light of the world.” “My dear Ukrainians, I’m sending this message to simply say that you’re not alone,” said Scorsese. “We admire your courage, your perseverance, resilience, and your extraordinary, remarkable determination in the face of this unspeakable barbarity. In this moment, your strength of spirit is like a light of the world, and I pray that it’s bright enough to guide you through this darkness.”
- The United Sates will transfer additional $125 million to purchase materials needed to repair Ukraine’s energy system.
The head of the United States Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, said the money will be used to purchase backup power generators for water and heating supply systems in Kyiv. The fund will also be used to purchase gas turbines, transformers, and other energy equipment.
- Bulgaria has become one of the largest suppliers of diesel fuel to Ukraine and covers up to 40% of the country's needs throughout the war.
According to German newspaper Die Welt, the fuel is produced at a refinery on the Black Sea coast, owned by Russia’s Lukoil, who note that shortly after Moscow launched its invasion, the then-Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vasilev insisted that the Lukoil Neftochim Bourgas AD refinery start exporting oil products to Ukraine, following the Russian missile attacks on oil depots and refineries across Ukraine.
- The United States is finalizing the formation of a new military aid package for Ukraine – one of the largest at up to $2.5 billion.
The new package will include more Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and the newer Stryker armored vehicles. Mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, are also on the list. The new supply package will also include ammunition for HIMARS MLRS and artillery.
According to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, this is despite “excellent relations” between Moscow and Tehran, and claimed that this non-recognition is due to Iran’s “consistent principle in foreign policy.” At the same time, he stressed that Russia’s war against Ukraine is a “difficult situation” caused by “provocations from NATO and Western countries.”
- The death toll from the Russian missile strike on the high-rise residential building in Dnipro has risen to 46.
The governor said that 11 people have not yet been identified, and the same number are missing. "80 people are injured,” Dnipropetrovsk regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko stated. “In the city hospitals, 24 victims remain under medical supervision. Three are in serious condition, including a 9-year-old girl.”
- Several Serbian civic groups have sued Russian private military company Wagner Group for its attempts to recruit Serb nationals to fight in Ukraine.
Besides Wagner Group, the lawsuit targets several individuals, who Serbian human rights lawyer Cedomir Stojkovic claims are involved in the recruitment drive. According to the report, Russian Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, and Aleksandar Vulin, head of Serbia's state Security and Information Agency, are thought to have been facilitating Wagner’s headhunting.
- Ukrainian households still face a 50% power deficit, with industrial consumers facing even greater energy shortfalls.
According to executive director of DTEK Dmytro Sakharuk, this short-age will remain unless regains control of the occupied Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. The ZNPP is responsible for generating 6 GW for the Ukrainian grid, which, in addition to three thermal power plants also out of commission (generating 3.6 GW), has resulted “in nearly 26% of total national generation capacity being currently unavailable,” Sakharuk said.