Ukraine confirms Soledar withdrawal, letter bombing Spaniard arrested
Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Thursday, January 26th, 2023.
• Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from Soledar to save lives, as the main task there has been accomplished.
That’s according to military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi. He added that the Ukrainian Armed Forces fulfilled their main task: they did not allow the enemy to systematically break through the Donetsk section of the front and enter the rear, and then move into the operational space.
• However, there are no plans yet to withdraw from Bakhmut, according to the General Staff.
• Spanish police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in the recent mailing of letter bombs to several Spanish state institutions, a defense company and Ukrainian diplomats.
The 74-year old Spanish citizen was arrested in the town of Miranda de Ebro in northern Spain. His name and motives have not yet been revealed, and a police investigation is on-going. It is currently unknown whether he shares any ties to Russian security services, who have been speculated to have been behind the attempted bombings.
• President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has imposed sanctions against former MP Vadym Novinskyi, Metropolitan Pavlo (Lebed), and several other clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
These sanctions will last for five years, and include asset freezes. Monitoring of their implementation is entrusted to the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC). 10 members of the ROC have been sanctioned in total, a number of which illegally operate in occupied Crimea.
• The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) will receive a long-term contract for the use of two important churches at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery.
That’s according to OCU Primarch Epiphanius, who revealed that the church’s previous use of the Assumption Cathedral and the Refectory Church on Orthodox Christmas was a one-time permit, though the church is working to establish a legal entity to take long-term custodianship over the Upper Lavra churches. He was also optimistic about the OCU receiving more long-term use contracts for other churches on the Lavra’s territory, though he added those plans were in the future.
• All legal preparations have been made for the construction of a Bayraktar drone manufacturing plant in Ukraine, and the design of the future enterprise has been completed.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, said that he expects the plant to be constructed and operational within the next two years, where it will begin to produce the Turkish designs with Ukrainian components. He added that in recent days the Kizilelma combat UAV, which was developed by Turkish drone maker Baykar Defense and which has a Ukrainian engine, successfully passed its second flight test.
• British telecoms company Truphone was bought for GBP 1 by two European businessmen.
The purchase comes after months of uncertainty after sanctions were placed on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who had previously owned the company. The new owners, TP Global Operations owned by Hakan Koc and Pirros Kousios, said that the deal had been approved by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
• Five heads of regional prosecutor's offices have been dismissed.
"Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin signed orders to dismiss the heads of Zaporizhzhya, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy, and Chernihiv regional prosecutor's offices from their administrative positions at their own request," a statement by the Prosecutor General’s Office stated, though it did not reveal the reason behind these firings.
• Russia's Gazprombank will stop making transfers in U.S. dollars due to the decision of its U.S. correspondent banks.
These correspondent banks include JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon, the Russian bank said. Gazprombank asks its customers not to use its services for cross-border transfers in U.S. dollars starting from Jan. 27.
• Energy company DTEK has started electricity imports from Europe to reduce the deficit in Ukraine's energy system.
The company said the current electricity transmission capacity "allows us to import about 500 million kWh of electricity per month, which is equal to the monthly consumption of 2 million households.” Earlier, the head of national power company Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, noted that a special financing mechanism was needed to ensure electricity imports could be made, as European power is much more expensive than Ukrainian-generated supplies.
• The day’s long read: How Kyrylo Tymoshenko lost the war for survival in the President’s Office, and how it involves Andriy Yermak
NV investigates the possible reasons behind the recent sacking of Tymoshenko, and the role that Yermak, the presidential chief-of-staff, likely played in the act.
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Philosopher Vitaliy Nadurak writes about the distorted vision of reality that Putin receives from his lackeys, and how that may affect the course of the war going forward.
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