#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Bad weather slows down the fighting. The Ukrainian bridgehead in Kherson is reduced: the Russians have increased their bombing. Zelensky only receives promises from the USA in Davos


The EU has started technical work to implement a proposal to use proceeds from frozen Russian assets in the interests of Ukraine. The Belgian finance minister said he expected rapid progress. At the end of the year, the EU proposed a plan for Russian assets: as expected by Brussels, for now there is talk of accumulating profits in separate accounts.

In Davos, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Washington would continue to support Kiev. “We are determined to maintain support for Ukraine and are working closely with Congress (to agree on a new aid package for Kiev),” Blinken told European media. The US Secretary of State, in a conversation with Zelensky, added that European countries follow the same approach. “I know that our European colleagues will do the same,” he underlined.

The Ukrainian president met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Davos. ”We discussed many important issues. The situation on the battlefield, the defense needs of our state, the further strengthening of the Ukrainian air defense system, preparations for the next NATO summit in Washington, work with partners on bilateral security treaties within the framework of G7 Declaration, which will be in force until Ukraine joins NATO,” the President of Ukraine said.

Representative of the Ukrainian Air Force Yuriy Ignat confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are waiting for the delivery of another IRIS-T SLM air defense system from Germany. The complex will be delivered by the end of winter.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba acknowledged the successes of Russian troops: “Russian troops have become more confident on the battlefield in recent weeks, capturing small areas of territory in eastern Ukraine around the hard-fought Avdiivka.”

On January 16, Vladimir Putin held a press conference after a meeting with the heads of municipalities of Russia’s constituent entities. Among the main points of his speech: “The President of the Russian Federation announced that the AFU counteroffensive has completely failed. To divert attention from their failures during the summer campaign, the AFU targets civilian Russian citizens. The AFU carries out attacks on civilian infrastructure to demonstrate to their sponsors that they can resist Russia. Attacks on civilians in the Russian Federation, even by the MLRS, are barbaric. The Ukrainian state may suffer an irreparable blow: the responsibility for this falls on the Kiev authorities. If Ukraine had not refused to negotiate with Russia, this conflict would have ended long ago.”

And now a look at the front line.

An American RQ-4B Global Hawk reconnaissance UAV was again spotted in the central part of the Black Sea. Every time it goes this far east, there is an attack or preparation for an attack. On the other hand, after storms in the Black Sea comes a period of relative calm in the wind and currents. Kamikaze UAVs, kamikaze boats and missile attacks against Crimea, Kerch and Novorossiysk, as well as against the Russian Black Sea Fleet, are once again intensifying both from the south through Turkey and through Ukraine. MI6 and GUR teams may attempt to intensify attacks through Turkey and along the southern route to raise tensions in Turkish-Russian relations again, something they failed to achieve in the summer.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that on the night of January 16, 5 Ukrainian drones were destroyed, and another 3 intercepted in the Voronezh region and 4 planes over Belgorod.

Around 09:30 on January 16, an airborne alert was declared throughout Ukraine.

Social sources inform that the width of the Ukrainian Krynky bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson region has decreased to less than 1 km. Over the course of two months, between 8,000 and 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers would die trying to hold this bridgehead under heavy fire. Ukraine and Britain stubbornly held the beachhead and continued to send personnel to demonstrate that the Ukrainian army was capable of crucial operations. Krynky lies in ruins, and the flow of supplies and reinforcements continues to be disrupted by heavy air and ground bombardment by Russian FPV drones.

Now the Ukrainian army has withdrawn all its elite marines from the beachhead and is sending them providing only mobilized personnel. The Russian military continues to move more and more firepower here and destroy it. Another social source explains: “In the direction of Kherson, since the onset of the cold weather, due to the logistical difficulties of the Armed Forces of Ukraine across the Dnieper, the number of enemy personnel in Krynky and on the islands has decreased. The Ukrainian Armed Forces were constantly attacked by our artillery and drones. At night in Kherson the concentration areas of Ukrainian personnel were covered. Relatives of Ukrainian marines and territorial defense fighters, in the absence of information about them, began en masse to turn to Russian channels to search for them. In most cases, this is useless, since several dozen enemy bodies remain on our coast without being evacuated, or end up at the bottom of the Dnieper.”

Weather conditions also affect the situation on the Zaporozhzhie front. Local counterattacks were recorded on the Rabotino-Verbove line. The Russian Air Force operates unguided aerial rockets.

To the west and south of Marinka, Russian troops are conducting offensive operations, Ukrainian assets report the difficult situation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the front sector.

In the Avdiivska sector, the Russian reconnaissance force in Nevelskoye on the southern flank becomes a new element. A pincer attempt is not ruled out in the future. In Pervomais’ke, battles on the approaches from the north have been going on for several weeks. The southern protrusion of the front was characterized by battles in the direction of Vodyane-Sjeverne, which may indicate the intention to close the neck of the Avdiivska sack. There are also battles taking place on the northern flank near Krasnohorivka.

The offensive of the Russian Armed Forces in the direction of Chasov Yar continues from multiple directions, although without notable progress. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are running out of power in Bogdanovka, Krasny, Kleshchiivka.

There are battles between Soledar and Kreminna in Serebryansʹkyy forestry. The Ukrainian General Staff announces more frequent attacks by the Russian Armed Forces near Belogorovka – previously there were positional battles and mutual artillery shelling.

North of the Tor ledge near Makeyevka (LPR), “Russian troops advanced south in an area up to 2.2 km wide to a depth of up to 1.7 km,” the Ukrainians admit.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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