As the war enters its day 689th , these are the main developments.
Highlighting Key Points:
- Military Action: 40 drones and missiles, hypersonic missiles, demand for additional military aircraft.
- Political and Diplomatic Developments: New security agreement, increased military funding, optimism for US financial aid, international discussions.
- Global Economic Insights: Increased imports of Russian fuel by Afghanistan and Mongolia.
- International Sanctions and Reactions: US sanctions on Russian entities, criticism of asset confiscation plan, Moscow’s vow to retaliate.
Military Action in Ukraine:
Ukraine’s air force reported that Russia launched approximately 40 drones and missiles, including hypersonic missiles. The ground forces commander emphasized the urgent need for additional military aircraft, specifically United States A-10 attack jets, to support infantry operations. Moreover, there’s a demand for planes equipped with the capability to fire long-range cruise missiles.
Political and Diplomatic Developments:
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak solidified a new security agreement with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, accompanied by an announcement of increased military funding. The United Kingdom plans to boost support to Kyiv by 2.5 billion pounds ($3.2bn) in the next financial year—an increase of 200 million pounds ($255m) compared to the previous two years.
President Zelenskyy expressed optimism regarding his country securing new financial aid from the United States, highlighting a positive shift from the previous month.
In the realm of international relations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken engaged in discussions with senior Chinese official Liu Jianchao. The conversation touched upon North Korea’s ties with Russia, as well as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
France’s newly appointed foreign minister, Stephane Sejourne, is scheduled to make his first official trip to Ukraine this Saturday. Additionally, foreign ministers from Hungary and Ukraine plan to convene in western Ukraine at the end of January, as announced by the Hungarian government.
Global Economic Insights:
Afghanistan and Mongolia saw a substantial increase of about 28 percent in their imports of Russian fuel in 2023, reaching nearly six million tonnes. This surge partially offset a decline in Russian fuel supplies to Europe, according to industry data and traders.
International Sanctions and Reactions:
The US recently imposed sanctions on three Russian entities and one individual allegedly involved in the transfer and testing of North Korea’s ballistic missiles for potential use in Ukraine. In response, the Russian foreign ministry strongly criticized a US plan to confiscate up to $300 billion in frozen Russian assets for Ukraine’s reconstruction, labeling it as “21st-century piracy.” Moscow vowed to retaliate harshly if such actions were to take place.