As the war enters its day 690th , these are the main developments.
French Foreign Minister’s Pledge of Support:
France’s recently appointed foreign minister, Stéphane Séjourné, embarked on his inaugural official visit abroad by meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Saturday. During a joint news conference with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Séjourné assured that Paris remains committed to supporting Ukraine, declaring, “Despite the multiplying crises, Ukraine is and will remain France’s priority.”
Russian Actions Against Dissent:
Russia’s justice ministry labeled Boris Akunin, a well-known fiction writer, a foreign agent due to his opposition to Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Akunin, known by the pen name Grigori Chkhartishvili, formerly enjoyed immense popularity with his historical detective stories in Russia before facing government backlash for expressing what authorities deemed as unacceptable anti-Russian views.
Religious Conflict within Russian Orthodox Church:
A prominent liberal priest, Aleksiy Uminsky, faces expulsion from the Russian Orthodox Church for his refusal to recite a prayer advocating for Russia’s victory over Ukraine. The church court, in a verdict published on Saturday, recommended Uminsky’s expulsion from holy orders, citing a violation of his priestly oath.
Russian Missile Attack on Ukraine:
Ukraine experienced a substantial missile attack from Russia early on Saturday, as reported by its air force. Moscow employed some of its most formidable hypersonic missiles in the assault. Ukrainian air defenses successfully intercepted Russian missiles in at least five regions, although officials provided minimal information about the targets hit. Ukraine’s air force issued a warning during the attack, emphasizing the deployment of Kinzhal missiles, known for their exceptional speed, making them challenging to intercept.
Contrarily, Russia claimed to have destroyed all targets in a series of strikes on Ukrainian facilities involved in ammunition and drone production. The Russian defense ministry, in a daily briefing, stated that the armed forces targeted locations producing shells, gunpowder, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Zelenskiy at the World Economic Forum:
President Zelenskiy is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, according to the event program. Børge Brende, the forum’s president, confirmed Zelenskiy’s participation and mentioned that over 70 national security advisers worldwide would discuss the Ukrainian president’s peace plan on Sunday.