A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war.
The U.S. announced $3.075 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine Friday afternoon. This package includes 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with 500 TOW missiles and 250,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition. Also included are 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, 55 mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, 138 Humvees, and 18 155mm self-propelled howitzers and 18 ammunition vehicles. The U.S. is also providing additional towed howitzers, artillery rounds, mortars, HIMARS rockets, RIM-7 missiles, Zuni aircraft rockets, anti-armor rockets, small arms, Claymore anti-personnel munitions, night vision devices and optics, and spare parts and other field equipment.
The UK continues its support of Ukraine with a recent donation of metal detectors and ordnance de-arming equipment. This is in addition to a recent package of air defense systems to defend Ukraine against Russian strikes on its cities and infrastructure.
Ukraine fired a salvo of rockets at a Russian barracks, reportedly killing at least 63 soldiers. The rockets were fired from a HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Some sources indicate the number of casualties was much higher. At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he expects Russia to step up its use of Iranian-made Shaded loitering munitions.
Norway has delivered another 10,000 artillery shells to Ukraine. The155mm artillery shells can be used in several types of artillery, including the M109 Norway donated last year.
Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukraine continue in the new year. New attacks took place on December 31, 2022 and on January 1, 2023.
Russia is trying to hinder Ukraine’s local production of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). Moscow claims it has downed 2,779 Ukrainian UAVs since the start of the war on February 24, 2022.
Russia has sent a frigate armed with hypersonic missiles into the Atlantic. The Zircon can overcome missile defenses and fly over 1,000 kilometers, according to Russian officials.
Ukrainian officials have said that they foresee the promised Patriot air defense systems becoming operational soon. A single Patriot air defense battery is part of a new U.S. aid package for Ukraine.
Germany plans to join the United States in supplying the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine. Berlin may deliver a Patriot battery as part of this deal.
Ukraine has built a formidable defensive ring around Kyiv, which includes numerous Western provided weapons. Ukrainian forces have been using mobile units equipped with automatic cannons and military analysts recommend Kyiv strengthen these mobile units.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a 36-hour ceasefire to coincide with the Orthodox celebration of Christmas on January 6/7. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Russia wanted to use a ceasefire as cover to halt Ukrainian advances while Russians mobilized troops and equipment.
There were reports of air raid sirens shortly after Russia’s call for a temporary ceasefire.