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Missile attack on Ukraine and nuclear weapons deployed by Russia near NATO borders - Monday brief

Missile attack on Ukraine and nuclear weapons deployed by Russia near NATO borders - Monday brief Collage by RBC-Ukraine

Yesterday, January 8, 2024, Russia launched another missile attack on Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russia deployed nuclear weapons in Belarus near the borders of NATO countries.

RBC-Ukraine gathered the main news for January 8.

Russia's war against Ukraine

Russia launched drones and over 50 missiles at Ukraine on January 8

Russian terrorists launched a nighttime and early morning attack on Ukraine on January 8 using Shahed kamikaze drones and over 50 various types of missiles. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, 26 enemy targets were successfully destroyed by air defense forces.

The attackers targeted critical infrastructure and industrial, civilian, and military objects. This time, the enemy attacked various regions of Ukraine with ballistic trajectory missiles directed toward the Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Khmelnytskyi regions.

As a result of the air defense forces' efforts, the following were destroyed:

  • 8 Shahed-136/131 strike UAVs.
  • 18 cruise missiles Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55.

As a result of the massive missile strike by the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory, 45 people were injured. Another four individuals have died, reports the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Russia deploys nuclear weapons in Belarus near NATO borders, WSJ reports

Russia is deploying nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. Through the intermediation of the Lukashenko regime, the Kremlin is carrying out these maneuvers on the borders with NATO member countries, reports The Wall Street Journal.

According to the material, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, stated at the end of last month that Russia had completed the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the country.

During the announcement, American officials did not provide complete information regarding the implementation of this plan. It was suggested that the Belarusian dictator might have been bluffing.

However, in July of last year, the Defense Intelligence Agency of the United States stated that there was "no reason to doubt" Putin's statements regarding the dispatch of nuclear weapons to Belarus.

West not urging Ukraine to negotiate war freezing with Russia, Ukrainian MFA states

Western allies do not demand that Ukraine start negotiations with Russia to freeze hostilities, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba states in an interview with the Spanish media outlet El Pais.

"This is not on the table; our allies are not asking us to negotiate with Russia to freeze the war. No one has dared to put this option on the table either during formal delegations or in closed-format meetings. The rest is just noise," emphasizes the Foreign Minister.

He further clarifies that the Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, himself did not seek either a freeze in the conflict or peace with Ukraine.

According to Kuleba, those suggesting that Ukraine freeze the conflict actually assist the Kremlin and ignore the Russian threat.

The Foreign Minister reminds that from 2014 to 2022, there were 200 negotiation rounds with Russia, and 20 ceasefire agreements were reached, yet it all culminated in full-scale Russian aggression.

Russian attacks in Avdiivka reduced by almost half, Ukrainian military reports

During the past day, the Russians significantly reduced the number of attacks and artillery shelling in Avdiivka. A significant drop in temperature might have influenced this, reports the spokesperson for the Unified Press Center of the Defense Forces of the Tavria direction, Oleksandr Shtupun.

According to Shtupun, the Russians continue their attempts to encircle Avdiivka. They remain active in this direction. However, there has been a slight decrease in artillery shelling. For instance, on January 6, more than 1,000 shellings were registered, whereas on January 7, the number dropped to 617.

"We attribute this to weather conditions because drones cannot fully operate. Moreover, compared to the previous weather, it has become quite cold. Also, the number of assaults has decreased. While previously there were 50-60 per day, now there have been a total of 25," says Shtupun.

He notes that Russia continues to launch airstrikes with aviation bombs - 31 incidents were recorded within a day.

U.S. prepares agreement that could unlock funds for Ukraine

A deal on border and immigration issues is in the works in the U.S. Congress, poised to unlock funds for aid to Ukraine, according to James Lankford, the chief representative of the Republican Party.

The agreement's text may appear as early as this week, potentially paving the way for unlocking billions in assistance to Ukraine.

"Text hopefully this week, to be able to get that out. Everybody will have time to be able to read and go through it. No one's going to be jammed in this process," Lankford expressed optimism.

Should the deal be approved by the Senate in the near future, it will then be passed on to the House of Representatives, which, as Lankford notes, "can take a serious look at it and say look, this makes real progress on the border, let's go get this, bank this and then keep going for more."

Ukraine prepares airfields for F-16 fighter jets - Defense Ministry

Ukraine is preparing its airbase infrastructure to accommodate F-16 fighter jets. Concurrently, pilots and engineers are undergoing training in the West, according to Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk, the first deputy minister of defense of Ukraine.

The integration of the multi-role F-16 aircraft into Ukraine's overall system of Armed Forces is underway both domestically and within the framework of the international Military-Air Coalition. These processes are happening simultaneously.

Pavliuk mentioned that complex and meticulous work is ongoing within Ukraine to prepare infrastructure and its protection, including using air defense systems and addressing various other issues.