Day 298 since the start of the war: Feverish work is being done in Ukraine to restore electricity supplies. President Zelenskyj calls for more anti-aircraft defenses. All information on news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Russian state media talk about Putin’s major announcement
1:34 pm: Russian state media reported that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin will make a major announcement at a defense ministry meeting next week. “We are waiting for important statements,” said Pavel Sarubin, host of the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” show on state broadcaster WGTRK on Sunday. Putin will therefore chair the Defense Ministry’s annual extended meeting.
The exact date for the meeting is yet to be decided. However, Putin is expected to hold talks with Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on Monday.
At a government meeting last week, the Kremlin leader had already called for an overhaul of the weapons program. The 70-year-old will continue to force his own economy into a war economy as his own forces continue to face supply problems during a war of aggression against Ukraine. Putin has largely avoided the topic in recent weeks, even canceling his traditional annual press conference just before Christmas due to complications from the war.
Governor: 4 injured in shelling on Russian border
12:38 PM: Four people were injured in a grenade explosion in the southern Russian region of Belgorod, near the border with Ukraine, according to officials. They were taken to hospital, said Governor Vyacheslav Klatkov. An air defense system was activated over the city of Belgorod and the region of the same name. The governor did not give any further details. Witnesses reported hearing loud explosions in the city.
Belgorod is one of the southern Russian regions near Ukraine where facilities such as fuel and ammunition depots have been destroyed by explosions since the start of the war. Russia has repeatedly blamed Ukraine for the attacks.
LONDON: Moscow wants to boost morale of troops with music and culture
12.10 pm: According to British secret services, Moscow wants to use music and culture to boost the morale of its own troops in the war in Ukraine. A few days ago, it was announced that two creative brigades, made up of opera singers, actors and circus people, would be stationed at the front line, the British Ministry of Defense said in a short daily statement on Twitter on Sunday.
British speculation that Russia strongly combines cultural and entertainment offensives with ideologically influenced political education. It has been closely intertwined with the Russians since the Soviet era. At the same time, London doubts whether the Kremlin could actually use it to boost the morale of Russian troops. The Russians’ biggest problems were high casualties, poor leadership, problems with salaries and incomplete equipment. It was said that brigade forces could do little in these challenges.
Meyer Klitschko: Heating is working again in Kiev
11:03 am: After recent Russian attacks on electricity and water infrastructure in Ukraine, the capital Kyiv has fully restored heat supply, according to Mayor Vitaly Klitschko. All types of heating were working normally again, Klitschko announced via the text messaging service Telegram. Officials are working to restore all other distribution services to full operation.
EU Parliament President Demands More Arms for Ukraine
9.15 am: EU Parliament President Roberta Metzola has called for more financial and military support for Ukraine against Russia’s war of aggression. “This war must be ended urgently. And Ukraine must win this war,” Metzola told newspapers from the Funke media group. This means “more arms to Ukraine, more financial and humanitarian aid, more practical solidarity and more sanctions against Russia”.
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