Day 684: Ukraine prepares airfields for F-16s

Russia launches 51 missiles, eight Shahed drones, killing four, injuring 30 others. Ukraine readies its airfields for F-16s as allies train pilots. Ukraine has exported almost 15 million tons of goods via Black Sea corridor since August.

Ukraine readies airfields for F-16s as allies train pilots

Ukraine continues to integrate F-16 fighter jets to synchronize with its entire defense system and work with allies as part of the international air force capability coalition. These lines of activity advance simultaneously, First Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavlyuk said on Telegram on January 8.  

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is working to fast track preparations by the end of 2024. The initiative includes a recent assessment of Ukrainian airfields’ readiness to accommodate the F-16s. Ukrainian pilots and engineers have been trained on F-16s since August 2023. The training offers a variety of courses, Pavlyuk added.

Ukraine is preparing infrastructure for the aircraft, protecting it with air defenses, among other means, he said.

“In Ukraine, preparations are taking place as airfields, engineers, and pilots are also being deployed for combat activities. We are doing everything to fight off the enemy, protect our capabilities and get new ones at the same time,” he added.

Russia launches 51 missiles, eight Shahed drones, killing four, injuring 30 others

On the evening of January 7 and on the morning of January 8, Russia carried out a series of combined air strikes across Ukraine. Russian forces launched 59 missiles and drones, including cruise, air-to-surface, ballistic, and air defense missiles. 

Ukraine’s defense forces said they shot down all eight drones and 18 of 24 cruise missiles fired by Russia (Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55).

Missiles that fly on a ballistic trajectory penetrated Ukrainian air defenses, including seven S-300/S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, four Kh-47М2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, eight Kh-22 cruise missiles, six Iskander-M ballistic missiles, and two Kh-31P guided air-to-surface missiles. 

Russia launched ballistic and cruise missiles at four Ukrainian regions. Missiles hit Khakriv and Zmiyiv, in Kharkiv region, Kryvyi Rih and the region around the city, Novomoskovsk in Dnipropetrovska region, Khmelnytskyi region, and Zaporizhzhia.

Russia targeted critical infrastructure, industry and military sites. Missiles hit an industrial site in Kharkiv and infrastructure facilities in Khmelytskyi region. 

At least four people were killed. A person was killed in Kryvorizkyi district in Dnipropetrovska region, two in Khmelnytskyi region, and a woman in Zmiyiv. More than 30 people were injured. In Novomoskovsk, 27 people were injured, including four children. 

The strikes caused serious damage to a number of neighborhoods. Private houses and apartment buildings were damaged.

Ukraine has exported almost 15 million tons of goods via Black Sea corridor since August 

Ukraine has exported almost 15 million tons of grain and other products through a new shipping corridor in the Black Sea since August, including 10 million tons of agricultural products, the Ministry for Development of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure said on Monday, January 8. 

Since the corridor started operating in August, 469 cargo ships have entered the ports in Odesa region. Thirty-nine vessels are being loaded in the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi.

Eighty-three more ships have confirmed they were ready to enter the ports and export 2.4 million tons of goods, the statement reads.

Post-collapse Russia: predicting the future scenarios. Ukraine in Flames #551

Leaders of NATO countries fear that a strategic Kremlin’s defeat in Ukraine could lead to chaos within the borders of Russia, possibly to the resignation of President Vladimir Putin, a fierce regional struggle for power and the risks associated with weapons of mass destruction. Watch Ukraine in flames #551 to listen to two prominent Ukrainian diplomats delve into the potential consequences for Russia following its military defeat, as well as explore the possible scenarios of the disintegration of the Russian Federation.


  • Volodymyr Ohryzko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007-2009)
  • Valeriy Chaly, Chairman of the UCMC Board, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the USA (2015-2019)

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