Weekly roundup. Ukraine resists Russia’s invasion. Days 691-695

This week, the fighting raged across the frontlines. Russia continued to launch missile and drone strikes beyond the frontlines. North Korean missiles used by Russia have killed civilians in Ukraine, President Zelenskyi said. This is already a “red line,” he added. Earlier this week, Ukraine’s Air Force shot down Russia’s A-50 surveillance plane and IL-22 command aircraft. Ukraine has successfully used a “hybrid” air defense system, destroying a Shahed drone at a nine-kilometer distance. Hybrid air defense systems combine old Soviet-legacy systems with Western missiles and launchers. Russian forces try to capture Novomykhaylivka, in Donetsk region and continue attacks along the entire line of contact.

France has launched the artillery coalition for Ukraine that it co-chairs with the U.S. Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the delivery of 40 SCALP long-range missiles and “several hundred” bombs to Ukraine. France will be able to produce 78 Caesar self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine this year. On Thursday, President Zelenskyi had a phone call with his French counterpart. Emmanuel Macron this week said he would head to Ukraine in February.

Speaking at Davos, Zelenskyi said that this year must be decisive and Putin’s ambitions are doomed to fail. The Ukrainian Parliament has passed a bill to create a single digital register of draft-eligible men. Polish truckers have reached a deal with the government and will suspend their protest until March 1.

Ukrainian troops destroy a large number of Russian armored vehicles in Avdiyivka direction, ISW says. In the Avdiyivka direction, Ukrainian troops are destroying a large number of armored vehicles that Russia uses to support its dismounted infantry. Russian forces lost at least 41 armored vehicles in the past three days there, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a recent report. 

Ukraine’s commander of the Tavria operational strategic group, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi stated on January 18 that Russian forces likely in the Avdiyivka direction are actively using armored vehicles to support and deploy dismounted infantry and that these tactics have led Russian forces to lose 41 armored vehicles, including 17 tanks, in the area in the past three days, the report reads.

Russian forces recently made a confirmed advance southwest of Avdiyivka, ISW said. Geolocated footage published on January 17 shows Russian forces assaulting and capturing a position east of Nevelske (southwest of Avdiyivka).