A search and rescue operation in the rubble of Saturday’s Russian missile strike on an apartment building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro has been completed, authorities said. The death toll currently stands at 45, including a child, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk region military administration said. At least 19 people are still missing and a further 79 people injured, according to local officials. A makeshift memorial has appeared in Moscow to commemorate the victims of the Russian missile attack.
The Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych has tendered his resignation after a public outcry over comments he made suggesting the Russian missile that struck the building in Dnipro had been shot down by Ukraine. The Ukrainian air force says the apartment complex was hit by a Russian Kh-22 missile, which Kyiv does not have the equipment to shoot down.
Russia has announced it will make “major changes” to its armed forces from 2023-26, promising to shake up its military structure after months of setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine. In addition to administrative changes, the defence ministry said it would strengthen the combat capabilities of its naval, aerospace and strategic missile forces. The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said the changes had been made necessary by the “proxy war” being conducted in Ukraine by the west.
More than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion last February according to Ukraine. Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian presidential staff, said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, “We will not forgive a single [act of] torture or life taken. Each criminal will be held accountable.”.
Ukraine’s top general, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, spoke to his US counterpart, General Mark Milley, face to face near the Ukraine-Poland border for the first time. Milley, who is the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met for a couple of hours with Zaluzhnyi at an undisclosed location in south-eastern Poland on Tuesday. The pair have talked frequently over the past year but had never met.
Ukraine has urged world leaders to intensify efforts to remove Vladimir Putin’s troops from its soil as its war with Russia dominated the first full day of the gathering of the global elite in Davos. With the war clouding the outlook for the global economy in 2023, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Yuliia Svyrydenko urged allies to step up supplies of military hardware so Russia could be more quickly defeated. Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, used a special address to demand that those attending the World Economic Forum used their influence to end Russia’s aggression.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday picked little-known Boris Pistorius to be Germany’s new defence minister, putting him in charge of steering the armed forces through an era of momentous change. The appointment follows the resignation of Christine Lambrecht at a crucial time for the ministry, with Germany under intense pressure to send battle tanks to Ukraine.
The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has told Joe Biden that the Netherlands will offer Patriot missiles to Ukraine. The Netherlands will join the US and Germany in sending the Patriot missile defence system to Ukraine, Rutte told Biden at the White House. Biden thanked Rutte for being “very very stalwart” on its support for Ukraine.
The UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, has justified the supply of Challenger tanks to Ukraine, saying it was designed to bring the war to a quick conclusion and there was a moral imperative to end the war soon due to the casualties and cost. His remarks seemed designed to encourage the US to step up its own weapons supply.
Finland is prepared to support Ukraine for “as long as needed”, its prime minister, Sanna Marin, said. “I think the only message that we need to send is that we will support Ukraine as long as needed. One year, two years, five years, 10 years, 15 years,” Marin said at Davos.
The British defence minister, Ben Wallace, will join counterparts from Poland and the Baltic countries in Estonia to mount a final attempt to put pressure on Germany to authorise sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine this week. Defence sources said a purpose of the meeting on Thursday was “to encourage the Germans” if no decision had been made by Berlin before then.
The EU executive has confirmed it is releasing €3bn in emergency aid for Ukraine, the first tranche of an €18bn fund intended to help run essential public services during winter. The money will pay public sector wages, pensions and keep schools and hospitals running, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said at Davos.
A former commander with the Russian mercenary Wagner Group who last week sought asylum in Norway has spoken of how he is “scared for his life”. Andrey Medvedev, 26, said in an interview last month with the Guardian that in Ukraine he had witnessed the summary killing of Wagner fighters accused by their own commanders of disobeying orders.
Serbia’s president has called on Russia to stop recruiting Serbs to fight alongside its Wagner Group in Ukraine. Aleksandar Vučić criticised Russian websites and social media groups for publicising adverts in the Serbian language calling for volunteers to join its ranks. He denied reports the Wagner Group had a presence in Serbia, where pro-Kremlin and ultranationalist organisations have supported the invasion of Ukraine.