We publish a summary of events concerning the situation around Ukraine as of 7 p.m., January 8.
Construction of the power transmission line between Georgia and Turkey will begin in 2023. At the first stage, it is planned to build the Tskaltubo – Akhaltsikhe transmission line with a capacity of 500 kV and a length of 103 km, then Akhaltsikhe – Tortum with a length of 34 km and a capacity of 400 kV. The power transmission line will connect the energy systems of the two countries, which will increase the capacity and reliability of the Georgian energy system, the government believes. The €62 million project will be implemented by the Indian construction company KEC International Limited.
Spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova reacted to Vladimir Zelensky’s decision to strip 13 priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of their Ukrainian citizenship, “And this was done on an Orthodox Christmas! Satanism as it is.”
About 300 Special forces servicemen from Chechnya have left for the zone of a special military operation – the head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov.
The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on Ukraine on January 13. This follows from the program of events of the Security Council. The topic of the meeting is “ensuring peace and security of Ukraine.” Japan will chair the meeting.
Despite the strikes on power facilities, the situation with power supply has been improving in most regions since the beginning of the year. But due to cold weather, the power supply will be switched off in regions according to schedules – the press service of the Ministry of Energy.
In Soledar, the situation is difficult, the city is semi-surrounded, Advisor to the Office of the President of Ukraine Arestovich reported. The main efforts of Russian troops are aimed at cutting off Soledar from Artemovsk and taking the Soledar-Slavyansk road under control, Zelensky’s representative said.
Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Danilov, “The Korean variant is currently proposed to us. The so-called “38th parallel”. Here is one kind of the Ukrainians, and there are other Ukrainians. The Russians will now come up with whatever they want. I know for sure that one of the options they can offer us is the 38th parallel. This scenario involves freezing the current borders without signing a peace agreement. In fact, this is a pause for the next round of mutual confrontation on an even larger scale.”
Ukrainian sources report that Ukraine is planning another wave of mobilization. The Ukrainian General Staff plans to mobilize an additional 100,000 Ukrainians over the next two months. To speed up the process, it is planned to issue summonses remotely.
Ukrainian intelligence expects new strikes on infrastructure today or tomorrow – the representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Skibitsky. According to him, a new massive strike may be delivered in cold weather. The spokesman also noted that the Russian Armed Forces might launch a new offensive on the Zaporozhye region.
In Kiev, 57 tons of books in Russian were sent for recycling for the needs of the Ukrainian army. As a result, the bookstore used the proceeds to buy an SUV, which was handed over to the army. It is stated that the collection of Russian books for further recycling will continue until May.
Western countries and their supporters
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has promised that the United States will continue encouraging NATO countries and other allies to transfer air defense systems and armored vehicles to Ukraine. He said this in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov.
At the end of January, the Pentagon will begin training the Ukrainian military to operate Bradley BMPs. “It’ll take a couple of months basically, to get this capability fielded to get the Ukrainians trained, that — that new training program that we’re starting, it’s roughly a battalion’s worth of forces at a time. So, roughly 500 soldiers over the course of roughly a month, and we’re adding on the Bradley training,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura K. Cooper said.
Finland can transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if other European countries do it. The chairman of the Defense Committee Antti Häkkänen said this in an interview to MTV Uutis.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola welcomed Germany’s decision to supply Marder tanks to Ukraine and also spoke in favor of supplying Leopard tanks.
Warsaw said it could not transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine on its own because it needed the support of a broad coalition. “We, as Poland, without a broader coalition now are not going to supply these tanks,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was quoted by Rp.pl as saying. According to him, negotiations on the transfer of these tanks to Ukraine are still ongoing.
Turkey said that the Ukrainian and Russian sides were not ready to sit down at the negotiating table. Ankara fears that there will be a new phase of escalation. According to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is concerned about the likelihood of new shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. “The nuclear power plant is the biggest security threat to everyone. We want to make sure that there are no conflicts and accidents in Zaporozhye,” CNN‘s Turkish service quoted Kalın as saying.
In late December, the British and Ukrainian media reported that London had handed over more than 900 generators from Konner & Sohnen as part of its assistance to the Kiev regime. Almost immediately, Ukrainian Internet sites put new British generators for sale, which had been plundered by the recipients themselves. The smallest amount from the sale of the stolen goods would be more than €2.3 million.
Finland has refused to join NATO before Sweden and will wait until the country approves its application to join the alliance. This was announced by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the republic Pekka Haavisto. “The country is not seeking to join NATO as soon as possible, so we can wait until Sweden gets the appropriate signal,” the foreign minister said. But this is not happening yet because of Turkey’s demands, which the Swedish prime minister called “impossible.”