January 19, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Leinz Vales, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 1:21 a.m. ET, January 20, 2023
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9:37 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

Dnipro apartment death toll rises to 46, according to regional official

From Maria Kostenko in Kyiv

Memorial area in front of the apartment building destroyed by a Russian missile in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine, on January 18.
Memorial area in front of the apartment building destroyed by a Russian missile in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine, on January 18. (Ximena Borrazas/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

 The death toll from Russia’s attack Saturday on an apartment building in Dnipro, Ukraine, has risen to 46, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk region military administration said Thursday.

According to Valentyn Reznichenko, 11 people remain missing. Of those killed, 11 are still yet to be identified, he said.  

The attack injured an additional 80 people, 24 of whom remain hospitalized. Three of those are in serious condition, among them a 9-year-old girl.

9:26 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

UK pledges 600 Brimstone missiles to Ukraine

From CNN’s Allegra Goodwin and Mike Pratt  

The United Kingdom will send 600 Brimstone missiles to support Ukraine in its battle against Russia, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced Thursday.

“We’re going to send another 600 Brimstone missiles into theater which will be incredibly important in helping Ukraine dominate the battlefield,” Wallace said in a news conference in Estonia.

More on this weapon: The Brimstone missile was originally designed as an air-launched munition. However, Ukraine will launch the missile from trucks. The missile is extremely effective, particularly against moving targets, and provides a lower risk of collateral damage than other forms of air-dropped munition. 

Wallace's announcement comes after Downing Street on Saturday announced plans to send 12 Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems as part of efforts to "intensify" support for Ukraine.

9:33 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

Russian and Belarusian defense ministers discuss training regional troops

From CNN’s Anna Chernova

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, Russia, on February 14.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, Russia, on February 14. (Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a phone call with the Belarusian Minister of Defense Viktor Khrenin, both ministries said in separate statements Thursday.

According to the readout published by the Belarusian side, the military chiefs “discussed issues of bilateral military cooperation, the ongoing set of strategic deterrence measures, as well as the progress in the preparation of the regional grouping of troops."

Some background: Joint military aviation drills involving Belarusian and Russian forces are underway on the territory of Belarus. According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the main goal of the exercises is to “increase operational compatibility in the joint performance of combat training missions.”

The drills launched on Monday and are expected to continue until Feb. 1.

Ukraine and Belarus share a 1,000-kilometer frontier, much of it sparsely populated and thickly forested, but Kyiv has looked anxiously towards it. When Belarusian and Russian forces held joint exercises in February 2022, many of those Russian forces went on to cross the Ukrainian border in their ill-fated drive towards the capital.

The prospect of Ukraine’s long northern border becoming a passageway for Russian forces for the second time this year would be a nightmare for Ukraine’s already stretched forces.

8:50 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

Sweden will send infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine as part of its biggest military aid to Kyiv  

From CNN’s Eve Brennan and Henrik Pettersson

Sweden plans to send as many as 50 armored combat vehicles to Ukraine as part of its new military aid package, according to a Swedish government statement released Thursday.  

The package "consists of, among other things, grenade launchers with ammunition, anti-armour ammunition, automatic rifles and mine clearance materiel combat vehicle 90 (CV90) with ammunition and Missile 57 (NLAW),” the statement said.

The new military aid — which also consists of an Archer artillery system — would be worth 4.3 billion Swedish crowns ($419 million) and it's the biggest defense package Sweden has given to Ukraine so far, according to the statement. 

Swedish deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch said at a news conference Thursday that Ukraine will be provided with up to 50 CV90 infantry military vehicles and that this makes up the main part of the package.   

"Combat Vehicle 90 is Swedish manufactured and considered one of the world's best combat vehicles, and we're sending them in a quantity that we know will make a difference,” she said. 

The Swedish government has not said how many Archer artillery systems it would send to Ukraine. 

What Ukraine is saying: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Sweden for its support, saying in a tweet, “Sincerely grateful to the Government of Sweden [and the Swedish prime minister] for the new military assistance package.”  

“CV90 IFVs, Archer self-propelled howitzers & NLAW ATGMs are powerful weapons that [the Ukrainian] army needs to liberate our land from the Russian invader,” Zelensky wrote. “Together to a common victory!” he added.  

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov also thanked his Swedish counterpart Kristersson, the Swedish defence minister Pål Jonson for “the 10th package of security assistance” to Ukraine. 

“Our warriors will master the artillery and vehicles quickly,” Reznikov said in a tweet Thursday. 

8:05 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

Power deficit across Ukraine remains "significant," national energy company says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko and Radina Gigova

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside the city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 24.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside the city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 24. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The power grid deficit across Ukraine remains "significant, especially during the evening peak," Ukraine's national energy company, Ukrenergo, said in a statement Thursday.

During the evening peak, power generation can only cover three-fourths of the consumption, Ukrenergo said. "Following each subsequent Russian attack on the energy infrastructure, the restoration becomes more difficult and takes longer."

"As a reminder, Ukraine's power system has already survived 12 enemy missile attacks and 14 UAV strikes on power facilities. In addition, more than 10 GW of the main installed capacities are currently inaccessible to the Ukrainian power system and are under enemy control," Ukrenergo said. 

These Russian-occupied plants include:

  • Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Ukraine and Europe
  • Zaporizhzhia Thermal Power Plant
  • Luhansk Thermal Power Plant
  • Vuhlehirsk Thermal Power Plant
  • Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant

"In addition, most wind and solar power plants are also located in the temporarily occupied territories of the south of the country," the company added. 

8:26 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

It's mid-afternoon in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN's staff

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for more Western weapons to enable the country to retake Crimea from Russia.

At the same time, during a week of high-level diplomatic talks on Ukraine, Berlin is under increasing pressure to provide German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, or at least approve deliveries of the tanks from third countries such as Poland.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Zelensky asks for weapons to retake Crimea: Ukraine will reclaim Crimea from Russian rule, Zelensky said in a live address streamed at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos on Thursday. "It is not an intention, it is our land. Crimea is our sea and our mountains. Give us your weapons and we will regain [what is] ours," he asked of the West.
  • Pistorius takes over as German defense minister: New German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius was sworn in on Thursday, taking office just before high-level talks on military support for Ukraine are scheduled to start in Germany. On Thursday, Pistorius will meet with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who will host a key meeting at the US Ramstein Air Base Friday. 
  • US "pressing" Germany: Austin will be “pressing the Germans” to allow their Leopard tanks to be transferred to Ukraine to provide the “capability in a crucial moment” to counter any potential Russian spring offensive, a senior US defense official told CNN Wednesday.
  • Poland could send tanks without permission: Poland will either receive permission to transfer German-made tanks to Ukraine "or we will do the right thing ourselves," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Thursday. Morawiecki said Poland had offered Ukraine 14 tanks. 
  • EU official travels to Kyiv: European Council President Charles Michel traveled to Kyiv Thursday to discuss "concrete measures" to support Ukraine's fight against Russia.
  • Helicopter crash victims in recovery: More than a dozen people hurt in Wednesday's fatal helicopter crash in Brovary do not have serious injuries and are in recovery, according to a Ukrainian official. The crash near a kindergarten in the Kyiv suburb killed 14 people, including one child.
  • Kremlin criticizes Zelensky's comments on Putin: Zelensky “would prefer that neither Russia nor (Vladimir) Putin exist,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, after Zelensky said Thursday that he was unsure if the Russian president "is alive."
7:45 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

Talks of supplying Ukraine with weapons that can reach Russia are "extremely dangerous," Kremlin says

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Anna Chernova

Any discussions among Western countries about supplying Ukraine with weapons that will allow it to strike at Russian territory are "extremely dangerous," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday during a regular call with journalists.

“The discussion itself about the permissibility of supplying Ukraine with weapons that will allow it to strike at Russian territory – although Ukraine already has weapons with which it constantly strikes at our new regions – is potentially extremely dangerous,” Peskov said. "It will mean bringing the conflict to a new qualitative level, a level that will not bode well for European security." 

On Thursday, Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov also commented on weapons shipments to Ukraine, saying: “It should be clear for everyone – we will destroy any weapons supplied to the Zelensky's regime by either the United States or NATO.” 

7:14 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

Estonia announces more military aid for Ukraine worth $122 million

From CNN's Teele Rebane and Radina Gigova 

Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas speaks during a joint press conference at the Tapa Army Base on March 1, in Tallinn, Estonia.
Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas speaks during a joint press conference at the Tapa Army Base on March 1, in Tallinn, Estonia. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Estonia will send another package of military aid to Ukraine worth 113 million euros ($122 million), Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced Thursday in a statement. The aid package includes dozens of howitzers, over a hundred anti-tank weapons, artillery support equipment, grenade launchers and ammunition, according to the statement.  

“All countries must look into their stockpiles and ensure that industries are able to produce more and faster. Russia's war against Ukraine comes at a price – a price we pay in euros, but the Ukrainians pay with their lives,” Kallas said. 

With the latest aid package, Estonia's total military assistance to Ukraine will increase to 370 million euros, or slightly more than 1% of Estonia's gross domestic product, according to the statement – a significant share compared to other European countries. 

“Our help and the help of our allies will have a direct impact on the fighting ability of Ukrainian soldiers and this is highly valued in Ukraine. Therefore, it is important to set an example and to motivate other allies to give help as well," Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said in the same statement. 

7:13 a.m. ET, January 19, 2023

European Council president is in Kyiv to discuss further support for Ukraine

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

European Council President Charles Michel traveled to Kyiv Thursday to discuss "concrete measures" to support Ukraine's fight against Russia.

Michel's visit comes as Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called on allied countries to provide Ukraine with more powerful weaponry, including tanks.

Speaking in a video posted on his official Twitter account on Thursday, Michel said he was going to the Ukrainian capital to meet with Zelensky, as well as Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and members of the parliament. 

We know that the Ukrainians are resisting, they are fighting. They are fighting for their land. They are fighting for the future and the future of their children," said Michel. 

Michel laid out his plan to discuss with Zelensky the "concrete measures" the European Union can take to ensure Ukraine is "stronger" and "more powerful" in the face of Russian attacks. 

"They need and deserve our support," he added.

Later on Thursday morning, Michel tweeted a photo of him hugging the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, Olga Stefanishyna, after arriving in Kyiv.