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Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls for a collaborative effort in Europe to produce weapons for defense against Russia.
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Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls for a collaborative effort in Europe to produce weapons for defense against Russia.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated his belief that Russia can be overcome and cautioned that the conflict in Ukraine highlights the need for Europe to collaborate with Ukraine on manufacturing weaponry and establishing a strong defense arsenal.

“The past two years of this conflict have demonstrated the necessity for Europe to possess an adequate arsenal in order to defend its freedom. It requires its own resources to protect itself and has the potential to stand and safeguard any part of Europe under any global circumstances,” he stated.

Zelenskyy shared his remarks through a video connection during a defense conference in Stockholm on Sunday, while Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom affirmed his nation’s dedication to assisting Kyiv.

View the corresponding video featuring Arash Arabasadi:

During the event on X, previously known as Twitter, the messaging app, he stated that the Swedish government’s primary foreign policy objective in the upcoming years is to offer military, political, and economic assistance to Ukraine.

On Sunday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa made a surprise visit to Kyiv and pledged Japan’s support, making her the first foreign official to visit the Ukrainian capital in 2024.

Kamikawa, speaking through an interpreter at a joint press conference with Dmytro Kuleba, expressed Japan’s commitment to assist Ukraine in achieving peace in their country.

During an air alert in Kyiv, Kamikawa was forced to seek shelter in a bomb shelter. She strongly criticized Russia for their missile and drone attacks on innocent civilians, particularly on New Year’s Day. She also announced that her country will contribute an extra $37 million to a NATO trust fund in order to assist in the acquisition of drone-detection systems.

In the final days of 2023 and the beginning of 2024, Russia reportedly utilized approximately 300 missiles and over 200 drones in their attacks, as stated by Reuters.

Local residents clear debris from their apartments at a heavily damaged residential building, three days after a Russian missile attack in Kyiv, Jan. 5, 2024.

On January 5, 2024, three days after a Russian missile strike in Kyiv, local residents are removing debris from their apartments in a severely damaged residential building.

Russia attacks

According to a statement from the Ukraine Air Force on Sunday, Russia carried out a strike on Ukraine using 28 assault drones and three cruise missiles. The Ukrainian air defense successfully intercepted and destroyed 21 of the drones.

According to the air force’s Telegram messaging channel, Russia primarily focused on the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. However, there is no information about the fate of the three cruise missiles.

The accuracy of the report could not be confirmed by Reuters. Russia has not yet responded with a comment.

The head of the city administration, Roman Mrochko, reported that two individuals were fatally injured and multiple others were injured as a result of Russian attacks on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. In the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine, another individual was killed and two civilians were wounded on Sunday in Russian shelling of the Kupiansk district.

A deadly Russian missile strike hit the eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk on Saturday, about 80 kilometers northwest of Donetsk, the governor of the Ukrainian-held part of the region, Vadym Filashkin, wrote on Telegram.

According to Filashkin, the current aftermath of strikes on Pokrovsk district has resulted in eleven fatalities, including five children. He shared images of rescue teams searching through large piles of smoldering debris in the darkness, accompanied by a destroyed vehicle.

On Sunday, the British Ministry of Defense stated that Rosgvardia, also known as the Russian National Guard, is looking to increase their resources and staff due to disruptions in Russia’s domestic security as a result of their conflict with Ukraine.

FILE - Police and Rosgvardia (National Guard) servicemen walk on the Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 31, 2023.

FILE – Police and Rosgvardia (National Guard) servicemen walk on the Red Square with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 31, 2023.

According to the daily ministry report, certain members of the Wagner Group were incorporated into Rosgvardia in October, and this was followed in the current month by the “Vostok” Battalion of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic.

According to the ministry, Moscow is taking steps to disband the Kaskad group, a separatist region specializing in drone operations, and bring certain parts of it under the control of Rosgvardia.

The British ministry stated that the recent approval by Russia for Rosgvardia to use more powerful weapons, combined with these actions, will result in a significant boost to Russia’s military capabilities.

Drones – North Korea

On Saturday, the prosecutor’s office in the Kharkiv region presented evidence that suggests Russia may have launched a missile attack on Ukraine using weapons supplied by North Korea.

After inspecting pieces of a missile that struck Kharkiv on January 2, spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office Dmytro Chubenko stated that it had significant visual and technical distinctions from Russian counterparts.

Chubenko refused to disclose the specific model of the missile, but displayed fragments to the press and stated that its manufacturing process was not very up-to-date. He mentioned that it was distinct from the usual Iskander missiles that had previously been used in the attack on Kharkiv.

According to Chubenko, this missile bears resemblance to a North Korean missile. He further noted that it has a slightly bigger diameter than a Russian Iskander missile and features distinct components such as the nozzle, electrical wiring, and rear parts.

Both Russia and Ukraine are increasing their production of drones, which are unmanned aerial vehicles. These have been heavily utilized by both parties since the war’s inception.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Russia intends to manufacture over 32,000 drones annually by 2030, which will make up 70% of their total drone supply. This will require an investment of $7.66 billion, as reported by the TASS news agency on Saturday.

Belousov from TASS stated that this is nearly triple the current production levels.

In December, Ukraine announced its intention to manufacture over 11,000 drones with medium and long-range capabilities by 2024. Additionally, they plan to produce 1 million FPV (first-person-view) drones, which are highly sought after for use on the front lines.

The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters provided some content for this report.