January 12,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 688

Ukrainian defenders thwart Over 50 enemy assaults in a day of intense combat activity

Over the past day, intense combat activity was observed in the frontline, with 56 combat engagements. The enemy conducted 3 air strikes and fired 16 rocket artillery attacks at both Ukrainian military positions and civilian settlements. 

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that their aviation and missile forces struck areas where enemy personnel, weapons, military equipment, command posts, and ammunition depots were concentrated. The enemy maintained a military presence in the border areas at the Siversky and Slobozhansky directions, conducting reconnaissance and sabotage activities. 

They also continued shelling Ukrainian settlements from Russian territory and increased the density of minefields along the state border. Ukrainian defense forces successfully repelled enemy attacks in multiple sectors, including Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mariinsky, Shakhtarsk, and Zaporizhzhia. The enemy attempted to break through Ukrainian defense forces in some areas but could not do so.


Symbolic number of the Day

3.2 billion

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv on January 12 to announce a significant military aid package for Ukraine. Sunak stated on social media that Britain’s support for Ukraine will not weaken and that they stand with the Ukrainian people. During his visit, Sunak announced that the UK will provide Ukraine with $3.2 billion in military aid for 2024-2025, an increase of $254 million from previous years. This aid will be used for critical areas such as long-range missiles, air defense, artillery munitions, and maritime security. A portion of the aid, at least $254 million, will be used to purchase and produce thousands of military drones, including reconnaissance, long-range strikes, and maritime drones. This will be the largest delivery of drones to Ukraine from any country. 


War in Pictures


On January 12, Russian military forces carried out an artillery assault on the Ukrainian city of Kherson, tragically resulting in the death of at least two individuals, as reported by Governor Oleksandr Prokudin.

The attack, which occurred around noon, specifically targeted the Korabel district within Kherson, confirmed by Roman Mrochko, who leads the city’s military administration. Among the casualties was an 80-year-old woman and the driver of a vehicle, whose identity is currently under investigation, according to local authorities.


Video of the Day

The 56th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine demonstrated how the “DANA” self-propelled howitzer operates. “If you combine the strength of the Ukrainian spirit with the power of Western weapons, it will result in one of the strongest armies in Europe,” says the brigade’s statement.


ISW report


Freezing temperatures in Ukraine are likely constraining operations along the front but will likely create more favorable terrain for mechanized maneuver warfare as the ground freezes in the coming weeks. The deputy commander of a Ukrainian brigade operating in the Kupyansk direction stated that Russian forces are using fewer loitering munitions in the Kupyansk direction due to cold weather.

Ukrainian Southern Operational Command Spokesperson Captain First Rank Nataliya Humenyuk stated on January 11 that Russian forces did not launch as many drones against Ukraine in the past two nights because ice can freeze drones. A Ukrainian officer in a brigade operating near Bakhmut stated on January 10 that the temperature drops to –18 Celsius (about –1 Fahrenheit) at night, making it “impossible” for personnel to stay at observation posts for more than a few hours.

The officer reported that the intensity of Russian infantry assaults decreased in the Bakhmut direction likely due to the freezing temperatures. The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that the freezing temperatures coupled with the potential for deep snow may limit maneuverability but that the frozen ground will improve “cross-country movement” throughout January and into February.

ISW continues to assess that Russian forces will likely try to sustain or intensify localized offensive operations throughout eastern Ukraine in an attempt to seize and retain the initiative regardless of winter weather and terrain conditions.


War Heroes

Junior Sergeant Danylo Zemskov, with the call sign “Friend Dania,” was killed on August 14, 2023, near the village of Dibrova in the Luhansk Oblast. He sustained a shrapnel wound to the head while on a combat mission and died on the spot. The defender was forever 26 years old. Danylo was born in the city of Koriukivka, Chernihiv Oblast. After school, he studied to be a woodworker at a vocational school but never completed his studies or worked in the field. His calling was sailing yachts, designing yachts, and planning voyages. He earned the title of Candidate for Master of Sports in Sailing. In 2014, he took part in the Anti-Terrorist Operation as part of the volunteer unit “Hospitallers.” He went through Pisky and Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. Later, he returned to civilian life. For the last few years, he had been making rubber sailing boats for himself and his friends, which could be taken on a plane. He worked on a private ship.

With the start of the full-scale war, the man again decided to defend his country without hesitation. Danylo fought in the ranks of the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served as the senior combat medic of the engineering-sapper company of the engineering support group and repeatedly saved the lives of his brothers-in-arms.

“He loved to travel by bike, rivers, and seas in an inflatable boat he made himself. He traveled over 100 kilometers on an ordinary scooter. He was into diving. In winter, when there was good ice, he went ice boating. He always had something to talk about – a million interesting stories. He wrote a bit of poetry. But what attracted him the most were the sea, water, and sails. Since 2014, as a patriot of his country, he stood up for its defense. Then he returned to peaceful life, but… 2022 came… Without hesitation, he signed a contract. I can’t even say how many lives he saved… For a year and a half, without taking a vacation, without making a proposal to his girlfriend, without hugging his mother, who he missed so much. At 33, it all ended…” – said the mother of the deceased.

“For all his loved ones, Danylo was the best person in their lives. He could always support and cheer up with his jokes. He was very joyful, loved life. But, despite always being smiling, he remained serious and fair. Always true to his principles. And even before February 24, he knew he would be one of the first to defend the country. He couldn’t do otherwise. During the years of war, he trained as a paramedic. He was one of the best in this, got the position of chief medic, and earned great respect among more experienced medics,” added his beloved Anastasia Verkhomii.

The Hero was buried in the city of Ukrainka, Kyiv Oblast, where he lived in recent years. Danylo is survived by his mother, Olha Oleksandrivna; sister Yevhenia; twin brother Kyrylo, girlfriend Anastasia; relatives, friends, and brothers-in-arms; a dog Spritz; and a cat, Vanta.

*Danylo’s story on the Heroes Memorial – a platform for stories about the fallen defenders of Ukraine.


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