Day 695 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainian Drone Struck Oil Depot In Russia’s Bryansk Region

World » UKRAINE | January 19, 2024, Friday // 14:17
Bulgaria: Day 695 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainian Drone Struck Oil Depot In Russia’s Bryansk Region

Day 695 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Ukrainian minister: The drone that attacked St. Petersburg was made in Ukraine
  • A Ukrainian drone struck an oil depot in Russia's Bryansk region
  • The German defense minister warns that the war in Ukraine could also involve neighboring countries
  • Nine people arrested during protests in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan were each sentenced to several days in prison
  • NATO begins largest military exercise in decades with around 90,000 troops
  • Russia declared the salute "Glory to Ukraine!” as Nazi


Ukrainian minister: The drone that attacked St. Petersburg was made in Ukraine

The drone that attacked St. Petersburg on the night of January 18 was made in Ukraine, Oleksandr Kamyshin, Minister of Strategic Industries, was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian publication "Fakti" and the site "Meduza".

We are capable of producing something that will fly to St. Petersburg. This is made in Ukraine. So that night we hit the target and this thing flew exactly 1,250 kilometers,” the minister said during a discussion in Davos.

The Ministry of Defense of Russia reported earlier that on the night of January 18, air defense systems intercepted an aircraft drone over the territory of the Leningrad region. The remains of the drone were found on the territory of an oil terminal in St. Petersburg. Authorities in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region reported no injuries.

Ukrainian media reported, citing their sources, that the attack on St. Petersburg was organized by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

A Ukrainian drone struck an oil depot in Russia's Bryansk region

A Ukrainian drone attacked and set fire to an oil depot in Russia's Bryansk region, the local governor said. Alexander Bogomaz said more than a dozen fire trucks were fighting the blaze and that initial reports indicated no casualties.

Footage posted on social media showed thick black smoke billowing into the sky as the fire raged in the storage tanks.

Bogomaz wrote on Telegram: "A drone was shot down by the electronic warfare equipment of the Russian Ministry of Defense."

The German defense minister warns that the war in Ukraine could also involve neighboring countries

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius warned that the war between Russia and Ukraine could expand to include neighboring countries, DPA reported.

"We hear threats from the Kremlin almost every day - the most recent such case was against our friends from the Baltic countries," Pistorius said in an interview published today in Tagesspiegel, exactly one year since he took office.

"It is necessary to quickly strengthen our defense capabilities given the urgency of the threat," the minister emphasized, speaking of the country's armed forces. "We have to keep in mind that (Russian President) Vladimir Putin may even attack a NATO country one day," added Pistorus, noting that if that happens, it will be "in five to eight years."

Pistorius points out that by calling for the Bundeswehr to prepare for war, he wants to "shake the public" in his country.

The minister expects by April proposals for the return in some form of compulsory military service, abolished in 2011. He said he was also open to the idea of soldiers without a German passport serving in the armed forces.

Pistorius also believes that the defense industry needs to become more efficient. He spoke in support of reforming the so-called "debt brake" in the name of security. "With the debt brake as it is, we are not going to get through these crises unscathed," he said.

In the interview, Pistorius rejected calls for more German military aid to Ukraine, arguing that the Bundeswehr could not "go all in" and leave Germany defenseless.

Nine people arrested during protests in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan were each sentenced to several days in prison

Nine people who were arrested during protests in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan were sentenced to several days in prison, the Russian judiciary announced today, as quoted by AFP.

AFP notes that demonstrations in Bashkortostan continue.

The nine convicts participated in an "unauthorized public event" in the town of Baymak and received sentences of 8 to 15 days for this. They were detained at a demonstration on January 17.

The protests in Bashkortostan began on Wednesday when human rights activist Fail Alsinov was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting ethnic hatred, a charge he denies.

Thirty-seven-year-old Alsinov is seen as a hero by many ethnic Bashkirs for his campaigns in support of the Bashkir language, Bashkir culture and Bashkir rights.

Last year he spoke out against the recruitment of ethnic Bashkirs for Russia's war against Ukraine, saying "this is not our war".

Protests in Russia are rare, given the fact that those who participate in them are at risk of arrest. The timing of the demonstrations in Bashkortostan is quite sensitive, as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to be re-elected in presidential elections in March, Reuters notes.

While no one doubts Putin's victory, analysts say Bashkortostan's regional leader, Radiy Khabirov, is under pressure to contain the situation to avoid embarrassing moments for the Kremlin during the election campaign.

Hundreds of supporters of Fail Alsinov protested in Bashkortostan today and police detained at least seven people, Reuters reported, citing Russian media with reporters on the ground.

This is the third protest in support of Alsinov this week, but the first time there has been a demonstration in the regional capital.

The protest action in the city of Ufa was organized despite the warnings of Radiy Khabirov that strict action would be taken against the demonstrators, whom the regional leader called extremists and traitors.

NATO begins largest military exercise in decades with around 90,000 troops

About 90,000 military personnel will take part in NATO's largest military exercise in decades, known as Steadfast Defender 2024, which will begin next week and last until May, US General Christopher Cavoli said yesterday, quoted from Reuters.

"The alliance will demonstrate its ability to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic area through the transatlantic movement of forces from North America," the American general told reporters in Brussels after a two-day meeting of the defense chiefs of the member countries. According to Cavoli, the troops will come from NATO allies and Sweden.

According to information received today by DPA, the scenario of the exercise is a Russian attack on allied territory, which triggers Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, containing the promise of collective defense. Article 5 has only been triggered once, after the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

In 2018, NATO's largest exercises since the end of the Cold War were held. They took place mostly in Norway and involved about 51,000 soldiers.

Russia declared the salute "Glory to Ukraine!” as Nazi

Russia's Ministry of Justice has published, almost 10 years late, the first register of Nazi organizations and symbols. It contains mainly Ukrainian organizations, slogans and greetings, including the already world-famous for two years "Glory to Ukraine!" and the response "Glory to heroes!" (Слава Україні! Героям слава!).

The basis for this is a government decree from 2015 - the first year after the illegal annexation of Crimea and the intervention, including military aid, in favor of pro-Russian separatists in Donbas. However, the first entries in it were made on January 17, 2024, Russian media noticed.

These are four organizations that operated on the territory of today's Ukraine mainly during the Second World War. Why the former USSR, of which these lands were then part plus the Polish ones added to them (according to the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Agreement), did not do this for decades after the end of the war, is not clear.

It is about the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its three branches:

Ukrainian People's Revolutionary Army Ukrainian Insurgent Army Ukrainian People's Self-Defence

The decree said that all organizations that cooperated with individuals rejecting the verdicts of the Nuremberg Tribunal or other tribunals after the end of World War II must be described.

As symbols of such organizations, the abbreviated version of the aforementioned greeting "Glory!"-"Glory!", the trident of Prince Vladimir, which is on the coat of arms of today's Ukraine, and the red-black flag of the OUN also entered the register.

For propagandizing or publicly demonstrating these attributes, an administrative penalty is imposed, the maximum amount of which is a fine and arrest for up to 15 days.

The official name of the register is "List of organizations specified in sections three and four of the federal law on perpetuating the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, as well as the attributes and symbols of these organizations". The point for its establishment was entered in November 2014, and the government approved the order for its establishment in June 2015.

Stepan Bandera is the most famous representative of the OUN. He is not its founder, but heads its radical wing and before the Nazi attack on the USSR cooperated with Berlin in the hope that the Bolsheviks would be driven out and an independent Ukraine could be created. Soon after the invasion of 1941, the Nazis began to persecute the nationalists, he himself was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he remained almost until the end of the war. He then lived in Munich, where he was killed by a KGB agent in 1959. Meanwhile, the NKVD mercilessly persecuted nationalists in Western Ukraine for years, killing nearly 150,000 people.

Before the Russian aggression of February 24, 2022, which Vladimir Putin said was against "neo-Nazis and Bandera", the attitude in Ukraine to his name was ambiguous, and it was commented that attempts to glorify it by current nationalists interfered with normal relations with countries like Poland and Israel. After the start of the war, the positive attitude of Ukrainians towards it reached 74%, according to the "Rating" agency.


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