Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy recently expressed that the winter season marks a new phase of the ongoing war with Russia. He acknowledged that the summer counteroffensive did not yield the desired results and attributed the shift in the international community’s attention to the Middle East tragedy as having consequences for Ukraine.
Zelenskiy emphasized the need for changes in Ukraine’s mobilization system and discussed strategies to improve the country’s military position. Meanwhile, Russia declared that its troops were making advancements in all sections of the Ukrainian front. However, independent observers have reported little movement on the frontlines.
Despite this, the intensity of the fighting remains high. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Russian servicemen have been acting competently and decisively, claiming to occupy more favorable positions and expanding their control in all directions.
Additionally, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to increase the maximum number of servicemen in the Russian armed forces by 170,000. The regular strength of the armed forces is now set at 1,320,000, according to official sources.
On the diplomatic front, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed doubt that Kyiv was ready to pursue a political resolution. Lavrov also stated that there was no reason for Russia to alter the goals of its ongoing “special military operation.”
Tension remains high on the Polish-Ukrainian border, with Ukrainian truckers demanding their concerns be addressed. If their demands are not met, they have threatened to launch a hunger strike.
In an attempt to ease the situation, Polish and Ukrainian officials have agreed on certain measures, but the primary demands of the protesting Polish truckers have not been addressed. Furthermore, Slovak truckers have announced their intention to block a border crossing with Ukraine.
Finally, a Russian court has extended the detention of Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva until 5 February. The reasons behind this extension have not been disclosed.