These images show the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine in ruins after months of intense fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces for control of the area.
The images show a large number of buildings damaged or destroyed, their windows blown out, with signs of missile and gunfire damage.
Ukrainian troops march through the city, the streets eerily deserted.
One soldier, named only as Oleksandr, aka ‘Teacher’, spoke of how his history teacher office, that survived the Nazi occupation in World War II, has now been destroyed in the war with Russia.
The images were obtained from the Territorial Defence Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Tuesday, 17th January, along with a statement saying: “‘There was my history office. Once here everything was green, ennobled. But now there are only ruins. This is what war brings – only destruction, pain and suffering. This building survived the German-Nazi occupation. But it did not survive the war with our northern neighbour’.
“Oleksandr is a mortarman of the Bakhmut battalion of the Territorial Defence Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Until March 2022 — a history teacher and deputy director. That’s why he took the call sign ‘Teacher’. […]”
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 329th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 18th January 2023, Russia had lost about 117,770 personnel, 3,130 tanks, 6,225 armoured combat vehicles, 2,108 artillery units, 442 multiple launch rocket systems, 220 air defence systems, 287 warplanes, 276 helicopters, 1,876 drones, 749 cruise missiles, 17 warships, 4,889 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 190 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
The Ukrainian authorities have said that they have completed a search and rescue operation among the rubble of an apartment building in the city of Dnipro that was hit by a Russian missile strike on Sunday.
Forty-five people lost their lives in the attack, including one child, with at least 19 people still missing and 79 injured, according to Ukrainian officials.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych has resigned after public outcry over comments he made saying that the Russian missile that struck the building and Dnipro have been shot down by Ukraine.
The apartment complex was hit by a Kh-22 missile, according to the Ukrainian Air Force. The Ukrainian authorities said that they do not have equipment capable of shooting down this type of missile.
Russia has announced that it will be making “major changes” to its military between 2023 and 2026.
The Russian Ministry of Defence has said that it will strengthen the combat capabilities of its naval, aerospace and strategic missile forces. The Russian MoD also said that it will make administrative changes.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the changes were necessary as a result of the “proxy war” he said the West was conducting in Ukraine.
Ukraine has said that over 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion last February.
Ukraine has again asked world leaders to increase efforts to remove Russia’s troops from its territory, with the war dominating the first day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko asked her country’s allies to increase military supplies so Russia could be defeated faster.
And Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, asked those attending the World Economic Forum to use their influence to end Russia’s aggression.
Boris Pistorius has become Germany’s new Defence Minister after being chosen by the Chancellor Olaf Scholz following the resignation of Christine Lambrecht. Lambrecht was widely criticised for failing to improve Germany’s notoriously ill-equipped armed forces.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has told US President Joe Biden that the Netherlands will provide Patriot missiles to Ukraine.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said that supplying Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine was so that the war could be concluded quickly, adding that there is a moral imperative to end it soon due to the high casualties and cost.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said at Davos: “I think the only message that we need to send is that we will support Ukraine as long as needed. One year, two years, five years, 10 years, 15 years.”
British Defence Minister Ben Wallace will join his Polish and Baltic counterparts in Estonia to again ask Germany to allow for Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine this week.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at Davos that the EU is releasing EUR 3 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine.
It is the first payment of a total fund of EUR 18 billion designed to help the country run public services throughout the winter, with the funds geared towards paying public sector wages and pensions, as well as to keep schools and hospitals operational.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, has asked Russia to stop recruiting Serbs to fight with its Wagner Group mercenary organisation in Ukraine.