Espreso. Global

Victorious news of 707th day of war: 207 Ukrainians released from Russian captivity, drone attacks St. Petersburg

31 January, 2024 Wednesday

Germany has provided another military aid package to Ukraine, which includes armored personnel carriers and 155-mm artillery rounds, the US will provide new guided multipurpose munitions

Ukraine returned 207 Ukrainians from Russian captivity

On January 31, Ukraine returned 207 Ukrainians from Russian captivity. The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War noted that this is the 50th exchange of prisoners of war since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. Ukraine managed to return 95 representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 56 National Guard members, 26 border guards, 29 Territorial Defense soldiers, and one representative of the National Police.

"180 defenders returning home are private and non-commissioned officers, and another 27 are Ukrainian officers. At least 36 of them are wounded or seriously ill. The oldest of the released defenders is already 61 years old, and the youngest will soon be 21," the ministry stated. 

The head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, clarified that soldiers of the Armed Forces and the National Guard, border guards and National Police officers were returned from Russian captivity. Among them are the defenders of Mariupol and Zmiinyi Island, and soldiers who were at Azovstal in the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Kherson and Sumy regions.

Presumably Ukrainian drone attacked St. Petersburg

Russians claim unidentified drone breached St. Petersburg night skies, crashing at Nevsky Mazut Oil Refinery: Ukrainian media links operation to the Main Intelligence Directorate.

It is noted that at first, St. Petersburg residents reported a rumble heard in different parts of the city.

At about 4:20 a.m. local time, Russian air defense tried to shoot down the UAV on approach, and an S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system was deployed 60 kilometers from St. Petersburg.

The downed drone managed to fly to the Nevsky district of St. Petersburg and crashed into the territory of the Nevsky Mazut plant, damaging several tanks. The carpet plan was introduced at Pulkovo airport from 3:53 to 5:11am.

Later, Suspilne and RBC-Ukraine's sources in the special services said that the Main Intelligence Directorate was behind the operation.

According to the media source, the Russians tried to shoot down the Ukrainian UAV with the S-400 system, which is the most powerful air defense system in the Russian arsenal. However, the shootdown was not effective - the drone still crashed on the territory of the Nevsky Oil Refinery. 

Germany will provide over 1,000 artillery shells for the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Germany has provided another military aid package to Ukraine. It includes armored personnel carriers and more than a thousand 155-mm artillery rounds. The full list of weapons was published on the federal government's website.

In addition to the artillery, the package includes 24 armored personnel carriers, 4 Bandvagn 206 (BV206) tracked multipurpose vehicles, a BIBER bridge paver with spare parts, 3 WISENT 1 demining tanks and 14 special devices for demining tanks.

Germany also donated to Ukraine 6 Sea King Mk41 multipurpose helicopters with spare parts, a missile for the IRIS-T air defense system, a system for anti-marine mines, a Satcom video surveillance system, 4 cars for border guards, 450 snow chains (for cars) and 194,000 dry rations for the military.

In addition, Germany wants to train another 10,000 soldiers from Ukraine this year. This was stated in Brussels by German Secretary of State for Defense Simone Meller, according to European Pravda, citing RP Online.

US sends "invincible" weapons to Ukraine

GLSDB guided munitions, which the United States is delivering to Ukraine, are virtually invulnerable weapons because they are protected from enemy electronic warfare systems, said Serhiy Zgurets, director of the Defense Express information and consulting company, on Espreso TV.

"It maneuvers like a guided cruise missile on a complex trajectory, making it exceptionally challenging to intercept. The critical question revolves around the quantity of delivered ammunition. These new guided munitions, with their potent warhead, serve a versatile purpose, capable of demolishing bunkers, radars, and air defense systems. To be precise, they have multifunctional utility, ensuring a range of viable targets," emphasized Zgurets.

He also noted that the new GLSDB guided munitions have a multifunctional purpose.

"The GLSDB is a highly precise munition set to be utilized by the Ukrainian army from standard HIMARS or MLRS launchers. It represents a novel long-range guided missile, integrating cruise-guided aerial bomb capabilities with the launch motor of existing legacy systems. With a range of 150 km, this addition provides us with two long-range systems in our arsenal.”

Ukraine is getting by with its own gas for the first time

For the first time in its history, Ukraine is going through the heating season using domestically produced gas. Today, there are about 10 billion cubic meters of gas in storage. 

This was stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. According to him, Naftogaz and UkrGasVydobuvannya increased production by 11% and opened new gas production wells with a fairly large volume.

"We currently have about 10 billion cubic meters of gas in our storage facilities. And we are really going through this heating season on gas produced exclusively in Ukraine," Shmyhal said.

He added that Ukraine is going through this winter with a balanced electricity system.

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