**686 Days of Conflict: Key Events in Russia-Ukraine War**
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has stretched on for 686 days, with new developments continuing to shape the situation. As of Wednesday, January 10, 2024, here are the major events unfolding in this prolonged war.
The fighting persists as a grim reminder of the ongoing conflict. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov vowed to take all necessary measures to halt Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod, a Russian border city that has been the target of relentless assaults. The onslaught resulted in the injury of three individuals and the evacuation of hundreds of civilians. Tragically, more than 20 innocent lives were claimed in a previous attack. The region near the border also experienced casualties, with one individual falling victim to Ukrainian shelling in Russia’s Kursk region. Drones targeted a fuel facility in the neighboring Oryol region, causing three more injuries. Furthermore, a somber toll was revealed, with at least 520 children losing their lives and nearly 1,200 sustaining injuries since the full-scale invasion began. The devastation reached the capital, Kyiv, as a warehouse fell victim to a missile attack, resulting in 33 fatalities. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu assured that their forces maintained control over the 930-mile front line, mentioning the loss of 215,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the previous year’s fighting, while accusing the United States of pressuring Ukraine to continue the conflict.
**Politics and Diplomacy**
Amid the chaos, political and diplomatic efforts persist. Ukraine, along with its Group of Seven (G7) allies, engaged in a clandestine meeting with a select group of Global South countries in Saudi Arabia to rally support for Kyiv’s peace plan. Notably, China abstained from the meeting, and Russia was notably excluded. Additionally, Russia’s Interior Ministry added exiled Russian tycoon and opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky to its wanted list, citing the dissemination of false information about the Russian army. Furthermore, the Italian city of Modena prohibited a public hall from hosting an event related to the reconstruction of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, under Russian occupation, citing an apparent bias towards Russia’s invasion.
The involvement of weapons remains a crucial aspect of this conflict. A coalition of 48 countries, including Argentina, Australia, and the US, condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) export and Russia’s procurement of DPRK ballistic missiles. These countries also criticized Russia’s use of these missiles against Ukraine, considering such actions in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea. The Kremlin declined to comment on the allegations put forward by the US and Ukraine. Ukraine expressed concern about the strain on its air defense resources due to Russia’s recent escalation of missile and drone attacks, underscoring the need for additional weapons supplies. Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov unveiled corruption schemes within the ministry, amounting to over $262 million, including irregularities in ammunition procurement. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy highlighted signs of a slowdown in Russia’s defense industry and called for intensified efforts to close loopholes in sanctions against Moscow.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to relentless fighting, intricate political maneuvers, and the continued development of weaponry. The rising toll on civilians and the repercussions of geopolitical dynamics set the stage for a prolonged and nuanced confrontation. As the conflict enters its 686th day, the enduring ramifications continue to shape the landscape of this harrowing war.