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Ukraine updates: Russia launches new aerial attacks

Published January 28, 2024last updated January 28, 2024

Russian drones and missiles hit a number of cities around Ukraine, including in the Kharkiv and Zaporizhia regions. Meanwhile, Ukrainian intelligence uncovered a large corruption scheme. DW has the latest.

A man standing before a destroyed building in Sloviansk
Russian missile and drone attacks have caused damage to Ukrainian infrastructure, officials saidImage: Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Russia hit buildings and infrastructure around Ukraine in fresh strikes on Saturday night.

Ukraine's SBU military intelligence agency said officials embezzled millions of dollars under the guise of arms procurement.

Kyiv meanwhile accused Moscow of not providing evidence for its claims that a downed military aircraft was carrying prisoners of war.

Here's a look at the latest developments in Russia's war in Ukraine on Sunday, January 28:

Skip next section WATCH: Ukrainians in Berlin connect with home through poetry nights
January 28, 2024

WATCH: Ukrainians in Berlin connect with home through poetry nights

At the ARTdespite gallery in Berlin, Ukrainian refugees meet up once a month to recite poetry, as a way to stay connected with their home country and culture. Proceeds from art sales are donated to organizations in Ukraine.

Ukrainians in Berlin connect with home through poetry nights

Skip next section Scholz says Europeans must step up support for Ukraine
January 28, 2024

Scholz says Europeans must step up support for Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz again called on European countries to provide more financial and military aid to Ukraine. In light of US President Joe Biden's difficulties in getting a new aid package for Ukraine through Congress, Kyiv's supporters "are now in a very decisive position," Scholz said at the SPD's European delegates' conference in Berlin. That is why he said he wants to "talk in Europe about how everyone can increase and expand their contributions."

Military support for Ukraine in other European countries is often "limited," Scholz said. The German government has already earmarked more than €7 billion for Ukraine in this year's budget, which is currently more than half of the total contributions from European states, he said. Germany wanted to do a lot, but it was "only a middle power," Scholz said, adding that it must now be "the contribution of all the others to do a lot."

Russian President Vladimir Putin must realize that his calculations will not work if he simply waits for support for Ukraine to wane, Scholz stressed, adding that persistence is also an important factor in bringing peace to Ukraine more quickly.

Scholz has been under pressure for months to deliver Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine. On Sunday, he reiterated that support for the country would continue to be "cautious" and "internationally coordinated. There will continue to be no German "unilateral efforts."

Skip next section Hungary's far-right would lay claim to region if Ukraine loses war
January 28, 2024

Hungary's far-right would lay claim to region if Ukraine loses war

Hungary's far-right Our Homeland party would lay claim to a western Ukrainian region of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), which is home to some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians, if Ukraine loses its statehood due to Russia's invasion, the party's leader said.

Our Homeland leader Laszlo Toroczkai made the remarks at a conference where the party, which has six lawmakers in Hungary's 199-member parliament, hosted far-right leaders from Germany's Alternative for Germany party (AfD) and the Netherlands' Forum for Democracy, among others.

"Regarding the war in Ukraine, our message is very simple: immediate cease-fire, peace and a resolution through talks," Toroczkai said in a video posted on his party's website, calling for autonomy for ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine.

"If this war ends up with Ukraine losing its statehood, because this is also on the cards, then as the only Hungarian party taking this position, let me signal that we lay claim to Transcarpathia," he said.

In a December interview on public radio, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a summary of his remarks released by government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in western Ukraine on Monday to prepare the ground for a possible meeting between leaders of the two countries.

Hungary criticizes Ukraine's EU prospects

Skip next section Ukraine exposes military procurement corruption scheme
January 28, 2024

Ukraine exposes military procurement corruption scheme

Ukrainian authorities uncovered corruption in the defense sector amounting to about $40 million (€37 million), Ukraine’s SBU security service said.

The SBU said officials signed a deal to purchase 100,000 mortar shells for the military and paid in advance, but no arms were ever provided.

It said an investigation "exposed officials of the Ministry of Defense and managers of arms supplier Lviv Arsenal, who stole nearly 1.5 billion hryvnias in the purchase of shells."

"According to the investigation, former and current high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Defense and heads of affiliated companies are involved in the embezzlement," the SBU added.

Legal proceedings have begun against five individuals allegedly involved in the scheme.

Corruption within the military has been a particularly sensitive issue in Ukraine as it tries to maintain wartime public morale and present its case to join the European Union.

Skip next section Ukraine presses Russia on downed flight claims
January 28, 2024

Ukraine presses Russia on downed flight claims

Ukraine refuted Russia's claims that a downed military aircraft was carrying prisoners of war who were set to be sent home.

Kyrylo Budanov, chief of Ukraine's GUR military intelligence agency, said that Russia has not provided any evidence of corpses that would prove that POWs were onboard the flight.

"There are a number of factors that are unclear," Budanov said in an interview with state TV.

"First of all, they did not show fields covered with corpses and remains," he said

"If it happened as Russia claims, why does Russia ... continue to hide the bodies?"

Ukraine, Russia point fingers after plane crash incident

Skip next section Russia launches fresh wave of strikes on Ukraine
January 28, 2024

Russia launches fresh wave of strikes on Ukraine

Russia bombarded Ukraine with missiles and drones once again on Saturday night.

Attacks were reported in a number of regions, including Kharkiv.

Zaporizhzhia military governor Yuri Malashko said infrastructure had been hit but did not elaborate.

"Enemy drones have attacked the regional center," he said.

Meanwhile, Poltava military governor Filip Pronin said two Russian ballistic missiles had hit an industrial site in Kremenchuk.

Earlier on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said Russia ramped up its efforts to capture Ukrainian towns.

"The occupying forces have significantly increased the number of attacks and assaults — for the second day in a row, the enemy has carried out 50 combat operations," Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday. 

Tarnavskyi said the frontline towns of Myrnohrad and Novohrodiivka had also been hit by Russian strikes recently.