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Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy to attend WEF in Davos in person

Published January 9, 2024last updated January 9, 2024

World Economic Forum President Borge Brende said Ukraine’s president would give a "special address" in person at Davos this year. Elsewhere, a Ukrainian lawmaker said a Russian cyberattack has been thwarted. DW has more.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pictured  making a video adress in Davos in May 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has previously addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos via videolink, but is expected in person at this year's gatheringImage: Markus Schreiber/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in person this year and is expected to make a special address.

Previously Ukraine's president had appeared via videolink.

Meanwhile a Russian cyber attack targeting Ukrainian state payment has been successfully repelled, according to a senior Ukrainian lawmaker.

Russian hackers allegedly tried to sabotage systems needed for government payments.

This blog is now closed.You can find DW's full coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine here.

Skip next section Zelenskyy to travel to Davos for WEF
January 9, 2024

Zelenskyy to travel to Davos for WEF

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

WEF President Borge Brende announced on Tuesday that the Ukrainian leader would be at the annual summit in person.

Zelenskyy, who has made speeches to the WEF via videolink in the past, will deliver a "special address" and meet CEOs, said Brende.

The publication said that according to information it had, Bern was preparing for a visit by Zelenskyy who would then go on to Davos.

"It is taking place against the most complicated geopolitical and geoeconomic backdrop in decades," Brende told a virtual press conference.

The annual summit will take place from January 15-19.

In 2023, Zelenskyy called for a faster response from the rest of the world amid Russia’s invasion, in a video address.

Skip next section Ukrainians call for more efforts to free prisoners of war
January 9, 2024

Ukrainians call for more efforts to free prisoners of war

Families and friends of missing Ukrainian soldiers have been calling for more prisoner swaps. Although Ukraine and Russia recently exchanged a large number of prisoners, many Ukrainian soldiers continue to be held in Russian captivity, some of them for more than a year. 

In Ukraine, protesters call for more prisoner swaps

Skip next section Power to more than 1,000 Ukrainian towns knocked out by severe weather
January 9, 2024

Power to more than 1,000 Ukrainian towns knocked out by severe weather

Ukraine’s state-owned energy operator Ukrenergo said severe winter weather had left more than 1,000 towns and villages without power.

The power utility said that the outages were being experienced in nine regions and urged residents to use power sparingly due to the grid being weakened by the Russian strikes.

Temperatures plummeted to around -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) in many parts of the country with electricity consumption at high levels according to Ukrenergo.

"The consumption level continues to grow due to the considerable drop in temperature across the country," it said on the Telegram messaging app, adding that electricity consumption in the morning was already 5.8% higher than the day before.

"As of this morning due to bad weather — strong winds, ice — power was cut off in 1,025 settlements."

Ukraine has had to import electricity from neighboring Romania and Slovakia to be able to meet the demand, Ukrenergo said.

Protecting Ukraine's power grid

Skip next section Air defense in Russia-occupied Crimea 'degraded' after Ukrainian strikes — UK intelligence
January 9, 2024

Air defense in Russia-occupied Crimea 'degraded' after Ukrainian strikes — UK intelligence

Britain's Ministry of Defence (MOD) on Tuesday said that Ukrainian strikes on Russian targets at the Saki aerodrome and Sevastopol last week had likely impacted Russian air defences in Crimea.

"These attacks likely degraded the awareness and coverage of Russian air defences over the Crimean region," the MOD said in its daily intelligence briefing.

The MOD said that Russia had launced a number of missile attacks across Ukraine on Monday in response, targeting several cities which included Kryvyi Rih and Zaporizhzhia city.

The MOD also pointed out that the attacks highlight "the ineffectiveness of Russian air defences in protecting key locations" and was an indication that Ukraine's actions in the region had been successful. 

On Saturday Ukraine's air force said  it had struck and destroyed a Russian command center at the Saki airfield on the occupied Crimean peninsula in an overnight missile attack.

Ukraine last hit the Saki airfield in August 2022, destroying several Russian aircraft.

Skip next section Russia will do 'everything' to halt Belgorod shelling
January 9, 2024

Russia will do 'everything' to halt Belgorod shelling

Russia on Tuesday said its military would do everything possible to stop Ukraine's shelling of Belgorod, a border town where evacuations have taken place due to Ukrainian bombardments.

"Of course, our military will continue to do everything in order to minimize the danger at first and then eliminate it entirely," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He accused Ukrainian forces of firing on civilian targets with weapons supplied by European countries.

A bout of aerial attacks on Belgorod last month killed 25 people.

Russia vows retaliation after attack on Belgorod


Skip next section Ukraine fends off Russian cyberattack, says Ukrainian lawmaker
January 9, 2024

Ukraine fends off Russian cyberattack, says Ukrainian lawmaker

Several Russian cyberattacks targeting Ukraine's budget payment systems have been repelled, according to senior Ukrainian lawmaker Danylo Hetmantsev.

Hetmantsev, who heads the Ukrainian parliamentary committee for finaces, taxes and customs, said on Telegram that the attack was attempt by Russian hackers to destroy Ukrainian payment systems, but was thwarted.

The lawmaker also said that some minor access restrictions for users from abroad were possible.

Last week Ukraine's Security Service, known as the SBU, warned that Russia was planning more cyberattacks on the country's largest telecoms provider Kyivstar, following an attack in December that knocked out phone and internet services.

Illia Vitiuk, head of cybersecurity department in SBU, alleged the attack was the work of Sandworm, a regular unit of Russian military intelligence that has targeted Ukrainian telecommunication operators and internet service providers, the statement said.

Other services impacted by the December attack were bank ATMs, air raid sirens, and point-of-sale terminals in stores.


Skip next section Scholz criticizes 'insufficient' military support for Ukraine by EU allies
January 9, 2024

Scholz criticizes 'insufficient' military support for Ukraine by EU allies

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday said most of the European Union were failing to deliver sufficient weapons to Ukraine.

"As significant as the German contribution is, it will not be enough to ensure Ukraine's security in the long run," Scholz said at a news conference in Berlin.

"Therefore, I call on allies in the European Union to strengthen their efforts regarding Ukraine," he added.

Germany had been criticized in the early months of Russia's invasion for failing to provide enough military support to Kyiv, but it has become one of the largest providers of weapons and financial aid.

Late last year, it agreed to double the country's military aid for Ukraine in 2024 to €8 billion ($8.8 billion).

"Europe must demonstrate that it stands closely with Ukraine on the side of freedom, international law, and European values," Scholz asserted.

The chancellor said he was confident the bloc would agree to its proposed 50 billion-euro aid package for Ukraine at an upcoming emergency summit on Feb. 1.