Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

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Ukrainian air force shoots down 22 out of 33 Russian drones overnight, Kyiv says

Russia launched 33 drones and 2 missiles at Ukraine overnight, with air defenses destroying 22 drones, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday.

“The main areas of attack were the south and north. The Ukrainian Air Force and Defence Forces destroyed 22 enemy drones. Several more drones did not reach their targets,” Ukraine’s Air Forces said on the Telegram messaging app.

KYIV, UKRAINE – 2024/01/17: A couple seen looking out at the city of Kyiv. (Photo by Sergei Chuzavkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Reuters could not independently verify the Ukrainian air force’s report. There was no immediate comment from Russia.

Ukrainian civilian and military authorities have not yet reported if the attack caused any casualties or damage.

— Reuters

Russia says Ukrainian drones targeted Moscow, St. Petersburg regions and Belgorod

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that air defense systems shot down drones over the regions of Moscow and St. Petersburg overnight, with one official claiming Ukraine targeted a Baltic oil terminal.

“On January 18, at about 01:30 Moscow time, an attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack using aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles against objects on the territory of the Russian Federation was stopped,” the ministry said in a statement, as reported by state-run news agency Tass.

“On duty air defense systems, one unmanned aerial vehicle was destroyed over the territory of the Moscow region and one was intercepted over the territory of the Leningrad region,” the ministry added.

Vladimir Rogov, an official in the Russian-installed administration of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, claimed Thursday that Ukraine had tried to attack a Russian oil terminal in the St. Petersburg region with a drone.

“For the first time since the beginning of the Northern Military District, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported the interception of a UAV over the Leningrad region,” Rogov said on Telegram.

“Militants of the Ukrainian Armed Forces tried to attack an oil terminal in St. Petersburg with an aircraft-type drone with a wingspan of 6 meters and a piston engine, which carried about 3 kg of explosives,” he said, adding that “the wreckage of the UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] was found on the territory of the Petersburg Oil Terminal JSC.”

Wreckage of the UAV may also be in the Gulf of Finland, 5 km from the terminal, Rogov said.

CNBC was unable to immediately verify Russia’s claims. Ukraine rarely comments on attacks against Russian territory.

If accurate, however, it would mark the first time that the northern region of Leningrad, where St. Petersburg is, has been targeted by Ukraine.

BELGOROD, RUSSIA – JANUARY 15: People wait in a public transport stop covered with sandbags for protection since the city is being shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Belgorod, Russia on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Emil Leegunov/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Anadolu | Anadolu | Getty Images

The governor of the border Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said on Telegram Thursday morning that a woman was injured by shrapnel, and several houses and electricity and gas supply lines were damaged, during a Ukrainian attack on the village of Myasoedovo near Belgorod.

— Holly Ellyatt

We shouldn’t get militarily involved in the Russia-Ukraine war, Hungary’s president says

Speaking to CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick, Katalin Novak, the president of Hungary, discusses the Russia-Ukraine war and the European Union’s support for Kyiv.

Jamie Dimon: Supporting Ukraine is the U.S. putting ‘America first’

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon: If you don't control the borders you're going to destroy our country

JPM CEO Jamie Dimon said that the American public must learn that supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russia is about democracy worldwide.

“We have to teach the American public that this is about freedom and democracy for the free world, and that’s where the battle is being fought,” he told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.

Asked whether his message would get broad support from Americans and what might happen if Donald Trump wins this year’s presidential election, Dimon said: “American leadership have to explain to the American public why it’s important … this is ‘America first,’ this is the battle zone of democracy and freedom.”

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon on bitcoin: My personal advice is don't get involved

Dimon said he and other business leaders met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday to discuss “refinancing” the redevelopment of Ukraine once the war with Russia is over. “So, he is starting to think ahead,” Dimon said of the Ukrainian president.

Wearing a Ukrainian flag pin on his lapel, he said: “My heart goes out to the guy. People forget that, every day, he wakes up in the morning to this 600 mile front, there’s a million soldiers fighting off Russians, they’ve had 300,000 casualties so far. This may go on for longer. We have to help them.”

— Lucy Handley

Bulgaria PM: Ukraine is fighting for Europe

Bulgaria PM: Ukraine is fighting for Europe

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nikolay Denkov, the prime minister of Bulgaria, discusses why he believes united support for Ukraine is so important.

Kremlin relishes Hungary’s block on EU aid for Ukraine, official says

Hungary's actions are being 'celebrated' in the Kremlin, top EU official says

Hungary’s decision to so far block EU cash to Ukraine is being celebrated in the Kremlin, European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova told CNBC.

The EU failed to agree on a 50 billion euro ($54 billion) package in financial aid for Ukraine in December after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vetoed the measure. The stalling of further aid dealt a further blow to Kyiv after U.S. lawmakers had also failed to agree a $60 billion package of military aid for Ukraine.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia mocks UK efforts to provide security assurances to Ukraine

Russia’s Foreign Ministry mocked U.K. efforts to support Ukraine, saying promises of future security cooperation were not binding.

Last Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signed a bilateral agreement aimed at increasing their security cooperation.

The deal “formalises a range of support the UK has been and will continue to provide for Ukraine’s security, including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defence industrial cooperation,” the government said. 

It also commits the U.K. to consulting with Ukraine in the event that it is attacked by Russia again, and to provide “swift and sustained” assistance for Kyiv’s defense. 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) hold bilateral talks as UK premier unveils $3.1B military aid package for Ukraine amid their meeting in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on January 12, 2024.

Ukrainian Presidency | Anadolu | Getty Images

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova mocked the agreement Wednesday, saying “the Ukrainians were simply handed a brightly wrapped set of promises of mainly advisory assistance, surrounded by all this with beautiful assurances of support for Ukraine, which have no legally binding force, no legally binding nature,” she told reporters Wednesday, news agency Tass reported.

“With this step, the British leadership is making maximum efforts to prevent G7 and NATO allies from losing interest in what is happening in Ukraine, which London continues to view as a geopolitical instrument aimed against Russia,” she said, without presenting evidence to support her claim.

The U.K.’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron is at the World Economic Forum Wednesday and is due to meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at the event in Davos.

— Holly Ellyatt

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