Russia-Ukraine War: List of key events, day 680 | News

As the war enters day 680, these are the main events.

Here is the situation on Thursday, January 4, 2024.


  • Russia and Ukraine exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war in the largest release of captives since Russia began its full-scale invasion in February 2022. Ukrainian officials said 230 of its prisoners were freed, while Russia said 248 of its soldiers They were returned after mediation by the United Arab Emirates.
  • Russia said Ukraine launched attacks on its Belgorod and Kursk regions, as well as the Crimean peninsula that Moscow invaded and annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said the situation remained “tense” after that 12 missiles were shot down over the region. Some 25 people were killed in an airstrike on Belgorod on Saturday. There were no reports of casualties from Wednesday’s attacks.
  • Two people were killed and one wounded after 134 Russian strikes hit the Zaporizhia region during 24 hours on Wednesday, according to Yuriy Malashko, head of Ukraine’s regional military administration.
  • One person was killed in heavy Russian shelling of the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, including its main city.
  • One person was killed and another injured after Russia launched four missiles at the eastern city of Avdiivka, Donetsk regional head Vadym Filashkin said in a Telegram message. The city, not far from Donetsk and occupied by the Russians, has been the scene of intense fighting for weeks.
  • The UK Ministry of Defense said the Russian military may have changed its attack strategy in Ukraine to target the country’s defense industry rather than energy infrastructure as it did last winter. “Russian planners almost certainly recognize the growing importance of relative defense industrial capacity as they prepare for a long war,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.
  • Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ukrainian army’s ground forces, said Russian forces were continuing their offensives in Bakhmut and Kupyan on the eastern front and that fighting in Bakhmut was particularly intense. Syrskyi said Russian forces had suffered losses at Lyman and were regrouping in preparation for a new offensive.
  • Russia said four people were injured after its plane accidentally bombed the village of Petropavlovka in southwestern Russia on Tuesday. Damage was also caused to houses, a school and some administrative buildings, as well as vehicles.

Politics and diplomacy

  • The European Union imposed sanctions on Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner, to further squeeze Russian revenue streams. The company’s general director, Pavel Alekseevich Marinychev, was also sanctioned. According to the EU, Alrosa accounts for more than 90 percent of all Russian diamond production.
  • Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the country will need more than $37 billion in foreign financing this year and that kyiv was counting on “stable and timely assistance” from its international partners to help keep its economy going.
  • Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said inspectors had been denied access to parts of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Russian-occupied Ukraine for two weeks and had not yet received plans for maintenance by 2024 for the facility.


  • Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Western countries should tighten sanctions against Russia and provide Kiev with long-range missiles that allow it to target “launch sites and command centers.”
  • Norway will send two F-16 fighter jets to Denmark so that Ukrainian pilots can train in the use of the American-made aircraft. Ten Norwegian instructors have already been sent to Denmark to assist in pilot training.
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