Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, February 17

Russia hits targets in north, west, center of Ukraine -- Missile debris found in Moldovan border region -- US concerned over China, Iran helping Russia import foreign chips -- European Parliament urges EU countries to consider giving fighter jets to Ukraine -- and more

Friday, February 17

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A Ukrainian serviceman of the 93rd brigade covers his ears while firing a French 120mm rifle towed mortar towards Russian positions in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on Feb. 15, 2023. (Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP via Getty Images)

Official: Russia hits targets in north, west, center of Ukraine. Russia hit targets in the north and west of Ukraine, as well as in Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad oblasts, with drones and missiles overnight on Feb. 16, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Feb. 16. Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s state-owned grid operator, said the attack would not lead to blackouts.

UK Defense Ministry: Russian air force underperforms in Ukraine. Russia’s air force continues to underperform in Ukraine due to air defense and dispersed basing caused by the threat of strikes on Russian airfields, the UK’s Defense Ministry reported on Feb. 16.

General Staff: Russia launches 24 air strikes, uses 41 missiles on Feb. 16. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that Russia launched 24 air strikes and over 50 attacks from rocket salvo systems on Feb. 16.

Ukrenergo CEO: Worst of Russian attacks on energy grid likely over. “The adversary has largely lost the ability to inflict significant damage,” said Volodymyr Kudrytsky in an interview with Bloomberg on Feb. 16, adding that the coming months will nonetheless not be easy.

Ukraine returns 101 more POWs from Russian captivity. 100 military personnel and one civilian were released from Russian captivity during a prisoner exchange on Feb. 16, according to the Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War. The majority of military personnel are from Mariupol, including 63 Azovstal defenders.

Reznikov: Ukraine’s ‘armored fist’ strengthens with new Western deliveries. Following the two-day Ramstein-format meeting in Brussels, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Ukraine’s “armored fist” will be strengthened. “In a few months we’ll be able to complete the plan set by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the General Staff,” said Reznikov.

Missile debris found in Moldovan border region. This is the fourth time a missile part has fallen in Moldovan territory since Russia started launching mass missile strikes on Ukraine on Oct. 10, according to the ministry, with the most recent incident having occurred on Jan. 14.

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Bloomberg: US concerned over China, Iran helping Russia import foreign chips. G7 member states are discussing whether to sanction companies in China, Iran, and North Korea that are providing Russia with parts and technology that have military purposes, Bloomberg reported, citing its sources.

Putin, Lukashenko to discuss military cooperation on Feb. 17. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin will meet his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Feb. 17 to discuss military cooperation, Lukashenko said.

MP: Defense Ministry confirms that some food procurement prices were above average. The Defense Ministry has published the prices at which it purchased food in 2022 following a corruption scandal over procurement, Anastasia Radina, head of parliament’s anti-corruption committee, said on Feb. 16.

General Milley: Russia-Ukraine war will end with negotiations. “It will be almost impossible for the Russians to achieve their political objectives by military means. It is unlikely that Russia is going to overrun Ukraine. It’s just not going to happen,” said Milley, also adding that it will be “very, very difficult” for Ukraine to expel all Russian forces from occupied territory.

Ukraine nationalizes assets of sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The properties include the Mykolaiv Alumina Refinery, the Hlukhiv Quartzite Quarry, Khust Quarry, and the Zhezheliv Quarry. The total value of Deripaska’s assets seized is around Hr 10 billion ($271 million).

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Ukraine war latest: Russia bombards Ukraine in yet another mass strike

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Governor: Russian attacks kill 6, injure 13 in Donetsk Oblast. Russian forces on Feb. 15 killed three people in Pokrovsk, two in Bakhmut and one in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.

Russia’s shelling of Bakhmut kills 5, injures 9. Russian forces fired at a residential area in Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast with artillery and Grad MLRS, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported on Feb. 16. Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Feb. 16 that 6,000 civilians are still living in the front-line city of Bakhmut. She urged them to evacuate as soon as possible.

Russia shells Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast, killing 1. Earlier today, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported that a Russian airstrike had injured 6 men between the ages of 36 and 65. The victims were repairmen carrying out work on powerlines.

Russian shelling kills couple in Kherson Oblast. Russian shelling damaged a house in the village of Zmiivka in Kherson Oblast on Feb. 16, killing a couple, the Kherson regional administration reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 140,460 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. According to the report, Russia has also lost 3,296 tanks, 6,517 armored fighting vehicles, 5,167 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,306 artillery systems, 466 multiple launch rocket systems, 239 air defense systems, 298 airplanes, 287 helicopters, 2,012 drones, and 18 boats.

International response

Politico: EU Commission backs out of Russian nuclear sanctions. Three diplomats told Politico on Feb. 16 that the EU Commission will not include sanctions against the Russian nuclear sector or its representatives in its latest sanctions package. Many EU countries rely on Rosatom for the construction and maintenance of their nuclear power infrastructure.

Nuland: New G7 sanctions package to be announced at Russian invasion anniversary. “These sanctions will expand and deepen the previously introduced restrictions in certain categories, related, in particular, to limiting the flow of technology and equipment for the Russian defense industry, etc.,” US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said.

Israeli foreign minister arrives in Kyiv for official visit. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote on Twitter on Feb. 16 that he had arrived in Kyiv and was planning to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Israel to support Zelensky’s peace formula at the UN. Israel intends to support President Volodymyr Zelensky’s peace plan at the United Nations next week, said Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Feb. 16.

Norwegian parliament approves 7 billion euro aid plan for Ukraine. Norway’s parliament on Feb. 16 approved a 7.4 billion euro (75 billion kroner) support plan for Ukraine as part of a five-year support package, the Norwegian government reported.

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European Parliament urges EU countries to consider giving fighter jets to Ukraine. The European Parliament on Feb. 16 urged EU member states to consider supplying Ukraine with fighter jets, helicopters, missile systems and more ammunition.

UK opposition leader Keir Starmer visits Ukraine. UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Feb. 16. The two discussed the current situation on the front line and what to expect in the coming months, sanctions and the confiscation of Russian-held assets, post-war reconstruction, and the creation of a Russian war crimes tribunal.

France sends 14 wheeled tank destroyers to Ukraine. Fourteen AMX-10RC wheeled tank destroyers are en route to Ukraine from France, reports the Forces Operations blog. This is the first batch and more are expected to be sent to Ukraine in the near future.

Slovakian parliament recognizes Kremlin as terrorist regime. Slovak lawmakers condemned Russia’s large-scale attacks on civilians, civilian objects and critical infrastructure after the latest Russian missile strike unleashed on Ukraine on Feb. 16.

Media: Transfer of damaged weapons across Slovakia border stalled over legal issues. Slovakia has not allowed 15 German-made howitzers in need of repairs to pass across its border with Ukraine for several weeks, the German edition of Business Insider reported.

Canada to allocate additional $5.6 million for demining Ukraine. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported on Feb. 16 that Canada will provide Ukraine with 7.5 million CAD ($5.6 million) for demining.

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