Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, February 2

Russian missile strike on residential building in Kramatorsk kills at least 3, injures at least 21 -- Russia prepares offensives in several areas -- EU to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers -- US uncovers global sanctions evasion network helping Russia’s defense sector -- Russia acquiring many features of dictatorship -- and more

Thursday, February 2

Russia’s war against Ukraine


A Russian missile hit a residential building in Kramatorsk in the late evening of Feb. 1, 2023, causing severe destruction. (Photo: Lachentyt/Telegram)

Russian missile strike on residential building in Kramatorsk kills at least 3, injures at least 21. Donetsk Oblast Police reported that Russian forces used Iskander-K cruise missile system to target an apartment building in the city of Kramatorsk late on Feb. 1.

Stand with the Kyiv Independent. Become a member today.

Police: Over 5,000 civilians still in Bakhmut. At least 5,990 civilians, including 200 children, are still living in the front-line city of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, local law enforcement reported. Russian regular forces, along with Kremlin-controlled Wager Group, have been attempting to capture Bakhmut for months.

General Staff: Russia prepares offensives in several areas. Russian forces are “actively” conducting reconnaissance operations on the battlefield to prepare new offensives in several areas, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Feb. 1.

Corruption crackdown

Investigators search Kolomoisky, Avakov, incumbent top officials in unprecedented raid. Law enforcement agencies on Feb. 1 searched the houses of several incumbent and former top officials and an oligarch in what appears to be the largest anti-corruption raid since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Investigators expose $1 billion embezzlement scheme at Ukrnafta, Ukrtatnafta. The Economic Security Bureau said on Feb. 1 that it had exposed an alleged $1 billion embezzlement scheme at oil companies Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta, which were previously affiliated with oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Security Service: Top police officer suspected of leading prostitution ring in Kyiv. Law enforcement authorities detained 15 people suspected of setting up a large-scale network of brothels in Kyiv on Feb. 1, Kyiv’s Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service reported.

Ex-deputy minister of culture, 6 others suspected of dubious asset takeover. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine said on Feb. 1 that seven suspects, including two former Culture Ministry officials, allegedly illegally took over 14 buildings and structures on the outskirts of Kyiv worth over $1 million in total.

Security Service detains Ukroboronprom employee suspected of collaborating with Russia. The Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, said on Feb. 1 that it had detained a 48-year-old employee of Ukroboronprom, Ukraine’s state defense concern, who was suspected of collecting data on Ukraine’s military for Russia.

SBU: President of Motor Sich cooperated with, paid taxes to Russian proxies. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Feb. 1 that Viacheslav Bohuslaiev, president of Ukrainian aviation engine giant Motor Sich, financed Russian proxies in Donetsk Oblast even after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, by paying taxes and fees as well as by cooperating with a company that was supplying aircraft components to Russian military-industrial enterprises.

Court exempts MP from Zelensky’s party from criminal responsibility for lying in asset declaration. Anti-corruption watchdogs say Ukraine’s asset declaration system has been effectively destroyed because officials are now allowed not to file asset declarations at all, using martial law as a pretext. This will make all future contests for government jobs meaningless, the watchdogs argue.

Zelensky on anticorruption crackdown: ‘Justice will be ensured.’ President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his evening address on Feb. 1 that the government wouldn’t “allow anyone to weaken” the state after the largest anti-corruption raid since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 earlier in the day.

Read our exclusives here

Ukraine war latest: Kyiv says Russia prepares offensive in several areas.

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/ AFP via Getty Images

Learn More

The human cost of Russia’s war

Governor: 4 killed, 1 injured in Russian attack on Yeline, Chernihiv Oblast. A Russian attack on the village of Yeline in northern Ukrainian Chernihiv Oblast killed four people and injured one on Feb. 1, according to the oblast governor, Viacheslav Chaus.

General Staff: Russia has lost 128,420 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. According to the report, Russia has also lost 3,209 tanks, 6,382 armored fighting vehicles, 5,061 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,207 artillery systems, 458 multiple launch rocket systems, 221 air defense systems, 293 airplanes, 284 helicopters, 1,951 drones, and 18 boats.

International response

Israeli PM says he’ll consider sending military aid, including Iron Dome, to Ukraine. “Well, I’m certainly looking into it,” Netanyahu said when asked about the possibility of Israel sending the Iron Dome to Ukraine.

Spain to send 20 M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. Spain will send 20 M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine on Feb. 6, Defense Minister Margarita Robles announced on Feb. 1, as reported by Spanish media outlet Europa Press.

El Pais: Borrell says sending fighter jets to Ukraine not on EU’s agenda. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell dismissed the idea of sending fighter jets to Ukraine, calling it a “highly controversial” issue, as reported by the El Pais newspaper on Feb. 1.

Support the Kyiv Independent for as little as $5 a month.

Media: EU to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The European Union plans to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers in total, double the initial 15,000 goal, some EU officials announced on Feb. 1, according to German media Redaktzions Netzwerk Deutschland.

Politico: Pentagon doesn’t think Ukraine can retake Crimea soon. Ukrainian forces are unlikely to retake the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula in the near future, four senior Defense Department officials told House Armed Services Committee lawmakers during a classified briefing, Politico reported.

US uncovers global sanctions evasion network helping Russia’s defense sector. The U.S. imposed blocking sanctions against 22 individuals and entities across multiple countries allegedly involved in the network.

In other news

Bulgarian parliament recognizes Holodomor as genocide against Ukrainian people. The Bulgarian Parliament adopted a resolution on Feb. 1 recognizing Holodomor, the man-made famine of Ukrainians ordered by the Soviet authorities in 1932-1933, as genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Zelensky: Georgian government is killing Saakashvili. Saakashvili, who is now serving a six-year sentence on charges of abuse of power, has been transferred to the intensive unit due to his deteriorating health, his press secretary Giorgi Chaladze said on Feb. 1. The incumbent Georgian authorities have stripped Saakashvili of his Georgian citizenship and charged and convicted him in several cases that he says are political and fabricated.

Democracy Index 2022: Russia ‘acquiring many features of dictatorship.’ Russia recorded the biggest drop in score of any country in the world in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine and further repressions in Russia, according to Democracy Index’s annual report.

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Toma Istomina, Anhelina Shamlii, Alexander Query, Asami Terajima, Francis Farrell, Oleg Sukhov, Olena Goncharova, and Lili Bivings.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming our patron on Patreon or donating via GoFundMe. Start supporting independent journalism today.