Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, February 2

Russia steps up attacks on civilian infrastructure -- Russian forces trying to advance in 5 areas -- Russia didn't give any security guarantees to Biden during Kyiv visit -- Sanctioned Wagner founder rakes in $250 million profit since 2018 -- Russia’s nuclear-capable ICBM Sarmat allegedly failed test -- and more

Wednesday, February 22

Russia’s war against Ukraine

This aerial photograph shows destroyed residential buildings in the village of Bohorodychne, Donetsk region, on Feb. 21, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Ihor Tkachov/AFP via Getty Images)

Putin: Russia suspends participation in nuclear treaty with US. Russia has suspended its participation in the New START treaty, said Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in a speech to the Federal Assembly and members of the Russian political elite on Feb. 21.

NATO chief, top US official criticize Russia’s withdrawal from nuclear treaty. “With today’s decision on New START, the whole arms control architecture has been dismantled,” said Stoltenberg. “I strongly encourage Russia to reconsider its decision and to respect existing agreements.” The New START treaty, signed in 2010 in Prague, is an agreement between the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals.

UN: Putin’s withdrawal from New START treaty is ‘dangerous.’ The United Nations has expressed concern over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to withdraw from the New START treaty, which is aimed at the reduction of states’ nuclear arsenals.

WSJ: China’s Xi Jinping plans visit to Russia. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is planning to visit Moscow for a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 21, citing people familiar with the matter.

Zelensky on China’s peace plan: We have our own peace formula. President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was not aware of the specifics of China’s peace plan it wants to present on Feb. 24, adding that he is counting on the support of the Ukrainian peace formula, the European Pravda reported.

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British intelligence: Russia steps up attacks on civilian infrastructure. British Intelligence reported on Feb. 21 an increasing trend of Russian attacks on medical and educational facilities in Ukraine, which they attribute to Russia’s “indiscriminate use of artillery and other area weapons systems.”

General Staff: Russian forces trying to advance in 5 areas. Russian troops are conducting offensives in the areas of Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Shakhtarsk, and Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported in its evening update on Feb. 21.

Biden: ‘Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.’ U.S. President Joe Biden delivered a speech in Warsaw on Feb. 21 ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, reiterating his country’s support for Kyiv.

Top US Official: Russia didn’t give any guarantees to Biden during Kyiv visit. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Feb. 21 denied claims that Russia provided security guarantees to U.S. President Joe Biden during his surprise visit to Kyiv on Feb. 20. “They did not respond other than to acknowledge receipt of the notification,” he said. “There was no exchange. It was mere notification, and acknowledgment of receipt, no guarantees.”

Media: Italian PM arrives in Kyiv. During her visit to Ukraine, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is expected to visit Bucha and Irpin, as well as meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, reports the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

Financial Times: Sanctioned Wagner founder rakes in $250 million profit since 2018. The Financial Times reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian state-backed mercenary Wagner Group, has brought in $250 million in assets over the past four years from oil, gas, diamond, and gold mining in countries such as Sudan and Syria.

ISW: Kremlin may direct patronage programs to occupied territories. The Kremlin may be directing patronage programs led by Russian regions to consolidate socio-economic control in the occupied Ukrainian territories, the Institute for the Study of War said in its Feb. 21 update.

CNN: Russia’s nuclear-capable ICBM Sarmat allegedly failed test. Russia’s nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile Sarmat appears to have failed a test launch around Feb. 20, according to the sources among the U.S. officials.

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Plans, dreams shattered: The 2022 that could have been for Ukraine.

For many Ukrainians young and old, perception of time, memories, and dreams are split between two worlds, that before Feb. 24, 2022, and that which came after.

Photo: Francis Farrell/The Kyiv Independent

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Ukraine war latest: Putin suspends arms control treaty, Biden says Russia won’t win.

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden vowed in his speech in Warsaw that “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.”

Photo: Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Update: 5 killed, 16 wounded in Russian shelling of Kherson on Feb. 21. Russian forces fired at a center of Kherson with Grad MLRS, killing at least five people and injuring 16 others, including a 16-year-old girl, Kherson Oblast Military Administration reported on Feb. 21.

Governor: 3 civilians killed, 5 injured in Donetsk Oblast. Two people were killed in Bakhmut, and one was killed in Ivanopillya, he said.

General Staff: Russia has lost 144,440 troops in Ukraine. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Feb. 21 that Russia had lost 144,440 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, with an estimated 760 lost on Feb. 20.

International response

Italy to send Ukraine 2 other air defense systems in addition to Mamba. Under its new military aid package, Italy will provide Ukraine with Spada and Skyguard air defense systems beyond the SAMP-T/Mamba, which it earlier pledged to deliver, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Feb. 21.

Reuters: Momentum shifts in US toward providing Ukraine with long-range missiles, fighter jets. The U.S. is inclining toward sending long-range missiles and fighter jets to Ukraine, Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, according to Reuters.

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Poland to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in next few weeks. Poland will provide Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks in the “next two to three weeks” after Ukrainian troops complete their training, Poland’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Feb. 21.

Ukraine, EU, NATO agree on coordination of weapons production for Ukrainian military. Ukraine, the European Union, and NATO are joining forces to increase the production of weapons and ammunition for the needs of the Ukrainian army and to replenish the allies’ stocks, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Feb. 21.

In other news

Court bans Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Party of Regions. Ukraine’s Eighth Circuit Administrative Court on Feb. 21 upheld a lawsuit to ban ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Kremlin Party of Regions, the NGO CHESNO reported.

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