Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, February 8

Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will -- Ukraine's intelligence denies Russian claims of substantial success east -- Russian Gazprom to create its own private military company -- Nordic countries oppose Russian, Belarusian athletes’ Olympics participation -- Netherlands, Denmark to join Germany in sending Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine -- and more

Wednesday, February 8

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A Ukrainian serviceman of the artillery unit of the 80th Air Assault Brigade plays with a stray dog near Bakhmut on Feb. 7, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden to Congress: US will stand with Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’. U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to support Ukraine as long as needed during his annual State of the Union address as Russia’s all-out war approaches its one-year anniversary on Feb. 24.

Russia’s shelling leaves 9 settlements in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast without water supply. Russian troops fired nearly 40 projectiles at the Marhanets community in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast overnight on Feb. 7, hitting power lines in the area and leaving a pumping station without power, reported Mykola Lukashuk, the head of the oblast’s council.

Mayor: Russia attacks industrial facility in Kharkiv. Russian troops hit an industrial site in Kharkiv late on Feb. 7, Ihor Terekhov, the city mayor, reported. According to preliminary data, Russian forces launched 6 to 10 S-300 missiles at the central part of the city, said Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

General Staff: Air Force hits 9 Russian military positions. Ukraine’s Air Force struck seven temporary bases and two anti-aircraft positions of Russian troops in the past 24 hours, the General Staff reported in its Feb. 7 update. Ukraine’s military also destroyed a Russian SU-25 attack aircraft and an Orlan-10 drone.

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Ukraine’s intelligence denies Russian claims of substantial success east. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Intelligence Directorate said it doesn’t confirm Russia’s capture of several Ukrainian settlements, rebuffing a claim by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. On Feb. 7, Shoigu reported Russia’s “complete control” over Klishchiivka, Krasnopillia, Blahodatne, Mykolaivka in Donetsk Oblast and Zaporizhzhia Oblast’s Pidhirne and Lobkove.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia unlikely to build up forces needed to affect war outcome in coming weeks. According to the U.K. Defense Ministry’s Feb. 7 report, Russian troops have only managed to gain “several hundred meters of territory per week” since early January as they continue to aim to capture the rest of Donetsk Oblast.

Ukraine’s intelligence: Russian Gazprom to create its own private military company. Russian state-owned energy monopolist Gazprom is creating its own private military company, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Intelligence Directorate reported on Feb. 7, citing the decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

SBU: Companies linked to Medvedchuk’s wife funded Russian military, occupation government in Crimea. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Feb. 7 that it had “liquidated a large-scale scheme of underground financing” of the Russian National Guard and Interior Ministry in occupied Crimea from the companies linked to Oksana Marchenko, the wife of Ukraine’s most high-profile pro-Kremlin politician and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally Viktor Medvedchuk.

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Paris mayor says she’s against Russia’s participation in Paris 2024 Olympics. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, where the 2024 Olympics will be held, said on Feb. 7 that she “doesn’t want” Russians to compete in the French capital “as long as there is war” against Ukraine.

Reuters: Nordic countries oppose Russian, Belarusian athletes’ Olympics participation. “Now is not the right time to consider their return; that is our position,” the joint statement by the committees in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway said.

Government approves appointment of new heads of 3 oblast administrations. The Cabinet of Ministers said it had approved President Volodymyr Zelensky’s draft decrees on appointing three new oblast governors on Feb. 7.

Parliament appoints Vasyl Maliuk as head of Security Service. Vasyl Maliuk has been the acting head of the SBU since July 2022, when Zelensky dismissed the previous SBU head, Ivan Bakanov, over endemic treason at the security service.

Parliament appoints Ihor Klymenko as interior minister. The former head of the National Police of Ukraine, Klymenko, has served as the acting interior minister since the death of Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky in a helicopter crash on Jan. 18.

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Editorial: Arming Ukraine won’t escalate war. Reluctance to do so will.

First it was the tanks, now it’s the fighter jets. As Ukraine braces for another possible major Russian offensive in the upcoming weeks, Western leaders are yet again coming up with a variety of excuses why this time, they cannot justify supplying F-16 and F-35 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

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Ukraine war latest: Germany to give Kyiv more tanks, Russia slowly advances near Bakhmut, Vuhledar.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced in Kyiv that Ukraine would receive over 80 older Leopard 1 battle tanks by the end of the year. Around 20-25 tanks are set to be delivered in the summer.

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian attacks across 9 Ukrainian oblasts kill 1, injure 7 over past 24 hours. Russian attacks were reported in Donetsk, Kherson, Kharkiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Luhansk oblasts in the east, south, and north of Ukraine over the past 24 hours as of the morning of Feb. 7.

Russian forces attack Sumy Oblast, killing civilian. Russian forces attacked seven communities in Sumy Oblast on Feb. 7, killing a civilian, the Sumy Oblast Military Administration reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 133,190 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. In the past 24 hours, Russian forces lost 1,030 of its members in the war against Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Feb. 7.

International response

Germany’s Defense Minister in Kyiv, says Ukraine to receive over 100 Leopard 1 tanks. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced in Kyiv that Ukraine would receive over 100 older Leopard 1 battle tanks from a group of several European countries. Pistorius arrived in Ukraine’s capital on Feb. 7 to meet top Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

Netherlands, Denmark to join Germany in sending Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine. The defense ministers of the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany issued a joint statement on Feb. 7 saying that the three countries will provide Ukraine with at least 100 Leopard 1 battle tanks.

Reuters: Harris to discuss future US support to Ukraine at Munich Security Conference. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Germany next week, where she is expected to talk about future support for Ukraine, Reuters reports.

EU to launch Information Sharing and Analysis Center to fight disinformation campaigns. The creation of the Center follows the release of the first European External Action Service report on foreign information manipulation and interference threats on Feb. 7, which offers evidence of Russian disinformation campaigns and insights into Russia-China cooperation.

In other news

Ukraine to send humanitarian aid to Turkey after deadly earthquake. President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree on Feb. 7 ordering to send humanitarian aid to Turkey to help “overcome the consequences” of a devastating earthquake.

Ukraine’s Ambassador: 2 Ukrainians previously considered dead are rescued in Turkey. They were pulled out of the rubble in the Turkish province of Hatay, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar said, without providing any details.

Court arrests oligarch Zhevago’s company bank accounts. The arrest was made at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office as part of an investigation into alleged evasion of taxes by the Poltava Mining and Processing Plant, part of the Ferrexpo group, the company said. Ukrainian billionaire Kostyantyn Zhevago is the controlling shareholder of the iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo.

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