#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Kiev suffers on the front line and prepares new attacks against Crimea. Navalny died from “punch to the heart”

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Ukraine has the right to demand the return of refugees of military age, the regional director of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees said.

Ecuador has changed its mind and will not send weapons to Ukraine, the head of the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said. At the same time, the sale of bananas in Russia, which had previously been blocked, resumed.

The United States is working to provide Kiev with a new variant of the ATACMS ballistic missile with “even greater range” than before, NBC reports. The Pentagon says that Ukraine, without renewed US aid, will have to decide which cities it can keep and which it cannot.

In the coming days the EU will legalize the use of interest income from frozen assets of the Russian Federation to support Ukraine, reports the head of the European Commission von der Leyen, although there is no complete agreement yet. While agreement was reached on anti-Russian sanctions renewed until 24 February 2025. The new EU sanctions package, the 13th against the Russian Federation includes around 200 companies and individuals, but does not include new industrial measures.

In Russia Yulia Navalnaya launched an appeal, stating that she would continue her husband’s work. Josep Borrell called for Russia’s permission to conduct an “independent and transparent international investigation” into Navalny’s death. Kremlin spokesman Dmtrj Peskov replied: “We do not accept such requests, especially from Borrell.”

And he added: “Putin did not see Yulia Navalnaya’s appeal yesterday, which he published on social networks.” “His accusations that Navalny’s body was not handed over to cover up the poisoning are unfounded,” the Kremlin press secretary noted. Commenting on reports of people arrested while laying flowers in memory of Navalny, Peskov noted that “law enforcement agencies act in accordance with the law.”

Social network X suspended Yulia Navalnaya’s account. An hour later the account was unlocked. The United States will announce on February 23 a large package of sanctions against the Russian Federation because of Navalny, the White House says, and NATO again through the voice of the Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg says: “The best way to honor Navalny’s memory is guarantee victory to Ukraine”. “Partly to prevent further Russian advances, but to ensure that Ukraine can liberate more territory at the same time. And I deeply believe that the best way to honor the memory of Alexei Navalny is to ensure that President Putin does not win on the battlefield , but let Ukraine win,” said Jens Stoltenberg. London intends to impose sanctions against employees of the colony where Navalny died, Bloomberg reports.

In the meantime, in the social sphere there are many posts that would attribute Navalny’s death to the technique of death by single punch to the heart. Which consists of imprisoning the prisoner in very small spaces until his heart gives out.

In Russia the electoral machine has started up: over 2.55 million voters have applied to participate in remote electronic voting in the Russian presidential elections, through the Mobile Voter service more than 1 million applications have been received to vote at the its headquarters to inform the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation with a message on February 29 where he will set the tasks for the next six years.

On February 19 in Moscow, security forces neutralized a car bomb in Lobnya. From the Interfax news agency we learn that the former commander-in-chief of the Aerospace Forces Sergei Surovikin and the general director of the Foundation for Advanced Research Andrei Grigoriev were expelled from the supervisory board of the state corporation Roscosmos.

The Lipetsk court has decided to transfer to the Russian Federation the shares of the Lipetsk confectionery factory Roshen, which belonged to the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and his son Alexey, TASS says.

And now a look at the front line updated at 5.00pm on February 21st.

Starting from February 20 “In the Avdiivka direction, units of the “Center” troop group occupied more advantageous lines and positions and completely took control of the metallurgical industry. On the evening of February 20, the Chairman of the People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic Artem Zhoga announced the completion of “the cleaning of Avdiivka”. “Avdiivka was finally cleared, today I talked to the guys from the battalion, they said: “Commander, everything is fine there, we are starting to move forward, we are preparing for further events – we will continue to push (the enemy) back,” Zhoga said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergai Shoigu said that: “The idea of creating a powerful defense line belongs to the President of the Russian Federation, he controlled this process.” In the interview with TASS Shoigu said: “Specialists in Poland and the Baltic countries created a counteroffensive plan according to which the Ukrainian armed forces would reach the Sea of Azov and cut the land corridor to Crimea.” Putin on the future plans of the Russian armed forces: “The situation in Avdiivka is certainly a success, but it must be developed. The development must be well prepared, equipped with personnel, weapons, equipment and ammunition”, source Tass

Donetsk direction: the Russian military hoisted the Russian flag on one of the houses in the center of the village of Pobeda, which had been fought for months. The settlement comes under the control of the Russian armed forces.

Around Pobeda, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have built a defense along the Marinka – Pobeda line in the so-called “Menagerie”. It was the fortified area near the village that prevented Russian troops from moving to Kostjantynivka, located on the logistics road to Vuhledar.

The importance of Pobeda is underlined by the way in which the Ukrainian armed forces tried to hold it at all costs. Over the course of several weeks of defense, paratroopers of the 79th and 95th airborne brigades, as well as units of the 33rd infantry brigade, of which two assault groups were sent for a counterattack yesterday, but without success.

Most likely, the Ukrainian formations are trying to slow down the advance of the Russian Armed Forces by equipping strongholds in the landings west of Pobeda: they are located on slightly higher hills, which simplifies their defense.

From Antonivka and Katerynivka, the Ukrainian Armed Forces randomly shell Russian positions, holding back the assault. However, the position of the Ukrainian army on the Kostjantynivka-Novomykhailivka line becomes more complicated every day, as the Russian armed forces advance further into the Novomikhailovka area.

Information has emerged from the social sphere that Russian troops managed to expand the control zone to the southern outskirts of the village, as well as from the north-east. Considering that the “menagerie” has long been under Russian control, the Russian armed forces, we read in one post, “probably approached along the 00531 road”.

As Russian troops advance on the front, Ukrainian forces are preparing for new offensives in Russia’s southern region, particularly in Crimea. In recent days, NATO intelligence has conducted more frequent patrols along the borders of the Russian Federation from the Black Sea. The peak, according to Russian social networks, “was yesterday, with at least eight planes in the sky”.

Given the continuous territorial losses on the front, the possibility of new incursions cannot be ruled out. The Ukrainian authorities must urgently interrupt the flow of information, preferring missile strikes or BeK attacks.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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