#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. New sanctions for Russian drones are coming. The Russians advance 72 kilometers

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NATO Military Committee Chairman Admiral Rob Bauer admitted that Western countries were overly optimistic about Ukrainian troops last year; Bauer said: “We thought ‘if we give the Ukrainians the ammunition and training they need, they will win,’” reports the Financial Times, “We must try not to be too pessimistic, if only because ‘the very fact that the ‘Ukraine is still a sovereign state’ is simply remarkable.”

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas called on Western countries to use Russia’s frozen assets to help Ukraine before the US presidential elections to take back what the Russian Federation took.

In Europe, measures against drone companies are being prepared as part of the new EU sanctions package against Russia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Bärbock said. Perhaps forgetting that in this matter Russia is now independent from the West but not vice versa if we think about the use of aluminium. In the field of support for Ukraine, Tokyo in the first months of 2024 became the largest donor of financial assistance to Kiev: according to the results of the first quarter, the amount will be about 2.2 billion dollars, source Finance Minister of ‘Ukraine

First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on CIS Affairs of the Russian State Duma, Konstantin Zatulin, in a conversation with RIA Novosti, proposed canceling the 1954 decision to transfer Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR, recognizing it as illegal. Other disconcerting statements come from the vice-president of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev: “In the event of a direct war with the West and NATO, Russia will certainly launch nuclear attacks on Kiev, Washington, Berlin, London and other major cities.”

Medvedev expressed confidence that victory in the Northern Military District of Ukraine will come soon. The vice-president of the Russian Security Council said that since January 1, more than 53 thousand people have been drafted into joint troops in Russia. Finally, he said he had prepared a report for President Vladimir Putin on ideas in the field of electronic warfare that could improve the situation in the Northern Military District.

Advisor to the head of the DPR Yan Gagin said that hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen who were in Avdiivka were captured by Russia. Among those killed in the city were foreign mercenaries.

Ukraine will be the first country to submit an application for the purchase of the Turkish KAAN fighter, which had not yet taken off. Ukrainian Ambassador Vasliy Bodnar said: “Ukrainian teams continue to work on the engine of the Turkish national fighter aircraft KAAN. Cooperation with Turkey is one of the strategic developments that increases the defense potential of both Ukraine and Turkey and also strengthens our regional cooperation in the Black Sea.” Answering a reporter’s question about whether Ukraine will buy KAAN in the future, Bodnar replied: “We will not only buy it, but we will also use it. We also know where to use it.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba complained that: “The situation regarding the quantity and stability of arms supplies is negative. This is not my political assessment, this is the message we all receive from the front lines.” Kiev hopes to sign an agreement on security guarantees with the United States before the NATO summit in July, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Stefanishina said.

According to CBS, Washington should transfer military aid to Kiev on credit, and not free of charge, since Ukraine has many mineral resources and the US national debt has already exceeded 34 trillion dollars, quoting US Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina Republican).

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky underwent a medical examination due to a health problem upon returning from his travels abroad. It’s not the first time this has happened.

And now a look at the front line updated at 5pm on February 20th.

In the Belgorod district, the Ukrainians fired 30 artillery shells into the village of Zhuravlevka, and 22 artillery shells were fired at the Nekhoteevka highway checkpoint. In the village of Naumovka, 8 improvised explosive devices were dropped from a UAV, and in the village of Shchetinovka one explosive device was dropped. There were no casualties or destruction in these settlements. After repelling an air attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces with anti-aircraft, destruction was discovered in the rural settlement of Tavrovsky.

Again, Ukraine hit the Borisov region, the outskirts of the village of Gruzskoye: 6 “arrivals” were recorded. On the outskirts of the village of Bogun-Gorodok, 2 explosive devices were dropped from a quadcopter. On the outskirts of the village of Lozovaya-Rudka, the enemy attacked with two kamikaze drones. There were no casualties or destruction in any of the region’s settlements.

Same scene in the Russian district of Volokonovsky, 5 mortar shells were fired at the village of Tishanka. There is damage to private homes, electricity lines were also damaged; then the power was restored.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a press conference on February 20 on the events in Avdiivka which now flies the Russian flag. “The operation of the General Staff in Avdiivka will be included in the textbooks of the Ministry of Defense. Avdiivka was taken with minimal losses. More than 72 square kilometers of our territory have been liberated. Putin was informed about the enemy’s chaotic escape from Avdiivka. The enemy left many military tools in the city and abandoned the wounded. During the liberation of Avdiivka, 450 airstrikes were carried out per day. After the liberation of the Avdiivska metallurgical enterprise, the Russian armed forces advance westward.”

Donetsk direction: According to social media streams, Lastochkino has come under the control of the Russians. Apparently, the remnants of the Avdiivka garrison intend to retreat to Orlivka, but even there there is little chance to quickly entrench, receive supplies and resist the Russian troops. Novomykhailivka under Russian air attack. Fierce fighting continues for the village. The Russian Marines press, the Ukrainians resist and counterattack.

Minister Shoigu also said that Krynki, Kherson region, has come “under our control and house-to-house searches are underway”. “The irreparable losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Krynki amount to 1,820 people.” Finally he said: “Russia has not deployed and does not intend to deploy nuclear weapons in space. There are no such projects.”

Kupjans’k Direction from Ukrainian social sources we learn that after Zelensky’s visit to the front, high-ranking officers and local officials of Kupjans’k left the city. There is fear of the city falling into Russian hands.

Zaporizhizhie direction: waiting for a full offensive at Časiv Jar, Russian troops also advanced east of Krasnoye. The fighting takes place near the outskirts of the village. The Russian Armed Forces captured three large strongholds of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of the village of Kamenskoye, located on the shore of the Kakhovka reservoir north of Vasylivka. Fighting is taking place in the area of Verbove and Rabotino in the Zaporozhie region, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are suffering losses in terms of personnel and military equipment.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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