#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. The Russians prepare the offensive on Zaporizhie. Adviika about to fall. Ukrainians bomb Belgorod

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NATO countries do not see any immediate military threat to themselves, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s number one, responded when asked if there was a threat of a Russian attack. What worries Stoltenberg is more the blockade of US aid which has an “impact” on Ukraine. From press sources we learn that NATO countries have decided to create a new training center for Ukraine in Poland.

Among the latest US declarations a “threat to US national security” arises from Russia’s desire to place nuclear weapons in space. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to these statements by saying: “The rumors about the Russian Federation’s plans to place nuclear weapons in space are another ploy by the White House.”

And again the Pentagon claims to have launched six satellites capable of tracking hypersonic and ballistic missiles into space.

“The House of Representatives of the United States Congress will not give in to pressure and will pass the bill passed by the Senate to provide assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan,” the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson, a Republican, said in a press conference of Louisiana. “The Republican-led House will not bow to pressure to pass a foreign aid bill that most Republican senators opposed and that does nothing to ensure control of our border,” Johnson said. He expressed confidence that this position will find full understanding and support among the American public. “Look, the American people are with us on this issue,” Johnson said.

Meanwhile, the painful notes arrive for Ukraine: “European countries will not be able to guarantee their security without the help of the United States for at least another 10 years” according to Bloomberg.

Ambassadors of European Union countries, meeting on Wednesday, agreed on the necessary documents to provide Ukraine with 50 billion euros in aid, the Financial Times reported. The agreed text must now receive the approval of the European Parliament. Kiev is expected to start receiving funds in early March.

According to Reuters, the EU is not interested in extending the transit of Ukrainian gas from Russia, citing the European Energy Commissioner as a source. Meanwhile, the first estimates for the reconstruction of Ukraine foresee costs of 453 billion euros, the European Commission reported.

In 2024, Germany will supply Ukraine with 3-4 times more artillery shells than in the past, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told the press, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky could sign a bilateral agreement on security during the latter’s visit to Berlin on Friday, DPA reported.

The France24 television channel denied the broadcast of a message on the alleged preparation of an attack on Macron in Kiev. Today Zelensky will meet French President Macron in Paris and then travel to Germany. He will speak at a security conference in Munich on Saturday. In Paris, Ukraine and France are expected to sign a security agreement

After voting yes to European aid for Kiev, Hungary is blocking the 13th package of EU sanctions, which could affect dozens of natural and legal persons from Russia and other countries.

Finally, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is quoted as saying: “The world is close to the Third World War”. All this while Azerbaijan continues to threaten Armenia and after having opened the embassy in Afghanistan, effectively recognizing the Taliban government.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces transitioned from attempts to conduct offensive operations on the line of contact with Russian forces to defense. This was stated by the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Alexander Syrsky in an interview with the German TV channel ZDF, recorded a few days before his appointment to this post.

According to RIA Novosti, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said they are preparing for the loss of the main supply line for their troops near Avdiivka. At a press meeting Zelenskyi said that unmanned aerial vehicles, Russian Orlan UAVs have been recognized as a real threat, against which significant forces and resources are being mobilized

President Vladimir Putin may address the Federal Assembly on February 29, three sources close to the presidential administration told Vedomosti. According to them, the date may be slightly postponed depending on the president’s schedule. In several Russian regions in the southern and western strategic directions , exercises were held in which the resistance of military airfields to massive attacks was tested, Izvestia reported, citing sources from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Special engineering units and sappers of the unit took part in the maneuvers. During the exercises, the military restored the airfields as after massive attacks: they sealed craters, rebuilt runways and caponiers. During the maneuvers, according to sources, the experience of combat operations in Ukraine was taken into account.

Also from Russia comes via TASS the news that as part of the Chechen special forces “Akhmat”, two more detachments of volunteers were created, made up of former fighters of the Wagner PMC for a total of 1 thousand people. Source|: Apti Alaudinov, deputy commander of the 2nd Army Corps and commander of the Akhmat special forces.

And now a look at the front line updated at 18:00 on February 15.

Since the early hours of the morning, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have reported the take-off of several Tu-95MS bombers from the Olenya base. Missile launches expected. Missile attacks were launched on Zaporozhye, four missiles towards Lviv. Target of attacks by strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces and warships of the Russian fleet military-industrial infrastructure of Ukraine

The combined attack involved the use of the Geran-2 UAV, Kalibr, Kh-101 and other cruise missiles, as well as the Iskander tactical missile system. Among the targets were the Lutsk military airport in the Volyn region, targets in Kiev, Lviv, Vinnitsa, Mirgorod, Dnepropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, as well as targets in the Zaporozhye and Khmelnytsky regions. In Lviv, buildings on the territory of a tank factory were hit.

The Ukrainians instead attacked the Belgorod region. 15 injured people hospitalized. “Nine Ukrainian aircraft-type UAVs were intercepted and destroyed overnight in the Belgorod and Voronezh regions and the Black Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry reported. According to the department, air defense systems shot down two drones over the Belgorod region, one over the Voronezh region and six more over the Black Sea.”

Donetsk direction. Russian fighters continue to advance towards Industrial Avenue, thus cutting off the metal industry from the southern part of Avdiivka. In the Maryinska sector, the Russian army successfully attacked southeast of Novomykhailivka. In Avdiivka, the death of the media captain of the “Azov”* Andrei Iskra was recorded, reported by Zhorin also from the Azov Battalion who will act as spokesperson for the Azov Battalion on the Adviika front.

Confirmation of the advance of Russian troops at the intersection of Industrial Avenue and the O0542 highway comes from online photos of a soldier of the Russian Armed Forces waving the Russian flag. This is the first evidence of the presence of the Russian Armed Forces at the crossroads and, consequently, of the capture of the fortified area of Brevno. Previously, only battles were reported northwest of the Avdiivka automobile depot.

According to analysts of the social sphere, the capture of the crossroads does not mean a complete collapse of the defense of the Ukrainian armed forces. There are battles ahead for AKHZ and Khimik, in which Ukrainian defense units are located. In addition, the Ukrainian formations retain the possibility of delivering supplies through the Durnaya gully from the Lastochkyne side – however for them this is already a lottery with little chance, but the possibility of transporting troops still remains.

Svatove-Kreminna direction. In the Kupjans’k sector, fighting continues in Syn’kivka and Tabaivka. In the Bilohorivka area, the Cossacks of the 6th Brigade are present. Fires near the positions of the Ukrainian armed forces near the chalk quarry.

Bachmut Directorate (Artemovsk). The Russian army advanced to Bachmut. Northwest of Kleshchiivka and near Adviika there are imminent battles.

Zaporozhzhie Directorate. In the Orechiv sector, battles are ongoing west of Rabotino and north of Novoprokopivka. There are positional battles on the Vremevsky ledge. According to the spokesperson of the strategic-operational troop group “Tavria” Dmitry Likhovy the Russians are preparing a new offensive in the direction of Zaporozhzhie. “The group that has been concentrated in the Orechiov direction in recent days or weeks is larger in terms of personnel than the group that is now involved in the Avdiivska direction. Obviously, Muscovites did not go there for a walk,” he underlined Likhovy. According to Tavria, the Russian army will probably try to advance in the direction of Rabotin

According to intelligence information, in Kherson, military personnel of the Dnepr has destroyed military installations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the right-bank of the Kherson region in the area of the settlement. Sablukovka, i.e.: equipment parking area, where about 20 units of foreign military equipment were placed; temporary deployment point, one of the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, where more than 35 men were located.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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