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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 708: Ukraine sinks Russian missile boat in Black Sea

Ukraine’s surface drones successfully sank a Russian missile corvette in the Black Sea – the 17th ship that Russia lost in the war.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 708: Ukraine sinks Russian missile boat in Black Sea

Exclusive

Media: Latvian MEP Ždanoka worked for FSB for at least 15 years. The Insider revealed that Tatjana Ždanoka, a Latvian member of the European Parliament, has been an agent of Russian intelligence from at least 2004 to 2017, based on leaked emails.
Ukraine claims milestone in top UN Court, but Russia left unpunished. After nearly 7 years, the International Court of Justice issued a nuanced ruling on Ukraine’s case over Russian violations in occupied Crimea and Donbas – one with symbolic meaning but limited tangible impact for now.

Military

Frontline report: Months of strikes set stage for latest missile onslaught on Crimea. By targeting radars and communications, Ukraine has uncovered flaws in Russia’s network of Crimean defenses, enabling an escalating missile and drone campaign.

Azov Commander: Over 900 Mariupol defenders remain in Russian captivity. Denys Prokopenko reveals over 900 Mariupol defenders are still in Russian captivity despite recent prisoner exchanges.

ISW: Putin doubles down on vague, expansive territorial goals in Ukraine. However, his goals of a “demilitarized zone” are unattainable as long as there is an independent Ukraine with the ability to fight

Intelligence and technology

Ukraine spy chief plays down Trump risks, requests “sharp increase” in weapons. Unfazed by Russian accusations around the circumstances of an IL-76 airplane disaster right before the POW swap, Ukraine’s spy chief told CNN he foresees the conclusion of Russia’s advances on the battlefield in coming months as he makes a fresh appeal for weapons from Western backers.

Ukraine’s surface drones sink Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Ivanovets missile boat. Ukraine reports the successful sinking of the Ivanovets, a Russian missile corvette, in the Black Sea. It’s at least the 17th Russian ship destroyed/damaged during the all-out war.

Radar station likely hit in Ukraine strike on Belbek airfield in Russian-occupied Crimea. Early OSINT analysis indicates that a radiolocation station was hit in most likely another Storm Shadow/SCALP strike on Crimea

International

EU fails to agree on €5 billion annual Ukraine military aid fund. The EU will return to the question in March, as proposals have met resistance from Germany and France

Reuters: China demands Ukraine remove 14 firms from “int’l sponsors of war” list. Сhina told Ukraine on Thursday to immediately delete over a dozen Chinese companies from a list designating international businesses as “sponsors of war” aiding Russia, Reuters reports.

US State Department denies opposition to Ukraine’s NATO membership. In a recent press briefing, Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US Department of State, addressed assertions that the Biden administration opposes Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

EU moves to consolidate €260 billion in frozen Russian assets, paving way for Ukraine’s recovery. The European Union has traced frozen €260 billion in Russian assets, with €210 billion locked in Belgium and Luxembourg, said Deputy Minister of Justice Iryna Mudra.

Zelenskyy urges EU leaders to approve billions of Euros for weapons fund. The fund would have an annual budget of approximately €5 billion focused on the joint procurement of weapons and training of Ukrainian troops

EU agrees on €50 bn aid for Ukraine after minor compromises with Hungary. After months of wrangling, Hungary backed down from vetoing the crucial package, and an annual veto scenario was avoided

Humanitarian and social impact

Rights official: Russia using fake diagnoses to abduct Ukrainian children. Russia is utilizing at least six methods to forcibly relocate Ukrainian children onto its territory, according to Daria Herasymchuk, Ukraine’s President  Commissioner for Children’s Rights and Child Rehabilitation.

Armenia ratifies Rome Statute, gains power to arrest Putin on its soil. On 1 February, Armenia officially became the 124th state that joined the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), granting it the authority to arrest Russian leader Vladimir Putin on its territory.

Latvia bans national sports teams from competing with Russian, Belarusian teams. “The main objective of the amendments to the law is to reiterate Latvia’s solidarity with Ukraine and to block any attempts by Russia to legitimize its war crimes through the sports sector,” the Latvian Saeima stated.

UK Intel: Russia moves to integrate Wagner Group into National Guard. Rosgvardia is reportedly offering Wagner volunteers six-month contracts for Ukraine and nine-month deals for Africa.

Read the daily review for Wed 31 Jan 2024 here

As of 1 February 2024, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

    • Personnel: 386230 (+1000)
    • Tanks: 6322 (+12)
    • APV: 11773 (+16)
    • Artillery systems: 9228 (+33)
    • MLRS: 976 (+2)
    • Anti-aircraft systems: 663
    • Aircraft: 332
    • Helicopters: 324
    • UAV: 7136 (+36)
    • Cruise missiles: 1847 (+1)
    • Warships/boats: 23
    • Submarines: 1
    • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12267 (+36)
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