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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 713: Ukrainian special forces destroy Russian drone support facility in Black Sea

In the “Citadel” operation, Ukrainian Special Operations Forces captured crucial Russian equipment from Black Sea drilling platform and destroyed a mast along with its antenna. In a devastating attack on Kharkiv Oblast, Russian forces launched two missile strikes on the town of Zolochiv, killing a two-month-old baby.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 713: Ukrainian special forces destroy Russian drone support facility in Black Sea

Military

Frontline report: Russians crossed the “death valley” and entered Avdiivka. Russia crosses “”death valley”” killing field at night to access fortified Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, threatening encirclement of now cut-off Ukrainian defenders struggling to hold the critical town.

Ukrainian forces destroy Russian drone support facility in Black Sea, capture equipment. In the “Citadel” operation, Ukrainian Special Operations Forces captured crucial Russian equipment from a Black Sea drilling platform and destroyed a mast along with its antenna.

Ukraine to establish new Armed Forces branch for unmanned systems. President Zelenskyy’s latest decree aims to enhance Ukraine’s defense capabilities through the creation of a specialized Unmanned Systems branch within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Military: No Russian advances at Kupiansk, despite media report on troop concentration. Russian troops make no gains in Kupiansk as mobilized reserves replace losses, Ukraine military says, despite the media-reported Russian buildup of 500 tanks and 40K personnel.

ISW: Russia intensifies rhetoric of Ukraine partitioning likely trying to normalize it in West. Russia is using unrelated topics to promote the hypothetical partition of Ukraine, seeking to normalize this narrative in Western discussions, per ISW.

Media: Ukrainian forces operate against Wagner mercenaries in Sudan. The Kyiv Post obtained footage displaying Ukrainian special forces elements questioning apprehended mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) in Sudan, the media reported on 5 February.

As of 06 Feb 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: 390580 (+1020)
      • Tanks: 6365 (+17)
      • APV: 11857 (+35)
      • Artillery systems: 9367 (+18)
      • MLRS: 979
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 665 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 332
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 7173
      • Cruise missiles : 1848
      • Warships/boats: 24
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12453 (+41)

Intelligence and technology

Reuters: Türkiye’s defense company Baykar begins to build drone plant in Ukraine. Turkish defense company Baykar has started building a factory near Kyiv that will employ around 500 people and where it will manufacture either its TB2 or TB3 drone models, said the company’s chief executive, as per Reuters.

UK intel: Russian Navy’s ships remain vulnerable in Black Sea, but can still conduct their major tasks. By using swarming robot boats to sink a Russian missile corvette, Ukraine demonstrates vulnerability of Russian naval forces in the Black Sea, yet Russia’s navy is still able to conduct its three main tasks – long-range strike, patrol, and support – in the area, per UK intelligence.

International

Portugal to join restoration of Ukrainian schools. Portuguese officials visited the Zhytomyr Region Recovery Forum and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on rebuilding Ukrainian schools affected by the war.

Politico: EU aluminum producers call for embargo on Russian imports amid sanction talks. While Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine nears its two-year mark, Europe continues to procure 9 percent of its aluminum imports from Russia, contributing approximately €2.3 billion in 2022 Moscow’s war machine.

Borrell on visit to Kyiv to discuss “EU’s unwavering support to Ukraine”. EU’s top diplomat Borrell is visiting Kyiv to discuss the bloc’s support for Ukraine, days after the EU has approved the €50 billion Ukraine facility aid package.

Humanitarian and social impact

Two-month-old baby killed in Russian missile attack on Kharkiv Oblast. A 21-year-old woman, the mother of the deceased child, sustained injuries, and two additional women also suffered wounds.

Ukrainian fury as ZDF airs report normalizing life under Russia. A German TV report presenting Mariupol as lively under occupation, with no visible resistance, has infuriated Ukrainian officials and society.

New developments

Russian intelligence-gathering sonar found on Lithuanian coast. Russian hydroacoustic sonar device was discovered on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania.

IAEA: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant facing 50% staff shortage, expiring fuel. Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has just half of the highly trained and licensed personnel required for safe operation, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned on 6 February, dangerously threatening nuclear safety at Europe’s largest facility.

SBU says it busted FSB spy ring of current and ex-intel officials in Ukraine, detained five spies. Ukraine’s Security Service says it has neutralized a major FSB military intelligence network operating in Ukraine, detaining 5 members. The network reportedly included current and former Ukrainian intel officials.

Read our earlier daily review here

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