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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 715: President Zelenskyy appoints Syrskyi to lead Ukrainian army, replacing Zaluzhnyi

In a significant military leadership reshuffle, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, replacing General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi. Ukraine returns home 100 POWs in latest prisoner exchange with Russia.
Syrskyi
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 715: President Zelenskyy appoints Syrskyi to lead Ukrainian army, replacing Zaluzhnyi

Exclusive

Scholz: West must sustain support for Ukraine, keep unity, boost NATO’s credible deterrence. In his WSJ op-ed, Germany’s Chancellor Scholz stresses the global peril of a Russian win in Ukraine, advocating for continued Western aid and a fortified NATO to counteract Russia’s threat to Ukraine’s independence and European security.
Russian war’s cruel whims: some Ukrainian towns rebuild, others remain decimated. Thirty kilometers from the Ukrainian capital, the villages that saved it from the Russian invasion are now either ghost town or success story

Military

Zelenskyy dismisses Ukraine’s army chief Zaluzhnyi, appoints Syrskyi. Following weeks of rumors regarding General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi’s potential dismissal, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced in his evening address the appointment of Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Commander: Ukrainians down Russia’s Ka-52 attack helicopter near Avdiivka. On 7 February, Ukraine downed another Russian Ka-52 ground attack helicopter near Avdiivka, a Ukrainian commander said. Russia lost 325 helicopters during its all-out war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian General Staff says.

UK intel: Russia steps up assaults on Avdiivka with bombs and troops. Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, remains a primary focus of Russia’s operations as the Russians escalate Avdiivka bombardment from the air and are expected to leverage air strikes to sustain aggressive operations, per UK intelligence.

One killed, seven injured in Russian night shelling of Donetsk’s Selydove. Russian shelling attacks kill one and injured seven civilians in Selydove, Donetsk Oblast, damaging residential buildings, educational facilities, and cars, per local authorities.

As of 08 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: 392380 (+910)
      • Tanks: 6383 (+11)
      • APV: 11899 (+20)
      • Artillery systems: 9411 (+24)
      • MLRS: 980
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 666 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 332
      • Helicopters: 325 (+1)
      • UAV: 7191 (+14)
      • Cruise missiles : 1880 (+31)
      • Warships/boats: 24
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12513 (+27)

Intelligence and technology

Intel: Ukrainian cyberattack cripples Russian drone control system. Russian troops lost manual override for DJI drones after Ukrainian cyberattacks crashed key servers linked to custom friend-or-foe recognition software.

UK intel: Wagner group sets up new Russia-approved base after leadership change. Wagner Group establishes state-approved headquarters to expand volunteer forces supporting Russia’s Ukraine campaign, and global influence goals after a leadership change, per UK intelligence.

International

US tightens sanctions on Russian diamond imports. The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on four entities and one vessel for violating the price cap on Russian oil, while also banning certain Russian diamond imports.

US Senate advances $95 bn aid bill for Ukraine, Israel. After overcoming a previous impasse, the US Senate has agreed to consider a targeted aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan amid persistent Republican divisions.

Taiwan expands export controls on machine tools to Russia, Belarus. Taiwan escalates its export controls, banning 77 machine tools to Russia and Belarus, targeting items that represented $45 million, or 1.47% of its total exports to Russia last year.

Ukraine, Denmark begin talks on bilateral security agreements. “Denmark’s security commitments reaffirm the unwavering and powerful support, including military assistance,” Ukraine’s Presidential Office stated.

US Senate Republicans block own demanded border-Ukraine aid deal; Democrats to offer passing stand-alone aid bill. Despite earlier demanding the border security add-ons, US Senate Republicans now obstructed passage of the compromise border-Ukraine aid bill following opposition from Trump, prompting Democrats to call a vote on the standalone assistance package without the extra immigration measures.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukraine returns 100 POWs from Russian captivity (photos). Ukraine returns home 100 POWs in latest prisoner exchange with Russia.

Ukraine repels Russia’s Shahed suicide drone attack, as debris injures two police officers. Russia’s nighttime drone attack injured two police officers in Odesa. Ukraine reportedly downed 11 of 17 explosive drones in four regions, where the attack caused minor damage to civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine Parliament passes mobilization bill in first reading amid disputes. If the bill is adopted in the second reading, it could come into force in April.

“Shame on you”: Polish PM lashes out at US Republicans amid Ukraine aid impasse. “Ronald Reagan must be turning in his grave,” Tusk admonished the Republicans

New developments

Defense Express: Missile debris in Kyiv resembles Russia’s secret Zircon “hypersonic”. Putin showcased Zircon missile in 2019 as Russia’s latest innovation, but experts doubt its stated capabilities.

Read our earlier daily review here

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