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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 718: US Senate readies Ukraine aid vote while Musk pressed on Russian Starlinks

As US Congress nears approval of aid for Ukraine, Elon Musk disputed allegations of selling tech to Russians. Ukrainian officials additionally confirmed the growing Russian reliance on Starlink gear.

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Military

Russians are less than 1 km from the Avdiivka supply road; Ukraine’s general says no decision to retreat. Russian troops started urban fighting in the Ukrainian frontline city of Avdiivka a week ago and have advanced by nearly 1 kilometer, almost reaching the supply road on the northern flank.

Zelenskyy conducted his first meeting with the new General Staff team, announced changes. The new team is expected to continue introducing technological upgrades in the military faster while also creating a new system of rotations and making the rear staff work more effectively.

Russia launches massive drone attack across Ukraine. 40 out of 45 drones shot down. Some of the drones hit agriculture terminals in Mykolativ Oblast. All of the drones heading toward Kyiv were shot down, as per Ukrainian authorities.

As of 11 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: 395200 (+930)
      • Tanks: 6406 (+12)
      • APV: 11956 (+14)
      • Artillery systems: 9475 (+16)
      • MLRS: 981
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 666
      • Aircraft: 332
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 7257 (+22)
      • Cruise missiles : 1881
      • Warships/boats: 24
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12592 (+13)

Intelligence and technology

Elon Musk denies selling Starlink to Russia. In recent days, substantial evidence has shown Russian troops using Starlink satellite internet on occupied Ukrainian territory and frontlines.

Russian Forces are introducing “systematic” use of Starlink terminals, Ukraine’s Intelligence Confirms. Radio interceptions reveal invaders installed Starlink devices to enable internet access for units like Russia’s 83rd Airborne Assault Brigade operating near Klishchiyivka and Andriyivka in Donetsk Oblast.

International

US Senate wraps up Ukraine aid bill talks, final vote looms. The vote is likely to be scheduled for Tuesday, 14 February.

Japan reportedly pledges $106 million in reconstruction aid for Ukraine. The aid package is expected tol be formally unveiled at the Japan-Ukraine Conference for Promotion of Economic Reconstruction in Tokyo on 19 February, Kyodo news reported referring to its sources.

Humanitarian and social impact

71-year-old Ukrainian dies in Russian custody amid spy allegations. Viktor Demchenko from Donetsk Oblast was held in a Rostov-on-Don detention center, after being detained on espionage charges since summer 2023.

Polish protesters to block two Ukraine border crossings again on 12 Feb. The Polish protesters, including truck drivers and farmers, have been on-and-off blocking the border crossing points with Ukraine since November 2023.

Polish border protesters vandalize Ukrainian trucks, spilling grain. At the Dorohusk border crossing with Ukraine, Polish protesters damaged three Ukrainian trucks.

CNN: Zelenskyy presses Commander Syrskyi for new plan to avoid battlefield stagnation. At the same time the plan should not push for too many new conscripts.

Ukraine cuts taxes and regulations for EW manufacturers to boost production. EW remains a relatively weak sector of Ukrainian military technology compared to the Russian army, which relies heavily on EW.

Zelenskyy and Macron discuss Ukraine-France security agreement. Macron has also confirmed France’s previous promise to manufacture and provide Ukraine with dozens of Caesar self-propelled howitzers and ammunition

Media: French President Macron postpones 13-14 Feb Ukraine visit. There has been no official confirmation yet.

New developments

Russian drone fragments found in Moldova near Ukraine border. The fragments likely belong to one of the Russian Shahed drones shot down by Ukrainian air defenses during Russia’s attack overnight 9-10 February.

Ukrainian exports by its sea corridor reach 22 million tons of cargo despite Russian infrastructure attacks. Secured sea export routes became the result of Ukrainian successful operations against the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which had blocked Ukrainian ports at the beginning of the war.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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