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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 723: Ukrainian troops reportedly began retreating from encircled Avdiivka

Fierce fighting continues in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, with Ukraine actively preparing new positions and fortifications for all possible scenarios, Commander Tarnavskyi reported. Meanwhile, Ukraine signed security agreement with Germany and France.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 723: Ukrainian troops reportedly began retreating from encircled Avdiivka

Exclusives

Putin dusts off Ukraine playbook for Moldova. Kremlin statements on Moldova increasingly resemble those made before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Military

Fierce fighting continues within Avdiivka, commander says; sources report retreat from the city. Sector commander Tarnavskyi says fierce fighting goes on in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, as Ukraine continues to prepare new positions and fortifications with all possible scenarios in mind.

Commander: Avdiivka Coke Plant ablaze; several Ukrainian soldiers captured during withdrawal. Avdiivka faces relentless artillery and bombing raids, as Ukrainian forces continue to thwart Russian advances, according to Commander Oleksandr Tarnavskyi.

As of 16 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: 400300 (+1210)
      • Tanks: 6465 (+23)
      • APV: 12129 (+39)
      • Artillery systems: 9641 (+21)
      • MLRS: 984
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 671
      • Aircraft: 332
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 7408 (+4)
      • Cruise missiles : 1895 (+13)
      • Warships/boats: 25
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12716 (+25)

Intelligence and technology

Ukraine identifies eight foreign-made components in Russian Shahed drones. Four components are from the US, three from China, and one from Switzerland, Ukraine’s anti-graft agency reported.

International

US bipartisan lawmakers unveil new foreign aid bill, including $47 bn for Ukraine. This proposed legislation follows the House of Representatives’ decision to withhold a vote on a previous $95 billion version last week.

Zelenskyy arrives in Paris to meet with French President Macron (updated). Zelenskyy and Macron signed a bilateral agreement on security cooperation between Ukraine and France. Additionally, France will allocate €3 billion in military aid for Ukraine in 2024.

Zelenskyy and Scholz sign landmark security pact between Ukraine and Germany. Additionally, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth €1.1 billion.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukrainian police identify 875 of 1,008 killed people in areas of Kharkiv Oblast that were occupied by Russia in 2022. The police also registered almost 17,000 war crimes committed by Russian soldiers on Kharkiv Oblast.

Russia initiates major project to undermine Ukraine’s stability, Danilov says. Russia has launched a major project aimed at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, with a focus on election manipulation, Ukrinform reported, citing Ukraine’s NSDC Secretary Oleksii Danilov.

Ukraine convicts Russia-aligned church’s cleric for pushing Russian propaganda. The convict, reportedly UOC protoiereus Oleksandr Luniehov, justified Russia’s invasion and encouraged parishioners to support Russian occupiers.

New developments

Russian authorities announce Alexei Navalny’s death in prison. Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, hasn’t confirmed his death, while Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov states Putin is informed

World Bank plans to disburse $ 500 million to support Ukrainian business in 2024. In an effort to bolster the Ukrainian economy targeted by the Russian war, the country’s Ministry of Economy and the World Bank have joined efforts to mobilize $500 million in funding for projects aimed at supporting Ukrainian businesses in 2024. Discussions on this matter took place during a meeting led by Arup Banerji, the World Bank Regional Country Director for Ukraine and Moldova.

Read our earlier daily review here

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