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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 725: Russia lost nearly 50,000 soldiers taking Avdiivka; Ukraine destroyed a Russian fighter jet and 12 drones overnight

Russia lost nearly 50,000 soldiers in the four-month battle to capture the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, a Ukrainian commander said Saturday, as President Biden blamed a lack of ammunition for Ukraine’s retreat from the city. In other developments, Denmark pledged to send all of its artillery to Ukraine while France plans to provide state-of-the-art suicide drones.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 725: Russia lost nearly 50,000 soldiers taking Avdiivka; Ukraine destroyed a Russian fighter jet and 12 drones overnight


    Why Avdiivka fell to Russia. Guided aerial bombs that Ukraine can’t counter, overwhelming troop and artillery power, and an element of surprise were behind Russia’s rapid overtaking of Avdiivka


    Tarnavskyi: Russian forces lost almost 50,000 soldiers in 4 months of fighting for Avdiivka. The Russian army has lost almost 50,000 soldiers and over 1,300 units of military equipment during the active phase of fighting for Avdiivka since 10 October 2023, the commander of the operational and strategic grouping of troops “Tavria,” Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, said on 18 February.

    Ukraine destroys Russian fighter jet, 12 drones, guided missile overnight. Russia attacked Ukraine with six S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles, three Kh-22 cruise missiles, a Kh-59 guided missile, and 14 Shahed-type attack drones overnight.

    Intelligence and technology

    British Intel: Russian commander of Black Sea Fleet dismissed likely due to Ukraine’s successes sinking Russian ships. The British Defense Ministry didn’t specify whether Sokolov is alive. Back in September 2023, after the strike on the headquarters in Sevastopol, the Ukrainian Special Forces announced that 34 officers, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, had been killed in the attack.

    French Defense Minister: France to supply Ukraine with newest kamikaze drones in coming weeks. France will supply Ukraine with latest-model suicide drones in coming weeks, the French defense minister revealed, detailing feedback improving domestic arms programs.

    Biden: Lack of ammunition forces Ukraine to retreat from Avdiivka. Ukrainian forces withdrew from the eastern city of Avdiivka on 17 Feb, which President Biden attributed to insufficient ammunition partly caused by delayed congressional funding.

    Prime Minister: Denmark to supply all its artillery to Ukraine. Danish Prime Minister also calls on Europe to provide Ukraine with ammunition and air defense systems, saying, “We have weapons, ammunition, and air defense systems that we are not using yet. They should be transferred to Ukraine.”


    Chinese FM assures Ukraine that Beijing does not sell lethal weapons to Russia. Chinese Foreign Minister Yi told Ukraine’s Kuleba that Beijing doesn’t sell lethal weapons to conflict parties, implying Russia, and reaffirmed support for “peace’ and “negotiations” between Ukraine and Russia.

    Czech Republic ready to send 800,000 artillery shells to Ukraine if ‘funding is found’. Czech President Petr Pavel announced at the Munich Conference the discovery of 800k shells that could resupply Ukraine forces within weeks.

    German Rheinmetall plans to produce ammunition in Ukraine. The relevant declaration was signed between Rheinmetall and a Ukrainian partner company on the sidelines of the 60th Munich Security Conference. The Ukrainian partner company’s name and the start of the production have not been revealed for security reasons.

    Humanitarian and social impact

    Russians likely executed six wounded Ukrainian POWs in Avdiivka. Relatives have identified the bodies of shot Ukrainian soldiers in Avdiivka as wounded soldiers who were taken as POWs

    Russian attack on Kramatorsk kills family, including grandmother, mother, son. During the same Russian attack, rescues found the body of a security guard in the rubble of the damaged school in Sloviansk, local governor Vadym Filashkin said.

    Russia bombards Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, killing at least two civilians. Russian strikes hit a school in Sloviansk and a residential zone in Kramatorsk on Saturday evening, leaving at least two dead, with more casualties possibly still trapped inside damaged properties.

    New developments

    Ukraine Talks, ep. 2. Russia’s nuclear ambitions in space: A threat or a bluff?. The second episode of Ukraine Talks delves into the motives and risks behind Russia’s plan to launch nuclear weapons into orbit, the strategic and political consequences of the Ukrainian troops’ retreat from the frontline town of Avdiivka, Navalny’s death and US military aid to Ukraine.

    Russian losses

    As of 18 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: 402430 (+1080)
    • Tanks: 6487 (+11)
    • APV: 12198 (+53)
    • Artillery systems: 9709 (+40)
    • MLRS: 984
    • Anti-aircraft systems: 674 (+3)
    • Aircraft: 335 (+3)
    • Helicopters: 325
    • UAV: 7449 (+36)
    • Cruise missiles : 1898 (+2)
    • Warships/boats: 25
    • Submarines: 1
    • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12736 (+2)


    Read the daily review for Sun Feb 18 2024 here

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