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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 728: Trump unveils his VP picks, all oppose US aid to Ukraine

Donald Trump has named six possible vice presidential candidates, all of whom have either opposed, questioned, or reduced US aid to Ukraine.
Donald Trump.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 728: Trump unveils his VP picks, all oppose US aid to Ukraine

Exclusive

Ten years after Euromaidan, Russia tries to erase Ukraine’s national revival. Despite Russia’s war, Ukraine is still shaped by the reforms, activism and institutions that emerged from its 2014 pro-democracy revolution.
Why I protest for Ukraine in Milan every single day. “I feel it’s my responsibility as an Italian and European citizen to do anything in my power to support Ukraine and help them achieve the true peace they deserve.”
An American veteran’s plea: arm Ukraine or surrender freedom. As Russian forces closed in on the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, US veteran Jackie witnessed firsthand the deadly cost of Congress blocking military aid to Ukraine.

Military

Frontline report: Tanks and troops stymied as Russia loses planes striking westward. Russian tank and infantry attacks on Ukrainian lines at Orikhiv and Avdiivka are unsuccessful, while Russian air attacks west of Avdiivka lead Russia to lose multiple aircraft.

Ukraine destroys one Su-34 bomber, 13/19 suicide drones, 1/6 missiles during Russia’s night air assault. Last night, Russia attacked Ukraine with missiles and ‘”kamikaze” drones. Ukraine says it destroyed 13/19 drones, one of the missiles, and a Russian Su-34 bomber.

As of 20 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: 404950 (+1230)
      • Tanks: 6503 (+5)
      • APV: 12268 (+36)
      • Artillery systems: 9773 (+40)
      • MLRS: 988 (+2)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 675 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 338 (+2)
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 7521 (+61)
      • Cruise missiles: 1902 (+3)
      • Warships/boats: 25
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 12805 (+38)

Intelligence and technology

Reuters: Iran exports 400 long-range ballistic missiles to Russia. The range of the Iranian missiles that Russia has received is up to 700 kilometers.

International

Trump reveals his vice presidential candidates, all reject US aid for Ukraine. The Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has revealed his list of potential running mates, who have all expressed negative or doubtful views on US aid to Ukraine and positive or appeasing views on Russia and its president.

Humanitarian and social impact

One dead, one wounded in Russian indiscriminate shelling of Kharkiv Oblast villages. Russia continues to multiply war crimes by killing civilians in eastern Ukraine.

Second Ukrainian basketball player dies to injuries sustained in Germany attack. A knife attack in a Düsseldorf first left a 17-year-old Ukrainian basketball dead on 10 February; this week, a second victim, an 18-year-old basketball player, perished from his wounds in a German hospital.

Polish farmer protesting Ukraine imports faces charges over pro-Putin banner. A Polish farmer showcased a banner reading “Putin, bring order to Ukraine, Brussels, and our rulers” during farmers’ protests against Ukrainian exports to Poland, facing charges of promoting totalitarianism and inciting hatred.

Zelenskyy calls for dialogue with Poland over border blockade. The Ukrainian president urges his Polish counterpart and the prime minister to join him at the border, where Polish farmers have been protesting and disrupting trade and travel since 20 February 2024.

Ukrainian ombudsman calls on UN to investigate executions at Zenit stronghold. Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets has sent letters to the International Committee of the Red Cross (the ICRC) and the United Nations (the UN), calling the organizations to investigate the execution of wounded Ukrainian soldiers by Russian troops at the “Zenit” stronghold in Avdiivka.

EU agrees on new sanctions, targeting Russia’s drone production. CNN says the EU’s newest Russia sanctions bundle, to be finalized on 24 February, marking two years since Russia’s Ukraine invasion, will newly blacklist Russian drone producers and global procurement networks supplying components to Moscow’s military.

New developments

Only 10% of Europeans now confident in Ukraine’s victory – poll. The poll showed over half of respondents in 12 European countries think Ukraine should accept a negotiated settlement to end the war.

CNN: First group of Ukrainian pilots to complete US F-16 training by summer. The first Ukrainian pilots undertaking US F-16 training are expected to graduate by May 2023, with a dozen other airmen progressing in groups through August as part of a coordinated fighter jet supply effort.

Polish diplomat in Ukraine: ‘I thought only Russians could behave so shamefully’. Poland’s top consular official in western Ukraine expressed regret over actions by her fellow citizens who escalated their blockade of the Ukrainian border and spilled Ukrainian grain from a freight on the tracks.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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