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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 734: Ukraine withdraws from two villages near Avdiivka, downs two Russian bombers

Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from the villages of Stepove and Severne near Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. Russia has lost two more bombers, bringing the total to seven in February.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 734: Ukraine withdraws from two villages near Avdiivka, downs two Russian bombers

Exclusive

“Russians tortured us so badly we thought we wouldn’t make it out alive,” civilian survivors say. A Ukrainian detainee said the savage beatings he endured were so extreme, he was certain he wouldn’t survive the torture alive after Russians used nightsticks, kicks, and fists simultaneously.

Military

Military: Ukraine withdraws from Stepove, Severne near Avdiivka. The villages of Stepove and Severne are located near Lastochkyne, the settlement Russian forces occupied on 26 February.

Ukraine downs Russia’s Su-34 bomber, 11/13 explosive drones, two missiles. Russia reportedly loses its sixth bomber in February, while Ukraine repels another air attack, downing most of “kamikaze” drones and two missiles.

Ukraine Air Force: Russia deploys “record number” of reconnaissance drones along frontline. The increased number of reconnaissance drones might be linked to Russia’s attempts to gather more information to plan offensive actions.

As of 27 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: 411550 (+850)
      • Tanks: 6556 (+1)
      • APV: 12494 (+16)
      • Artillery systems: 1009 (+16)
      • MLRS: 1000
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 686
      • Aircraft: 340
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 7729 (+22)
      • Cruise missiles : 1912 (+2)
      • Warships/boats: 25
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 13065 (+28)

Intelligence and technology

UK intel: Two A-50 AWACS aircraft downed in two months show Russia’s difficulty securing air assets. As Russia had lost its second A-50 AWACS aircraft, it can replace it with seven other airframes, but the loss of specialist crews in quick succession will further strain those remaining and force consideration of new operating areas, per UK intelligence.

Russian tank manufacturer bypasses sanctions with tech imports from Japan, Taiwan via China. Russian manufacturers of critical components for tanks are bypassing sanctions by obtaining components for precision instruments made in Japan and Taiwan through a Belarus-affiliated company in China, as reported in Nikkei.

International

European Parliament backs €50 bn Ukraine aid for 2024-2027. The European Parliament has approved a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine, adopted earlier by the EU Council, aimed at supporting recovery, facilitating reforms, and progressing towards EU accession, with a focus on green initiatives and financial stability.

Zelenskyy arrives in Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince (updated). Ukrainian President Zelenskyy expressed his intent to discuss Ukraine’s peace formula and the return of Ukrainian prisoners and deported civilians from Russia.

Danish PM criticizes Europe’s “naive” attitude to Russian threats. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Mette Frederiksen urged Europe to increase defense and security funding to deter a “more aggressive Russia.”

US President Biden convenes congressional leaders to address Ukraine aid and impending US gov’t shutdown. Biden convenes urgent White House meeting with US congressional leaders to discuss critical Ukraine funding and avoiding a federal government shutdown ahead of the looming March 2 deadline.

Humanitarian and social impact

“Russians tortured us so badly we thought we wouldn’t make it out alive,” civilian survivors say. A Ukrainian detainee said the savage beatings he endured were so extreme, he was certain he wouldn’t survive the torture alive after Russians used nightsticks, kicks, and fists simultaneously.

Russian shelling of Sumy Oblast kills two police officers, injures six more. Russian troops deliberately attacked a group of Ukrainian police officers documenting the aftermath of earlier shelling in the village of Khotin, Sumy Oblast.

Tusk: Poland considers expanding embargo on Ukrainian goods. Amid farmer protests, Poland considers extending embargo on Ukrainian goods.

Media: Poland detains Ukrainian reporter investigating Russian trade. Polish law enforcement detained a journalist from “Ukrainska Pravda” media outlet, Mykhailo Tkach, along with a cameraperson, near the Polish-Belarusian border while the journalist was recording a segment on the transit of goods between Poland, Russia, and Belarus.

New developments

Putin wants to destroy American unity, Zelenskyy tells CNN. Russian propaganda is trying hard to split American society in order to completely end US support for Ukraine, Ukraine’s President said.

Read our earlier daily review here

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