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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 740: Ukraine to allocate 50% of arms budget to local producers with focus on drones, EW systems

Ukrainian PM Shmyhal announced plans to establish multiple defense manufacturing facilities in Ukraine, emphasizing that 50% of the budget for arms procurement will support local producers with a focus on drones and electronic warfare systems.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 740: Ukraine to allocate 50% of arms budget to local producers with focus on drones, EW systems

Exclusives

Poland’s paradox: blockading Ukraine trade, continuing Russia imports. On the surface, Poland’s blockade of Ukrainian trucks at the border looks like defense of its farmers. But an exposé by Ukrainian journalists unmasks Poland’s simultaneous embrace of now-banned imports from Russia, funneling cash to the very enemy it claims to resist.

Military

Military: Russia reinforces troops aiming to capture Novomykhailivka. “There are more daily assaults in Novomykhailivka than on the Avdiivka front, but our defense holds strong,” emphasized Dmytro Lykhovii, as Ukrainian forces face increased Russian offensive.

Frontline report: Russian forces focus on Synkivka as gateway to offensive on Kupiansk. Despite facing formidable Ukrainian defenses, Russian troops are concentrating their efforts on capturing Synkivka, aiming to secure a crucial gateway for their broader assault on Kupiansk.

Military: Russians use scorched earth tactics in Donbas, destroying everything with KAB bombs. In the Donbas, Russia is pursuing a scorched earth policy aimed at flattening Ukraine’s defensive positions through overwhelming aerial firepower – precision-guided bombs from jets alongside sustained rocket strikes from helicopter gunships, as per the Ukrainian military spokesperson.

Macron: No French troops to be sent to Ukraine in “near future”. In response to international reactions, Macron clarified France’s position on sending troops to Ukraine, stating that France is not “considering sending French troops to Ukraine in the near future.”

As of 04 Mar 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: 417950 (+1150)
      • Tanks: 6648 (+8)
      • APV: 12660 (+21)
      • Artillery systems: 10210 (+22)
      • MLRS: 1004 (+1)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 698 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 7845 (+2)
      • Cruise missiles : 1916 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 25
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 13374 (+42)

Intelligence and technology

PM Shmyhal: Ukraine to boost defense manufacturing, allocate 50% of arms budget to local producers. Ukrainian PM Shmyhal announced plans to establish multiple defense manufacturing facilities in Ukraine, emphasizing that 50% of the budget for arms procurement will support local producers.

Ukraine intel says its hackers obtained Russian Defense Ministry’s classified documents. Ukrainian military intelligence says its cyber specialists have exploited servers of Russian Defense Ministry to obtain secret documents and organizational data, exposing extensive intelligence on Russian command structure and identifications of responsible key leaders and deputies.

International

Ukraine, Spain begin talks on bilateral security agreements. “The two sides discussed the structure of the future agreement and agreed on a schedule for further negotiations,” Ukraine’s Presidential Office reported.

Lithuania joins Czech-led initiative to supply shells to Ukraine. Amid slowing ammunition supply to Ukraine, Lithuania joins a crucial Czech-led initiative to supply 800,000 155mm artillery shells to Ukraine.

Nearly 500 intellectuals ask to supply more weapons to Ukraine. The appeal, signed by professors, researchers, writers, and former officials from EU states and the US, states that the debate between providing aid “for as long as it takes” and supplying Ukraine with what it needs “to win quickly” is obsolete.

ISW warns against Russian false interest in Ukraine peace talks, as China, Türkiye pursue their negotiation platforms. ISW warns that Russia may be manipulating China and Türkiye’s peace initiatives to undermine support for Ukraine, using insincere peace gestures to pressure the West.

Euractiv: EU aims Ukraine to join bloc’s defense industry support scheme. The draft regulation by the European Commission highlights the importance of contributing to Ukraine’s defense base as a means to support the defense readiness of the Union and its member states, Euractiv reported.

US House Speaker delays Ukraine aid vote until late March or beyond. As US House Speaker Mike Johnson delays the Ukraine aid package, ongoing discussions with House Republicans focus on a new bill, including US-Mexico border restrictions, with potential floor action by late March or April.

Shmyhal: Ukraine aims to reduce number of ministries by one-third. According to the Prime Minister, the government focuses on creating a strong Government Center where “supportive administrative functions” will be centralized.

Russian occupation authorities offer money to pensioners in occupied Ukraine for votes in Russian elections. In the upcoming Russian presidential elections, occupation forces are offering pensioners in occupied territories of Ukraine 5,000 rubles ($55) for their votes, aiming to boost turnout, Ukraine’s National Resistance Center reported.

New developments

Dune 2 filmed with lenses manufactured in Ukraine. The team of the Ukrainian company IronGlass, based in Zaporizhzhia, manufactured the lenses during wartime, “some remotely from the trenches,” a company representative, said on social media.

Ukrainian veteran who lost leg in war beats own time at Tokyo marathon with prosthetic. Roman Kashpur, a veteran of the Ukraine war who lost a leg after stepping on landmine, completed the 2024 Tokyo Marathon in 4 hours 50 minutes on a prosthetic leg, improving on his previous marathon times.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry demining teams eliminated 4,599 explosive objects over past week. Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s demining teams cleared over 15 hectares and disposed of 4,599 explosives last week, but with over 170,000 square kilometers affected, it could take over 750 years at current pace.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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