According to the US military, Russia has lost “strategically, operationally and tactically”.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the United States Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a news conference that Russia had already lost “strategically, operationally and tactically” and that it was “paying a tremendous price on the battlefield” in Ukraine. .
“Ukraine remains free. She remains independent. NATO and its coalition have never been stronger,” recalled General Milley, who was present at the NATO meeting in Brussels. According to him, Ukraine could even launch an offensive “in the spring”.
“Ukraine has de facto joined NATO,” said Ukraine’s defense minister
“NATO has declared Russia the greatest and most direct threat. While our soldiers are defending peace in Europe, Ukraine has de facto joined NATO,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on his Twitter account, adding that he was doing his best “to make it official.”
Donbass, Belarus, Moldova… what is Russia playing on?
A major offensive in Donbass, an attack from the north from Belarus or even from the south via Moldova… Different scenarios are being studied on the Russian side in anticipation of February 24th. Here we take stock!
Finland soon in NATO?
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg first publicly raised the possibility of Finland joining the alliance before Sweden on Tuesday, claiming to get the final ratifications for Turkey and Hungary for both countries “as soon as possible”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan first suggested in early February that Turkey’s parliament could ratify Finland’s accession without the jointly-submitted Sweden firmly blocking Sweden from Ankara.
Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)
Kyiv ‘trying’ to lure Moldova into conflict with Russia, Moscow says
The spokesman for Russia’s foreign ministry spoke on Tuesday about allegations of Russian destabilization in Moldova. “These allegations are completely unfounded. They are using the classic trick often resorted to by the United States, other western countries and Ukraine: first they make allegations based on supposedly classified information that cannot be verified, then they justify their own illegal actions,” he said Maria Zakharova, according to comments from the Moldovan press. The spokeswoman concluded that Kiev is “trying” to lure Moldova “into a difficult conflict with Russia.”
For Kiev: “Russia is ruining the lives of Ukrainian athletes”
“Real fair play is to exclude Russian athletes from the Olympic Games,” said Ukraine’s foreign minister. Dmytro Kuleba recalled Tuesday that he was opposed to Russian athletes participating in the Paris 2024 Olympics: “Russia is ruining not only fair play, but also the lives of Ukrainian athletes,” he wrote on Twitter.
Romania looking for a weather balloon?
Neighboring Moldova, which suspended its airspace for two hours this morning, sent two MiG-21 fighter jets to scan radar for what appeared to be a weather balloon of unknown origin. According to Portal, the target could neither be achieved nor confirmed.
Olympia 2024: “1,000 difficulties” for the reintegration of Russian athletes, according to the sports minister
Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera has once again expressed her opposition to the presence of Russian athletes at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. confirmed AOC on the microphone of LCI. According to the minister, there will be “no support” from athletes for Russia against Ukraine, “no Russian funding” and “no Russian interference in the selection process of its athletes”.
“The meat grinder is in action” in Bakhmout, says Wagner
The Ukrainian city of Bakhmout, one of the key points of the war in Ukraine, “will not be taken tomorrow,” according to paramilitary group No. 1 Wagner Evguéni Prigojine. In an official intervention on Telegram, the Wagner boss admitted “not being able to celebrate so quickly”. “Despite the shelling, there is strong resistance, the meat grinder is in action,” he added, citing “between 300 and 500 new fighters” approaching the city.
Fearing a shortage, the US will not send long-range missiles to Ukraine
According to information from Politico, the US justified the non-delivery of long-range missiles to Ukraine with a lack of funds. Deploying US Army tactical missiles (ATACMS) to the Ukrainian battlefield would risk causing a shortage of their own inventories and affecting their own preparedness for future combat.
“We always consider our state of readiness and our own supplies while providing Ukraine with what it needs on the battlefield,” a US official told Politico.
Three Russian planes intercepted near Poland
Two Dutch F-35 fighter jets were sent on a mission to intercept three unidentified Russian planes approaching Poland. Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said in a statement translated by Portal that the three planes did not violate Polish airspace.
Moldova reopens its airspace
After closing the airspace for almost two hours, Moldova has just reopened, according to the local aviation authority (ACC). According to currently unconfirmed information, several drones entered the airspace of the Republic of Moldova. “We will come back with more details in due course,” the ACC said in a brief statement.
The head of the Wagner paramilitary group at the head of another propaganda organization
Yevgeny Prigoyine, founder of the Wagner paramilitary group, has admitted to helping found the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian internet propaganda organization that meddled in the 2016 US elections.
Yevgeny Prigozhin to the right of Vladimir Putin. Portal
“I wasn’t just an IRA shareholder. I thought about it for a long time, created and directed it, ”said Yevgueni Prigojine on social networks. The IRA was “established to protect Russia from aggressive anti-Russian propaganda from the West,” he added.
UK: minute’s silence to mark anniversary of war in Ukraine
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that Britain will observe a minute’s silence at 11am on February 24 in solidarity with Ukraine, on the first anniversary of the start of the conflict with Russia.
“As the anniversary of Russia’s barbaric and deplorable invasion of Ukraine draws near, we as a nation will pay tribute to the incredible bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people,” Rishi Sunak said in a press release.
Closure of Moldovan airspace
Moldova temporarily closes its airspace, local media citing “security reasons” with no further details. A decision that comes in a tense context with Russia. This Monday, the President accused Moscow of wanting to destabilize the country with “violent attacks” and “hostage-taking,” which Russia denied.
A picture from the NATO summit
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikiv publishes a photo of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Ramstein, Germany.
Financial contribution from Norway
In addition to the eight Leopoard tanks we mentioned minutes ago, Norway will also pay 250 million kroner (23 million euros) into the European Peace Facility, a fund set up by the European Union, of which the Scandinavian country is not a member – to finance military aid to Ukraine. The Norwegian envelope is used to purchase additional ammo and spare parts for donated tanks.
NATO countries on the same wavelength
“Everyone understands that the issue of air defense and the issue of ammunition supplies are currently much more important than the discussion about fighter jets,” said Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on the occasion of the NATO meeting. A speech by Jens Stoltenberg, the organisation’s Secretary General, as we have already mentioned.
Norway wants to donate tanks to Ukraine
Norway announces donation of eight Leopard 2 tanks and ammunition to Ukraine. The delivery date was not given in the Norwegian Defense Ministry’s statement, but Minister Björn Arild Gram, who is currently in Brussels for a donors’ meeting, told the media it would arrive shortly.
Democracy even more censored in Russia
According to Meduza media, Moscow yesterday launched “Oculus,” a new automated system that scans the Internet for photo and video content banned under Russian law. According to the statement, Oculus, which can analyze 200,000 pieces of content per day, must report “extremism, calls for unlawful assembly, suicide, content promoting drugs and LGBT propaganda.”
Last November, Belarusian hackers broke into the internal network of Main Radio Frequency Center, the agency that runs Oculus, claiming that the computer policeman also had to look for unsolicited depictions of Putin.
They live in the ruins
A team of Portal journalists met Stepan, 80, and Volodymyr Kovalyov, 77, brothers who still live with their wives in the abandoned village of Posad-Pokrovske in southern Ukraine. They live in an unheated basement after their homes were destroyed.
Stepan Kovalyov, left, and his brother Volodymyr. Portal/Nacho Doce
Russian troops reached Posad-Pokrovske on February 25, a day after the Russian invasion. They couldn’t go any further and the area became a no-go zone. The ground is littered with ammo boxes, burned-out tanks, mines. Two unexploded rockets jut out of the nearby earth, deep, narrow ditches wind through fields, and houses crumble.
Berlin buys ammunition for Kyiv
Germany will resume ammunition production for the Gepard anti-aircraft guns delivered to Kiev. Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced that a corresponding contract had been signed with the Rheinmetall conglomerate.
Russia is considered a tax haven by the EU
The EU puts Russia on its black list of tax havens. There are no details yet, but in July 2018 Moscow opened two offshore economic zones, the islands of Russky and Oktyabrsky.
History to justify banning Russian athletes from the Olympics
Olha Saladukha, former world triple jump champion-turned-parliamentarian, is one of the voices calling for the banning of Russian athletes from the 2024 Olympics. It builds on what has been done in the past. “Even after World War II, Germany (which had not been invited in 1948) was excluded from the Games,” she recalls. Among the athletes, “we have not heard anyone speak out against the war. Under these conditions, is it fair to allow the Russians in, even under a neutral banner? asks the former athlete.
NATO countries, more united than ever
“Ukraine has urgent needs at this crucial moment in the war,” and Tuesday’s NATO meeting “comes at a critical moment,” said Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense.
A year after the conflict began, “we are more united than ever,” he said at the opening of the meeting. “No one wants to live in a world where autocrats can attack their peaceful neighbors, trample on their borders and bomb their people,” he continues.
Peskov criticizes NATO
With a NATO meeting underway to discuss arming Ukraine, the Kremlin spokesman believes the organization is “hostile” to Russia and “proves its hostility every day.” For Dmitri Peskov, NATO is trying “to make its involvement in the conflict as clear as possible”.
Urgent need for additional weapons
On the occasion of the NATO meeting, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recalled that Ukraine urgently needs further military aid.
Fighter aircraft, “not the question for now”.
“Combat aircraft are not the most urgent issue, but they are being discussed,” said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the transatlantic organization, shortly before the NATO armaments meeting.
Several delegations assured that no decision on the aircraft issue was expected on Tuesday.
End of air warning
The air alert, which affected the whole country this morning, ended after almost two hours, the various regional governors said.
NATO “does not participate in the conflict,” the organization reminds
“Neither NATO nor NATO allies are involved in the conflict. But what we are doing is helping Ukraine, which is defending itself against external aggression,” the NATO Secretary General said. “The nature of the aid (…) has evolved as the war has unfolded,” he continues just before the meeting with defense ministers. “We must ensure that Ukraine gets the weapons it needs (…) to win this war,” he concludes.
“Important to offer more help”
“We don’t see any signs that President Putin is preparing for peace, we see the opposite.” It is therefore “important that NATO and its partners provide more help to Ukraine,” said Jens Stoltenberg before the meeting of defense ministers Organization.
Paris aid in war crimes
French diplomacy reports that Ukrainian prosecutors and police officers are currently being trained in Paris on war crimes. Since the conflict began, Russia has been accused of perpetrating it on a large scale, and investigations have already begun.
The results of the year on the civilian side
According to Western sources, in almost a year of war in Ukraine, between 30,000 and 40,000 civilians have lost their lives, 20,000 of them in Mariupol alone.
A view of Mariupol port in May 2022. Portal / Pavel Klimov
The balance of the year on the army side
As the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine approaches — the invasion took place on February 24 — it’s time to take stock: In almost a year, the conflict has killed or injured 180,000 soldiers on the Russian side and 100,000 on the Ukrainian side after Norway. Other Western sources mention 150,000 casualties on each side.
Moscow rejects allegations about Moldova
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry has denied Moldova’s allegations that Moscow is preparing “attacks on state buildings and hostage-taking” in the country. “Such claims are completely unfounded and without evidence,” swept Russian diplomacy, picking up on Portal. Russia even accuses Ukraine of being the source of this “disinformation”. This Monday, the Moldovan President confirmed the fears of a Russian coup attempt, voiced by Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels last week.
Nationwide flight alert
The entire Ukraine is under air alert this Tuesday morning, the special website and the authorities of the different regions report on Telegram.
Try further north
According to the British Ministry of Defense, Russian forces continue their offensive in the north-west of the Luhansk region on the Kremina-Svatove line, but do not achieve a real breakthrough. However, according to the data, there is “a realistic possibility” that Moscow intends to retake the cities captured by Ukraine between September and November last year towards the Zherebets River, further west of the current line. The current situation suggests that “Russian forces have orders to advance in most sectors, but lack sufficient clout to have a decisive effect,” concludes the UK MoD.
Some victories for Wagner
According to the daily report of the British Defense Ministry, the Wagner group has “certainly made small advances” in the outskirts of Bakhmout and “in particular the village of Krasna Hora” in the past three days, which the militia claims to have taken this Sunday. But “the Ukrainian defense continues its efforts in this area,” British intelligence agencies say.
Bakhmout still under fire
“The city, its outskirts, the entire perimeter and more generally the Bakhmut and Konstantinovka region (Donetsk region) are being chaotically and senselessly bombed,” said Volodymyr Nazarenko, one of the Ukrainian military officials, Portal revealed. The presidency had already recognized the day before that the situation in this area was “complicated”.
Russian planes intercepted near Poland
Two Dutch F35 fighter jets intercepted and escorted three Russian military planes approaching Poland, according to a late statement by the Dutch Defense Ministry Monday night, picked up by Portal on Tuesday. The machines started in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad between Lithuania and Poland.
Finally a solution for two Russians who didn’t want to fight
Two Russian nationals who fled their country after refusing to fight in Ukraine and have been stranded at a South Korean airport since October have finally been allowed to apply for refugee status in the country. So far, South Korea has not recognized the will to avoid mobilization as sufficient reason to apply for asylum. But the men had taken the case to court.
Why the United States refuses to deliver ATACMS
Website Politico reveals that the Biden administration recently warned Kiev it would not supply it with long-range ATACMS missiles, particularly for fear they might run out in the event of possible future fighting. The other argument put forward is the fear that Ukraine will use these weapons to attack Russian territory.
Ukrainian soldiers trained in Poland
105 Ukrainian soldiers, who arrived straight from the front in Ukraine, are undergoing intensive training in Poland at a specialized base on Leopard tanks under the watchful eyes of Polish, Canadian and Norwegian instructors.
Germany expects to train its allies and supply Ukraine with a first battalion of these modern German-made tanks by April, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said last week.
Controversial naval exercises in South Africa
The Russian military frigate Admiral Gorshkov docked in Cape Town on Monday for joint naval exercises off the South African coast, the Russian Consulate General in South Africa said, amid criticism of the training.
The South African country announced in January that it would welcome the Chinese and Russian marines for a 10-day period starting Friday for a “multilateral exercise” and “strengthening ties” between the three countries. Pretoria has maintained a neutral stance since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, refusing to join Western calls to condemn Moscow.
NATO meeting on weapons
Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meet on Tuesday to discuss arms supplies to Ukraine in particular.
On Monday, the organization’s secretary-general sounded the alarm, saying that “Ukraine’s current ammunition consumption (was) much higher than our current production rate.” “That puts our arms industry under pressure,” added Jens Stoltenberg.
And welcome to this new directive dedicated to the Russian offensive in Ukraine, which is in its 356th day.