UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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DAY 358

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 358

February 16,2023

KEY TAKEAWAYS TODAY

Above: Russian opposition news outlet Astra reported that a priest from the Kremlin-controlled Holy Trinity Cathedral in Krasnodar city published a schedule and bank transfer information for blessing frontline volunteers’ gear before they leave for Ukraine. God’s blessings cost about $16, with a discount for early birds.  (Photo: DOVOD)

Above:  Polish police stand guard in Przemysl as Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen boards his train to Kyiv, February 15. Mr Cohen arrived in Ukraine on Thursday morning. (Times of Israel)

Mr Cohen is the most senior Israeli official to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded nearly one year ago. His visit began in Bucha where barbaric hordes slaughtered over 450 civilians last year.  He visited Babyn Yar ravine where Nazis and local collaborators murdered over 30,000 Jews in September 1941. Mr Cohen will meet with President Zelensy and Defense Minister Revnikov before attending a ceremony to reopen Israel’s embassy in Kyiv.

Tel-Aviv has had a somewhat ambiguous relationship with Kyiv during the last year of war with Russia.  It has been somewhat reluctant to demonstrate support of one side or another, even as relations with its regional arch-enemy Iran and Russia become more emeshed.  Israel has its own robust defense industry to defend it against neighboring opposition, but only after decades of strong Western subsidization and support.

The United State Department of State released a video calling for unity in support of Ukraine until victory:

  • Russian occupation authorities are continuing efforts to intimidate Ukrainian parents into sending their children to Russian schools. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on February 15 that Russian occupation authorities created “juvenile affairs commissions” to punish Ukrainian parents who educate their children in Ukrainian schools online and are conducting raids to of private homes to find children who have missed classes in Russian schools.
  • UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace told reporters before heading into a meeting of NATO defense ministers that the UK had not seen the Russian “massing of a single force to punch through in a big offensive” and noted that Russians are now trying to advance in Donbas at a huge cost. Mr Wallace added, “Helping Ukraine defeat Russia in Ukraine actually adds to our own security at home. If 97% of the Russian army is now committed to Ukraine, with an attrition rate very, very high, and potentially their combat effectiveness depleted by 40%, and nearly two thirds of their tanks destroyed or broken, that has a direct impact on the security of Europe.”
  • Russian leaders are likely aware that the invader’s weak military industrial output is a critical disadvantage. Russia is still capable of producing large quantities of small arms and missiles, but is struggling with sanctions and lack of manpower. Moscow is unlikely to increase capacity to produce tanks rapidly and at scale, and certainly not in time to affect the current Russian offensive or of a Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in the coming months.
  • Ukraine has a window of opportunity to initiate large-scale counteroffensives over the next few months, but its ability to do so likely rests heavily on the speed and scale at which the West provides it the necessary materiel, particularly tanks and armored vehicles.
  • EU Commission President von der Leyen released a statement of proposals for a 10th package of EU sanctions against Europe’s bloody aggressor. Up for debate are sanctions including additional export bans worth more than 11 billion euros to deprive Russia of crucial technologies and industrial goods; tighter restrictions on exports of dual-use and high-tech goods to Russia; sanctions against Russian propagandists and additional military and political officials.
  • Putin has scheduled his delayed annual address to the parliament for February 21, although he won’t be able to boast of military success. The Russian military has not achieved significant operational success in Ukraine since the capture of Severodonetsk in July 2022, while Ukrainian forces have liberated almost 18,000 square kilometers of territory. Putin may have scheduled the address hoping for success in the Bakhmut area, but Russian forces have gained about 500 square kilometers since July 2022 with huge losses in equipment and lives.
  • The Roskomnadzor Russian state information censoring agency is adding warning icons to Telegram channels deemed threatening to Moscow’s narrative.  The Kremlin is unwilling to block Telegram, because the channel is used heavily by its army of pro-war milbloggers and other propagandists. Russia has banned and/or curtailed media including Russian Wikipedia, the big global social media platforms, political opposition candidates and media, mainstream Western news and Chess.com.
  • A Kremlin-affiliated milblogger claimed on February 15 that Iran and Russia were creating and sharing technology on high-precision bombs, missiles and attack aircraft. The milblogger alleged that Russia has agreed to purchase over 100,000 Iranian artillery and mortar rounds. The milblogger suggested that Russia could employ Iranian proxies and partners in Iran, Iraq and Syria to fight in Ukraine.
  • The head of a far eastern Russian city proposed sending 256 of those signed up for unemployed to the Russian military and further wants to change the law to require unemployed individuals to join the military.

General Staff’s Daily Video Digest with English subtitles

GENERAL STAFF DAILY ENEMY LOSSES

Above: Western analysts believe that the invader has lost half of its modern-era tanks over the last year. (The Independent)

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses since February 24, 2022 (with daily additions)

  • Liquidated personnel, 140,460 (+690)
  • Tanks, 3,296 (+6)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 6,517 (+10)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 2,306/466 (+3/0)
  • Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 239 (+3)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 298/287 (+0/1)
  • UAV operational-tactical level, 2,012 (+1)
  • Cruise missiles, 857 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 18 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 5,167 (+6)
  • Special equipment, 219 (0)

GENERAL STAFF CIVILIAN MISSILE STRIKES

Above: In the early hours of Feb 16th, Moscow bombed Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk, killing civilians in their beds. (Hromadske Int)

On the night of February 16, the Russian occupation troops launched a massive missile and drone attack on the territory of Ukraine, in particular on critical infrastructure facilities. The enemy fired 36 missiles in a two-hour burst.  Ukraine claimed to have shot down only 16 of them. Several Kh-22 cruise missiles reached their targets, hitting critical infrastructure in Lviv, Kremenchuk (Poltava), Kropyvnytsky (Kirovahrad) and Pavlohrad (Dnipropetrovsk).

The missiles were fired included (12) X-101 / X-555 cruise missiles from Tu-95ms strategic bombers at the Caspian Sea area, (8) Caliber cruise missiles from a frigate on the Black Sea, (12) X-22 cruise missiles from six Tu-22 long-range bombers in Kursk and (2) X-59 guided air missiles from two Su-35 tactical aircraft at Melitopol.

Glory to Ukraine! The three hundred and fifty-eighth day of the Russian large-scale invasion has begun.

  • During the day, the enemy launched 3 missile and 18 air strikes. In addition, 52 attacks from multiple rocket launchers were recorded. The Russian occupiers fired at the civilian infrastructure of Donetsk region and Kherson There are wounded and dead among the civilian population.
  • Over the past day, units of the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of more than 15 settlements. In particular, near Bilogorivka and Serebryansk forestry in Luhansk region and Fedorivka, Bakhmut, Dilyivka, Avdiivka, Vodyanyi, Pervomaisky, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Vugledar, Prechistivka and Novosilka in Donetsk
  • Areas of Yanzhulivka settlements of Chernihiv region were affected by hostile fire; Rozhkovichi, Tovstodubovo, Bilokopytove, Vovkivka, Volfyne and Basivka in the Sumy region and Graniv, Svitlichne, Strelecha, Vovchansk, Zemlianka, Rublene, Krasne Pershe, Novomlynsk, Dvorichna and Kreidyanka in the Kharkiv The occupiers attacked Naumivka in the Sumy Oblast and Granov and Udy in the Kharkiv Oblast from the territory of the Russian Federation with army aviation forces.
  • In the Kupyansk and Lymansk directions, the enemy shelled more than 20 settlements with tanks, mortars, and artillery, including Hryanikyvka and Kucherivka in the Kharkiv region; Novoyehorivka, Makiivka, Stelmakhivka, Nevsky and Chervonopivka in the Luhansk region and Terna, Novoselivka, Spirne, Rozdolivka and Stepove in the Donetsk
  • In the Bakhmut direction, the areas of more than 20 settlements were hit by mortar and artillery fire, including Spirne, Vyimka, Rozdolivka, Fedorivka, Vasyukivka, Bilogorivka, Paraskoviivka, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Ivanovske, Chasiv yar, Stupochki, Predtechine, and Kurdyumivka.
  • On the Avdiivsk and Shakhtarsk directions, 20 settlements were hit by tank, mortar and artillery attacks, in particular, Avdiivka, Vesele, Vodiane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Georgiivka, Maryinka, Pobyeda, Mykilske, Vugledar, Novoukrainka, Velyka Novosilka, Neskuchne, Prechistivka and Zolota Niva, Donetsk Also, the enemy carried out airstrikes near Kamianka and Novomykhailivka.
  • In the Zaporizhzhya region, more than 20 settlements were affected by fire, in particular, Vremivka, Novopil, Temyrivka, Malynivka, Chervone, Gulyaipole, Biloghirya, Mala Tokmachka, Novoandriivka, and Kamianske. Enemy airstrikes were recorded near Novopol and Malynyvka.
  • On the Kherson direction, Kherson was affected by enemy artillery fire, as well as the districts of more than 10 settlements, including Zolota Balka, Havrylivka, Kachkarivka, Zmiivka, Beryslav, Vesele, Lviv, Ivanivka, Tokarivka, Tyaginka, Berehove of the Kherson region and Ochakiv in the Mykolaiv

Believe in the Armed Forces! Together we will win! Glory to Ukraine!

KHARKIV-LUHANSK

Above:  In the morning of Feb 15, the enemy shelled civilian homes in Kupyansk, Kharkiv.  No casualties reported.  (Ukrainian News)

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces did not make any confirmed gains in northern Kharkiv Oblast on February 15. Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack near Hryanykivka, Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted ground attacks on the Kreminna and Svatove line on February 15. Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks against Nevske, Kreminna, and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.
  • Russian forces may have made tactical gains in the forested areas near Dibrova on February 15. Multiple Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces advanced 2-3 kilometers from Kreminna in the Dibrova forests and posted pictures of trenches in the forests that Russian forces reportedly recaptured.

DONETSK

Above: Russian strikes on a five-story apartment building in Pokrovsk, Donetsk, early morning on Feb 15th caused civilian fatalities. (Reuters)

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut on February 15. There were at least 25 combat engagements between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the Bakhmut area in the past 24 hours. Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut itself as well as Fedorivka (18km north) and Ivanivske (6km west). Geolocated footage published on February 14 indicates that Russian forces likely secured marginal advances in the northeastern outskirts of Bakhmut.
  • Geolocated footage published on February 15 indicates that Ukrainian forces likely hold positions on the western outskirts of Krasna Hora (6km north of Bakhmut).
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the western outskirts of Donetsk City on February 15. Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 32km southwest of Avdiivka near Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Marinka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka. Geolocated footage published on February 13 indicates that Russian forces advanced into Novobakhmutivka (13km northeast of Avdiivka) and likely captured the settlement.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast on February 15. Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Vuhledar (30km southwest of Donetsk City) and Prechystivka (40km southwest of Donetsk City). Geolocated footage published on February 15 indicates that Ukrainian forces likely pushed back Russian forces from positions south and southeast of Vuhledar.

ZAPORIZHZHYA-KHERSON-CRIMEA

Above:  The Kherson Oblast Prosecutor reported that the invaders fired on Kherson 38 times on Feb 15. (Gazeta UA)

Maps via ISW
  • Russian forces continued routine fire west of Hulyaipole and in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, and Kherson oblasts. Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces struck Kherson City and in the vicinity of Ochakiv, Mykolaiv Oblast.

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