February 6,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 713

Russian attacks on Kharkiv kill 2-month-old boy

A two-month-old boy was tragically killed and three women were injured when Russian troops targeted a three-story hotel in Zolochiv, Kharkiv Oblast with S-300 missiles. 

The boy’s body was recovered from the rubble, while the injured women, aged 21, 28, and 39, were hospitalized, including the mother of the deceased child. The hotel was completely destroyed in the early morning attack. 

Earlier reports had indicated that four people were trapped under the rubble, but two women and one man were successfully rescued. Governor Oleh Syniehubov confirmed that approximately 20 settlements in the Kharkiv Oblast had been targeted by Russian shelling, including residential and administrative buildings, civilian vehicles, cafes, and shops.


Symbolic number of the Day


The Ukrainian Defense Forces currently have 21 polar explorers serving in their ranks, according to Minister of Education and Science, Oksen Lisovyi. These explorers, known as the “fighting penguins,” include doctors, artillerymen, scouts, signalmen, stormtroopers, sappers, divers, and other military specialists. Lisovyi also highlighted the fact that Ukraine obtained its own Antarctic station 28 years ago on February 6. Despite Ukraine’s active involvement in Antarctic research during the Soviet period, they did not receive any stations after the collapse of the Soviet Union as Russia claimed ownership of all the existing stations. However, Ukraine did acquire the Faraday station from the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, which is now known as Academician Vernadsky. Lisovyi emphasized that Ukraine plays a significant role in managing the Antarctic and takes pride in being a part of the world-class science created there. 


War in Pictures


Two people have been injured in Marhanets, Dnipro Oblast, as a result of a Russian shelling attack. The Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration, Serhiy Lysak, reported that a 50-year-old woman will receive treatment at home, while a 63-year-old man is in moderate condition and has been hospitalized. The attack, which involved the use of a kamikaze drone, caused damage to four private houses and a car.

Video of the Day

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine released a video showing border guards destroying 2 tanks and an infantry fighting vehicle in Donetsk Oblast using FPV drones. The infantry fighting vehicle was probably used to deliver ammunition. The Russian tank moved from a neighboring position, but failed to escape.


ISW report


The Kremlin is intensifying rhetoric pushing for the hypothetical partition of Ukraine by seizing on innocuous and unrelated topics, likely in an attempt to normalize the partition narrative in Western discussions about Ukraine. Deputy Chairperson of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev claimed on February 5 that purported European plans to construct a railway line from Spain to Lviv City are evidence of the West’s acknowledgement that Lviv City would be “the new capital of Ukraine within the borders of [Lviv Oblast],” presumably following the end of Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

The plan, notably, has nothing to do with Ukrainian borders or an end state to the war in Ukraine and is an independent European infrastructure project. Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials have recently reignited the narrative framing the invasion of Ukraine as an historically justified imperial conquest and proposed to a largely Russian-speaking audience in December 2023 that Russia and European powers could partition Ukraine and leave it as “sovereign” rump state within the borders of Lviv Oblast, comments that subsequently gained some attention from a few right-wing nationalist Central European politicians.

Medvedev notably posted his February 5 claims on his English-language X (formerly Twitter) account and not on his Russian-language Telegram account, suggesting that his statement was intended for an international audience as opposed to a Russian domestic audience. Medvedev’s statement furthers the Russian information operation that erroneously portrays Ukraine as an artificially constructed state, likely in an effort to reduce Western military support for Ukraine and normalize Western discussions that push Ukraine to cede much of its territory and people to Russia as a legitimate way to end the war. ISW continues to assess that Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains his maximalist objectives in Ukraine, which are tantamount to complete Ukrainian and Western capitulation.

Russian ultranationalists continue to support the Kremlin’s maximalist objectives in Ukraine and reject the notion that negotiations would lead to a lasting end to the war. Deputy Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Main Directorate of Rosgvardia, Commander of its special rapid response and riot police (OMON and SOBR), and prominent Russian milblogger Alexander Khodakovsky claimed that a “truce” would not result in peace and that “achieving lasting peace is only possible through war and the victory” of either Russia or Ukraine.

Khodakovsky also claimed that the current period of positional warfare hinders Russian forces from exhausting Ukrainian forces along the entire frontline and argued that Russian forces need to pressure Ukrainian forces and compel Ukraine to commit more resources to battle along the entire frontline. Khodakovsky’s zero-sum framing of the war is indicative of the wider Russian ultranationalist support for the Kremlin’s maximalist objectives of a complete Ukrainian and Western defeat. This zero-sum framing is also incompatible with any serious negotiations for an armistice or lasting peace.


War Heroes

59-year-old defender Ihor Hrytsiv, with the call sign Did, died on September 7, 2022, near the village of Bezimenne in Mykolaiv Oblast during an enemy attack with artillery fire. It was then that communication with Ihor was cut off, and he was reported missing. Only on October 30, 2023, the conclusion of the relevant examination on the identification of the body was received.

Ihor was born in Mykolaiv Oblast. Later, he moved to Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, where he lived in the village of Pidpechery, and after his marriage, he moved to the city of Dolyna. He was a tractor driver of the 3rd class by profession and received his degree at Kutske Secondary Vocational School No. 6. 

Since 1980, he worked at an agricultural enterprise. In 1981-1983, he did his military service. Then he worked at a cotton spinning mill as a thermal machine operator and later as a transporter. 

Since 1985, he has worked at the Prykarpatzalizobeton plant as a capital repair specialist, reinforcer, and plumber. Later he became a bricklayer and plasterer. In recent years, he worked in the construction industry, where he was valued as a high-level craftsman.

On March 12, 2022, after a full-scale enemy invasion, Ihor joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in the 57th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Kosh Ataman Kostya Hordiienko. He was the simulator operator of the 1st Battery of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles of the Anti-Tank Artillery Division.

“He was incredible. He taught me how to defend myself, he was always very kind to everyone. Many people knew him and they all had only good things to say about him. He deserves eternal honor and memory, because he wanted to go to defend our country. He was almost 60, but that didn’t stop him. He said: “Who else but me will protect my family?” he joined the Armed Forces. We will always miss him,” said Snizhana Falchuk, the deceased’s niece.

The fighter was buried in the village of Pidpechery in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.

Ihor is survived by his mother Anastasiia, sister Iryna, wife Maria, daughters Zoryana and Antonina with their husbands, grandchildren Ihor and Sofia, and niece Snizhana.

*Ihor’s story on the Heroes Memorial – a platform for stories about the fallen defenders of Ukraine.


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