February 15,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 722

Early morning missile strikes across Ukraine 


Russia’s missile attack on Ukraine has wounded at least 11 people and caused extensive damage to residential buildings and infrastructure. The strikes occurred in the early morning hours of February 15. 

Russian forces fired 26 missiles, 13 of which were intercepted by Ukrainian air defense systems. Various types of missiles were used, including air-launched cruise missiles, sea-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and anti-aircraft guided missiles.

Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Khmelnytskyi, Kyiv, Dnipro, Poltava, and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts were hit. In Zaporizhzhia and Lviv, infrastructure, residential buildings, schools, and kindergartens were damaged. 

Power substations and other energy facilities were also hit, leading to power outages. While most of the affected oblasts did not report any casualties, significant damage to civilian infrastructure was sustained.


Symbolic number of the Day

$9 billion

Ukraine will require $9 billion over 10 years to repair and rebuild its cultural and tourism sectors, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Due to Russia’s full-scale war, Ukraine has lost more than $19 billion in tourism revenue. The invasion has caused significant damage to Ukraine’s cultural heritage, with over 800 cultural heritage sites destroyed or damaged in the first 18 months of the invasion, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture. UNESCO has inspected 341 cultural sites affected by the war, and the current estimated cost of damage to cultural property in Ukraine is $3.5 billion, a 40% increase from last year. 


War in Pictures


The Death toll from the missile strike on Velykyi Burluk in Kharkiv oblast has risen to four. Search and rescue services have recovered the bodies of two women from the rubble, bringing the total number of fatalities to four. Initially, it was reported that two men had been killed and five civilians were injured, with three women trapped in the rubble. Rescuers later found the body of a 74-year-old woman. The search and rescue operation was ongoing, with a 27-year-old woman still trapped under the rubble. The Russian missile strike on February 14 targeted a residential building in the village of Velykyi Burluk.


Video of the Day

The Press Service of the National Guard of Ukraine has released a video showing the Donbas Special Forces Battalion of the 18th Slavic Brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine destroying Russian military equipment with FPV strike drones.


ISW report


Ukraine reportedly continues efforts to offset Russian advantages in manpower and materiel by using more advanced systems and equipment, although continued delays in Western security assistance will undermine these efforts. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Ivan Havrylyuk stated in an interview published on February 14 that Ukraine cannot compete with Russia in the number of artillery shells, tanks, and soldiers that Russia can generate but that Ukraine can achieve an advantage on the battlefield by using high-tech weapons.

Havrylyuk stated that Ukrainian forces have proven that a well-trained army with more advanced weapons can defeat an enemy with numerical superiority in manpower and equipment. Havrylyuk argued that Ukrainian forces have superior strike capabilities that have previously allowed Ukraine to degrade Russian logistics and combat capabilities. Havrylyuk stressed that Ukraine only has these superior capabilities when it has enough long-range high-precision munitions and enough ammunition for Western-provided artillery systems that have longer ranges and better accuracy than Russian artillery systems. Havrylyuk specifically highlighted Ukrainian efforts to integrate strike drone capabilities throughout the Ukrainian Armed Forces at scale and noted that Ukraine aims to gradually increase the proportion of machines to people on the battlefield.

Havrylyuk acknowledged that Ukrainian progress in expanding drone operations does not replace Ukraine’s need for advanced artillery systems and other long-range capabilities, however. Havrylyuk stated that the war in Ukraine demonstrates that artillery plays a key role on the battlefield and noted that Ukrainian MLRS and artillery units have caused the majority of Russia’s losses in Ukraine. Havrylyuk stated that drones have certain advantages over artillery, specifically in cost, but are more susceptible to external factors such as Russian electronic warfare (EW) systems and natural factors, likely referencing weather.

The drones that Ukrainian forces currently possess are not able to generate certain battlefield effects that artillery can achieve, such as the destruction of field fortifications, and most Ukrainian drones cannot reliably destroy Russian armored vehicles as artillery can. Havrylyuk argued that Ukraine needs to focus on combined operations using drones and artillery systems to increase the accuracy of Ukrainian fires and conserve artillery ammunition. Ukraine’s ability to conduct such combined operations currently relies on Western provisions of artillery shells, and Havrylyuk acknowledged that shell shortages continue to affect Ukrainian capabilities and force Ukraine to adjust operational plans.


War Heroes

Defender Vasyl Lehach died on June 1, 2023 on the outskirts of the village of Stupochky, Bakhmut, Donetsk oblast. He was fatally wounded on a combat mission. He would have turned 34 years old on July 27.

Vasyl Lehach, callsign “Pyalnyk” (soldering iron) was born in the village of Novobarovo, Zakarpattia oblast. In 2005, he completed his secondary education at a local high school. In 2008, he graduated from the Tyachiv Professional Lyceum with a diploma in electrical installation of power grids and electrical equipment. He lived in Tiachiv since 2015, where he worked as a mobile phone and laptop repairman and as an electrician at Kindergartens #1 and #5. He led a healthy lifestyle and was fond of many things, but he loved working with electronics.

During the full-scale war, he fought to defend his children and relatives from the Russian invaders. He served in the 3rd separate assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, working in the repair shop of the technical support platoon of the logistics group.

Vasyl was posthumously awarded the “Cross of the Brave” by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was also awarded the titles of “Honorary Citizen of the Tyachiv City Territorial Community” and “Defender of the Motherland.”

“Vasya knew how to be appreciative and grateful, for every new morning, for every new peak conquered, or for a simple meeting with friends. No matter how bad the situation was, he always found the positive. His unique skill was his ability to live… He knew how to appreciate every moment… And that’s why his favorite saying was: ‘It doesn’t matter how many days you have in your life, it matters how much life you have in your day.’ He was a loving, decent, and very kind man, the best dad for our sons. Vasya was unique. Those who were lucky enough to know him will never forget him. He was a man to follow, and one could learn a lot from him. He was always calm, and quiet, but he always stood up for himself. He always responded to requests for help. Kindness, conscience, politeness, justice, and honesty: you don’t often find all of these in one person, and he was exactly that. Most of all, he valued his family, for whom he gave his life! The family for whom he always wanted only the best: a better life, a life in a free and safe country,” said Alina, the wife of the fallen fighter.

The defender was buried at the Central Cemetery in Tiachiv. Vasyl is survived by a large and loving family: his parents Vasyl Yuriyovych and Mariia Ivanivna, sisters Valentyna, Tetiana, Nataliia, brother Ruslan, wife Alina, sons Artem and Mark, his father-in-law, mother-in-law and many more relatives and friends.

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


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