February 26,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 733

Prosecutor's Office investigates Russian execution of 7 Ukrainian POWs

Law enforcement officials are investigating the shooting of seven Ukrainian service members by the Russian military in Donetsk Oblast.

A video posted online shows Russian soldiers shooting the prisoners near the villages of Ivanivske and Khromove despite the prisoners surrendering. The Russian military deliberately shot and killed unarmed and wounded Ukrainian fighters, violating international humanitarian law.

Ukraine’s Ombudsman has identified the military unit responsible for the shooting and stated that this incident should be documented as another violation of international humanitarian law by Russia. The killing of a prisoner of war is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and constitutes a war crime. The Prosecutor General’s Office has stated that there are currently 19 criminal investigations into the execution of 45 Ukrainian prisoners of war. This incident is one of several cases of torture and murder of Ukrainian prisoners held by Russia during the ongoing conflict.


Symbolic number of the Day

31 000

During a forum in Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy revealed that approximately 31,000 Ukrainian fighters have died as a result of the war with Russia. This is the first public statement from Zelenskyy giving an official figure for the number of Ukrainian fighter casualties since the conflict began. Zelenskyy also mentioned that 180,000 Russian soldiers have died in the war, with Russia experiencing a total of 500,000 casualties, including the wounded. The true number of casualties is likely to be known only after the territories occupied by Russia are liberated. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has reported that at least 10,582 civilians have been killed and nearly 20,000 injured since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022.


War in Pictures


During the night, Kostiantynivka in Ukraine was attacked by russian occupants, resulting in severe damage to the city. Five strikes were made by Russia, including an aerial bomb and four S-300 missiles. A 75-year-old woman was injured in the attack and was treated by paramedics along with others who sustained minor injuries. The damage caused by the attacks includes destroying the railway station and damaging multiple residential and commercial buildings, places of worship, educational institutions, administrative buildings, and more. Investigative teams, explosive experts, and rescuers have been working at the sites since the attacks occurred.


Video of the Day

Two people were killed in Sumy Oblast as a result of an enemy strike.

“At night, enemy aircraft attacked one of the settlements of Sumy district. One residential building was destroyed as a result of the hit and 5 more were damaged. Rescuers unblocked the bodies of two people from the rubble. The rescue operations have been completed,” – the rescuers said in a statement.


ISW report


Ukrainian officials discussed Ukraine’s goals and priorities for 2024 on February 25 and highlighted the need for continued Ukrainian innovation and Western aid to accomplish Ukraine’s objectives. Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov stated that Ukraine is doing everything “possible and impossible” to make a breakthrough along the frontline and that Ukraine has an undisclosed plan for 2024 that will not only bring “hope” but also yield tangible results.

Umerov and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi visited several Ukrainian command posts in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and other directions and noted the importance of protecting Ukrainian personnel from Russian drone and air strikes in certain areas of the front. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that Ukraine hopes to further reduce Russia’s advantage in battlefield artillery systems, currently estimated to be at a 6 to 1 advantage, ahead of future Ukrainian counteroffensive operations. Zelensky warned that Ukraine could continue to lose territory meter by meter if Ukraine does not receive and produce additional artillery systems.

Ukrainian Deputy Commander-in-Chief Colonel Vadym Sukharevskyi highlighted Ukraine’s newly-formed Unmanned Systems Force as an important next step in Ukraine’s war effort that is intended to improve Ukrainian efficiency, systematization, and analysis of drone use. Sukharevskyi reiterated that Ukrainian forces are not trying to use drones to replace artillery systems, but rather as additional weapons to defeat the Russian military.

Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov stated that Ukraine needs significant volumes of long-range weapons from Ukraine‘s Western allies, and Zelensky expressed confidence in Western provisions of long-range weapons. Umerov noted that there is a critical difference between the allocation and provision of Western aid to Ukraine, and Budanov added that Russia and Ukraine are currently competing to see who will get the “upper hand” on the battlefield.

Several Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky, highlighted plans to hold the first Ukrainian Peace Formula Summit in Switzerland this year and emphasized the importance of further developing Ukraine’s partnership with NATO in 2024.


War Heroes


Junior Sergeant Anton Bilozubov, цшер еру call sign Zub, died on June 13, 2023, in a battle with the enemy near the village of Velyka Novosilka, Donetsk Oblast. Two months later, on August 11, the defender would have turned 35.

Anton was born and lived in Kherson. After high school, he studied to become a car mechanic. He worked as a lighting designer at the Kherson Oblast Academic Music and Drama Theater. He loved his job very much. He was interested in electricity and LED advertising signs. He was a creative and imaginative person.

During the full-scale invasion, the man waited for Kherson’s de-occupation and joined the defenders’ ranks. He became a fighter with the 37th Separate Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was Commander of an infantry fighting vehicle in a reconnaissance platoon.

“He was a sincere and kind man with a big heart, brave and responsible, he helped people, loved animals, even picked snails off the asphalt so that others would not step on them. We had so many dreams and plans that will never come true, and we loved each other to pieces. Eternal memory to the Hero!” said Olga, the wife of the deceased.

The marine was buried in his hometown.

Anton is survived by his wife, mother, stepfather, father, older brother, as well as other relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.

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


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