February 27,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 734

European Parliament supports allocation of €50 billion for Ukraine

The European Parliament has approved a €50 billion funding package for Ukraine, known as the Ukraine Fund, as part of the EU budget. 

The funding will be available from 2024 to 2027, with €33 billion in loans and €17 billion in grants. After delays caused by Hungary’s obstruction, European leaders agreed to four years of funding during a summit on February 1. The package was approved with 536 votes in favor, 40 against, and 39 abstentions. Members of the European Parliament will now hold regular discussions with the European Commission to ensure transparency and democratic oversight of the program. 

The involvement of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, has also been strengthened, enhancing the program’s democratic legitimacy. The grants will support the restoration and modernization of Ukrainian subnational authorities, green initiatives, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed gratitude for the support and solidarity shown by MEPs and European Parliament President Robert Metsola.


Symbolic number of the Day

$488 million

Russia has reportedly imported 450 million euros ($488 million) worth of banned goods from European Union (EU) countries in the first nine months of 2023, with a quarter of the goods being directly sourced from Europe. 

Despite Western sanctions to disrupt supply routes, Russia receives banned goods, including microchips, through third countries. The volume of trade in these prohibited goods between the EU and Russia has declined since the start of the conflict. Still, exports from European countries to third countries have significantly increased. Turkey, the UAE, Serbia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia are the countries involved in shipments evading sanctions. EU trade data also reveals that some banned goods are produced by subsidiaries and subcontractors of European companies operating abroad. The EU is unable to impose sanctions on these third countries. Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption has identified approximately 2,500 foreign components in Russian weapons, mainly from American manufacturers.


War in Pictures


The public relations service of the separate presidential brigade named after Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky told how the fighters train and prepare new recruits. “Train as you will fight!” is a simple truth that dictates the training rules.  The fighters of the Presidential Brigade train in full gear, with regular weapons and ammunition, and they train their new recruits similarly. They are training in cross-country marching, obstacle course, moving and shooting. With additional weight and a gas mask, the fighter must be steady, enduring and ready for any development of events. Excellent physical fitness and mastery of individual weapons are the basis of training. Only after a fighter reaches a certain “base” can he or she move on to coordinating and practicing special tasks,” the brigade said in a statement. 


Video of the Day

The Public Relations Service of the 79th separate airborne assault brigade of the Air Assault Division of the Ukrainian Armed Forces released a video showing paratroopers of the 79th Air Assault Brigade destroying Russian equipment near Novomykhailivka.

“The enemy keeps trying to capture this locality. Active assault operations take place here every day. Often, the enemy uses armored vehicles to transport infantry and cover their actions with cannon and machine gun fire. But despite the constant pressure, the Maroon Berets from Mykolaiv give the enemy a worthy rebuff, destroying their armored vehicles on the way to their positions. The columns of destroyed enemy vehicles seen in the video best prove the effectiveness of the paratroopers’ defensive actions.” – the brigade’s press service said in a statement.


ISW report


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated on February 25 that Russia is preparing a new offensive that will start in late May or summer 2024, consistent with ISW’s assessment that Russian forces have regained the theater-wide initiative and will be able to pursue offensive operations when and where they choose as long as they hold the initiative.

Zelensky also stated that the Ukrainian military has a clear plan to counter Russian forces. ISW continues to assess that Russian forces regained the initiative across the theater following Ukraine’s summer 2023 counteroffensive and that Russia will likely be able to determine the time, location, and scale of future offensive operations in Ukraine if Ukraine conducts an active defense throughout the theater in 2024, thereby ceding the strategic initiative to Russia. 

Russian forces will have the ability to maneuver reserve concentrations and determine how and where to allocate resources while forcing Ukraine to respond defensively as long as Russia maintains the strategic initiative. Ukrainian forces could deny Russia these opportunities if Ukrainian forces have enough means to challenge the Russian initiative and pursue their own offensive operations in 2024.


War Heroes


29-year-old Vasyl Kekish, with the call sign Doc, died on June 13, 2023, near the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast. He spent about 3 weeks with his fighters in heavy battles and assaults. That morning, he returned from a night mission very tired because he had spent much time without sleep. When he was going to the checkpoint, the occupiers used artillery. According to fighters-in-arms, it was very powerful and new because everything was on fire after the shelling for about a day – even the weapons melted. After that, for almost two months, they tried to get Vasyl’s body and the bodies of other fighters, but the enemy did not stop shelling. Finally, on August 2, they succeeded. After 4 months, DNA testing confirmed the death of the fighter.

Vasyl was a native of Chervonohrad, Lviv Oblast. He graduated from the local specialized school №8. Then, he entered the dental faculty of the Ternopil Gorbachevsky National Medical University, graduating in 2015. He worked as a dentist at the SlaDent clinic in Ternopil. He treated adults and children and had a special approach to everyone. He loved spending time with friends, had a great memory, and loved to tell funny stories. According to his friends, he was like a magnet that attracted people. He loved to cook and eat deliciously.

When the full-scale war began, the man went to the military enlistment office to defend his homeland. On February 28, 2022, he joined the 81st separate airmobile brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was a senior combat medic of the company. He participated in battles in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. In January 2023, Vasyl was awarded the Steel Cross by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for his skillful command during the evacuation.

“Vasyl was incredibly smiling and cheerful. He never lost heart, always supported everyone around him and tried to help. He dreamed of a future in a free Ukraine and was planning a wedding. He was very protective of us and always said that he was doing well, even when he was wounded twice. During the ATO, he was a volunteer at the Trident Dental organization, helping fighters restore their smiles. My comrades loved and respected my brother, they knew that they could safely go on an assault with him. They said: “Vasyl was the one who was looking for 1500 reasons to take the wounded from the battlefield, while others could find 1500 reasons not to.” He was a very brave fighter and always cared about others. We still can’t believe that Vasyl is gone, it’s like a piece of our heart was torn out alive. We are still waiting for his call, a heart to a message, a surprise that he will be home soon, we love him very much, but God decided to take him to Himself… Vasyl is forever in the ranks of the heavenly army, protecting the sky above us, he is a Hero of Ukraine! Eternal memory and honor to all those who gave their lives for Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!” said his sister Kateryna.

The Hero was buried in the village of Bendyuha, Lviv Oblast. Vasyl is survived by his parents, sister, and fiancée. 

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


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