Day 722 of the Invasion of Ukraine: 90% Of Funds Do Not Reach Kyiv But Remain In The US

World » UKRAINE | February 15, 2024, Thursday // 12:40
Bulgaria: Day 722 of the Invasion of Ukraine: 90% Of Funds Do Not Reach Kyiv But Remain In The US

Day 722 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • "Critical situation": Ukraine withdraws forces in Avdiivka to "more advantageous positions"
  • Second massive Russian missile attack this month against 7 Ukrainian regions
  • Zelensky will participate in the Munich conference and meet with Kamala Harris
  • Five people were killed in Belgorod when a rocket hit a shopping center
  • Russia launched new missile strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities
  • The EU has "no interest" in extending transit contracts for Russian gas through Ukraine
  • Scientists claim that 90% of the funds allocated to Ukraine do not go to Kyiv, but remain in the US
  • A Ukrainian drone struck a Russian oil depot in Kursk
  • Former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia: Mykhailo Podolyak's brother is an FSB colonel


"Critical situation": Ukraine withdraws forces in Avdiivka to "more advantageous positions"

Ukraine is carrying out maneuvers in areas of Avdiivka, outside the eastern city of Donetsk, to withdraw its troops to "more advantageous positions".

This was said by the military spokesman of the operational-strategic group "Tavria" Dmytro Likhovy on Thursday on the air of the national telethon. According to him, attempts to push out the Russian forces in other places continue.

Russia has been trying to capture the city for months and is making slow progress towards it. The encirclement operation began in October, but only now - after heavy losses - are Moscow's forces approaching the objective. At the same time, the battle turns out to be an even greater test for Ukraine, which is already talking about Russia's great advantage in projectiles.

Instead of a complete encirclement, Russia has in recent weeks sought to cut the main supply line to Ukrainian units at the huge Avdiivka coke plant, which closed in 2015 - a goal that some Russian and Ukrainian sources say was achieved on February 14. Recently, strikes were also carried out in the deep rear of the Ukrainian forces, as far as the town of Selidove, tens of kilometers away.

On Wednesday evening, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote that no significant changes were seen on the front line in the area.

Kyiv has activated a backup logistics route to the city, but supplies to and evacuations from Adviivka are "difficult," Likhovy continued. He had previously said that Ukraine had "multiple" supply lines to Avdiivka.

"The enemy has an advantage in some weapons and projectiles", continued Likhovii.

"There are simply physical limits, there is a bar beyond which you cannot jump even if you want to. As for the personnel, this, unfortunately, is a permanent advantage", said the military spokesman.

Meanwhile, the Third Assault Brigade "Azov" announced that it has been transferred to support the forces in Avdiivka, and in a message on "Telegram" the situation is called "extremely critical", "threatening and unstable". "The enemy continues active rotation of troops and throws new forces towards the city." However, two Russian brigades in the area are said to have suffered heavy losses.

"Avdiivka hell", is the first sentence of the message.

"We are forced to fight in 360 degrees against new and new brigades that the enemy creates," said Andriy Biletsky, commander of the Third Assault Brigade

Second massive Russian missile attack this month against 7 Ukrainian regions

Russia launched a second massive missile attack on Ukraine this month, hitting infrastructure, damaging residential and commercial buildings and wounding at least six people in different parts of the country, officials said, cited by Reuters.

Seven Ukrainian regions were attacked, including the capital Kyiv and the cities of Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and Lviv.

"A new missile attack on Ukraine. In particular, the enemy targeted Kyiv," announced Sergey Popko, head of the Kyiv military administration, adding that the missiles flew towards the capital from different directions.

He said air defenses shot down all missiles aimed at Kyiv and there was no major damage or casualties there.

In the western city of Lviv, near Ukraine's border with Poland, an infrastructure facility was hit, regional governor Maxim Kozytsky said. Two people were injured, residential buildings and personal cars were damaged.

Infrastructure was hit in the western Khmelnytskyi region and the city of Zaporizhzhia in the southeast. In Zaporizhzhia, four people were injured, and a school and a shop were damaged.

The air alert lasted over two hours across Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian officials, Russian forces tried to repeat the attacks of last winter, when Ukraine's energy sector was severely damaged and this led to prolonged power outages for millions of people. Ukraine's winter so far has been unusually warm, with temperatures often well above freezing and the power system has been able to cope, Reuters notes.

Kalibr missiles were fired this morning against Ukraine from the Russian frigate Admiral Makarov in the Black Sea, according to preliminary information cited by Ukrinform. The announcement was made by Natalia Humeniuk, head of the Joint Press Center of the Operational Command "South" during the United News telethon.

"There was information that a shelling was probably carried out from the Black Sea. At that time, the missile-carrying frigate 'Admiral Makarov' was there with 8 'Kalibr' missiles. If we assume that it was from this ship that the attack was carried out, then from now on it remained half of its missile stock," Humeniuk pointed out.

Therefore, according to her, the threat of missile strikes continues, as the frigate remains in position with missile equipment ready, and even a second missile attack is not excluded.

"With 4 of the 8 Kalibr missiles being used, half of them are still on board. They can still use the remaining 4 missiles," she said.

At the same time, Humeniuk noted that this is preliminary information, since there are ground counterparts of "Kalibr", such as "Iskander-K", which have very similar characteristics. She emphasized that, in general, it is not so important where exactly and from where the missiles are fired, and the main task is to repel the enemy's attacks.

"Later, the results will be summarized, everything will be analyzed, full information about the massive rocket fire will be presented," Humeniuk added.

Zelensky will participate in the Munich conference and meet with Kamala Harris

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will participate in the Munich Security Conference, DPA reported.

There, Zelensky will meet with American Vice President Kamala Harris. The president took part in the annual conference for the first time in person - rather than by video link - after opting not to travel to Munich in the days before Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

This will be Zelensky's second visit to Germany since the beginning of the war. About 50 world leaders, including Scholz, Harris and Israeli President Isaac Herzog, are expected to participate in the conference.

Five people were killed in Belgorod when a rocket hit a shopping center

Five people died and 18 were injured in an attack on a shopping center in Belgorod, Russia (not far from the border with Ukraine). This was written by the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

According to him, a two-story shopping center in the city was affected. Among the dead is a child.

Earlier, the Russian authorities spoke of a foiled attempt by the "Kyiv regime" for a terrorist attack in the Belgorod region.

Russia launched new missile strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities

Russia launched a new missile attack on Ukraine today, hitting infrastructure, damaging residential and commercial buildings and wounding at least six people in different parts of the country, authorities said, cited by Reuters.

This is the second Russian missile attack this month.

Russian forces carried out attacks in seven Ukrainian regions, including the capital Kyiv and the cities of Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and Lviv, the Ukrainian military said.

"A new missile attack on Ukraine. In particular, the enemy targeted Kyiv," said Sergey Popko, head of the Kyiv military administration, adding that the missiles flew towards the capital from different directions.

Popko announced that air defenses had shot down all missiles aimed at Kyiv, and there was no major damage or casualties.

In the western city of Lviv, near Ukraine's border with Poland, an infrastructure facility was hit, regional governor Maxim Kozytsky said. He also reported two wounded in the attack, damage to residential buildings and private cars.

Infrastructure was hit in the western Khmelnytskyi region and the city of Zaporizhzhia in the southeast. In Zaporizhzhia, four people were injured and a school and a shop were damaged, city officials said.

The air alert lasted over two hours across Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian officials, Russian forces were trying to repeat attacks from last winter, when Ukraine's energy sector was severely damaged and it led to prolonged power outages for millions of people.

This winter in Ukraine has been unusually warm so far, with temperatures often well above freezing and the power system coping, Reuters notes.

The EU has "no interest" in extending transit contracts for Russian gas through Ukraine

The European Union sees no need to extend the agreement to transport Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine before the contract's scheduled expiration at the end of the year, the bloc's energy policy chief Kadri Simson said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The energy commissioner pointed out that EU analysis shows that countries served by the Russian gas transit route, which includes Austria, Italy and Slovakia, will be able to find alternative supplies.

"We have no interest in extending the trilateral gas transit agreement with Russia, which expires at the end of this year. Based on our preliminary analysis, there are alternative solutions for supplying those countries that still receive little gas via the Ukrainian route," Simson said at a meeting of the Energy Committee of the European Parliament.

Reuters reminds that Europe is trying to abandon the import of Russian gas after Russia reduced the supply of the blue fuel to the old continent after its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Europe receives about 12 billion cubic meters of gas annually through Ukraine, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights. Before the military invasion of Ukraine, Russia supplied Europe with 155 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Analysts predicted that the termination of the transit agreement for the transfer of Russian gas through Ukraine could lead to a slight increase in European prices of the blue fuel, but would not compromise Europe's overall energy security.

EU countries have invested heavily in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy to replace supplies from Moscow. A sharp drop in gas demand, which was also partly caused by weak industrial activity in Europe, also helped.

Under the five-year pipeline transit agreement between Moscow and Kyiv, Russia exports gas to Europe via Ukraine and pays its neighbor to use its pipeline network.

Ukraine previously said it would not negotiate with Russia to extend the deal, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that Russia would find alternative routes to export gas if the deal with Ukraine was not extended.

Scientists claim that 90% of the funds allocated to Ukraine do not go to Kyiv, but remain in the US

90% of all funds allocated to support Ukraine do not go to Kyiv, but remain in the United States, the president of the Yale Leadership Institute, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, and the institute's scientific director, Stephen Thien, wrote in a comment for the publication "Time", quoted from UNIAN agency.

The commentary notes that providing military aid has enabled the US to create thousands of jobs in at least 38 countries.

It is emphasized that Russia spends 40% of its state budget on defense, and in the last five months alone it has lost at least a fifth of its fleet.

In Kyiv, the head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, announced that Ukraine will soon have F-16 fighters.

Earlier on Thursday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned that Ukrainian troops were running low on ammunition as a massive US military aid package sought by President Joe Biden remained blocked by congressional Republicans.

A Ukrainian drone struck a Russian oil depot in Kursk

An oil depot in Russia's Kursk region is on fire after being hit by a Ukrainian drone.

Footage from the fire shows the explosion at the facility, flames and plumes of black smoke rising into the air.

The attack, which Russian media said was carried out by two drones, resulted in no casualties, local governor Roman Starovoit said.

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia: Mykhailo Podolyak's brother is a FSB colonel

Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister and former senator Alfred Koch said that the adviser in the office of the Ukrainian president Mykhailo Podolyak is a close relative of an FSB officer.

The statement of the former Russian politician, who now lives in Germany, was broadcast in the program of journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov (listed in the Russian Federation in the register of foreign agents).

"His brother is a KGB colonel, lives in Moscow," Koch said during the broadcast. - "Genetically inferior brother. Podolyak tells us all that Russians are genetically inferior".

To the host's surprise about Podolyak's statements, Koch promised to send him links to materials in which he said he talked about the genetics of Russians and Ukrainians.

"And his genetically damaged brother, from the same parents, he is an FSB colonel," Koch added.

Podolyak later commented on the information in a YouTube broadcast. He did not deny that his older 60-year-old brother lives in Russia, but he denied the information about his relative's employment.

"I don't know about KGB, FSB and so on."

At the same time, Zelensky's adviser added:

"I am not responsible for people with whom I do not communicate. This person is 60 years old, I am 51. I cannot be responsible for other adults, just like General Syrskyi (his mother and brother continue to live in Russia and support Putin's aggression in Ukraine). My relatives never belonged to the KGB and FSB."


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