Day 728 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russian Su-34 Shot Down

World » UKRAINE | February 21, 2024, Wednesday // 12:08
Bulgaria: Day 728 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russian Su-34 Shot Down

Day 728 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Midnight Russian attack in Kramatorsk, there are wounded people
  • Russia claims to have captured a village in the Kherson region, Ukraine denies
  • A Russian Su-34 fighter jet was shot down by Ukrainian air defense
  • Russian hackers have hit government websites in Belgium
  • New EU sanctions against Russia are set to be announced
  • Radio Free Europe has been declared an "undesirable organization" by Russia


Midnight Russian attack in Kramatorsk, there are wounded people

Six people were injured in a midnight Russian attack in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, authorities in Kyiv said.

At the same time, Moscow released footage of a visit by top general Valery Gerasimov to Russian troops in Ukraine. According to the announcement, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army awarded the participants in the battle for Avdiivka. The Russians recently took control of the city in Donetsk Oblast, their first major victory since capturing Bakhmut in the middle of last year.

According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, this would not have happened if the US Congress had approved the new military aid package for his country.

Russia claims to have captured a village in the Kherson region, Ukraine denies

Ukraine's Southern Operational Command denied Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's claim that the village of Krynky in Kherson Oblast was captured by Russia on February 20.

"After failing in their assault operations on the left bank of the Kherson region, the Russian forces resorted to manipulation and falsification of facts," said the statement of the operational command distributed on social networks.

In an interview with Russia's state news agency TASS on Tuesday, Shoigu said Russian forces had "cleansed" Krynky en route to capturing a bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnieper River.

Ukraine's armed forces denied Shoigu's statement, noting that Ukraine continues to hold their positions around the village.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has informed that geolocated visual evidence suggests that Ukrainian forces are maintaining their limited foothold in the area, meaning that what Ukraine claims is true.

In its February 20 newsletter, ISW noted that the Kremlin likely prematurely announced that Krynky had been captured as a way to “enhance the sought-after informational effects ahead of the March 2024 presidential election, portraying the ongoing Russian assault on Kherson Oblast as similar to the capture of Avdiivka”.

For months, Ukraine has successfully repelled Russian attacks around the village, and Russia has made minor advances along the eastern coast of Kherson Oblast. According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian forces made one attempt to storm Krynky during the day and withdrew after suffering significant losses.

The "head" of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, published a video with Russian soldiers in Krynky, "Astra" reported late in the evening on February 20. In the video, Saldo says "a bow to you, heroes, from all residents of the Kherson region and my personal deep gratitude!" and claimed to see Marines from the 810th Guards Brigade and paratroopers.

A Russian Su-34 fighter jet was shot down by Ukrainian air defense

A Russian Su-34 fighter jet was shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft forces, Ukrainian news agencies report. Russia has again attacked Ukraine with drones this night.

Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said a Russian Su-34 fighter jet had been shot down. The crew was unable to eject, Oleschuk wrote in the Telegram application.

Russia fired 19 drones and six missiles at Ukraine overnight, and Ukrainian air defense systems destroyed 13 of the drones and one missile, Reuters reported. The drones were shot down mostly near the front line in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

Western analysts claim that the effectiveness of Ukrainian air defense is decreasing - in recent weeks, the share of destroyed drones has decreased by a third, reports the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN.

The spokeswoman of the operational command "South" Nataliya Gumenyuk warned that Russia is preparing for a new massive attack against Ukraine. Russia is modernizing attack drones and continues to increase their production.

The London-based Organization for the Study of Armaments in Conflict claims that the missiles that North Korea supplies to Russia contain many Western-made parts. The experts came to this conclusion after analyzing the remains of ballistic missiles that fell in the Kharkiv region. Many of the parts were produced after the start of the war in Ukraine, the experts' report said.

Russian hackers have hit government websites in Belgium

Russian hackers have hit government and parliament websites in Belgium, including the page of Prime Minister Alexander de Croo. It is reported that for several hours yesterday afternoon some of the sites were temporarily unavailable or loading very slowly.

The group NoName057(16) claimed responsibility for these actions, which had previously attempted to shut down Belgian official pages on the Internet. The group has explained that its actions are related to the aid provided by Belgium to Ukraine.

According to Belgian cyber security services, the attack lasted several hours. It is noted that such actions have become more frequent in recent months.

New EU sanctions against Russia are set to be announced

The ambassadors of the countries of the European Union approved the 13th package of sanctions against Russia, and according to the Belgian presidency, which announced the news, it will be one of the most far-reaching.

There follows a written procedure for approval by individual countries and its official presentation on February 24, the two-year anniversary of the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Radio Free Europe has been declared an "undesirable organization" by Russia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Svoboda, which broadcasts news about countries where it says media freedom is restricted, said it had been declared an "undesirable organization" in Russia.

It is a private non-profit organization funded by the US Congress and produces the Russian language radio program Radio Svoboda and the television channel Segashno Vreme from its headquarters in Prague.

"This attempt to stifle us will only make Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty work even harder to bring free and independent journalism to the Russian people," said the head of the media organization, Stephen Capus.

The media was previously declared a "foreign agent" by the Kremlin, a label given to individuals, media outlets and organizations that receive funding from abroad.

Radio Free Europe was founded in 1949 at the height of the Cold War and broadcast from Munich for decades. At the invitation of the then Czech President Vaclav Havel, in 1995 the radio station moved to Prague.


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