Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, February 23

Russian ammunition warehouse destroyed in occupied Mariupol -- US contemplates intel release on China’s potential arms transfer to Russia -- Wagner boss slams Russia’s defense ministry for not providing ammo -- UN chief calls Russian invasion an 'affront' ahead of one year anniversary -- Decorated fighter pilot killed on combat mission in Donetsk Oblast -- Timeline of Russia's all-out war in Ukraine, month by month -- and more

Thursday, February 23

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier observes Russian positions just a couple of kilometers away from Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 20, 2023. (Andres Gutierrez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

City Council: Russian ammunition warehouse destroyed in occupied Mariupol. According to the Mariupol City Council, a Russian ammunition warehouse was destroyed in temporarily-occupied Mariupol on Feb. 21. The warehouse was located in the central district near the airport. Later explosions were reported in the city.

Air Force spokesman: S-300 missiles used to attack Kharkiv. Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said in a statement that Russian troops used the S-300 missile system to attack Kharkiv on Feb. 22 and that there has been an increase in Russian forces’ aviation use along the front line. In his statement, Ignat said that Russian aviation along the front line consisted of fighter jets, strike aircraft, and helicopters to support troops on the ground.

Ambassador: Zelensky plans to attend July NATO summit in Vilnius. President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to attend the July NATO summit in Vilnius in person, Petro Beshta, the ambassador to Lithuania, told BNS. According to Beshta, Ukraine hopes attendees at the summit will agree “that as soon as the war is over, Ukraine becomes a member of NATO.”

Zelensky submits resolution to impose sanctions on all Russian financial institutions. President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted the draft law to parliament on Feb. 22. Under the proposed economic sanctions, all financial institutions located or registered in Russia, including banks, insurance companies, payment systems, investment funds, non-bank credit organizations, and others, would be banned for up to 50 years.

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WSJ: US contemplates intel release on China’s potential arms transfer to Russia. The Biden administration is considering releasing intelligence it believes shows that China is examing possibilities on whether to supply weapons to support Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reports citing U.S. officials.

Biden on Putin’s suspension of nuclear treaty with US: ‘big mistake.’ U.S. President Joe Biden said on Feb. 22 that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had made a “big mistake” by suspending Russia’s participation in the New START treaty, a nuclear arms reduction agreement between the two countries.

China’s top diplomat in Moscow, meets with Russian foreign minister. China’s Foreign Ministry denied any plans to provide lethal aid to Moscow for use in the Ukrainian war and blamed the United States and NATO for spreading what it called false information about China’s involvement. This comes as China’s top diplomat Wang Yi was pictured meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Feb. 22.

Wagner boss slams Russia’s defense ministry for not providing ammo. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, on Feb. 22 criticized Russia’s Defense Ministry for not providing his troops with enough ammunition.

Bloomberg: Ukraine could access IMF’s $15 billion package by end of March. The Group of Seven (G7) plans to offer key support for Ukraine’s effort to access a $15 billion International Monetary Fund program by the end of March as the IMF officials have started talks with the U.S., Bloomberg reported on Feb. 22, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

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Timeline of Russia’s all-out war in Ukraine, month by month

Ukraine has come a long way since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Photo: Ihor Tkachov/AFP via Getty Images

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His last flight: Decorated fighter pilot killed on combat mission in Donetsk Oblast

The good-humored Ukrainian fighter pilot Danylo Murashko was in low spirits on Jan. 27.

Photo: Daria Murashko

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian attack on Novotiahynka in Kherson Oblast kills two. Russia shelled the village of Novotiahynka in Kherson Oblast on Feb. 22, reports Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the regional military administration. An 81-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man were killed on the spot.

Russian attack on Kharkiv injures two. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported at least four strikes on Feb. 22 and said the exact number of casualties has not yet been confirmed. So far, according to Governor Oleh Syniehubov, two people are being treated for minor injuries.

International response

Spain to give 6 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles confirmed that Spain would transfer six renovated Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks to Ukraine, reports El Pais. Robles added that the goal is to have the tanks in Ukraine by the end of March or early April.

Reuters: UK’s Wallace says Challenger tanks could arrive in Ukraine in spring. Challenger 2 battle tanks could start to arrive in Ukraine in the spring, U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in an interview with Reuters on Feb. 22. Britain could offer Ukraine more of its main battle tanks on top of the 14 already promised, but that would depend on the country’s defense needs.

Politico: Hungarian PM threatens to veto EU sanctions against Russia. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is threatening to veto the extension of EU sanctions against Russia, which must be renewed every six months, Politico reported on Feb. 22, citing three unnamed diplomats familiar with the matter.

Sunak: Providing fighter jets to Ukraine would be complicated. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed on Feb. 22 that his country is ready to help other countries that decide to provide fighter jets to Ukraine but argued that supplying them would be complicated.

Reuters: EU fails to agree on new sanctions against Russia, talks to continue. European Union member states failed to reach an agreement on Feb. 22 to impose new sanctions against Russia, Reuters reported, citing unnamed diplomats.

UN chief calls Russian invasion an ‘affront’ ahead of one year anniversary. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine “an affront to our collective conscience” at the UN General Assembly on Feb. 22, the BBC reported.

In other news

MP from Zelensky’s party charged with bribery concludes plea bargain. Oleksandr Trukhin, a lawmaker from the ruling Servant of the People party, said on Feb. 22 he had concluded a plea bargain with investigators and pleaded guilty to offering a bribe to a police officer.

Ex-infrastructure minister charged with abuse of power in corruption case. Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office on Feb. 22 charged ex-Infrastructure Minister Andriy Pyvovarsky and his deputy of abuse of power.

Zelensky: Bill registered to resume asset declarations for officials. The bill on resuming asset declarations was registered by the Verkhovna Rada in September. It is not clear why it has taken several months for Zelensky to comment on the issue and why the bill has not been approved yet.

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