Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, February 9

UK to look into sending combat planes to Ukraine -- Russia rushes to launch offensive in Donbas without sufficient combat power -- Russia threatens 'consequences' if UK gives jets to Ukraine -- Macron says Ukraine can count on France to win this war -- SpaceX curbed Ukraine's use of Starlink Internet for drones -- Ukraine's envoy to UN denounces Roger Waters as ‘another brick in the wall’ of Moscow propaganda -- and more

Thursday, February 9

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hold a news conference at an army camp on Feb. 8, 2023, in Dorset, England. (Peter Nicholls-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Zelensky makes surprise visit to London, meets Sunak. President Volodymyr Zelensky on Feb. 8 landed in London and posted a photo of himself with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the airport. During the visit, Zelensky addressed the British parliament. Later in the day, Zelensky traveled to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Zelensky asks UK for fighter jets: ‘Give us wings to protect freedom.’ Zelensky, who is visiting London, presented the helmet of a Ukrainian pilot to the parliament’s speaker as a metaphor for Ukraine’s pleas for Western fighter jets. “We have freedom, give us wings to protect it,” the helmet inscription reads.

Sunak: ‘Nothing is off the table’ concerning weapons for Ukraine. Appearing with President Volodymyr Zelensky in London, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “when it comes to fighter combat aircraft, of course they are part of the conversation.”

Zelensky: ‘Ukraine and the UK will go all the way to our common victory.’ Ukraine and the U.K. signed the Declaration of Unity on Feb. 8, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, adding that the two countries are becoming “true allies.”

UK to train Ukrainian pilots, marines and supply longer-range weapons to Kyiv. The statement indicates that the West may eventually supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. However, so far Western countries have refused to deliver F-16s to Ukraine. The U.S. has also refused to supply Ukraine with ATACMS missiles, which have a range of 300 kilometers.

UK to look into sending combat planes to Ukraine. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asked Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to look into which warplanes the U.K. can provide to Ukraine, after meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky in London on Feb. 8.

Russia threatens ‘consequences’ if UK gives jets to Ukraine. If the U.K. gives Ukraine fighter jets, there will be consequences for Europe and the entire world, the Russian embassy threatened on Feb. 8.

France 24: Macron says Ukraine ‘can count on France to win this war.’ French President Emmanuel Macron on Feb. 8 pledged that France would firmly stand by Ukraine as he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

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Macron awards Zelensky with Legion of Honor during Paris visit. “Honor to Ukraine and its people. Honor to you, dear Volodymyr, for your courage and devotion,” Macron wrote on Twitter with a video of Zelensky receiving the award.

Reuters: Zelensky likely to attend EU summit in Brussels on Feb. 9. If confirmed, this will be Zelensky’s third foreign visit since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

ISW: Russia rushes to launch offensive in Donbas without sufficient combat power. Russian forces are unlikely to build up the combat power to impact the war’s outcome, while the Russian military command continues to order unrealistic and wide advances, according to the ISW.

ISW: Russia regains initiative, begins next major offensive in Luhansk Oblast. According to the Institute for the Study of War, the pace of Russian operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line in western Luhansk Oblast has significantly increased over the past week.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia unlikely to attempt assault crossing of Dnipro River. Russian forces are unlikely to attempt an assault crossing of the Dnipro River in southern regions, as it would likely be extremely complex and costly, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported in its latest update on Feb. 8.

European ombudsman institute accused of sending Ukrainian children from Austria to Russia. Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said that Josef Ziegele, the European Ombudsman Institute’s general secretary, was behind the alleged deportation, which he called a violation of Articles 49 and 50 of the Geneva Convention and a possible act of genocide under Article 2.

Ukraine’s envoy to UN denounces Roger Waters as ‘another brick in the wall’ of Moscow propaganda. Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters addressed the UN Security Council at Russia’s invitation on Feb. 8, condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as illegal. He added, however, that it “was not unprovoked” and condemned “the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms.”

Reuters: SpaceX curbed Ukraine’s use of Starlink Internet for drones. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has put measures in place to prevent Ukraine’s Armed Forces from using the company’s Starlink satellite internet service for controlling drones, SpaceX’s president said on Feb. 8, Reuters reports.

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Ukraine war latest: Zelensky makes surprise visit to UK, pleads for fighter jets

President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise visit to the U.K. on Feb. 8, where he repeated calls for fighter jets as he met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and spoke to British Parliament.

Photo: Andrew Matthews/AFP via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Governor: 4 injured in Russian attack on Kharkiv Oblast. Russian shelling injured four civilians, including a child, in Kharkiv Oblast on Feb. 8, according to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

Kherson Oblast administration: Russian shelling kills 1, injures 2. According to the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, residential areas and a children’s rehabilitation center in Kherson came under artillery fire on Feb. 8.

Northern Command: Russian airstrike injures at least 2 in Chernihiv Oblast. Two Russian air-to-ground missiles struck the Semenivska municipality in Chernihiv Oblast on Feb. 8, the Northern Operational Command reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 134,100 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Russia has also lost 3,253 tanks, 6,458 armored fighting vehicles, 5,112 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,236 artillery systems, 461 multiple launch rocket systems, 228 air defense systems, 295 airplanes, 285 helicopters, 1,961 drones, and 18 boats, according to the General Staff.

International response

Biden: Aid to Ukraine is ‘open-ended.’ United States President Joe Biden also said in an interview with PBS NewsHour on Feb. 8 that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has “already lost Ukraine,” adding that Putin believed wrongly that NATO would not respond to Russia’s invasion.

Sweden approves $400 million in new military aid to Ukraine. The aid package, first announced in mid-January, was reported to include advanced Archer self-propelled artillery systems, Stridsfordon 90 armored personnel carriers, anti-tank weapons, assault rifles and de-mining equipment.

Portugal confirms it will provide 3 Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa made the announcement following his talks with Germany to get parts needed to repair some of Portugal’s Leopard 2 tanks, according to Reuters.

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Minister: Germany will give Ukraine more missiles, Gepard vehicles this month. Germany will supply Ukraine with more guided missiles, five Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and five Pioneer Panzer 2A1 Dachs combat support vehicles by the end of February, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said during a visit to Kyiv, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Feb. 7.

UK imposes new sanctions targeting ‘Putin’s war machine,’ financial networks. “These new sanctions accelerate the economic pressure on Putin – undermining his war machine to help Ukraine prevail,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, adding that Russia will have no access to the frozen assets “until it ends, once and for all, its threats to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and integrity.”

In other news

Investigators: There is evidence that Putin supplied missile that downed MH17. There are strong “strong indications” that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin decided to supply a missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, the Joint Investigation Team said in a report published on Feb. 8.

Media: Russia’s state censor to track Putin memes with help of AI. Russia’s federal agency for monitoring and censoring communications, Roskomnadzor, is planning to use AI to try to track online posts, comments and memes critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a report by Russian investigative outlet iStories.

Corruption case against MP from Poroshenko’s party sent to court. Prosecutors said on Feb. 8 that they had sent a corruption case against Artur Herasymov, a lawmaker frome ex-President Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party, to a court.

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