As the war enters its 720th day, here are the main developments.
Here is the situation as of Tuesday February 13, 2024.
- Norwegian intelligence has warned that Russia is “gaining the advantage” in the Ukraine war thanks to greater numbers of troops and equipment supplied by Iran, China, North Korea and Belarus. Nils Andreas Stensones, head of the military intelligence unit, said kyiv would need “extensive” Western military assistance to turn the situation around.
- Kiev researchers said a preliminary analysis concluded that Russia struck the Ukrainian capital last week with a Zircon hypersonic missile, marking the first use of the weapon in the war. Zircon has a range of 1,000 km (625 miles) and travels at nine times the speed of sound, according to Russia.
- The Ukrainian Air Force said air defense systems destroyed 14 of 17 drones launched by Russia overnight as well as a Kh-59 cruise missile. Some buildings were damaged, notably in the central city of Dnipro, but no casualties were reported.
- The Kremlin has denied Ukraine's claim that its troops were using Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet system for military communications in regions of Ukraine it occupies. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the system was neither certified for use in Russia nor officially supplied to Russia, and therefore could not be used.
Politics and diplomacy
- The European Union has adopted a law to set aside windfall profits from frozen assets of the Russian central bank, the first concrete step towards the bloc's goal of using the money to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine. Some 300 billion euros ($323 billion) in Russian central bank assets were frozen after the country launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago.
- Kristina Puzyreva, a Canadian of Russian origin, pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to money laundering conspiracy for her role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to send drone and missile components to Russia for use military action against Ukraine, the US Department of Justice said. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
- Russia has imposed sanctions on 18 British citizens, including Russian officials, historians and experts, accusing them of trying to demonize Russia. Moscow also claimed that the UK's strategy in Ukraine had led to further escalation and loss of life in the war.
- The French agency Viginum, which works to defend against foreign threats online, said it had discovered a “structured and coordinated” network of Russian websites designed to spread Kremlin propaganda in Europe and the United States.
- A Moscow court has ordered the arrest of Meta spokesperson Andy Stone for a period of two months while awaiting trial on a number of terrorism-related charges. Meta's main social platforms – Facebook and Instagram – were banned shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Meta was later found guilty of “extremist activities” in Russia. The stone is not in Moscow.
- Ukrainian Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov told Reuters news agency that Ukraine will produce thousands of long-range drones capable of deep strikes against Russia in 2024, and already has up to 10 companies manufacturing drones capable of reaching Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- Moldovan authorities said they destroyed about 50 kg of explosives found in part of a Russian-launched Shahed drone that crashed on its territory near the southern town of Etulia, near the border with Moldova. Ukraine.