Russia hit the downtown of Kherson

On February 2, Russian forces conducted an air strike on central Kherson, resulting in injuries and damage to residential buildings, as reported by Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin. The ongoing attacks on Kherson and other settlements along the Dnipro River's western bank have become a daily occurrence, with Russian forces situated on the opposite bank. Prokudin stated that the recent air strike caused shell shock and a leg injury to a 73-year-old woman and wounded a 17-year-old boy. Both victims were hospitalized, and residential structures, including a three-story apartment building, were damaged. The attack adds to the continuous assault on Kherson Oblast, with the 18th-century historical site of Kamianska Sich also being targeted on the same day. The region experienced 279 attacks the previous day, resulting in casualties and injuries.

Over 70,000 Russian soldiers deployed on Dnipro River’s east bank

As of February 2, over 70,000 Russian personnel are stationed on the east bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, revealed Nataliia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Ukraine's Southern Operational Command. Following military operations on Kherson Oblast’s east bank, controlled by Russian forces since the beginning of the invasion, Ukrainian forces have managed to establish footholds in the area, repelling Russian attacks despite logistical challenges. The 70,000 Russian soldiers and military equipment are not solely deployed on the front line, with some stationed in the deeper rear, pulled up as an additional resource as needed. The Dnepr Grouping of Forces, responsible for the east bank, experiences constant changes in number and composition due to high losses. In ground attacks, assault groups reportedly lose up to 70% of their personnel.

The newly-formed 104th Guards Airborne Division of Russia has likely suffered "exceptionally heavy losses" near Krynky, a major flashpoint in the sector, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry. A Russian military blogger estimated a 90% loss of military equipment in the same area. Ukrainian forces on the east bank face challenges due to the fluctuating dynamics of Russian assaults, complicating combat planning. Over the past day, Russian forces attempted 13 assaults in the sector, an increase from three attacks on January 31. Despite difficulties, poor training and coordination of Russian troops likely contribute to their inability to dislodge Ukrainian forces from the area, as reported by the U.K. Defense Ministry on January 20.

Putin begins implementing long-term plans in occupied territories

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Russia's intention to integrate the occupied Ukrainian territories into the Russian Federation over the next six years, according to information from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Putin outlined plans for the occupied territories to achieve parity with Russia in unspecified "key areas" by 2030, indicating a long-term commitment without anticipating territorial concessions. Furthermore, he urged Russian banks to not fear Western sanctions, encouraging increased financial activity in the occupied regions. Putin acknowledged the establishment of patronage networks between Russian federal subjects and the occupied areas of Ukraine.