Russians want to fully capture Luhansk Oblast before Putin's sham elections – Ukraine's intelligence

According to the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, there is a belief that Russian forces will attempt to reach the administrative borders of Luhansk Oblast before the scheduled presidential elections in Russia, which are set for March 15-17. Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of Defence Intelligence, stated in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that the Russians may aim to achieve some level of success, comparable to what they did in Avdiivka, particularly in key points such as Kupiansk, Lyman, and Avdiivka. Skibitskyi outlined that capturing these areas would serve as symbolic achievements used in information and psychological operations.

The broader Russian objective over the next six months, according to Skibitskyi, is to reach the administrative borders of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts and secure control over the seized territories. Additionally, he mentioned that Russia has captured parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, intending to establish a land corridor to Crimea for logistical purposes.

Skibitskyi emphasized the importance for Ukraine to have reserves, support from international partners, and the development of domestic production to effectively counter the nature of Russia's actions, which he described as a "protracted war" involving attrition.

Russia received about 400 ballistic missiles from Iran

Since the beginning of 2024, Iran has reportedly sent several batches of its Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles to Russia, as part of agreements to deepen cooperation between the two countries. According to Reuters, citing six sources, Iran has provided Russia with approximately 400 missiles, some of which have a range of 300 to 700 kilometers.

These missile deliveries were said to have commenced in early January 2024, following agreements reached during meetings between military and intelligence services in Tehran and Moscow in late 2023. Some shipments were transported by plane, while others were delivered by ship across the Caspian Sea. An Iranian official mentioned that there are plans for additional shipments, stating, "There will be more shipments. There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to."

However, one of the Iranian sources clarified that the military partnership between Tehran and Moscow "does not mean we are taking sides with Russia in the Ukraine conflict." The sources indicated that this collaboration has been aimed at showcasing Iran's defense capabilities to the world.

Number of wounded in Russian attack on Kramatorsk rises to 8

Number of wounded in Russian attack on Kramatorsk rises to 8

The number of individuals wounded in the Russian attack on Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, on February 20 has increased to eight, according to Oleksandr Honcharenko, the Head of Kramatorsk City Military Administration. The injured include six women and two men. A search and rescue operation is ongoing, with efforts to clear the rubble and locate any individuals who may still be trapped beneath it. The attack on Kramatorsk targeted both the industrial zone and residential areas, resulting in injuries and damage.

Zelensky pledges 'quick steps' in response to blockade of Polish-Ukrainian border

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has discussed the ongoing border blockade by Polish farmers, stating that Kyiv will take the next steps "very quickly." While the specifics of these steps were not outlined, Zelensky emphasized the need for the liberalization of trade with the European Union to continue. The border blockade, initiated by Polish farmers in opposition to an influx of Ukrainian agricultural imports, escalated on February 20, leading to increased restrictions and disruptions at border crossings. Negotiations between Kyiv and Warsaw are ongoing, with concerns that the failure of talks could result in further restrictions on Ukrainian goods by Poland. The border issues have strained relations between the two countries, which have been key allies in the face of Russian aggression.

Russia deploys two more Iskander missile launchers along Ukraine's border, totaling it to 48

As of February 2024, Ukraine's Defence Intelligence reports that the Russian Federation has deployed 48 Iskander missile launchers along the Ukrainian border. This represents an increase from the previous count of 46 launchers. The additional launchers have created an additional tactical group, emphasizing Russia's military buildup near Ukraine. The ground force of the Russian military group deployed on Ukraine's territory is estimated to consist of approximately 470,000 servicemen, as per Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.

Fewer Ukrainians consider Poland 'a friendly country' than last year

The perception of Poland among Ukrainians has seen a decline, according to a poll by the Sociological Group Rating. The share of Ukrainians who consider Poland as "a friendly country" decreased from 94% to 79% since June of the previous year. The number of Ukrainians who view Poland as "unequivocally friendly" fell from 79% to 33%. This shift occurred before the latest escalation at the Polish-Ukrainian border on February 20, where some protesting farmers dumped Ukrainian grain, leading to anti-Ukrainian sentiments. Poland has been a key ally of Ukraine, but relations have faced challenges over agricultural trade disputes.