Putin to run against three "candidates" in upcoming elections. Only candidate to oppose war disqualified

Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) has officially registered three additional candidates for the upcoming presidential election, alongside incumbent Vladimir Putin. The registered candidates are Nikolai Kharitonov from the Communist Party, Leonid Slutsky from the Liberal-Democratic Party, and Vladislav Davankov from the New People Party.

The CEC rejected the registration of anti-war candidate Boris Nadezhdin, citing that the percentage of rejected signatures exceeded the permissible 5%. Sergei Malinkovich, leader of the Communists of Russia, and beauty blogger Rada Russkikh were also denied registration. Putin, who has been in power since 1999, is seeking reelection.

Russian attacked Kherson Oblast village

On February 8, Russian forces targeted the village of Romashkove near Kherson, resulting in an injury to a resident, as reported by the Kherson Oblast Military Administration. The village had been liberated by Ukrainian forces in November 2022, but Russian troops on the east bank of the Dnipro River continued to launch attacks on the area. A 58-year-old man in Romashkove suffered a blast injury and a head wound in the recent attack. Russian assaults on Kherson Oblast on February 7 and overnight had previously injured three people, according to the regional governor.

Zelensky dismissed General Zaluzhnyi

Title: Ukrainian President Zelensky Announces Resignation of Chief Commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyi

On Thursday, February 8, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the resignation of Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi. The decision was revealed after a meeting between the President and the General.

Zelensky expressed gratitude to Zaluzhnyi for his two years of service in defending Ukraine and discussed the need for renewal in the Armed Forces' leadership. He proposed that Valeriy Zaluzhnyi continue to serve in the updated command structure.

The President emphasized that the current moment presented an opportune time for such a renewal, stating, "We discussed who can be in the renewed leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It's time for such a renewal. I offered to Valeriy Fedorovych to continue being part of the team."

Zaluzhnyi, in commenting on the meeting, described it as "important and serious" and highlighted the necessity for a change in approaches and strategies. He acknowledged the evolving tasks facing the army in 2024 compared to those in 2022, stating, "All should change and adapt to new realities. To win together."

Expressing his gratitude, Zaluzhnyi thanked everyone who stood by him, including the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense, as well as President Zelensky. He expressed pride in every member of the Armed Forces, recognizing their dedication in safeguarding the future of Ukraine.

"I am proud of every man and woman in the Armed Forces of Ukraine defending the future of our children. All soldiers, sergeants, and officers. I bow my head to everyone who gave their lives for Ukraine and freedom. We remember and will avenge everyone. Ukrainians will definitely prevail," assured Zaluzhnyi.

The resignation comes amid ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the region, signaling a strategic shift in Ukraine's military leadership to address the evolving challenges the country faces.