As the war enters its 720th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.
- Norway’s intelligence service warned that Russia was “gaining the advantage” in the war in Ukraine due to increased numbers of troops and material 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.
- Investigators in kyiv said a preliminary analysis concluded that Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital last week with a Zircon hypersonic missile, marking the first use of the weapon in war. Zircon has a range of 1,000 kilometers (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 the 17 drones Russia launched overnight and one Kh-59 cruise missile. Some buildings were damaged, including in the central city of Dnipro, but there were no reports of casualties.
- The Kremlin denied Ukraine’s claim that its troops were using Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet system for military communications in parts of Ukraine it occupies. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the system was neither certified for use nor officially supplied to Russia and therefore could not be used.
Politics and diplomacy
- The European Union adopted a law to set aside windfall profits made on the Russian central bank’s frozen assets, in the first concrete step toward the bloc’s goal of using the money to finance Ukraine’s reconstruction. Some 300 billion euros ($323 billion) of Russian central bank assets were frozen after the country launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago.
- Kristina Puzyreva, a Canadian-Russian woman, pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to money laundering conspiracy for her role in a multibillion-dollar scheme to ship drone and missile components to Russia for military use against Ukraine, the Justice Department said. of the United States. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
- Russia imposed sanctions on 18 UK citizens, including officials, historians and Russia experts, accusing them of attempting 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.
- France’s Viginum agency, which works to defend against foreign online threats, 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 ordered the arrest of Meta spokesman Andy Stone for two months pending trial on several terrorism-related charges. Meta’s main social platforms – Facebook and Instagram – were banned shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, and Meta was subsequently found guilty of “extremist activities” in Russia. Stone is not in Moscow.
- Ukraine’s Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov told Reuters news agency that Ukraine would produce thousands of long-range drones capable of deep strikes in Russia by 2024, and that it already had up to 10 companies making drones capable of reaching Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
- Moldovan authorities said they destroyed about 50 kg of explosives discovered in part of a Shahed drone launched by Russia that crashed on its territory near the southern city of Etulia, near the border with Ukraine.