Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – FEBRUARY 12-18, 2024

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on February 19, 2024

  • Ukrainian troops, in the face of constant attacks and total superiority of the enemy in artillery and aviation, retreated from Avdiivka to prepared positions in an organized manner.
  • Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, announced that Ukraine has transitioned from offensive operations to a defensive operation in order to wear down the enemy.
  • On February 14, the Ukrainian military with the help of naval drones destroyed the Russian large landing ship «Tsezar Kunikov» in the Black Sea.
  • Ukraine has signed long-term bilateral agreements on cooperation and defense with Germany and France.


Russian troops are conducting offensive operations in various parts of the front, trying to break through the defenses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the face of constant pressure from superior enemy forces and a lack of ammunition, the Ukrainian command decided to withdraw from Avdiivka. The 3rd Assault Brigade was transferred to the city area to cover the organized withdrawal of troops, which allowed the garrison to retreat to pre-prepared positions. The capture of the city cost the Russian military dearly. According to estimates, their losses in four months of fighting in this area may amount to 47 thousand people killed and wounded.

Russian troops continue to strike at the territory of Ukraine, using kamikaze drones and missiles. On the night of February 13, Ukrainian air defense was able to shoot down 16 out of 23 launched drones, but as a result of the attack, an energy infrastructure facility in the Dnipropetrovsk region was hit. On the morning of February 15, another missile attack on the territory of Ukraine was carried out. Air defense intercepted 13 out of 26 missiles used. As a result of the attack, a power substation in Lviv was destroyed, and infrastructure facilities in Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro were damaged.

The losses of civilians in different regions of Ukraine during the week as a result of the actions of the Russian military amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 17 people killed and 37 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 4 people killed and 23 people wounded; in Kharkiv region – 11 people killed and 22 people wounded; 1 person was killed in Dnipropetrovsk region; in Lviv region, 3 people were injured.

The Ukrainian military is striking Russian military facilities and infrastructure. During the week drones hit an oil depot in the Kursk region and the building of a shopping center in Izhevsk, which was used as a workshop for assembling UAVs. In addition, on February 15 in Belgorod, the fall of fragments of Russian air defense missiles, which repelled a Ukrainian attack, led to human casualties.

Ukrainian special services have dealt another blow to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. On February 14, naval drones sank a large landing ship “Tsezar Kunikov” near Alupka in the temporarily occupied Crimea. During February 17-18, several Russian planes, which were used to strike positions of the Ukrainian military, were destroued. In addition, confirmation of the death of the deputy commander of the 18th Russian Army, Colonel Magomedali Magomejanov, was received.


The Russian authorities reported the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny in prison. According to the latest court decision in the summer of 2023, Navalny was to serve an additional 19 years in prison for “extremism.” 

As of December 31, 2023, the total cost of recovery in Ukraine amounts to $486 billion over the next decade. This updated “Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA3)” was published by the government of Ukraine, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the UN.

The Security Service of Ukraine announced the suspicion of Russian oligarch and co-owner of “RusAl” company, Oleg Deripaska, and detained Ukrainian top managers who supplied raw materials to Russia for the production of “Iskander” missiles.

On February 9, Polish farmers began blocking border crossings with Ukraine. As of February 18, six border crossing points between Ukraine and Poland were blocked. Among the farmers’ main demands are the cessation of goods movement at the Ukrainian border and a ban on the import of agro-food products from Ukraine. The Ukrainian government is discussing the implementation of trade restrictions with Poland in response.

In January, the Ukrainian economy continued its growth trend. According to preliminary estimates from the Ministry of Economy, GDP growth reached 3.5% (±1%) compared to January 2023.


On February 16th, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, during which he met with the Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The President also held talks with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, following which the leaders signed the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Security and Long-Term Support between Ukraine and Germany.

On the same day, Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a working visit to France, where he held negotiations with President Emmanuel Macron, during which the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Security between Ukraine and France was signed. The respective agreements were signed within the framework of the Joint Declaration in support of Ukraine adopted by G7 member states.

From February 16th to 18th, the 60th Munich Security Conference took place, with the participation of approximately 450 high-ranking officials and opinion leaders from around the world. The main topics of the conference included the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, escalation in the Middle East, state coups in African countries, cooperation with Global South countries, new climate policy, and technological development. The President of Ukraine participated in the event, delivering a speech on the panel “Ukraine in the World”. Additionally, within the Munich Security Conference, Zelenskyy held negotiations with Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, President of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb, President of Guatemala Bernardo Arevalo, and President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel. The President of Ukraine also met with a delegation from the United States Senate and a delegation of members of the United States House of Representatives, including representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties.

On February 14th, in a virtual format, a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine’s defense in the “Ramstein” format took place. As a result of the meeting, the officially launched coalition of integrated air and missile defense began its work, which already includes 15 countries. The Drone Coalition was launched, which currently has 8 member countries, and 21 countries signed a protocol of intent to establish a demining coalition, while 10 states signed an Agreement on Cooperation within the IT Coalition.

Spain announced the transfer of a batch of armored personnel carriers M-113 and other equipment to Ukraine. Canada announced the allocation of $60 million Canadian dollars (over $44 million USD) to Ukraine for the purchase of spare parts, armaments, avionics, and ammunition for F-16s to be used by Ukraine. The government of Germany provided Ukraine with a new package of military aid amounting to 1.1 billion euros, including armored personnel carriers, artillery shells, mine-clearing equipment, reconnaissance drones RQ-35 Heidrun, Vector, Primoco ONE, Songbird, and other equipment. Norway sent medical equipment and other materials for the military to Ukraine, and as part of the maritime coalition, Norway will train Ukrainian marines for operations on small boats. Australia allocated $32.4 million USD to strengthen Ukraine’s defense through the International Fund for Ukraine.

According to Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Denmark has decided to transfer all its artillery to Ukraine. In turn, on February 13th, the United States Senate finally supported a package providing new funding for assistance to Ukraine in excess of $60 billion. Both houses of the United States Congress must approve the bill before the President of the United States can sign it into law.

On February 15th, a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the level of defense ministers took place, during which they discussed the development of Ukraine’s and NATO member countries’ long-term defense potential. Additionally, the decision to establish the first-ever joint NATO-Ukraine institution, JATEC – Joint Analysis, Training, and Education Center, was adopted at the meeting.

In turn, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision allowing for the future use of income from frozen assets of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) to assist Ukraine, particularly in the areas of recovery and reconstruction of the country. Through Estonia, the United States transferred nearly 500 000 dollars of confiscated Russian assets to Ukraine, marking the first such transfer of funds through a third country in history. Additionally, the Lithuanian Seimas approved a proposal to extend national sanctions against Russia and Belarus for another year.

This week, Volodymyr Zelensky held a phone conversation with President of the United States Joseph Biden, discussing the situation on the battlefield and additional funding for Ukraine’s defense capabilities. Also, in a phone conversation, Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa about the preparations for the Global Peace Summit.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.