Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on February 05, 2024
- The Ukrainian military carried out several strikes on Russian military facilities on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea, hitting the military airfield in Belbek and destroying the “Ivanovets” missile boat.
- Successful Ukrainian drone attacks against Russian oil refineries demonstrate the vulnerability of this infrastructure and could have far-reaching consequences for Russian capabilities.
- The European Council has adopted a decision to allocate 50 billion euros in the years 2024-2027 as part of the financing for the Ukrainian Fund (Ukraine Facility).
- The International Court of Justice in The Hague has, for the first time, issued a decision recognizing Russia as a violator of international law, particularly for failing to uphold obligations under existing international conventions on the prevention of financing terrorism and the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
Russian troops continue attacks in the Kupyansk direction, pulling up reserves here. In addition, they are trying to surround Avdiivka, managing to advance in the area of this city. The situation along the Ukrainian-Russian border in the north remains dangerous. On the evening of February 3, the Ukrainian military stopped an attempt by a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group to break into the territory of Sumy region.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out several pinpoint strikes on Russian military facilities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. On January 31, they launched a missile attack on the Belbek military airfield in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Ukrainian sources report the destruction of 3 aircrafts and a Russian command post. On the night of February 1, naval drones sank the missile boat “Ivanovets” of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation near the coast of the Crimean Peninsula.
The Ukrainian military and special services are striking at infrastructure on the territory of the Russian Federation. On the night of January 31, a fire was recorded on the territory of the “Nevsky Mazut” plant in St. Petersburg. On the night of February 3, an oil refinery in Volgograd was hit. Thus, the attacks demonstrate an increase in the range of Ukrainian drones and the vulnerability of the Russian oil refining industry.
Russian troops continue to strike at the territory of Ukraine using missiles and kamikaze drones. On the night of January 30, they used 35 UAVs, 15 of which were shot down by Ukrainian air defense. The next night, the Ukrainian military managed to shoot down 14 of the 20 drones used. On the night of February 1, air defense destroyed 2 out of 4 drones used. On the night of February 2, 11 drones were shot down, and another 7 UAVs were intercepted by electronic warfare systems. However, other drones hit an energy infrastructure facility in the Dnipropetrovsk region, as a result of which the city of Kryvyi Rih was temporarily left without electricity. An infrastructure facility in the Kirovohrad region was also hit. On the night of February 3, Ukrainian air defense shot down 9 out of 14 drones used by the Russian military.
During the week, the losses of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of Russian troops amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 3 people killed and 16 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 4 people killed and 23 people wounded; in Kharkiv region – 7 people wounded. 5 people were injured in Mykolaiv region.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
On January 31, 2024, the second exchange of prisoners of war took place between Ukraine and Russia after a prolonged break. A total of 207 individuals returned to Ukraine, including representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard, State Border Guard Service, and National Police.
According to Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, Rustem Umerov, the Defense Procurement Agency of the Ministry of Defense has plans for contracts, including long-term ones, for hundreds of thousands of drones in 2024.
Ukraine scored 36 out of 100 possible points in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the year 2023. Currently, it ranks 104th out of 180 countries. Ukraine’s increase by 3 points is one of the best results worldwide for the past year. The research covers both the pre-war and war periods of Ukraine, from February 2021 to September 2023. It is noted that the significant improvement in the index occurred during the war.
In 2023, Ukraine’s total state debt reached a new historical high: in dollar terms, it increased by 30.4% (to $145.32 billion), and in hryvnia terms, it rose by 35.4% (to UAH 5.519 trillion). According to the IMF estimates, Ukraine’s external financing needs in 2024 will amount to $42 billion. By the end of the year, the national debt will reach 96.7% of the GDP.
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
On February 1st, a special meeting of the European Council took place in Brussels, during which the 27 leaders of the European Union reached a consensus decision to adopt the Ukrainian Fund in the EU budget for the years 2024-2027 with a size of €50 billion. Thus, the continuation of EU financial support for Ukraine will strengthen the long-term economic stability of our country.
The International Court of Justice recognized that Russia violated international law, including obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It was also determined that Russia breached its commitments regarding non-discrimination of the Ukrainian minority in the field of education in Crimea. Therefore, for the first time in history, the Russian Federation was recognized by the International Court of Justice as a violator of international law.
Estonia provided Ukraine with a new package of military assistance worth $80 million, including anti-tank missiles from the Javelin system, machine guns, ammunition for small arms, and ground and floating vehicles. As part of defense aid, Lithuania delivered a batch of ammunition for Carl-Gustaf grenade launchers and RISE-1 remote detonation systems to Ukraine. Germany provided another package of military aid to Ukraine, including armored personnel carriers, Bandvagn 206, BIBER bridge layer with spare parts, WISENT 1 demining systems based on tanks, IRIS-T missiles, and other weaponry. The Netherlands government announced the allocation of €122 million to support Ukraine, including the purchase of ammunition, weaponry, and cybersecurity.
On February 2nd, a meeting of the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children took place in Kyiv, co-chaired by Ukraine and Canada. The meeting presented the Framework Document of Activities, and the coalition now includes 28 countries.
On January 29th, the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council took place in Brussels. A joint statement was adopted during the meeting, urging NATO members to increase the supply of military equipment necessary for the Armed Forces of Ukraine for use in combat.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against four companies supplying materials and technologies for Iran’s ballistic missile and drone development programs, which Russia uses in attacks on Ukraine. Switzerland approved joining the rest of the EU’s 12th package of sanctions against Russia, which came into effect in December 2023.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on the confiscation of frozen Russian assets and their use to support the recovery of Ukraine. Additionally, the EU Council extended economic restrictive measures against Russia, imposed due to Russian aggression against Ukraine, for another 6 months.
This week, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held meetings with the current OSCE Chair, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Malta Ian Borg, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Melanie Joly, and with the former NATO Secretary General (2009-2014) and founder of Rasmussen Global, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The leaders discussed the priority issues of the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war and deported children, security guarantees for Ukraine, and defense, humanitarian, and financial assistance. President Zelenskyy also had phone conversations with President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Finland Sauli Niinistö, and Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
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.