Ukraine could launch a major counteroffensive within the next few months, according to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The country's ability to move to such action depends to a large extent on the speed and scale of Western arms shipments, especially tanks and armored vehicles. According to ISW, Russia's costly military campaign in Ukraine has likely depleted the stocks of Russian equipment and manpower needed to sustain a successful large-scale offensive.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the BBC marking the year of Russia's invasion that the previously predicted spring offensive by the Russian army had already begun. “Russian attacks are already coming from several directions,” he said. According to Zelensky, Ukrainian forces can continue to resist the offensive until they launch a counter-offensive. To speed up the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he called for an increase in military assistance from the West, since weapons are "the only language that Russia understands." He expressed hope that Belarus would not enter the war.
In the Ugledar region, where heavy fighting has been going on in recent days, the situation remains stable. Despite the losses, Russia continues to pressure, the advancing infantry groups are covered by tank and artillery fire, according to the Tatarigami UA account, which is maintained by a reserve officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to him, armored vehicles are used to cover, deliver and evacuate infantry, tanks are also used from closed positions.
In the Kupyansk direction, Russia continues to attack in the Gryanikovka area, there are no other changes in this area, writes an anonymous OSINT specialist with the nickname Def Mon.
In Bakhmut , Donetsk region, positional battles continue, writes the pro-Russian Telegram channel Rybar. According to him, to the north of the city, in Paraskovievka, the assault detachments of the PMC Wagner are fighting. The Russian attack on the suburbs is advancing from three directions, the most intense clashes are noted in the south. At the same time, the Ukrainian formations still hold their positions, the struggle is in fact for every house, Rybar admits.
Military correspondent-propagandist of the VGTRK Yevgeny Poddubny in his Telegram channel claims that Krasnaya Gora , despite conflicting data, was taken by the Russian troops, and fierce battles continue in Paraskovievka. Also, his channel published a video with bodies from the suburb of Bakhmut (propagandists call the city Artemovsk). The footage shows the corpses of soldiers, as well as trees “mowed down” by artillery fire.
Journalist and propagandist Alexander Kots also released footage allegedly filmed in the vicinity of Bakhmut . He stated that the Wagner PMC is advancing on the city, "gradually cutting off supply lines." According to Kots, the video shows the bodies of servicemen who have not yet been sent "to the other side."
Ukraine was subjected to a new massive missile strike on the night of February 16: infrastructure facilities were damaged in the Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk and Kirovohrad regions. In the Dnepropetrovsk region, a 79-year-old woman died as a result of a rocket fall, seven more people were injured, said the head of the regional military administration (OVA), Serhiy Lysak. He posted a photo of the impact.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, during the strike on the night of February 16, Russia used 20 cruise missiles (Kh-101, Kh-555, Kalibr), 12 Kh-22 missiles, and two Kh-59 aircraft missiles. The air defense forces shot down 14 cruise missiles and two aviation missiles, the General Staff notes.
The authorities of the Russian border regions also continue to report shelling. The Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled the village of Ustinka in the Belgorod region, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. According to him, residential buildings, power lines and a gas pipeline were damaged, civilians were not injured. Earlier, a residential building and a warehouse of an agricultural enterprise in the border village of Voznesenovka, Shebekinsky urban district, were hit.
Anonymous OSINT specialist Def Mon publishes a map that shows all the shelling sites reported by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the day.
On February 16, fragments of a rocket were found on the territory of Moldova for the fourth time during the war in Ukraine. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, citing the border police, said that the wreckage was found near the city of Brichany, which borders Ukraine. The fall was the result of Russian airstrikes in Ukraine, but the missile's ownership was not specified. Earlier, the skies for aviation were temporarily closed over Moldova due to an unidentified object similar to a weather balloon.
Russia has lost 71 pieces of equipment near Ugledar over the past two weeks. Data on destroyed, abandoned, as well as damaged or captured tanks and vehicles was published by the OSINT portal WarSpotting. According to a report compiled on the basis of information from open sources, the Russian operation in this direction did not go as planned, with losses amounting to one mechanized brigade.
Read also The Insider’s summary of the main events of the war on February 15: “Russia sent 97% of the army to Ukraine, Russian balloons were shot down over Kiev, fighting continues near Vuhledar. What's going on at the front .