The situation at the front
After a year of full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia currently occupies 17.13% of Ukrainian land, of which 6.78% was captured in 2014-2021, according to MilitaryLand.net.
On February 24, Wagner PMC mercenaries took control of the village of Berkhovka north of Bakhmut, according to the Telegram channel of military correspondent Alexander Simonov. Yevgeny Prigozhin also reported the capture of this village, seven kilometers from Bakhmut , whose statement is quoted by his press service.
South of Bakhmut, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled Ozaryanovka, War Gonzo reports. To the north of the city, Wagner PMCs are storming Yagodnoye. They are also moving towards Dubovo-Vasilyevka and Orekhovo-Vasilyevka. Thus, now the main pressure on the Ukrainian garrison in Bakhmut comes from the north.
Also in the Donetsk direction, Russian troops are conducting offensive operations in the area of the village of Pobeda. With the support of artillery, they attacked in Maryinka, near the village of Nevelskoye, in the area of Vodyanoye, from the village of Spartak to Avdeevka and from Novobakhmutovka to the village of Keramik. So far, these attacks have not been successful.
In the Luhansk direction, fighting is underway in Belogorovka. On the part of Russia, attempts are being made to move to Terny and Makeevka.
Losses in a year of war
By February 24, the anniversary of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, the names of 15,136 dead are known. Mediazona, together with the BBC and a team of volunteers, continues to maintain a list of names of Russian soldiers who died in the war with Ukraine using open sources. It is noted that the number of confirmed losses of Russia for the year of the war exceeded the officially recognized Soviet losses in Afghanistan for nine years (15,051 people).
Other results of the year of the war in numbers:
- More than 1,200 dead mobilized
- More than 1,300 dead prisoners
- More than 1,800 dead officers
- 199 dead lieutenant colonels, colonels and generals
The actual level of losses is much higher - these figures are based only on those deaths that are confirmed publicly.
"BILD in Russian" publishes an interactive map of the year of the war, the seizure and liberation of territories.
The Kremlin is preparing operations under a false flag
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Russia is preparing operations under a false flag in Moldova and the Chernihiv region - on the border of Ukraine and Belarus. Analysts note that Ukrainian intelligence has already recorded the movement of unmarked Russian columns of military equipment, accompanied by servicemen dressed in uniforms similar to Ukrainian ones, near the border with the Chernihiv region. The purpose of this staging may be to accuse Ukraine of violating the territorial integrity of Belarus. The Kremlin may be preparing false flag attacks to force Belarus to join the war. Earlier, Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus would enter the war only in the event of an attack from Ukraine.
U.S. military analysts' daily report also notes that U.S. officials are considering releasing intelligence that they believe indicates China is considering and evaluating arms supplies to Russia. Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance sees signs that Chinese officials may be planning to send weapons to Russia.
Chinese kamikaze drones
Der Spiegel, meanwhile, reports that China is going to supply Russia with kamikaze drones for use in the war against Ukraine. Moscow and Beijing, according to the publication, are already negotiating the purchase of 100 drones by Russia. Military experts interviewed by the publication believe that the design of the drones will be similar to the Iranian Shahed-136 actively used by Russia against Ukraine. It is likely that Chinese drones will be able to carry a warhead weighing from 35 to 50 kg.
China denies that it is supplying Russia with the weapons or technology the Russian military needs to continue the war in Ukraine. However, information about this has repeatedly appeared in the press. For example, The Wall Street Journal wrote in early February, citing Russian customs documents, that China, despite the international cordon of sanctions and export controls, supplies Russia with navigation equipment, radio signal suppression technologies, and parts for fighter jets.
In an interview with The Insider, Pavel Luzin, an expert on defense policy and the military-industrial complex, noted that the supply of Chinese drones cannot be ruled out, but it is worth considering them not in a technical, but in a political way.
“What will 100 or 1000 Chinese drones give Russia? Nothing. As absolutely nothing was given by Iranian drones. Who could assemble Chinese drones in Russia? "Kronstadt", STC, "Kalashnikov"? Then they will have to abandon their production. Someone else? Then where to get specialists? Who will Russify the software and rework the uncomfortable Chinese interface? Who will adapt these drones to Russian communications systems? Who will apply them? So there are a lot of material questions, and the costs will definitely exceed the result. It is not worth excluding the supply of Chinese drones, but they should be considered not in a technical, but in a political manner. Leadership in China is not monolithic. Providing Russia with symbolic support with weapons and changing the situation not on the battlefield, but in politics, both in foreign and domestic, in the PRC itself - this cannot be completely ruled out.
Ukraine received the first tanks. Presumably, on February 24, at the training ground in the Lviv region, the ceremony of handing over the first four German-made Leopard 2A4 tanks from the Polish armed forces took place. The ceremony, dedicated to the anniversary of the beginning of the Russian military invasion, was attended by the Prime Ministers of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki and Ukraine Denis Shmyhal, as well as the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov. The tanks were delivered from Poland on car trailers and during the ceremony were handed over to the personnel of the 4th separate tank brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Earlier, on January 11, 2023, the Polish government announced a decision to transfer 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine from the presence of the Polish army, the transfer of all tanks should be completed in March.
Telegram-channel "Military Review" provides updated information on the number of tanks and the timing of their delivery. According to these data, instead of the announced 14 Leopard tanks, Finland will supply only 3. Spain will transfer six repaired Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. From the very beginning, they promised from 20 to 53 tanks.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced a new $2 billion military aid package for Ukraine. It will include:
- Ammunition for HIMARS;
- 155 mm shells;
- Ammunition for laser-guided missile systems;
- CyberLux K8, Switchblade 600, Altius-600 and Jump 20 drones.
- Equipment for detection of UAVs and means of electronic warfare;
- Demining equipment;
- Protected communication auxiliaries;
- Funding for training, maintenance and support.
In social networks, there were reports that in the Rostov region, police are looking for servicemen from the “Somalia” battalion, who arbitrarily left their place of service in the “DPR”. They are armed with automatic weapons and ammunition. Among the fugitives are men aged 28 to 40.
The former "Minister of Defense of the DPR" Igor Strelkov (Girkin) wrote that 5 former prisoners who were recruited for the war escaped, and the "Somalia" unit is an analogue of the Wagner PMC.
“5 criminals escaped. With machine guns and BC. For information - now this unit is an analogue of "Wagner" in terms of using prisoners as cannon fodder. They bring them to the front right in camp uniforms with numbers. But if Wagner demonstrates at least some military successes (with all my extremely skeptical attitude towards the strategic value of these successes), then Somalia near Avdiivka does not get absolutely anything in terms of moving forward. Nothing but the "utilization" of people ... "
Read also The Insider's summary of the main events of the war on February 23: “ Offensive in the Kupyansky, Limansky and Bakhmut directions, shelling of Donetsk and Kharkov region. What's happening on the front lines ."