Ukraine Daily Summary - Monday, February 6

Russia plots revenge attack in February for last year's defeats -- Bakhmut "increasingly isolated" as key roads come under Russian fire control -- Russia burns Ukrainian books in occupied Luhansk Oblast -- Ukraine returns two children forcibly sent to Russia -- Arming Ukraine is the fastest, and only path to peace -- and more

Monday, February 6

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Five people are confirmed injured by a Russian missile strike on a university and residential area in downtown Kharkiv on the morning of Feb. 5, 2022. (Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration)

Media: Zelensky to dismiss Defense Minister Reznikov, intelligence chief seen as likely successor. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov will likely be dismissed from his ministerial post next week, Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported on Feb. 5, citing government and military sources.

Defense Minister says he will step down if Zelensky orders his dismissal. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said during a briefing on Feb. 5 that he was ready to step down if President Volodymyr Zelenksy ordered his dismissal. In late January, the Defense Ministry was beset by a high-profile corruption scandal that led to the firing of several top officials.

Intelligence Chief Budanov to head Defense Ministry after upcoming reshuffle. Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov will replace Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, lawmaker David Arakhamia said on Feb. 5.

Reznikov refutes claim he was offered job as Minister for Strategic Industries. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, expected to soon be fired by President Volodymyr Zelensky, told Fakty news that neither the president nor the prime minister had offered him the job as Minister for Strategic Industries. Lawmaker David Arakhamia said earlier on Feb. 5 that Reznikov would remain in the government as the Minister for Strategic Industries.

Ukraine imposes sanctions against Russia’s nuclear industry. The measures target 200 Russian entities and will remain in effect for 50 years.

Zelensky: Russia plots revenge attack in February for last year’s defeats. President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Feb. 5 that based on several reports, Russia is planning to do “something symbolic” in February to make up for its losses over the past year.

UK Defense Ministry: Bakhmut “increasingly isolated” as key roads come under Russian fire control. Russian troops have continued to make small advances in an attempt to encircle embattled Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk Oblast, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Feb. 4. According to the brief, the two main roads into Bakhmut are likely threatened by direct fire following the Russian advances.

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Air Force: Ukrainian service members leave for training on French-Italian Mamba air defense system. Training on the medium-range air defense systems is expected to be completed in spring, when the new Ukrainian operators “will return to Ukraine with the knowledge, skills, and the Mamba systems themselves,” Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said.

Reznikov: Ukraine won’t strike inside Russia with new longer-range weapons. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the country wouldn’t strike Russian territory with longer-range weapons pledged by the U.S. According to the minister, Ukraine will only target Russian units in the occupied Ukrainian territory.

Ministry: Ukrainian grain exports fall by 1.3 million metric tons in January. The Agriculture Ministry said on Feb. 5 that Ukraine exported 5.5 million metric tons of grain in January, a significant drop in volume compared to the previous month, due to the hold up and obstruction of the passage of outbound vessels’ by Russia.

Ukrainian military: Russia burns Ukrainian books in occupied Luhansk Oblast. Russian forces reportedly seized Ukrainian books from libraries and schools in the occupied eastern Luhansk Oblast and burned them in heating plants, according to the National Resistance Center, an organization run by Ukraine’s Special Forces.

Ministry: Ukraine returns two children forcibly sent to Russia. Ukraine returned two children illegally taken to Russia, the Reintegration Ministry reported on Feb. 5. According to the ministry, the 13-year-old and 15-year-old girls, together with their mother, were forcibly deported from the eastern Luhansk Oblast to Russia’s Ryazan region. In Russia, the mother died, and the children ended up in an orphanage.

Ukraine sends letters to sponsors of Olympics over Russia participation. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the letters were sent to the “large international companies that are definitely interested in ensuring that their reputation and support are not used for war propaganda.”

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One night in Bakhmut: Civilians wait for the end as Russia draws closer

This piece tells the story of the lives of civilians and first responders in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, directly through the personal experience of a Kyiv Independent reporter who stayed overnight in the embattled city in January, traveling together with a colleague from Moldova.

Photo: Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Update: 5 injured in Russian strikes on Kharkiv, university severely damaged. The strike was carried out on the morning of Feb. 5 with two S-300 missiles, an air defense system frequently used by Russia in an inaccurate but devastating ground attack function.

General Staff: Russian missile strikes at Ukraine injure 9 civilians. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that Russian forces launched four missile strikes at Ukraine. Two missiles hit civilian infrastructure in northeastern Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, injuring five people. A five-story university building was destroyed, according to the Ukrainian military.

Officials: 5 killed in Russian attacks on 7 regions in Ukraine over Feb. 4. In the eastern Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces killed four people on Feb. 4, including three in Bakhmut, and one in Yampil, the regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 131,290 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Russia has also lost 3,220 tanks, 6,405 armored fighting vehicles, 5,091 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,226 artillery systems, 460 multiple launch rocket systems, 227 air defense systems, 294 airplanes, 284 helicopters, 1,958 drones, and 18 boats, according to the report.

Ukraine war latest: Bakhmut ‘increasingly isolated’ as Russia appears to make progress on encircling the city.

The Russian Defense Ministry and Russia’s Wagner mercenary group claim to be advancing in the Bakhmut sector, in the northern part of Donetsk Oblast, and toward Vuhledar – a town that sits some 50 kilometers from the Russian-occupied Donetsk city. 

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

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International response

First Leopard tank from Canada arrives in Poland. Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand on Feb. 5 shared photos of the first Leopard 2 battle tank from Canada arriving in Poland, where Ukrainian soldiers will be trained on its use.

Cleverly: Arming Ukraine is the fastest, and ‘only path to peace.’ “Giving the Ukrainians the tools they need to finish the job is the swiftest and indeed the only path to peace,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly wrote in his op-ed published by the Times of Malta on Feb. 5.

Reznikov: Israel promised to provide Ukraine with missile and drone alert system. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov didn’t provide further details on when the transfer could happen.

Lithuanians raise 6 million euros to buy air defense radars for Ukraine. “No sign of fatigue here. We will stand with Ukraine until victory is achieved,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote on Twitter.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Francis Farrell, Alexander Khrebet, Oleksiy Sorokin, Thaisa Semenova, Sukhov, Toma Istomina, Natalia Datskevych, and Lili Bivings.

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