Ukraine-Russia war live: Putin’s troops advancing along ‘entire front line’, Kyiv military warns

By Isaac M February 14, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fires top general

Vladimir Putin’s troops have advanced along the “entire front line” in Ukraine as Kyiv was forced to switch to defensive operations, the country’s military warned.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said the situation was “difficult” and his focus was now to exhaust the Russian advance.

“At this time, the situation can be assessed as difficult. The enemy is now advancing along almost the entire front line, and we have moved from offensive operations to conducting a defensive operation,” Syrskyi told German TV channel ZDF.

“The objective of our defense operation is to exhaust the enemy’s forces, inflict maximum losses on him, using our fortifications, our advantages in terms of technology, in terms of using unmanned aircraft, means of electronic warfare, and maintaining prepared defense lines,” he added.

It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the US senate for agreeing on £48bn of aid for his war-torn country.

Mr Zelensky said: “For us in Ukraine, continued US assistance helps to save human lives from Russian terror. It means that life will continue in our cities and will triumph over war.”

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Unesco says £7bn needed to revive Ukraine tourism

Ukraine will need £7bn over 10 years for its tourism sector to recover, the United Nations’ cultural agency said on Tuesday, adding that the two-year war had so far cost the country over £15bn in tourism revenue.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 triggered the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War Two, with no sign of an end to the war in sight.

“The damage continues to increase and the needs for the sector’s recovery continue to grow,” Krista Pikkat, director of culture and emergencies at Unesco, told reporters, adding that the lost revenue to the capital Kyiv alone was £8bn.

In an assessment ahead of the war’s two year anniversary, the Unesco estimated the cost of damage to cultural property at about £2bn, up 40 per cent from 2023.

It said 340 buildings had been damaged, including museums, monuments, libraries and religious sites.

Alexander Butler13 February 2024 21:00

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Biden urges House to act quickly on Ukraine aid: ‘History is watching’

Alexander Butler13 February 2024 19:57

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Putin’s troops advancing along ‘entire front line’, Kyiv warns

Vladimir Putin’s troops have advanced along the “entire front line” in Ukraine as Kyiv was forced to switch to defensive operations, the country’s military warned.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said the situation was “difficult” and had changed with the advance of Russian forces.

“At this time, the situation can be assessed as difficult. The enemy is now advancing along almost the entire front line, and we have moved from offensive operations to conducting a defensive operation,” Syrskyi told German TV channel ZDF

“The objective of our defense operation is to exhaust the enemy’s forces, inflict maximum losses on him, using our fortifications, our advantages in terms of technology, in terms of using unmanned aircraft, means of electronic warfare, and maintaining prepared defense lines,” he added.

Alexander Butler13 February 2024 19:56

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US Senate approves $95bn aid for Ukraine and Israel in pre-dawn vote

The Senate overwhelmingly passed a legislative package to provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, and allies in the Indo-Pacific faces additional hurdles as House Speaker Mike Johnson announced he would not put the bill to the floor.

Only 29 senators — all Republicans — voted against the bill, with 70 senators, including 22 from the GOP, voting in favour. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky led the charge against the $95.34bn package as a host of Republican senators spoke on the floor late into the night on Monday evening and into Tuesday morning..

The legislation came after Senate Republicans rejected a larger package that would have included additional provisions to restrict immigration and increase security at the US-Mexico border. Democratic senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut; independent senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican senator James Lankford of Oklahoma negotiated the agreement that the House and many Republicans opposed as insufficient.

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 18:00

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Where else will the aid package go?

The package includes $60.6bn in aid to Ukraine; $14.1bn in aid to Israel; $2.44bn for US Central Command to address combat expenditures for conflict in the Red Sea; $9.15bn in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and $4.83bn to support regional partners in the Indo-Pacific to push back against the People’s Republic of China.

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 17:30

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Elon Musk says US should stop helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian invasion

Their scrutiny of the US support to Ukraine comes as the Democratic-led Senate on Monday set the stage for the final passage of a $95.34bn aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, amid growing doubts about the fate of the legislation in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The Senate voted 66-33, exceeding a 60-vote margin, to sweep aside the last procedural hurdle and limit debate on the measure to a final 30 hours before a vote on passage that could come on Wednesday.

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 17:00

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Tough choices for Ukraine and west

Nearly two years into the conflict, Nearly two years into the conflict, Ukraine and its Western partners face very difficult choices, the report said.

IISS senior land warfare analyst Ben Barry said Ukraine had tried to shield some of its younger troops – the average age of its infantry soldiers is reported to be in the early 40s – but may struggle to continue to do so.

“They have deliberately protected their youth, but the extent to which they can do that in future is doubtful if they are going to sustain their frontline strength,” he said.

Ukraine, which failed to make progress in a counter-offensive last year and has just replaced its popular commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, is also in urgent need of new artillery supplies and air defence systems, while awaiting a major new U.S. aid package that has been held up by Republican opposition.

“Western governments find themselves once again in a position where they must decide whether to furnish Kyiv with enough weapons to deliver a decisive blow, rather than merely enough not to lose,” IISS Director-General Bastian Giegerich said.

Russia, for its part, has placed its economy on a war footing and moved defence factories to round-the-clock production in three shifts.

“It’s an astounding figure,” said Singapore-based defence analyst Alexander Neill, referring to the estimate of 3,000 tanks lost.

“Some of those could have been older tanks, so one of the big questions is how many of its most advanced tanks does it have left for any major future offensives,” added Neill, an adjunct fellow at Hawaii’s Pacific Forum think-tank.

Given the losses sustained by both sides and the attritional character of the trench warfare, IISS experts said the current stalemate was likely to persist.

“Neither side can do a large-scale attack without incurring very heavy casualties, and that’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future,” IIIS land warfare analyst Barry said. and its Western partners face very difficult choices, the report said.

FILE – Ukrainian soldiers practice on a tank during military training in Ukraine Wednesday,

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 16:30

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Russia refits old tanks after losing 3,000 in Ukraine, claims research centre

Russia has lost more than 3,000 tanks in Ukraine – the equivalent of its entire pre-war active inventory – but has enough lower-quality armoured vehicles in storage for years of replacements, a leading research centre said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has also suffered heavy loses since Russia invaded in February 2022, but Western military replenishments have allowed it to maintain inventories while upgrading quality, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said.

Even after the loss of so many tanks – including an estimated 1,120 in the past year – Russia still has about twice as many available for combat as Ukraine, according to the IISS’s annual Military Balance, a key research tool for defence analysts.

Henry Boyd, the institute’s senior fellow for military capability, said Russia had been roughly “breaking even” in terms of replacements. He estimated that it had put around 1,000 to 1,500 more tanks into service in the past year.

But of these, he said, 200 at most were newly built, and the large majority were refurbished older models.

“Moscow has been able to trade quality for quantity… by pulling thousands of older tanks out of storage at a rate that may, at times, have reached 90 tanks per month,” said the report.

Russia’s stored inventories meant Moscow “could potentially sustain around three more years of heavy losses and replenish tanks from stocks, even if at lower-technical standard, irrespective of its ability to produce new equipment”.

Russia’s defence ministry declined to comment.

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 16:00

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How will the aid package help Ukraine?

About $60 billion in the bill would go to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself from the Russian invasion that began nearly two years ago.

There’s nearly $14 billion to allow Ukraine to rearm itself through the purchase of weapons and munitions and another nearly $15 billion for support services such as military training and intelligence sharing.

The support also includes nonmilitary assistance. About $8 billion would go to help Ukraine‘s government continue basic operations with a prohibition on money going toward pensions.

And there’s about $1.6 billion to help Ukraine‘s private sector.About a third of the money allocated to supporting Ukraine actually will be spent replenishing the U.S. military with the weapons and equipment that are going to Kyiv.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly emphasized that point, saying in a statement Tuesday that the money is about “reaffirming a commitment to rebuild and modernize our military, restore our credibility, and give the current Commander-in-Chief, as well as the next, more tools to secure our interests.”

There’s also about $480 million to help Ukrainians displaced by the war.

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 15:35

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US Senate approves $95bn aid for Ukraine and Israel in pre-dawn vote

The Senate overwhelmingly passed a legislative package to provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, and allies in the Indo-Pacific faces additional hurdles as House Speaker Mike Johnson announced he would not put the bill to the floor.

Only 29 senators voted against the bill, with 70 Republicans voting for it. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky led the charge against the $95.34bn package as a host of Republican senators spoke on the floor late into the night on Monday evening.

The legislation came after Senate Republicans rejected a larger package that would have included additional provisions to restrict immigration and increase security at the US-Mexico border. Democratic senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut; independent senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican senator James Lankford of Oklahoma negotiated the agreement that the House and many Republicans opposed as insufficient.

Read the full story here…

Lydia Patrick13 February 2024 15:09

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