Here is the situation on Friday, February 16, 2024.


At least seven people were killed in the Russian city of Belgorod after what authorities said was a Ukrainian rocket attack. A shopping centre, sports centre and apartment blocks were damaged.
Oleh Syniehubov, the governor of the northern Kharkiv region, said at least three people were killed and two more injured after a Russian bombing hit a car and set a residential building on fire.
Russia launched missile attacks on seven Ukrainian regions, including the capital Kyiv, and the cities of Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and Lviv, injuring at least 11 people. Air raid warnings lasted for more than two hours across the country. The air force said air defences shot down 13 of the 26 missiles Russia launched.
Ukraine said it was withdrawing troops from some parts of eastern Avdiivka to more advantageous positions and deployed the battle-hardened Third Assault Brigade to reinforce its forces as Russia intensifies efforts to encircle the front-line town.
White House spokesperson John Kirby, meanwhile, said Avdiivka was at risk of falling to Russia because Ukrainian troops were suffering a shortage of artillery ammunition.
Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was dismissed, Russian military bloggers and a former Kremlin adviser said, a day after Ukraine said it had destroyed the Russian landing ship, the Caesar Kunikov. There was no official confirmation from Moscow.
Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov told the Wall Street Journal that Russian troops were using thousands of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite communications terminals after acquiring them from private Russian firms that purchased them from intermediaries.

Politics and diplomacy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Germany and France on Friday and sign bilateral agreements on security commitments with each country. Zelenskyy will also speak at the Munich Security Conference on February 17.
Russia’s Supreme Court rejected two legal challenges by antiwar candidate Boris Nadezhdin after he was disqualified from next month’s presidential election, Nadezhdin said.
Poland’s special services said they detained a Ukrainian citizen suspected of working for the Russian intelligence agency and planning an attack in the southwestern city of Wroclaw. The man could be jailed for as long as 12 years if convicted.


The United Kingdom detailed plans to jointly lead an international “drone capability coalition” with Latvia aimed at delivering thousands of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Ukraine. The drones will include thousands of “first-person view” drones, which give operators the situational awareness to target positions, armoured vehicles and ships.