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February 28, 2024
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Russia-Ukraine war live: Russian death toll from Makiivka attack ‘far higher than Moscow admitted’

UK intelligence says more than 300 Russians killed in attack, while Moscow reported 89 deaths

Battlefield tanks are only half the battle. Beyond military might on the ground in Ukraine, the other critical confrontation in which the Kremlin has a superiority that must be challenged. The information war.

Russia’s media space has reverted to a grotesque parody of the Soviet-era model. (In fact, it’s far worse, as in the latter Soviet years at least when most people knew they were being fed lies.) Television and the domestic press is utterly captured. Millions are fed a daily diet of Ukrainian “fascists”, western pederasts, and nuclear revenge on Anglo-Saxon civilisation.

A new barrage of Russian shelling killed at least 10 Ukrainian civilians and wounded 20 others in a day, the Ukrainian president’s office has said. Towns and villages in the east and in the south that were within reach of the Russian artillery suffered most, regional officials said. Six people died in the Donetsk region, two in Kherson and two in the Kharkiv region, Associated Press quoted the officials as saying on Friday.

A day earlier, Russian-fired missiles and self-propelled drones were reported to have hit deeper into Ukrainian territory, killing at least 11 people.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has described the situation on the frontline as “extremely acute”, particularly in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russia is stepping up its offensive. “The occupiers are not just storming our positions – they are deliberately and methodically destroying these towns and villages around them,” the Ukrainian president said, reporting major battles for Vuhledar and Bakhmut. Local Ukrainian officials reported heavy shelling in the north, north-east and east.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, will hold a meeting with Lynne Tracy, the new US ambassador to Moscow, early next week, the RIA news agency reported today.

Ukrainian troops were locked in “fierce” fighting with Russian forces for control of Vuhledar, a town south-west of Donetsk, on Friday. Both sides claimed success in the small administrative centre, a short distance from the strategic prize of the village of Pavlivka, Agence France-Presse reported. The Donetsk region’s Moscow-appointed leader, Denis Pushilin, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Vuhledar may soon become a “very important success for us”, while Kyiv said the town remained contested.

Ukraine’s army claims to have killed 109 Russian soldiers and wounded another 188 in one day during fighting around Vuhledar. Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson in the Ukrainian armed forces, said the death toll was recorded on Thursday, adding that “fierce fighting is ongoing”.

Poland will send an additional 60 tanks to Ukraine on top of the 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks it has already pledged, the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has told CTV News.

A total of 321 heavy tanks have been promised to Ukraine by several countries, Ukraine’s ambassador to France said on Friday. Vadym Omelchenko told French TV station BFM that “delivery terms vary for each case and we need this help as soon as possible”, while not specifying the number of tanks per country.

Belgium announced an additional €94m ($102m/£82.5m) package in military aid for Ukraine in what the Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, said was – including previous spending – the largest of its kind Belgium had ever given another country.

Ukraine said it is setting up drone assault companies within its armed forces that will be equipped with Starlink satellite communications, as it presses ahead with an idea to build up an “army of drones”, Reuters reported. The army’s commander-in-chief, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, signed off on the creation of the units in a project that would involve several ministries and agencies, the general staff said.

Ten regions of Ukraine are instituting emergency power outages due to a power shortage in the network after Thursday’s Russian attacks, Ukraine’s state broadcaster has reported. Repairs to damaged facilities are continuing.

The European Union wants swift accountability for “horrific” crimes in Ukraine, EU justice ministers have said while meeting in Stockholm. But the member states differ over how to bring prosecutions, seek evidence or fund war damage repairs.

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