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Live Briefing: Russia Invades Ukraine

A funeral was held in Kyiv for Diana Wagner, a German volunteer medic who was killed earlier this month.
A funeral was held in Kyiv for Diana Wagner, a German volunteer medic who was killed earlier this month.

RFE/RL's Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western military aid to Kyiv, worldwide reaction, and the plight of civilians and refugees. For all of RFE/RL's coverage of the war, click here.

Latest Developments At A Glance

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on February 21 called on Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, President Andrzej Duda, and members of the European Commission to meet with him and members of his government at the Ukrainian-Polish border by February 24 amid ongoing tension caused by Polish farmers' protests against Ukrainian food imports.
  • The European Union has approved a new package of sanctions against Russia, its 13th since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, in what the bloc's rotating president Belgium said was "one of the broadest approved by the EU."
  • In an interview with RFE/RL, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the death of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny and the first Russian gains on the battlefield in months should help focus the attention of NATO and its allies on the urgent need to support Ukraine.
  • A Ukrainian strike on a training ground in Moscow-occupied Donetsk has killed at least 60 Russian troops, the BBC's Russian Service quoted sources as saying.
  • Three civilians were killed and 13 others were wounded by Russian shelling of three eastern Ukrainian regions, local authorities reported on February 21.
  • At least 45,123 Russian troops have been killed since the start of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, according to research by journalists from Mediazona and the BBC's Russian Service who have established the deceased soldiers' identities.

Ukraine Has No Navy. But It's Hammering Russia In The Black Sea.

The landing ship that purportedly sank off Crimea last week is one of nearly two dozen Russian warships that Ukraine has seriously damaged or sunk since the full-scale invasion two years ago. It’s an extraordinary set of naval losses inflicted by a country that currently doesn’t even have a navy. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

Battlefield Woes Mounting, Ukraine Gets A New Top General. Who Is He?

Ukraine's new top commander is a Soviet-trained artillery officer known for his role in thwarting the Russian thrust to capture Kyiv in 2022. Oleksandr Syrskiy is also known for his command during the disastrous retreat in 2015 in Debaltseve, and what some say was the costly defense of Bakhmut. Read the report by Mike Eckel and Todd Prince here.

Why Did The Russian Il-76 Crash? What We Know, And Don't Know, About A Major Aviation Disaster

A day after a Russian military cargo jet exploded in a fireball not far from the Ukrainian border, there’s still major uncertainty about why it crashed, whether it was shot down, and what exactly was on the plane. Here’s what we know so far. Report the report by Mike Eckel here.

Could Disgruntled Families Of Mobilized Russians Complicate Putin's Plan For Smooth Reelection?

Relatives of Russian men mobilized to fight in Ukraine have been holding small but frequent protests to call for their return. Despite the daunting conditions in authoritarian Russia, The Way Home movement could change the narrative as Putin heads toward a fifth presidential term. Read the report by RFE/RL's North.Realities here.

Is Russia Betting It Can 'Outlast The Attention Span Of The West' To Defeat Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to waste lots of lives and money to defeat Ukraine, argues Professor Peter Roberts, a senior associate fellow at the U.K.-based Royal United Services Institute. In an interview with RFE/RL's Georgian Service, Roberts says Putin is in it for the long haul and betting on the West's short attention span to defeat Ukraine. Read the interview by Vazha Tavberidze here.

Will Ukraine's Mobilization Efforts Cause A Political Backlash?

Ukrainians aren’t rushing to sign up for military service as they did in the early days of Russia’s invasion, causing manpower issues and frustrating many on the front lines. A new bill in parliament aims to rectify the problem, but politicians and military officials seem leery of backlash. Read the report by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service here.

Interactive: Occupied, Militarized Crimea

As Ukrainian leaders vow to reclaim all territories seized by Russia, Moscow has prepared extensive defensive measures, particularly in Crimea, a region unlawfully annexed in 2014. This area, now under Russian occupation, has been heavily militarized with an array of air bases and army bases, making it one of the most fortified zones in the war. View the interactive map by Crimea.Realities, Schemes, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, and Central Newsroom here.

With Western Weapons In Doubt, How Long Can Ukraine Hold Out?

Not since the opening weeks of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, when its forces seemed poised to capture Kyiv and force the government to capitulate, has the outlook for Ukraine’s military commanders and its political leadership been so gloomy. Read the report by Mike Eckel here.

Should The West Be Giving Ukraine Weapons That Can Strike Inside Russia?

Former NATO European commander and U.S. national-security adviser General James L. Jones talks to RFE/RL's Georgian Service about how the outcome of the war in Ukraine could shape behavior around the world, and the risk of longer-range weapons provoking a wider war. By Vazha Tavberidze

How Is The Kremlin Keeping Military Manpower In Ukraine At Strength?

Russian officials are resorting to creative tools to keep military manpower in Ukraine at strength. That’s causing grumbling, and public dissent, from relatives of exhausted soldiers. But if the Kremlin wants to decisively change the battlefield, they’ll need a second mobilization. By Mike Eckel

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