Day 708 of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: Essential milestones

Day 708 of the Russia-Ukraine conflict: Essential milestones

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, the Russia-Ukraine conflict continued to escalate with several significant events.

– A hospital in northeastern Ukraine was hit by a Russian bomb, resulting in the evacuation of numerous patients and extensive damage to the facility. Four people sustained minor injuries in the attack.
– Ukraine’s air defenses successfully intercepted 14 out of 20 drones launched by Russia, averting further casualties and damage to commercial buildings. The drones, along with three Iskander missiles, targeted multiple regions in southern and eastern Ukraine.
– Russia claimed to have destroyed 20 missiles launched by Ukraine over the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula, which Russia had annexed in 2014.
– In a reciprocal move, Ukraine’s air force commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, confirmed that Ukrainian forces struck the Belbek military airfield in Crimea.
– Notably, both Russia and Ukraine exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war, with Russia’s Defense Ministry reporting the release of 195 soldiers and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stating that 207 individuals, including civilians, had been returned to Ukraine.
– German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to rally European partners to provide substantial support to Ukraine, intended to exert pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin. This announcement preceded an EU summit aimed at securing 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in funding for Ukraine, which was currently being blocked by Hungary.
– Victoria Nuland, the acting deputy secretary of state for the United States, expressed encouragement over Ukraine’s fortification of its defenses, asserting that Moscow should anticipate some “surprises” on the battlefield. However, a US military aid package for Ukraine faced resistance from Republicans in Congress, who sought to link its approval to policy changes at the US border. Nuland remained optimistic that the aid package would ultimately be adopted.
– The International Court of Justice (ICJ) partially dismissed Ukraine’s case against Russia, which accused the latter of financing separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine a decade ago. The ICJ acknowledged that Moscow had failed to investigate alleged breaches but did not find substantial evidence for other accusations.
– Boris Nadezhdin, a critic


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