Good morning from Kyiv. It’s a bitterly cold minus 11 degrees at the time of writing but gloriously sunny skies here in the capital.
It’s been thankfully quiet for a while now with no missile attacks for two weeks. There was an air raid alert on Wednesday afternoon but unusually, it was cancelled after only seven minutes.
What’s happening today?
President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Brussels today where he is guest of honour at another European Union (EU) summit and will have another chance to appeal to Ukraine’s allies for more tanks, jets and missiles.
His attendance will be "a signal of European solidarity," said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and comes a day after a surprise visit to the U.K.
The Ukrainian president is also expected to address the European Parliament. You can read more about what’s coming up and what happened in London, here.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
Rather than his usual daily address, Zelensky yesterday spoke in the British parliament where his speech went down an absolute storm.
"I appeal to you and the world... for combat aircrafts for Ukraine, wings for freedom," he said. "The United Kingdom is marching with us towards the most... important victory of our lifetime. "It will be a victory over the very idea of the war," he added.
Concluding his speech, Zelensky expressed his gratitude in an exceptional manner, saying: "...leaving a British parliament two years ago I thanked you for delicious English tea.
"And I will be leaving the parliament today thanking all of you in advance for powerful English planes."
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Feb. 9 discusses the weather and its potential effect on major offensives planned by both Russia and Ukraine.
The MoD notes that melting snow and a rise in ground temperatures forecast in eastern Ukraine over the coming week are likely to negatively affect cross country mobility (CCM) conditions.
It adds: “CCM is likely to be at its worst, with extremely muddy conditions, over mid-to late-March. Commanders on both sides will highly likely seek to avoid scheduling major offensives at such times.
“However, perceived political or operational opportunities can override such concerns, as demonstrated by Russia launching its invasion in late-February 2022.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Feb. 8 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· Russian forces have regained the initiative in Ukraine and have begun their next major offensive in Luhansk Oblast.
· The commitment of significant elements of at least three major Russian divisions to offensive operations in this sector indicates the Russian offensive has begun, even if Ukrainian forces are so far preventing Russian forces from securing significant gains.
· Russian officials continue to propose measures to prepare Russia’s military industry for a protracted war in Ukraine while also likely setting further conditions for sanctions evasion.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.
Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.
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