Good morning from Kyiv, where the snow is falling once again, the air raid sirens have just sounded and people are digesting two very different speeches made yesterday about the possible fate of their futures.

 On the one hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin spent two hours blaming everyone except himself for the war in Ukraine and said pedophilia is “the norm” in the West.

 On the other, U.S. President Joe Biden said Ukraine would “never be a victory for Russia” as he delivered a speech in Poland.

 We’ll leave you to decide which one should be taken seriously…

 What’s happening today?

 President Biden’s European tour continues and today he will meet in Warsaw with the leaders of nine countries on NATO's eastern flank, so stay tuned to Kyiv Post and we’ll bring any notable updates from there.


 And the ongoing spat between the Wagner Private Military Company and the Kremlin continues to escalate, with the mercenary group’s head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, accusing Moscow's military chiefs of just about the most serious thing they could be accused of – high treason.

 You can read more about that story here.

 What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?

 During his daily address on Tuesday evening, President Zelensky focused on the situation on the frontlines in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, saying that despite renewed pressure from Russian forces, Ukraine was holding the back.

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 He said: “We are doing our best to deter enemy attacks there – constant intense assaults, which Russia does not stop, even though it suffers huge losses there.

 “But very importantly, despite all the pressure on our forces, the frontline has not changed.

 “I am grateful for this to all our warriors, all soldiers and sergeants, officers and generals who are defending the respective frontline areas.”

 What’s the latest military situation?


 The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Feb. 22 focuses on Putin’s speech on Tuesday, saying he “made it clear that he intends to continue with the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.”

 The MoD adds: “Putin continued the bellicose tone he has adopted in speeches over the last six months but did not reveal any practical measures which might relieve Russia’s current deadlock on the battlefield.

 “Putin continues to present a contradictory narrative of an existential struggle, while insisting everything in Russia is fine and going to plan. This renders both messages ineffective.”

 The Institute for the Study of War’s Feb. 21 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:

·      Putin’s Feb. 21 address to the Russian Federal Assembly did not articulate specific goals or intentions for the war in Ukraine, instead reinforcing several long-standing rhetorical lines in an effort to buy Putin more space and time for a protracted war.

·      Many Russian milbloggers condemned Putin’s failure to use his speech to forward new war aims, outline new measures to support the war, or hold Russian authorities accountable for their many military failures.


·      Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces continue to reinforce and build fortifications in rear areas in southern Ukraine.

 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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