Good morning from Kyiv, possibly the world’s most popular short trip destination for world leaders.
The latest to arrive – and the third one this week – is Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez who will visit Bucha and Irpin as well as meet President Volodymyr Zelensky later today.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian official Kyrylo Budanov has said Russia will launch missiles attacks today and tomorrow but it will be “nothing unusual.”
He added: “A small missile attack is planned. Usual efforts. Believe me, we have already experienced this more than 20 times.”
What else is happening today?
Well, it’s not even 9 am and Vladimir Putin has already made another nuclear threat, this time saying that Russia will “pay increased attention to strengthening the nuclear triad.”
The Russian president made his remarks two days after announcing the Kremlin would suspend the New START treaty, the last remaining arms control agreement between the Russia and the U.S.
You can read more about that story here.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
President Zelensky was on a little tour of Ukraine on Wednesday, visiting graduates of the country’s military academies in Lviv and Odesa, who will soon be heading to the front lines.
“I wished our young officers to be worthy of the heroism that our warriors are already demonstrating on the battlefield and that Ukrainians have always demonstrated in their struggle for freedom. I wished victory to the graduates of our military universities and I am confident that this victory will come.”
Zelensky said he’d also spoken to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “We are working in a very powerful manner together with the U.K. to strengthen our warriors, to bring our common victory closer, to implement our defense agreements reached during my visit to London.
“And it would be great if all our partners, like the U.K., understood how the speed of defense supplies affects concrete successes on the battlefield.”
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Feb. 23 focuses on the situation in the town of Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast.
The MoD notes: “There is a realistic possibility that Russia is preparing for another offensive effort in this area despite costly failed attacks in early February and late 2022.
“Russia’s Eastern Group of Forces likely still has responsibility for the Vuhledar operation. Its commander, Colonel General Rustam Muradov, is likely under intense pressure to improve results following harsh criticism from the Russian nationalist community after previous setbacks.
“However, it is unlikely that Muradov has a striking force capable of achieving a breakthrough.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Feb. 22 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· Vladimir Putin revived his imperialistic narrative that Russia is fighting for Russia’s “historic frontiers” on Feb. 22, a narrative that he had similarly voiced in his speech before… Feb. 24, 2022.
· Ukrainian intelligence officials continue to assess that Russia lacks the combat power and resources needed to sustain its new offensive operations in Ukraine.
· U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price stated that the U.S. government is concerned about the potential strengthening of Russia-China relations.
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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