Good morning from Kyiv which today marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
There’s a strange atmosphere in the air, part remembrance of when Russia’s first bombs exploded, part tension about when the next ones could arrive.
Translator Oleksandra Povoroznyk, said in a post on social media: “I don’t think a single important date has filled me with as many conflicting emotions as this one.”
Mayor of Irpin, Oleksandr Markushyn, said: “Exactly one year ago, we woke up to explosions near the Hostomel airport. There, the Ukrainian military took their first battle.
“That morning, the enemy began to ‘take Kyiv in 3 days.’ And a month after the first explosions in Irpin, we stopped him on his way to the capital.
Julia Tymoshenko, who works for the Saint Javelin charity, simply said: “Fuck russia.”
What’s happening today?
So far, thankfully little has happened today – it’s 9 am here in Kyiv and there has been no air raid alarm or signs of a Russian attack but everyone is expecting something – the Kremlin has a habit of marking special dates with an escalation of violence.
Elsewhere, in eastern Ukraine, the boss of Wagner has claimed the village of Berkhivka near the fiercely fought over city of Bakhmut is “entirely under our control.”
The claim has not been verified and you can read more about that story here.
And if you’re reading this outside of Ukraine, take five minutes to meet the people behind the Telegram channels where people look as soon as they hear an air raid siren.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
At the time of writing, President Zelensky is actually mid-speech, marking today’s somber anniversary so we’ll bring you the highlights once he’s done.
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on Feb. 24 focuses on how Russia’s objectives have changed in the face of Ukrainian resistance, noting what was originally a plan to take over the entire country, shifted to the far more limited goal of “expanding and formalizing its rule over the Donbas and the south.”
It adds: “In recent weeks, Russia has likely changed its approach again. Its campaign now likely primarily seeks to degrade the Ukrainian military, rather than being focused on seizing substantial new territory.
“The Russian leadership is likely pursuing a long-term operation where they bank that Russia’s advantages in population and resources will eventually exhaust Ukraine.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s Feb. 23 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:
· The Kremlin appears to be setting conditions for false flag operations on the Chernihiv Oblast international border and in Moldova ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
· Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deliver boilerplate rhetoric in public addresses that offered him opportunities he did not take to shape the Russian information space ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of 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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