Russian troops in Mariupol in southeast Ukraine in May 2022 (AP)

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Saturday’s Coverage: EU Preparing Alternatives for €50 Billion Funding for Kyiv

Map: Institute for the Study of War


A second civilian has been killed in Russia’s shelling of Kherson city in southern Ukraine today.

A market and residential buildings were hit.


Kherson Governor Oleksandr Prokudin says the region in southern Ukraine has been “under heavy fire” from the Russian army on Sunday.

“As a result of a direct hit to the house, a woman from Kherson died, another woman was injured,” Prokudin posted.

Five civilians, including two children, were injured on Saturday amid 24 attacks on and near Kherson city. Residential quarters, a critical infrastructure facility, and factories were among the targets.

In Dnipro city, 12 people have been injured in a drone attack on an educational institution and its dormitory, two multi-apartment buildings, and an administrative building.


About 15 wives of Russian men mobilized to fight in Ukraine have protested in front of the Kremlin in Moscow.

The women laid red flowers Saturday at the Flame of the Unknown Soldier, beneath the Kremlin’s walls, and called for the return of their husbands.

The public show of discontent among relatives of the mobilized has been increasing through the winter, despite the threat of reprisals and harassment by authorities.

Maria, a 47-year-old sales manager, said on Saturday, “We want to draw the authorities’ attention and that of the public to our appeal. We have tried several means. We made a written appeal to lawmakers, officials, administrations — but we were not heard.”

Russian State media have tried to ignore the protests but another wife, Paulina, said:

I feel like we’re annoying them. But no one will remain silent. We shall carry on every day, every Saturday. We’ll lay flowers.

At some point, it will be impossible to ignore us.


The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 21 of 28 Iran-made attack drones launched by Russia overnight.

Three S-300 surface-to-air missiles were also intercepted, another on Saturday afternoon killed at least 11 civilians, including five children from ages 3 to 17, in Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

Another 10 people were injured, with six houses destroyed. Rescuers are continuing to search among rubble for survivors.

Pokrovsk is about 40 km (25 miles) west of the eastern frontline, close to the border with the Dnipropetrovsk region.

In his nightly address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke about the mass killing:

My condolences go out to everyone who has lost their loved ones. The Russian strike targeted ordinary residential buildings and private houses. All the wounded are receiving the necessary aid.

Russia must feel — always feel — that no such strike will go without consequences for the terrorist state. We must ensure this with our strength, our own defense, and political capabilities.

The President appealed to the international community earlier in the day:

Russian assets currently frozen abroad total around $300 billion. They must be put to use in support of Ukraine.

This is a historic opportunity to make the terrorist state pay for its terror. The Russian elite and leadership do not care about human lives, but they do care about money above all else.

The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, condemned the killings:

The most recent surge in attacks on populated cities across Ukraine is leaving behind an outrageous number of children, women and men killed and injured, and a trail of loss and destruction. Since 29 December, the UN recorded nearly 120 civilians killed across Ukraine, and just below 480 injured. Behind each number is a story of immense suffering.


Denmark will transfer 19 US-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine between April and June.

The Danish Defense Ministry said the warplanes will be delivered as soon as Ukrainian pilots have completed training.

Denmark announced the supply of the F-16s last August.

Last week, Norway said it is sending two F-16s to Denmark for supply to Kyiv. Oslo had already posted 10 instructors to the Danish training cener.

The Netherlands is also training Ukrainian pilots, having pledged the delivery of 42 warplanes.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The Russian military is on the way to losing 500,000 personnel in its invasion of Ukraine by the end of 2024, says UK military inteligence.

The British Ministry of Defense summarized on Saturday that the Russians averaged almost 300 military casualties each day throughout 2023: “If the numbers continue at the current rate over the next year, Russia will have lost over half a million personnel in Ukraine.”

In comparison, the Soviet Union suffered 70,000 casualties in its invasion of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.

The analysts added, “It will likely take Russia five to ten years to rebuild a cohort of highly trained, experienced readiness forces.”

The Ukraine military said on Saturday that Russia has lost 363,870 personnel in its 22 1/2-month invasion, including 800 in the previous 24 hours.

The British analysts also noted that Russia is still struggling to maintain air superiority over Ukraine, having lost five fighter jets just before Christmas.

The losses are affecting Russian ground forces in their pursuit of tactical objectives. Moscow’s Aerospace Forces almost completely halted crewed operations in late December.

The probable outcome was a Russian failure to clear a Ukrainian bridgehead on the left (east) bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Moscow has increased airstrikes in the area in recent days “but at a lower level than before the shootdowns”.