US President Joe Biden hosts German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the White House, Washington D.C., February 9, 2024 (Michael Kappeler/DPA)

Friday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy Dismisses Top Military Commander Zalushnyi

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine’s First Deputy Defense Minister Oleksandr Pavlyuk has been dismissed, as the President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pursues the reset of the military.

Taras Melnychuk, the government’s representative in Parliament, said on Telegram that Pavlyuk was “transferred to another job”.

Melnychuk did not specify the job or say who is replacing Pavlyuk.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has responded to the latest Russian mass killing of civilians, in Kharkiv in the northeast of the country.

Among the victims were parents and their three children, ages 7, 4, and less than 6 months.


Seven civilians, including three children, have been killed in Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine by an overnight drone strike launched from Russia’s Belgorod region.

The slain children were ages 7, 4, and less than 6 months.

Three Iran-made Shahed drones hit the Nemyshlyansky district, destroying a gas stat. The ensuing fire destroyed 15 houses nearby.

Drones also hit a hospital and a restaurant in the town of Velykyi Berluk, east of Kharkiv city. One person was injured in the fire and casualties could rise as search and rescue operations proceed.

In the Sumy region in northern Ukraine, Russian guided bombs killed three civilians and injured four in the village workshop of an agriculture firm.

Four people in the Odesa region in the south were injured by the wreckage of downed drones. Three of the wounded in a port facility in Izmail. Civilian infrastructure and private residences were damaged.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: As the US Senate considers a bill for $60.1 billion in vital assistance for Ukraine, President Joe Biden has said legislators would be “close to criminal neglect” if they blocked the aid after four months of negotiations.

Biden hosted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the White House on Friday, a day after the Senate advanced a $95.34 billion package that also includes humanitarian aid and support for Israel and Taiwan.

The President summarized, “The failure of the United States Congress, if it occurs, not to support Ukraine is close to criminal neglect. It is outrageous.”

Scholz said Germany and the US “have to play a role” in preserving a global peace, “especially so looking at the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which is still ongoing”.

I’m very happy that in Europe we made now decisions to get the necessary financial support to the budget. Also that Germany was ready to increase its support with weapon delivery.

And hopefully Congress, the House, will follow you and make a decision on giving the necessary support.

The Chancellor noted Vladimir Putin’s “ridiculous” two-hour “interview” by US hard-right demagogue Tucker Carlson, broadcast on Thursday. He said it demonstrated that Putin, lying about history, is seeking to snatch as many territories from neighboring countries as possible: “There is a clear cause and that is the will of the Russian President to annex part of Ukraine.”

Therefore, “it is necessary that we do all our best to support Ukraine and to give them the chance to defend their country”.

Scholz made the case for aid in a meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators, and conferred with US business executives about investment opportunities in Germany.

Zelenskiy Meets US Representatives

In Kyiv, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met four members of the US House Intelligence Committee — Republicans Mike Turner and French Hill and Democrats Jason Crow and Abigail Spanberger — to discuss military assistance.

Zelenskiy told Ukrainians in his nightly address:

It is necessary to maintain American support. And I am grateful to our American partners who recognize this. We cannot let Russian war and evil spread.

Putin sobers up only when he sees strength in front of him. Strength is required. I am grateful to everyone who helps us increase it.