Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (L), US Capitol, Washington D.C., December 2022 (Getty)

Friday’s Coverage: Russia Attacks With 26 Missiles and 58 Drones

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The Czech Government has sanctioned the site Voice of Europe over its role in a Russian political influence operation.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Thursday that Russia had approached members of the European Parliament and “paid [them] to promote Russian propaganda”.European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová added about the “very troubling” revelations, “This confirms what we have suspected: the Kremlin is using dodgy outlets pretending to be media [and] using money to buy covert influence.”

The Czech Government also sanctioned Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk — godfather of Vladimir Putin’s daughter and Putin’s choice to lead a puppet regime after the Russian capture of Kyiv — an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the operative Artem Pavlovich Marchevskyi.

The Voice of Europe channeled several hundred thousand euros to six EU countries partly in cash and partly in cryptocurrency, according to a joint investigation by Germany’s Der Spiegel and Czech newspaper Denik N.

Petr Bystron, a member of Germany’s Bundestag from the hard-right AfD and a candidate for the European Parliament, received payments, the investigation found. Other AfD members, including Maximilian Krah, pushed Kremlin propaganda on the Voice of Europe site.

The Dutch far-right politician Thierry Baudet has often been featured by Voice of Europe. Baudet threatened violence in Parliament when questioned over sources of funding for his FvD party, and declined to show up for a meeting on Thursday to discuss the outbursts.

“We can’t afford to be one step behind Putin and his propaganda army on a chess board … We have to constantly bear in mind he will use the disinformation and foreign interference as a weapon to divide Europe,” said the European Commission’s Jourová.


Ukrianian NGOs have documented human rights abuses by occupying Russian troops against LGBTQ civilians in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Projector and the charity Insha, supported by Outright International, interviewed 51 members of the LGBTQ community members. Eighteen detailed reports highlight eight accounts of abuse.

Among the committed crimes described in the written statements there were tortures, imprisonments, sexual violence, and severe deprivation of physical freedom, constituting violations of the basic norms of international law.

Oleksii, 22, was stopped by Russian soldiers at a checkpoint. When they found LGBTQ-related content on his phone, they detained him and then assaulted him for his patriotic Ukrainian tattoos. He was forced to wear a red dress during interrogations by the Russian State security service FSB.

Other accounts detail sexual abuse, including rape, with one detainee reportedly committing suicide.


Ukraine’s air defenses downed 9 of 12 Iran-type attack drones launched by Russia overnight.

The UAVs were intercepted over the Kherson, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Poltava regions.

The Russians also fired four S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missiles on the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Oleksiy Danilov, the outgoing Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, as Kyiv’s ambassador to Moldova.

The appointment comes amid Russia’s attempts to undermine the Government of Ukraine’s neighbor. The Russians have occupied Moldova’s Transnistria region since 1992.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that further delays in US military aid — blocked by Trumpists and hard-right Republicans in Congress — will force Ukrainian forces to retreat “step by step” in their resistance of a 25-month Russian invasion.

Zelenskiy spoke in an interview with The Washington Post about the blockade since October of the $60.1 billion in budget authorization for assistance:

If there is no US support, it means that we have no air defense, no Patriot missiles, no jammers for electronic warfare, no 155-millimeter artillery rounds.

It means we will go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps. We are trying to find some way not to retreat.

In mid-February, after more than four months of assaults and thousands of casualties, Russian forces finally overran the town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

The capture was only Russia’s second of city or town since July 2022, following the surrender of Bakhmut in May 2023. However, the Russians have made further small advances in Donetsk, seizing some villages. The Institute for the Study of War estimates that Moscow’s troops have occupied about 100 square km (38.6 sq miles) since January.

Ukraine commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said, in an interview published on Friday, that Russia has a 6:1 advantage in artillery and other munitions on the frontline.

“The defencs forces are now performing tasks along the entire vast front line, with little or no weapons and ammunition,” he said about the “tense” situation in some areas.

Zelenskiy: “We Can’t Waste Time Anymore”

Zelenskiy told the Post, “We lost half a year while Congress bickered. We can’t waste time anymore. Ukraine can’t be a political issue between the parties.”

He said that Ukraine can still conduct limited offensive operations, but “to push [the Russians] out, we need more weapons”.

The President also highlighted the significance if the US provided ATACM-300 long-range missiles, bolstering Ukraine’s capability to strike beyond frontlines and to knock down attacking warplanes.

When Russia has missiles and we don’t, they attack by missiles: Everything — gas, energy, schools, factories, civilian buildings. ATACM-300s, that is the answer….

When Russia knows we can destroy these jets, they will not attack from Crimea. It’s like with the sea fleet. We pushed them from our territorial waters. Now we will push them from the airports in [Russian-occupied] Crimea.

On Thursday, Zelenskiy spoke with US House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has prevented a vote for months on the aid bill. The President briefed Johnson about the situation on the battlefield and “the dramatic increase in Russia’s air terror”.

Meanwhile, commander-in-chief Syrskyi conferred with the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Charles Brown.

Zelenskiy added in an interview with CBS News, that Putin will push Russia’s war “very quickly” onto the territory of NATO countries unless he is stopped in Ukraine.