US Patriot air defence systems, bound for Ukraine, at the airport in Warsaw, Poland, February 7, 2023 (Kacper Pempel/Reuters)

Thursday’s Coverage: Kremlin Lies About 1st Discussion With France Since October 2022

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Two civilians have been killed and six injured by a Russian airstrike on Zaporizhzhia city in southern Ukraine.

A nine-year-old boy and his mother are among the wounded. A cafe is among the damaged buildings.

In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, a Russian missile destroyed the office of the international medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, as five civilians were wounded.


Japan has banned exports of 164 goods that could strengthen Russia’s industrial base.

The blacklisted items include automobile engine oil and optical equipment.

Tokyo is also banning imports of Russian non-industrial diamonds, which are used in jewellery.


A “Ukrainian intelligence source” says drone attacks on Russia’s Rostov region have destroyed six Russian warplanes and damaged eight others at a military airfield near the town of Morozovsk.

The official said 20 Russian military personnel were killed or wounded.

The airbase is used by Russian tactical warplanes firing guided bombs at Ukraine’s towns and cities as well as the frontline.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that air defenses downed 44 drones in the area, more than 100 km (62 miles) from the border.


Journalist Kevin Rothrock notes the latest example of a lengthy prison sentence for dissent in Russia.

In years past, even recently, such sentences used to be national news in Russia, sparking campaigns and public outcry….Now there are new verdicts every week. It’s become hard to keep track.


The World Health Organization has documented 1,682 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine during Russia’s 25-month invasion.

The WHO established 128 deaths and 288 injuries among medical personnel and patients. Ambulance workers and other health transport staff are especially vulnerable: they are three times as likely to be injured or killed compared to other healthcare workers.

Both in January and March, there was almost one attack each day on medical personnel.

“WHO urgently reiterates its calls for the protection of health-care workers and patients, as well as the uninterrupted delivery of essential health services,” said its representative for Ukraine, Dr. Jarno Habicht.


Ukraine air defenses downed all 13 Iran-type attack drones fired by Russia overnight.

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

The Russians also launched two S-300/S-400 guided missiles and three Iskander-M ballistic missiles.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: As Russia continues its aerial assault on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and kills its civilians, discussions at the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday revolved around air defense and weapons for Kyiv.

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, a guest at the gathering for NATO’s 75th anniversary, began the day with a meeting with German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. She assured:

We heard loud and clear what the Foreign Minister said and I also would like to underline, we see what’s happening in Ukraine, realising that you need this air defense now.

We will call in Europe again that everybody has to check where their air defense is [and] what they can provide to Ukraine.

Kuleba then briefed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on “Russia’s increased air terror against Ukrainian cities and communities, including with the use of ballistic missiles, and urged our American partners to find ways to provide additional Patriot air defense systems as soon as possible”.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis warned, “There is little mystery about what can happen if we keep waiting for a miracle. Territories can be lost, countries can be occupied. There is no positive spin to this story, no happy ending, unless we choose to rewrite this script.”

And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said bluntly, “We need to do more.” Otherwise, there is the risk that Russia captures more territory.

Zelenskiy: “Totally Unacceptable” About “Still Thinking How to Counter Terror”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy used Russia’s killing of four civilians — three of them rescuers responding to an initial drone attack — to highlight the need for bolstered air defenses.

Russian terrorists will be held accountable for their actions in Kharkiv and for all acts of aggression against our people. We are working with our partners to strengthen the protection of our cities and villages and to protect our citizens. Strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities directly translates into saving lives.

In his nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskiy emphasized, “It is totally unacceptable that so many countries in the world are still thinking about how to counter terror, even though there are only a few political decisions needed – a few air defense systems that could fundamentally change the situation. We will continue appropriate work with our partners.”

“We Managed to Stabilize Our Position”

The President also spoke about the frontline in eastern Ukraine, where a six-month Russian offensive has been trying to break Ukrainian defenses.

In mid-February, the Russians seized the town of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, only the second town or city captured by Russia since July 2022. Waves of assaults have gained several more villages, but — despite a blockade of US aid by Trumpists and hard-right Republicans — Ukrainian lines have held.

Zelenskiy said, “We managed to stabilize our positions….Given the shortage of shells and a significant slowdown in supplies, these results are really good.”