Day 708 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Intelligence Chief Promised More Attacks On Russian Infrastructure – – Sofia News Agency

Day 708 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Ukraine‘s intelligence chief has promised more attacks on Russian infrastructure
  • Ukraine reported 4 wounded in a Russian attack in the Kharkiv region
  • The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, refused to replace Zaluzhnyi
  • The EU has agreed on aid for Ukraine
  • Ukrinform reported explosions in Crimea
  • Putin called on Russian banks to establish themselves in the occupied Ukrainian territories
  • Ukraine has banned ministers and mayors from cursing in public

Ukraine‘s intelligence chief has promised more attacks on Russian infrastructure

The head of Ukraine‘s military intelligence (GUR) said today that Kyiv’s forces plan to step up their attacks on Russian infrastructure following a series of drone attacks on Russia‘s energy facilities this year, AFP reported.

The number of attacks against Russian infrastructure is likely to increase,” Kyrylo Budanov said in a social media post.

Hypothetically, there is a plan according to which all this happens. I think this plan could include all major critical and military infrastructure sites in Russia,” he pointed out.

For months, Ukraine has not publicly commented on the drone strikes and other attacks on Russian territory that Kiev was believed to be behind.

But in recent months, the military has begun to publicly claim responsibility for a series of drone attacks hundreds of kilometers beyond the front.

Budanov’s comments came after a senior US diplomat warned that President Vladimir Putin could expect “surprises on the battlefield“.

In Kyiv on Wednesday, Victoria Nuland, an undersecretary at the State Department, said she was confident that, “as long as Ukraine strengthens its defenses, Mr. Putin will get some nice surprises on the battlefield and that Ukraine will have a major success.”

Budanov also called on the US to supply A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft.

Ukraine reported 4 wounded in a Russian attack in the Kharkiv region

Ukraine said today that four people were injured in a Russian missile attack on a medical facility in the Kharkiv region, which has recently come under constant attacks, AFP reported.

Kyiv also announced that Russian forces launched four drones overnight, and two of them were shot down over Kharkiv.

The Ministry of the Interior specified that the rocket attack late last night was against a village near Kupiansk, which Russian forces are trying to capture.

The facade of the two-story building of a medical facility, the windows and the roof are damaged,” the message said.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported for its part today about 11 downed Ukrainian drones in border regions.

The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, refused to replace Zaluzhnyi

The commander of the ground forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi received an offer to replace his superior Valerii Zaluzhnyi as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, but he did not accept it, a source told Reuters.

Ukrainian media reported that President Volodymyr Zelensky this week asked General Zaluzhnyi to vacate his post as commander-in-chief of Ukraine‘s armed forces, but he refused. Zaluzhnyi’s removal would deal a huge blow to Ukraine‘s armed forces, which are fending off multiple Russian attacks in the east of the country, Reuters said.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was unable to specify how or when exactly the offer was made to General Syrskyi.

The Ukrainian General Staff and the president’s office have not yet responded to requests for comment on this information, Reuters notes.

According to Ukrainian media, Syrskyi and the head of military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov are the two most likely successors to Zaluzhnyi.

It is not yet clear how Kyiv’s Western allies would react to a possible replacement of General Zaluzhnyi, who is extremely popular in Ukraine.

The EU has agreed on aid for Ukraine

We have a deal”, announced the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on the occasion of the negotiations to change the EU budget.

All 27 heads of state and government approved the provision of an additional 50 billion euros to Ukraine from the European budget, he added. According to him, the decision leads to predictability in European aid to Kyiv.

Until now, Hungary has refrained from supporting the agreement on changes to the EU budget because of Ukraine. Budapest first resisted, then proposed that budget transfers to Ukraine be approved every year. With today’s decision, it is planned that the specified amount will be paid in the next three years.

Ukrinform reported explosions in Crimea

Residents of Crimea reported a series of explosions on the Russian-annexed Ukrainian peninsula this morning, Ukrinform reported, citing Telegram channels. This information has not been independently verified. So far, there is no comment from Russia. Ukrinform quoted local residents as hearing explosions in Saky. There is a Russian military airport near the city. Yesterday, the Ukrainian armed forces attacked another military airport in Crimea – in Belbek.

Putin called on Russian banks to establish themselves in the occupied Ukrainian territories

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on banks in the country to start working in the annexed Ukrainian territories, DPA reported.

What they (the banks) were afraid of in the past, namely sanctions, happened a long time ago,Putin said during a meeting dedicated to the socio-economic development of the annexed territories.

Putin called on creditors to start more active operations in these regions, TASS adds.

Russia annexed Ukraine‘s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. After a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow also declared the Ukrainian administrative regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson as Russian territory, in violation of international law. Russian troops control part of these territories.

Russian banks have been cautious about doing business in Crimea because of the sanctions. They are also poorly represented in the other annexed regions.

Putin also spoke about the rapid integration of the territories into the Russian state structures. He said 2 million people were already receiving regular pensions and other payments. By 2025, their number should reach 5 million people.

In reality, however, the occupation authorities, according to some, paid pensions to Ukrainians living there if they accepted Russian passports.

Putin also said that by 2030, the annexed territories, which he says historically belong to Russia, should reach the average standard of living in the country.

Ukraine has banned ministers and mayors from cursing in public

Ukrainian officials have been ordered to stop using profanity in their speeches as stress from the nearly two-year-old Russian invasion mounts, Reuters reported.

The national anti-corruption agency said in Telegram that it sometimes receives complaints about officials swearing on social media or during public appearances. The National Anti-Corruption Agency and the Civil Service Agency of Ukraine issued a joint statement urging officials to abide by the officially prescribed codes of conduct.

Officials – from ministers to mayors, must refrain (including during non-working hours) from disseminating information, in particular from publishing comments on websites and social networks that could harm the reputation of state bodies,” the two agencies said in a joint statement.

Profane language should be limited to a private setting and only to certain “critical” situations, “such as a series of air raid sirens (or) attempts by the aggressor state to instill false claims.”

Novinite remains the sole Bulgarian media outlet consistently delivering daily updates and key insights concerning the conflict. Our reporting commenced on the first day, 24th February 2022, and will persist until the conflict’s resolution. Despite challenges, our independent journalism remains committed to offering precise, current news to our audience. We appreciate your ongoing support in staying informed! #stayinformed #WarInUkraine

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