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Live Briefing: Russia Invades Ukraine


A destroyed Russian tank covered by snow stands in a forest in the Kharkiv region.

RFE/RL's Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia's ongoing invasion, how Kyiv is regaining territory, Western military aid, worldwide reaction, and the plight of civilians and refugees. For all of RFE/RL's coverage of the war, click here.

Latest Developments At A Glance

  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov says the reluctance of Kyiv's Western allies to send jet fighters to aid in the battle against Russian forces will "cost us more lives," even as he repeated warnings that Moscow is poised to launch a major new offensive in the nearly yearlong war.
  • Ukraine's military says 131,290 Russian military personnel have been killed in Ukraine since the Kremlin invaded in February last year.
  • Germany's prosecutor-general says his office has collected "hundreds" of pieces of evidence showing war crimes by Russian forces in Ukraine, calling for an international effort to bring leaders to justice.
  • Russia and Ukraine on February 4 announced an exchange of prisoners that led to the release of 63 Russians and 116 Ukrainians and the return of the bodies of two foreign volunteers who were involved in humanitarian work in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.
  • EU countries have agreed to set price caps on Russian refined oil products to limit Moscow's funds for its invasion of Ukraine.
  • A new package of U.S. military aid for Ukraine announced on February 3 includes rockets with a range twice the distance of the rockets Kyiv now has.
  • Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) says it has uncovered a large-scale embezzlement scheme to siphon off public funds earmarked for the purchase of food for the military.
  • The United States has imposed Russian-related sanctions on 22 individuals and entities in multiple countries that the U.S. Treasury Department says are part of a global network set up to evade previously announced sanctions targeting Russia's defense industry.

Are Intensifying Russian Offensives An Omen Of Things To Come?

The tempo of fighting in the Donbas has increased markedly, with Russia pushing back Ukrainian forces reportedly at great costs. Is this a prelude to a predicted offensive? Or is it the offensive itself? Read Mike Eckel's report here.

Is The Ukraine War A Classic Case Of Wars Rarely, If Ever, Going As Planned? An Interview With Lawrence Freedman

British historian Lawrence Freedman specializes in international relations, foreign policy, and strategy. He has written academic works on the Cold War, nuclear deterrence, and the origins and course of the war in Ukraine. He spoke to RFE/RL's Georgian Service about the likelihood of total victory for either side, and why he doesn't think Putin will use a nuclear weapon. Read the interview here.

How Can Western Tanks Help Ukraine Drive Out Russian Forces?

Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks pledged by the West will give Ukraine a substantial boost in its fight against invading Russian forces, but numbers are a key factor and time is of the essence as the war grinds on and both sides prepare for possible offensives in the coming months, experts said. Read the full analysis by Todd Prince here.

Is The Battle For Soledar A 'Trap' For Russian Forces?

Despite a few Ukrainian holdouts, Russia appears to have taken control of the eastern town of Soledar -- but at what cost? Military analysts question the strategic value of Soledar or nearby Bakhmut, which has also been the site of some of the most intense fighting in the war in recent weeks. Read the story by Current Time, Reid Standish, and Volodymyr Mykhaylov here.

What's The Military Value Of The Tunnels Under Soledar?

Ukraine has denied Russia's claims that Russian forces have captured the town of Soledar, one of the hottest points in the war. The town sits on a vast network of salt-mine tunnels that cover an estimated 200 kilometers. Watch the video report here.

Do The Tunnels Under Ukraine's Soledar Have Significant Military Value?
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Who Is The Latest General Picked By Putin To Oversee The Invasion Of Ukraine?

Three months ago, General Sergei Surovikin was charged with refocusing Russia's war on Ukraine. Now he's been demoted, and a rival general named the top commander. And with that, President Vladimir Putin has roiled the 11-month invasion, injecting Kremlin politics into the war with no end in sight. Read the story by Mike Eckel here.

How Did A Company Linked To An FBI Fugitive Reap Rewards From Ukraine's 'Great Reconstruction'?

A company co-owned by a powerlifter who is linked to the governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region and the business partner of an FBI fugitive received nearly $41 million in public funds for road repair, a journalistic investigation by RFE/RL's Schemes found. Read the report here.

Who Are The 'Partisans' At War With The Kremlin?

Mystery fires that have broken out across Russia in recent months have been blamed on Ukrainian saboteurs and even Western intelligence operatives. But a new documentary by British filmmaker Jake Hanrahan suggests a "large-scale, active resistance inside Russia" is now being waged by Russia's own citizens. Hanrahan talked to RFE/RL about the spate of attacks on war-related infrastructure inside Russia. Read the story by Amos Chapple here.

The moment Jake Hanrahan meets two anti-Kremlin partisans in a forest in Eastern Europe.
The moment Jake Hanrahan meets two anti-Kremlin partisans in a forest in Eastern Europe.
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