Russian forces conducted another series of drone strikes against Ukraine overnight on February 10-11.
The Ukrainian Air Force reported that Russian forces launched 45 Shahed-136/131 drones from occupied Balaklava and Cape Chauda, Crimea, and that Ukrainian forces shot down 40 of the drones over Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kherson oblasts. Ukrainian military and government officials reported that Ukrainian forces shot down all the drones targeting Kyiv City. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces shot down 18 Shahed drones over Mykolaiv Oblast, four Shaheds over Odesa Oblast, and one Shahed drone each over Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, and Vinnytsia oblasts. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command added that the strike series lasted for five and a half hours and chiefly targeted coastal infrastructure and agricultural facilities. Ukrainian Southern Operational Command Spokesperson Colonel Nataliya Humenyuk stated that Russian forces regularly launch drones along the Danube River (presumably in international airspace off the mouth of the Danube) - likely hoping to bypass Ukrainian air defenses by flying along Ukraine’s southwestern border -to ensure that Russian drones hit their intended targets.
Russian forces appear to have constructed a 30-kilometer-long barrier dubbed the “tsar train” in occupied Donetsk Oblast, possibly to serve as a defensive line against future Ukrainian assaults. Satellite imagery dated May 10, 2023, and February 6 and 10, 2024 shows that Russian forces constructed a long line of train cars stretching from occupied Olenivka (south of Donetsk City) to Volnovakha (southeast of Vuhledar and north of Mariupol) over the past nine months. A Ukrainian source reported on February 11 that Russian forces have assembled more than 2,100 freight cars into a 30-kilometer-long train. The source reported that Russian forces began assembling the train in July 2023 and suggested that Russian forces intend to use the train as a defensive line against future Ukrainian assaults. The railway line between Olenivka and Volnovakha is roughly six kilometers from ISW’s current assessed frontline southeast of Novomykhailivka at its closest point and is in an area of the front that was relatively inactive when Russian forces reportedly began construction. Russian forces have recently made marginal territorial gains in this area. The Russians could have assembled the train for other purposes as well.
- Seven people were killed, including three small children, after a Russian drone attack on the northeastern city of Kharkiv on Saturday hit a petrol station burning half the street to the ground.
- Russia launched drone attacks on Kyiv and southern Ukraine, injuring at least one civilian and damaging a gas pipeline and residential buildings in the river and seaport of Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s military said on Sunday. The Air Force said air defence systems destroyed 40 out of the 45 Russian-launched Shahed drones.
- Ukrainian intelligence said it had evidence Russian forces were using Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink on the battlefield in occupied areas in the east of the country. Musk said the system was not being sold to Russia.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced five senior military appointments after naming Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky as the new Armed Forces chief earlier in the week. Colonel Vadym Sukharevskyi would take charge of uncrewed systems and the development of the use of drones by soldiers, while Colonel Andriy Lebedenko would focus on technological innovation of army and combat systems as deputy chiefs of staff to Syrsky, Zelenskyy said. Three brigadier generals were named deputies of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Volodymyr Horbatyuk, who would run operations and management, Oleksiy Shevchenko, in charge of logistics, and Mykhailo Drapatyi on training.
A narrowly divided United States Senate moved closer to passing a $61bn aid package for Ukraine, despite mounting opposition from Republican hardliners and former US President Donald Trump who is running for election in November.
- Trump told a campaign rally that if elected president, he would not protect NATO members who had not met their financial obligations and would “encourage” Russia to attack them. The White House said the comments were “appalling and unhinged”. European Council President Charles Michel said the comments were “reckless”, while NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned against talk that “undermines security”.
- Russian state news agency TASS said the registration of candidates for the March presidential election had closed, with the final list including President Vladimir Putin and three politicians who all support Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Antiwar candidate Boris Nadezhdin was not on the list.
- Human rights group Memorial said 71-year-old Ukrainian Viktor Demchenko had died in a Russian prison while on trial for espionage. Demchenko had been accused of spying, participation in a terrorist group and the illegal possession of weapons. TASS later reported that Demchenko died on December 31 as the result of a stroke several days earlier.
- In an interview with German media, NATO’s Stoltenberg called on Europe to increase its arms production to support Ukraine and prevent “potentially decades of confrontation” with Moscow.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavlyuk as Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander, replacing current Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi.
- Russian forces appear to have constructed a 30-kilometer-long barrier dubbed the “tsar train” in occupied Donetsk Oblast, possibly to serve as a defensive line against future Ukrainian assaults.
- Ukrainian military observers indicated that the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) is not as productive as Russian authorities portray it to be, but that the Russian DIB is still capable of sustaining Russia’s war effort.
- Russia’s current limited DIB production capacity and insufficient serial tank production lines are not guarantees that Russia will struggle to produce enough materiel to sustain its war effort at its current pace or in the long term.
- Russian forces made confirmed advances near Avdiivka and in western Zaporizhia Oblast amid continued positional engagements along the entire frontline.
- CNN reported on February 11 that Russia has recruited as many as 15,000 Nepalis to fight in Ukraine, many of whom complained about poor conditions and lack of adequate training before their deployment to the most active frontlines in Ukraine.
- Russian authorities continue efforts to solidify social control over youth and students in occupied Ukraine and to culturally indoctrinate them into Russian identity and ideology.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort #1 – Luhansk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the remainder of Luhansk Oblast and push westward into eastern Kharkiv Oblast and northern Donetsk Oblast)
Positional fighting continued on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on February 11, but there were no confirmed changes to the frontline. ...khmalne, Ivanivka, and Tabaivka; west of Kreminna near Torske and Yampolivka; and south of Kreminna near Dibrova and the Serebryanske forest area. The Russian “Udaya” Drone Group is reportedly operating in the Kupyansk direction.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort #2 – Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces reportedly advanced near Bakhmut amid continued positional engagements in the area on February 11. ... ISW currently assesses that Russian forces are about 2.3 kilometers from the eastern outskirts of Chasiv Yar. Positional engagements continued near Bohdanivka; west of Bakhmut near Ivanivske; southwest of Bakhmut near Klishchiivka and Andriivka; and south of Bakhmut near Mayorske, Pivdenne, and Niu York. Elements of the Russian 331st Airborne (VDV) Regiment (98th VDV Division) reportedly continue to operate in the direction of Chasiv Yar, and elements of the Russian 83rd Separate Guards VDV Brigade continue to operate near Klishchiivka and Andriivka.
Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Avdiivka amid continued positional battles in the area on February 11. Geolocated footage published on February 11 indicates that Russian forces recently advanced along Zaliznychnyi Lane in northern Avdiivka and east of Nevelske (southwest of Avdiivka). ... Positional engagements continued northwest of Avdiivka near Novokalynove and Novobakhmutivka; in Avdiivka itself; west of Avdiivka near Tonenke and Sieverne; and southwest of Avdiivka near Perovmaiske and Nevelske. Russian sources claimed that Russian forces continue attempts to interdict Ukrainian forces’ alleged main ground line of communication (GLOC) into Avdiivka. Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Commander Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi stated that Russian forces are increasingly using groups of armored vehicles during infantry assaults in the Tavriisk direction (from Avdiivka through western Zaporizhia Oblast).