MOSCOW, 7 March. /TASS/. The losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in February increased by 40% compared to January 2023 and exceeded 11 thousand people, informed Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told on the detention in the country of an employee of the Ukrainian special services involved in an attempt to sabotage a Russian A-50 early warning aircraft at the Machulishchi airfield near Minsk.
Newspaper The New York Times with reference to American officials informedthat a certain “pro-Ukrainian group” that acted without the knowledge of the US authorities could have committed sabotage on the gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system. A edition Zeit issued a publication in which saysthat the German investigators had identified the vessel used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it belonged to the citizens of Ukraine.
TASS has collected the main information about the events around Ukraine.
Over the past day, Russian troops continued to strike at the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Krasnolimansk, Kupyansk, Kherson and Yuzhno-Donetsk directions, the total losses of the enemy exceeded 320 people, said the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov.
In addition, three tanks, two infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles, as well as various artillery weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, were destroyed. A Ukrainian Su-24 aircraft was shot down in the area of Druzhkovka (DNR).
Total since the beginning of the special operation destroyed 398 aircraft, 217 helicopters, 3,356 drones, 410 anti-aircraft missile systems, 8,205 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 1,055 multiple rocket launcher combat vehicles, 4,294 field artillery pieces and mortars.
Shoigu about SVO
Losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in February increased by 40% compared to January, exceeding 11 thousand people, Shoigu said during a conference call with the leadership of the RF Armed Forces.
He recalled that as a result of the offensive of Russian troops in the Donetsk and Kupyansk directions, the settlements of Nikolaevka, Dvurechnoye, Krasnaya Gora, Gryanikovka and Paraskovievka were liberated.
The Minister stressed that the capture of Artemivsk (Ukrainian name – Bakhmut), which “is an important center of defense of the Ukrainian troops in the Donbass,” will allow the RF Armed Forces to continue the offensive into the depths of the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Return of prisoners
Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation informed about the return of 90 Russian servicemen from the territory controlled by Kyiv, who were in mortal danger in captivity.
According to the ministry, servicemen will be delivered to Moscow by aircraft of the Military Transport Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces for treatment and rehabilitation in departmental medical institutions. All those released are provided with the necessary medical and psychological assistance.
Lukashenka about sabotage near Minsk
The President of Belarus announced the detention in the country of an employee of the Ukrainian special services involved in an attempt to sabotage the Russian AWACS A-50 aircraft at the Machulishchi airfield near Minsk. According to the Belarusian leader, more than 20 accomplices of the saboteur were also detained, the rest are hiding abroad.
The plane, according to Lukashenka, did not receive significant damage, except for “scratches and one hole in the hull, which does not prevent the military aircraft from performing its duties.” Nevertheless, the A-50 was sent for service to Russia, and a similar aircraft arrived in Belarus.
Such an operation could not have been carried out without the consent of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who deserves to be called a “nit”, the Belarusian leader said.
The official representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, rejected “Alexander Lukashenko’s insinuations about the alleged involvement of the Ukrainian side in the events at the Machulishchi airfield.”
UN Secretary General António Guterres arrived to Poland, from where he went to Ukraine, where he will meet with Zelensky on Wednesday, said Stefan Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary General. According to him, the topic of the meeting will be “the extension of the grain deal in all aspects.”
This is the third visit of Guterres to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian special operation. In Moscow during this time he was once.
According to a diplomatic source at the UN, representatives of the organization are expected to hold talks with a Russian delegation next week in Geneva. It is possible that we will talk about the extension of the grain deal, which expires on March 18.
In the Ukrainian crisis, “a critical moment has come” when one has to choose “between restoring the peace process through a political settlement and escalating the crisis situation by adding fuel to the fire,” declared Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. He noted that the Chinese government did not supply weapons to any of the parties to the crisis in Ukraine and opposes attempts to shift responsibility for this conflict to Beijing. According to him, China does not understand why the United States is demanding that China not supply weapons to Russia, but at the same time they are supplying American weapons to Taiwan.
Qin Gang stressed that unilateral sanctions and increasing Western pressure on Russia will not help improve the situation, and expressed regret that some “invisible hand” is nullifying attempts to restore peace talks.
“This is not an invisible hand, this is a visible hand. This is the hand of the United States of America, this is the hand of Washington. Washington does not want this war to end, Washington wants and will do everything to continue this war,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry reacted to the Chinese minister’s statement. Peskov. He added that “there are no prerequisites for a transition to some kind of peaceful course in this situation,” therefore, the Russian Federation “is trying to fulfill its tasks and achieve its goals through the further implementation of the NWO.”
Investigation of sabotage at Nord Stream
The United States “found no evidence of Russian government involvement” in the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, The New York Times reported, citing sources in the US administration. According to the publication, some “pro-Ukrainian group” could be behind the explosions, which allegedly acted without the knowledge of the Ukrainian authorities.
According to sources familiar with the new US intelligence data, the participants in the sabotage were most likely citizens of Ukraine or Russia, and the Americans and the British did not participate in it. The publication adds that “the explosives were most likely planted by experienced divers who do not appear to have worked for any military or intelligence agency.” According to the newspaper’s sources, US President Joe Biden “and his leading aides did not authorize the mission” to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, “there was no US intervention.”
German experts have established that traces of explosions at Nord Stream lead to Ukraine, the Zeit newspaper reported. According to her, the investigators were able to find the vessel, which, in all likelihood, was used in the operation. This yacht was rented by a company registered in Poland, “which apparently belonged to two Ukrainians.” On the table in the firm’s premises, “investigators found traces of explosives.” “According to the ARD TV channel, the SVR television and radio company and the Zeit newspaper, the Western intelligence service already in the fall told its partners that the Ukrainian group was responsible for the destruction,” the article says. At the same time, the nationality of the saboteurs could not be established, they used fake documents.