As the war enters its 723rd day, these are the main developments.

Here is the situation on Thursday, February 15, 2024.


  • Ukraine said it critically damaged the Caesar Kunikov, a Russian landing warship, off occupied Crimea, in a drone attack, the latest blow to the Russian navy’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine said the ship, one of Russia’s newest vessels, had a crew of 87 and had taken part in wars in Georgia and Syria as well as Ukraine. There was no official comment from Russia on the attack.
  • Newly-appointed Ukrainian armed forces chief Oleksandr Syrskyii visited troops fighting around the key flashpoint of Avdiivka on the eastern front line, and described the situation as “extremely complex and stressful”. Syrskyii, who was accompanied by Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, said Russian forces had “a numerical advantage in personnel”.
  • At least three people, including a child, were killed and a dozen injured in a wave of Russian missile attacks on the town of Selydove in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. Officials said a hospital and several apartments were damaged.
  • At least two people were killed and four injured after a Russian S-300 missile hit an apartment block in a village in the northeastern Kharkiv region, police said.
  • One woman was injured after a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s Belgorod and Voronezh regions and over the Black Sea. Russia’s Ministry of Defence said air defence systems destroyed nine drones, six of them over the Black Sea.

Politics and diplomacy

  • US President Joe Biden and top officials urged Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson for a vote on a bill that would provide $61bn in crucial assistance to Ukraine but is opposed by Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate in November’s election in the United States. The Senate backed the bill, which also includes assistance for Israel and Taiwan, earlier this week.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also urged US lawmakers to pass the bill. “This is not charity. This is an investment in our own security,” Stoltenberg said.
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyii, second from left, and Ukraine’s Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, left, on a visit to front-line positions in eastern Ukraine [Armed Forces of Ukraine/Handout via AFP]
  • British Foreign Secretary David Cameron also urged members of the US Congress to “do the right thing” and approve a Ukraine aid package.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing authorities to confiscate the assets of people convicted of spreading “deliberately false information” about the military.
  • A Russian military court sentenced Zhumagul Kurbanova, a woman in her 60s, to 10 years in a penal colony after finding her guilty of setting fire to a military recruitment centre in St Petersburg in August 2023.
  • Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania issued diplomatic protests to Moscow after Russian police put leading Baltic politicians, including Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, on a wanted list over the destruction of Soviet-era monuments. The three Baltic states were once part of the Soviet Union but are now members of the European Union and NATO.


  • Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren told the Reuters news agency the Netherlands was joining a military coalition with allies including the United Kingdom to supply Ukraine with advanced drone technology and bolster its offensive capabilities.
  • Canadian Defence Minister Bill Blair said Canada would donate $44m to Ukraine to help in its war with Russia.

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