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Destruction of three Russian planes and Putin's message to Federal Assembly - Thursday brief

Destruction of three Russian planes and Putin's message to Federal Assembly - Thursday brief Collage by RBC-Ukraine

Yesterday, February 29, 2024, Ukrainian soldiers destroyed three Russian aircraft. And Russian dictator Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly, speaking about the war against Ukraine, threatened NATO, and reminded of nuclear weapons.

RBC-Ukraine has compiled the main news for February 28.

Russia's war against Ukraine

Putin's message to Federal Assembly: War with Ukraine, NATO threat, Transnistria ignored

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly on February 29. He spoke about the war against Ukraine, threatened NATO, reminded us about nuclear weapons, and also mentioned declining birth rates and poverty.

Ukrainian military destroys two more Russian Su-34s, making it three since day beginning

On February 29, the Ukrainian military shot down two more Russian Su-34 aircraft. In total, the Russians have already lost three aircraft since the beginning of the day, according to Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi.

"After successful combat work on the enemy aircraft on the night of February 29, two more Russian aircraft were destroyed: Su-34 fighter-bombers on the Avdiivka and Mariupol directions!" he says.

Syrskyi thanked the Ukrainian military for their combat work.

House of Representatives prepares to approve aid to Ukraine, bypassing Speaker Johnson

Republican Brian Fitzpatrick plans to bypass House Speaker Mike Johnson to secure aid for Ukraine, according to Axios.

The material notes that this is a rare break with the leadership of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, which resisted voting on aid to Ukraine due to strong opposition from the right.

"We have to get something done. It's existential, it's time sensitive. Whether that's our product or somebody else's, we've just got to get the money out the door to them," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick told reporters that he is preparing a so-called discharge petition, which could lead to a vote in the House of Representatives if it gathers 218 signatures. Such a petition would require support from a small number of Republicans, assuming it gets the signatures of a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives.

European Parliament calls for transfer of missiles to Ukraine and confiscation of Russian assets

The European Parliament has passed a resolution in support of Ukraine ahead of the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion. European lawmakers are urging for arms to be provided to Ukraine for victory.

The resolution was supported by 451 European deputies, with 46 opposed and 49 abstentions. The European Parliament emphasizes that there should be no restrictions on military aid to Ukraine for its victory.

In particular, European lawmakers are calling on EU countries to provide Ukraine with artillery ammunition, air defense systems, long-range missiles including TAURUS, Storm Shadow/SCALP, various types of artillery, as well as drones and weapons to counter them.

Additionally, the resolution states that all EU and NATO allies should support Ukraine militarily with no less than 0.25% of their GDP per year. EU countries are also urged to start negotiations with defense companies to ensure an increase in the production and supply of ammunition, shells, and missiles to Ukraine.

Europe must take Putin's statements seriously, Tusk says

The aggressive rhetoric and announcements of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin should be taken seriously, according to the Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk.

"Not only the aggressive rhetoric but also the decisions announced by Putin - regarding increasing Russia's self-sufficiency, shifting the economy to military tracks, modernizing the army - all of this should be taken absolutely seriously," said Tusk.

As the Prime Minister of Poland explained, Europe must understand that the "arms race" imposed by Russia on the world obliges the West to wake up and prepare militarily for potential threats.

"The European Union (EU) must make decisions that balance Russia's military potential and make Europe better prepared for worst-case scenarios," added Tusk.

Biden urges G7 nations to develop plan for frozen Russian assets by summer, Bloomberg

President of the United States Joe Biden wants G7 countries to develop a plan for using frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine by June, according to Bloomberg.

According to an anonymous source cited by the news agency, Biden would like the frozen assets to be used to finance Ukraine's budgetary needs and then its recovery.

However, the US president does not believe that using Russian frozen funds replaces the need for assistance to Ukraine.

Bloomberg sources report that Biden privately has told allies that if Ukraine loses in the war, he believes that the international order will be disrupted for at least the next five decades.

Representatives of the G7 countries are discussing options for using $280 billion in frozen assets from the Central Bank of Russia.