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Navalny's death and security agreements with Germany and France - Friday brief

Navalny's death and security agreements with Germany and France - Friday brief RBC-Ukraine collage

Yesterday, February 16, Alexei Navalny died in a penal colony in Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine signed security guarantee agreements with Germany and France.

RBC-Ukraine gathered the main news for February 16.

Russia's war against Ukraine

Alexei Navalny dies in penal colony in Russia

Yesterday, on February 16, Alexei Navalny died in a correctional facility, according to the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. The cause of death is currently under investigation.

It is noted that during a walk, Navalny allegedly began to feel unwell, after which he lost consciousness almost immediately.

"Medical personnel of the facility arrived immediately, and an ambulance crew was called. All necessary resuscitation measures were taken, which did not yield positive results. The emergency medical service doctors confirmed the death of the convict," the report states on the website.

The source from the Russian propaganda channel Russia Today claims that Alexei Navalny died of a blood clot.

The Russian politician's spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said that Navalny's team has no evidence of his death. Navalny's lawyer flew to Kharp, where the oppositionist was serving his sentence.

More about Navalny's death and how the world is reacting to it - in the RBC-Ukraine article.

Zelenskyy's visit to Germany and France and signing of security guarantee agreements

On Friday, February 16, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Germany. He met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

During his visit, the head of the Ukrainian state signed an agreement with Germany on security guarantees for our country.

Scholz also announced a new military aid package to Ukraine worth 1.1 billion euros. It will include howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, and missiles for air defense systems.

After Zelenskyy visited Germany, he traveled to France. There, the president signed a similar agreement on security guarantees with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

It also became known that Ukraine would receive a new military aid package from France, including Caesar artillery systems.

Ukrainian intelligence chief makes new statement about Russia's war against Ukraine

According to Kyrylo Budanov, the Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, the situation on the battlefields of the Russian-Ukrainian war is currently difficult, but not critical.

"The situation at the front is bad, but not critical. Indeed, there is a shortage of shells, and there are objective reasons for this. We have two years of high-intensity war and ten years of conflict in total. Therefore, the problem we are experiencing is logical. The volumes provided by our partners are insufficient to cover our needs, as is our industry," Budanov says.

According to the head of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military is currently lacking:

  • artillery ammunition in general;
  • artillery systems of 155 mm caliber, as well as shells for these systems;
  • shells for long-range counter-battery combat;
  • systems for long-range missile strikes.

NATO considers plan to deploy alliance forces across Europe

The NATO Joint Support and Enabling Command, the alliance's command center in the southern German city of Ulm, is devising plans for how NATO military forces will deploy across Europe and be sustained and reinforced in the event of a war with Russia, citing the Financial Times.

In this process, lessons learned from the ongoing Steadfast Defender exercises, which simulate a large-scale conflict with an adversary in NATO's east, the largest military games in the alliance's history since the Cold War, will be utilized.

Admiral Rob Bauer, who heads NATO's committee, saidnthat the exercises were aimed at preparing for conflict with Russia.

Ukraine receives $49.4 million in non-refundable aid from Japan

Ukraine's national budget has received a $49.4 million grant from the Japanese government as part of the World Bank's project Housing Repair for People's Empowerment (HOPE), according to the Ministry of Finance.

According to the press service, the grant funds are being allocated to reimburse the expenses of the state budget used for compensatory payments to homeowners for repairs in multi-apartment and private buildings that have suffered moderate damage and do not require major renovations.

"The funds are aimed at overcoming the consequences of Russia's armed aggression and at the reconstruction of Ukraine's housing infrastructure," said Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko.

Additionally, Ukraine is expecting financing from the governments of Japan and Norway through the World Bank's project Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance (PEACE) in Ukraine in the near future. The funding partially offsets Ukraine's budget expenditures for teacher salaries, first responder services, and pension payments.

100 Russians per 6 Ukrainian soldiers in some areas: Elite brigade reports on Avdiivka situation

Russian occupiers are actively attempting to storm Avdiivka. At some positions, about a hundred Russian assault troops are facing six Ukrainian defenders, according to the deputy commander of the Third Separate Assault Brigade, Maksym Zhorin.

Military personnel from the Third Separate Assault Brigade noted that if the occupiers do not consider losses on their side, then the Ukrainian side will not consider losses with Russian casualties either.

"In reality, it's difficult to accurately count how many Russians are dying here. Just in one attack on one position yesterday, we eliminated approximately 80 Russian soldiers," the military reports.

Overall, Ukrainian forces have already managed to destroy over 4,000 Russian occupiers.

The third assault brigade notes that Russian military personnel likely have not experienced such losses as in the battles for Avdiivka.

"And so that you to understand the distribution of forces: there are some positions where only six Ukrainian soldiers are defending, while about 100 occupiers are attacking," reports the third assault brigade.