Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Ukraine Marks Successes, Mourns Losses as War Enters Second Year; Ukraine Is the West’s War Now; Russians Conduct Several Unsuccessful Attacks On Bakhmut Front; Ukrainian Defenders Repel 70 Russian Attacks, destroy Mi-24 Helicopter,LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Manu Brabo for The Wall Street Journal
Ukraine Marks Successes, Mourns Losses as War Enters Second Year:
Ukraine on Friday marked the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, celebrating the nation’s resilience against a much more powerful enemy as it prepared for a spring offensive to reclaim lands still occupied by Moscow.
The mood in the Ukrainian capital was of pride and defiance, with the national opera theater holding a concert called “Ukraine: Free and Unbreakable.” The Polish prime minister and other high-level foreign delegations flocked to the city, on the heels of this week’s visits by President Biden and by the prime ministers of Italy and Spain.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday morning presided over a military ceremony on the square outside Kyiv’s ancient St. Sophia Cathedral, handing out decorations to soldiers and presenting unit flags to commanders of newly formed brigades. Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, the chief of Ukrainian armed forces, and other top officials attended the televised event, indicating how secure the city has become.
While Ukrainian officials warned of possible Russian missile salvos on Friday, the day was relatively calm, with no major developments in the country’s skies or on the front lines in the east.
Over the past year, Kyiv didn’t just repel the initial military onslaught that began with the landing of Russian air-assault troops in the city’s Hostomel airport the morning of Feb. 24, 2022. Ukraine has also thwarted more recent Russian attempts to destroy its power infrastructure with a series of missile and drone strikes that President Vladimir Putin ordered last October.
Rolling blackouts caused by these Russian strikes ceased weeks ago, thanks to a combination of swift repair works and Ukraine’s increasingly efficient air defenses. Kyiv’s cathedrals and monuments were bathed in bright lights on the invasion’s first anniversary, its streets busy with traffic, and its stores and restaurants once again filled with customers.
“We didn’t get scared, we didn’t break, we didn’t surrender,” Mr. Zelensky said in his anniversary address to the Ukrainian people, dressed in black rather than his usual military-green fatigues. “Ukraine has surprised the world…This was a year of fortitude, a year of kindheartedness, a year of courage, a year of pain, a year of hope, a year of endurance, a year of unity, a year of being unbreakable, a cruel year. Its main conclusion is that we have held out and haven’t suffered defeat. Now, we will do everything so that, this year, we achieve a victory.” ---READ MORE HERE
Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press
Ukraine Is the West’s War Now:
The initial reluctance of the U.S. and its allies to help Kyiv fight Russia has turned into a massive program of military assistance, which carries risks of its own
Two days before the Russian invasion of his country, on Feb. 22, 2022, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was welcomed to the White House. As he greeted President Biden and senior administration officials, Mr. Kuleba later recalled, he felt like a patient surrounded by doctors presenting him with a diagnosis of stage-four cancer.
The consensus among the U.S. and its European allies was that there was nothing they could do to prevent the inevitable. Their intelligence services predicted a Russian takeover of Kyiv and a collapse of the Ukrainian state within days. The U.S. by then had already closed down its embassy and evacuated all American personnel.
The Western military supplies that had been shipped to Kyiv in previous weeks, such as Javelin antitank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, were the kind of arms that small bands of Ukrainians would need for an insurgency after the Russian occupation. Ukraine’s requests for the heavy weapons that it needed to wage a conventional war to prevent such an occupation had been turned down.
Ukraine was not completely on its own, of course, and the U.S. was already laying the groundwork for serious economic sanctions on Russia. But Western engagement was carefully calibrated—and designed to avoid any appearance that the Western alliance had tried and failed to avert the downfall of Ukraine by military means.
A year later, the war in Ukraine has become, to a large extent, the West’s own. True, no American or NATO soldiers are fighting and dying on Ukrainian soil. But the U.S., its European allies and Canada have now sent some $120 billion in weapons and other aid to Ukraine, with new, more advanced military supplies on the way. If this monumental effort fails to thwart President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions, the setback would not only undermine American credibility on the world stage but also raise difficult questions about the future of the Western alliance.
“In many ways, we’re all-in, and we’re all-in because the realization has dawned in Europe that showing weakness to President Putin, showing no response to his atrocities, only invites him to go further and further,” said Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, a Dutch politician and member of parliament. “We have also realized that it is not only the safety and security of Ukraine that is at stake but also our own.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Russians conduct several unsuccessful attacks on Bakhmut front – General Staff report+++++

+++++Ukrainian defenders repel 70 Russian attacks, destroy Mi-24 helicopter+++++

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