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UKRAINE WAR BULLETIN - 24 February, 2022 - 7 p.m. EST
[Pres Zelenskyy says he is Putin's no 1 target]
Embassy of Ukraine in the USA
Statement by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a statement updating on the situation in Ukraine.
The President signed a Decree on full military mobilization. Mobilization will last for 90 days on entire territory of Ukraine starting from the date the Decree enters into force.
The President re-assured that he stays in Kyiv’s governmental quarters and that his family remains in Ukraine.
The President informed that Russian saboteur groups have entered Kyiv and that they plan to undermine the government in Kyiv. “I am their target number one. My family is target number two. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying its Head of State,” – said Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy informed that control over Serpent Island (in the Black Sea) was lost.
The President honored the island border guards, who refused to surrender to the enemy and lost their lives in battle with the Russian Naval Forces.
President Zelensky also informed that as a result of Russia’s aggression 137 Ukrainian citizens were killed and 316 wounded on February 24, 2022.
General Staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhny at 1 p.m. addressed the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces:
"We keep fighting! The entire security and defense sector is making a worthy rebuff. It will be hard but we will persevere. The Russians did not succeed in the blitzkrieg. They will wash with their own blood! This is our country. And the country is worth paying a high price for", Mykhailo Podoliak summed up.
Address by Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / CinC AF of Ukraine Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhny 17:30:
"The 19th hour of our resistance to the large-scale Russian invasion continues. As of 00:00 on February 25, a group of defense forces is conducting an organized defense operation in the south.
Defensive battles are being fought in the area east of Kherson. Mechanized units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recaptured the road bridge and established themselves on the left bank of the Dnieper.
Our mechanized units in the Rykove area defeated the overwhelming forces of the enemy. The enemy is destroyed. Defensive battles are being fought in the Seversky direction in the Peremoha and Hlukhiv districts. The enemy column is stopped. Units of the first tank brigade on the Belous River in the direction of Chernihiv stopped the overwhelming forces of the occupiers. In Volhynia, mechanized units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine took up positions on certain borders in readiness to repel the enemy's offensive.
In the Slobozhanshchyna region, an operational group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine conducts defense in the areas of the settlements of Dovzhanka, Kharkiv, Okhtyrka, and Sumy. Defensive battles are being fought in the districts of Vovchansk, Bilyi Kolodyazy, and Prykolotny. Security units in Okhtyrka stopped another enemy offensive.
The Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues to fight in the southwestern part of the Black Sea. The bases and ports of Odessa, Yuzhny, Ochakov, and the Black Sea are being defended. Certain forces and means were transferred to the defense of the city of Kyiv. The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine repulses enemy air strikes, conducts constant reconnaissance using UAVs, strikes on columns of occupation troops in the areas of Nova Zburivka, Kupyansk, Nova Kakhovka and enemy landings near Gostomel airfield.
As a result of hostilities in some areas, groups of the combined forces in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts restored the position on the front line. In the area of responsibility of individual units, the enemy is trying to wedge into the battle formations of our troops to the depth of platoon bases.
he estimated losses of the enemy were: tanks - more than 30 units, armored combat vehicles - up to 130 units, aircraft - 5, helicopters - 6.
Believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our Victory!
Together to victory!
Operational information as of 2 p.m.
As of 2 PM on February 24, the situation in the Donetsk operational district is tense, but controlled by the Joint Forces.
The shelling by the Russian occupation forces continues.
All military units are fiercely resisting the Russian invasion, and Ukrainian soldiers are showing unprecedented courage and heroism. Allied forces were able to thwart the Kremlin's plan of rapid offensive.
Despite numerous enemy attacks, aircraft, artillery and missile strikes, as well as a large number of armored vehicles, the enemy was unable to advance deep into Ukraine in the eastern direction.
Ukrainian defenders managed to repel attacks, defend and hold all key settlements and infrastructure.
In the Luhansk direction during the day the fiercest battles were fought for Schastya, Stanytsia Luhanska, Lobachevе, Bilovodsk, Starobilsk. In the battles for Schastya, two enemy tanks were destroyed and one tank and one anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon ZU-23-2 were captured.
In the area of occupied Sentianivka, our artillery units stopped an enemy mixed column of armored vehicles, MLRSs’ “Grad”, military vehicles.
In the Donetsk direction, the hottest was in the areas of Novotroitske, Novohnativka, Pavlopil and Pishchevyk.
As of now, no new attempts to break through the enemy have been recorded, there is a decrease in fire activity in some areas.
Ukrainian soldiers firmly hold their positions and inflict losses on the aggressor.
Operational information as of 3 p.m.
As of 3 p.m. on February 24, the enemy continues to conduct full-scale aggression against Ukraine. At present, out of 90 BTGs, more than 60 battalion tactical groups have been deployed on the territory of Ukraine. The enemy focuses its main efforts on the Slobozhansky, Siversky, and Tavriya directions.
With the permission of another "fraternal people" from the Republic of Belarus, demonstration actions are being carried out along the northern part of the state border of Ukraine by Su-25SM aircraft from airbase LUNINETS.
The insidious plan of the Russian invaders is already clear. The main purpose of the operation is to block Kyiv, create a land corridor to the Crimean peninsula and a self-proclaimed Transnistrian region.
To do this, an air tactical landing was landed: up to 200 Russian soldiers at the airbase HOSTOMEL.
Another goal of the aggressor is to inflict damage on critical civilian infrastructure, which is regularly hit by air and missile strikes.
Fighting is taking place on the approaches to Kherson. The enemy is trying to bypass the city from the east and continue the offensive in the direction of MYKOLAIV. Two missile strikes were inflicted on BUIALYK.
The Defense Forces continue to conduct a defense operation to repel armed aggression.
Mechanized and tank units are defending in the north along the Peremoha-Hlukhiv border. The column of Russian occupiers is stopped. 1st separate tank brigade continues the battle on the outskirts of Chernihiv.
In the suburban direction, the defense is conducted along the border.
The enemy has an extremely low morale. An eloquent example is the defense of Sumy and Okhtyrka. In Okhtyrka, a small supply unit, armed only with small arms, cleared the hometown of the Russian assault battalion.
Operational information as of 3:44 p.m.
Russian troops break through to Mykolaiv. There are battles in the vicinity of Chernihiv.
Adviser to the head of the President's Office Mykhailo Podoliak at a briefing at the Office of the President of Ukraine
Russian troops attacking Ukraine have taken an operational pause and are regrouping, but positional fighting continues almost across the country near the border with the Russian Federation and Belarus.
"Henichesk, Skadovsk, Nova Kakhovka are under attack. There are a lot of photo and video recordings of the destruction caused by the Russian armed forces, even to civilian infrastructure", Mykhailo Podoliak said.
He noted that fierce fighting also continues in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine were ready for such a development. Ukrainian defenders are very active in resisting and even pushing the enemy some distance from the border.
Ukraine still controls the supply of food and infrastructure that ensures people's daily lives. "It simply came to our notice then. There are some situational interruptions with cellular communication during the day, mobile communication, the Internet. But all this is under control, everything is being repaired quickly", he said.
Mykhailo Podoliak noted that in the south and east of Ukraine, the Russian armed forces are not only attacking military infrastructure, but have also begun to strike quickly at civilian targets.
In addition, according to him, not only the aggressor's ground forces entered the territory of Belarus, but also four ballistic missiles struck Ukraine. These are legal proofs of the great war that Russia waged against Ukraine with the help of Belarus, and they must be recorded, Mykhailo Podoliak stressed.
"There are also operative data that several Sabotage Group of the Russian Federation wanted to commit a terrorist act at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and cause a powerful environmental catastrophe. It is clear that Russia does not just want to overthrow the government or replace it with puppet performers - it wants to cause maximum destruction in Ukraine. Even of an environmental nature", said the adviser to the head of the Office of the Head of State.
He also drew attention to the fact that Russia's attack on Ukraine is actively condemned by Russian citizens. The Russians are already beginning to understand that this is not a point-based military operation, as was the case in Donbass, but a large-scale, full-scale war, which will cause a large number of casualties.
Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
3:00 p.m. Ukrainian Territorial Defense unit defeated enemy's combat units with light weapon in Sumska oblast.
The Statement from the press centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine 1 p.m.:
- The occupiers fired at our positions 393 times today, 24 February 2022
- Russian troops destroyed 6 control posts and fired at 32 civilian objects
- A curfew will be introduced in some Ukrainian cities: compliance is essential for protecting the civilian population.
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
1:50 p.m Control over the airport in Gostomel has been restored, according to the Verkhovna Rada. Russia is using aviation to secure breakthrough on the ground, incl. for capturing the strategic objects. Military helicopters and aircraft are in use.
Office of the President of Ukraine
President Zelenskyy at a briefing at the Office of the Head of State: The Ukrainian army, our border guards, police and special services stopped the enemy's attacks. In the language of conflict, this can be called an operational pause.
In Donbas, our Armed Forces are doing great, the Kharkiv direction is very difficult, the forces for the defense of the city are working, they are reliable, they are our men. The most problematic situation today is in the south. Our troops are fighting fierce battles in the suburbs of Kherson. The enemy is pushing out of the occupied Crimea, trying to advance towards Melitopol.
In the north of the country, the enemy is slowly advancing in the Chernihiv region, but there are forces to hold it. Reliable defense is built in the Zhytomyr region. Enemy paratroopers in Hostomel are blocked, troops are ordered to destroy them.
Yes, we, unfortunately, have losses, losses of our heroes. Yes, we have captured Russian soldiers. Our doctors are helping some of them - those who have surrendered. Many Russian aircraft and many armored vehicles were destroyed.
Yes, we see that many Russians are shocked by what is happening. Some Russians are already calling on social media that they are against the war. We see it. But the leadership of the Russian Federation is unlikely to see it.
The President addressed the Russian fellow citizens with a call to go out to the squares and to show the President of Russia their opposition to the aggression against Ukraine.
For the world community, Russia is becoming an analogue of the so-called DPR - this is complete isolation.
The President of Ukraine emphasized that Ukraine did not choose the path of war. But Ukraine offers to return to peace.
Zelenskyy called Ukrainians to help the national defense, join the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defense units. “Any citizen with combat experience will now be useful. It is up to you and all of us whether the enemy will be able to advance further into the territory of our independent state. Please help the volunteer community and the medical system, for example by donating blood” the President said.
The President of Ukraine added: “If you, dear European leaders, dear world leaders, leaders of the free world, do not help us today, then tomorrow the war will knock on your door”.
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
The police, together with volunteers, are stepping up security to provide security in the regions.
Employees of all structural subdivisions, as well as veterans of internal affairs and volunteers are involved in patrolling settlements.
Law enforcement officers are also on duty at checkpoints, inspecting documents and inspecting vehicles, assisting drivers on the roads and explaining to the citizens how to act in the event of shelling.