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Ukraine is fighting. The most important events of the last hours – February 18, 2023

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Sunday is the 361st day of Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine. The situation north of Bakhmut is “critical”, but the defenders still manage to keep the strategically important route to Kostiantynivka, Ukrainian soldiers report. Russia stated that “Washington is directly involved in the conflict,” and leaders at the Munich Security Conference vowed to continue supporting Ukraine. Here are the highlights of the last hours.

> The blasts injured two civilians and broke several hundred windows in the western city of Khmelnytsky Ukraine. The country’s authorities said it was the consequence of a Russian missile attack from the Black Sea. According to Ukrainian sources, the invaders fired four Kalibr missiles, two of which were shot down by air defenses.

> The Russian defense ministry said that the offensive by Russian forces led to the capture of the village of Hryanykivka in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine.

> The Kremlin accused United States for inciting Ukraine to escalate the war by condoning attacks on Crimea. Russian regime officials maintain that Washington is now directly involved in the conflict.

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Residents on the streets of BakhmutPAP/Eugene Titov

> The situation north of Bakhmut is close to critical, and in the city “it’s almost hell on earth” – Ukrainian soldier Volodymyr Nazarenko told the Suspilne portal. He assured that the Ukrainians still control the route from Kostiantynivka to Bakhmut.

> US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that it had made a formal assessment that the Russian Army in Ukraine committed crimes against humanity. As he stated, a “wide-ranging and systematic attack” is being carried out against the civilian population of Ukraine. He stressed that “there can be no impunity for these crimes.”

> British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for double support for Ukraine and to coordinate military strategy to win war and political strategy to win peace. In a speech at the Munich Security Conference, Sunak recalled that Great Britain was the first country to announce the transfer of Western tank production to Ukraine and the first to train its pilots and marines.

Sunak: Now is the time to double our military support to Ukraine TVN24

> Head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Diplomacy Dmytro Kuleba stressed that Ukraine to effectively defend against Russian aggression it also needs support in the form of planes. – I would venture to say that Ukraine will get planes. It’s a matter of time and procedure – said Kuleba.

> Andriy Yusov of the Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) reported, quoted by the Kyiv Post, that Russia has accumulated 450 aircraft and 300 helicopters in military bases in the west of the country, about 200 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

Main photo source: PAP/Eugene Titov

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