February 25, 2024

Institute for the Study of War: Russian state media avoid public discussion of the two-hear anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Institute for the Study of War

Russian officials and state media largely refrained from publicly discussing the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, likely in an effort to avoid addressing Russia’s failure to achieve its stated war aims at significant human costs. Russian opposition outlet Agentstvo Novosti reported on February 25 that Russian state TV channels Rossiya 1 and Channel One (Perviy Kanal) and Gazprom Media-owned TV channel NTV did not mention the two-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in broadcasts on February 24. Agentstvo Novosti stated that Russian political commentator Mikhail Leontev noted in a February 24 broadcast of the “Vremya” program on Channel One that it was the two-year anniversary of the start of the war but did not offer further statements on the topic. ISW observed minimal discussion by Russian government officials on the two-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24.

Key Takeaways:

  • Russian officials and state media largely refrained from publicly discussing the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, likely in an effort to avoid addressing Russia’s failure to achieve its stated war aims at significant human costs.
  • Russian officials and state-run and state-affiliated TV channels likely refrained from commenting on the two-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion to avoid drawing attention to Russia’s failures to achieve its stated strategic goals in Ukraine and its more immediate goals of seizing all of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, while also suffering high personnel losses.
  • Ukrainian officials discussed Ukraine’s goals and priorities for 2024 on February 25 and highlighted the need for continued Ukrainian innovation and Western aid to accomplish Ukraine’s objectives.
  • Drone footage posted on February 25 shows Russian forces committing apparent war crimes near Bakhmut.
  • The Russian information space continues to be highly sensitive to the recent losses of A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft, suggesting that the issue of deploying and defending these aircraft is of great concern.
  • Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov stated that Russia has not received any long-range missiles from Iran as of February 25.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Bakhmut and Krynky amid continued positional engagements along the entire line of contact on February 25.
  • Russian authorities continue efforts to recruit Ukrainian citizens in occupied Ukraine into the Russian military.
  • Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets stated on February 25 that Russia is holding over 28,000 Ukrainian citizens captive in Russian prisons.

For full report:  https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-february-25-2024 

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