1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Ukraine updates: Russia decries Belgorod attack

Published February 15, 2024last updated February 16, 2024

Moscow wants to UN Security Council to discuss a rocket strike on the Russian border city of Belgorod. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy plans to travel to France and Germany. Follow DW for the latest.

A view of a grocery store in Belgorod damaged in a strike on the city
Belgorod and the surrounding region have come under frequent attack since last yearImage: Yevgeny Silantyev/TASS/dpa/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

A missile strike on the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border killed at least six people and wounded another 17 in the Russian city of Belgorod, officials said. 

Russia said Ukraine carried out the strike and wants the UN Security Council to discuss the incident.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Germanyand France this week, the presidency said. On Friday, he will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

During the visit to France, Zelenskyy and Macron will sign the security agreement, the Elysee Palace said.

On Saturday, Zelenskyy will attend the Munich Security Conference, where he will deliver a speech and hold a series of bilateral talks on the sidelines.

Here's a look at the latest developments in Russia's war in Ukraine on Thursday, February 15.

Skip next section Kyiv doing 'everything' to support soldiers in Avdiivka
February 16, 2024

Kyiv doing 'everything' to support soldiers in Avdiivka

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Kyiv was doing "everything" possible after Russian forces breached a critical supply line in the embattled eastern city of Avdiivka

"We are doing everything we can to ensure that our warriors have enough managerial and technological capabilities to save as many Ukrainian lives as possible," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

Zelenskyy has been briefed on the situation in the shattered city by Ukrainian Military Commander Oleksandr Syrskyiand Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

Russia has been trying to encircle and capture Avdiivka for nearly two years following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine and Kyiv’s foothold in the town appears increasingly shaky, with its supply lines threatened.

Ukraine: Russian forces continue their push into Avdiivka

Skip next section NATO and Ukraine to set up joint center to analyze Russian military
February 15, 2024

NATO and Ukraine to set up joint center to analyze Russian military

NATO and Ukraine will establish a center for the analysis of Russian military tactics used in the war, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Thursday.

He spoke after a NATO defence ministers meeting at the alliance headquarters in Brussels.

To be established in Bydgoszcz, a city located northwest of Warsaw in Poland, the center is intended for Ukrainian military personnel to share their experiences of combating the Russian army with NATO.

It wants to identify the weaknesses and strengths of the Russian military.

NATO chief Stoltenberg presides over meeting of defense ministers
NATO defense ministers discussed efforts to help Ukraine and ramp up defense expenditures during their meeting in Brussels Image: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu/picture alliance

The center also creates "a structure for Ukrainian forces to learn and train alongside their Allied counterparts," Stoltenberg said.

During a press conference in Brussels, Stoltenberg said he believes the US House of Representatives will pass a multi-billion dollar assistance package for Ukraine. He said approving the aid is "based on the US security interests of now allowing President Putin to win," a reference to Russian leader to Vladimir Putin.   

Skip next section Moscow wants UN to discuss missile strike on Belgorod
February 15, 2024

Moscow wants UN to discuss missile strike on Belgorod

Russia says it will ask the United Nations Security Council to discuss a deadly missile strike on Belgorod.

Local officials said at least six people, up from five earlier, were killed and 18 others injured in the attack on the Russian city near the border with Ukraine. 

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram the attack was an "act of terrorism by the Kyiv regime." 

Russia's defense ministry said its air defenses intercepted 14 Ukrainian rockets over the region at the time of the attack. 

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the incident.

Belgorod lies about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border with Ukraine and has been a regular target of Ukrainian fire, according to Russia. 

Skip next section Ukraine reconstruction will cost $486 billion, report says
February 15, 2024

Ukraine reconstruction will cost $486 billion, report says

Ukraine needs $486 billion (€452 billion) to cover the costs of rebuilding after Russia's invasion, the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations and the Ukrainian government have said.

"The total cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine over the next decade is $486 billion, up from $411 billion estimated a year ago," the European Commission said, summarizing the new report.

The assessment was prepared jointly by the four organizations. It said Ukraine would need $15 billion in 2024 alone for the most urgent reconstruction needs, such as repairing homes and critical transportation links.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said confiscated Russian assets should foot most of the bill. Ukraine is calling on the West to unlock some $300 billion in frozen Russian assets to help pay for the massive repair of its infrastructure.

Bill Browder on how to fund Ukraine's reconstruction

Skip next section Missile strike on Russia's Belgorod kills five, governor says
February 15, 2024

Missile strike on Russia's Belgorod kills five, governor says

A missile attack on the Russian city of Belgorod killed at least five people, the region's governor said.

"According to preliminary data, five people were killed in Belgorod, including a child, and another 18 people were injured, five of them children," Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

"Ambulances are taking the injured to medical centers. All necessary assistance is being provided," he added in a post on his Telegram channel.

Russian Defense Ministry said it had shot down 14 Ukrainian missiles over the region, which it said were fired from an RM-70 multiple rocket launcher system.

The city of Belgorod is about 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) from the border with Ukraine. Authorities began evacuating some residents from the city last month after officials said a Ukrainian attack in late December had killed 25 people.

Skip next section Macron, Zelenskyy to sign security agreement in Paris on Friday
February 15, 2024

Macron, Zelenskyy to sign security agreement in Paris on Friday

French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy will sign a bilateral security agreement at the Elysee Palace on Friday, according to the French president's office.

"This agreement follows commitments made in the G7 format on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023," Macron's office said Thursday.

The Elysee Palace did not give any details on the content of the agreement.  However, a month ago, Macron had promised Kyiv a support agreement similar to the one the UK had signed with Ukraine.

The agreement between the UK and Ukraine stipulates that London will support Ukraine now, but also in potential future conflicts with Russia. This includes rapid and long-term military assistance, but not the deployment of British soldiers.

The Ukrainian presidency has also confirmed Zelenskyy's visit to France and Germany on Friday and Saturday.

Skip next section Zelenskyy to take part in Munich Security Conference
February 15, 2024

Zelenskyy to take part in Munich Security Conference

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to attend the Munich Security Conferenceon Saturday. During his visit to Germany, he will also meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and deliver a speech during the summit.

He will also hold a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines, including with US Vice President Kamala Harris, Czech President Petr Pavel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

It would be the the first time Zelensky has attended the Munich Security Conference in person since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago. Last year, the Ukrainian president attended the conference via video link.

Some 50 world leaders are expected to attend the Munich Security Conference, which runs from Friday to Sunday.

Skip next section Ukraine sends reinforcements to Avdiivka
February 15, 2024

Ukraine sends reinforcements to Avdiivka

Ukraine has sent more troops to the embattled eastern city of Avdiivka, which is is surrounded by Russian forces on three sides.

"The Third Separate Assault Brigade confirms that it was urgently redeployed to strengthen Ukrainian troops in the Avdiivka area," the brigade said in a post on its Telegram channel.

"The situation in the city ... was extremely critical," it added.

Meanwhile, military spokesman Dmytro Lykhoviy said Ukraine was conducting a maneuver in some areas of Avdiivka to withdraw troops to "more advantageous positions." In other places, Ukraine was trying to drive out Russian troops, he added.

Russian forces have been attacking Avdiivka since last year, and in recent weeks have made progress in their attempt to capture the city in the Donetsk region, with reports of street fighting on the outskirts.

Skip next section NATO defense ministers to talk Ukraine in Brussels
February 15, 2024

NATO defense ministers to talk Ukraine in Brussels

NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels on Thursday to continue discussion on long-term support for Ukraine and the NATO target of spending 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. 

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was hospitalized at the weekend, will be represented by the US ambassador to NATO Julie Smith.

The talks at NATO headquarters have been overshadowed by comments from former US President Donald Trump, who said he would "encourage" the Kremlin to "do whatever the hell they want" to NATO member states that do not meet the spending requirement. 

Allies have agreed since 2006 that they should spend 2% of GDP on defense. However, only a few met this target before Russia extended its invasion of Crimea and the Donbas to the whole of Ukraine in February 2022. 

Sweden's accession to NATO, which is being held up by the Hungarian parliament's failure to ratify the decision, is also on the agenda. 

Trump NATO comments spark Europe nuclear debate

Skip next section Germany's Pistorius hopes Munich conference will signal more support for Ukraine
February 15, 2024

Germany's Pistorius hopes Munich conference will signal more support for Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the key message that could come out of the Munich Security Conference, set to begin on Friday, is that "the free, democratic world" will continue supporting Ukraine in its defense against Russia.  

Pistorius said Russia’s war in Ukraine concerned everyone, "because it would encourage autocrats and dictators of this world to do something similar if Putin were to get away with it."

He further criticized his party colleague Katarina Barley for initiating a debate about the EU having its own nuclear bomb.  "My opinion: You don't discuss this in public," he said.

Pistorius made the comments to the German news aggregator Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). Previously, he dismissed this debate as unnecessary.

"We have the American nuclear deterrent, that has been agreed and I see no signs that this agreement will come to an end," Pistorius said on the fringes of NATO meetings in Brussels. 

Europe worries about nuclear deterrence without the US

Skip next section Russia mounts fresh missile attack on Kyiv, other cities
February 15, 2024

Russia mounts fresh missile attack on Kyiv, other cities

Russian forces launched missiles overnight, targeting Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, Ukraine's officials said.

Officials reported explosions in the regions of Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv and Poltava.

In Kyiv, the local government said the "anti-aircraft defense destroyed all enemy missiles" aimed at the capital city.

Governor of the eastern Zaporizhzhia region said one person was injured and "an infrastructure object" was hit.

The Ukrainian air force reported that several Tu-95MS strategic bombers had taken off from the Olenya airfield in Russia's far north, prompting a nationwide air alert which lasted for over two hours.

Ukraine's air force later said that  the "missile threat is over" in a Telegram post.

Earlier in the day, Reuters said that witnesses reported several explosions in different parts of Kyiv.

Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovy had also reported the sound of explosions in the western city near Ukraine's border with Poland.

Russia and Ukraine have denied targeting civilians in attacks on each other's territories, claiming that their goal is to destroy important military, power, and transport infrastructure.

Nearly two years ago, on February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine in an escalation of the conflict between the two nations since 2014.

A US intelligence report, which was declassified in December, assessed that the war has cost Russia 315,000 dead and injured troops, or nearly 90% of the personnel it had when the conflict began. Kyiv treats its losses as a state secret. 

Successes in Black Sea show skill of Ukraine’s armed forces: Jens Stoltenberg

mk,dh/dj (Reuters, AFP, dpa)