Press digest – Ukraine
21th day of heroic resistance of Ukraine against Russian military invasion
DESTRUCTION AND LOSSES
Putin and the Russians killed 103 children and wounded over 100 more in 20 days of war. Unfortunately, this data is also not final – in the hottest spots and in the temporarily occupied territories, law enforcement agencies do not have the opportunity to inspect the places of shelling. But even according to these data, the Russian military kills at least 5 Ukrainian children every day. In addition, the aggressor bombed more than 400 educational institutions.
📌 Russian occupation forces continue to launch missile and bomb strikes on the infrastructure and densely populated areas of Ukrainian cities. During the night, more than 100 air raids sounded throughout Ukraine.
📌 According to Advisor to the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovich, 2/3 of the Russian missiles hit civilian infrastructure and residential buildings deliberately.
📌 Residential buildings, schools, hospitals: the Russian occupiers destroyed 3,500 infrastructure facilities in Ukraine.
📌 Russian invaders fired at residential buildings in the Shevchenkivsky district of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. As a result of rocket fragments hitting, a fire broke out and the upper floors of the house collapsed. Two people were injured, 35 more were evacuated.
📌 On the morning of March 16, Russian invaders fired at Zaporizhzhia. One of the missiles flew into the territory of the Railway Station, and the second got into the city botanic garden. It was the first city bombardment since the start of a full-scale invasion.
📌 The Russian occupiers resorted to terrorist methods again. This time it happened in Bucha, which had previously been practically wiped off the face of the earth by Russian aircraft. On March 15, the military of the Russian Federation crashed the administrative building of the Bucha City Council, captured and then kidnapped administration employees and volunteers who helped the residents of the suburbs survive under the shelling of the invaders. While driving with the hostages in an unknown direction, the Russian military threw away all their passports and other documents. The hostages were later released. Presumably, they were used as a “human shield” to leave the city.
📌 On the afternoon of March 16, Russian invaders kidnapped the mayor of the temporarily occupied Skadovsk, Alexander Yakovlev, and his deputy, Yuri Paliukh. After that, the residents went to a protest demanding the release of the legitimate authorities of the city and to leave it.
📌 On the morning of March 16, Russian aircraft fired on the TV tower of the BRT broadcasting concern in Vinnytsia. As a result, broadcasting was temporarily lost in the region.
📌 On March 16, at about 10 am in Chernihiv, the Russian military fired from firearms at people standing in line for bread near a grocery store. This was reported in the Headquarters of the Governor of the region, and the information was also confirmed in the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.
📌 In the Black Sea operational zone, warships of the Russian fleet fired on the coast in the areas of the settlements of Lebedevka, Sanzheyka, Zatoka, Belenkoye.
📌 On March 16, around 3 pm Kyiv time, Russian troops deliberately attacked the Drama Theater in the heart of Mariupol. An aircraft of the Russian Air Force purposefully dropped a bomb on a building where hundreds of civilians of Mariupol were hiding from shelling. It is not yet possible to fully assess the consequences of the strike. Because fierce shelling by Russian troops is still carried out in the vicinity of the theatre. After the bombing, the central part of the main building of the Theatre was destroyed, and the entrance to the bomb shelter was littered with debris. Information about the victims will be updated. It is all that’s left of the theatre. In Mariupol, Russian troops staged a real genocide.
⚠️ Russia instead of President Biden imposed sanctions against his dead father. So, the father of the current President of the United States was named Joseph Robinette Biden, and the President was Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. Russian government officials added him to the list without the “junior” prefix.
⚠️ Putin is losing the support of his inner circle of oligarchs due to sanctions, which creates the preconditions for a coup. The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reports this.
⚠️ The excerpt from a program on Russian television where a plan to capture the Baltics is being discussed. https://t.me/ukrainenowenglish/1739
⚠️ In Russia, there was made an application for the registration of the logo “Uncle Vania” (not to be confused with Chekhov’s), the brand identity copies the appearance of the brand of the global restaurant chain McDonald’s.
📌 Estimated losses of the Russian Federation Army in Ukraine:
📌 On the morning of March 16, Ukrainian air defense forces shot down two Russian military aircraft in the airspace near Odessa.
📌 On March 16, the Russian armed forces lost a lot of equipment, more than 100 soldiers and one general.
📌 Since the beginning of the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Russian occupation forces have lost about 40% of their units — they are either destroyed or disabled. Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
📌 According to the information available to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian military leadership decided on early graduation of cadets of higher educational institutions on the territory of the Russian Federation for their further involvement in military operations against Ukraine.
📌 According to the results of last night from March 15 to March 16, the main efforts of the Russian occupation forces focus on strengthening and holding the previously occupied lines. Significant changes in the dislocation are not observed.
📌 The Armed Forces of Ukraine went on a counteroffensive in several operational areas, which radically changes the position of the parties. So said Advisor to the Office of the President, member of the negotiating delegation, Mykhailo Podolyak.
📌 The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed the helicopter base of the Russian invaders at the temporarily occupied airport in the Kherson region.
📌 Oleksiy Arestovich: On March 15, the Russian troops suffered heavy losses in the direction of Izyum and Nikolaev. The divisions of the invaders get stuck in tactical battles that are unfolding in favour of Ukraine.
📌 Andriy Yermak The Head of the Presidential Office: The Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov has been released from the Russian captivity.
📌 According to the information available to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on March 15, Russian military aviation inflicted fire damage on the positions of its troops near the settlement of Smolyaninovo.
📌 Another batch of StarLink satellite Internet stations has arrived in Ukraine. It can replace conventional Internet providers and could not be hacked or disabled.
✅ The media Ukrayinska Pravda checked the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov by his phone and confirmed that he had not been on the territory of Ukraine over the past week. According to UP sources in the Security Service of Ukraine, Kadyrov uses two phone numbers — none of them is connected to the roaming of Ukrainian communication towers, according to Ukrainian cellular operators. According to Kadyrov’s telephone data, in his statement about his alleged stay near Kyiv on March 13, the head of Chechnya lied.
NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS UPDATES
by Mykhailo Podoliyak:
🖇Ukraine is currently in a state of direct war with Russia. Therefore, the model can only be Ukrainian and only about legally verified security guarantees. And no other models or options. What does it mean? Firstly, absolute security guarantees. Effective ones, not protocolar or «Budapest». This means that the signatories of the guarantees do not stand aside in the event of an attack on Ukraine, like today. But they take an active part in the conflict on the side of Ukraine and officially provide us with an immediate supply of the necessary number of weapons. And, secondly, Ukraine no longer wants to depend on bureaucratic procedures that allow or do not allow closing the sky from the said cruise missiles. We need direct and rigid safeguards that the sky will be closed.
🖇Our position at the negotiations is quite specific – legally verified security guarantees; ceasefire; withdrawal of Russian troops. This is possible only with a direct dialogue between the heads of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Details are in an interview for NewsHour.
🖇FT published a draft, which represents the requesting position of the Russian side. Nothing more. The Ukrainian side has its own positions. The only thing we confirm at this stage is a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees from a number of countries.
HUMANITARIAN CORRIDORS AND EVACUATION UPDATES
📌 On the night of March 15-16, 3207 cars of evacuated residents arrived in Zaporizhzhia from Mariupol. More than 3,000 people, including 772 children, had already been resettled by morning. At the same time, on the morning of March 16, Zaporizhzhia, which was previously shelled, was hit by rocket attacks, one of which fell on the territory of the Railway Station, and the second hit the botanical garden.
📌 On March 16, at about 16:00 Kyiv time, in the area of the settlement of Stepnogorsk, heavy artillery of Russian troops fired on a convoy of civilians moving along the highway towards Zaporizhzhia. Five people were injured, including one child he is being operated on in the field with the remote involvement of specialists from the OKHMATDET clinic. Also, as a result of the shelling, a fire started on the field along the highway.
📌 As of the evening of March 16, the convoy with food and buses for evacuation was not allowed in Mariupol. A gathering of people who escaped from the blocked Mariupol to Berdyansk was organized. So far, 15 buses with Mariupol residents and children have reached Zaporizhia. A total of, 6426 people arrived in Zaporizhia today. 2039 of them are children. Columns of private transport continue to move to Zaporizhzhia.
President Vladimir Zelensky’s daily statements
📌 President Zelensky invited all friends of Ukraine to visit Kyiv now. “It may not be safe here, because the sky has not yet been closed from Russian missiles and aircraft. And the decision to strengthen our arsenal has not yet been made – we have not received aircraft. But the eyes of all the people of the whole world are now turned to our capital, to the Ukrainians. Therefore, everyone who is with us will receive gratitude, not only ours but also other peoples.”
📌 President Zelensky addressed the Parliament of Canada and thanked for the sincere and timely support. Canada was one of the first to come to the aid of Ukraine.
📌 As of March 15, humanitarian corridors were opened in the most critical areas – the evacuation of civilians from the cities of Izyum and Mariupol began. By the evening of March 15, more than 29 thousand people left these cities. Work is underway to hold corridors and open additional opportunities — the delivery of more than 100 tons of humanitarian cargo to Mariupol and the opportunity to leave the city by evacuation transport.
📌 On the 20th day of the war, 139 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, of which 39 posthumously, were awarded state awards by the Presidential Decree.
📌 Volodymyr Zelensky signed a Decree on the prohibition of the production and distribution of information products aimed at promoting the actions of the Russian Federation.
📌 Ukraine is stepping up work to hold Russian troops accountable for everything they have done against and in Ukraine, against Ukrainians. There must be an international tribunal. For each act of terrorism by Russian military personnel on the territory of Ukraine.
📌 The President had a conversation with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Karim Khan. “He is already in Ukraine, he has already started working. So the Russian occupiers will answer for all their war crimes against the Ukrainians,” he said.
📌 OFFICIAL. Ukraine became a member of the “Energy European Union”. Now Ukrainian electricity goes to Europe, and European electricity goes to Ukraine.
📌 Today, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the US Congress:
✅ It is now that the fate of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people is being decided. Our freedom and democracy. Russia has gone on a tough offensive against our basic values and rights: freedom, the right to live freely in one’s own country, to choose one’s future.
✅ Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have already fired nearly a thousand rockets into Ukraine. Countless bombs. They use drones to kill with precision. This is the terror that Europe has not seen. Haven’t seen it in 80 years!
✅ Ukraine asks to create a humanitarian no-fly zone so that Russia cannot terrorize our peaceful cities. As an alternative, Ukraine needs powerful aviation, aircraft, S-300 systems. Now they are on the ground, but they can be in the Ukrainian sky and protect Ukrainians.
✅ New sanctions packages are needed every week. We need sanctions lists of all political figures in the Russian Federation who remain in official positions and do not break with those responsible for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
✅ All US companies must exit Russia and ports must be closed.
✅ We propose to create an association – U-24 (United For Peace), an alliance of responsible states to immediately stop conflicts and provide weapons, impose sanctions, provide political and humanitarian assistance. Help in the event of a natural disaster, man-made disaster, humanitarian crisis.
“I have a dream” – these words know each of you. Today I can say: I have a need. The need to protect our sky. The need for your decision. For your help. And it will mean exactly the same thing. The same thing you feel. When you hear: I have a dream.”
📌 The UN International Court of Justice has ordered Russia to end the war in Ukraine immediately. Under international law, a court ruling is binding on Russia.
“Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice. The ICJ ordered an immediate stop to the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further”, President Zelensky said.
PUBLIC AND BUSINESS SUPPORT
📌 Japan bans the export of more than 300 technologies and goods to Russia and Belarus. The ban on the export of oil refining equipment and related technologies is also introduced. Japan bans its companies from cooperating with 49 Russian companies involved in military production. In addition, Japan allows simplified entry for Ukrainians fleeing the war.
📌 On the Polish-Ukrainian border, volunteers from Georgia distribute sweets and toys to Ukrainian children who were forced to flee Ukraine with their parents from Russian aggression.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
📌 Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe after 26 years of membership.
📌 The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Putin as a war criminal and called on the International Court of Justice in The Hague to investigate Russian military involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Netherlands and other NATO countries will continue to supply weapons to Ukraine, even if these supplies may be the target of Russian attacks, said the Minister of Defense of the Netherlands Kaisa Ollongren on Wednesday, March 16. “Ukraine has the right to defend itself, we will support it,” she stated.
📌 Ukraine has contacted the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children. The UN specialized bodies must make a decision as soon as possible on the implementation of the mission to assess the violation of children’s rights in the context of Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine.
📌 Switzerland has imposed sanctions on another 200 Russian companies and individuals – now the list is exactly the same as the EU list. Among those subject to sanctions are oligarchs and “famous businessmen.”
📌 Joe Biden: The US will provide Ukraine with $1 billion in defence assistance, 800 air defence systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 7,000 small arms and 20 million ammunition. “It will be a long and difficult fight, but the United States will be next to the Ukrainian people,” Joe Biden said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba’s daily statements
📌 “Russia will not escape punishment for crimes against Ukraine and Ukrainians.” Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba and Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova held talks with the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court in The Hague Karim Khan, who is visiting Ukraine. The main topic of the talks was the investigation by the International Court of Justice of the most serious international crimes of Russians on the territory of Ukraine.