Press digest – Ukraine
23th day of heroic resistance of Ukraine against Russian military invasion
Every morning, starting March 17, a nationwide minute of silence has been declared throughout Ukraine at 9:00am Kyiv time.
“We will remember the Ukrainians who gave their lives, all the military, civilians, and children” (c) President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
DESTRUCTION AND LOSSES
📌Picture of the day
109 empty baby carriages on Rynok Square in Lviv as a symbol of 109 children’s lives that Russia stole during the 23 days of war in Ukraine. A Russia that says it has no plans to stop.
📌Due to the constant shelling of Mariupol by Russia, it is impossible to begin fully dismantling the rubble of the Drama Theater after the destruction due to the targeted bombing on March 16. As of 17:00 Kyiv time on March 18, about 130 people rescued from the rubble, and about 800 more remain in a bomb shelter blocked by a collapse.
📌As a result of the shelling of Kharkiv by the Russian military, a fire broke out at the Barabashov market. This is one of the largest markets in Europe. More than 15,000 people worked there in peacetime.
📌According to available information, the Russian invaders have already recruited more than 1000 volunteers from representatives of the so-called Bashar al-Assad Army and Hezbollah.
The main requirement for foreign fighters is the ability to fight in the city and the availability of documents that can be used to cross European borders for any reason. Such requirements give the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reason to believe that “participation in a special operation in Ukraine” may be a cover for militants to get into Europe.
📌The Russian occupiers are not abandoning their attempts to detect and destroy air defense systems along the Black Sea coast. In the Black Sea, the Russian fleet is conducting demonstration operations.
📌In some temporarily occupied territories, Russian troops and illegal self-proclaimed administrations are trying to create a positive image by distributing food packages to the civilians. And at the same time, they are actively searching, detaining and interrogating pro-Ukrainian activists, civil servants, ATO/JFO participants and their families and other citizens who can resist the occupation and aggression of the Russian Federation.
📌 In Severodonetsk and Rubizhnoye, Russian troops destroyed more than 20 residential buildings during the night of March 17-18. Artillery and multiple launch rocket systems targeted civilians. At least 2 are dead, and 4 wounded. There is no heating and water supply in the surviving houses in the shelling zone.
📌At about 6 am Kyiv time, Russian aviation launched a targeted airstrike on one of the industrial warehouses in the city of Voznesensk, Mykolaiv region.
📌As a result of an air strike with 8 missiles in Lviv, the building of an aircraft repair plant was destroyed. Presumably, the missiles were launched from the Black Sea. There were no casualties as a result of the strike, as the work of the plant was stopped for the safety of employees in the early days of the war.
📌In the Podolsky district of Kyiv, Russian aircraft fired at a residential area. As a result of the airstrike, one person was killed, and about 100 more residents were evacuated from damaged high-rise buildings.
📌As a result of an airstrike on a dormitory in Chernihiv, a family of 5 people, including three children, died. The bodies were discovered after a complete analysis of the rubble.
📌At about 8:40 am in Kharkiv, as a result of an airstrike by Russian troops, the building of a six-floor educational building was practically destroyed. Two neighboring residential buildings were also damaged. One person died, 11 were injured, and another is under the rubble.
📌The Russian occupiers also launched an airstrike on a residential building and an administrative building in Kramatorsk. As a result of the destruction, 2 people died, 6 more were injured of varying severity.
📌The Russian Federation drops from 50 to 100 air bombs on Mariupol every day. The city has been in a Russian blockade bordering on genocide for 16 days, more than 350 thousand civilians continue to hide in shelters and basements from the continuous shelling of the Russian occupying forces.
📌Due to the almost complete loss of ammunition for missiles and some types of ammunition, the military-political leadership of the Russian Federation decided to transfer the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex, which are involved in the production of SLCM “Caliber” and ammunition for the MLRS “Smerch”, to all-day operation .
📌 In the Zaporizhzhia region on Friday, Russian soldiers fired on rescuers who had come to extinguish the consequences of preliminary shelling. One worker of the State Emergency Service was killed, 5 were injured.
📌 Since 5 am on March 18, Russian invaders have been continuously shelling the city of Kremennaya in the Luhansk region from heavy artillery. As a result, about 20 houses in the private sector received different damages. Also the city communications were damaged — gas pipeline and power lines.
📌Russia has fired 1,080 missiles at Ukraine since the start of the war, — Pentagon informs. The main part on the civilian population.
📌 “We will not surrender Mariupol” – Oleksiy Arestovych Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine told about the situation in the city, which has been under siege for 20 days:
🖇The nearest units of the Armed Forces are fighting hard north of Volnovakha. They are outgunned by the forces of the enemy – and there is no chance for lifting the siege of Mariupol.
🖇The enemy built there a powerful air defense, both from the air in Crimea, and on the ground. There have been attempts to provide air support – and they have been unsuccessful;
🖇There is no military solution to situation in Mariupol now – there is only a way of political and diplomatic settlement.
📌 71% of Russians support Russia’s war against Ukraine. Moreover they experience emotions as “pride, joy, respect, trust and hope” in relation to these decisions of their elected President Putin. This data was provided by a group of independent Russian sociologists based on two surveys.
📌Russia uses children in the temporarily occupied territories of the “DPR”, “LPR” and Crimea as hostages of information terrorists. There have been mass cases involving minors and preschool children to support the terrorist actions of Russia. Schools forcibly organize actions in support of Z, children are not allowed to receive objective information. These methods are especially actively used in boarding schools, where children have no legal protection from guardians and parents.
📌On March 18, at the initiative of the Russian Federation, an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council was held with an extremely cynical and fake agenda: “On new facts of US military biological activity in Ukraine”. The overwhelming majority of UN Security Council member states rejected Russia’s fake accusations regarding the alleged presence of “US military biological activities in Ukraine.”
📌Estimated losses of the Russian Federation Army in Ukraine:
📌According to British intelligence, Russia’s offensive capabilities are limited due to the active counterattacks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
📌During the day on March 17, Ukraine partially destroyed and stopped the advance into the territory of Ukraine of units from the 437th training regiment and the 26th tank regiment of the Russian armed forces. Bomber and ground attack aircraft of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine delivered powerful precision strikes on columns of Russian military equipment.
📌 Armed Forces of Ukraine are heroically closing the sky over Ukraine. Around 8:15 a.m. Kyiv time, air defense units of the Ukrainian Ground Forces shot down a Russian SU-34 fighter-bomber using the Stinger MANPADS.
📌Another Russian military column bit the dust in Sumy region, said the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine General Valery Zaluzhnyi.
📌The facts of the refusal of some servicemen of the Russian Federation to take part in hostilities are confirmed, due to the low level of moral and psychological condition of the Russian occupiers after clashes with the Ukrainian defense forces. Thus, about 130 servicemen refused to take part in hostilities at the permanent deployment point of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th All-Military Army of the Southern Military District.
📌Due to the lack of positive results and inability to fulfill the set tasks, it is planned to remove from duty the commander of the 45th separate brigade of special purpose airborne troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel Vadym Pankov. He is accused of failing to perform a combat mission at Gostomel airfield.
📌 State Russian media continue to spread false information about the armed aggression of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine. The creation and distribution of staged propaganda videos through all available information channels, including in the countries of the European Union and the United States, in order to discredit the activities of the military-political leadership and the Defense Forces of Ukraine continues.
📌PayPal payment service officially came to Ukraine. Now you can make purchases on the Internet, transfer and withdraw money to Ukrainian bank cards.
📌The cyber police of Ukraine, together with international partners, has blocked more than 1,500 pro-Russian propaganda accounts with almost 15 million followers. The links were collected thanks to the daily help of Ukrainian citizens.
📌Ukrainian IT volunteers have created a mobile application that helps parents take care of the psychological and emotional state of their children during the war.
📌The official website of the Center of National Resistance has been launched in Ukraine. It was created to coordinate and support everyone who wants to fight for the liberation of Ukraine from Russian invaders.
NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS UPDATES
by Mykhailo Podoliyak:
🖇US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken does not see that President Putin is ready to stop the war against Ukraine. He stated this during a briefing: “Diplomacy requires participation in the de-escalation from both sides, and I see no signs that Putin is ready to stop,” Blinken said.
🖇The statements of the Russian side are only their requesting positions. All statements are intended, inter alia, to provoke tension in the media. Our positions are unchanged. Ceasefire, withdrawal of troops & strong security guarantees with concrete formulas.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s daily statements
“I don’t see the point in life if it can’t stop death” (c)
Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressing the US Congress
📌 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has confirmed information that Russia is trying to attract mercenaries from other countries to the war. He is trying to drive as many young people as possible into his army. Ukraine and I personally warn you – this will be the worst decision of your life.
📌 Even more Russian conscripts were taken as prisoners. Many of them already refuse to return, and many are not expected at all.
📌We discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron strengthening the defense of Ukraine and further coordinated joint steps to achieve peace. We have held talks with US President Joe Biden on strengthening security, the details of which are still kept secret for security reasons.
📌March 18 turned out to be a busy negotiating day. Talked with Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel, a great friend of Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The topic is clear. Ursula von der Leyen promised that it would be possible for Ukraine to join the European Union as soon as possible. The bureaucratic processes, which usually take years, will be reduced for our state to weeks and months. Agreed on EU support for Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes due to the war. Those who are abroad and within our state.
📌Ukraine is grateful to the Swedish Union of Port Workers, who promised not to serve ships bound in the Russian Federation. It is right. It is necessary that all Europeans block ports for Russian ships.
📌 It is necessary that all Western companies leave the Russian market and do not cover up their thirst for profit with cheap PR. Despite the blood, despite the war crimes of the Russian Federation, as Nestle or Auchan do.
📌”I am confident that by attacking us, they will destroy everything that Russian society has achieved over the past 25 years. And they will return to where they once began to rise from, as they say, to the “the wicked 90’s”. But without freedom.”
PUBLIC AND BUSINESS SUPPORT
📌Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to tell the Russians what is really going on in Ukraine and how the Kremlin is lying to its people, spreading propaganda and killing innocent people: “Your government tells you that this is a war to denazify Ukraine. Denazification of Ukraine? It is not true. Ukraine is a country with a president of Jewish descent, whose father had three brothers killed by the Nazis. Ukraine did not start this war. It was not started by nationalists or Nazis. The Kremlin authorities started the war. “
📌A 5-year-old girl from Kryvyi Rih appeared on the interactive cover of Time magazine. French artist JR staged a performance in Lviv, attracting about 100 people. They unfolded a photo of 5-year-old Valeria from Kryvyi Rih, who is forced to flee the war.
📌 King Philip of Belgium and Queen Matilda decided to provide their housing for three Ukrainian refugee families.
📌American director and producer Steven Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw donated $ 1 million to humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
📌The Organizing Committee of the Joint European Summer Sports Championship 2022 has decided not to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the competition.
📌 Omnicom Group, which specializes in marketing communications and advertising, has announced the closure of its activities in Russia.
📌The Japanese global company AGC Inc., the world’s largest glass producer, is suspending investments in Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.
📌The International Union of Biathletes has begun the procedure of eliminating the national federations of Russia and Belarus.
📌Italian company Pirelli, one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers, has announced the suspension of operations in Russia.
📌 The American Bank of New York Mellon has suspended the purchase of Russian securities for investment management.
📌LG Electroniсs suspends all supplies to Russia.
📌One of the best tennis players in world history, Roger Federer, decided to donate $ 500,000 to help children affected by the war in Ukraine.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
📌The EU has provided Ukraine with another 300 million euros of assistance for political and humanitarian purposes. This is the first time that the EU has funded weapons to a country that has faced an attack.
📌Japan imposes sanctions against another 15 Russians, including Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, and 9 organizations, in particular, military equipment manufacturer United Aircraft Corp, which produces fighter jets.
📌The President of the European Parliament, Robert Metzol, has announced that Russian and Belarusian diplomats are prohibited from entering parliament.
📌The World Bank is providing nearly $100 million in funding to reimburse the government’s budget program in the higher education sector. These funds will allow the payment of academic scholarships for 172 thousand students and social scholarships for 50 thousand students.
📌The volume of Russian assets frozen by banks and other financial institutions in the Netherlands is 200 million euros.
📌United Kingdom announces suspension of tax information exchange with Russia and Belarus.
📌Ukraine has 3 arguments that make the Ukrainian position stronger in the negotiation process – resistance, weapons from partners and sanctions.
✅ Processes of destruction of the Russian economy have started. Together with the United States, we forced the Europeans to start preparing sanctions last year, so when the tragic day of the 24th came, they were ready.
✅ There can be no agreements without security guarantees. Those that exist in the NATO: if someone attacks us, others are committed to protecting us. But it would be madness to demand such guarantees only from Russia. We all know very well what Russia is like.
✅About negotiations with Lavrov: During the meeting, I told him, let’s make all the necessary calls right now to solve the humanitarian corridors with Mariupol. He said no.
✅About the battle for the disconnection of Russian banks from SWIFT: “I will say honestly that in my entire diplomatic career, there has been nothing more complicated than the history of SWIFT. But the result is there, and this taboo has been lifted. ”
✅The European Parliament adopted a resolution saying that Ukraine should be given a status of candidate for membership. We have applied, it has been supported by the European Union, the European Commission has already started practical procedures for its consideration. That means that the process of Ukraine’s membership in the EU has really started. This process will definitely lead us to membership in the European Union. This is something we could not dream of three weeks ago.
✅Ukraine will raise the issue of reparations in the UN International Court of Justice for the damage caused and the killing of our people by the Russians. You will have to pay not only money, but also the imprisonment of specific people who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
✅From Ukraine’s point of view, we must clearly understand: either we are preparing for war to the end, as a result of which we win, or there will be an agreement. I think the second option is still realistic. Ukrainian diplomacy is working to make the agreement as beneficial as possible for Ukraine.
Full text of the interview: https://www.pravda.com.ua/articles/2022/03/18/7332427/