Wednesday, March 16
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
The leaders of three EU countries met with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on March 15 in a show of solidarity as Russian shelling continued on residential neighbourhoods in the capital.
Ukraine extends martial law for another month. The Verkhovna Rada has prolonged martial law until April 25, from the initial proposed end date of March 26. Lawmakers also approved a package of 21 bills related to the martial law and the war.
Shrapnel hits residential building in Kyiv. A 12-story residential building in Kyiv’s central Shevchenkivsky district was hit early on March 16. Two people were injured and 37 evacuated, according to the State Emergency Service.
Explosions reported in Zaporizhzhia. Secretary of the Zaporizhzhia City Council Anatoliy Kurtev confirmed reports of explosion at the city’s railway station.
Russian warships shell Ukrainian coast in Odesa Oblast. Two people have been injured, according to Odesa authorities. Satellite images showed 14 ships of the Russian fleet sailing towards the city of Odesa on March 15, among them the 120-meter landing ship Pyotr Morgunov of Russia’s northern fleet.
Donetsk Oblast Governor: Russia takes patients and medical staff hostage in Mariupol. Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko says Russian troops entered a hospital on the outskirts of Mariupol taking staff and patients hostage. “Russians drove 400 people from neighboring houses to the hospital and they can’t leave,” he said.
CNN: Ukrainian military strikes number of Russian military helicopters at Kherson International Airport. According to new satellite images from Planet Labs, the strike set fire to or destroyed at least three helicopters and military vehicles stationed at the airport.
Governor Synehubov: Ukraine’s military repels Russian assault on Kharkiv. According to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov, Russian troops suffered significant losses and retreated from their previous position.
Ukraine needs $565 billion to rebuild after Russia’s war. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on March 15 that this preliminary figure would be at the expense of Ukraine’s partners and reparations from Russia. Ukraine’s government has already established a group to assess losses to the economy due to Russian aggression.
Zelensky believes Ukraine will not enter NATO despite ‘open door’ policy. “For years, we heard about open doors, but we understand that we cannot enter,” President Volodymyr Zelensky told representatives of the Joint Expeditionary Force, a UK-led expeditionary task force. He added that Ukraine needs “new formats of cooperation.”
Russia is calling in military reinforcements from across the country. “Russia is increasingly seeking to generate additional troops to bolster and replace its personnel losses,” CNN reports quoting the U.K. Ministry of Defense assessment. According to them, Russia is struggling to conduct offensive operations in the face of “sustained Ukrainian resistance.”
Blinken: There will be an independent Ukraine “a lot longer than there’s going to be a Vladimir Putin.” During an interview on CNN on March 15, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also said that “one way or the other, Ukraine will be there and at some point Putin won’t.”
Vereshchuk: Evacuation corridor in Mariupol didn’t start. According to Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk, the besieged southeastern city has not received humanitarian aid either.
Russians kidnap activist who organized anti-Russian protest in occupied Berdyansk. Vitaly Shevchenko, director of a local travel agency, was captured at a local cafe in Berdyansk after the protest, eyewitnesses told local media. The occupiers also detained several other participants of the rally.
Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny predicts Russia’s collapse due to war. During his court hearing, the politician said that the invasion of Ukraine was planned by a “group of crazy old men.” Navalny, who faces up to 13 years in prison, said that he’d rather be “a free man in prison” than “Putin’s servant.”
The human cost of Russia’s war
Read the Kyiv Independent’s exclusive on how family and fellow soldiers bid farewell to heroic colonel Valeriy Gudz, who had been killed in a battle near Russian-occupied Luhansk on March 12.
Ukrainian journalist Kuvshynova, Fox News cameraman killed by Russian artillery. Oleksandra Kuvshynova and Fox news cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski were killed while reporting in Horenka, a few kilometers outside of Kyiv. Reporter Benjamin Hall was injured and has been hospitalized.
UN: Every minute, 55 Ukrainian children become refugees. “That is, a Ukrainian child has become a refugee almost every single second since the start of the war,” UNICEF wrote in a press release. On average 75,000 children have become refugees every day since Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
Number of Ukrainian refugees reaches 3 million. According to the UN International Organization for Migration, the number includes over 1.4 million children and about 157,000 foreign nationals living in Ukraine.
Ombudsman: three journalists killed during Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine. Three journalists were killed in Mykolaiv, Kyiv, and Irpin, according to Lyudmyla Denisova. Many journalists have been deliberately injured by the Russian forces since Feb. 24, she said.
State Emergency Service: 17 rescuers killed since Feb. 24. According to Gennady Gerasimchuk, spokesperson for the State Emergency Service, 32 were injured and one rescuer has been captured by Russia, since the start of the full-scale invasion.
Klitschko: four people killed in Kyiv by Russian airstrike. A Russian airstrike hit a 16-story residential building in Kyiv’s western Sviatoshynskyi district. As a result of shelling, a fire broke out in the premises. Russian shells also hit a residential building in the Podilskyi district, a house in Osokorki, and the Lukyanivska metro station.
Russia’s war kills 97 Ukrainian children. Over 100 children have been injured since Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Prosecutor General’s Office reported. At least five children die under shelling every day.
Biden signs bill providing $13.6 billion to Ukraine. The package includes emergency military and humanitarian assistance.
US Senate unanimously passes resolution condemning Russia and Vladimir Putin over war in Ukraine. The resolution also expresses support for probes into Russian war crimes in Ukraine in the International Criminal Court.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly suspends all exports to Russia except drugs for diabetes and cancer. The company stated that all sales from these drugs will go directly to humanitarian aid.
Orban: Hungary won’t support Ukraine with weapons, stays out of war. Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, a longtime Putin supporter, said that the country “must stay out of this war” during a rally of his supporters.
Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expels Russia, calls for nations to provide Ukraine with air defense. Expulsion means Russian citizens will not be able to bring cases to the European Court of Human Rights, and the Russian government can re-introduce the death penalty. The Council of Europe will keep supporting Russian non-governmental organizations opposing the country’s dictatorial regime.
Russia bans Justin Trudeau and over 300 Canadians from entering the country. The list includes Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie, Defense Minister Anita Anand, and almost all MPs. The move was a reaction to Canada’s support of Ukraine.
EU imposes fourth package of sanctions, including on 15 Russian individuals. New sanctions include freezing the assets and imposing a travel ban on oligarchs Roman Abramovich, German Khan, steel tycoon Viktor Rashnikov, the head of state-controlled TV Channel One Konstantin Ernst, and propagandist Dmitry Kulikov.
LEGO fan business raises over $16,000 to support Ukraine selling Zelensky, Molotov cocktails minifigures. In a one-day fundraiser on March 5, Citizen Brick, a Chicago-based designer of custom LEGO-related products, sold minifigures of President Volodymyr Zelensky ($100) and Molotov cocktails ($10) raising $16,540 to support Ukraine. Citizen Brick has already donated the funds to the U.S. charity Direct Relief to bring medical supplies to Ukraine.
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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Asami Terajima, Daria Shulzhenko, Alexander Query, Natalia Datskevych, Sergiy Slipchenko, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina, Lili Bivings and Brad LaFoy.