Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, March 27

Putin's close allies see no link between Ukraine, Moscow shooting -- Polish official says NATO considering shooting down Russian missiles that approach its borders -- Russian landing ship Konstantin Olshansky hit with Neptune missile, says Ukraine -- At least 32 Ukrainian POWs executed in Russian captivity during winter -- and more

Wednesday, March 27

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A view of destruction in the area as Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine continues in Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast on March 26, 2024. (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Zelensky meets Estonian parliament speaker in Kyiv. “We discussed further assistance for Ukraine from Estonia and other partners and the progress in the preparation of a bilateral security agreement,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said, according to his Telegram channel.

Bloomberg: Prague’s ammunition initiative may supply 1.5 million shells to Ukraine, Czech FM says. “We can do much more than the initially announced number,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky told Bloomberg, saying that the number may be as high as 1.5 million.

French minister: Paris to soon deliver 78 Caesar howitzers, increase shell supplies to Ukraine. France will soon be able to supply Ukraine with 78 Caesar howitzers and has boosted its production of artillery rounds to meet Kyiv’s most urgent needs, the Associated Press (AP) reported on March 26, citing French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

Politico: Kuleba calls for more Patriots to protect cities, counter Russian warplanes. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Kyiv’s partners to supply Ukraine with more Patriot air defenses to help protect Ukrainian cities in an interview with Politico on March 25.

Bloomberg: Putin’s close allies see no link between Ukraine, Moscow shooting. Some people from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s own inner circle think that there is no evidence of Ukraine’s involvement in the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack in a Moscow suburb, Bloomberg reported on March 26, citing unnamed sources with ties to the Kremlin.

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Polish official says NATO considering shooting down Russian missiles that approach its borders. Poland was forced to scramble its fighter jets to protect its airspace during Russia’s drone and missile attack against Ukraine on March 24, when a Russian cruise missile entered Poland’s airspace for 39 seconds.

Russian landing ship Konstantin Olshansky hit with Neptune missile, says Ukraine. Ukraine has claimed yet another successful strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, announcing on March 26 that the landing ship Konstantin Olshansky had been hit by a Neptune missile.

SBU says it caught FSB saboteurs trying to blow up railroad in Ukraine’s Poltava Oblast. The Prosecutor General’s Office added that the two suspects were Ukrainian citizens.

Russian court extends pre-trial detention of jailed US reporter Gershkovich for 5th time. Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg in late March 2023 while working on a story about the Wagner mercenary group’s recruiting methods, as well as Russian citizens’ views on the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine dismisses security council secretary Danilov. President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov on March 26.

UN: At least 32 Ukrainian POWs executed in Russian captivity during winter. At least 32 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POW), recently captured by Russia, have been executed between Dec. 1, 2023, and Feb. 29, a report by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on March 26.

Read our exclusives

Ukraine war latest: At least 32 Ukrainian POWs executed in Russian captivity during winter, UN says.

At least 32 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs), recently captured by Russia, have been executed between Dec. 1, 2023, and Feb. 29, a report by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on March 26.

Photo: Stanislav Ivanov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

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Russia aims to knock out Ukraine’s power grid in new wave of attacks

Russia launched a fresh wave of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine between March 21-25, hitting the country’s critical infrastructure heavier than ever before.

Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Russia claims at least 3 injured in attack on Belgorod. The Kyiv Independent could not verify the claims of Russian authorities, and Ukraine does not usually comment on alleged attacks on Russian soil.

Russian attack on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast injures 91-year-old woman. A Russian attack on the evening of March 25 on Dnipropetrovsk injured a 91-year-old woman, Governor Serhii Lysak reported on March 26.

Update: Number of injured in Russia’s March 25 attack on Odesa rises to 10. The Southern Defense Forces reported the day before that four people had been injured by a Russian ballistic missile attack on the city.

Drone-dropped bomb injures civilian in Beryslav. A bomb dropped from a Russian drone has injured a 50-year-old man in Beryslav, the Kherson Oblast Military Administration reported on March 26.

Russian attacks on Kharkiv, Kupiansk injure man, target dormitory. A Russian Kh-35 anti-ship missile hit the dormitory of Kharkiv’s sports college in the morning, Serhii Bolvinov, the head of the investigative department of the regional police, said. A 64-year-old man reportedly suffered from shock.

Opinions and insights

Ukraine state-owned enterprises weekly — Issue 124

This is issue 124 of Ukrainian State-Owned Enterprises Weekly, covering events from March 16-22, 2024. The Kyiv Independent is reposting it with permission.

Photo: Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal/Telegram

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MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak: Developments in Ukraine’s parliament on economic reforms, international obligations — Issue 48

This is issue 48 of Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak’s weekly “Ukrainian Economy in Brief” newsletter, covering events from March 18- 24, 2024. The Kyiv Independent is republishing with permission.

Photo: Andrii Nesterenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

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International response

FSB chief claims US warnings about terrorist attack in Russia were only ‘general’. U.S. special services warned Moscow about the preparation and threat of a terrorist attack in Russia, but this information was “general,” claimed Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), on March 26.

Slovenia to join Czech ammunition initiative for Ukraine. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky told journalists that Slovenia will join Czechia’s initiative to supply artillery shells for Ukraine, Radio Prague International reported on March 26.

Armored vehicles coalition for Ukraine launched in Warsaw. Countries participating in the armored vehicles coalition for Ukraine, an initiative of Poland and Germany, met in Warsaw for the first time on March 26, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry announced.

Bloomberg: Macron seeking to convince Lula on Ukraine during Brazil trip. French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to convince his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Lula to support Ukraine during his trip to Brazil, Bloomberg reported on March 26.

Ruling party in Georgia proposes anti-LGBTQ+ law, mirroring similar legislation passed in Russia. The proposal, which was put forth by Mamuka Mdinaradze, the leader of Georgian Dream’s faction in parliament, is the latest in a series of government measures that aim to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ people in Georgia.

Shmyhal: Ukraine receives $880 million from IMF. The disbursal was the third such tranche of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), bringing the total distributed so far to $5.4 billion.

UK Defense Ministry: War may hamper expansion of Russian army in other parts of the country. Russia is recruiting for its new 44th Army Corps in an attempt to expand its armed forces but may have to send it to Ukraine to sustain operations, the U.K. Defense Ministry said on March 26.

FT: Russia begins ‘arms-for-oil’ trade with North Korea, defies sanctions. Russia is defying U.N. sanctions by supplying North Korea with oil, likely in exchange for weapons, the Financial Times (FT) reported on March 26.

Lukashenko claims Moscow attackers tried to flee to Belarus, undermines Putin’s narrative. Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko said that the suspects who carried out the terrorist attack in Moscow on March 22 initially tried to flee to Belarus, state-run news outlet Belta reported on March 26. s

In other news

MP Bezuhla backtracks on controversial bill criminalizing ‘representing Ukraine’ internationally without authorization. Lawmaker Mariana Bezuhla, formerly a member of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, backtracked on her bill proposing strict prison sentences for “representing Ukraine abroad” without “being officially authorized to do so.”

Air Baltic planning to resume flights to Ukraine as soon as airspace reopens. Latvian airline Air Baltic plans to resume flights to Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa as soon as Ukraine’s airspace reopens, the airline announced on March 26 after a visit to Kyiv’s Boryspil airport.

Ukraine beats Iceland, qualifies for Euro 2024. Ukraine’s national football team has qualified for the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship after beating Iceland 2:1. It will be Ukraine’s 4th straight European Championship, with the 2024 edition taking place in Germany in June and July.

SBU chief charged in absentia with ‘terrorism’ by Moscow court. Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) chief Vasyl Maliuk was charged in absentia with “terrorism” by a Moscow court on March 26.

FSB claims it foiled ‘terrorist attack’ by anti-Kremlin militia member. The Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) claimed it prevented a so-called “terrorist attack” by a Russian anti-Kremlin militia member in Russia’s Samara Oblast on March 26.

Oleh Ivashchenko appointed as new head of Foreign Intelligence Service. President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed on March 26 Oleh Ivashchenko as the new head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service after its current chief, Oleksandr Lytvynenko, was picked to replace Oleksii Danilov as the National Security and Defense Council’s secretary.

Sumy Oblast council members detained over suspicion of attempted bribery.

Law enforcement officers detained two members of the Sumy Oblast council for allegedly offering a bribe to Sumy city officials in the amount of $100,000, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) reported on March 26.

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