Ukraine Daily Summary - Monday, March 20

Germany will have to arrest Putin if he enters its territory -- Russia tacitly acknowledges its forces are unlikely to seize Zaporizhzhia -- Russia damaged or seized more than 1,700 fire trucks, hundreds of fire stations during full-scale war -- Ukrainian forces likely conducted localized counterattack southwest of Bakhmut -- and more

Monday, March 20

Russia’s war against Ukraine

The mother of a fallen soldier, cries over the grave of her son, 31-year-old Oleg Adamovsky, in Kharkiv, Ukraine on March 19, 2023. The man was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. A fighter of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade died on March 12, 2022 during the defense of Kharkiv, then he was buried in his homeland - in Donetsk Oblast. Currently, he is being reburied on the Alley of Heroes of the 18th cemetery in Kharkiv, because due to hostilities, it was very difficult for his relatives to reach the grave of the fallen hero. (Photo by Sofiia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Zelensky calls ICC’s arrest warrant against Putin ‘turning point’ for Russia. “Responsibility for every strike on Ukraine, for every destroyed life, for every deported Ukrainian child,” Zelensky said. “The evil state will be held accountable for every act of terror against Ukrainians.”

Minister: Germany will have to arrest Putin if he enters its territory. Germany will have to arrest Russian dictator Vladimir Putin if he enters German territory and if the International Criminal Court asks contracting states for enforcement, the country’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has said. Meanwhile, Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, said on March 19 he had ordered a legal assessment of a German minister’s statement that dictator Vladimir Putin will be arrested if he comes to Germany.

Putin claims he delayed full-scale invasion of Ukraine over economic, military factors. Speaking on Russian state television on March 19, Putin laid out the reasons why, according to him, Russia didn’t go for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2014, when it invaded Crimea and started a war in the eastern Donbas region.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia tacitly acknowledges its forces are unlikely to seize Zaporizhzhia. Russia’s decision to make Melitopol the “temporary” capital of the illegal occupation administration in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast may indicate that Russian forces are highly unlikely to seize planned major objectives, including the city of Zaporizhzhia, in the near future, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its daily update on March 19.

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Official: Russia damaged or seized more than 1,700 fire trucks, hundreds of fire stations during full-scale war. Some of these lost assets have been damaged from constant shelling, the rest have been seized by the Russian army in occupied areas, said State Emergency Service head Serhii Kruk.

Russian forces attack 7 communities in Sumy Oblast. Russian forces struck the communities of Khotin, Bilopillia, Shalyhyne, Velyka Pysarivka, Krasnopillia, Seredyna-Buda, and Esman, the Sumy Oblast military administration reported on March 19.

ISW: Ukrainian forces likely conducted localized counterattack southwest of Bakhmut. Geolocated footage published on March 19 indicates that Ukrainian forces conducted a successful counterattack southwest of Ivanivske, located six kilometers west of Bakhmut, and pushed Russian forces further away from the key highway in the area, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.

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Ukraine war latest: Russian media report Putin’s visits to occupied Crimea, Mariupol

Russian state media reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made his first known wartime trips to occupied territories in Ukraine over the weekend, visiting Crimea and Mariupol just days after international prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest.

Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Four Ukrainian servicemen killed in unknown incident at training center. More specific details of the tragedy were not provided. According to the statement by the training center in Chernihiv Oblast, the State Bureau of Investigation has launched an official investigation.

Russian attacks kill 3 civilians, injure 3 in Zaporizhzhia, Kherson oblasts.

Russian Grad missiles killed three civilians and wounded two in the village of Kamianske, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, on March 19, the Zaporizhzhia Regional Administration reported.

Russian collaborator killed by explosion in occupied part of Kherson Oblast.

A Russian-installed proxy who served as a commander of the patrol service of the occupied Novo Kakhovka district in the Russian-occupied part of Kherson Oblast was killed when his car was blown up near the village of Yubileinyi, the Russian Investigative Committee reported on March 19. The man’s identity was not disclosed.

BBC confirms identities of 17,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine in 13 months of the war. Using open sources, BBC Russia, together with Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet, established the names of 17,375 Russian soldiers who had been killed in the war in Ukraine. The media carry out a name-by-name count of the dead.

General Staff: Russia has lost 164,910 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on March 19 that Russia had lost 164,910 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 last year.

International response

Czech President believes Ukraine has one attempt to carry out major counteroffensive. Czech President Petr Pavel told the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita on March 19 that Ukraine needs to launch a major counteroffensive within the next few months.

Financial Times: Explosives shortage jeopardizes EU’s effort to boost shell production for Ukraine. EU member states that produce ammunition for Ukraine have faced a shortage of gunpowder, plastic explosives, and TNT.

South Africa aware of ‘its legal obligation’ over Putin’s ICC arrest warrant. A spokesperson for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on March 19 that the country had “noted the report on the warrant of arrest” for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin put out by the International Criminal Court two days earlier.

In other news

MP from ruling party involved in deadly car accident. Volodymyr Gevko, a member of parliament from the ruling Servant of the People party, wrote on Facebook on March 19 that a person died because of a road accident that involved him. It is not clear whether Gevko was a driver or a passenger.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Oleg Sukhov, Alexander Khrebet, Olga Rudenko, Alexander Query, Natalia Datskevych, Francis Farrell, Brad LaFoy, and Olena Goncharova.

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