Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, March 25

Russia trying to encircle Avdiivka, but getting exhausted -- Russian occupying authorities in Crimea sell their property, take families away -- UN human rights monitors report torture, killing of POWs in Ukraine -- Russia launches missiles at civilian 'invincibility center' in Donetsk Oblast, killing 3 -- and more

Saturday, March 25

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A Ukrainian serviceman looks on as he sits on an anti-air gun near Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast on March 24, 2023. (Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine’s military: Russia trying to encircle Avdiivka, but ‘getting exhausted.’ The area of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast is currently one of the most active on Ukraine’s front line, but Russian troops are “getting exhausted” there, Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi, Ukraine’s military spokesperson, said on March 24, cited by Ukrainska Pravda publication.

Zelensky meets World Bank delegation, discusses Ukraine’s restoration needs. According to Ukraine’s Presidential Office, the meeting’s participants discussed the World Bank-coordinated projects on financing Ukraine’s recovery, mainly in the areas of transport and energy infrastructure as well as health care.

Biden says China has not yet increased military support for Russia despite warning signs. U.S. President Joe Biden said that despite signs that China is considering stepping up its military support for Russia, the country hasn’t so far moved to do so, CNN reported.

Intelligence: Russian occupying authorities in Crimea sell their property, take families away. The Russian command and Moscow-installed proxies in Crimea have begun evacuation from the occupied peninsula, selling their real estate and taking families away, Andrii Yusov, spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence, said on March 23.

Ministry: Ukraine retrieves bodies of 83 soldiers killed in combat. Ukraine has repatriated the remains of 83 soldiers who were killed in combat, the Reintegration Ministry reported on March 24. The transfer of the soldiers’ remains from the occupied territories was organized by the Office of Commissioner for Missing Persons and Ukrainian law enforcement.

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Russia launches multi-weapon attack on Sumy Oblast overnight on March 24. Russia attacked the city of Bilopilia in Sumy Oblast overnight on March 24 using Grad multiple rocket launchers, guided aircraft bombs, and Iranian-made Shahed drones, according to the Sumy Oblast Military Administration. As a result of the attack on Bilopilia, at least two people are dead and nine are injured.

Ukrainian government facilitates mass drone production. The Ukrainian government approved a decree on March 24 simplifying bureaucratic procedures for the country’s drone manufacturers and allowing them to compete with foreign companies.

UN human rights monitors report torture, killing of POWs in Ukraine. UN human rights monitors have documented ill-treatment, torture, sexual abuse and the arbitrary executions and detentions of both Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war during Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Foreign Affairs Ministry to UN human rights mission: ‘Unacceptable to place responsibility on the victim of aggression.’ Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry criticized the UN Human Rights Office’s mission in Ukraine for its recent report on abuse, torture, and arbitrary executions and detentions of both Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine.

Minister: More than 5 million people in Ukraine without access to water due to Russia’s war. Nearly five million Ukrainians do not have access to drinking water as a result of Russia’s war, Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine said during the UN Water for Sustainable Development Conference 2023 in New York on March 24.

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‘I work, then I cry’: Exhausted medics near Bakhmut fight for every life

Donetsk Oblast – At an abandoned building about 20 minutes drive from Bakhmut, wounded Ukrainian soldiers pour in from the front line to receive emergency medical care.

Photo: Asami Terajima/The Kyiv Independent

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Ukraine war latest: Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mariinka under heavy fire

Colonel Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military defending the southern Donetsk Oblast, said Avdiivka is one of the main hotspots of Russia’s ongoing offensive.

Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russia launches missiles at ‘invincibility center’ in Donetsk Oblast, killing 3. Russia launched S-300 missiles at an “invincibility center” in Kostiantynivka on March 23, killing three refugee women, the Prosecutor General’s Office in Donetsk Oblast wrote on March 24.

Northern Command: Russia shells border area in Chernihiv Oblast, killing 1. One person died as a result of the attack and a house burned down in the Russian attack, likely carried out with 120mm mortars, according to Ukraine’s Northern Operational Command.

General Staff: Russia has lost 169,170 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on March 24 that Russia had lost 169,170 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 last year. The military said that Russian forces suffered 1,020 casualties just over the past day.

International response

Biden, Trudeau pledge to ‘stand strong with Ukraine, with whatever it takes.’ Ukraine can count on the United States and Canada to stand with it in its fight against Russia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an address to parliament in Ottawa alongside U.S. President Joe Biden on March 24.

Germany delivers Dachs vehicles, machine guns to Ukraine. The German government reported on March 24 it handed Ukraine three engineering vehicles Dachs for the first time as well as additional MG3 machine guns and drone detection systems. Germany has also delivered spare parts for Leopard 2 main battle tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, according to the report.

Armenian court rules to abide by ICC, can arrest Putin on Armenian territory. Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruled on March 24 that the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) obligations are in line with its national constitution, Russian independent media Novaya Gazeta reported. The Armenian Constitutional Court’s ruling means that there would be a legal obligation to arrest either Russian dictator Vladimir Putin or Maria Lvova-Belova should they step foot on Armenian territory.

Media: Austria to arrest Putin if he visits. Austria, as a party to the Rome Statute, is obliged to execute arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Austrian Justice Ministry told Ukrainian publication Ukrinform when asked if the country would arrest Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in case of his visit.

European Union supports international mechanism for documenting, punishing Russian crimes. The EU supports the idea of establishing an international mechanism to document and punish Russian war crimes, according to a statement released by the European Council on March 23.

Insights and opinions

Andrii Borovyk: Why liquidating ARMA will not solve seized property issues

“It is obvious that such a simple solution (liquidating Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency) will not lead to any positive results,” writes Andrii Borovyk, executive director of Transparency International Ukraine, in his recent op-ed.

Photo: Transparency International Ukraine

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In other news

Foreign Ministry sanctions against far-right Romanian politician. The Foreign Ministry has initiated sanctions against a far-right Romanian politician for proposing to annex part of southwestern Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko reported on March 24. Diana Șoșoacă called for annexing southwestern Ukraine to “restore the cultural identity of the Romanian population.”

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