Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, March 23

A day with drone unit defending Ukraine's south -- Putin doesn't plan for peace, planning for more war -- Russian missile strike on residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia -- Russia shifting missile & drone strike tactics after failed campaign against infrastructure -- 65% of Europeans support Ukraine joining EU in next few years -- and more

Thursday, March 23

Russia’s war against Ukraine

This photograph taken on March 22, 2023 shows a destroyed school bus in the yard of a damaged school in the village of Staryi Saltiv, east of Kharkiv, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

NATO chief: ’Putin doesn’t plan for peace, planning formore war.’NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the Guardian in an interview that Russia was “reaching out to authoritarian regimes like Iran or North Korea, and others to try to get more weapons.“

Russianmissiles hit**two residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia. **Two Russian missiles hit a residential building in Zaporizhzhia on March 22, the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration reported. According to Acting Mayor Anatolii Kurtiev, one person has died and 25 people are receiving treatment for injuries in the hospital.

General Staff reports ‘fiercest battles**’ in Bakhmut as Russia tries to advance in 5 areas.**The “fiercest battles” between Russian and Ukrainian troops are taking place in the northern and southern parts of Donetsk Oblast’s Bakhmut, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on March 22.

President’s Office: Ukraine wants Japan among itssecurity guarantors.“Security guarantees how Ukraine sees them are not only weapons. Sanctions, financial aid, non-lethal aid are also security guarantees. And again, it is one of our peace formula’s points,” President’s Office deputy head Ihor Zhovkvu said on March 22. “Therefore, it would be very desirable to see Japan among such security guarantors.”

Zelenskyvisits Kharkiv**, hands ‘Hero City’ award to mayor. **After visiting front-line positions in Donetsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to the eastern city of Kharkiv on March 22, presenting Mayor Ihor Terekhov with the “Hero City of Ukraine” award.

Official: Approximately10 children**still remain in Bakhmut. **Approximately 10 children still remain in the embattled city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk reported on national television on March 22. The Cabinet of Ministers approved on March 7 the mandatory evacuation of families with children from active combat zones, the criteria of which applies primarily to Bakhmut.

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Kyiv School of Economics: Russia’s war has caused over$140 billion in damagesin Ukraine. As of February 2023, the total amount of damage caused by Russia to Ukraine’s infrastructure during the full-scale war has increased by another $6 billion and is now estimated at $143.8 billion. According to the school’s experts damages to infrastructure, education, energy, transport, trade, and healthcare continue to grow.

Intelligence: Russia shifting missile and dronestrike tacticsafter failed campaign against infrastructure.“The Russians will now slightly reorient the direction of the strikes,” deputy intelligence chief Vadym Skibitsky said in a March 22 interview to RBC Ukraine. “These can be military facilities, concentrations of troops, and the logistics system of our units.”

ISW: Russian forces dusting offancient tanks**to compensate for significant armored vehicle losses. **The Russian military has lost so many tanks since Feb. 24, 2022 that it is apparently calling up ancient armored vehicles to make up for its current battlefield losses, according to findings of the Tbilisi-based open-source Conflict Intelligence Team.

Official: Putin didn’t achievedesired results**from meeting with Xi Jinping. **Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t get even half of what he wanted from his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Ihor Zhovkva, a deputy head of the President’s Office, said.

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War from above: A day with drone unit defending Ukraine’s south

This is the first war in which drones have become so ubiquitous on the battlefield.

Thousands of repurposed commercial models patrol the sky over the front line, as they’re relatively cheap and easy to replace.

Photo: Dmytro Smoliyenko / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

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Ukraine war latest: Russian missile strike on residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia kills 1, injures 34

Russian missile attack on two residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia, a city in southeastern Ukraine, killed one person and injured 34 on March 22, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko reported in the evening, after the rescue operation was over.

Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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World-renowned writers, philosophers raise funds for academics in Ukraine

Intellectuals from across the globe took part in a three-day online conference hosted by the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto to raise funds for the Center for Civic Engagement, a newly established project at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. 

Photo: Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy/YouTube

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Human cost of Russia’s war 

Death toll in Russia’s overnightdrone attack**on Kyiv Oblast rises to 6. **The death toll in Rzhyshchiv, Kyiv Oblast, has risen to six people after Russia’s overnight drone attack, State Emergency Service of Ukraine Spokesperson Viktoriia Ruban told Ukrainska Pravda on March 22.

Landmine**, cluster submunition explosions kill 1, injure 1. **A 50-year-old man was killed in an explosion caused by a cluster submunition in Kharkiv Oblast’s village of Ivanivka near Izium, Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on March 22. Another civilian stepped on a Russian landmine in a forest next to the village of Velyka Oleksandrivka in southern Kherson Oblast, according to the regional administration.

Governor: Russia’sattacks**on Donetsk Oblast kill 4 people in past 24 hours.**Four people were killed and five were injured by Russia’s attacks on Donetsk Oblast over the past 24 hours, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported on March 22.

International response

UK Official: Supplying Ukraine  withdepleted uranium** ammunitionnot ‘nuclear escalation.’ **U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly countered Russian accusations that supplying Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium is “nuclear escalation,” Reuters reported on March 22.

IOC president saysOlympics**, its ruling body can’t be ‘referees of political disputes.’ **Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, defended the IOC’s plan to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympics under a neutral flag.

Blinken: European ICC membersshould arrest**Putin if he visits. **“I think that anyone who is a party to the court and has obligations should fulfill their obligations,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on March 22, as cited by CNN.

US to holdoversight hearing**on aid to Ukraine next week.**The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced it would convene a hearing on “Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability of Ukraine Assistance” on March 29.

Survey: 65% of Europeanssupport Ukraine**joining EU in next few years. **Sixty-five percent of Europeans believe that Ukraine should be admitted into the European Union during the next few years, according to survey findings published by the Bertelsmann Foundation on March 22. Sixty-one percent also favor the EU providing weapons to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia, the results showed.

In other news

Ex-head of State Property Fund charged withembezzling $13 million.Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office reported on March 22 that the ex-head of the State Property Fund had been charged with embezzlement of over Hr 500 million ($13.6 million) of state funds. The former official allegedly set up a criminal organization that illegally funneled funds from several state-owned companies in 2019-2021.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by** Toma Istomina, Kate Tsurkan, Francis Farrell, Dinara Khalilova, Sofiya Doig, Anastasiya Gordiychuk, Brad LaFoy, Olena Goncharova, and Lili Bivings. **

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