Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, March 21

Russian ex-president threatens missile strike against Hague after Putin arrest warrant -- Explosion in Crimea destroys Russian Kalibr missiles -- Avdiivka may soon become second Bakhmut -- Collaborator who oversaw torture in Kherson Oblast confirmed dead -- Ukraine receives Leopard tanks from Norway -- and more

Tuesday, March 21

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Schoolchildren attend a Ukrainian language class while sheltering with their teachers in a metro station during an air raid alert on March 20, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. As the large-scale war with Russia entered its second year, the fiercest fighting was concentrated in the east and south, but residents of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities live with the constant threat of aerial attack. (Photo by Roman Pilipey/Getty Images)

Intelligence: Explosion in Crimea destroys Russian Kalibr missiles. An explosion in the Crimean city of Dzhankoi destroyed Russian Kalibr cruise missiles during their railway transportation late on March 20, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate.

Ukraine’s military: Avdiivka may soon become ‘second Bakhmut.’ Russian forces are trying to surround the city of Avdiivka in eastern Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi said on March 20, adding it could soon become “the second Bakhmut.”

Defense ministry on Bakhmut: Ukraine successful in ‘certain areas,’ Russia makes advances. “The defense of Bakhmut makes it possible to reduce the enemy’s offensive potential. Our troops there simply do not let the enemy troops go further,” Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar said on national television, as cited by the Ukrainska Pravda publication.

Court confiscates Russian oligarchs’ shares in Ocean Plaza mall. Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court ruled on March 20 in favor of the Justice Ministry’s lawsuit to confiscate the shares of several Russian oligarchs in Kyiv’s Ocean Plaza shopping mall.

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Russian ex-president threatens missile strike against Hague after Putin arrest warrant. “Everyone walks under God and missiles. It’s quite possible to envision a scenario where a Russian ship stationed in the North Sea could strategically strike the Hague courthouse with a hypersonic Onyx (cruise) missile,” Dmitry Medvedev wrote.

Russian investigators open case against international court over Putin arrest warrant. The Investigative Committee of Russia reported on March 20 that it had opened a case against members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for issuing an arrest warrant against Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Local administration: Drone shot down north of Kyiv. A drone was detected and shot down north of Kyiv during an air raid siren on March 20, the Kyiv City Military Administration reported. The update does not specify that it was a drone launched by Russia, but drones have been repeatedly used as a part of Russia’s arsenal in its attacks against Ukraine.

General Staff: Russia launches 9 missiles, 21 airstrikes in the past day. Russian forces launched 9 missiles and 21 airstrikes in the past day, according to a morning update from Ukraine’s General Staff on March 21.

ISW: Russian authorities unsure how to redefine Wagner’s role in war effort. Wagner Group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin maintains political leverage and regional influence despite his public disagreements with the Ministry of Defense, according to The Institute for the Study of War.

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Ukraine war latest: Xi’s Moscow visit ‘diplomatic cover’ for Russian war crimes, says Blinken

The visit “suggests that China feels no responsibility to hold the president accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said of Putin.

Photo: Sergei Karpukhin/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Collaborator who oversaw torture in Kherson Oblast confirmed dead. Serhiy Moskalenko, who helped Russian troops kidnap and torture Ukrainians in Kherson Oblast, was identified on March 20 by Ukraine’s military intelligence as the collaborator who was killed in a March 17 car explosion in the region.

Interfax Ukraine: Danilov refutes Politico’s claim of 100,000 casualties among Ukrainian soldiers. “I declare to you, with full responsibility, that we do not have 100,000 casualties in the military,” National Security and Defense Secretary Oleksiy Danilov told Interfax Ukraine in reference to Politico’s claim.

International response

CNN: Xi Jinping pitches China as Ukraine peacemaker on eve of trip to Russia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit Moscow from Monday to Wednesday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ahead of his visit, Chinese leader has praised Beijing’s growing ties with Moscow while also attempting to present China as a peacemaker in the war, CNN reported.

Xi Jinping says China, Russia have ‘similar goals.’ During a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Moscow and Beijing “share similar goals,” CNN reported on March 20.

Official: EU ministers approve plan to procure 1 million artillery shells for Ukraine. EU foreign and defense ministers on March 20 approved a plan to procure 1 million artillery shells for Ukraine, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Twitter.

US announces new $350 million military aid package for Ukraine. The aid package includes “more ammunition for U.S.-provided HIMARS and howitzers, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment,” according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement.

Ukraine receives Leopard tanks from Norway. Norway has delivered eight German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks and four support vehicles to Ukraine, Norwegian Armed Forces reported on March 20.

Bloomberg: Hungary vetoes joint EU statement on Putin’s ICC arrest warrant. Hungary prevented European Union member states from releasing a joint statement on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bloomberg reported, citing sources privy to the information.

AP: Japanese PM Kishida travels to Ukraine on March 21. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is traveling to Ukraine for talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky on March 21, the Associated Press reported.

In other news

Media: Verkhovna Rada dismisses 3 ministers. The Verkhovna Rada officially dismissed on March 20 Education Minister Serhiy Shkarlet, Strategic Industries Minister Pavlo Riabikin, and Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Investigators say MP from Zelensky’s party was sober during car accident. The State Investigation Bureau argued that MP Volodymyr Hevko was sober and that the person killed in the accident did not cross the road using a designated pedestrian crossing.

Kyiv City Military Administration reduces curfew hours. The Kyiv City Military Administration said on March 20 that its head Serhiy Popko had signed an order to reduce curfew hours in Kyiv. Starting from March 26, the curfew will be in force from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.

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