Monday, March 28
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
At least $63 billion in damage to infrastructure from Russia’s war on Ukraine. An estimated $63 billion in Ukrainian infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed as of March 24. The losses include more than 4,400 residential buildings, 92 warehouses or factories, 138 health care facilities, 12 airports and 378 education institutions, according to the calculation by the Kyiv School of Economics.
Powerful explosions heard in Kyiv, Lutsk, Kharkiv and Zhytomyr during air alert. It is unclear if the explosions were a result of Russian missiles hitting targets or being taken down by Ukrainian air defense. Local authorities have called on citizens not to publish photos and videos of the strikes. The air alert went off in almost all of Ukraine’s regions.
Zelensky: ‘Some of defenders of Zmiiny Island were killed, others captured and exchanged.’ The Black Sea island was attacked by Russia on Feb. 24, the first day of the invasion. Zmiinyi defenders’ radio conversation with the Russian warship crew in which they said, “Russian warship, go f*ck yourself” became one of the symbols of Ukraine’s resistance. Initially, they all were presumed dead.
Zelensky gives interview to Russian media. Russia bans its publication. The interview, which Zelensky gave via videoconference to four Russian non-governmental media outlets, is set to be published today. The Russian government called upon the media to not publish it and said those who interviewed Zelensky will be investigated.
Ukraine, Russian delegations to negotiate in Istanbul on March 29. Ukraine’s top news site Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing its sources, that the Ukrainian delegation will travel via Poland. Before, the meetings have taken place on Ukraine-Belarus border, and by way of videoconference.
Over 10,000 hectares of forests on fire in Chornobyl Exclusion Zone due to war. The fires threaten to contaminate Ukraine, Belarus, and other European countries, says Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova. It is nearly impossible to control or put out fires as Chornobyl is occupied by Russia, she added.
Russia fires record number of missiles, Ukraine’s air defense shoots down most of them. According to the Russian investigative journalist project The Insider, Russia fired at least 70 missiles against Ukraine on March 26. Only eight hit their targets, the rest were shot down by Ukraine’s air defense.
General Staff: Russia withdraws troops from Kyiv Oblast following ‘significant losses.’ The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said via Facebook on March 27 that up to two Russian battalion tactical groups have withdrawn to Belarus due to “failed offensive operations” in the region.
Ukrainian Air Force destroys four planes, two UAVs, and a helicopter. The Ministry of Defense stated that out of the four airplanes, three were shot down while carrying out airstrikes on Kyiv Oblast.
BBC: Premature births dramatically spike in Ukraine. Doctors in Kharkiv and Lviv have reportedly observed the rate of premature births double or triple due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They cite a rise in infections, lack of medical attention, and poor nutrition as reasons for the spike.
Hacker group NB65 claims it hacked All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. The hacking group linked to the group Anonymous, said via Twitter on March 27 that it has retrieved over 870 gigabytes of information from the company and will eventually release it. The company’s principal assets are Russia-1, Russia 24, and RTR Planeta TV channels.
UK Intelligence: Russian fleet maintains distant blockade of Ukraine’s sea access. According to the U.K. Defense Intelligence update, the destruction of the large Saratov landing ship near port city of Berdyansk will likely “damage the confidence of the Russian Navy” and prevent them from the further coastal operations. Ukrainian armed forces destroyed the ship on March 24.
Missile strike on Lutsk carried out from Belarus. According to Volyn regional state administration head Yuriy Poguliaiko, the rocket was not detected before reaching its target due to the projectile’s shorter distance and lower velocity. No casualties have been reported.
Ukraine seeks to raise taxes for companies that work in Russia. The Ukrainian parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers have drafted a bill that increases the rates of income and property taxes for companies with revenue streams in Russia, MP Danylo Getmantsev announced via his Telegram channel.
The human cost of Russia’s war
Ukrainian kickboxing champion killed in combat while defending Mariupol. Maksym Kagal, ISKA kickboxing champion, was killed in the battle for Ukraine’s besieged city Mariupol. Kagal served in the Azov Battalion. His death was reported by his coach.
UN: Russia’s war in Ukraine kills at least 1,119 civilians, injures 1,790. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of midnight on March 26, Russia’s full-on war in Ukraine killed or injured at least 2,909 civilians. The office believes that the actual numbers are much higher than the verified totals.
Hollywood honors Ukraine at 94th Academy Awards. Stars of the film industry honored Ukraine with a moment of silence at the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 27 urging viewers around the world to help. “We’d like to have a moment of silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders,” read one of the cards that appeared on screen during the ceremony. “While film is an important avenue for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, the reality is millions of families in Ukraine need food, medical care, clean water and emergency services. Resources are scarce and we — collectively as a global community — can do more.”
BBC: UK assigns top lawyer as advisor to Ukraine. Sir Howard Morrison has been appointed to assist Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to advise Ukraine over the Russian war. Morrison served as a judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for over 12 years, overseeing cases involving figures such as Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic.
US, Germany, Poland to send diesel fuel to Ukraine to end deficit. Lana Zerkal, advisor to the energy minister, said so as she spoke on the matter on Radio NV. Since the start of the war, Ukraine has seen deficit of fuel. Russians have been conducting targeted missile strikes on oil repositories around the country.
Czech Republic freezes Russian assets. According to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the Czech Republic has frozen the assets of Russian citizens and companies subject to EU sanctions imposed since Russia’s full-on invasion of Ukraine.
Canada ready to provide more oil, gas, uranium to countries previously dependent on Russian supplies. Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said that his country is committed “to help as much as we can in terms of displacing Russian oil and gas.” Canada will export an extra 200,000 barrels of oil and an additional 100,000 barrels of natural gas.
Macron warned against calling Putin a ‘butcher.’ “I wouldn’t use terms like that because I’m still in talks with President Putin,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during an interview. Prior, U.S. President Joe Biden called the Russian President a “butcher,” a “murderous dictator” and “a pure thug.”
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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Oleg Sukhov, Daryna Shevchenko, Sergiy Slipchenko, Teah Pelechaty, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina, and Brad LaFoy.