Ukraine Daily Summary - Sunday, March

ISW: Russian forces unlikely to encircle Bakhmut soon -- Ukraine to use $460 million worth of confiscated Russian assets for reconstruction -- Russia uses new 1.5-ton gliding bombs on Ukraine for first time -- 171 cases of sexual violence by Russian troops recorded in Ukraine -- How repurposed Russian air defense missiles expose holes in Ukraine’s sky -- and more

Sunday, March 5

Russia’s war against Ukraine

People carry their belongings from a damaged residential building following a Russian missile attack on Zaporizhzhia, which killed 11 people, on March 4, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

UK Defense Ministry: Russia advances in Bakhmut area. The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk Oblast is under “increasingly severe pressure,” with intense fighting taking place in and around the city, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on March 4.

Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces Commander visits Bakhmut. Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces Commander, Viktor Khorenko, visited Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast on March 4 to inspect the positions of his units.

Ukrainian military spokesman denies troops withdrawal from Bakhmut. Russian forces have not taken the city of Bakhmut, according to Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for the eastern grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Cherevaty told CNN that fighting is ongoing on the outskirts of the beleaguered Ukrainian city.

Zelensky meets with European Parliament President in Lviv. President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked European Parliament President Roberta Metsola for her leadership in supporting Ukraine and for the European Parliament’s decision to adopt a resolution supporting Ukraine and granting the country the status of a candidate for EU membership in June last year.

ISW: Russian forces unlikely to encircle Bakhmut soon. “Russian forces appear to have secured a sufficient positional advantage to conduct a turning movement against certain parts of Bakhmut but have not yet forced Ukrainian forces to withdraw and will likely not be able to encircle the city soon,” the Institute for the Study of War said on March 4.

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Race for NABU chief narrows to three candidates. On March 4, the commission responsible for electing the director of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau announced three candidates who will continue to compete for the position. The Cabinet of Ministers will select the final winner.

Ukraine to use $460 million worth of confiscated Russian assets for reconstruction. The government will use the assets seized from two Russian banks, MR Bank and Prominvestbank, to rebuild the country, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a conference on March 4.

Russian Volunteer Corps claims Ukraine supported its operation in Bryansk Oblast. Denis Nikitin, the head of the Russian Volunteer Corps, allegedly fighting in the ranks of Ukraine’s International Legion, claimed in an interview with the Financial Times that Ukraine supported his group’s raid out of Ukraine into Russia on March 2.

Defense Express: Russia uses new 1.5-ton gliding bombs on Ukraine for first time. The UPAB-1500B guided bomb, first unveiled at a Russian arms expo in 2019, has since undergone full testing, been delivered to the Russian air force, and received its first orders for export, according to Defense Express.

Zelenska: 171 cases of sexual violence by Russian troops recorded in Ukraine. The Prosecutor General’s Office has identified 171 victims of sexual violence by Russian troops, First Lady Olena Zelenska said at the United for Justice Conference in Lviv on March 4. She noted that the number of acts of sexual violence undertaken by Russian troops in Ukraine indicates that such crimes are a deliberate policy of the Russian military.

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How repurposed Russian air defense missiles expose holes in Ukraine’s sky

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian attacks across 8 Ukrainian regions kill 4, injure 12 civilians over past 24 hours. Russian forces launched attacks on eight regions across Ukraine over the past 24 hours, killing at least four and wounding 12, local authorities said early on March 4.

Zaporizhzhia attack death toll rises to 13. Thirteen people have been killed as a result of the Russian missile attack on Zaporizhzhia on March 2, including an eight-month-old child, the State Emergency Services reported.

1 killed in Russian shelling of Kherson Oblast. A Russian strike killed a 57-year-old man who died from a shrapnel wound in his home in the village of Lvove in Kherson Oblast, oblast authorities reported on March 4.

Russian shelling kills 2 in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Two people were killed when Russian forces shelled Nikopol District in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast on March 4, Governor Serhiy Lysak announced. Russian forces struck the area with heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. The attacks killed a 57-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man in the Chervonohryhorievka.

NATO commander in Europe: Russia’s losses in Ukraine amount to over 200,000 troops. NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, U.S. Army General Christopher Cavoli, said that Russia has lost more than 200,000 troops since the start of its invasion in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, describing the extent of the war as “unbelievable.”

General Staff: Russia has lost 152,190 troops in Ukraine since start of full-scale war. According to the report, Russia has also lost 3,409 tanks, 6,683 armored fighting vehicles, 5,289 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,414 artillery systems, 487 multiple launch rocket systems, 247 air defense systems, 302 airplanes, 289 helicopters, 2,066 drones, and 18 boats.

International response

EU, Ukraine set up agency tasked with prosecuting Russian war crimes. Over a two-day accountability conference in Ukraine, an agreement is being signed to set up the International Center for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in The Hague. The joint investigation team, part of Eurojust, the EU agency for criminal justice, will consist of the ICC, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, and Romania.

Politico: EU seeks non-member states to take part in joint military procurement scheme for Ukraine. The proposal would have countries pool financial contributions into the European Peace Facility, a collective fund, to negotiate centralized ammunition procurement contracts directly with defense industry enterprises.

Rheinische Post: Rheinmetall in talks to build 200 million euro tank factory in Ukraine. German industrial factory Rheinmetall is in talks with Ukraine about building a 200 million euro tank factory on Ukrainian soil, German publication Rheinische Post reported on March 4. The plant would be able two produce up to 400 newly created Panther tanks per year. Air defense systems would ensure the plant’s security, Rheinmetall chairman Armin Papperger told Rheinische Post in an interview.

Latvian prime minister: Supply of Western fighter jets to Ukraine ‘a matter of time.’ “If the Ukrainians need fighter jets, they should get them,” said Krisjanis Karins to Spiegel on March 4. Ukrainians have repeatedly proven the ability to quickly learn to operate new equipment, he said.

Ambassador: UK to provide twice the promised Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. The UK will give 28 Challenger 2 main battle tanks instead of the earlier promised 14, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.K. Vadym Prystaiko told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in an interview. Prystaiko said that the U.K. is talking to Ukraine, not in terms of what specific platforms it needs, but what battlefield challenges it intends to solve.

Czech President to visit Ukraine in April. The visit will be part of a wider diplomatic trip abroad for ex-NATO commander Petr Pavel, including to Brussels, after his official inauguration into office on March 9.

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