Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)

Defense Express collects operative information on Russia's invasion of Ukraine – official sources and senior Ukrainian authorities' announcements
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Ukrainian military volunteer. Joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the first volleys that sounded on February 24 / Caption & Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Ukrainian military volunteer. Joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the first volleys that sounded on February 24 / Caption & Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

March 15. The 20th day of unprovoked Russian aggression. Ukrainians can name how many days they have spent hiding from the Russian chaotic shelling of peaceful cities easier than which day and date it is now. Finally, the humanitarian corridor from Mariupol worked out, the first refugees could evacuate from the epicenter of the humanitarian catastrophe. Russian occupiers suffer heavy losses. They cannot conduct a successful onslaught, so they keep the city in a blockade. The saying "The World's Second Best Army" regarding Russian Armed Forces has become rather a joke than truth

Brief facts:

  • Russian UAVs repeatedly violate NATO members' airspace with impunity – Air Force of Ukraine
  • the situation in Mariupol is catastrophic: the number of killed by the Russian attacks approaches 20 thousand
  • Russia officially quits Council of Europe, denounces European Convention on Human Rights
  • new sanctions on Russia: the UK imposed sanctions on 370 Russians, Belarusians; the EU adopted the fourth sanctions package targeting luxury goods, steel imports, energy investments, as well as oligarchs and entities linked to the Kremlin

Sources:

Latest news:

Thank you for your attention! This feed is closed. But Defense Express has already started a new one. Find the latest news on Day 21th of the Russian invasion of Ukraine here.

Read more: Who Wants and Can Use Biological Weapons in Ukraine

01:18 Air Force: over the last day, March 15, the air defense of the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed 3 jets. One has not been identified yet, the other two are Su-34 fighter-bombers. 1 enemy helicopter, 3 tactical UAVs and 2 cruise missiles were also shot down.

Air Force aircraft inflicted missile and bomb attacks on land targets. A tactical unit of Su-24M bombers, Su-25 fighter jets, and Mi-24 helicopters of the military aircraft, covered by fighters, made nine air raids on columns of enemy equipment and clusters of Russian troops.

23:49 Anton Gerashchenko, the MIA Adviser: Ukrainian farmers seized Russian MLRS Uragan rockets as trophies.

Defense Express / Ukrainian farmers seized Russian MLRS Uragan rockets as trophies / Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
Ukrainian farmers seized Russian MLRS Uragan rockets as trophies / Caption & Photo credit: Anton Gerashchenko, the Adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

23:31 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: on March 15, PACE is holding an all-day debate on the consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Currently, the major result of the debate is that the Assembly voted unanimously to call for Russia's exclusion from the Council of Europe.

Defense Express memo: knowing that this decision is coming, the Russian Federation announced its voluntary withdrawal from the Council of Europe earlier today. In addition, Russia is to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights.

"PACE has voted unanimously to call for Russia's exclusion from the Council of Europe after 25 years as a member," said the PACE President [Tiny Kox]. "I'm sad we had to do it, but glad we dared to do it, for the first time ever. This brutal aggression against our member Ukraine is simply unacceptable." the PACE wrote on Twitter. And later added:

"The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which has the power to take any final decision under the Statute, is due to hold an "extraordinary" meeting at 10 AM tomorrow morning with the following agenda..."

Ukrainian officials commented on this. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal:

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba:

22:56 Ukraine NOW: the PACE in Strasbourg to officially recognize Transnistria as a zone of Russian occupation

22:22 The European Council & Council of the EU has adopted the fourth package of sanctions against Russia.

The Council imposed restrictive measures on an additional 15 individuals and 9 entities. The listed individuals include oligarchs, other prominent businesspeople, lobbyists and propagandists. Altogether, EU sanctions now apply to a total of 877 individuals and 62 entities. More details in the UN Council statement.

Also, earlier today in the framework of this fourth package EU imposed new sanctions on:

  • luxury goods
  • financial sector
  • industrial sector
  • denied Russia the most favored nation status, which means some privileges that Russian products and services enjoyed on the EU market as a World Trade Organization member
Defense Express / Ukrainian Special Operations Forces pushed Russians out of the occupied positions, destroyed their equipment and liberated an important transport artery / Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
Ukrainian Special Operations Forces pushed Russians out of the occupied positions, destroyed their equipment and liberated an important transport artery / Photo credit: Facebook, Ukrainian SOF Command

22:15 Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine: on March 15, about 20,000 people left Mariupol along the humanitarian corridor in their own cars.

570 out of 4000 cars had arrived in Zaporizhzhia city, the others stayed in the nearby settlements for the night.

In total, about 29,000 people were evacuated from the blocked cities via humanitarian corridors today.

22:00 Special Operations Forces: on one of the frontline directions, the operators of Ukrainian SOF pushed Russian invaders out of the occupied positions, destroyed their equipment and liberated an important transport artery.

"Right now, our soldiers are preparing new 'surprises' for the Russian occupiers. Working!" the SOF Command wrote on Facebook.

21:57 Ukraine NOW: The musicians of Exemplary Military Orchestra were sent to fight by the commanders of the Russian Army, says the captive.

21:35 Oleh Synyehubov, the Head of the Kharkiv region state administration: Russian occupiers suffered a "shameful" loss near Kharkiv. He wrote about it on his Telegram channel.

Afternoon, the occupiers tried to conquer Kharkiv coming from Pyatihatki city. The Armed Forces of Ukraine inflicted significant losses on the enemy. The enemy was pushed out of his previous positions.

Also, on today's morning, Ukrainian defenders fought with the occupiers in Rus'ki Tyshky village. The combat lasted more than an hour. The same way around Ukrainian soldiers forced the enemy to retreat to their previous positions.

"Another proof that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not retreat a meter!" – Oleh Synyehubov said.

21:29 US President Joe Biden has signed a bill on provision of $13 billion to Ukraine.

"Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has united people across America and the world to act with urgency and resolve. I want to thank Congressional leadership for working so quickly to make sure we have the resources we need to continue our forceful response to this crisis."

21:13 Pavlo Kyrylenko, Head of the Donetsk region military administration: doctors and patients were taken hostage by Russian invaders in Mariupol. Kyrylenko informed this on his Facebook page. One of the hospital employees managed to pass the information. Quote:

"It is impossible to get out of the hospital. There is a heavy shooting, we sit in the basement. Vehicles have not been able to drive to the hospital for two days. High-rise buildings are burning around… Russians forced 400 people from neighboring houses to come to our hospital. We can't leave."

Kyrylenko writes: "This is Mariupol's Regional Intensive Care Hospital. The other day, Russian invaders practically destroyed it – the floor slabs fell in the main building from the bombing. But hospital staff and patients continued to be in the basement adapted for the circumstances – to work and be treated."

"The destruction was not enough for Russian villains – now they made people hostages."

The administrative official appealed to international human rights organizations to respond to these violations of the norms and customs of war and these crimes against humanity.

Defense Express / Regional hospital in Mariupol before Russians attacked it / Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
"On the photo, you can see the regional hospital before 'Russkiy mir' came to it." – Pavlo Kyrylenko / Photo credit: Donetsk Region Military Administration

20:54 Ukraine NOW: Russia officially quits Council of Europe, Russian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs said. It means that Russia may ignore European Convention on Human Rights.

"The decision to withdraw was made in the midst of another anti-Russian discussion in the PACE, which could result in another false Russophobic resolution based on conjectures that have nothing to do with reality," Tolstoy, Vice speaker of the Russian parliament, said.

Russian officials on the withdrawal from the Council of Europe, brought by Anton Gerashchenko: "A letter from Lavrov regarding Russia's withdrawal from the Council of Europe is passed to the Secretary General of the organization" says Tolstoy.

"Together with the withdrawal from the Council of Europe Russia denounces European Convention on Human Rights" says deputy Slutsky.

"The suspension of Russian membership in the Council of Europe and PACE is a good chance to re-instate a number of important institutions for the prevention of especially serious crimes in the country. I mean the death penalty" – said Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council

Background: earlier, Verkhovna Rada reported that today, on March 15, in Strasbourg, about 200 deputies from 46 member states of the Council of Europe gathered for a great debate on the Council of Europe's response to Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

The main issue of the debate will be the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to completely exclude Russia from the organization, the rights of Russia during the discussion were suspended.

20:43 Paul Dillon, Spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration: more than 3 million people have fled Ukraine. More than 157,000 among them are third country nationals. The official announced these numbers on his Twitter. According to the detailed information from Ukraine NOW, 1.4M among the totality of refugees are children.

19:50 Ukrainian journalist Kuvshynova, Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski killed by Russian artillery

Oleksandra Kuvshynova and Fox news cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski were killed while reporting in Horenka, a few kilometers outside of Kyiv. Reporter Benjamin Hall was injured and has been hospitalized.

Veteran Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski has died after his vehicle was struck by incoming fire in Horenka, outside Kyiv on Monday.

That's according to Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, who broke the news Tuesday.

"Pierre was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for FOX News from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria during his long tenure with us," the report says. "His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched. Based in London, Pierre had been working in Ukraine since February."

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

19:30 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded for Canada and its allies to do more to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including establishing a no-fly zone as civilian casualties mount, The Guardian reports citing Leyland Cecco’s report.

“How many more cruise missiles need to fall on our cities?” he asked in a televised address to Canada’s parliament, adding that 97 children had been killed so far.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded for Canada and its allies to do more to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Defense Express
Canadian MPs applaud as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the Canadian parliament on Tuesday / Photo credit: Adrian Wyld/AP

Ahead of the speech, Canada’s House of Commons was tightly packed with lawmakers, their families and members of the public. dozens of parliamentarians were dressed in yellow and blue and wearing ribbons in support of Ukraine.

Calling Volodymyr Zelenskiy a friend, prime minister Justin Trudeau said the embattled nation had the full support of Canada.

We like to root for the underdog. We believe that when a cause is just and right, it will always prevail, no matter the size of the opponents.

This doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Ukrainians are already paying incalculable human costs. This illegal and unnecessary war is a grave mistake. Putin must stop it now.

Speaking to a standing ovation, Zelenskiy asked lawmakers and the prime minister to imagine major Canadian cities and landmarks under attack.

Justin, can you imagine your children hearing all of these intense explosions?

Zelenskiy thanked Canada and European nations for providing weapons and humanitarian aid, which has been critical in blunting the Russian attack.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded for Canada and its allies to do more to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Defense Express
Volodymyr Zelenskiy is seen via videoconference as he makes an address to parliament, in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Tuesday / Photo credit: Justin Tang/AP

“Unfortunately this did not bring an end to the war,” he said.

Kharkhiv, Mariupol, are not protected like your cities are protected.

Zelenskiy said more was needed from European and North American nations, in addition to a growing list of sanctions targeting wealthy and influential Russians.

In a plea to Canada’s 1.4 million Ukrainians, the second largest diaspora in the world, Zelenskiy asked for their help.

We need your support. Show you’re more than Ukrainian history.

19:15 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Operational information on 18.00, 15.03.2022 regarding the russian invasion to Ukraine.

The twentieth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the russian military invasion continues.

An offensive operation against Ukraine continues. The enemy is stopped. Failure to achieve the goal in a timely manner, it incurs losses in manpower and equipment.

Boldly ignoring the norms of international humanitarian law, the russian invaders are launching missile and bomb attacks on critical infrastructure of Ukraine, civilians, residential areas, schools and kindergartens. The facts of holding civilians hostage, robbing the local population and looting are recorded.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are fulfilling their tasks of repelling armed aggression against Ukraine. Deployed parts of the reserve in certain areas were regrouped and counterattacked.

Fighting continues for the liberation of the outskirts of Mariupol. Soldiers of the Azov Regiment defeated one of the units of the 22nd Special Brigade of the Armed Forces of the russian federation.

In the Luhansk region, during the day, the defenders of Ukraine destroyed five MLRS BM-21 "Hrad" with ammunition to them, three T-72 tanks, one APC-3 and more than 15 enemy soldiers. These data are being clarified.

Measures are being taken to cover the state border of Ukraine and the sea coast. A stabilization operation is being carried out in some areas and territorial defense tasks are being carried out.

19:00 Ukrainian Parliament increases military budget, Ukraine’s Armed Forces to get another UAH 70B for armaments.

The Verkhovna Rada has increased budget revenues and expenditures by UAH 67.6 billion, which will be used for the purchase, modernization, and repair of weaponry and military hardware.

A total of 342 people's deputies voted in favor of adopting Draft Law No.7167 “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2022.’”

Ukrainian Parliament increases military budget, Ukraine’s Armed Forces to get another UAH 70B for armaments, Defense Express
Ukrainian Parliament - The Verkhovna Rada - increases military budget, Ukraine’s Armed Forces to get another UAH 70B for armaments

The new legislation increases the special fund’s expenditures for the Ministry of Defense by UAH 67.6 billion by attracting a loan from the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the new investment project "Official Loan Support to the Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".

Ukraine intends to purchase from the British suppliers two minesweepers, deliver and service them, jointly build eight missile boats, deliver and install weapons systems on existing vessels, jointly build a frigate, and provide consulting and technical support for naval infrastructure.

In addition, it is planned to attract a loan under state guarantees from the Credit Institution for Reconstruction (KfW) to finance measures for energy-efficient modernization and automation of power substations. The document also provides for the provision of a state guarantee to ensure the fulfillment of debt obligations of NEC Ukrenergo.

The document also restricts the use of the Road Fund. From now on, the money will be spent primarily on government debt payments and on the development of the network and road maintenance. Only after all debt obligations have been fulfilled will the money be allowed to spend for other purposes.

18:40 UK imposes sanctions on 370 Russians, Belarusians.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday, March 15, announced a "historic round of sanctions" against 370 Russian and Belarusian citizens, 51 of whom are oligarchs and their family members, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

UK imposes sanctions on 370 Russians, Belarusians, Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion,Defense Express
Putin political allies include Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev among those now subject to UK sanctions / Photo credit: Dmitry Astakhov, РИА Новости

That's according to the website of the UK government, Ukrinform reports.

"We are going further and faster than ever in hitting those closest to Putin – from major oligarchs, to his Prime Minister, and the propagandists who peddle his lies and disinformation. We are holding them to account for their complicity in Russia’s crimes in Ukraine. Working closely with our allies, we will keep increasing the pressure on Putin and cut off funding for the Russian war machine," Truss said in a statement.

Putin political allies now sanctioned include Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. Meanwhile, Russian propagandists who have been designated include Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, among others. A notorious internet ‘troll farm’, the Internet Research Agency, has also been sanctioned.

Britain has also imposed sanctions against Russian billionaire and co-founder of Alfa Group Mikhail Fridman and founder and ex-beneficiary of EuroChem Group Andrey Melnichenko.

Individuals sanctioned today will have their assets in the UK frozen which means no UK citizen or company can do business with them and they are also banned from travelling to or from the UK.

18:00 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: NATO doesn’t exclude use of chemical weapons by Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg does not exclude that Russia can fabricate circumstances to justify the use of chemical weapons against Ukraine.

“For months, we have exposed Russia’s long list of lies. They claimed they did not plan to invade Ukraine. But they did. They claimed they were withdrawing their troops. But they sent in even more. They claim to be protecting civilians.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: NATO doesn’t exclude use of chemical weapons by Russia, Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion, Defense Express
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: NATO doesn’t exclude use of chemical weapons by Russia

But they are killing civilians. Now they are making absurd claims about iological labs and chemical weapons in Ukraine,” he said in Brussels Tuesday at a press conference on the eve of an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of defense ministers, which will be held in Brussels March 16.

Stoltenberg stated that any use of chemical weapons would be a violation of international law and a violation of the ban on the use of chemical weapons. He said that they urge Russia not to use chemical weapons, they also ask to withdraw its forces and stop fighting and, especially, not to use chemical weapons.

At the same time, he noted that Russia had previously used a chemical element to kill a political opponent, as well as supporting the Assad regime, helped to simplify the use of chemical weapons.

At the same time, Stoltenberg declined to answer the question of how NATO would react if Russia did use chemical weapons in the war with Ukraine. He said that their primary responsibility is to protect NATO allies. He said that it is important that Russia understands that they are ready to do this. According to him, Russia is accusing Ukraine and NATO allies of producing chemical weapons, saying that this is a lie. They are concerned that they will do just that. The President of the United States and other allies have made it clear that if they use chemical weapons, they will pay a heavy price. But he refused to speculate about any militaryreaction from NATO, except that NATO will do everything to protect its allies.

17:15 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky: Ukraine needs long-term, legally secured security guarantees.

President of Ukraine has stated the need to find effective security guarantees for Ukraine that would not be in doubt.

"We need to look for effective guarantees. Guarantees for us, for our skies, and we will not abandon it. We need aircraft. I will continue to talk about this, I will continue to pursue this. We need long-term security guarantees for the state, for all Ukrainians, but concrete things, specific guarantees, legally binding, so that there is no doubt about them," Zelensky said in a video message on Tuesday, March 15.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Day 20th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion, Defense Express
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky: Ukraine needs long-term, legally secured security guarantees / Photo credit: Official website of President of Ukraine

The head of the Ukrainian state said that "not everyone took a moral position" in response to the war that the Russian Federation unleashed against Ukraine.

"Each of more than 800 Russian missiles that hit our state is the answer to a long-standing question about NATO, about whether the doors of the Alliance were actually open to Ukraine. If they were open, if it were honest, then it wouldn't take 20 days to convince the Alliance to close the sky over our state. Closed from the death that the Russian Air Force brings. But so far they don't hear or don't want to hear us," Zelensky said.

He noted that some states of the Alliance "intimidated themselves" with the alleged threat of a third world war. "But what will they say if Russia goes further into Europe, attacking other countries? I am sure that they will say the same thing they say to Ukraine - Article 5 of the NATO Treaty has never been as weak as it is now. This is just our opinion. When some members of the Alliance were afraid to be in fact the Alliance, capable of protecting everything for which it was created - freedom and democracy, humanity and justice," the President of Ukraine said.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs such security guarantees "so that excuses do not sound like they do now."

17:03 Ukrainian Parliament increases number of State Border Guard Service by 7,000 servicemen

The Verkhovna Rada has increased the number of the State Border Guard Service during the special period by 7,000 servicemen.

Ukrainian Parliament increases number of State Border Guard Service by 7,000 servicemen, Defense Express
Ukrainian Parliament increases number of State Border Guard Service by 7,000 servicemen

The adoption of the relevant bill No. 7161 at the first and the second reading was supported by 334 MPs at the plenary session on Tuesday, March 15.

According to the law, during the special period, the total number of the State Border Guard Service increased by the number of personnel called up for military service, and will be 60,000 people, of which 52,000 are military personnel.

Previously, the total number of this law enforcement agency numbered 53,000 people, including 45,000 military personnel.

16:45 Ukrainian Parliament supports extension of martial law in Ukraine from March 26 for 30 days.

The Verkhovna Rada has approved a presidential decree extending martial law in Ukraine from 05:30 on March 26 for 30 days, - Ukrinform reports on a respective parliament decision citing the first deputy chairman of the Servant of the People faction, MP Andrii Motovylovets.

According to him, more than 300 MPs supported the approval of the president's decree on the extension of martial law in Ukraine.

16:30 Operational Command “North”: Ukrainian artillery destroys Russian Grad systems in Chernihiv region.

An artillery unit of the Operational Command North has destroyed five Russian BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket systems and transport vehicles.

According to Ukrinform, the Operational Command North announced this on Facebook and published a respective video.

Earlier reports said that the defenders of Chernihiv from the Operational Command North had destroyed an enemy battery of multiple launch rocket systems that fired on residential areas of the city.

16:04 The Mariupol City Council reported this on Telegram: Some 2,000 private cars have already left Mariupol, surrounded by Russian invaders, on March 15, whereas another 2,000 cars are on their way out of the city.

"It is known that 2,000 cars left Mariupol as of 14:00. People are traveling along the route Mariupol-Manhush-Berdiansk-Tokmak-Vasylivka-Zaporizhia, where they can get the necessary help. Another 2,000 cars are at the exit from the city," the statement reads.

The city council also noted that for their personal safety people need to arrive in Vasylivka no later than 18:00, and those who do not have time need to find a safe place and spend the night in Berdiansk or Tokmak.

15:10 Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak in a commentary to Ukrinform: The Ukrainian and Russian delegations have resumed negotiations. A rather tough discussion between the parties is underway at the moment. “Talks have resumed. There is a tough discussion between the parties,” the report states.

A reminder that the fourth round of talks between Ukraine and the Russian Federation started on March 14, 2022. After discussion, the parties took a technical pause until March 15, 2022.

Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak
Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak
14:58

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook: Russian invaders attempted to attack the positions of Ukrainian defenders in the Polissia direction, near such settlements as Huta-Mezhyhirska and Liutizh, but the Ukrainian military successfully repelled the attack.

Russian troops are mostly focusing their efforts on replenishing losses, recruiting mercenaries from other countries, and resolving logistical issues.

In the Volyn direction, the enemy’s groups are defending the Ukrainian-Belarusian border. Meanwhile, there is a high probability of provocations aimed at involving the Belarusian side in the war as part of Russian occupation troops.

In the Polissia direction, the enemy attempted to break through the defense line of the Ukrainian military but failed. Russian troops also failed to capture Makariv.

In the Siverskyi direction, Russian invaders are trying to expand its ranks, organize logistical supplies and resume an attack on Chernihiv.

In the Slobozhanskyi direction, the enemy’s main objective is to encircle Sumy and Kharkiv.

In the Donetsk direction and the Tavvriiskyi direction, Russian invaders attempted to attack near Lysychansk, suffered losses and retreated. Near Rubizhne, the enemy is trying to gain a foothold on the western outskirts of the city. With the support of aviation and artillery strikes, offensive operations are underway in the western and eastern outskirts of Mariupol.

Russian MT-LB armored vehicle that was destroyed in Ukraine
Russian MT-LB armored vehicle that was destroyed in Ukraine

In the Southern Bug direction, the enemy is not taking active actions, but defending the previously taken positions.

In violation of the international humanitarian law, Russian troops continue to launch missile and air strikes on civil and critical infrastructure facilities, as well as civilians.

The moral and psychological condition of the enemy is remaining low, creating additional problems for the Russian command center.

13:10 The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Russia's military offensive against Ukraine forced 2.952 million people to leave the country in 19 incomplete days of the war in search of safety, protection, and assistance.

The Office said the Ukrainian-Polish border accounted for 60.7% of all refugees.

According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees from Ukraine to Poland since February 24, when Russia started the war, has reached 1.791 million.

Ukrainian refugee in Przemyśl, Poland
A woman pauses for rest at a refugee centre inside a school gym in Przemyśl, Poland. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Romania received 453,430 people, of which 250,800 people were in transit through Moldova, the department said.

According to it, some 263,890 people arrived in Hungary, some 213,000 in Slovakia, some 86,380 in Moldova.

According to the UNHCR, the flow of refugees from Ukraine to Russia amounted to 142,990, to Belarus (data for March 13) some 1,230.

"As the situation continues to evolve, about 4 million people may leave Ukraine," the UNHCR said.

According to its estimation two days ago, there are now at least 1.85 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine and another 12.65 million directly affected by the war.

UNHCR said that by the middle of 2021 there were 53,470 Ukrainian refugees in the world who applied for the appropriate status, of which 36,490 were in Europe.

As of the middle of 2020, the UNHCR estimated the Ukrainian diaspora in the world at 6.1 million, including 5 million in Europe.

The organization said the right to free movement within the Schengen area means that there are very few border controls in the European Union, so arrivals in Hungary, Poland and Slovakia only reflect border crossings in these countries, however, according to the UN, a large number of people moved to other countries.

In addition, UNHCR does not take into account persons from border countries who leave Ukraine and return home.

12:40 Rating sociological group: Most Ukrainians (56%) think the main goal of the Russian invasion is the complete destruction of the Ukrainian people, Interfax Ukraine informed. This opinion dominates in all regions of Ukraine: from the south (51%) to the west (65%).

Some 49% of respondents believe that the purpose of the attack is the occupation of Ukraine and its annexation to the Russian Federation.

Only 17% of respondents think that the Russian Federation is pursuing the goal of changing the political course of Ukraine, 15% - that it is to prevent the deployment of NATO bases, 10% - that the motive is the destruction of Ukraine's military infrastructure and 5% - provoking NATO to war. Those who believe that the Russian invasion was intended to protect the Russian-speaking population comprise only 2% of respondents.

The majority (64%) sees the search for compromises in negotiations with the involvement of other countries as a real way to end the war, while 31% believe that negotiations should be abandoned and fight until the liberation of all territories. Only 1% of respondents are in favor of agreeing to most of the requirements of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainians are not at all ready to give up either Crimea or Donbas: the majority believes that Ukraine should use every opportunity to return the occupied territories of Donbas (86%) and Crimea (80%). Residents of all regions are sure of this, and this figure is now higher than in pre-war times.

As part of the study, 1,200 respondents over the age of 18 were interviewed in all areas, except for the temporarily occupied territories. Survey method: CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews - telephone interviews using a computer).

12:00 Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration: Russian forces launched two missile strikes on Dnipro airport on the night of 15 March.

"The enemy attacked the airport in Dnipropetrovsk at night. There were two missile strikes. The runway was destroyed. The terminal was damaged. Large-scale destruction. It will take a long time to rebuild the airport" – he said in Telegram chanel.

11:27 The Office of the Prosecutor General: 97 children were killed and more than 100 injured as a result of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

"As a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, as of the morning of March 15, 2022, some 97 children were killed and more than 100 wounded. Most of the victims were in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr regions. At least 5 children die every day under shelling," the office said in a message posted on the Telegram channel.

The report notes that more than 400 educational institutions were damaged as a result of bombing and shelling, 59 of them were completely destroyed.

According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, the most damage was in Donetsk region - 119, in Kharkiv - 50, Mykolaiv - 30, Sumy - 28, Kyiv - 35, Kherson - 21 and Kyiv - 24.

"Some 11 medical institutions, 3 rehabilitation centers, including those for disabled children, were shelled," the agency informs.

At the same time, the report emphasizes that these figures are not final due to the lack of the possibility of inspecting the scenes of the incident, where the aggressor country is conducting active hostilities and in the temporarily occupied territories.

11:10 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has posted the new summary of total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 15.03. Find them in an infographics by Defense Express:

So far, the list of enemy's combat losses is the following:

Personnel - more 13 500,

Tanks ‒ 404 units,

APV ‒ 1279 units,

Artillery systems – 150 units,

MLRS – 64 units,

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 36 units,

Aircraft – 81 units,

Helicopters – 95 units,

Vehicles – 640 units,

Boats / cutters - 3 units,

Fuel tanks - 60,

UAV operational-tactical level - 9.

Data are being updated. The calculation is complicated by the high intensity of hostilities.

10:50 Head of the Rivne Military Administration Vitaliy Koval: Death toll rises to 19 after missile strike on TV tower near Rivne.

The death toll from a missile strike on a TV tower near Rivne has risen to 19.

Missile strike on TV tower near Rivne, Defense Express, war in Ukraine
Illustrative photo

"Unfortunately, we have to say that the number of victims is bigger. The rubble are still clearing away, and as of 08:30 this morning we have 19 people killed and 9 injured," Head of the Rivne Military Administration Vitaliy Koval said during the nationwide telethon.

According to him, the figure is not yet final. However, he expects the works to remove rubble to be completed in a few hours.

10:40 Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleh Synehubov: Russian invaders launch 65 attacks on Kharkiv over past day.

Russian invaders launch 65 attacks on Kharkiv over past day, Defense Express, Rusian-Ukrainian war
The consequences of missile assault in Kharkiv

"Over the past day, the occupiers fired two missiles on the central part of Kharkiv city. Smerch multiple rocket launcher was fired on the area of Gorky Park, Sumsky market, Sumska and Dynamivska streets intersection. A car of Help Army volunteers came under fire. A 26-year-old boy was killed and a woman was seriously injured. The number of victims is being determined. A total of 65 attacks were recorded over the past day," Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleh Synehubov posted on Telegram.

According to Synehubov, fighting is currently underway in the directions of Izium, Balaklia, and Derhachi.

A "green corridor" to evacuate the residents of a psychoneurological institution in Oskol is expected to open on Tuesday. A few days ago, it was virtually destroyed by Russian troops. 350 people remained in the institution.

As reported, the enemy shell hit one of the buildings of the Oskol psychoneurological institution. Fortunately, all 360 people were in the shelter at the time of the shelling: 30 workers and 330 residents – the elderly and people with disabilities. The building is completely destroyed on 2-3 floors.

10:20 The Azov Special Operations Detachment posted latest results of work.

The Azov Special Operations Detachment, Defense Express
/ Photo credits: @Polk_Azov

10:00 The press service of the National Guard of Ukraine: Ukrainian defenders stop Russian attacks on outskirts of Kharkiv.

"Ukrainian defenders stop enemy attacks on the outskirts of Kharkiv," the press service of the National Guard of Ukraine posted on Telegram, publishing a relevant video.

09:50 The State Emergency Service of Ukraine: Seven dead people found under rubble in Kharkiv region over past day.

In Kharkiv region, three people were rescued and the bodies of seven victims were removed from under the rubble of buildings destroyed by enemy shelling over the past day.

"On March 14, rescue operations continued in Kyivskyi, Shevchenkivskyi, Novobavarskyi residential districts of Kharkiv city, as well as in the Izium district of Kharkiv region. Three people were rescued from under the rubble. Seven dead bodies were found and removed," the Main Directorate of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv region posted on Facebook.

It is also reported that at night, at about 23:30, enemy shells damaged trade sites and residential buildings in Kholodnohirskyi district of Kharkiv city.

As reported, about 600 houses, 50 schools and healthcare facilities were destroyed by enemy shelling in Kharkiv.

09:45 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine thanked Russia for another portion of reinforcement.

09:20 The State Emergency Service of Ukraine: Another Russian shell hits private house in Kyiv.

A fire broke out as an enemy shell hit a private two-storey residential building in the Osokorky district in Kyiv.

“March 15, a shell hit a two-storey private house in Sadova Street, Osokorky district. Fire broke out,” the State Emergency Service posted on Facebook.

At 05:57, the fire was isolated on an area of 10 sq m. At 6:40, the fire was put out. No casualties were reported.

Several apartment blocks were hit in Kyiv this morning.

A shell hit a 16-storey apartment block in the Sviatoshynskyi district of Kyiv. The building was significantly destroyed and a fire broke out from the 1st to the 16th floors. Two people were killed.

09:15 The State Emergency Service of Ukraine: 2 killed as 16-storey apartment block shell hit in Kyiv.

A shell hit a 16-storey apartment block in the Sviatoshynskyi district of Kyiv. The building was significantly destroyed and a fire broke out from the 1st to the 16th floors. Two people were killed.

In addition, a shell hit a 9-storey apartment block in the Sviatoshynskyi district, causing minor damage to the building, followed by minor local fires on the floors. At 05:36, the fires were isolated.

09:05 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 15.03.

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted the list of destroyed enemy vehicles and personnel, which is the following:

8:50 Head of the Sumy Regional State Administration Dmytro Zhyvytskyy: Evacuation corridors to open in Sumy region.

In order to evacuate people from the city of Sumy and several other towns of the Sumy region, several humanitarian corridors have been agreed for 15 March.

Evacuation corridors to open in Sumy region, Defense Express, war in Ukraine
Illustrated photo / Photo credits: Yevhen Kizilov

According to Zhyvytskyi, "green corridors" will operate from the cities of Sumy, Konotop, Shostka, Trostyanets, and Lebedyn.

They will operate from 09:00 until 21:00 (Kyiv time).

08:10 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted Ukrainian rocket artillery at work.

“Don’t worry, the aim is reached, we’re working”, as it is said in the Facebook post.

07:50 The Head of Sumy Regional Military Administration, Dmytro Zhyvytskyy: Russia bombs enterprises in Shostka.

Russian invaders have bombed enterprises in Shostka, Sumy region. It is deemed impossible to restore the affected capacities to an operational condition.

Russia bombs enterprises in Shostka, Defense Express, Russian-Ukrainian war

This was announced by the Head of Sumy Regional Military Administration, Dmytro Zhyvytskyy, in a video report on Telegram.

"Today, Shostka was bombed. Industrial facilities, production capacities were hit. Warehouses were destroyed. Fortunately, none of those enterprises were working at that time, so we expect that there will be no people under the rubble. But it’s impossible to restore them to operational conditions. Even if there is such a need, they will not be able to start working again."

07:40 State Emergency Service of Ukraine: Russian shells hit high-rise apartment building and private house in Kyiv.

Russian troops have shelled a ten-story apartment building in the Podil neighborhood in central Kyiv, causing fire on the first through fifth floors. Another Russian shell hit a two-story private house in the Osokorky neighborhood, a largely residential neighborhood on the left bank of Kyiv.

Russian shells hit high-rise apartment building and private house in Kyiv, Defense Express, war in Ukraine
Kyiv block of flats after shelling. / Photo credits: Yevhen Kizilov

Also, on the morning of 15 March, a shelling hit a two-story private house on Sadova Street in the Osokorky neighborhood, causing a fire.

At 06:40, this fire was also extinguished. There are no victims or wounded.

07:20 National Police of Ukraine: Russian troops shelled evacuation convoy from Hostomel, killing one woman.

The Russian troops opened mortar fire on the convoy of evacuees from Hostomel, killing one woman and wounding two men.

National Police of Ukraine: Russian troops shelled evacuation convoy from Hostomel, killing one woman, Defense Express
/ Photo credits: Olha Hluschenko

"Evacuation from Hostomel was two-staged. The first convoy of 10 buses, mostly women with children, the elderly, and disabled people, reached its destination successfully.

The Russian troops opened mortar fire on the second convoy of 4 buses", the police says.

A married couple in a Volkswagen car was also hit by the Russian shelling, both were wounded. The woman died at the scene.

07:00 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Operational information on 06.00, 15.03.2022 regarding the russian invasion.

The twentieth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the russian military invasion began.

Status, position and nature of actions of the defense forces without significant changes.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are inflicting devastating blows on groups of troops and the rear infrastructure of the occupiers.

During the past 24hrs, four helicopters, one plane and a fighter shot down an enemy cruise missile were hit by a group of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The groups of the occupying forces involved in the offensive did not have significant success in all areas of advance. The main efforts continue to be focused on maintaining the occupied borders.

The enemy continues to launch missile and bomb attacks on critical infrastructure. Uses a network of health care facilities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to treat wounded personnel.

Also, the invaders continue to insidiously use civilian infrastructure to equip firing positions, deploy weapons and military equipment.

According to the available information, due to the inability to maintain the functioning of institutions and organizations to ensure the livelihood of settlements in the temporarily occupied territories of ORDLO (certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts), the occupiers are forced to suspend the mobilization of communal workers.

The moral and psychological state of the enemy remains low, which leads to the refusal of servicemen of the rf Armed Forces to carry out the orders of the command. Also, according to available information, mobilized residents from the occupied territory of some districts of Luhansk region are sent to replenish the losses of active units of the Russian occupation forces involved in hostilities in Ukraine.

The enemy is trying to capture Mariupol. Ukrainian soldiers successfully repulsed the attacks of the invaders. The total losses of the enemy amounted to about 150 people, 2 tanks, 7 infantry fighting vehicles and one armored personnel carrier. After the losses, the occupiers stopped the offensive and retreated.

Artillery and aircraft inflicted fire damage on the accumulation of military equipment and enemy columns on the advance routes. According to the available information, as a result of the artillery fire, 12 units of motor vehicles were destroyed.

The battalion tactical groups from the 336th Separate Marine Brigade and the 11th Separate Assault Brigade also suffered.

No signs of preparation for a naval landing operation were found in the Black Sea and Azov operational zones.

Let's win together! Glory to Ukraine!

06:50 A former Turkish Ambassador to Moscow, Aydin Adnan Sezgin: In Ukraine, Putin applying same tactics as in Syria’s Aleppo.

Russian troops in Ukraine are using the tactics previously applied in Aleppo, Syria, including strikes on civilian targets and hindering humanitarian and evacuation efforts.

"Currently, there is a trend of attacks being observed in Ukraine, similar to that in Syria. The Russian army fires indiscriminately. There are no military facilities in the places of missile strikes and aerial bombardment, these are all residential neighborhoods," Sezgin said.

In Ukraine, Putin applying same tactics as in Syria’s Aleppo - Aydin Adnan Sezgin, Defense Express, war in Ukraine
A former Turkish Ambassador to Moscow, Aydin Adnan Sezgin

According to him, Putin is also using the Aleppo tactic when seizing cities. In particular, it is about announcing security guarantees for civilians, while in practice there’s no such thing.

"When people seek to flee the city for fear of bombing, he says let's open a humanitarian corridor. When the humanitarian corridor is opened, he doesn’t allow it to operate at the time that’s been agreed and coordinated, so it is also being bombed," said the former Ambassador.

He also points to similarities between Russia's actions in Chechnya, when the civilian population was used as a human shield.

"This is a purely psychological propaganda war. Ukraine isn’t attacking, it’s defending its land and citizens. What would Zelensky achieve by killing his own citizens, civilians? Nothing, so it's a lie. Russia has previously made such allegations in Chechnya. They repeated the same thing in Syria, so it’s total lies. Russia has already been condemned by the entire international community," Sezgin said.

The former Turkish Ambassador to Russia believes that the longer the war lasts, the more it "works" against Putin, in particular because his entourage will be putting pressure on him to end the war, and Putin is aware of this.

06:30 The Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Russian drones keep breaching NATO airspace.

A number of Russian unmanned aerial vehicles have recently illegally flown into the airspace of NATO allies.

According to the report, Ukraine’s Air Force radars recorded the crossing the country’s state border toward Poland of what is believed was Russia’s Forpost-type UAV complex.

"The occupier's drone first circled over the Yavoriv training ground, apparently assessing the fallout of the missile attack in Lviv region, then flew into Poland, and then returned to the Ukrainian airspace before being shot down by our air defense. The search for the wreckage is still underway,” said Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command.

The Air Force also recalled earlier reports about the discovery in neighboring Romania of a Russian Orlan-10-type UAV, which is exclusively in service with the Russian Armed Forces.

"As we can see, the occupiers continue their provocations, without hesitating to fly into the airspace of NATO allies," the spokesman said in a statement.

05:00 The European Business Association survey: At least 42% of small businesses in Ukraine have ceased operations.

A quarter of small businesses in Ukraine have already exhausted their financial resilience.

The European Business Association survey: At least 42% of small businesses in Ukraine have ceased operations, Defense Express
The European Business Association survey results shown

According to the survey by the European Business Association, 42% of small businesses have closed, 31% have temporarily suspended work, and only 13% have managed to continue full, unrestricted operations as of March 14. The survey also notes that an estimated 51% of respondents intend to use the state-provided finance assistance amounting to $220 dollars.

04:30 Mariupol City Council: False information surrounding death toll in Mariupol circulates online.

Mariupol City Council has confirmed that around 2,357 people in the city have died as a result of Russian aggression as of March 14, and that all other estimates are false.

"False information surrounding deaths toll in Mariupol is spread on the Internet. Yes, information about the number of deaths in Mariupol differs from hostile actions of the Russian occupiers - from several hundred to tens of thousands. But official and confirmed information as of March 14, 2022 is about 2357 dead Mariupol residents ".

03:30 Fox News reporter injured while covering the war in Ukraine.

Fox News reporter injured while covering the war in Ukraine.

Fox News reports that its correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured near Kyiv on March 14, although the network is awaiting updates on his condition. He has been hospitalized.

Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall was injured in Ukraine Monday while reporting on the Russian invasion, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall

"Earlier today, our correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured while newsgathering outside of Kyiv in Ukraine," Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement. "We have a minimal level of details right now, but Ben is hospitalized and our teams on the ground are working to gather additional information as the situation quickly unfolds."

03:10 ThePresident of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Responsibility for war crimes of Russian military is inevitable.

"Responsibility for a deliberate humanitarian catastrophe in Ukrainian cities is inevitable. The whole world sees what is happening in Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Okhtyrka, Hostomel, Irpin, and all other Ukrainian cities".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this in his video address:

"Our brave defenders continue to inflict heavy losses on Russian troops. The number of downed helicopters in Russia will reach hundreds of units soon. They have already lost 80 combat jets. Hundreds of tanks, thousands of other equipment. In 19 days, the Russian army has lost more people killed in Ukraine than in two bloody and long-lasting wars in Chechnya.

02:40 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Russian forces planning to strengthen group of troops in Kharkiv direction.

Russian forces are planning to strengthen a group of troops in the Kharkiv direction.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced this on Facebook:

As of 24:00 on March 14, Russian troops continue their offensive operation against Ukraine. In particular, the enemy continues to use aircraft to support ground forces and destroy military and civilian infrastructure on Ukrainian territory.

Russian troops continue to form additional invading units to conduct hostilities in Ukraine. According to available information, the enemy plans to strengthen a group of troops of the Russian armed forces in the Kharkiv direction.

Russian invaders continue to launch missile and bomb attacks and fire from artillery and tanks at civilian infrastructure and populated localities.

In the Volyn direction, there is a high probability of provocations being staged at Belarusian objects in order to involve the Belarusian armed forces in the conflict.

In the Polissia direction, Russian troops are engaged in hostilities in the settlements of Poliske, Kropyvnia, Zakharivka, Olyva, Sloboda, Kukharska, Zhovtneve, Ozershchyna, Lypivka, Kopyliv, Motyzhyn, Buzova, Horenychi, Bucha and Demydiv.

In the Siversky direction, the enemy is engaged in hostilities near the settlements of Liubech, Slavutych, Kovryta, Zolotynka, Mena, Branytsia, Kalita, Bohdanivka, Lukash, Romny, Nedryhailiv. The enemy regroups troops and improves the logistics system in order to prepare for and resume the offensive in the direction of Brovary.

In the Slobozhansky direction, Russian troops are attempting to surround Sumy and are engaged in hostilities in the settlements of Svatove, Izium, Hrushevakha, Petrivske, Husarivka, Balakliya, Lyman, Malnivka, Kochetok, Bezruky, Oleksandrivka, Velyka Pysarivka, Tarasivka, Oleshnia, Nedryhailiv, Romny, Talalaivka.

In order to strengthen terrorist groups near Sumy, Okhtyrka, Kharkiv and Izium, the enemy regroups troops and fortifies positions. At the same time, there are problems with the supply of ammunition to the firing positions.

In order to replenish units of the Sixth Combined Arms Army, conscripts are urged to move to contract service.

In the Donetsk and Tavriya directions, Russian invaders are fighting in the areas of the settlements of Borova, Ternove, Novokrasnianka, Luhanske, Horlivka, Panteleimonivka, Mykilske, Huliaipole, Orikhiv, and Kamianske.

In the Avdiivka area near Kamianka, the Russians suffered heavy losses during the reconnaissance and were forced to retreat.

In the Volnovakha direction, the enemy is attempting to break through in the direction of Vuhledar.

In the Mariupol direction, the enemy is trying to capture Mariupol. Ukrainian soldiers successfully repulsed the attacks of the invaders.

The total losses of the enemy are about 150 people, two tanks, seven infantry fighting vehicles and one armored personnel carrier. After the losses inflicted on them, Russian troops stopped the offensive and retreated.

In the Southern Buh direction, the enemy is trying to fortify positions in the areas of Tomyna Balka, Nadezhdivka, Kyselivka, Pervomaiske, Mykhailo-Laryne, Ulianivka, Pisky, Dobre, Snihurivka, Arkhanhelske, Zahradivka, Osokorovka, Beryslav and Kakhovka.

In the Black Sea and Azov operational zones, no signs of preparation for a naval landing operation were recorded.

02:00 Head of the Kharkiv regional military administration Oleh Syniehubov: Russian invaders destroying historic center of Kharkiv.

Russian invaders continue to strike residential areas in Kharkiv, destroying the city's historic center.

Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said this on Telegram:

"The occupiers continue to strike residential areas in Kharkiv, destroying the historic center. The shelling continues in Chuhuiv, Izium, Derhachi. Today the enemy also launched strikes from Iskander missile systems. According to the General Staff, the attack came from Russian territory," he wrote.

He added that Kharkiv is defending for the 19th day. The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not allow the enemy into the city and carry out counter-offensive operations in the region.

Syniehubov asked residents of Kharkiv not to ignore air raid sirens and hide in a bomb shelter.

01:50 A senior U.S. defense official: The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not allow Russians to achieve air superiority.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not allow Russians to achieve air superiority, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Pentagon

The Ukrainian Armed Forces skillfully defend Ukrainian airspace and do not allow Russian forces to obtain air superiority.

A senior U.S. defense official made this assessment on Monday.

"We would still maintain that the airspace is contested, that the Russians have not achieved air superiority over all of Ukraine," he said.

"I can't speak to the Ukrainians' air plan. It changes every day. They're being, we think, appropriately careful with their air assets and how they are using them and what they're using them for," the defense official added.

01:22 Anton Gerashchenko: Ben Hall (Benjamin Hall), a journalist of the American television company Fox News, is in critical condition, unconscious. He underwent a number of surgeries. The fate of Fox News cameraman, Irish citizen Pierre Zakrevski, and producer Alexandra Kuvshinova is still unknown.

Judging by the nature of Ben Hall's injuries, the Fox News film crew got under mortar or artillery fire from the Russian invaders near the village of Horenka, Kyiv region, when they were heading towards the city of Irpen.

Defense Express memo: Fox News State Department Correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured while reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine on March 14. He was hospitalized with a comminuted fracture of both legs as the result of a Russian attack. More details here.

01:18 US President Joe Biden published a statement in support of Ukraine: "We will make sure Ukraine has weapons to defend against the invading Russian force. We will send money and food and aid to save Ukrainian lives. We will welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms."

01:13 Stratcom Centre: Mayor of the Melitopol city Ivan Fedorov was brought to Luhansk after he had been kidnapped. The Russians in the temporarily occupied Luhansk city to accuse him of "terrorism". The information is provided by the Zaporizhzhia region military administration.

01:10 Verkhovna Rada: the situation in Mariupol is catastrophic: the number of killed by the Russian attacks approaches 20 thousand – the Adviser to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andriushchenko

00:18 Air Force: during March 14 air defense of the Ukrainian Air Force took down 4 more helicopters, a jet and a cruise missile of Russian invaders. Strike aircraft – Su-24M bombers and Su-25 fighters – made several raids on Russian vehicles' columns.

Also, Air Forces' radars noticed a case of a Russian Forpost-type UAV crossing the border of Ukraine in the Polish direction. The drone was observing the results of missile shelling of the Yavoriv military base in the Lviv region (Western Ukraine). Then he entered Poland's airspace and went back to Ukraine and was downed by air defense systems. The remnants are being searched for.

Air Force reminded of the case when Russian "Orlan-10" UAV fell in Romania. Air Force Command stressed that Russian aircraft repeatedly violates the airspace of NATO members.

Background:

February, 24: Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a "special military operation" against Ukraine. A number of cities of Ukraine suffered a missile attack. Missiles hit several military facilities in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro cities. In a few hours, martial law was imposed in Ukraine.

The war lasts for two weeks now. An impressive rundown of the first days of war was provided by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his address to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Key points regarding the current state of warfare:

  • Ukraine managed to establish the defense, Russian offense has stalled
  • Belarus provides its lands to Russian troops and equipment; still hasn't joined the war directly
  • Russia uses terroristic methods of war, shelling civilian facilities where there are no military facilities nearby, keeping cities in a full blockade, and sabotaging humanitarian corridors
  • Humanitarian corridors: despite repetitive violations of ceasefire and shelling of evacuation transport, some of the humanitarian corridors work. Finally, the humanitarian corridor in Mariupol city worked out. Mariupol is currently in Russian blockade
  • Russian army targets nuclear power plants; Chernobyl NPP and Zaporizhzhia NPP are seized by occupiers; military activities by Russian forces near power plant was described by Ukraine as nuclear terrorism
  • Ukraine urges NATO to close the sky over Ukraine or at least provide air defense equipment
  • Ukraine appealed for EU membership via an accelerated procedure. The EU Council summit concluded that such a fast-track application process is impossible, yet they stated that "Ukraine belongs to the European Union"
  • Ukrainian citizens in the occupied cities rally against Russians; thousands of civilian volunteers join the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; the fighting has become a national struggle for survival
  • Ukraine has had four rounds of negotiations with Russia; still, no significant progress towards ceasefire and peace, the main question, for now, is establishing humanitarian corridors for the supply of aid and evacuation of civilians; the direct talks of presidents Zelenskyy and Putin are being considered
Read more: Day 19th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Aggression (Live Updates)
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