Day 24th 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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The aftermath of the Russsian shelling of Mykolaiv on March 18 morning / Photo credit: Julian Ropcke
The aftermath of the Russsian shelling of Mykolaiv on March 18 morning / Photo credit: Julian Ropcke

Day 24. While Russian forces are completely stalled in all operational directions and even occasionally retreat; while their ballistic rockets are coming to almost spent and the supplies are being sabotaged by Ukrainian and even Belarussian oppositional partisans; while the Russians terrorize temporarily occupied cities; while their economy is being completely ruined, Ukrainian officials start to talk over possible controversial compromises with Russia

Brief facts:

  • 3,2 million refugees have fled Ukraine
  • Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk admitted the possibility of changing the Constitution in the part of joining NATO amidst the negotiations with the Russian Federation
  • Russia has used the new parachute-descending weaponry for the first time in Ukraine

Sources:

Latest news:

00:20 Adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Vadym Denysenko: Ukrainian military carry out several counterattacks over past day

Read more: Ukraine’s Stugna-P ATGM Blasting More And More russia’s Vehicles

On March 19, the Ukrainian military carried out several counterattacks, inflicting losses on Russian invaders in equipment and personnel.

"The Azov Regiment counterattacked in Mariupol today (March 19), eliminating up to 50 Russian soldiers, several units of Russian military equipment. In fact, the town is holding on, the town is fighting," Adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Vadym Denysenko said on the air of the nationwide telethon, Ukrinform reports.

He added that the Ukrainian military had also launched a counterattack in Zaporizhzhia direction.

"Up to 60 Russians were killed, several units of equipment were destroyed. I would also like to mention the Belarusian direction. Belarusian guerrillas helped us by actually disabling the railway towards Ukraine," said the adviser.

Thus, he added, "it is currently impossible to reach Ukraine by rail from Belarus, which would complicate logistics for the Russian Federation."

23.55 UN Human Rights Office: Civilian deaths in Ukraine war hit 847, while over 1,390 injured:

The number of civilian deaths recorded since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine has reached 847, while 1,399 more have been injured, - Anadolu Agency reports citing the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

"OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, especially in Government-controlled territory and especially in recent days," - said OHCHR on Saturday, March 19.

Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes, according to the rights office.

Day 24th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion, Defense Express
An ambulance stands ready by a damaged residential building after a Russian attack in Chernihiv, Ukraine on March 17, 2022

It said receipt of information "from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration."

This concerns, for example, Izyum in the Kharkiv region, and Mariupol and Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.

23:00 Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk: On March 19, more than 6,600 people from Donetsk, Kyiv and Luhansk regions were evacuated through humanitarian corridors.

Iryna Vereshchuk said this at a briefing, - Ukrinform reports.

"Eight out of ten humanitarian corridors were open today. A total of 6,623 people were evacuated,” Vereshchuk said.

In particular, according to her, 4,128 people, including 1,172 children, were evacuated from the city of Mariupol in Donetsk region to the city of Zaporizhzhia.

Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk, Defense Express
Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk

Almost 500 Mariupol residents were transported from Manhush to Berdiansk by minibuses. Tomorrow morning they will be able to leave for Zaporizhzhia by buses.

In Kyiv region, 500 people were evacuated through humanitarian corridors from the village of Bervytsia to Brovary, 320 people - from the town of Bucha to the village of Belohorodka, 1,000 people - from the village of Bohdanivka to Brovary.

In addition, 160 people left the city of Lysychansk in Luhansk region for Bakhmut, 160 people were evacuated from Severodonetsk to Bakhmut, 45 people - from Rubizhne to Bakhmut, 310 people - from Popasna to Bakhmut.

Vereshchuk noted that humanitarian goods - food and medical supplies - were also delivered to these cities.

22:30 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Defenders of Ukraine destroy two Ka-52 helicopters.

The Ukrainian military destroyed two Ka-52 helicopters, one near Zaporizhia and another in the Kyiv region - the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said this in a statement released on Facebook.

"Our defenders in the Zaporizhia direction reported the destruction of a Ka-52 helicopter and damage to another similar aircraft. About 60 Russian occupiers and several armored vehicles of the enemy were also eliminated. Another Ka-52 'super alligator' was shot down in the Kyiv region," the statement said.

21:55 A video of a police officer in Mariupol, where fighting has been intensifying, is starting to circulate.

The officer, Michail Vershnin, directs his pleas to Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron saying that his city has been “wiped off the face of the earth,” – The Guardian reports.

“Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it has been wiped off the face of the earth,” he said in Russian in the video filmed Friday.

“You have promised that there will be help, give us that help. Biden, Macron, you are great leaders. Be them to the end,” he said.

21:20 Ukraine’s Armed Forces’ Operational and Tactical Group East Ukraine’s military Army destroys enemy plane, five tanks, six IFVs, Orlan drone in Donetsk direction

Russian troops suffered heavy losses on March 19 while trying to break through the defense of the Ukrainian army in the area of responsibility of the Operational and Tactical Group East.

Operational and Tactical Group East said this in a statement on Facebook, - Ukrinform reports.

Russia’s TOCHKA-U missile was shot down by Ukraine’s military in the area of Popasna, Luhansk region, Day 24th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion, Defense Express
Russia’s TOCHKA-U missile was shot down by Ukraine’s military in the area of Popasna, Luhansk region

Five tanks, six infantry fighting vehicles, four vehicles and an Orlan UAV were destroyed in the Donetsk direction over the past day, the statement said.

"Defenders of Mariupol continue to show their incredible resilience and heroism. Today they destroyed a tank and two armored personnel carriers of the enemy. In addition, with the help of available air defense systems they destroyed an aircraft (aircraft type is being clarified)," the statement added.

The work of the Ukrainian artillery was no less productive as a supply convoy consisting of two fuel tankers and four vehicles was destroyed. The gunners also shelled personnel and equipment of the Russian invaders. As a result, five infantry fighting vehicles and two armored personnel carriers were destroyed.

Day 24th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion, Defense Express

"As for the manpower, at least 150 Russian occupiers are already listening to Kobzon," the Operational and Tactical Group East said.

20:50 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine published a video representing how Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces eliminate occupiers warehouse with ammunition.

“Your mood when you brought artillery to a warehouse with ammunition of russian non-humans and you watch the occupiers burn together with their ammunition.The Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are working creatively! Work for you! Let's win together!,” - said notes in post of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the video.

20:35 U.S. confirms Russia used hypersonic missiles against Ukraine on March 19.

U.S. officials confirmed that Russia launched hypersonic missiles against Ukraine last week, the first known use of this type of weapons in combat, - Ukrinform reports citing CNN.

The U.S. was able to track the launches in real time, the sources said.

The launches were likely intended to test the weapons and send a message to the West about Russian capabilities, multiple sources told CNN.

A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile being carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K supersonic interceptor aircraft (NATO reporting name: Foxhound), Defense Express
A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile being carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K supersonic interceptor aircraft (NATO reporting name: Foxhound)

Russia's Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that it had launched hypersonic Kinzhal missiles against a military ammunitions warehouse in western Ukraine on Friday, destroying the structure in the Ukrainian village of Deliatyn.

Hypersonic missiles can travel at a far lower trajectory than high-arcing ballistic missiles, which can be easily detectable. Hypersonics can also maneuver and evade missile defense systems.

20:20 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Operational information on 18.00, 19.03.2022 regarding the russian invasion to Ukraine.

The twenty-fourth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation continues.

The operational situation has not changed significantly. Defenders of Ukraine are holding on combat lines, concentrating their main efforts around strategically important cities - Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Mykolayiv, and forcing the enemy to abandon the continuation of the offensive.

Due to the professional and heroic actions of the Defense Forces and strong national resistance, the enemy did not fulfil the tasks set by the kremlin leadership: the encirclement of Kyiv, access to the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and establishing control over the left bank of Ukraine.

The enemy continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on military and civilian infrastructure using high-precision weapons, unguided aircraft bombs and high-impact munitions.

Violating the norms of international law and human morality, the russian invaders are attacking densely populated Ukrainian cities and villages, critical and industrial infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and government agencies.

russian troops continue to suffer heavy losses. In the temporarily occupied Crimea, some marine units have lost up to 90 percent of their personnel, and there are no reserves to recover.

There are attempts to recruit companies to be sent to Ukraine at the expense of those sent from other military units. In these units, more than 20 people wrote reports of refusal to take part in the war against Ukraine, and repressive methods of influence were applied to "deniers".

In recent days, enemy units in the Mykolayiv direction, manned by mobilization in the temporarily occupied Donetsk region (recall that forced mobilization of the population in the occupied territories is a direct violation of the Rome Statute and the Geneva Conventions), have also suffered significant losses. During the two days of fighting, the irreparable losses of the enemy amounted to more than 200 people, the rest are demoralized and refuse to take part in hostilities. The mobilized openly accuse the russian command of using them for "combat reconnaissance" to identify the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Refrigerators with a load of "200" arrive at the Luhansk Regional Hospital every day. This is the body of a soldier of the 2nd Army Corps, which has suffered significant losses. Queues of relatives of the dead lined up near the district executive committees on death certificates.

Unsuccessful in open combat, the occupiers continue to terrorize the local population. With the help of propaganda stories, the enemy is trying to form a picture of the loyal attitude of the local population to the occupying power. In the settlements of Chernihiv region, russian invaders tried to distribute "humanitarian aid". The locals did not take anything from the enemy, even under pressure. The enemy is trying to carry out similar measures in Kyiv and Kherson oblasts.

19:57 The Pentagon: Bulgaria will not provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Following today's meeting with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov announced that his country is not planning to provide weaponry to Ukraine.

"Bulgaria has already sent a lot of humanitarian aid, medications. <...> But being so close to the conflict, just right now I have to say that currently, we will not be able to send military assistance to Ukraine. This will not be possible as of now, but this type of military assistance should only happen, potentially, only if it is approved by the Bulgarian parliament," stated Kiril Petkov. He also stressed that during his today's meeting with Lloyd Austin the question of providing military aid to Ukraine was not part of the discussion.

Earlier, France 24 and Air Force media reported that Bulgaria is one of the countries that possess S-300 long-range air defense systems, which Ukraine needs to mitigate Russian advantage in the air.

Defense Express / Aftermath of a missile strike on the territory of the Rakivshchyna Starostinsky District: 10 private houses damaged, no casualties / Day 24th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
Aftermath of a missile strike on the territory of the Rakivshchyna Starostinsky District: 10 private houses damaged, no casualties / Photo credit: Ovruch city Council

19:37 Ukraine NOW citing Ovruch city council: the Russians destroyed the village in the Zhytomyr region to the ground

Today, on March 19, a small Pryvar village was fired on by a Russian helicopter. The village is completely destroyed. No one was killed, since residents were hiding in basements. But the infrastructure was completely destroyed.

On top of that, Russian troops launched a missile strike on the territory of the Rakivshchyna Starostinsky District. 10 private houses were damaged. No one was killed or injured.

19:11 The United Nations has confirmed that there are no laboratories in Ukraine that produce biological weapons.

"The UN is not aware of any biological weapons programme being conducted in Ukraine, the Organization’s disarmament chief told the Security Council once more on Friday, responding to fresh allegations by the Russian Federation, that it had evidence to the contrary," written in the organization's press center's release.

Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, confirmed it at an emergency meeting called by Moscow after they accused Ukraine of developing a biological weapon in coordination with the USA. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield recalled that the Council already heard a "tirade of bizarre conspiracy theories" on biological weapons at its meeting a week earlier.

18:47 Ukrainian MFA via Ukraine Media Centre: Ukraine has become the first state in the world to sue on the basis of the Terrorist Financing Convention. It was said by Emine Dzhaparova the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine during the briefing at the "Ukraine Media Centre".

"When the decision is made in our favor, Russia will be recognized as a terrorist State. Moreover, Ukraine is the second State in the world, which is filing a claim on the basis of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The one Georgia appealed to, fruitless though", Emine Dzhaparova reported.

She explained, that Ukraine submitted the claims of violating these two documents because Russia had verbalized their agreement on both. Therefore the UN International Court of Justice is in power to take into consideration Russia's violation of these treaties.

18:46 Presidential Office via Ukraine NOW: 562 Russian prisoners of war are officially in Ukraine. They are treated in accordance with International Humanitarian Law. This was announced by the Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk.

18:40 MIA of Ukraine: the usage of the new weapon was first recorded yesterday in Kyiv, said Anton Gerashchenko, the Advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine during his briefing at Ukraine Media Center.

"The usage of new weapons was first recorded yesterday in Kyiv, namely shells descending on parachutes. Russians are implementing the cruelest weapon", said Gerashchenko.

18:31 UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell: 1.5 million children have been evacuated from Ukraine since the Russian invasion, and countless have become internally displaced.

17:39 Ukrainian Land Forces: air defense of Ukrainian Land Forces have taken down another K-52 "Alligator" helicopter in the Bucha district of Kyiv region. Ukrainian soldiers used the Stinger MANPADS to eliminate the enemy aircraft.

17:17 Strategic Communications Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Ukrainian defenders have already eliminated more than a dozen of Russian high commanders and at least six generals:

  1. Major General Magomed Tushayev – Commander of the 141st Motorized Regiment of the National Guard of the Russian Federation;
  2. Major General Vitaly Gerasimov – First Deputy Commander of the 41st Army of the Central Military District of Russia;
  3. Major General Andrey Kolesnikov – Commander of the 29th Army of the Eastern Military District;
  4. Major General Andriy Sukhovetsky – Deputy Commander of the 41st Army of the Central Military District.
  5. Major General Oleg Mityaev – Сommander of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division. StratCom notes, that the 150th Idritsa-Berlin Order of Kutuzov Motorized Rifle Division is presented in Russia as the successor to the 150th Rifle Division, which was formed in 1943 and participated in the storming of the Reichstag. However, in the first ten days of the invasion of Ukraine, the division suffered a crushing defeat near Mariupol.
  6. Lieutenant General Andriy Mordvichev – commander of the 8th Guards General Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation. Eliminated on March 18.

The Strategic Communications Command explained that the "high-rank Russian generals, who are unable to demonstrate at least some kind of victory, personally take control over combat on the frontline. To later report to the bunker-locked "Fuhrer" [Putin] that at least they did everything they could."

16:51 Center for Countering Disinformation: Russian authorities unconsciously give up classified military information on their own.

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the NSDC of Ukraine confirms, that the Irkutsk region mayor Leonid Frolov wrote on his Facebook page about the death in Ukraine of Irkutsk native Valeriy Berezovski and thus gave up two military secrets at once:

  1. said that the deceased was fighting in Ukraine in 2014 when Russia officially claimed there were no Russian troops in the temporarily occupied Donbas
  2. in February 2022, the deceased departed for an "assignment" in Ukraine, not the military drills, which points out that the Russian military operation (namely the invasion – Defense Express) was planned beforehand

In this manner, the story finally refutes Putin's long-standing myths that there was no Russian military in Donbas and the "civil war in eastern Ukraine." And confirms the fact that both separatism in Donbas and the military invasion of Ukraine were purposeful, in advance prepared special operations of the Kremlin, aimed for further destruction of independent Ukraine.

16:21 Ukrainian Land Forces: Ukrainian air defense servicemen have taken down a "Tochka-U" missile. Near Popasna city of Severedonetsk district, Luhansk region, air defense military hit the Russian missile with a Stinger MANPADS.

"Our guys won't stop surprising us," the Land Forces wrote on Facebook.

Defense Express / Ukrainian air defense servicemen have taken down a
Remnants of the downed missile. "Tochka-U" tactical ballistic missile is a 6.4 m long missile, usually with a high-explosive warhead / Photo credit: Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
16:11

Ukraine NOW reports new sanctions on Russia as part of international reaction to its unjustified invasion of Ukraine:

  • The Swiss government has decided to join the fourth package of EU sanctions and bans the export of luxury goods to Russia
  • As a result of sanctions against Russia, about 11.5 million euros belonging to 26 legal entities and 2 individuals were frozen in Latvian banks
  • The US Department of Commerce has banned the maintenance of 100 commercial and private aircraft used by Russia

15:45 New footage of a recently captured radio interference station “Mercury-BM” (“Rtut-BM”):

15:25 Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Valeriy Zaluzhny urges Ukrainian politicians not to split country, assessing operational situation from rear.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Valeriy Zaluzhny urged politicians who are in the rear and talk about the operational situation and alleged preparations for the surrender of the country not to split Ukraine with such statements.

Valeriy Zaluzhny urges Ukrainian politicians not to split country, assessing operational situation from rear, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny

"I want to appeal to politicians who, while in the rear cities, talk about 'treason' and give 'assessments' of the operational situation. With your irresponsible statements, for example, that the enemy allegedly took something without any problems or that the surrender of the country is allegedly being prepared, you insult our soldiers," the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a message posted on his Facebook page.

He stressed: "The defense forces are heroically resisting the enemy, who was called the second army in the world... The 24th day of our resistance to full-scale aggression is underway. The resistance, which was made possible thanks to national unity, our preparation and motivation."

15:05 The State Emergency Service of Ukraine: In Rubizhne, house collapses as result of shelling.

As a result of shelling of a residential building in the city of Rubizhne, Luhansk region, three people, including two children, were killed. One child was saved.

As the State Emergency Service reported on Saturday, on March 19, as a result of shelling, a residential building in the town of Rubizhne was destroyed, people were trapped under the rubble. The fire and rescue unit of the State Emergency Service of Luhansk region arrived at the scene.

"From under the rubble, they first pulled out two children with no signs of life, the rescuers did cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but, unfortunately, upon arrival, emergency medical workers stated the death of the children," the message says.

"Rescuers continued to dismantle the rubble and found a woman and one child. At present, medical workers have declared the death of a woman. The child was saved, his condition is stable, satisfactory," the State Emergency Service said.

14:50 The Head of the regional military administration Oleh Synehubov: Ukrainian Armed Forces hold positions in Izium direction, in Kharkiv local residents help to identify sabotage group in residential high-rise building.

Last night in Kharkiv passed relatively calmly, during the day the city was subjected to 29 enemy shelling, the Head of the regional military administration Oleh Synehubov said.

The Head of the regional military administration Oleh Synehubov: Ukrainian Armed Forces hold positions in Izium direction, in Kharkiv local residents help to identify sabotage group in residential high-rise building, Defense Exppress, war in Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian war
The Head of the regional military administration Oleh Synehubov

"In a day, the Russians fired 29 times - these are artillery, mortar strikes, shelling from the MLRS," Synehubov wrote in his Telegram channel.

He informed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are repelling all Russian offensive attempts in Izium direction.

"Our army repels all attempts. Because the 'cadets' sent by the Russians cannot stand even an hour of fighting with our defenders," Synehubov wrote.

14:30 The press service of the National Guard of Ukraine: Invaders massively mining settlements as they retreat.

The enemy is planting mines in Ukrainian settlements, mostly retreating from their positions.

The press service of the National Guard of Ukraine: Invaders massively mining settlements as they retreat, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian war

That’s according to the press service of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU), Ukrinform reports.

"The enemy is mining Ukrainian settlements, mostly retreating from their positions. The Russicsts are insidious – they don’t shy away from any means of harming civilians," the statement said.

Elaborating on the invaders’ moves, the NGU noted that mines and other explosive devices can be planted anywhere: in abandoned homes, on the streets, in playgrounds, and in suburban areas: in fields, forests, ponds, roadsides, etc.

14:00 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Operational information on 12.00, 19.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion.

The twenty-fourth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the russian military invasion continues.

Russian occupation forces are trying to continue a strategic offensive against Ukraine. The main enemy task to defeat groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, encircle Kyiv, reach the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and establish control over the left bank of Ukraine has not been fulfilled. The enemy partially reached the aim in the Donetsk direction. The enemy is stopped in the direction of Mykolayiv.

The enemy continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on military and civilian infrastructure using high-precision, according to russia, weapons and unguided aerial bombs.

Since the beginning of hostilities, the enemy has struck 291 missile strikes, used 459 surface-to-sea, naval and air-based missiles, and conducted 1,403 air raids.

The main land targets of the russian invaders were Ukrainian cities and villages, namely industrial infrastructure, schools, hospitals, national historical and religious shrines, and densely populated residential areas.

There were no significant changes in the situation in the Volyn region.

In the Polissya direction, separate units of the occupiers continue to defend in the settlements of Poliske, Kropyvnya, Zakharivka, Oliva, Zhovtneve, Ozershchyna, Lypivka, Kopyliv, Motyzhyn, Buzova, Horenychi, Bucha, and Demydiv.

In the area northwest of Chernobyl, the invaders deployed the rear area of the Eastern Military District.

The enemy continues to suffer significant losses in personnel and equipment. A network of health care facilities of the city of Gomel and the Gomel region of the Republic of Belarus is used to receive wounded servicemen of the occupying forces. Hospitals with operating departments are mainly used to provide medical care to the occupiers.

Scheduled surgery operations for the civilian population are not conducted.

To replenish the losses of the Eastern Military District group, separate units have been transferred to the territory of the Republic of Belarus. 155th Separate Marine Brigade (Vladivostok) and 40th Separate Marine Brigade (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky).

In the northern direction, the enemy is trying to take actions in the areas of the settlements of Lyubech, Slavutych, Kovpita, Zolotynka, Mena, Nizhyn, Branytsia, Kalyta, Bogdanivka, Lukash, Romny, Nedrigailiv. He did not carry out active offensive actions.

The partial blockade of the city of Chernihiv continues, the enemy carries out artillery shelling of densely populated areas. Up to three brigades are trying to maintain defensive positions in the areas of Lyubech, Mykhailo-Kotsyubynske, Yakubivka, Shestovytsia, Zolotynka, Yahidne, Lukashovka, and Kiselivka. No significant changes in the composition and nature of the enemy's actions were noted.

In the direction of Brovary, the invader operates with forces of up to three brigades. Trying to control the border in the areas of Markovtsi, Zavorychi, Rudnya, Bogdanivka, Zalissia, Mykhailivka, Svitilnya, Peremoha, Rudnytske, Velykyi Krupil, Malyi Krupil, and Petrivka. The occupying forces did not take any active actions.

The enemy does not refuse to carry out offensive operations on Kyiv and tries to regroup combat units.

In the Slobozhansky direction certain forces of the Western military district did not carry out active offensive actions in Romny, Talalaivka.

In the direction of Sumy and Okhtyrka, units of the 1st Tank Army of the enemy are not conducting active offensive operations, concentrating efforts on blocking the city of Sumy. The enemy is trying to prepare for offensive operations in the direction of the settlements of Trostyanets, Okhtyrka, Poltava, part of the forces - in Pryluky and Kyiv.

In the Kharkiv region, units of the 6th General Army and the Northern Fleet did not take active action. The main efforts of the occupiers were focused on blocking the city of Kharkiv, destroying its civilian infrastructure and conducting reconnaissance of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Air reconnaissance using the Orlan-10 UAV was recorded.

In the direction of Izyum, the enemy is trying to take actions in the areas of Balakleya, Husarivka, Volobuivka, Petrovske, Protopopivka, Savintsi, Veseloe, Izyum, Snizhkivka, Topolske, Bakhtin, Kapitolivka. No active offensive operations were noted, and troops were regrouped and provided with logistics. The enemy fired missiles at the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kamyanka region.

In the Donetsk direction, the enemy operates in the areas of the settlements of Borov, Terny, Novokrasnyanka, Pervomaisk, Horlivka, Panteleimonivka, Yasynuvata, Donetsk, Olenivka, Novotroitskoye, Olhynka, Volodymyrivka, Mykilske, Pavlivka, and Prechistovka.

In the Luhansk direction, the enemy tried to continue offensive operations in certain areas and operates in the areas of the settlements of Terny, Chervonopopivka, on the outskirts of Rubizhne, Kudryashivka, Pudrivka, Oskolonivka, Bobrovo, Zholobko, Molodizhny, Novooleksandrivka, Popasna, Dopasnoye, Troitsky , Shumiv, Shiroka Balka, Ozeryanivka.

He is trying to carry out assault operations and fire raids in the vast majority of areas. The main efforts are focused on attempts to capture the settlements of Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Popasna.

He carried out air strikes on civilian targets in the areas of Sirotyne and Metolkine.

In the direction of Severodonetsk, the enemy attempted an offensive, was unsuccessful, suffered heavy losses and retreated.

In the Rubizhne area, with the support of artillery, it continues to gain a foothold in the western and north-western parts of the city, regrouped, and has no success.

In the direction of Pervomaisk, Lysychansk is trying to fire on our troops in order to deter the actions of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Assault operations and raids are conducted in the vast majority of areas. The main efforts are focused on capturing the city of Vugledar and the hero city of Mariupol.

In the Priazovsky direction, the enemy did not conduct active offensive operations during the day, firing at the positions of our troops in the areas of Gulyaipole, Stepnogorsk and Orikhiv using mortars, artillery and MLRS. Carries out regrouping in order to prevent the breakthrough of our troops in the direction of Mariupol.

In the South Buh direction, the enemy is operating in the settlements of Pravdine, Petrovske, Novohryhorivka, Novomykolaivka, Chervone, Greyhove, Mykhailo-Larine, Ingulka, Hrystoforivka, Maryanivka, Novooleksandrivka, Partizanske, Snihurivka, Krylinka, Kalynivka, Vylochu, Vyloka It does not conduct active offensive operations, regroups, deploys reserves, and replenishes ammunition.

In the direction of Kryvyi Rih, the enemy is stopped and fixed in the areas of Krasnovka, Prihirya, Zagradovka, Arkhangelskoye, Knyazivka, Vysokopillya, Mala Shesternya, Petrovka, Novovorontsovka and tries to prepare for offensive operations.

In some areas, the enemy moved in order to remove damaged equipment and units that can not be restored.

Ukrainian defenders continue to restrain the enemy by showing courage and heroism!

Let's win together! Glory to Ukraine!

13:40 Kyiv Oblast Police Department: Russia shelled a settlement killing 7 Ukrainian citizens.

In Bucha region Russian occupiers used heavy artillery, killing 7 civilians. 5 people were injured. The Police dept informs that some residential buildings are destroyed.

13:30 New footage of destroyed Russia’s military vehicles in Ukraine:

13:00 An adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Vadym Denysenko: Battles for Azovstal going on in Mariupol, invaders almost destroy it.

In the city of Mariupol, battles are going on for the Azovstal metallurgical plant, the invaders continue to destroy it, Vadym Denysenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, said on the air of a telethon.

Battles for Azovstal going on in Mariupol, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Azovstal metallurgical plant

"Now there are battles for Azovstal. In fact, according to the available data, I can say that we have lost this economic giant. In fact, one of the largest metallurgical plants in Europe is actually being destroyed," Denysenko said on the air on Saturday morning.

12:50 An adviser to the President’s Office Mykhailo Podolyak: Russia peace talks may last several weeks.

Peace talks with Russia may last at least “several weeks,” even though there are signs that Moscow’s position has become more “adequate,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the President’s Office.

An adviser to the President’s Office Mykhailo Podolyak: Russia peace talks may last several weeks, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
An adviser to the President’s Office Mykhailo Podolyak

Key questions during the negotiations include security guarantees, a cease-fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops, and the “political resolution of disputed territories,” Podolyak said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg TV from his office in Kyiv.

12:20 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Russia uses the mobilized from the “ORDLO” as cannon fodder to detect Ukraine’s fire positions.

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Russia uses the mobilized from the “ORDLO” as cannon fodder to detect Ukraine’s fire positions, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
/ Photo credits: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

According to the General Staff of Ukraine these units are said to be sent to the line of contact despite the high losses. In this way Russians determine the fire positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

One of these divisions on March 16-17 lost about 200 mobilized out of 250-300 in the Mykoliav direction.

11:45, An adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Vadym Denysenko: Smog over Kyiv is due to burning landfill near Novi Petrivtsi and calm weather.

Smog over Kyiv on Saturday morning is the result of a burning landfill near Novi Petrivtsi and calm weather, Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, has said.

"Smog over Kyiv. Why did it appear: 1. The landfill near Novi Petrivtsi is burning down. 2. Windless weather. As soon as the wind appears, the smog will dissipate from the operation of thermal power plants and smoke from fires in the vicinity of Kyiv," he wrote on Facebook.

Denysenko noted that in the Chornobyl zone, from the point of view of the fire situation, everything is calm.

11:30 The Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine Viktor Liashko: Ministry of Health sends over 130 children for treatment abroad, another group being prepared. The Ministry of Health has already sent more than 130 children for treatment abroad, another group is being prepared, the Minister of Health Viktor Liashko has said.

Ministry of Health of Ukraine sends over 130 children for treatment abroad, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian war
The Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine Viktor Liashko

"We have already sent five such groups to the EU territory, the sixth is being formed tomorrow. More than 130 children have already been transported to the EU – both Poland and France," he said during a telethon on the 1+1 TV channel on Friday evening.

Liashko noted that the need to take children abroad for treatment arose, in particular, in connection with the fact that the Okhmatdyt clinic was reformatted to treat patients with acute cases, polytrauma and injuries.

According to Liashko, the transfer of Ukrainian children for treatment abroad was initiated at the level of first ladies.

He clarified that we are talking, first of all, about children with cancer.

11:10 The Ministry of Defense of the UK: Russia has failed to achieve its original objectives.

Russia has so far failed to achieve its original objectives in its invasion of Ukraine, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

The Ministry of Defense of the UK: Russia has failed to achieve its original objectives, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

“The Kremlin has so far failed to achieve its original objectives. It has been surprised by the scale and ferocity of Ukrainian Resistance. Russia has been forced to change its operational approach and is now pursuing a strategy of attrition,” the Ministry wrote on Twitter.

The ministry added that Russia had been forced to change its operational approach and was pursuing a strategy of attrition.

“This is likely to involve the indiscriminate use of firepower resulting in increased civilian casualties, destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure, and intensify the humanitarian crisis,” the report says.

10:45 Serhiy Haidai, Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, on Telegram:

"Russian ‘liberators’ are liberating our land from life itself: in one day, 4 people were killed and 10 wounded, and 54 houses and civilian infrastructure facilities were damaged. Heavy shelling by the Russian army damaged buildings in Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Pryvillya, and Kreminna on 18 March. 19 of those buildings were high-rise apartment buildings and 19 more were private houses, 2 healthcare facilities, critical civilian infrastructure, storage and agrarian facilities.

Russians continue to target the region’s civilians. During yesterday’s shelling, 4 people were killed in Severodonetsk and Rubizhne. 10 people were wounded."

10:11 Oleksii Arestovych, Advisor to the chief of the president's office, Facebook: Armed forces of Ukraine again attacked Russian occupiers and struck them again at the aerodrome in Chornobaivka (Kherson region). "Don't laugh. But we just pelted them in Chornobaivka. For the sixth time," he wrote.

Earlier, on March 15, Ukrainian artillery destroyed and damaged approximately 50 helicopters by the point fire at the aerodrome in Chornobaivka.

Before that, several helicopters at the same aerodrome had been destroyed on March 7.

For the first time enemy equipment in Chornobaivka was destroyed as late as February 27.

09:00 The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has posted the new summary of total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 19.03. Find them in an infographic by Defense Express:

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

Personnel - more 14 400,

Tanks ‒ 466 units,

APV ‒ 1470 units,

Artillery systems – 213 units,

MLRS – 72 units,

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 44 units,

Aircraft – 95 units,

Helicopters – 115 units,

Vehicles – 914 units,

Boats / cutters - 3 units,

Fuel tanks - 60,

UAV operational-tactical level - 17 units,

Special equipment - 11.

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

08:10 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has posted the new Operational information on 06.00, 19.03.2022 regarding the Russian Invasion of 18.03:

The situation and the nature of the actions of the defense forces have not changed significantly during the last day. The Armed Forces of Ukraine and other units of the Defense Forces continued to strike at groups of enemy troops trying to hold the captured frontiers.

Ukraine's anti-aircraft missile forces and fighter jets hit 12 enemy air targets - 2 planes, 3 helicopters, 3 UAVs and 4 cruise missiles.

Also, during the day, Ukrainian defenders destroyed several columns of equipment of the occupiers in Mykolayiv and Sumy regions, the losses of the enemy are currently being clarified. In addition, as a result of fire on the enemy by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the commander of the 8th All-Military Army of the Southern Military District of the Armed Forces of the russian federation, Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev, was killed.

Given that the enemy has suffered heavy casualties, it is likely that the military-political leadership of the russian federation will decide to amend existing legislation and begin open mobilization to continue a protracted, exhausting war. In order to justify such actions, it is possible that a number of provocations will be carried out on the territory of the russian federation with the death of civilians, as was done before the start of the second Chechen campaign. This will allow the pro-government leadership to decide on martial law and total mobilization of citizens.

The dead and wounded servicemen of the Armed Forces of the russian federation and the Rosguard continue to be transported from the territory of Ukraine. Thus, in the city of Gomel, all medical institutions with surgical departments are involved in the reception and treatment of wounded occupiers. Surgeons work around the clock, all planned operations of Belarusian citizens are either canceled or postponed indefinitely. A high death rate is recorded among the severely wounded russian invaders.

The enemy continues to suffer significant losses. It has problems with logistics of units. The low level of moral and psychological condition of the personnel leads to an increase in the number of cases of desertion and refusals of servicemen of the armed forces of the russian federation to take part in the war against Ukraine.

07:32 Advisor to Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister Vadym Denysenko: “Now the battles for Azovstal are underway. According to the data we have, we can say we have lost this economic giant. Actually, one of Europe’s largest metallurgical plants is being destroyed… We must clearly realize: it is Putin’s personal order to destroy this city and, at the same time, one of his key objectives in the war. No matter how this war ends, no matter what next, but his task is not to demilitarize Ukraine but to deindustrialize Ukraine, i.e. to make us renovate our plants in the next decades after them,” Denysenko told during a tv maraphone.

06:32 Dmytro Zhyvytskyy, Head of the Sumy Regional State Administration in Telegram: "Russian enemy troops continue their seizure of Trostyanets. Today they shelled the hospital. The damage is significant, but fortunately no one was killed."

05:00 President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, address: "Negotiations on peace, on security for us, for Ukraine - meaningful, fair and without delay - are the only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes. We have always insisted on negotiations. We have always offered dialogue, offered solutions for peace. Not only during 23 days of invasion".

"I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. It's time to meet. Time to talk. It is time to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia's losses will be so huge that several generations will not be enough to rebound"- said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine

He also noted: "Many words were heard in Moscow today in connection with the anniversary of the seizure of Crimea. A big rally took place. And I want to pay attention to one detail. It is reported that a total of about 200,000 people were involved in the rally in the Russian capital. 100,000 on the streets, about 95,000 at the stadium. Approximately the same number of Russian troops were involved in the invasion of Ukraine. Just imagine 14 thousand corpses and tens of thousands of wounded and maimed people at that stadium in Moscow. There are already so many Russian losses as a result of this invasion. This is the price of war. In a little more than three weeks. The war must end. Ukraine's proposals are on the table."

02:08 General Staff: operational information as of 00:00, 19.03.2022. Key points:

The occupiers partially succeeded in the Donetsk operational area: they temporarily deprived Ukraine of access to the Azov Sea. On the approaches to Mykolaiv, the enemy was stopped by coordinated efforts of Defense forces' units.

The enemy is trying to compensate for the failures in advancing troops during the ground operation by launching missile and bomb strikes using both high-precision weapons and indiscriminate bombardment. During the last day only, the enemy conducted 4 missile strikes (14 missiles in total) and carried out more than 40 air raids.

The full report is available on the General Staff's Facebook.

01:45 Stratcom Centre: Netherlands and Germany to provide Slovakia "Patriot" air defense systems, which would allow Slovakia, in turn, to provide their S-300 to Ukraine.

Earlier Slovakia preliminary agreed to supply older S-300 systems to Ukraine if NATO provides some other air defense tools in exchange. Netherlands and Germany agreed to satisfy that condition.

"Germany and the Netherlands are installing Patriot air defense systems in the vicinity of the Sliac air base in central Slovakia," the Ministry of Defense of Netherlands informed in a statement. The "Patriot" systems would be installed in mid-April.

00:42 Stratcom Centre: new satellite imagery shows the destruction of Ukrainian besieged Mariupol city.

BuzzFeed correspondent Christopher Miller has published new satellite images of Mariupol taken by Maxar Technologies. The pictures show damage caused by the chaotic Russian bombing. Massive destruction of civilian buildings is clearly visible.

Defense Express / The satellite imagery show massive destruction of civilian buildings caused by the chaotic Russian bombing / Day 24th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
The satellite imagery shows the massive destruction of civilian buildings caused by the chaotic Russian bombing / Photo credit: Maxar Technologies

The pictures also show a long line of cars with people being evacuated from the city.

Defense Express / The satellite image shows a long line of cars with people being evacuated from the city / Day 24th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
The satellite image shows a long line of cars with people being evacuated from the city / Photo credit: Maxar Technologies
This is how the Mariupol Drama Theater had looked like from above before Russians dropped a high-emplosive bomb on it. There is an inscription "CHILDREN" (rus "ДЕТИ") on the ground nearby / Photo credit: Maxar Technologies

Stratcom Centre noted, that earlier, Maxar had published satellite images of the Mariupol Drama Theater before the

Russian air strike

. The inscriptions "CHILDREN" were clearly visible on both sides of the house.

"There is no doubt that barbarians know where they strike."

Also, the satellite company has recently shown the scale of destruction in the suburbs of Kyiv and in Chernihiv caused by the Russian military invasion.

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 the power plants were 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 23rd of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
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