Day 26th 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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Photo credit: Come Back Alive Foundation
Photo credit: Come Back Alive Foundation

Brief facts:

  • Pentagon sees clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes in Ukraine and will help to document the one by helping gather evidence of them
  • International Organization for Migration said that nearly 6.5 million displaced by russia’s war in Ukraine
  • The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that russia’s war in Ukraine killed at least 925 civilians, 1,496 injured
  • Russia has warned of a breach of its relations with Washington and summoned the US ambassador in Moscow for an official protest over Joe Biden’s labelling of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal
  • The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine would never bow to ultimatums from Russia, and cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol or Kharkiv would not accept Russian occupation
  • Ukrainian intelligence warned of a Russian provocation – a plan to capture a humanitarian column; later, Ukraine has lost contact with drivers and a medic of a humanitarian aid column heading to Vovchansk city
  • Russian troops opened fire on people at a peaceful rally in Kherson, some civilians were injured

Sources:

Latest news:

01:00 General Staff: operational information as of 24:00, 21.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:

Read more: Ukraine's Military Captured Rtut-BM EW System - Another Rare Trophy of russia's Electronic Warfare
  • Russia’s forces temporarily holds the land corridor with the occupied Crimea and blocks access to the Sea of Azov.
  • In Polissya, during the day, the enemy tried to intensify offensive operations in several areas, suffered losses, but did not succeed.
  • In the Northern direction, the enemy is not conducting active offensive operations, continues to restore offensive capabilities by introducing additional units on the territory of Ukraine, including a battalion tactical group from the 90th Tank Division.
  • Units of the invader continue to shell Chernihiv and other settlements. The enemy do not abandon attempts to attack in the direction of Brovary but have no success in advancing due to havy losses.
  • In the Slobozhansky direction the enemy does not carry out active offensive actions, continues to partially block the city of Sumy, carries out artillery shelling of the city of Kharkiv.
  • Occupation forces are trying to rebuild the railway section from Valuyki to Kupyansk in order to improve the logistics of the group.
  • In the Donetsk and Luhansk directions, the enemy continues to try to advance and gain a foothold, but was unsuccessful. Ukrainian defenders repulsed 13 enemy attacks and destroyed 14 tanks, 8 infantry fighting vehicles, 2 multi-purpose towing vehicle light armored, 3 artillery systems and 4 vehicles. Air defense units hit 2 enemy air targets. The losses of enemy personnel amounted to about 300 people (losses are being clarified). Defenders of Mariupol destroyed the patrol boat "Raptor" and the electronic warfare complex "Leer-3".
  • In the South Buh direction, the occupiers have taken defensive actions.
  • In the Mykolayiv direction, owing to counterattack of Armed Forces of Ukraine, the enemy is compelled to retreat to unfavorable borders.
  • Day 26th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates), Destroyed russia's enemy's tank, Defense Express
    Destroyed enemy's tank

00:36 Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk: More than 100,000 citizens remain in Mariupol, the Donetsk region.

Iryna Vereshchuk said this on Radio NV, as Ukrinform reports.

"[We have managed to evacuate] 45,000 since the beginning of the occupation but I must say how many remain there. More than 100,000 people remain there," - Vereshchuk said.

00:30 The Joint Forces Operation: Ukrainian defenders kill about 300 russian invaders in JFO area.

Ukrainian defenders have successfully repulsed 13 enemy attacks and killed about 300 Russian invaders in the area of the Joint Forces Operation in the past 24 hours, - the press service of the Joint Forces Operation said this in a statement on Facebook.

"Thanks to the skillful actions of the Joint Forces servicemen, 13 enemy attacks have been successfully repulsed so far. Our soldiers have inflicted losses on the Russian occupiers," the statement said.

On March 21, Ukrainian defenders destroyed 14 tanks, eight infantry fighting vehicles, two floating armored personnel carriers, three artillery systems and four vehicles.

The enemy lost about 300 troops.

Air defense units shot down one enemy plane in eastern Ukraine and hit another one.

Defenders of Mariupol destroyed a Raptor-class patrol boat. The destruction of a Russian Leer-3 electronic warfare system was also confirmed.

00:10 Pentagon: Clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes.

The US defence department held a news briefing and accused Russian forces of committing war crimes in Ukraine and said it would help gather evidence of them, as it accused the Kremlin of carrying out indiscriminate attacks as part of an intentional strategy in the conflict, - The Guardian reports citing Reuters.

At a press conference, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said there is an investigative process and the US will contribute to it to document the war crimes by helping gather evidence of them.

Pentagon has Clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes, Defense Express
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said there is an investigative process and the US will contribute to it to document the war crimes by helping gather evidence of them

“We certainly see clear evidence that Russian forces are committing war crimes and we are helping with the collecting of evidence of that,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing.

“But there’s investigative processes that are going to go on, and we’re going to let that happen. We’re going to contribute to that investigative process. As for what would come out of that, that’s not a decision that the Pentagon leadership would make.”

23:40 The Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhiy Haidai: russian troops open fire on children's hospital in Severodonetsk.

Сhildren's hospital in Severodonetsk destroyed by russian troops fire / Photo credit: Serhiy Haidai / Telegram

Russian invaders opened fire on a children's hospital in Severodonetsk, patients and staff were timely evacuated, – the Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration informed this on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

"Today, the ‘Russian peace‘ knocked on the door to kids – Russian monsters opened fire on a children's hospital in Severodonetsk. As a result, the roof caught fire. Fortunately, all young patients, their mothers and staff were timely evacuated. I do not understand how one can lift a hand to aim at children? How are these scums going to live with this? There is no forgiveness for them!” the governor said.

Patients and staff of Сhildren's hospital in Severodonetsk were timely evacuated / Photo credit: Serhiy Haidai / Telegram

He noted that in Luhansk region, the cities of Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Lysychansk, Popasna, Novodruzhesk, Toshkivka suffered from Russian shelling during the day.

23:15 The Head of the Rivne Regional State Administration Vitaliy Koval: Russian invaders fire four missiles at Rivne region.

As the Head of the Rivne Regional State Administration informed on his Telegram, russian troops had fired four missiles at Rivne region in the evening of March 21.

"Our armed forces have coped with three missiles. The fourth one…Possible losses, damages and casualties are being clarified,” Vitaliy Koval said.

The Head of the Rivne Regional State Administration Vitaliy Koval, Day 26th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion, Defense Express
The Head of the Rivne Regional State Administration Vitaliy Koval

As reported, several people have been wounded as Russian troops fired missiles at a military training area in Rivne region in the early hours of March 21.

22:30 Ukraine’s Prosecutor General's Office: Russian troops deliver five hailstone strikes in Dnipropetrovsk region.

Russian troops delivered five hailstone missiles to the village of Hannivka in Kryvorizky district of Dnipropetrovsk region, as a result of the shelling, a private house was damaged, the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) said.

"According to the investigation, on March 21, 2022, the Russian armed forces carried out artillery shelling with the hailstone multiple missile launcher system at the village of Hannivka, Kryvorizky district, Dnipropetrovsk region, at least five strikes were made," the PGO said on Facebook.

The shelling damaged a private house. According to preliminary data, there are no casualties. There are no military installations in this territory.

Dnipropetrovsk Regional Prosecutor's Office provides procedural guidance for criminal proceedings on the fact of violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 1, Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General's Office: Russian troops deliver five hailstone strikes in Dnipropetrovsk region., Defense Express

22:00 International Organization for Migration: Nearly 6.5 million displaced by russia’s war in Ukraine.

The UN migration agency - International Organization for Migration (IOM) - said on Monday, March 21, that nearly 6.5 million people had been displaced within Ukraine as a direct result of the war, beating its worst predictions.

Civilians fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine prepare to board an evacuation train, in Odesa, Ukraine, Defense Express
Civilians fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine prepare to board an evacuation train, in Odesa, Ukraine, March 16, 2022 / Photo credt: REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis/File Photo

The figures come from a study conducted by the International Organization for Migration between March 9 and 16. They add to the more than 3.3 million people the UN agency says have fled across borders since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

“The scale of human suffering and forced displacement due to war far exceeds any worst-case scenario planning,” said António Vitorino, director general of the International Organization for Migration.

International Organization for Migration: Nearly 6.5 million displaced by russia’s war in Ukraine, Defense Express
A view of a damaged flat by Russian shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 20, 2022. Civilians collect their belongings amid the rubble of a building / Photo credt: Emin Sansar / Anadolu Agency

He said IOM teams are helping thousands of people with food and blankets, but those in severely affected areas remain out of reach.

Many of the displaced are particularly vulnerable, including pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses, the IOM said. The agency reiterated a call for a cessation of hostilities and the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to escape.

21:40 The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: War in Ukraine kills at least 925 civilians, 1,496 injured.

Losses among civilians from February 24, 2022, when Russia started the war against Ukraine, to 24:00 on March 20, 2022 amounted to 2,421 civilians (2,361 in the report a day earlier), including 925 dead (902), reports the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on Monday, March 21.

"UNHCHR believes that the real numbers are much higher, especially in government-controlled territory, and especially in recent days, as information from some places where there has been intense fighting has been delayed, and many reports are still awaiting confirmation," it said.

Dead bodies lie covered on the streets of Irpin, Ukraine, on March 6 / Photo credit: Murat Saka / dia images / Getty Images

According to it, this applies, for example, to Mariupol and Volnovakha (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Severodonetsk and Rubizhne (Luhansk region), Trostianets (Sumy region), where there are reports of numerous civilian casualties. They are subject to further verification and are not included in the above statistics.

"The majority of civilian deaths or injuries were caused by the use of explosive devices with a wide area ofeffect, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as rocket and air strikes," the report says.

According to confirmed UN data, 183 men, 137 women, 25 boys and 11 girls died, while the sex of 39 children and 530 adults has not yet been determined.

Amid the intensified Russian offensive encircling Kyiv, a Russian missile struck the residential area in Podilskyi district which killed one civilian and injured dozens / Photo credit: Sopa Images / Lightrocket / Getty Images

Among the 1,496 wounded, there are 22 girls and 17 boys, as well as 60 children, whose gender has not yet been determined.

Compared to the previous day, one child was injured, according to the UN.

21:15 Adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak: Ukraine’s resilience has forced Russia “to more adequately assess the reality” of the situation, which has led to “some sort of a dialogue” in peace talks between the two nations.

An adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak, Defense Express
An adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak

Speaking to the BBC, Podolyak said Kyiv will not make any compromise on territorial integrity or Ukraine’s sovereignty, echoing President Zelenskiy’s earlier statement that Ukraine will never bow to ultimatums from Russia, - The Guardian reports.

Any decision on a peace agreement will be made between Zelenskiy and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Podolyak said there is no agreed date when their meeting might happen.

21:00 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Ukraine will never bow to ultimatums from Russia, Zelenskiy says

In an interview published by Ukrainian public broadcasting company Suspilne and quoted by Reuters, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, insisted cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol or Kharkiv will not accept Russian occupation.

President Voldymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine will never bow to ultimatums from Russia and cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol or Kharkiv will not accept Russian occupation, Defense Express
President Voldymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine will never bow to ultimatums from Russia and cities such as Kyiv, Mariupol or Kharkiv will not accept Russian occupation / Photo credit: Ukraine's Presidential Office

"Ukraine cannot concede to Russia's ultimatum. The only way to make it happen is to decimate us all,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“We cannot give up Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kyiv. Neither the people of Kharkiv, Mariupol, or Kyiv nor I, the president, can do that,” he added, referring to besieged Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv.

20:30 The Guardian: Russia threatens to cut ties with US after Biden labels Putin a ‘war criminal’

Russia has warned of a breach of its relations with Washington and summoned the US ambassador in Moscow for an official protest over Joe Biden’s labelling of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, as the US president held talks with European allies on efforts to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Guardian’s correspondents Jennifer Rankin and Julian Borger report.

Biden talked to the leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy on Monday as part of his effort to maintain a unified front against Moscow, amid signs of cracks within the EU on how far to go in imposing sanctions on Russian oil and gas.

Biden talked to the leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy as part of his effort to maintain a unified front to Moscow / Photo credit: Rex/Shutterstock

The Russian foreign ministry said it had summoned the US ambassador, John Sullivan, for a meeting over “recent unacceptable statements” by Biden about Putin, days after Biden called Putin a “war criminal” amid the bombardment of Ukrainian cities.

The ministry said in a statement that “it was emphasised that remarks such as these by the American president, which are unworthy of a state figure of such a high rank, put Russian-American relations on the verge of a breach”.

The US and Russia maintained diplomatic relations from 1933, throughout the Cold War, but relations between Washington and Moscow have become far more volatile since Putin embarked on a campaign of territorial expansion.

The UK, France, Albania, Ireland and Norway have also accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine. The UN’s International Court of Justice has ordered Moscow to halt its invasion, and the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court has launched a war crimes investigation.

20:09 The Wall Street Journal: the US is sending to Ukraine the secretly acquired Soviet-era air defense systems. It was reported by the WSJ citing their sources, "the US officials".

"The U.S. over the decades has acquired a small number of Soviet missile defense systems so that they could be examined by U.S. intelligence experts and help with training American forces."

The systems, which are likely to be delivered to Ukraine, include the SA-8, or 9K33 "Osa" short-range tactical surface-to-air missiles. The journal noted that the weapons are familiar to Ukraine’s military, since it inherited this type of equipment following the breakup of the Soviet Union. The Pentagon declined to comment on the U.S. decision to reach into its little-known arsenal of Soviet weapons.

Defense Express / US is sending to Ukraine the secretly acquired Soviet-era air defense systems, including the SA-8 Gecko / 9K33 Osa air defense missile system / Day 26th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
Illustrative photo: SA-8 Gecko / 9K33 Osa air defense missile system / Photo credit: Escadrilles.org
19:57

Verkhovna Rada: evacuation buses with children from Mariupol were cynically shelled by the Russian occupants. Four children were seriously injured. This was announced by the head of Zaporizhzhia Region State Administration Oleksandr Starukh.

According to the updated information, four children were hospitalized. One of them is in a severe condition. In total, more than 20 buses are used today in the Zaporizhzhia region for the evacuation of civilians. The crossing of the collision line was extremely difficult due to the hostilities.

Defense Express / Russian invaders paint over the names and board numbers on their ships / Day 26th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
Russian invaders paint over the names and board numbers on their military ships / Photo credit: State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

19:34 State Border Guard Service of Ukraine: Russian military are painting over the names and board numbers on their ships.

"Russian pirates paint over the board numbers, and with them – the meager remnants of honor and dignity," the border guards wrote on Facebook.

Ukrainian border guard service warns that such actions may indicate preparation for future provocations against civilian ships with the subsequent accusation of Ukrainian warships (the so-called "false flag operations").

SBGS recalled some other deeds proving that the Russian navy cultivates "the lowest traditions of piracy":

Under the pretext of a fake counter-terrorist operation, the work of Ukrainian ports was blocked. 4 civilian ships were fired upon. From one of the lined tankers, they arranged an environmental bomb. Seized one search-and-rescue vessel and repeatedly threatened to use weapons against the rescue boats that came to help the crews of the downed vessels.

As the service reports, the world community has already started to react to those violations of international and humanitarian law:

  • Russian ships will soon be unable to leave ports due to the refusal of "Lloyd's Register Voyage Rus" company to sell and upgrade C-MAP electronic navigation maps, which are used by most Russian ships.
  • EU countries and the United Kingdom are considering banning Russian ships from entering their ports.
  • Swedish ports have already boycotted all Russian ships and cargo.
  • The Danube Commission has stripped Russia of its powers and is demanding compensation for disrupting shipping.
  • Turkey uses its powers under the 1936 Montreux Convention to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles to foreign warships in times of war and in case of a threat.

"Therefore, the painted-over names and board numbers will not cover from away from shame and contempt around the world. And all those involved will be held accountable for war crimes and those who silenced these war crimes," the border guards concluded.

18:48 General Staff: operational information as of 18:00, 21.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion, full text:

The twenty-sixth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the Russian military invasion continues.

The occupying troops, operating in Ukraine, are in urgent need of repairing and renovating damaged weaponry and military equipment. According to the available information, due to the lack of foreign production components, the enterprises of the "Uralzavod" corporation and the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant have suspended work. These companies specialize in the manufacture and repair of tanks and other armored vehicles for the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

The General Staff continues to record cases of desertion among the personnel of the occupying forces. For instance, in the area of the Havronshchyna village, Makariv district, Kyiv region, a group of Russian invaders seized the cars of local residents, changed into looted civilian clothes and drove towards the border with the Republic of Belarus

The invaders continue their illegal activities in the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhia region. In some settlements, they make covert preparations for the elections of the pro-Russian administration of districts and cities.

.In order to organize the so-called "Russian humanitarian convoys", the occupiers gathered a column of white "KAMAZ" tilt trucks in the Berdyansk port. Such trucks belong to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation, they were used for covert transportation of ammunition to the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions [even before the full-scale invasion]. This may indicate the occupiers' intention to organize similar "humanitarian convoys" in the Zaporizhzhia region.

On the territory of one of the settlements of this region, the enemy deployed a point for the repair of armored vehicles, involving the equipment and workers of defense enterprises of the Russian Federation. Up to 20 armored vehicles are on restoration.

In Nova Kakhovka, Kherson region, the occupiers are checking documents at city checkpoints to identify and detain local residents who participated in the ATO/JFO (Ukrainian military operations in Donbas 2014 – current time).

In addition to heavy casualties during the combats, there is also a high death rate among the severely wounded Russian invaders.

Together we win! Glory to Ukraine!

Defense Express note: some of the wording of the original was slightly edited, the original source is here.

18:21 Stratcom Centre: Ukrainian military took down a fighter jet and two Russian drones in the Kharkiv region. Information was brought by Oleh Synyehubov, the Head of the Kharkiv region military administration.

Ukrainian military shot down a Russian fighter jet near Chuhuiv city. The aircraft caught fire at low altitude and fell from the direction of the Russian Federation territory.

Also, in the morning in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kharkiv district, a mobile group of Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces downed two Russian "Orlan" UAVs.

As the official noted, thanks to the air defense job, not a single Russian aircraft has been seen over Kharkiv for several days already.

Defense Express / On March 21, Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian AF downed two Russian
On March 21, Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian AF downed two Russian "Orlan" unmanned aerial vehicles / Photo credit: Stratcom Centre

17:53 Anonymous international hacktivist group demanded 40 international companies to stop operating in Russia. By paying taxes, these companies support the Russian aggressive regime. Anonymous threatened to hack the business giants if they didn't withdraw from the Russian market within 48 hours.

17:36 Stratcom Centre: EU will further help Ukraine to purchase weapons, with financial aid increasing to €1B

On March 21, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that the financial assistance for arms supplies to Ukraine will increase to 1 billion euros. According to her, the German government supported the provision of additional weapons to Ukraine and would ensure that German companies quickly fulfilled the necessary orders.

The Stratcom Centre reminded that the German Federal Government had initially opposed the supply of weapons to Ukraine. But later it reconsidered its own security policy and decided to provide weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As a result, in early March, the Ukrainian army received 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger MANPADS from Germany.

17:23 Ukraine NOW: Russian occupiers have opened fire on 135 hospitals, 9 of which were completely destroyed. This was announced by the Minister of Health Viktor Liashko. According to him, the Russian army fired on 43 ambulances and killed six medics.

17:00 Operational Command "North": Ukrainian Armed Forces have obtained another unit of Russian equipment, the 2S19 "MSTA-S" self-propelled artillery system with full ammunition. Another one was destroyed during combat.

Defense Express / 2S19
2S19 "Msta-S" self-propelled artillery system, seized by Ukrainian Army in Siveria region / Photo credit: Operational Command "North"
16:55

Verkhovna Rada: Russians continue to kidnap Ukrainian activists and authorities.

Today, on March 20th, the occupiers detained the head of Andriivka village Mykola Budalovskyi, and local deputy and school principal Tetiana Bezliudna.

"here are numerous other cases of abduction of government officials in the temporarily occupied territories. The most well-known of them happened with the mayor of Melitopol city, Zaporizhzhia region, Ivan Fedorov," the Ukrainian parliament wrote on Twitter.

Update: Ukraine NOW: Russian military have also abducted Mykola Sikalenko, Head of the Tsyrkunivka community in the Kharkiv district.

16:20 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: "According to the information received, on March 19, the Russian occupation forces illegally deported to the territory of the Russian Federation 2,389 children who were in the occupied districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Forced displacement of civilians into the territory of the aggressor state, including children, shows signs of abduction. Such actions are a gross violation of international law, in particular international humanitarian law.

By destroying homes and killing the parents, the Russian Federation deprives Ukrainian children of parental care and puts their lives in further jeopardy in Russia.

We call on the international community to respond to the illegal removal of children, to increase pressure on Russia to make it stop the barbaric war against the Ukrainian people."

15:34 Ukrainian Air Assault Forces on Telegram: In Mykolaiv Region, the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated a village from Russian invaders.

“Southern Ukraine, Mykolaiv Region. Z-marked Russian vehicles can often be seen destroyed along the roads. This is all that is left of the column of Russian occupiers, which was destroyed with artillery systems by the 80th Air Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the report states. The Ukrainian Air Assault units surrounded the village from flanks, carried out a short battle and destroyed the enemy forces. During this operation, they captured Russian weapons and military vehicles, relevant documents, etc.

In addition, Ukrainian paratroopers detained and handed over to the Security Service of Ukraine a local resident, who provided Russian invaders with the contact details of ATO participants and patriotic citizens.

15:00 Sobolevsky, first deputy chairman of the Kherson Regional Council, announced this on Facebook: At a peaceful rally in Kherson, the Russian military used force against people protesting against Russian aggression and injured some of them. "Today, the orcs used violence against a peaceful rally in Kherson. There are victims," Sobolevsky said. Rallies against the Russian occupiers are held on Freedom Square in Kherson every day.

14:44 Ruslan Stefanchuk, Verkhovna Rada Chairman: "Today, Czechia, Estonia, Poland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, and the U.S. have signed a joint statement "On the urgent necessity to upgrade Ukraine air-defence." Genuinely grateful for support Ukraine in this challenging time," Stefanchuk wrote in Twitter on Monday.

Defense Express / Statement
Photo credit: Facebook, Ruslan Stefanchuk

13:55 Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President's Office: The Ukrainian army destroyed four out of ten Russian armies as operational and strategic units on Ukrainian territory during 26 days of a full-scale war.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President's Office
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President's Office

"On Day 26 of the active phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war, our troops destroyed 11 tank battalions, 34 battalions of armored fighting vehicles, five divisions of multiple rocket launchers, 17 divisions of artillery, almost five air regiments, five helicopter regiments. This is a total of three sets of Russian shock armies as operational and strategic units. That is, we destroyed three Russian shock armies and one air army - four out of the ten armies in the Russian Federation," Arestovych said.

He also noted that the country's military and political leadership is in control of the situation. According to him, the enemy has almost lost the ability to advance anywhere in Ukraine and they conduct only tactical actions and accumulate reserves, which are subjected to devastating blows from the Ukrainian missile forces, artillery and aircraft.

13:10 The Head of the Regional State Administration Vitalii Bunechko on " target="_blank">Telegram: "According to preliminary data, on 20th of March, the enemy most probably used "Grad" systems for the first time. The artillery strike was inflicted on the Narodychi territorial hromada (community) - in the village of Selets.Three military personnel and one civilian were killed. The strike took place in the north of the region.We continue to strengthen our borders. I am confident of our victory."

12:30 Oleksiy Reznikov, Defense Minister of Ukraine aderess to Ukrainian people on his Facebook:

"The enemy no longer dreams of capturing Kyiv, choked in Chernihiv and Sumy regions, receives painful blows near Kharkiv, in Mykolaiv, Kherson and Luhansk regions. The heroic defenders of Mariupol played a big role in destroying enemy's plans, and our defense becomes more active. "Thanks to their dedication and superhuman courage, tens of thousands of lives have been saved throughout Ukraine. Today, Mariupol is saving Kyiv, Dnipro, and Odesa. Everyone should understand this," Reznikov wrote on Facebook on Monday.

"Residents of Kherson, Energodar and other cities, who are protesting without weapons against the Russian invaders, demonstrate that the will of the Ukrainian people is invincible. And it's better for the enemy to get out," he said.

Since the beginning of invasion, the Ukrainian armed forces have destroyed a number of Russian tank, air assault, engineering and other units considered "elite", along with their leaders. In addition, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian military personnel have shot down almost 100 planes and 120 helicopters, destroyed almost 500 tanks and 1,500 Russian armored fighting vehicles.

Oleksiy Reznikov, Defense Minister of Ukraine
Oleksiy Reznikov, Defense Minister of Ukraine

"The struggle of Ukrainians for their land makes the world finally realize those things that we have been talking about for many months. Even the UN Secretary General has already admitted that a Russian attack on Ukraine could lead to a global food crisis. Which, in turn, will lead to another migration crisis for Europe. Everyone who now holds the defense wins precious time, allowing us to strengthen Ukraine," the minister said.

He recalled that the Ukrainian side agreed not to publish information about the supply of weapons, but in recent days, the team of the Ministry of Defense delivered and transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine 51,000 bulletproof vests of protection class 4 according to NATO standards, purchased mainly from the state budget. The following deliveries are also being prepared.

"There are no illusions. There are still many challenges ahead. Ukraine is conducting a strategic defense operation against a much more numerous enemy and under the threat of a ground invasion by Belarusian troops. We are suffering losses. The enemy is destroying our cities and undermining the economy. The situation is very difficult. But as long as our army is preserved, which is being strengthened by the reserve, we will fight. And we will win!" Reznikov said.

"The war has changed the sense of time and many familiar things. But on Monday, the working week traditionally began. And this 'tradition' now also needs to be cherished, like the army. The government is doing everything possible to save the economy. This is the basis of our defense. Today, everyonee who goes to work, gives work to others, fills the treasury - work for defense of Ukraine. We will defeat the enemy through unity and better organization. Everyone's contribution is important," the minister said.

12:00 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: Russia preparing information cover-up for chemical weapon use in Sumy and Kotliareve village.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemns the shelling of Sumykhimprom Plant by Russian invaders.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: Russia preparing information cover-up for chemical weapon use in Sumy and Kotliareve village, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

“On March 20, 2022, the Russian Federation spread through the UN Security Council slanderous accusations against units of the National Guard of Ukraine in preparing, allegedly, terrorist attacks on foreign diplomatic missions in the city of Lviv, as well as plans to use chemical weapons in the city of Sumy, Sumy Region and the village of Kotliareve, Mykolayiv Region,” the statement says.

The full statement was posted on the official website, as Ukrinform reports.

11:30 Latest British Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 21 March 2022.

Latest British Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 21 March 2022, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

11:15 A spokesman for the Odesa Oblast Military Administration Serhiy Bratchuk: Russian warships shell residential buildings in Odesa.

A spokesman for the Odesa Oblast Military Administration Serhiy Bratchuk: Russian warships shell residential buildings in Odesa, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Latest photo from Odesa. / Photo credits: Mykhaylo Shtekel/Radiosvoboda

A spokesman for the Odesa Oblast Military Administration Serhiy Bratchuk reported in his Telegram channel about naval enemy shelling. According to him, several buildings were damaged. No casualties have been reported yet

11:00 Deputy Head of Kyiv City Military Administration Mykola Povoroznyk: After rocket attack on Sviatoshynsky district of Kyiv, 6 houses, 2 schools, 2 kindergartens damaged, 3 houses practically uninhabitable.

As a result of a rocket hit in Sviatoshynsky district of Kyiv on Sunday evening, six houses, two schools, two kindergartens, three houses are practically uninhabitable, First Deputy Head of the Kyiv city military administration Mykola Povoroznyk said.

Deputy Head of Kyiv City Military Administration Mykola Povoroznyk: After rocket attack on Sviatoshynsky district of Kyiv, 6 houses, 2 schools, 2 kindergartens damaged, 3 houses practically uninhabitable, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

"A rocket hit a residential area, damaged six houses, two schools, two kindergartens, three houses are practically uninhabitable. About 200 people were evacuated from these houses," Povoroznyk said on Channel 24 on Monday.

He said that emergency work has been ongoing since Sunday evening so that the houses that can be lived in are repaired with improvised means, in particular with plywood and film. According to Povoroznyk, houses where it is impossible to live, are being conserved.

10:30 The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 21.03 were approximately:

Personnel - about 15000,

tanks ‒ 498 units,

APV ‒ 1535 units,

artillery systems – 240 units,

MLRS - 80 units,

Anti-aircraft warfare systems - 45 units,

aircraft – 97 units,

helicopters – 121 units,

vehicles - 969 units,

boats / cutters - 3 units,

fuel tanks – 60 units,

UAV operational-tactical level - 24 units.

Special equipment - 13 units.

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

10:10 Kyiv City State Administration: Rescuers, medics working at site of explosions in Kyiv since last evening.

According the Kyiv City State Administration's press service, Mykola Povoroznyk, the first deputy head of the city administration, informed this.

Kyiv City State Administration: Rescuers, medics working at site of explosions in Kyiv since last evening, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Kyiv after shelling

"The night into March 21 started uneasily in the evening: when a shell hit one of the shopping malls in Podilskyi district. Rescuers and medics were working at the scene all night. The work continues today. Kyiv continues to defend itself, construction of fortifications continues. After curfew ends, the city lives in wartime regime,” Povoroznyk said.

09:40 Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration: Column of buses leaves Zaporizhzhia for Mariupol to evacuate civilians.

As many as 21 buses have left Zaporizhzhia for Mariupol to evacuate residents, according to the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration.

Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration: Column of buses leaves Zaporizhzhia for Mariupol to evacuate civilians, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Column of buses leaving Zaporizhzhia for Mariupol

“This morning, 21 buses left Zaporizhzhia to evacuate the residents of Mariupol," reads the report posted by the administration on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

As reported, yesterday civilians evacuated from Donetsk region via Berdiansk arrived in Zaporizhzhia. A total of 855 people were transported by buses, another 1,000 came by own cars.

09:30 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Russians cannot find Ukrainians who will greet them with flowers.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message on Monday night that the Russian military cannot find local residents on the 25th day of the invasion of Ukraine to meet greet with flowers.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Russians cannot find Ukrainians who will greet them with flowers, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

"The 25th day has already ended since the Russian military went to the exercises, but ended up on our land. They all say that when they are captured. It's already the 25th day that the Russian military are looking for and can't find the Nazis invented by them, from which they wanted to protect our people. How they are looking for and cannot find Ukrainians who would greet them with flowers. At least in some city of our state, at least in some village," Zelenskyy said.

"And most importantly, the Russian military can't find their way home in any way, so our military helps them with the road to God's judgment. To God's judgment, where, I'm sure, they will receive one punishment for all: an eternal cellar under bombs, forever without food and heat for everything they did against our people in Akhtyrka, Kharkiv, Borodianka, Chernihiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and our other brave cities," the president said.

09:10 State Emergency Service of Ukraine: Accident at Sumykhimprom contained.

Rescuers managed to contain the accident on the territory of Sumykhimprom plant which arose due to shelling by the Russian military.

“As of 07:30, works were carried out to place a bandage on a damaged pipeline on the territory of Sumykhimprom plant in Sumy city,” the State Emergency Service posted on Telegram.

The State Emergency Service units continue subsiding an ammonia cloud. As a result of the accident, one person (a plant employee) was injured. The incident has been contained, the report reads.

09:00 The Head of Rivne Regional Military Administration Vitaliy Koval: Russia fires missiles at military training area in Rivne region.

The Head of Rivne Regional Military Administration Vitaliy Koval: Russia fires missiles at military training area in Rivne region, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Results of enemy shelling

"Two missile strikes were launched on a military training area," Head of Rivne Regional Military Administration Vitaliy Koval posted on Telegram.

Russian troops launched two missile strikes at a military training area in Rivne region.

"According to preliminary data, several people have been wounded. More detail will be reported later," Rivne Mayor Oleksandr Tretyak posted on Telegram.

8:40 The Operational Command "North": Two Russia’s KamAZ trucks loaded with ammunition and foodstuffs destroyed in Chernihiv region.

"Ammunition and foodstuffs will not reach the occupier. Minus two KamAZ trucks. The resistance forces of Chernihiv region are working," the Operational Command "North" posted on Facebook.

Earlier, Ukrainian resistance forces destroyed a Russian column and took the Uragan multiple rocket launcher system as a trophy near Pryluky.

08:10 The press service of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration: Russian troops destroy 12 residential buildings in Luhansk region over past day.

Russian troops continue to fire on Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, and Popasna towns in Luhansk region. Over the past 24 hours, 20 buildings were destroyed or damaged, including 12 residential buildings. No casualties were reported.

The press service of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration: Russian troops destroy 12 residential buildings in Luhansk region over past day, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

"The Russians again opened heavy fire on Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, and Popasna. Our towns firmly hold the fort, the Armed Forces beat the enemy. But again we have about 20 damaged or destroyed facilities, including three apartment blocks and nine private houses, food warehouses, garages, infrastructure facilities," the press service of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration posted on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

The Administration informed that two people were injured in yesterday's shelling – in Popasna and Komyshuvaha. Five people have been rescued from under the rubble.

07:20 Operational information at 06.00 on 21.03.2022 regarding the russian invasion:

The twenty-sixth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the russian military invasion has began.

The nature of the actions of the defense forces have not been changed significantly during the previous day. The Armed Forces of Ukraine and other units of the Defense Forces continue to strike at groups of enemy troops trying to hold the captured area.

At the same time, there is a decrease in the intensity of the use of combat jets by the enemy. In order to assess the effectiveness of the results of missile and bomb strikes, the enemy used operational and tactical UAVs.

During the previous day, units of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine hit 7 air targets of the enemy (1 plane, 4 UAVs and 2 cruise missiles). In addition, bombers and assault aircraft performed devastating hits to clusters of enemy equipment and manpower.

The occupiers continue to terrorize the local population and loot in the temporarily occupied territories. The enemy exports home appliances, automobiles, food and other material resources to the russian federation.

There have been many cases of russian occupiers deploying personnel, weapons and equipment on civilian infrastructure.

The occupiers continue to carry out forced mobilization measures in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Thus, according to available information, budget organizations of Stanytsya-Luhansk village community have been notified of the need to arrive on April 1, 2022, male workers aged 18 to 60 years in the local police department for registration. The reasons for this "registration" are not explained, although it is connected with the next wave of mobilization to the 2nd Army Corps to be sent to the combat areas.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine in cooperation with other components of the Defense Forces give a worthy rebuff to the invader in all directions. The destruction of enemy support columns also continues.

Keep calm! Let's win together! Glory to Ukraine!

06:40 The Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine: Four people killed in fire caused by shelling of Kyiv's Podilskyi district.

In the Podilskyi district of Kyiv, four people were killed in a fire caused by enemy shelling.

"Four people died on the spot, one person was injured. The information is being clarified," the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kyiv City posted on Facebook.

06:20 The Head of the Sumy Regional Military Administration Dmytro Zhyvytskyy: Ammonia leaks as Russian troops shell Sumykhimprom plant.

Ammonia leaked as Russian invaders shelled the Sumykhimprom chemical plant in northern Ukraine.

Head of the Sumy Regional Military Administration Dmytro Zhyvytskyy posted this on Facebook.

The Head of the Sumy Regional Military Administration Dmytro Zhyvytskyy: Ammonia leaks as Russian troops shell Sumykhimprom plant, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Sumykhimprom plant

According to the official, the leak occurred at 04:30 on March 21. The radius of the affected area is about 2.5 km, including the villages of Novoselytsya and Verkhnya Syrovatka. There’s no threat to Sumy residents. People within the affected area are recommended to take immediate shelter underground, go to their bathrooms and turn on their showers at a fine spray, and breathe through a damp bandage (preferably moistened with 5% acetic or citric acid solution) if ammonia is detected.

Zhyvytskyy noted that Ammonia is a colourless toxic explosive gas with a distinct pungent smell.

Ammonia is lighter than air, so shelters, basements and lower floors should be used for protection.

06:00 A senior adviser to Belarus opposition leader Franak Vyachorka: Belarusian ‘guerillas’ attempt to prevent Belarus from invading Ukraine.

A senior adviser to Belarus opposition leader Franak Vyachorka: Belarusian ‘guerillas’ attempt to prevent Belarus from invading Ukraine, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

Franak Vyachorka, senior adviser to Belarus opposition leader Svitlana Tsihanouskaya and one of the leaders of a youth wing of Belarus Popular Front, said people within Belarus have been damaging Russian equipment, destroying railways and handing out leaflets to Belarusian troops as they try to prevent the Belarus army’s participation in the invasion of Ukraine.

04:00 The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk: Ukraine snubs Russia's ultimatum to surrender Mariupol.

Ukraine has rejected a Russian ultimatum to surrender the strategic port city Mariupol on coast of the Sea of Azov. According to the official, the Russian Ministry of Defense has sent an official letter to Ukraine, issuing an ultimatum: Ukrainian defenders must lay down their weapons and withdraw from Mariupol, and only under such conditions will the evacuation of civilians be possible.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk: Ukraine snubs Russia's ultimatum to surrender Mariupol, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Mariupol these days

Iryna Vereshchuk stressed that Ukraine insists on the immediate opening by Russian troops of a green corridor for evacuating civilians.

"There can be no question of surrendering or laying down weapons. We have already informed the Russian side about this. I wrote:" Instead of wasting time on eight-page letters, just open the corridor," said the deputy prime minister.

According to the official, the Ukrainian side informed the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Vereshchuk also noted that Russia's demands are a deliberate manipulation and a "real hostage-taking."

03:00 Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Air defense forces destroy Russian warplane, two missiles, four drones in past day.

On March 20, Ukraine’s air defense units downed a Russian warplane, two cruise missiles, and four unmanned aerial vehicles.

Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Air defense forces destroy Russian warplane, two missiles, four drones in past day, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Previously destroyed Russian combat jet

The Air Force command shared the news on Facebook, according to Ukrinform.

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russian troops have so far lost 96 warplanes, 118 helicopters, dozens of drones and cruise missiles in 25 days.

It is noted that for the second day in a row, the intensity of enemy raids has decreased. Mostly, the invaders use operational-tactical drones to monitor the results of missile and bomb strikes on the Ukrainian territory.

"That is why the main catch of the Air Force's air defense was drones. Four of them were shot down in different areas. In addition, one enemy warplane and two cruise missiles were downed," the command said.

02:22 General Staff: operational information as of 00:00, 21.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:

  • Russia is preparing a basis for justification of prolonging the war and is creating a misconception about the effectiveness of international sanctions with propaganda and disinformation of its citizens.
  • On March 20, the occupiers focused their shelling and air strikes on important civilian infrastructure and residential areas of settlements, in order to intimidate civilians and reduce the economic potential of Ukraine.
  • In the Volyn region direction, there is a high probability of provocations by the special services of the Russian Federation aimed at Belarusian facilities in order to engage the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus in a military operation against Ukraine.
  • Russians continue to carry out air strikes on Mariupol city's civil infrastructure facilities, in particular, the "Azovstal" metallurgical plant. They conduct unsuccessful assault operations on the western and eastern outskirts towards the center of the city, suffer losses.
  • It is expected that the occupiers will continue trying to establish their power in the temporarily controlled territories and suppress national resistance.
  • In the Pivdennyi Buh direction, the invaders are demoralized, there are many cases of them abandoning defensive positions, weapons and equipment.
Defence Express / The videos and photos illustrate the expectations of the Russian occupiers and the bitter reality for them / Day 26th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
"The videos and photos illustrate the expectations of the Russian occupiers and the bitter reality for them" / Caption & Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

01:37 Defense intelligence of Ukraine: the number of occupiers who refuse to participate in the war is increasing. In the Kherson and Mykolayiv regions, the number of so-called "refusers" in the occupiers' units that took part in direct combat clashes with Ukrainian soldiers is sharply increasing. After having realized their prospects against Ukrainian Army, the occupiers are no longer interested in easy earnings and the possibility of looting, which they were promised before the invasion of Ukraine.

Commanders of Russian occupation forces intimidate the "refusers" with repressions against their relatives. Russian commanders are trying to isolate those who refuse to continue to participate in the war from the rest of the personnel and keep them in custody. Those are threatened with criminal responsibility and repressions against relatives.

At the same time, in Russia, if the relatives of the "refusers" appeal to the military units, they are assured that the soldiers are fine and that they are on the territory of Crimea.

Defense Intelligence reminded that all war criminals would be brought to justice and advised the occupiers to lay down their arms as soon as possible and look for an opportunity to surrender. This is the only way to save their lives and avoid repressions from the Russian authorities.

01:27 Air Force: on March 20, air defense of the Ukrainian Air Force took down 1 jet, 4 UAVs and 2 cruise missiles.

Over the 25 days Russians lost 96 jets, 118 helicopters, as well as dozens of drones and cruise missiles.

For two days in a row Air Force had been observing a decrease in the intensity of enemy raids. For the most part, the occupiers observe the results of missile and bomb strikes on the territory of Ukraine with the help of operational-tactical drones.

That is why the UAVs became the main prey of the Air Force's air defense. There were four units taken down in different directions of warfare.

Targets on the ground were successfully neutralized by the strike aircraft. Su-24M bombers and Su-25 fighter jets fired missile and bomb strikes on clusters of equipment, tank columns and manpower.

Defense Express / Several explosions took place in Kyiv. A shopping mall and a few residential buildings were damaged, caught fire / Day 25th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
Several explosions took place in Kyiv. A shopping mall and a few residential buildings were damaged, caught fire / Photo credit: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

00:13 Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv: some explosions were heard in Kyiv, on the territory of a shopping mall. The rescuers are fighting with a "large fire". According to the currently available information, one person was killed.

State Emergency Service of Ukraine: as a result of the shelling in Kyiv, a shopping center and cars in the parking lot caught fire.

23:23 Presidential Office: on March 20, 7295 people were evacuated, 4 out of 7 humanitarian corridors worked out – Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

  • 3985 people Mariupol citizens arrived in Zaporizhzhia today. They departed from Berdyansk city. They are currently receiving food, medical care and all the necessary aid
  • Kyiv region: 2000 people were evacuated from Bobryk village, 1310 – from Tarasivka, the evacuation from Borodyanka town was disrupted by Russians who violated the ceasefire regime established for the humanitarian corridors
  • Ukrainian intelligence provided information that Russian occupiers prepare a provocation. They planned to capture a column with humanitarian aid. The column heading to Vovchansk city of Kharkiv region could not be warned in time. The contact with 6 people was lost – five drivers and a medic.

"The occupiers keep acting as terrorists. We continue the negotiations on taking back our people," Iryna Vereshchuk said.

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, in some directions Ukrainian military push back the invaders

- 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 25th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
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