Day 31th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)

Defense Express collects operative information on Russia's invasion of Ukraine – official sources and senior Ukrainian authorities' announcements
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Ukrainian troops are using Javelin ATGM
Ukrainian troops are using Javelin ATGM

After 30 days of unsuccessful military operation in Ukraine, Russia is suffering the problems of bad preparations: lack of food due to bad logistics, low morale due to heavy losses and lack of advance, cases of frostbite among the troops. The blitzkrieg has failed, so the invaders changed their tactics towards intimidation of civilians in order to try and get some advantage during negotiations. The leaders of states and governments of NATO member states after the extraordinary NATO summit held on Wednesday, March 24, called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to immediately end the war against Ukraine, assuring that those responsible for committing war crimes would be brought to justice. Leaders of the G7 also agreed on March 24 to work together on implementing new sanctions against Russia

Brief facts:

  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba: U.S. President Joe Biden to support Ukraine in everything until its victory.
  • Azov Detachment Commander, Hero of Ukraine Denys Prokopenko: Situation in Mariupol very challenging but controlled.
  • Kharkiv was shelled 24 times over the last night.
  • Slavutych city near Chernihiv was seized by Russian invaders, the city Mayor was kidnapped and later released, people held peaceful rallies against occupation
  • The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office states that a total of 136 children have been killed since Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24
  • The leaders of the G7 also agreed to work together on implementing new sanctions against Russia

Sources:

Latest news:

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Read more: Not Orsk, but Saratov - the Ukrainian Troops Have Destroyed Yesterday in Berdiansk Port
Infographics credit: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

23:57 Ukraine NOW: US President Joe Biden held a "historic speech" after the meeting with Ukrainian ministers in Warsaw, Poland. This speech marks the end of a three-day meeting with the G7, European Council and NATO allies in Europe. Here are the key points of his speech, provided by Ukraine NOW:

  • The United States will stand with Ukraine;
  • Europe must end its dependence on Russian fuel;
  • Putin wants to "denazify" Ukraine, but he does not believe in his own lies;
  • Words about NATO's expansion to the East are a shameful lie. We have offered a diplomatic path many times, but all attempts have been rejected;
  • The war between democracy and dictatorship is ongoing. Ukraine is at the forefront of the struggle for democracy and freedom;
  • Putin thought that Ukrainians would kneel before him, but Ukrainians persevered! The barbaric attacks of the Russian Federation meet strong resistance;
  • The ruble has turned into ashes. 1 dollar costs 200 rubles. 200,000 people left Russia;
  • Russia has strangled democracy in its country and is trying to do so elsewhere;
  • The United States will welcome about 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
  • 23:51 UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss confirmed that the UK will provide Ukraine with £2 million in essential food supplies to Ukrainian cities, encircled by Russian forces

    The British government said, the announcement comes following a direct request from the government of Ukraine, with the UK funding a rapid donation of dried food, tinned goods, and water.

    Warehouses in Poland and Slovakia are being readied to supply these goods to the government of Ukraine from early next week. Around 25 truckloads will then be transported by road and rail to the local Ukrainian communities in greatest need.

    "This vital donation of food and supplies will help support the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s barbaric invasion," Liz Truss said.

    23:07 Slavutych City Council: after 3 days of heroic defense, the city of Slavutych in the Chernihiv region was occupied by Russian forces. It was announced by the city Mayor Yurii Fomichev.

    As he said, three days ago, the city received an ultimatum to surrender, but it was declined, and the Ukrainian military and police decided to fight for the city. The forces were not equal. Now, that the city is occupied, "Slavutych remains a Ukrainian city, under the Ukrainian flag, with the Ukrainian government, with the Ukrainian Constitution, with its own ethics codex."

    Defense Express / Trostyanets city was fully liberated from the Russian occupiers / Day 31th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
    Trostyanets city in Sumy region (Northeastern Ukraine) was fully liberated from the Russian occupiers / Photo credit: 93rd Independent Motorized Brigade "Kholodnyi Yar"

    22:37 93rd Independent Motorized Brigade "Kholodnyi Yar": Trostyanets city was fully liberated from the Russian occupiers.

    "Today, with the powers of the 93rd Brigade "Kholodnyi Yar," with the help of the Territorial Defense and local partisans, Trostyanets city of Sumy region was liberated from the Russian occupying forces," the Brigade wrote on Facebook.

    Ukrainian defenders managed to push away the 4th Kantemir Tank Division – the "elite" of the Russian Land Forces. It was possible, among other factors, due to the successful elimination of the 96th independent reconnaissance brigade's command center. It happened in the first days of defense of Trostyanets.

    "Having suffered a number of failures, the Russian army fled from the Ukrainian city, leaving weapons, vehicles, and ammunition, which the 93rd Brigade will use for the liberation of other Ukrainian cities from occupation," servicemen of the 93rd Brigade wrote.

    22:27 Presidential Office: bulletproof vests and helmets were equated to humanitarian aid for easier import by volunteers.

    Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk informed on Telegram, that now for the import of some equipment only a declaration is needed which simplifies the procedure. In addition to the vests and helmets, the list includes: plates for the bulletproof vests, portable radio stations, UAVs and quadrocopters, binoculars, telescopes and monocles, collimator and optic sights of non-civilian use, as well as night vision devices.

    The official thanked volunteers for their hard work.

    22:05 Operational Command "South": Russian occupiers tried to land sabotage and reconnaissance groups near Odesa, but got "a decent rebuff," said the South Command representative, Lieutenant Colonel Vladyslav Nazarov said on Facebook. The attempt of landing took place in the morning of March 26. The occupiers used high-speed boats.

    21:19 Verkhovna Rada: Committee Chairman Mykhailo Radutsky wrote an open appeal to the International Committee of the Red Cross urging the organization not to legitimize "humanitarian corridors" to the Russian Federation, not to support the abduction of Ukraine's citizens or forced deportation to the aggressor state, and to change its decision.

    The issue is the decision to open an International Committee Red Cross office in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia. On March 24, Mariupol city Council said that Russian troops force civilians to get into "evacuation transport". Then Mariupol citizens were taken in the direction of the Russian Federation, for further deportation in the depressed regions. The people are deprived of documents and assigned to a new place.

    President Zelenskyy said, Russians try to enlist Mariupol citizens into their army – according to Ukrinform media.

    21:08 Verkhovna Rada: the kidnapped Mayor of Slavutych is already free.

    The Head of the city Yurii Fomichev, who was abducted today by the Russian occupiers, is already at large. Deputy Olena Shuliak informed it via her Telegram channel. The Slavutych City Council continues its work in full.

    A peaceful rally in support of Ukraine also continues in the city. The occupiers opened fire and threw light and noise grenades, but the number of people at the rally only increased. They are moving towards the hospital occupied by Russian troops.

    20:20 The 93rd separate mechanized brigade Kholodny Yar report on Facebook: "Today, with the help of the 93rd Kholodny Yar brigade, with the help of territorial defense and local partisans, the city of Trostianets, Sumy region, has been liberated from the Russian occupation troops,".

    The Kantemirovskaya tank division of the Russian Federation was forced out of the city.

    "This was preceded by the defeat of the command post, together with the leadership of the 96th separate reconnaissance brigade, back in the early days of the defense of Okhtyrka and the battles for Trostianets. Having suffered a number of setbacks, the Russian army fled from Trostianets, leaving weapons, equipment and ammunition that the 93rd brigade uses to liberate other Ukrainian cities from occupation," the brigade said in the statement.

    19:45 Operational information at 18.00 on March 26, 2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:

    - The military leadership of the occupying forces is trying to convince its own population in all achieved goals set by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

    - The occupants are carrying out the measures of covert mobilization and removal of hardware from the long-term storage. Thus, in order to staff the separate units of the 4th Tank Division from the component of the 1st Tank Army, tanks T-72 were removed from the long-term storage. According to the available information, the hardware is in extremely poor technical condition and disassembled.

    - The Russian occupants continue actively using the transport network of the Republic of Belarus. There is an increase in the number of the air transportation of military cargo from the territory of the Russian Federation. For the most part, the enemy uses transport aircraft An-124 to transport the missiles of various types as well as ammunition. This type of delivery is used due to the blocking of railways in some directions.

    - The population of the Republic of Belarus does not support the engagement of its own Armed Forces in the war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. At the same time, the group of high-ranking officials and generals from the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus are lobbying for military support for the Russian aggression and the issue of the Belarusian troops sending to Ukraine.

    - In the settlements of Kherson region there is an increase of terror of the local population by the occupants. The houses are searched to identify the Anti-Terrorist Operation / Joint Forces Operation participants, servicemen, volunteers and their families. There are numerous cases of abduction of women and the torture of local residents.

    - In some settlements of Chernihiv region, the occupants are distributing forcibly the so-called “humanitarian aid” to the local population in order to create the propaganda reports by the Russian mass media.

    - In the temporarily occupied territories, the enemy continues increasing the system of checkpoints in order to prevent the movement of local population.

    - The enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups located in Kyiv region do not quit the attempts to penetrate in the capital. The saboteurs change into civilian clothes and use cars stolen from the civilian population.

    19:25 The Ukrainian Air Assault Forces have destroyed enemy equipment. The press service of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said this in a statement released on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

    "The Ukrainian Air Assault Forces continue to methodically destroy the enemy. This time the combat work was excellently carried out by soldiers of the 25th Separate Airborne Sicheslav Brigade," the statement reads.

    19:10 Head of Lviv Regional Military Administration Maksym Kozytsky has said that enemy troops launched another missile attack near Lviv on Saturday evening.

    "Another strike near Lviv. 03/26/2022 at 18:55. Three more powerful explosions occurred. Air raid alert continues! Stay in shelters, remain calm. Do not distribute information, photos or videos before official announcements," he wrote on his Telegram channel.

    Mayor of the city Andriy Sadovy also said on Facebook that "another missile strike has been inflicted, we are updating the information."

    18:30 U.S. President Joe Biden met with Ukrainians who are in Poland to flee from the war started by Russia.

    U.S. President Joe Biden met with Ukrainians in Poland
    U.S. President Joe Biden met with Ukrainians in Poland

    "I visited Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland this afternoon. You don't need to speak the same language to feel the roller-coaster of emotions in their eyes. I want to thank my friend Chef José Andrés, his team, and the people of Warsaw for opening your hearts to help," Biden wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

    18:10 The press service of the National Police of Ukraine:Russian invaders fired at a residential neighborhood in the town of Krasnohorivka, the Donetsk region, using Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems.

    "The enemy fired from Tornado-S multiple rocket launchers at a residential neighborhood of Krasnohorivka. Russian troops used banned cluster munitions. The munitions fell in the middle of the streets of the private sector. Currently, the police have surrounded the dangerous area," the statement said.

    17:33 Andriy Sadovy, the Mayor of the Lviv: Three strong explosions occurred in the city of Lviv. "It hit Lviv. We are waiting for information from the military administration. Please do not distribute photos/videos. Stay in shelters," wrote Sadovy on Facebook.

    In turn, Head of Lviv Regional Military Administration Maksym Kozytsky confirmed that there were three explosions. "There were three powerful explosions near Lviv from the Kryvchytsy side, an air raid alert is now sounding, so everyone should remain calm and stay in shelters," he wrote on Facebook.

    There are messages on social networks about huge clouds of black smoke – possibly an oil storage facility is on fire.

    17:13 Kyiv Regional Prosecutor's Office: "According to the investigation, on March 26, the russian armed forces servicemen shelled the town of Boyarka. As a result of using weapons, according to preliminary information, 4 people were injured, including a minor.

    Infrastructure-damaged includes residetional and private homes, garages and other real estate.

    Fastiv District Prosecutor's Office has launched criminal proceedings over the shelling of the city of Boyarka by occupation forces.

    16:20 The Office of the Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in the report "The Crimean Peninsula in the context of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine": Russia is mobilising men on the Russian-occupied peninsula for participation in the war. Men of military age are trying to leave the peninsula through Russia.

    "The Office of the Representative is receiving information that men in Crimea are actively receiving summonses and there is ongoing mobilisation of citizens for war. To this end, men of military age are trying to leave the peninsula.

    As the cost of air travel through Russia is quite expensive and there are not many options for departure due to sanctions, they are travelling by car through Russia to third countries."

    15:50 The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba: U.S. President Joe Biden, during a meeting with him and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, assured that the U.S. would unwaveringly support Ukraine in everything until its victory.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba: U.S. President Joe Biden, during a meeting with him and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, assured that the U.S. would unwaveringly support Ukraine in everything until its victory, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba

    "The words of President Biden that the U.S. will be unshakable with Ukraine in everything, absolutely in everything until our victory. Nothing will force the U.S. to turn away from Ukraine or weaken support for Ukraine, on the contrary, this support will only grow," Kuleba said in live on Facebook on Saturday.

    15:15 Luhansk Regional Military Administration Head Serhii Haidai: Lysychansk hit with Russian Tochka-U missile, houses in Sievierodonetsk on fire.

    On Saturday, March 26, 2022, when the ceasefire regime should have been observed, Russians opened fire on Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk.

    Luhansk Regional Military Administration Head Serhii Haidai: Lysychansk hit with Russian Tochka-U missile, houses in Sievierodonetsk on fire, Defene Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
    Russian Tochka-U missile

    The relevant statement was made by Luhansk Regional Military Administration Head Serhii Haidai on Facebook, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “Due to shelling, a house in Lysychansk caught fire. The mine with workers underground was left without electricity. Now relevant works are being carried out to bring them to the surface. Russia hit the city with the Tochka-U missile and Grad systems,” Haidai wrote.

    The difficult situation is also in Sievierodonetsk. A food warehouse, two residential houses and several country houses are on fire. The garages of the ambulance station were damaged. In addition, one woman was injured.

    14:40 An adviser to the Head of the President's Office Oleksiy Arestovych: Residents of Slavutych put up heroic resistance to invaders.

    A new hot spot has appeared on the map of Ukraine - Slavutych, whose inhabitants are putting up heroic resistance to the invaders, adviser to the head of the President's Office Oleksiy Arestovych said at a briefing on Saturday.

    An adviser to the Head of the President's Office Oleksiy Arestovych: Residents of Slavutych put up heroic resistance to invaders, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Rusian-Ukrainian war
    Pro-Ukrainian rally in Slavutych

    "Now a huge rally with Ukrainian flags is taking place on the square, the Hero City, the city of the liquidators, is rebuffing the Russian invaders," he said.

    According to him, the enemy continues to focus its efforts on Mariupol, there are street battles, they are trying to advance in Izium region and carry out certain tactical actions in the Kyiv region.

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine, according to Arestovych, are conducting a strategic defensive operation, in some places they are counterattacking.

    13:55 Azov Detachment Commander, Hero of Ukraine Denys Prokopenko: Situation in Mariupol very challenging but controlled.

    Currently, the situation in the city of Mariupol is very challenging but controlled. Sooner or later, the city will be deblocked.

    Azov Detachment Commander, Hero of Ukraine Denys Prokopenko: Situation in Mariupol very challenging but controlled, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian war
    Mariupol

    The relevant statement was made by Azov Detachment Commander, Hero of Ukraine Denys Prokopenko in an interview with Dmytro Gordon, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “Currently, the situation in Mariupol is very challenging but controlled… We will keep it to the last. We believe and we know that the city will be deblocked sooner or later. I do not want to disclose many military secrets now. Let it remain classified as ‘secret’. The top military and political leadership is working on this. This operation will definitely be successful, and we will withstand,” Prokopenko told.

    In his words, Azov’s defenders are tirelessly burning enemy tanks and destroying enemy infantry units, whose offensive pace is fading every day.

    “The enemy is attempting to bring new reserves into battle, but their attacks are continuously repelled by our units. They are massively surrendering and not willing to move forward. They are cold, hungry, naked, barefoot, and have no desire to fight,” Propokenko noted.

    According to Prokopenko, despite the superior enemy forces, Azov Detachment is conducting successful operations, launching counterattacks and imposing their initiative to worsen the enemy’s condition.

    13:30 Operational information at 12.00 on March 26, 2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:

    - The enemy continues full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine, the tasks of the aggression remain unfulfilled.

    - Preparation and relocation of additional units of the Eastern military district to the territory of Ukraine continues.

    - The Russia is not conducting offensive operations in the Volyn direction.

    - In the Polissia direction the enemy continues to shell settlements.

    - No offensive operations in the Siversky direction.

    - In the Slobozhansky direction the enemy retains the previously occupied frontiers, regroups and increases the grouping of troops in order to carry out the offensive in certain areas. He continues the shelling of the city of Kharkiv.

    - In the Donetsk direction the enemy concentrated his efforts on maintaining his position and preparing for the offensive. He continued to try to storm the city of Mariupol, inflicted air strikes and carried out artillery shelling of civilian and military infrastructure. He tried to advance in order to occupy the central part of the city.

    - The enemy continue to focus the main efforts on the capture of the settlements of Popasna, Rubizhne, and is preparing for the attack on Severodonetsk. Russia carried out assault operations in the Avdijivka direction and tried to develop an offensive in the direction of the settlement of Novobakhmutivka, but was unsuccessful.

    - Units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine repulsed attempts to storm the settlement of Novomayorske and attack in the direction of the settlement of Krasnohorivka.

    - In the Tavria direction the enemy continues to take measures to strengthen control over the occupied territories. He also carries out filtration measures, attempts to establish a strict administrative and police regime.

    - The main efforts of the Defense Forces are focused on preventing the advance of the enemy in the directions of Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia and the defense of Mykolayiv, - the maintenance of certain areas of the sea coast; protection and defense of critical infrastructure; liberation of the temporarily occupied territories.

    - In Pivdennyi Buh direction the enemy carried out engineering equipment of the positions and carried out artillery shelling of certain units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russians take measures to restore combat capability and replenish supplies.

    13:20 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: "Deconserved" Russian military equipment for the most part is stolen, the commander of the tank regiment shot himself.

    According to General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Russian plans to move equipment taken from storage to the front were actually thwarted due to severe corruption and theft of all spare parts, even tank engines.

    Particularly, in the 4th Tank Division of the Russian Federation only 1 out of 10 "deconserved" tanks was in merely working condition.

    General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:

    13:10 Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Head Oleh Syniehubov: Russian troops fired on Kharkiv 24 times last night.

    Last night Russian troops fired on the city of Kharkiv 24 times.

    Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Head Oleh Syniehubov: Russian troops fired on Kharkiv 24 times last night, Defense Express, war in Ukraine
    Kharkiv after shelling

    The relevant statement was made by Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Head Oleh Syniehubov on Telegram, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “Talking of Kharkiv, last night the city came under fire 24 times. It is relatively low, but each time may cause casualties among civilians. Yesterday there were quite many casualties,” Syniehubov told.

    Over the past day, no enemy aircrafts have been recorded over Kharkiv. Meanwhile, reconnaissance drones were detected, and some of them were destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

    According to Syniehubov, the Ukrainian military are not only keeping the defense lines in Kharkiv Region but also launching counterattacks. In particular, several settlements in the direction of Mala Rohan have been liberated, and battles are currently underway there. Battles are also raging in the Izium direction.

    12:45 Donetsk Regional Military Administration Head Pavlo Kyrylenko: Phosphorus munitions and casualties among civilians after russian shelling.

    Russian invaders are continuously shelling the contact line within the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donetsk Region.

    Donetsk Regional Military Administration Head Pavlo Kyrylenko: Phosphorus munitions and casualties among civilians after russian shelling, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
    Illustrative photo

    The relevant statement was made by Donetsk Regional Military Administration Head Pavlo Kyrylenko on Telegram, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “In Donetsk Region, Russians are extensively shelling the contact line. Over the past day, one person has been killed with mortar fire at the exit from Marinka. Casualty numbers are yet to be updated,” Kyrylenko wrote.

    Within the Avdiivka industrial site, Russians used phosphorus munitions. The effects are now being investigated.

    12:30 The Head of the State Military Administration Oleh Synehubov: In Kharkiv region, Ukrainian Armed Forces liberate several settlements in direction of Mala Rohan, fighting in Izium direction continues.

    In Kharkiv region, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not only defending their positions, but also going on a counteroffensive, head of the state military administration Oleh Synehubov said.

    The Head of the State Military Administration Oleh Synehubov: In Kharkiv region, Ukrainian Armed Forces liberate several settlements in direction of Mala Rohan, fighting in Izium direction continues, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
    The Head of the State Military Administration Oleh Synehubov

    'Several settlements have already been liberated in the direction of Mala Rohan, now fighting continues there,' Synehubov wrote in his Telegram channel.

    According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine hold defensive positions in the Izium direction, where the fighting is going on.

    "Fighting continues in Izium direction, our troops also hold defensive positions there! The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to defend Kharkiv region and do not retreat a single meter. Victory is ours!" Synehubov wrote.

    12:20 Ukrzaliznytsia JSC Board Chairman Oleksandr Kamyshin: Russian invaders shell suburban train Shepetivka-Kyiv.

    Russian invaders have shelled a suburban train running on the Shepetivka-Kyiv route in Kyiv Region, leaving one person injured.

    The relevant statement was made by Ukrzaliznytsia JSC Board Chairman Oleksandr Kamyshin on Telegram, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “Kyiv Region. Tarasivka Station. The suburban train Shepetivka-Kyiv came under fire. According to the recent data, one person was injured with the broken window glass,” the report states.

    11:40 The Head of Chernihiv Regional Military Administration Viacheslav Chaus: Russian invaders continue shelling Chernihiv.

    Russian armed forces continue shelling Chernihiv, head of Chernihiv regional military administration Viacheslav Chaus said.

    The Head of Chernihiv Regional Military Administration Viacheslav Chaus: Russian invaders continue shelling Chernihiv, Defense Express
    The Head of Chernihiv Regional Military Administration Viacheslav Chaus

    "The night in Chernihiv is relatively calm. Shelling continues on the same objects as yesterday. That's why, Chernihiv residents, today we don't go anywhere and don't drive," Chaus said on Telegram on Saturday.

    He also said that in Chernihiv region the situation remains unchanged.

    "The situation is under control in the districts. Where it can be controlled," Chaus said.

    11:20 Head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration Oleksandr Pavliuk: Russian invaders seize hospital in Slavutych.

    On Saturday, Russian invaders entered the city of Slavutych (Kyiv region) and seized a local hospital, the Head of Kyiv Regional Military Administration Oleksandr Pavliuk reported.

    Head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration Oleksandr Pavliuk: Russian invaders seize hospital in Slavutych
    Pro-Ukrainian rally in Slavutych

    "Russian invaders invaded the city of Slavutych and seized the city hospital," the report says.

    It specifies that the residents of the city took to the pro-Ukrainian rally with national symbols. They gather on the main square and chant: "Slavutych is Ukraine", "Glory to Ukraine". A large state flag is unfurled.

    "The Russians opened fire in the air. They are throwing stun grenades into the crowd. But the residents do not disperse, on the contrary, there are more of them. People began to move towards the hospital, which was captured by the orcs," Pavliuk said.

    He said that according to the latest information, mayor of the city Yuriy Fomichov, was abducted by the invaders. The city council continues its work in full force.

    11:00 General Staff: Russia lost 16,400 personnel, 575 tanks, 117 aircraft in Ukraine in 30 days of war.

    Combat losses of the Russian occupying army since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, as of the morning of March 26, amounted to about 16,400 personnel, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Facebook. Find them in an infographic by Defense Express:

    During this period, Russia also lost 575 tanks, some 1,640 armored combat vehicles, some 293 artillery systems, some 91 multiple launch missile systems, some 51 air defense systems, some 117 aircraft and 127 helicopters.

    In addition, the occupiers lost 1,131 units of vehicles, seven ships, some 73 tanks with fuel and lubricants, some 56 unmanned aerial vehicles of the operational-tactical level, two launchers of missile systems and 19 units of special equipment.

    General Staff says Russia lost 16,400 personnel, 575 tanks, 117 aircraft in Ukraine as of the morning of March 26., Defense Express

    "The data is being specified. The calculation is complicated by the high intensity of hostilities," the AFU General Staff said.

    10:50 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky: 'Russia can't use energy to blackmail other nations'

    The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has called on energy producing countries to increase output so that Russia cannot use its oil and gas wealth to “blackmail” other nations, reports Reuters.

    Addressing the Doha Forum international conference via video link on Saturday, Zelenskiy said no country is insured against shocks from disruptions to food supply happening because of Russia’s invasion of his country.

    "They can do much to restore justice. The future of Europe depends on your effort. I ask you to increase the output of energy to ensure that everyone in Russia understands that no country can use energy as a weapon and blackmail the world," he said in translated comments.

    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia can't use energy to blackmail other nations, Defense Express
    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky remotely addresses by video-link the Doha Forum in Qatar's capital on Saturday / Photo credit: KARIM JAAFAR - AFP

    10:30 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky: Nuclear status should not be 'permission for injustice'.

    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the nuclear status of a state should not be a "permission for injustice" in relation to other countries.

    Speaking via video link at the Doha Forum international conference on Saturday, March 26, he said that "injustice is what Russia is doing against us, against Ukraine, using its privileges in international organizations, as well as the fear of the use of nuclear weapons, the fear that Russia deliberately constantly spreads."

    Zelensky said "there is now a serious discussion in the world at the political level about what to do if Russia uses tactical nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, in particular, chemical ones."

    He said that in the 90s of the past, Ukraine gave up the third largest nuclear arsenal. "In exchange for this, our country received written security promises from the most powerful states in the world, including Russia," the president said, adding that as a result, one of these countries attacked Ukraine.

    As a result, Zelensky said, "other states will also conclude that they need nuclear weapons." "We need a reform of the security system so that nuclear status does not serve as a license for any injustice," he said.

    10:15 The UK Ministry of Defense: Russia will continue to use its heavy firepower on urban areas of Ukraine.

    The UK Ministry of Defense has posted its latest intelligence update, warning that Russia is likely to continue to use heavy firepower on urban areas “as it looks to limit its own already considerable losses”.

    Here is the MoD’s latest analysis:

    • Russia continues to besiege a number of major Ukrainian cities including Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol.
    • Russian forces are proving reluctant to engage in large-scale urban infantry operations, rather preferring to rely on the indiscriminate use of air and artillery bombardments in an attempt to demoralise defending forces.
    • It is likely Russia will continue to use its heavy firepower on urban areas as it looks to limit its own already considerable losses, at the cost of further civilian casualties.
    The UK Ministry of Defense: Russia will continue to use its heavy firepower on urban areas of Ukraine, Defense Express
    The UK Ministry of Defense: Russia will continue to use its heavy firepower on urban areas of Ukraine

    09:45 Russia changes rhetoric about invasion of Ukraine, focusing on less ‘great victories’

    The command of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces has changed the rhetoric about the goals of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russians are being prepared for less great "victories".

    According to Ukrinform, the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine wrote this on Telegram.

    Russia changes rhetoric about invasion of Ukraine after it had suffered heavy losses in the war. Remains of a Russian military column - the City of Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine. Beginning of March 2022

    In particular, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation, Sergei Rudsky, now says that the main goal of the "special operation" in Ukraine is "complete liberation of Donbas", and Rudsky has not mentioned the "denazification" and "demilitarization" of Ukraine.

    In addition, the international department of propaganda media outlet RIA published a map showing that Russian troops have not carried out an offensive in any direction for two weeks.

    "Moreover, the propaganda map shows accumulation of Ukrainian military near the Ukrainian settlements temporarily blocked by the occupiers," the report says.

    These facts may indicate that the enemy is gradually changing the information base for the Russian population. As the "special operation" did not follow the scenario planned by the Kremlin, the Russians are being prepared for less “great victories", the Center for Countering Disinformation emphasizes.

    09:15 The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office: Russian invaders already kill 136 Ukrainian children.

    A total of 136 children have been killed since Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said this in a statement, Ukrinform reports.

    "As of the morning of the 31st day of full-scale armed aggression by the Russian Federation, 136 children were killed in our country and 199 children were injured. The highest number of child casualties was recorded in the Kyiv region - 64, the Kharkiv region - 44, the Donetsk region - 50, the Chernihiv region - 38, the Mykolaiv region - 28, the Luhansk region - 25, the Zaporizhia region - 17, the Kherson region - 20, the [Ukrainian] capital - 16, the Zhytomyr region - 15, and the Sumy region – 14," the statement said.

    The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office: Russian invaders already kill 136 Ukrainian children, Defense Express
    109 empty strollers stand as tribute to Ukrainian children killed In this picture taken on March 18, 2022, 109 empty strollers are seen placed outside the Lviv city council during an action to highlight the number of children killed in the ongoing Russia's invasion of Ukraine / Photo credit: Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP

    08:40 The US president Joe Biden to argue the 'free world' is united in support of Ukraine during speech in Poland today

    The US president will say that the “free world” opposes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that there is unity among major economies on the need to stop Vladimir Putin during a speech in Poland on Saturday, The Guardian reports citing Reuters.

    Biden will meet with the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, on Saturday, following three days of meetings with allies of the G7, European council and Nato.

    During his visit to Poland Biden met service members from the 82nd Airborne Division in Rzeszów oh Friday, March 25 / Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

    Reuters has further detail:

    Biden, who took office last year after a violently contested election, vowed to restore democracy at home and unite democracies abroad to confront autocrats including the Russian president and China’s leader, Xi Jinping.

    Putin’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special operation”, has tested that promise and threatened to inaugurate a new cold war three decades after the Soviet Union unravelled.

    In what US officials were billing as a major address in Poland, Biden “will deliver remarks on the united efforts of the free world to support the people of Ukraine, hold Russia accountable for its brutal war and defend a future that is rooted in democratic principles”, the White House said in a statement.

    Biden and Duda will also meet privately to discuss security matters, including questions over how to arm Ukraine.

    07:50 General Staff: operational information as of 06:00, 26.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:

    • Ukraines Armed Forces Defense Forces Group continues to conduct a defense operation in certain areas, conducts a stabilization operation, and performs territorial defense tasks.
    • Russia’s occupation forsec have had partial success in creating a land corridor between the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and part of the Donetsk region. It continues to repel the enemy's offensive, inflict fire damage on it and maintain the previously defined defensive lines on Kyiv direction.
    • In the Donetsk and Luhansk directions the Joint forces group repulsed all enemy attacks and inflicted significant losses on the russian invaders. Ukrainian soldiers destroyed 8 tanks, 17 units of armored vehicles and 11 units of enemy vehicles. The losses of the invaders in manpower amounted to about 170 people. Air defense units shot down 3 planes and 3 UAVs of the enemy.
    • The Air Force grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has destroyed 12 enemy air targets (3 planes, 3 UAVs, a helicopter and 5 cruise missiles) during the previous day. Strike aircraft of the Air Force under cover of fighters inflicted devastating missile and bomb strikes on columns of equipment and clusters of occupying troops.

    07:20 U.S. says Russia focusing on hostilities in eastern Ukraine

    The United States assesses that Russia is prioritizing eastern Ukraine's Donbas, as opposed to Kyiv, in what could be an effort to build leverage in negotiations and cut off Ukrainian forces in the east from the rest of the country.

    A senior U.S. defense official said this on Friday, Ukrinform reports, citing Reuters.

    Russia said that the first phase of its military operation was mostly complete and it would focus on completely "liberating" Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

    The announcement appeared to indicate Moscow may be switching to more limited objectives after running into fierce Ukrainian resistance in a month of war.

    The senior U.S. official suggested Russia's activities on the ground appeared broadly to back up Moscow's announcement.

    "They are prioritizing it and we concur, our information would concur, with that," the official said, noting that Russian forces become more aggressive in the Donbas area.

    For the first time, the official said, the United States had signs that Russia was looking to draw on its troops in Georgia to help in Ukraine.

    It was unclear what their timeline was and where exactly they would go, but the official said it would not be surprising if they were sent into the Donbas region.

    07:00 Joe Biden will spend a second day in Poland on Saturday, where he will meet with the president, Andrzej Duda, and give a speech on Russia’s invasion.

    On Friday, a senior US defense official briefed reporters in Warsaw on the state of the war, - The Guardian reports.

    U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Warsaw Chopin Airport, in Warsaw, Poland, March 25, 2022, Defense Express
    U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Warsaw Chopin Airport, in Warsaw, Poland, March 25, 2022

    Here’s a recap of the key points:

    • The US has observed more than 1,250 missile launches since the start of the invasion.
    • It appears that the Russians are at the moment not pursuing a ground offensive towards Kyiv, but “they are digging in, they are establishing defensive positions, they don’t show any signs of being willing to move on Kyiv from the ground”.
    • The US is still observing airstrikes on Kyiv, but nothing on the ground “in keeping with our assessment of a couple of days ago that they are going to prioritise the eastern part of the country”.
    • “We’re seeing the Ukrainians really go now on the offence around Kyiv. That includes to the west of it ... The Russians are in a defensive position around Kyiv on the ground.”
    • Asked if the US has seen indications that Vladimir Putin has become more reckless in his tactics as Russia has not achieved its goals, the senior official said: “You can see for yourself how they have tried to make up for the fact that they haven’t been able to move well on the ground by the increasing use of airstrikes and missile strikes and artillery strikes on population centres.”

    You can read the full remarks from the background briefing on official site of U.S. Department of Defense.

    Presidents Joe Biden and Andrzej Duda in Poland. March 25, 2022, Defense Express
    Presidents Joe Biden and Andrzej Duda in Poland. March 25, 2022

    06:45 Ukrainian air defense forces destroy three Russian aircraft, five cruise missiles over past day

    Ukrainian air defense forces destroyed three aircraft of Russian invaders and at least five cruise missiles in the past 24 hours.

    The command of the Ukrainian Air Force said this in a statement released on its official page on Facebook.

    On March 25, the enemy launched a massive missile strike on Ukrainian territory in several directions.

    Six cruise missiles were fired on the territory of the Ukrainian Air Force's command. Some of them were shot down by air defense forces, and others hit their targets. The type of missiles, the inflicted damage to infrastructure and the presence of casualties are being clarified.

    Illustrative photo: russia's R-500 cruise missile shot down in Ukraine

    However, in the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian Air Force destroyed three Russian aircraft and at least five cruise missiles.

    The Joint Forces Operation also said that three Orlan-10 UAVs had been shot down and an enemy helicopter had been hit.

    One of russian Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAV reportedly shot down by Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv a few days ago, Defense Express
    Illustrative photo: one of russian Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAV reportedly shot down by Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv a few days ago

    06:25 The UK Ministry of Defense: Ukrainian air defense forcing Russia to use more drones.

    Ukrainian air defense has significantly limited Russia's manned flights, so the aggressor country is planning to use more drones. The UK Ministry of Defense said this in its latest intelligence update published on Twitter, - Ukrinform reports.

    "Robust Ukrainian air defense has almost certainly limited manned flights beyond their front lines hence Russia has highly likely been forced to use more UAVs instead. This is probably leading to greater demand for, and attrition of, these assets," the intelligence said.

    The UK Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian air defense forcing Russia to use more drones, Defense Express

    According to the statement, the UK has sanctioned a further 65 individuals and entities with supporting links to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. Among those sanctioned are Kronshtadt, Russian defense company and main producer of Russia's Orion drone and other unmanned aerial vehicles.

    02:00 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy: Sea will never be calm for invaders, even when there’s no storm.

    The Ukrainian defenders have proved to the occupiers that the sea will never be calm for them, even when there is no storm.

    That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who delivered a video addressto the nation on Friday, March 25.

    The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Sea will never be calm for invaders, even when there’s no storm, Defense Express
    The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy: Sea will never be calm for invaders, even when there’s no storm

    “I am grateful to our defenders who showed the occupiers that the sea will not be calm for them even when there is no storm. Because there will be fire. As on those Russian ships that departed this week on the famous route from the port of Berdiansk,” said Zelensky.

    “I want to warn all traitors of Ukraine who sided with the enemy in Crimea years ago. You switched sides because you thought you would live better, right? Not because you want to repeat the tragic fate of your colleagues who died on those ships or somewhere else on land or at sea in Ukraine. Well, live. Stay as far away from our cities and our army as possible,” the Ukrainian leader noted.

    He went on to recall that the Russian military death toll in Ukraine has already exceeded 16,000.

    “Among those killed are senior commanders. There have not been reports about the killed Russian colonels-general or admirals yet. But the commander of one of the occupying armies and deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet are already there,” the president stressed.

    01:03 CNN, a senior US defense official: The Russian military is moving troops stationed in the country of Georgia into Ukraine as reinforcements.

    The US had seen “movement of some number of troops from Georgia,” the defense official told reporters, adding that the Pentagon could not provide a number for how many troops Moscow was moving or the timeline that they were on.

    “We now have indications that they are drawing on forces from Georgia to Ukraine,” the official said, adding they were not tracking their movements from the air.

    Russian troops have been stationed in Georgia after Russia invaded the country in 2008. Georgia is on Russia’s southwestern border.

    The Pentagon did not know where the troops from Georgia would be going in Ukraine, the official said, while noting that the Kremlin has said it is prioritizing its activity in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

    00:47 German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen stated during a national Ukrainian telethon: Germany is working to strengthen its support for Ukraine in all areas, the ambassador said, adding that this also includes arms supplies.

    She noted that little is being elaborated on the issue because Ukraine has asked the German government not to provide any details publicly, but this is just one among many areas of assistance Feldhusen said.

    German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen
    German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen

    The ambassador stressed that Germany can continue supplying weapons to the country.

    Earlier, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and Vice Chancellor and Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck told German media that the Bundeswehr no longer had weapons that could be handed over to Ukraine, but Berlin was looking for the relevant sources to buy them from.

    00:35 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: operational information as of 24:00, 25.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:

    During the current day, there have been no significant changes in the tactics of the enemy. The enemy focused its efforts on replenishing current losses, regrouping and strengthening existing units, and striking with artillery and airstrikes on both military and civilian infrastructure.

    The enemy is trying to continue preparations for the introduction of Russian rubles in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions instead of the hryvnia.

    The occupiers do not stop trying to suppress the resistance of the inhabitants of the Ukrainian cities of Kherson, Henichesk, Melitopol, about 90% of whose population are against the Russian invaders, with the involvement of Rosguard units.

    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 for evacuation and convoys with humanitarian aid

    - Humanitarian corridors: despite repetitive violations of ceasefire and shelling of evacuation transport, some of the humanitarian corridors work. The direst situation is in Mariupol, which is currently in Russian blockade, resisting

    - 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: fighter jets or ground-based missile systems; some countries have expressed willingness to give their weapons if NATO provides corresponding defensive equipment in exchange (Poland, Slovakia)

    - 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 several 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 negotiations continue "non-stop" in an online format; President Zelenskyy expressed readiness to directly talk with Putin.

    Read more: ​Day 30th of Ukraine's Defense Against Russian Invasion (Live Updates)
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