- UK defense minister Ben Wallace: Britain, allies to send more lethal aid to Ukraine.
- The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was accumulating troops for new strikes in Donbas.
- various reports indicate that Russian troops are leaving or have already left Chornobyl nuclear power plant towards Belarus; there they will receive treatment for radiation poisoning
- President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola visited Kyiv today, promised to facilitate Ukraine's joining the EU and help rebuild the country after the war
- as Russian troops retreat from the occupied territories in the North, Ukrainian defenders liberate cities and villages one after another
- Verkhovna Rada: the parliament of Ukraine and its social media (Facebook, Telegram)
- Presidential Office: the Official website of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his social media (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram); advisers to the Office: Oleksiy Arestovych and Mykhailo Podoliak; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of Temporary Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk
- General Staff: the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
- Stratcom Centre: Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security of Ukraine – an establishment under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine – website and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram)
Thank you for your attention! This feed is closed. But Defense Express has already started a new one. Find the latest news on Day 38th of the Russian invasion of Ukraine here.
23:22 Stratcom Centre: Bucha city near Kyiv has been liberated from the Russian occupiers
City Mayor Anatolii Fedoruk announced that "March 31 would go down in history" as the day Bucha was liberated from Russian occupiers. He expressed hopes for the "great victory" that awaits the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the people of Ukraine.
22:59 Air Force: Mykola Oleshchuk, the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Forces, has published a statement. Here are the key points of it:
On March 24, Russian armed forces launched a massive missile strike on Ukraine's air force facilities, which became the first target of the enemy's military operation. Russians planned to destroy the air defense capabilities of Ukraine in one go and reported to their command that 90% of Ukrainian airfields and anti-aircraft missile systems. But actually, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were prepared for that so they managed to shelter almost all of the vehicles and people from the enemy fire.
Russians have not and do not control the airspace, only those over the temporarily occupied territories, where their air defense systems "S-300", "S-400", "Buk", "Pantsir", "Tor" were deployed. Furthermore, even over those areas, the occupiers keep losing aircraft: 143 planes and 131 helicopters in total were downed already. Russian aircraft tries to keep themselves away from the Ukrainian air defense systems and fighters.
Russians have changed their tactics two times already: firstly, instead of fighting the Ukrainian military, they started to bomb civilians; then they concentrated their efforts in a limited number of directions in Eastern Ukraine.
"Freedom must be armed!" Commander called out to Western partners of Ukraine urging them to provide modern air defense equipment, not only the Soviet-era ones – fighter jets and missile systems. "Our allies know exactly what Ukraine needs, in particular, [what] Air Force [needs]."
22:00 General Staff: Ukrainian artillery scorched the Russian occupiers in the Kyiv direction
Following the artillery strike the troops of Ukrainian Land Forces together with the National Guard of Ukraine finished a few dozens of Russian IFVs, tanks, "Typhoon" MRAP armored vehicles and trucks. Also, significant manpower was eliminated.
21:38 Security Service of Ukraine: another "Orlan-10" UAV was spotted by a local resident in the Poltava region.
He contacted the police and SSU, and the drone was neutralized. The SSU noted, that this reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle is used by Russians for scouting or artillery fire adjustment. Its estimated worth is $80,000. The Security Service also pointed out the Russian "know-how": the usage of adhesive tape to attach components.
21:27 Come Back Alive charity fund has published a video of how local residents of a Ukrainian village meet their liberators:
21:00 Verkhovna Rada: President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola visited Kyiv today
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine welcomed the EU Parliament President. Roberta Metsola addressed the Ukrainian parliament and the entire Ukrainian nation. She promised to recognize Ukraine as a candidate for EU membership officially and quickly.
Another promise was to help rebuild Ukrainian cities and villages that suffered devastating blows from the aggressor after the war and help refugees. Roberta Metsola announced the creation of the Fund of Solidarity with Ukraine.
20:38 General Staff: operational information as of 18:00, 01.04.2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:
- The withdrawal of separate units from the territory of Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts continues, as well as the regrouping of enemy troops, presumably to create strike groups in the Slobozhansky and Donetsk directions.
- Russian soldiers received significant doses of radiation during their stay in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone; now receive treatment in specialized facilities in Belarus
- Russian occupiers continue to detain local residents suspected of organizing pro-Ukrainian actions and preparing sabotage against the Russians. Employees of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation are interrogating the Ukrainians using psychological and physical pressure
- In the temporarily occupied territories, Russians try to take control of the educational process, force the educators to use Russian language. They appropriate the humanitarian aid provided by the Ukrainian side and give their own "aid" instead. In Tokmak city, occupiers plan to stage a so-called referendum and have already notified the locals about this event. In Melitopol city, the occupiers place artillery systems among the residential quarters
- While leaving Bucha city, Russian troops mined civilian buildings, infrastructure and areas within the settlement
20:13 Verkhovna Rada: Latvia has banned the public use of symbols of war crimes and the Russian invasion of Ukraine – Z and V
Such amendments to the legislation were finally approved by the Seimas of Latvia at a parliamentary session on March 31st. Violation would lead to a fine of up to 350 euros for individuals and up to 2.9 thousand euros for legal entities. Verkhovna Rada cites the words by the Chair of Parliamentary Human Rights committee Artuss Kaimins:
"Condemning Russia's hostilities in Ukraine, we must take a firm stand that symbols glorifying Russian military aggression, such as the letters 'Z', 'V' or other symbols used for this purpose, have no place in public events."
19:59 International Atomic Energy Agency: Director General of the IAEA Rafael MarianoGrossi will lead a mission to the Chornobyl NPP.
"I will head an IAEA assistance and support mission to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant as soon as possible. It will be the first in a series of such nuclear safety and security missions to Ukraine," he wrote on Twitter.
Update: Verkhovna Rada: The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) will transfer all Ukrainian nuclear power plants to the its Paris Center. Until today, they were part of the Moscow center.
Yesterday, on March 31, the WANO's Board of Governors supported the request of NNEGC "Energoatom" and decided to transfer the Company together with all its stations and nuclear power plants to the Paris Center of WANO. It was informed by "Energoatom" National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine.
The transfer includes the following NPPs:
- Zaporizhzhya NPP (6 WWER-1000 units)
- Rivne NPP (2 WWER-440 units, 2 WWER-1000 units)
- South Ukrainian NPP (3 WWER-1000 units)
- Khmelnytskyi NPP (2 WWER-1000 units)
19:39 Presidential Office: one more POW exchange has been carried out
Prisoners of war were exchanged in the Zaporizhzhia region, said Kirill Timoshenko, the Deputy Chairman to the Office of the President of Ukraine. 86 Ukrainian servicemen, including 15 women are in safety now, he said.
Update: "Thanks to the agreements reached in Turkey, today, we've accomplished a successful exchange of prisoners of war", said David Arakhamia, the member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Ukraine-Russia peace talks.
19:28 Special Operations Forces Command has published footage of Ukrainian elite troops destroying supplies of the Russian army.
The Command center noted that ambushes on the enemy logistics are one of the important tasks. Cutting the occupiers off supply is a powerful way to weaken them. This is how Special Operations Forces attacked a supply route of Russians.
18:55 The Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the village of Borodianka in Kyiv Oblast. The photo near the local police station was published by the official news agency of the Ministry of Defense.
18:20 Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal believes that Russia wants to create a big food crisis in the world.
"Russia's intentions are clear. Following the energy crisis that Russia brought at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year to Europe and the world, their task now is to create a big food crisis in the world. They really do it. Today they are destroying part of the granaries in Ukraine, they are closing the export of grain from Ukrainian ports through a naval blockade," Shmyhal said on the national telethon on Friday afternoon.
At the same time, the prime minister said that in any case, Ukraine finds with partners how to act to ensure the export of Ukrainian grain and other products.
The prime minister also said that today the situation with products in the country is stable.
He said that the sowing season has already begun in 21 regions of the country.
17:55 The Main Intelligence Agency of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine: "Russian banks continue to finance Russian aggression against Ukraine. In particular, it has been established that UAVs, components for military equipment and electronic intelligence equipment for units of the 47th Panzer Division (Mulino) are being purchased through the Russian Promsvyazbank and Gazprombank".
The Agency recalled that Promsvyazbank on March 12 was included in the list of institutions disconnected from the SWIFT system.
"As for Gazprombank, only the UK imposed sanctions against it. This bank is the main institution through which Europeans pay for the supply of Russian fossil fuel," the Intelligence Agency said.
17:20 The Verkhovna Rada has approved a law providing for the nationalization of the property of Russian citizens, as well as Ukrainian citizens who publicly deny the war.
A total of 305 MPs voted for the adoption of Bill No. 7169 "On the Introduction of Amendments to the Law of Ukraine 'On Basic Principles of Compulsory Seizure in Ukraine of Property of the Russian Federation and Its Residents' Regarding the Clarification of Certain Provisions," Ukrinform reports, with reference to Holos MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak.
The document clarifies that residents of Russia (except for legal entities) are also citizens of Russia, as well as persons who are not citizens but have the closest connection with Russia: those who reside or are engaged in major activities there.
In addition, according to the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine or the courts, residents of Russia may be equated with individuals or legal entities (regardless of citizenship, place of residence, location, engagement in major activities, etc.) that publicly deny or support Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, the establishment and approval of temporary occupation of part of Ukrainian territory.
16:50 Oleksandr Motuzianyk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry: Ukraine is defending itself against Russian aggression on its territory and should not be responsible for any events taking place on Russian territory.
He said this at a briefing when asked whether Ukraine was involved in a fire that broke out at a fuel depot in Belgorod.
"I want to emphasize that as of today the Ukrainian state is conducting a defense operation to repel Russian armed aggression on Ukrainian territory. And this does not mean that Ukraine should be responsible for all miscalculations and all catastrophes, all events taking place in Russia," Motuzianyk said.
He added that this is not the first time such accusations have been made against Ukraine.
"Therefore, I will neither confirm nor deny this information," Motuzianyk said.
16:10 The Ukrainian troops destroyed the newest strike helicopter Mi-28 of the russian armed forces. The video, which shows a russian helicopter that was hit by an anti-aircraft missile and falling apart in the air, is spreading in the network.
15:45 The Ministry of Defense reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had already destroyed more than $ 10 billion in occupiers' equipment. The most expensive was the Russian warship "Saratov" - its value exceeds $ 100 million.
14:37 The Dutch House of Representatives: Approximately EUR 516 million worth of Russian assets has been blocked in the Netherlands. This was stated in a letter NOS. Almost EUR 516 million of Russian assets have been frozen in the Netherlands," the letter reads. It also notes that more than 154 million transactions have been blocked in the country.
14:08 Adviser to the Head of the Presidentʼs Office Oleksiy Arestovych said that the occupiers could not launch an offensive to surround Ukraineʼs defense forces in the Donbas. The forecast for Ukraine is restrainedly optimistic. Mariupol is receiving some assistance. In the Kyiv direction, the enemy is rotating and transferring forces, probably to the Donbas. Russians are being driven out, and it is currently impossible to assault. There are counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kherson and Kharkiv directions.
13:58 Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak discussed with Director General of the state concern Ukroboronprom Yuriy Husev the work of the concern under martial law. During the meeting they focused on key aspects of the functioning of Ukroboronprom and identified areas that require separate attention, the website of the President’s Office said on Friday.
"Today, all enterprises of the military-industrial complex must work round the clock. The Ukrainian Armed Forces need the effective work of every employee of the industry to repel Russia's aggression," Yermak stressed.
13:00 Heavy fighting for Lysychansk ongoing, enemy firing weapons of all calibers.
Fighting for Lysychansk is currently underway in Luhansk region. Ukrainian defenders do their utmost so that a yellow and blue flag flies over the town.
"Russian occupiers continue to fire on Ukrainian Lysychansk, using weapons of all calibers. Putin's soldiers are aiming at residential neighborhoods, healthcare facilities, kindergartens, evacuation vehicles ruthlessly… Fighting for Lysychansk continues. Ukrainian defenders do their utmost so that a Ukrainian flag continues to fly over the town," Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhiy Haidai posted on Facebook.
Dozens of buildings have been destroyed in the town and many residents have been affected, he added.
So far, the list of enemy's combat losses is the following:
Personnel - more 17 700,
Tanks ‒ 625 units,
APV ‒ 1751 units,
Artillery systems – 316 units,
MLRS – 96 units,
Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 54 units,
Aircraft – 143 units,
Helicopters – 131 units,
Vehicles – 1220 units,
Boats / cutters - 7 units,
Fuel tanks - 76,
UAV operational-tactical level - 85 units,
Special equipment – 24,
Mobile SRBM system - 4.
Data are being updated. The calculation is complicated by the intensity of hostilities.
12:20 Red Cross: evacuation plan for Mariupol has been agreed with 'top level authorities' from Ukraine and Russia.
There are more developments with the attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. According to The Guardian, Reuters reports a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross has said:
- Top level authorities from Ukraine and Russia have approved an evacuation plan.
- The operation involves 54 buses.
- Its teams did not get permission to bring in humanitarian aid so have left without supplies.
- No destination has yet been decided for the evacuees, but it will be in Ukraine.
There are thought to be over 100,000 civilians remaining in the besieged southern port city. Earlier Ukraine deputy minister Oleksii Iaremenko said it was now 36 days that Mariupol had not received any medical or humanitarian supplies.
12:00 Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar: Powerful defense of Mariupol prevents occupiers from dispersing to other areas.
The defenders of Mariupol (Donetsk region) have pinned down the forces of the Russian invaders who are trying to take the city and do not allow them to disperse to other areas, Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar has said.
"The powerful defense of Mariupol did not allow the enemy to disperse forces to other directions. It places its forces in different directions, but if there is such a powerful defense, then it saves other directions, for example, Kryvy Rih or Zaporizhia," Maliar said on the air of the national telethon on Thursday, March 31.
She also said that, despite the losses, the enemy did not give up their goals in the war.
"Even when we talk about any temporary changes, for example, the conditional withdrawal of troops from Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, it should be understood that this is not a voluntary withdrawal, but the result of the work of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the deputy minister stressed.
She noted that while in some areas the enemy is withdrawing its troops, in others, on the contrary, there is an increase in the enemy's military force.
"The situation cannot be unambiguously commented on throughout the country or given one assessment. Each region has its own situation," Maliar summed up.
11:30 The head of the Chernihiv Regional Military Administration, Viacheslav Chaus Russian forces withdrawing from Chernihiv but not left entirely.
Russian forces are withdrawing from the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine but have not yet left entirely, the local governor said in a video address on Friday, April 1.
“Air and missile strikes are possible in the region, nobody is ruling this out,” governor Viacheslav Chaus said, adding that Ukrainian forces were entering and securing settlements previously held by Russian troops.
Chaus said it was still too early for Ukrainian forces in the Chernihiv region to let their guard down as Russian troops “are still on our land,” The Guardian reports citing Reuters.
Russia said on Tuesday it would scale down operations in the Chernihiv and Kyiv regions. Chernihiv is the region directly to the north-east of Kyiv.
11:00 Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan denies alleged transfer of militants to Ukraine through territory of Armenia, provision of aircraft to Russia.
Armenian Prime Minister denied the information about the alleged movement of foreign fighters to Ukraine through his territory.
"Obviously, Armenia, which suffered from involvement of mercenary-terrorists in NagornoKarabakh war two years ago, can never contribute to transfer and deployment of foreign terrorist fighters to #Ukraine through the territory of Armenia," he wrote on his Twitter.
At the same time, Pashinyan also called fake information that Armenia allegedly provided Russia with four Su-30SM aircraft for use in Ukraine.
"Our SUs have never left the borders of our country since the day they were imported to Armenia," he said.
10:30 The Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated 11 settlements in Kherson region from Russian occupiers.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated 11 settlements in Kherson region from Russian invaders, - Interfax-Ukraine reports citing the Skhid (East) task force.
"Thanks to the efforts of our defenders of the 60th separate infantry brigade, which is part of the Skhid task force, the following settlements in Kherson region were liberated: Novovorontsovka, Mala Shesternia, Novohryhorivka, Topolyne, Kniazhivka, Krasnivka, Vilne, Kamianka, Pryhiria, Kochubeivka, Orlove," - the report notes.
Thanks to the military, the local population can receive humanitarian assistance (medicines and food).
In addition, the Skhid task force informed that, while carrying out operations to liberate these settlements, a unit of the 60th separate infantry brigade was updated with "captured" equipment: they have T-64 tanks (with full ammunition), an infantry combat vehicle, an airborne infantry fighting vehicle, and an anti-aircraft gun ZU-2M with a towing vehicle.
10:15 The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine: Since start of full-scale war, 153 children die, 245 injured.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, 153 children have been killed and 245 children injured, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reports.
"About 400 children have suffered in Ukraine since the beginning of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation. Of these, 153 were killed and more than 245 were injured," the ministry's press service said on Friday morning.
The Office of the Prosecutor General stressed that work continues to establish all the data on the affected children in the places of active hostilities and in the territories temporarily occupied by the enemy. In particular, in the city of Mariupol, in certain territories of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Luhansk regions.
"According to the data received, the most affected children were in Kyiv region - 73, Donetsk - 65, Kharkiv - 53, Chernihiv - 43, Mykolaiv - 30, Luhansk - 31, Zaporizhia - 22, Kherson - 29, the capital - 16, Sumy - 16, Zhytomyr - 15," the ministry said.
It is also noted that 859 educational institutions were damaged due to bombing and shelling. Some 83 of them are completely destroyed. The worst situation is in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kyiv, Kherson, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv regions and the city of Kyiv.
08:45 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: 1,232 civilians killed in Ukraine since Russian invasion began.
Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recorded 3,167 civilian casualties in Ukraine.
In particular, a total of 1,232 civilians were killed, including 250 men, 176 women, 18 girls, and 36 boys, as well as 58 children and 694 adults whose sex is yet unknown.
A total of 1,935 civilians were injured, including 225 men, 167 women, 36 girls, and 32 boys, as well as 81 children and 1,394 adults whose sex is yet unknown.
It is noted that most the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.
“OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. This concerns, for example, Mariupol and Volnovakha (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Popasna (Luhansk region), and Irpin (Kyiv region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties. These figures are being further corroborated and are not included in the above statistics,” the office said.
08:15 The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine: Over 20,000 vehicles delivered humanitarian aid to Ukraine since war began
Since February 24, border guards of the Western Regional Directorate have ensured the passage of 20,445 vehicles delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine wrote this on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.
It is noted that the vehicles carrying humanitarian aid cross the state border under simplified procedure, their registration is carried out in the shortest possible time. The largest amount of humanitarian goods come from Poland and Slovakia.
07:45 General Staff: operational information as of 06.00 on April 1, 2022 regarding the Russian invasion. Key points:
- The units of the russian occupation forces continue to partially withdraw from the north of Kyiv region towards the state border with the republic of belarus.
- In the temporarily occupied territories, the russian enemy continues its illegal actions, restricting the movement of civilians, using the houses and apartments of local residents to accommodate personnel, holding hostages local residents and activists. Marauding and violence against Ukrainian citizens continues.
- In some temporarily occupied by the russian enemy areas , the russian occupiers are trying to force entrepreneurs to switch to paying for goods and services in russian rubles.
- The Joint Forces of Ukraine repulsed 7 enemy attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk directions during the day. Ukrainian warriors destroyed 3 tanks, 2 armoured personnel carriers, 2 units of motor vehicles and 2 artillery systems. An Orlan-10 UAV was also shot down.
- Ukraine's Defense Forces continue to successfully carry out their tasks, pursue the retreating enemy, break through the occupiers' defensive positions and gradually liberate Ukrainian lands.
07:30 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison: Australia to send armoured Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Australia will send armoured Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy specifically asked for them during a video appeal to Australian lawmakers, - The Guardian reports.
Morrison told reporters the vehicles will be flown over on Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport planes. He didn’t specify how many would be sent or when.
Zelenskiy addressed the Australian Parliament on Thursday and asked for the Australian-made, four-wheel-drive vehicles.
“We’re not just sending our prayers, we are sending our guns, we’re sending our munitions, we’re sending our humanitarian aid, we’re sending all of this, our body armor, all of these things and we’re going to be sending our armoured vehicles, our Bushmasters, as well,” Morrison said.
Zelenskiy specifically asked for Bushmaster vehicles during his address to Australian Parliament.
“You have very good armed personnel vehicles, Bushmasters, that could help Ukraine substantially, and other pieces of equipment,” Zelenskiy said.
07:00 Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar: Russia relocating missile systems to Belarus’ Homel region.
The russian forces are actively using the territory of Belarus to carry out aggressive actions against Ukraine, relocating their missile systems to Homel region.
Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar said this on the air of Ukrainian TV channels, - an Ukrinform reported.
"The enemy forces do not abandon their plans to completely capture Donetsk and Luhansk regions. They are also encroaching on Kharkiv region and trying to strengthen their positions there and regroup troops. We are now recording missile systems being sent to Homel region, and the enemy is trying to accumulate them there, apparently due to plans to launch missile strikes or use them there as a tool for blackmailing and intimidating. Therefore, the territory of Belarus continues to be actively used by Russia to carry out aggressive actions,” - Maliar said.
05:00 U.S. approved the drawdown and sale of petroleum from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) citing a severe energy supply interruption.
In a recently published memorandum, Biden said Russia’s invasion on Ukraine “has had a profound impact on global oil markets” prompting the International Energy Agency Governing Board to agree to a collective release of petroleum reserves, - The Guardian reports.
He said the United States committed to a drawdown and sale of 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“The Secretary is authorised and directed to draw down and sell petroleum from the SPR at public sale to the highest qualified bidder at a rate the Secretary may determine, in accordance with section 161 of EPCA and the SPR competitive sales procedures in 10 CFR Part 625,” the statement read.
02:50 UK Ministry of Defense: Russia is redeploying some forces from Georgia.
Russia is redeploying elements of its forces from Georgia to reinforce its invasion of Ukraine, British military intelligence said on Thursday, March 31, - The Guardian reports.
Between 1,200 and 2,000 of these Russian troops are being reorganised into 3x Battalion Tactical Groups,” Britain’s ministry of defence said.
It is highly unlikely that Russia planned to generate reinforcements in this manner and it is indicative of the unexpected losses it has sustained during the invasion.”
01:55 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Zelensky: We endured much more than enemy expected and we will continue to fight.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukrainians endured much more than the enemy expected and they will continue to fight until the end, until they have strength and opportunities.
The head of state said this in a video address.
“The 36th day of our nationwide defense after eight years of war in Donbas is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe that, but March has already passed. Absolutely imperceptible!
The passage of time is somehow not even noticed. Every day and every night has become virtually the same for us. The same day, the same night. And with one task for all - to protect ourselves, save people, rebuff invaders. Drive them out, ” - Volodymyr Zelensky stated.
As Ukrainian President said, all this March and five days of February the invaders had been trying to break in and gain a foothold in Ukraine from different directions - from land, from the sky, from the sea. “But when you are on your land, everything helps you. The land itself, rivers, every person. Everyone, even the one you didn't expect from before. We endured much more than the enemy expected,” – noted Volodymyr Zelensky.
“They said - three or five days. They thought that this would be enough for them to seize our entire state. And it’s already 36. And we are standing. And we will continue to fight. Until the end.Until we have strength and opportunities.So that there are no monsters left on our land. So that if chimeras (points to the House with Chimeras - ed.), then native and good. The ones protecting us,” – concluded The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Zelensky.
01:15 The operational update regarding the russian invasion as of 24.00 on March 31, 2022, key facts:
- The enemy, having suffered significant losses in personnel and equipment, did not succeed in blocking and capturing the city of Kyiv. The occupiers were forced to temporarily abandon this task.
- The russian invaders continue to strengthen groups of troops at the expense of units of the Eastern Military District.
- In the Polissya direction, the russian enemy is regrouping troops. It brought up to 5 BTGs to the territory of the republic of belarus.
- After the combat capability of the withdrawn units is restored, they are expected to be moved to other areas.
- In the northern direction, the occupiers are withdrawing part of the troops under the cover of individual units of the 1st Tank Army.
- In the Slobozhansky direction, russians continue to blockade the city of Kharkiv, launching artillery shelling to destroy the city's infrastructure and residential areas. In the area south of the city of Izyum, the enemy is trying to break the resistance of Ukrainian defenders, expel units of the Defence Forces from their positions and continue the offensive in the direction of Slovyansk. It is not successful.
- The enemy did not conduct active offensive operations in the Donetsk direction. The enemy focused on continuing the assault on the city of Mariupol.
- In the South Bug direction the enemy tried to carry out offensive actions in the direction of the settlement of Alexandrovka of the Mykolayiv area.
- Attempts by the russian enemy to bypass the positions of our troops in the areas of Popasna and Novotoshkivske were repulsed.
- The forces of the 36th Independent Marines Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with units of other components of the Defence Forces of Ukraine, maintain the circular defence of the Hero city of Mariupol.
- The enemy's offensive in the area of Marinka was repulsed.
- Ukraine's Defence Forces continue to successfully carry out their tasks, pursue the retreating enemy, break through the russian occupiers' defensive positions and gradually liberate Ukrainian lands.
00:45 The head of the Donetsk regional military administration Pavlo Kyrylenko: Five civilians killed, 22 injured by Russian shelling in Donetsk region over past day.
Five civilians were killed and 22 injured as a result of shelling by Russian aggressors in the Donetsk region on March 31.
"Russia is killing civilians! Today, five people died as a result of Russian shelling in the Donetsk region: two in Marinka, two in Vuhledar and one in Kostiantynivka. Twenty-two people were injured, including four children," he wrote.
0:20 Operational Command “South” informs, that thanks to 60th separate infantry brigade last day a number of settlements got under Ukrainian control in Kherson Oblast, namely: Novovorontsovka, Mala Shesternya, Novohryhorivka, Topolyne, Kniazivka, Krasnivka, Svobodne, Kamyanka, Pryhirya, Kochubeivka, Orlove.
Key points regarding the current state of warfare:
- Ukrainian defenders continue to defend our land on Donetsk and Luhansk directions, though the enemy increased its firepower and intensified assault operations, the main efforts are on taking control of Popasna and Mariupol. No success achieved.
- 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.
- 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.