Day Nine of Ukrainian Defense Against Russian Invasion – Live Updates

Defense Express collects operative information on Russia's invasion of Ukraine – official sources and senior Ukrainian servicemen's annoucements
KA-52 helicopter, taken down by Ukrainian military / Photo credit: Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
KA-52 helicopter, taken down by Ukrainian military / Photo credit: Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Day nine of a full-scale war. The second round of Ukraine-Russia negotiations ended, the sides agreed on providing humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilian people and supply goods for their basic needs. It is an emergency, as several cities of Ukraine were cut off from the rest of Ukraine despite the fight continuing. Even in occupation, Ukrainians still resist. Russian invaders managed to capture the Kherson TV tower and started spreading fakes. At the same time, Ukrainian forces make their successful first offensive steps. Belarussian forces menace on the border, but Ukrainian Army is ready to repel any aggressor, regardless of their nationality

Brief facts:

  • Russian invaders shelled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, a fire broke up
  • The Belarussian military received an order to cross the Ukrainian border, troops hesitate to proceed – Ukrainian intelligence
  • Russia is preparing to stage a propaganda performance in Kherson; locals refused to take occupiers' "humanitarian aid"
  • Ukrainian Army reclaimed Bucha city near Kyiv and fought back an attack in Hostomel

Sources:

Note: news are marked in accordance with the Kyiv time zone: Eastern European Time (EET), GMT/UTC+2

Read more: The First Volunteers Go to Ukraine to Defend Against Russia

Latest news:

23:59 Zelensky condemned NATO's decision to not close the sky over Ukraine. “Today the alliance’s leadership gave a green light to the further bombardment of Ukrainian towns and villages, refusing to establish a no-fly zone (over Ukraine),” President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his recent video address.

23:29 After nine days of the war, Ukraine's air defenses forces have destroyed at least 39 planes and 40 helicopters!

Prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the aviation group of the Russian army included 450 aircraft and 250 helicopters around the Ukrainian borders.

22:55 Travel services Expedia, Booking.com and Airbnb have ceased cooperation with Russia and Belarus, Head of the State Tourism Development Agency Maryana Oleskiv said.

"These days, the victories of our army bring me the greatest happiness. But even on our small front there are important victories. On our appeals and thanks to the support of the international travel community, following Expedia, Booking.com and Airbnb ceased cooperation with Russia and Belarus," she said on Facebook.

22:15 Roskomnadzor officially announced a ban on Facebook and Twitter in Russia. This was reported on the website of the department. The reason for the restriction is “discrimination against Russian media”. According to the regulator, 26 such cases have been recorded since October 2020. In recent days, the social network has restricted access to the accounts of the Zvezda TV channel, RIA Novosti, Sputnik, Russia Today, Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru.

21:20 Russia has been expelled from the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) due to aggression against Ukraine, the Latvian Foreign Ministry told BNS. The CBSS was established in 1992 as a comprehensive forum for cooperation and harmonization of views among the countries of the Baltic Sea region. The founding decision, the Copenhagen Declaration, says that cooperation is carried out in accordance with the UN Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter and other documents of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

At the same time, the CBSS temporarily suspends the participation of Belarus in the status of an CBSS observer.

20:45 Ukrainian Land Forces: Russian occupiers opened "friendly fire". 9 tanks and 4 armored personnel carriers were destroyed in the Russians vs. Russians combat.

"Thus it saved us 13 Javelin missiles," written on the Land Forces' Facebook.

20:13 Ukrainian Land Forces: Russian troops, that were eliminated in Hostomel, didn't have any military tokens or identification documents, only vaccination certificates, and blank medical books.

19:52 Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine:

"Russian Federation decided to block Facebook. The iron dome is covering," the official wrote on Telegram.

19:13 Suspilne media: people in Kherson went out in the streets of the partly occupied city with Ukrainian flags. Russia could not stage a fake rally in support of occupation forces.

Ukrainian Land Forces: people of Kherson refused to take humanitarian aid from the Russian occupiers

Defense Express memo: earlier Ukrainian intelligence reported Russia bring paid actors to Kherson to stage a demonstration of support towards the Russian military.

Defense Express / Russia bombed civilian areas of Chernihiv, several high-rise buildings were damaged, two schools, and other buildings. / Day Nine of Ukrainian Defense Against Russian Invasion – Live Updates
Due to the airstrike in Chernihiv, 47 civilians died. There are no military facilities nearby. Instead, there are hospitals, several schools and kindergartens, dozens of high-rise buildings in the area / Photo credit: Chernihiv Regional State Administration

19:10 Update: the Russian airstrike on a residential area on March 3 killed 47 civilians (38 men and 9 women) in Chernihiv. 18 people were rescued. Info: Chernihiv region State Administration.

Defense Express / Suspected War Crimes in Ukraine
Suspected War Crimes in Ukraine" map showcases the verified violations of international law which could amount to war crimes / Infographics: Amnesty International

19:09 Ukraine NOW: 28 children have been killed so far by Russian invaders, according to the Children's Rights Ombudsman Daria Gerasimchuk.

18:48 Amnesty International published a "Suspected War Crimes in Ukraine" map. Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab analyzed digital evidence – including photos, videos and satellite imagery of indiscriminate attacks in Ukraine. They have verified violations of international law which could amount to war crimes.

18:29 The Times: President Zelenskyy survived three assassination attempts on him in the past week, the Times reports. Two different outfits have been sent to kill the Ukrainian president – mercenaries of the Kremlin-backed Wagner group and Chechen special forces. Both have been thwarted by anti-war elements within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

16:44 Zhytomyr city Mayor Sergiy Sukhomlin reported that a Russian missile hit the school in Zhytomyr, half of the building was destroyed. Information on victims and injured is being clarified. Rescue operations are underway.

16:39 Verkhovna Rada: a team of investigators from the International Criminal Court in Hague is heading towards Ukraine to investigate a collective international lawsuit against Russia over its war crimes.

15:29 Russian troops have advanced near Energodar, Zaporizhia Region, and near the city of Voznesensk in the Mykolayiv Region, but the Ukrainian army controlle situation. The head of the President's Office Oleksiy Arestovych announced this on the TV.

15:03 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the establishment by the UN Human Rights Council of an international commission to investigate the facts of war crimes of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. "I welcome the establishment by the UN Human Rights Council of the International Commission of Inquiry to investigate facts of Russian war crimes against Ukraine. Evidence will be documented and used in international courts. Russian war criminals will be held accountable," Zelensky said on Twitter on Friday.

14:14 The Kremlin has refused to have a direct meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyi. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov state. He also noted that Russia does not renounce the requirements of the denazification of Ukraine, as previously reported.

13:20 Nine days after the beginning of its full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia has begun transferring troops from its Southern and Eastern Military Districts to replenish its ranks, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

12:50 38 men and nine women were killed by Russia’s airstrikes and shelling of residential areas on March 3, according to the Ukrainian government. Eighteen people were injured. Chernihiv is a city of 285,000 people, located north of Kyiv.

12:30 Operational information at 12.00 on 04.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion (according General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine report):

"The ninth day of the Ukrainian people heroic confrontation with the Russian military invasion is going on. The second echelons and most of the operational reserves of the Russian Armed Forces were put into operation.

In Slobozhanshchyna, units 20A of the enemy continue to carry out attempts to continue the offensive on the Joint Forces in the Novoaydar and Severodonetsk directions.

In the Donetsk operational direction the enemy is trying to keep the encirclement around the city of Mariupol with the help of six BTGs. To minimize the negative effect of the losses in the Donetsk region, Russian curators began to bring Russian Armed Forces servicemen to the Ilovaisk station.

The main goal of the enemy remains the encirclement of Kyiv and the weakening of resistance in the blocked settlements. In the course of this task, groups of the RF Armed Forces exhausted most of the operational reserves and began to transfer additional forces and resources from the Southern and Eastern military districts.

In the Black Sea the Black Sea Fleet was withdrawn from naval bases with the task of striking the surface forces of the Navy forces, but more often civilian ships and their crews become the victims of Russian pirates.

Having an intention to take over the Black Sea coast, the enemy continues to prepare for the landing of marines in the region Zatoka - Chornomorsk. 40 km east from Chornomorsk there are two large landing ships of the occupiers.

Up to 80 representatives of the Russian media and a large group of "demonstrators" were set up in the occupied cities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to organize public gatherings of "local residents".

They will probably be sent to Kherson in the near future to organize fake rallies with the participation of propaganda media, to support the change of Ukrainian government on the ground and to legalize the occupation.

- the use of airborne troops to ensure the construction of bridges over water obstacles has increased;

- the Russian occupiers pay considerable attention to intensifying measures of psychological influence on the population and troops;

There have been changes in the tactics of Russian criminals:

- failing to fulfill the task of military "blitzkrieg", the Russian Federation is turning to openly terrorist methods of conducting hostilities on the territory of Ukraine;

- special units are used as assault units in the city suburbs;

- in the near future we should expect a comprehensive and large-scale spread of fake news by the enemy, which will be carried out with the involvement of the full range of modern media.

We urge Ukrainians to be vigilant and careful, to believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to use information from official and verified sources.

12:04 Ukraine has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to urgently assist in the creation of humanitarian corridors, as agreed by Ukraine and Russia during the second round of negotiations.

11:47 The city of Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region was shelled with cluster munition, prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. The photos were published by the head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration Pavel Kirilenko

“This came to the inhabitants of Pokrovsk from the Russians tonight. Thank you - we received it. We will answer,” Kirilenko wrote.

11:10 In Kherson, Russian invading forces have started broadcasting 24 Russian tv channels and 3 radio channels using the T2 tuner system.

09:40 The flagship of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was under repair, was flooded by the ship's commander in order to avoid falling into the hands of the invaders, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said. "The commander of the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy followed the order to flood the ship so that the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, which was under repair, would not fall into the hands of the enemy. It is hard to imagine a more difficult decision for a courageous soldier and crew," Reznikov wrote on Facebook on Friday.

09:28 Russian military forces have taken control over the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (NPP) the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine (SNRI) has said. "Operating staff monitors the state of power units and ensures their operation in accordance with the requirements of technological regulations for safe operation," the Inspectorate said on its website on Friday.

SNRI said that on Friday night, Russian soldiers fired shots at the NPP, as a result of which a fire broke out on its territory. The fire was extinguished as of 6:20 a.m. by Ukraine's State Emergency Service.

"The NPP power units maintain their integrity, there are damages to the arrangement of the reactor compartment of power unit No. 1… Systems and elements important for the safety of the NPP are in working order," the Inspectorate said, adding that there have been no changes in radiation levels.

The Zaporizhia NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in terms of installed capacity. Its six power units VVER-1000 with a capacity of 1000 MW each were built according to the V-320 project. The first power unit was put into operation in December 1984, the sixth - in October 1995.

08:15 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine spread information on total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 04.03.

Personnel - aprox. 9166,

Tanks ‒ 251,

APV ‒ 939,

Artillery systems – 105,

MLRS - 50,

Anti-aircraft warfare systems - 18,

Aircraft – 33,

Helicopters – 37;

Vehicles - 404,

Light speedboats - 2,

Fuel tanks - 60,

UAV operational-tactical level – 3.

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

05:33 Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed about 245 units of Russian military machinery, 30 helicopters and military personnel near Kuibyshev (Kherson region) in two days of intense battles.The Head of Mykolaiv Military Administration Vitaly Kim report in Telegram.

04:30 Operational information on 24.00, 03.03.2022 regarding the Russian invasion. (According to General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine report):

Occupying troops, who suffered losses when continuous invasion into the territory of Ukraine, began to act more insidiously, continue to defiantly violate the norm of international humanitarian law, using residential buildings for parking lots of armament of fire positions, as well as the military infrastructure and airspace of the Republic of Belarus, inflicting missile and bomb strikes on critical infrastructure, housing estates of large cities.

According to available data, the enemy brought into the territory of Ukraine most of the group created to attack Ukraine. Out of 117 completed and equipped BTGs, no more than six remain, which are not on the territory of our country, the moral and psychological condition of these units is at a low level.

The enemy is delaying the landing in the Odesa-Zatoka area, carrying out demonstration actions in order to distract part of the forces of Ukrainian defenders in this direction.

To carry out missile strikes on objects on our territory, the Russian invaders used almost all the ammunition of the Caliber missile complex, which was intended for the offensive operation in Ukraine. Currently, the enemy is replenishing supplies.

During the 03.03, the enemy did not make significant progress in advancing and focused its efforts on the engineering equipment of its positions. During another unsuccessful attempt to seize Hostomel, the occupiers clashed with Ukrainian defenders and lost about 20 units of equipment during the battle, and the loss of personnel is being clarified.

04:01 Ukrainian air defense forces destroyed three more Russian aircraft on March 3. Su-30SM, Su-34 and Su-25 of the Russian occupiers were shot down. Enemy helicopter losses are being clarified.

Update 03:25: the firefighters got access to the nuclear plant. The fire broke out outside the plant, in the training building. The third power unit was disconnected from the system. The radioactive and fire-fighting conditions are within normal limits.

01:00 Stratcom Centre: Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant caught fire

Russian invaders opened fire near the plant. They have already hit the first power unit. The rescuers cannot start fighting with fire due to Russian forces shelling. The breakdown of the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe could lead to a disaster. Changes in the radioactive background have not been detected.

Background:

February, 24 – Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a "special military operation" against Ukraine, Reuters report. A number of cities of Ukraine suffered a missile attack. Missiles hit several military facilities in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro cities. "Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression," wrote Ukrainian MoF Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter.

"Today, on 24 of February, at 5.00 AM the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched an intensive shelling of our units on east, delivered missile/bomb strikes on airfields in Boryspil, Ozerne, Kulbakino, Chuhuiv, Kramatorsk, Chornobaivka, as well as on military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Facebook: "At the same time the aggressor started artillery shelling of the areas and settlements along the state border and administrative boundary with the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea."

National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, headed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, imposed martial law across the country, the decision was approved by the Ukrainian government during an emergency session.

Earlier Putin recognized the Russia-backed regions of Eastern Ukraine as "independent" entities, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. The executive order on the recognition of those illegal formations included a point on military cooperation and "peacekeeping" functions of the Russian Army in those regions. The next day Putin ordered his military to enter Donbas and asked the government for permission to use Russian Forces outside the country – and received it shortly after.

Since the very first day of the invasion, Russia has been struggling to achieve any significant success. Ukrainian Army effectively repels attacks on the land, but Russia has an advantage in the sky. Because of that one of the acute issues is to make NATO shelter the Ukrainian sky from Russian missiles and aircraft.

Nevertheless, Russian forces haven't managed to capture a single major city. When they do get into smaller ones, witness rejection and rebellion from civilians, they are not welcome. Common people gather and face the tanks. According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces Command, the Russian servicemen are demoralized, they are in shortage of fuel and food. The Presidential Office of Ukraine said, that Vladimir Putin's plan to quickly take control over the key objectives and take down the Ukrainian government is ruined. Ukrainian officials suggest that Kyiv, the capital, is the primary aim of the Russian invasion. It is being shelled daily.

Ukraine united and swiftly established defense. Thousands of people voluntarily joined Territorial Defense, servicemen were mobilized across the country. Curfew was imposed. National Police along with Territorial Defense hunt for Russian saboteur-reconnaissance groups.

Russia uses terroristic methods, targeting civilians and shelling non-military facilities of ecological significance. The aggressor has already caused an ecological disaster – a major oil processing and storage facility was hit by a Russian missile. The radioactive background is heightened due to Russian activities in Chornobyl.

Fightings in Hostomel, where a strategically significant Antonov Airport is situated, were one of the toughest of the first days. Over 30 Russian helicopters and other aircraft were engaged in the attack, but Ukrainian Army managed to regain control of the area.

The fourth day showcased the terror of Russian attacks on civilians. Kharkiv and Chernihiv were shelled by BM-21 "Grad" multiple rocket launchers. On March 1, the sixth day, a cruise missile hit the central square in Kharkiv. As a result, at least ten people were killed, more than 20 were injured. State Emergency Service is continuing to rescue people from the rubble. Kyiv TV Tower, a civilian object for broadcast was hit by a missile. Five people were killed, five Tower personnel were injured. A few hours before that happened, the Ukrainian Minister of Defense warned that Russia was preparing an info&psycho attack, and for that, they would try to cut off the information network.

The war crimes of Russia will be investigated by the International Criminal Court in Hague. The ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC, has personally launched an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine.

Many Russian occupiers surrender, unwilling to fight. They claim to have been deceived by Russian authorities – they were had been deployed under the pretext of military drills but then forced to participate in war. The whole reconnaissance platoon of the Russian 34th Motorized Rifle Brigade surrendered to Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Defense Express / 38 countries closed their skies to Russian aircraft / Day Eight of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Live Updates
38 countries closed their skies to Russian aircraft / Infograhpics: Ukraine NOW

The whole world condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions. 38 countries closed their skies to Russian aircraft. Even Switzerland deviated from its traditional neutrality to impose European sanctions on Russia.

The European Commission of the European Union has approved cutting off Russian banks from SWIFT – the global provider of secure financial messaging services. Private companies also show their support: SpaceX, Google, Meta, and many other giants have expressed their support and offered their help.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy received a proposal of negotiations. The first round of them resulted in no decisions yet. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian President has signed the Ukrainian Government's application for the membership of Ukraine in the European Union and urges for the special procedure of accepting Ukraine to the EU.

The next day the European Parliament held an extraordinary plenary session in Brussels to assess Russia’s military assault on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy held a speech, greeted with standing applause. After a vote by the EU Parliament Ukraine got a recommendation on being granted a candidate status for EU membership.

Numerous protests have happened across the world, and even more to happen.

Read more: Day Eight of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Live Updates