Day Seven: The Russian Army Continues to Destroy Ukrainian Cities

Defense Express collects operative information on Russia's invasion of Ukraine – official sources and senior Ukrainian servicemen's annoucements
Day Seven: The Russian Army Continues to Destroy Ukrainian Cities

Brief facts:

  • Ministry of Defense of Ukraine warned of a possible Russian info&psycho attack with fake information about Ukraine's "capitulation"
  • Russian elite forces were trying to kill President Zelenskyy; the operation was disrupted, one group of Russian special forces was eliminated, the other one is "at gunpoint"
  • People in captured Konotop rebel against occupiers

Sources:

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

Read more: Day Six of Ukraine's Defense Against Russia and the Unprecedented Measures on Diplomatic Front

Latest news:

Defense Express / Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed three jets and two helicopters during the March 2 / Day Seven: The Russian army continues to destroy Ukrainian cities
Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed three jets and two helicopters during the March 2 / Photo credit: Air Force Command of Ukrainian Armed Forces

01:15 Air Force Command: during March 2, Ukrainian air defense systems took down three jets and two helicopters. Fighter jets Su-24 and Su-25 supported the Land Forces, destroying columns of Russian occupiers' military equipment and manpower.

00:47 The petition to close the airspace over Ukraine has received the required one million votes, and the number keeps growing. The petition had been registered on February 26, two more days remained until the deadline.

This petition was launched on the 26th of February. With it, people around the globe are asking NATO states and Ukraine's allies to not only close the airspace but also deploy peacekeeping troops in Ukraine and provide military assistance to Kyiv.

00:43 OSCE: one national Mission member was reported killed by shelling in Kharkiv, according to the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) Daily Report.

00:31 Ministry of Infrastructure: on March 2, around 17:25, Russia attacked a foreign merchant ship. The BANGLAR SAMRIDDHU carrier under the flag of Bangladesh was in the port of Olvia when it got fired on by the Russian Navy. A rocket hit the superstructure, a fire broke out on the ship. One person, a Bangladesh citizen, was killed. The fire was put out.

"The Olvia port administration is doing everything possible to provide help to the crew," written in the statement.

00:12 Verkhovna Rada via Reuters: Romanian MIG-21 aircraft disappeared in mission. More details to follow.

March 3 from here upwards

Defense Express / Russian occupiers open fire on civilian people, refugees try to evacuate, but it is complicated due to the Russian forces' unwilling to provide
Russian occupiers open fire on civilian people, refugees try to evacuate, but it is complicated due to the Russian forces' unwilling to provide "green corridors" to Ukraine / Photo credit: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

23:51 State Emergency Service: on March 2, the personnel of the Ukrianian emergency service were conducting evacuation of civilians from Volnovakha, Donbas (Eastern Ukraine). About 400 people were evacuated, most of them are children. Russian military don't provide "green corridors" for the refugees.

"The fourth day people are suffering neverending shelling from Russian invaders. Women, children, and elderly people are in dreadful conditions, there is a humanitarian catastrophe in the city!" the State Emergency Service wrote.

23:43 Armed Forces of Sweden: Sweden claims that four Russian fighter jets violated their airspace

"Against the background of the current situation, we are very serious about this incident. This is an unprofessional and irresponsible action on the part of Russia," – the statement of the Swedish Armed Forces said.

23:32 Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister: 38 countries made the largest ever referral to the International Criminal Court on the investigation of war crimes by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

Defense Express / Russian occupiers, captured by Urainian Armed Forces / Day Seven: The Russian army continues to destroy Ukrainian cities
Russian occupiers, captured by Ukrainian Armed Forces / Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

23:22 Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine on Facebook:

"Russia has not sustained and started to admit their losses. This happened owing to the heroism of our defenders. And also owing to the fighters of the information front, who broke through the information blockade.

It is time to increase the pressure on the enemy, who lost the initiative. It is high time to proceed to resistance!"

The Minister addressed the locals to deprive Russian forces of logistical support.

"If the enemy is left without fuel, ammunition, food, engineering and repair support, he will be helpless," Reznikov said.

23:03 General Staff: Operational report of the situation on the frontline as of 18:00, March 2. The morale of the Russian occupiers is extremely low. Groups of Russian soldiers and officers surrender and refuse to continue the offensive. The enemy is demoralized and continues to suffer losses in personnel and military equipment. Read the full statement here.

Infographics: Ukraine NOW

22:47 Joint Forces Operation: Ukrainian Armed Forces gained classified documents – working map, operational order, tables of call signs, C2 signals, concealed C2, list of personnel, etc. According to the planning documents, the whole "military operation" should last 15 days, from FEB 20 to MARCH 06.

"Our response to the Russian occupiers is the following: keep leaving your vehicles and classified documents, they will be useful for our defenders and The Hague," the JFO wrote on Facebook.

22:38 Ukraine NOW: more than 15,000 people are constantly staying in the Kyiv subway hiding from Russian missiles. 84 infants, 413 children of preschool and school-age are among them.

"Our team is exhausted, but we are doing everything possible to save the lives of innocent civilians," – said Viktor Brahinsky, head of the Kyiv Metro.

Defense Express / Residents of Borodianka settlement were trapped under the rubble of buildings for more than two days / Day Seven: The Russian army continues to destroy Ukrainian cities
Residents of Borodianka settlement were trapped under the rubble of buildings for more than two days / Photo credit: Ukraine NOW

22:24 Ukraine NOW: rescuers of Bucha district of Kyiv region together with volunteers evacuated more than two hundred residents of Borodianka. People were trapped under the rubble of buildings for more than two days, in basements and cellars.

21:58 The primary goal for Ukraine now is to close the sky over Ukraine, said Oleksii Danilov, the Secretary to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on the joint TV broadcast of Ukrainian media. He said that the occupiers are disorientated, afraid, and have no fuel. Also, the official mentioned that everything goes according to the plan of the Ukrainian Army.

"If the enemy is thinking that we will only be on the defensive, he is wrong," stressed Danilov.

18:20 Separate 14 mechanized brigades named after Prince Roman the Great and separate 95 airborne assault brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated Makariv, Kyiv region, and established themselves there.

17:20 The city of Mariupol in the Donetsk region has been under fire for more than 14 hours. During this time, 42 people were wounded. This was reported by the Mariupol City Council.

"The Russian occupiers are destroying civilians and killing children. The maternity hospital and dozens of residential buildings were damaged. School and dormitories for migrants were destroyed. The Russians staged a real bloody terror. Mariupol will not forget and will not forgive. Putin's fascists must be stopped! By the whole world!," said by the Mariupol City Council.

16:54 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre for the defense support of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression.

"Thanked the Prime Minister of Norway for a strong defense support to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Noted the strong sanctions imposed by Norway. Reported on the course of Ukrainian defense and the aggressor's crimes against civilians. We continue joint work, including with the UN Security Council," Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

15:36 Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal thanked Polish President Andrzej Duda for his invaluable assistance to Ukraine and its citizens.

"Ukrainians will not forget the help of the Polish people, leadership, initiatives and direct participation of Andrzej Duda in supporting the people and Ukraine. President, boundless gratitude from all of us," he wrote on Twitter.

15:06 Russian troops air-bombed the school in Kharkiv

14:48 General Staff: Russian fleet captured two civilian vessels and used them as a shield. For the safety of civil navigation, the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine closed navigation in the north-western part of the Black Sea. On March 2, 2022, Russian ships required the civilian ship HELT to enter the dangerous zone of the Black Sea so that the occupiers can cover themselves with a civilian ship as a human shield, otherwise, the Russian ships would have attacked the HELT ship.

"This is nothing but 21st-century piracy," the General Staff wrote on Facebook.

For the safety of civil navigation, the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine closed navigation in the north-western part of the Black Sea. At the same time, the Russian Black Sea Fleet continues the tactics of Russian ground forces trying to hide behind civilian lives.

Thus, as of March 2, 2022, Russian ships require the civilian ship HELT to enter the dangerous zone of the Black Sea so that the occupiers can cover themselves with a civilian ship as a human shield, otherwise russian ships will open fire on the ship HELT. This is nothing but 21st century piracy.

It will be recalled that during the full-scale invasion on February 24, the Russian fleet had already fired on 2 civilian ships and captured 2 ships of the Russian occupiers (including the Sapphire search and rescue ship on a humanitarian mission).

14:37 Ukrainian Air Defense destroyed two Russian fighter jets near Kyiv. On February 1, at night, two MiG-29 fighter of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fought against a pair of Russian Su-35. With the assistance of S-300 air defense systems, Ukrainian pilots managed to take down both Russians. One of MiG-29 was lost, they still search for the pilot.

14:23 Ukraine received a new batch of TB-2 Bayraktar reconnaissance and combat drones to fight against Russian invasion, Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine wrote on Facebook:

"The amount of aid we receive is increasing. The number of countries providing this aid is increasing. Even those countries for which it seemed impossible are joining. New Bayraktars have already arrived in Ukraine and are on combat duty. There will be more stingers and javelins."

14:12 State Emergency Service via Ukraine NOW: as a result of the Russian air attack residential buildings and private houses were damaged in Zhytomyr

Dfense Express / 37 countries have already denied any flights of Russian aircraft in their sky / Day Seven: The Russian army continues to destroy Ukrainian cities
37 countries have already denied any flights of Russian aircraft in their sky / Infographics: Ukraine NOW

13:45 Adviser to Head of Presidential Office Oleksii Arestovych: Ukraine conducted the first attack and pushed Russian occupiers back in Horlivka, Donbas (Eastern Ukraine). Horlivka was under Russia's control for eight years. The Ukrainian military is consolidating there, has a prospect of further attack.

"For the first time, on the seventh day of war our units went on the offensive in a separate direction. And I think this is not the last attack. Soon we will liberate our land, not only defend," the Adviser said.

13:17 Ukraine NOW: The United States have joined the 36 other countries that closed their skies for Russian aircraft

11:35 Ukrinform media: Russian occupiers shelled a refugees' shelter in Mariupol, Donbas, according to Mariupol city state administration.

"We built this shelter in Huhel st. for the new Mariupol-citizens. In 2014–2015, tens of thousands people from Donetsk, Horlivka, Luhansk, Makiivka were running from the war to Mariupol. And our city became their home. But the damned war has come again," said the Mariupol administration.

10:37 Stratcom Centre: Personnel of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant stood across the road to block Russian occupiers.

Defense Express / Personnel of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant block Russian occupiers at the approach to the Zaporizhzhia city / Day Seven: The Russian army continues to destroy Ukrainian cities
Personnel of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant block Russian occupiers at the approach to the Zaporizhzhia city / Photo credit: Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security of Ukraine

The civilians arrived to block posts after the announcement, that a Russian column was moving towards their city. The approaches to the city were blocked with concrete blocks and tires barricades. The nuclear plant itself is defended by the National Guard of Ukraine.

10:28 General Staff: the total estimated losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 02.03 were:

  • 5840 personnel
  • 30 aircraft
  • 31 helicopters
  • 211 tanks
  • 862 armored personnel vehicles (APVs)
  • 85 artillery systems
  • 9 anti-aircraft warfare systems
  • 40 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS)
  • 60 fuel tanks
  • 3 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of operational and tactical level
  • 2 light speedboats
  • 355 light vehicles

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

6:00 Summary of day 6 from General Staff

00:40 Late Tuesday night, the aggressor made the new air and missile strikes on Ukrainian cities. The base of the 95th brigade in Zhytomyr was shelling. Also, as a result of the airstrike in Zhytomyr, a hospital and several private houses nearby were affected. At least 4 people died. Among them are children. Also "a rocket attack was carried out in Kharkiv Institute of Tank Troops on Poltavsky Shlyakh Street.

00:30 U.S. President Joe Biden has stated that the United States will close its airspace to Russian airlines and private aircraft. He said this on Tuesday in his State of the Union address, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. "Tonight I'm announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy," the President said. Earlier, the EU decided to prohibit all Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft to land in, take off, or overfly the territory of the EU. This will apply to absolutely all Russian aircraft, including private ones. Some other countries have joined these sanctions over Russia's war against Ukraine.

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.

The whole world condemns Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions. 36 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: Chronicle of the Russian Federation Crimes in Ukraine (February-April)
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