Good morning from Kyiv. It was a quiet weekend in the capital with no air raid alerts. The good news is that the city’s heating supply has been fully restored after last week’s Russian missile attack.

 The biggest dramas were some particularly foggy conditions on the roads (making driving treacherous) and an issue with travel cards not working on the metro system. These two relatively (and thankfully) mundane issues are almost welcome in the context of a country at war.

 There is, however, a bit of anger in the air over last night’s Oscar’s ceremony where a film about jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny won the award for best documentary, yet President Volodymyr Zelensky was not allowed to give a speech for political reasons.

 Ukrainian Lawyer Julia Kril said in a tweet: “Navalny not only being nominated but also winning an Oscar while The Academy refused to provide President Zelensky with just a few minutes to speak about russia’s (sic) genocidal war against Ukraine clearly demonstrates how screwed up, morally corrupt, and unfair this world is.” 

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What’s happening today?

 Tributes are pouring in for 42-year-old Oleksandr Ihorovych Matsievsky, identified as the Ukrainian Prisoner Of War executed in a shocking video that went viral last week.

 Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) said he was a sniper with the 163rd battalion of the territorial defense brigade in the Chernihiv region.

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US Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Ukraine must be victorious over Russia. Pompeo sought to assuage fears that a Trump presidency would hurt Ukraine.

 On Sunday, Zelensky praised Matsievsky's "bravery" in his daily address, awarding the former soldier the Hero of Ukraine title.

 What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?

 As well as honoring Matsievsky, Zelensky paid tribute to the “power engineers… repair crews, and local and central authorities” for their work in fixing the damage caused by “the Russian terrorist attack on Thursday.”

 He added: “As of today, we have managed to restore the technical capabilities of electricity supply. Kharkiv has electricity. Zhytomyr region has electricity.

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 “All cities and communities that had problems with energy supply have been powered again. I thank each and every person who worked for this!”

 What’s the latest military situation?

 The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on March 14 focuses on the Russian Wagner Group’s recruitment issues, highlighting that the group and its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin have “lost access to recruiting in Russian prisons due to his ongoing disputes with the Russian MoD leadership.”

 It adds: “In recent days, masked Wagner recruiters also gave career talks in Moscow high schools, distributing questionnaires entitled ‘application of a young warrior’ to collect the contact details of interested pupils.

 “About half of the prisoners Wagner has already deployed in Ukraine have likely become casualties and the new initiatives are unlikely to make up for the loss of the convict recruit pipeline.

 “If the ban endures, Prigozhin will likely be forced to reduce the scale or intensity of Wagner operations in Ukraine.”

 The Institute for the Study of War’s March 12 daily assessment also focuses on Wagner, painting a rather grim picture of the situation facing Prigozhin:

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·       The Russian military leadership may be trying to expend Wagner forces – and Prigozhin’s influence – in Bakhmut;

·       The Russian military leadership is likely attempting to avenge itself on Prigozhin for a conflict that he initiated in May 2022;

·       [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russian MoD may use Prigozhin as a scapegoat for the costly drive on Bakhmut once the offensive culminates.

 And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.

 Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.

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