Good morning from Kyiv. Hearing explosions are part and parcel of life in Ukraine right now, but one of the more unusual aspects is that they’re not always a bad thing.

Residents in the capital regularly receive Telegram updates from the authorities notifying them of demining work or the destruction of Russian ordinance at special facilities on the outskirts of the capital.

And here’s a video from journalist Tim White showing a little behind the scenes look at what’s happening.

As the political fallout and blame game sparked by the collision between a U.S. drone and a Russian fighter jet continues, the Americans have released a video of what they described as an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” intercept.

You can watch it here and see how it’s affecting the already dire U.S.-Russia relations.

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Elsewhere, four Polish MiG-29s are heading to Ukraine, and countries that “mistreated Ukraine” will be held to account after the war ends, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said in an interview with the BBC.

What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?

Zelensky highlighted the one-year anniversary of what he described as “one of the worst crimes of this war” – the Russian bombing of the Donetsk Regional Academic Drama Theater in Mariupol, during which as many as 600 people died.

“A building that was used as a shelter,” he said during his daily address on Thursday evening. “There were women with children, pregnant women, and the elderly. A civilian object deliberately destroyed by the occupier. We still don’t know the exact number of victims.”

Ukrainian Special Ops Report Strike on Russian Ammunition Depot, Eliminating Three Soldiers
Other Topics of Interest

Ukrainian Special Ops Report Strike on Russian Ammunition Depot, Eliminating Three Soldiers

SSO operators inflicted fire damage on Russian positions and personnel using FPV drones and a 122 mm D-30 howitzer.

He added: “The day will come when all the perpetrators of war crimes against Ukrainians will be brought to justice in the halls of the International Criminal Court and national courts.”

What’s the latest military situation?

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on March 17 focuses on the slowing pace of Russian attacks, saying that despite gaining “footholds” near Bakhmut, “more broadly across the front line, Russia is conducting some of the lowest rates of local offensive action that has been seen since at least January 2023.”

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The MoD adds: “This is most likely because Russian forces have temporarily depleted the deployed formations’ combat power to such an extent that even local offensive actions are not currently sustainable.

“Russian leaders will likely seek to regenerate the offensive potential of the force once personnel and munition stocks are replenished.

“In the meantime, commanders will likely be forced to choose between carrying out offensive operations and conducting a credible defense of the full line.”

The Institute for the Study of War’s March 16 daily assessment covers a host of topics, most notably:

·      The Russian Federal State Security Service (FSB) appears to be trying to penetrate the Russian Defense Industrial Base (DIB) in a way that is reminiscent of the KGB’s involvement with the Soviet military establishment.

·      Polish President Andrzej Duda stated on March 16 that Poland will give Ukraine four MiG-29 fighter jets.

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·      Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that his press service received a question from Russian news outlet Nezavisimaya Gazeta exposing a plot spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev to undermine and “neutralize” the Wagner Group.

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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