Good morning from Kyiv, truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Need proof? Here are some pictures taken this morning by former Australian army general and author, Mick Ryan.

It was a relatively quiet weekend in the capital with two air raid alerts but no attacks on Saturday.

And this morning authorities are warning of high levels of air pollution which, quite frankly, is a welcome change from impending missile and drone strikes.

UPDATE: It’s 9:09 am and the air raid sirens have sounded.

What’s happening today?

China’s President Xi Jinping is to visit Moscow this week, a trip which has Ukraine and its allies on edge over fears Beijing may ultimately decide to supply its strategic ally with arms, a move that would have a huge effect on the course of the war.

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You can read more about the diplomatic wrangling and potential consequences for Ukraine here.

What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?

President Zelensky praised the work of Ukraine’s demining teams during his daily address on Sunday evening, describing their work as a “daily painstaking and very dangerous job.”

“Since the beginning of the full-scale war, our pyrotechnics and explosives specialists have already inspected more than 100 thousand hectares of territory,” he added.

“Over 400,000 enemy shells have been neutralized. More than 200,000 explosive items have already been removed. I am thankful to everyone involved in this!”

Ukraine Regains Position Near Chasiv Yar as Russia Intensifies Offensive
Other Topics of Interest

Ukraine Regains Position Near Chasiv Yar as Russia Intensifies Offensive

The capture of Chasiv Yar could be both a strategic and symbolic victory for Moscow ahead of the May 9 Victory Day, but Ukraine stands defiant in its defense before Western supplies arrive.

You can read a special report on the demining task facing Ukraine here.

What’s the latest military situation?

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on March 20 reports on Russia’s “creeping gains” around the Ukrainian-held Donbas city of Avdiivka.

The MoD adds: “Avdiivka has been on the front line of the Donbas conflict since 2014; the city is now largely destroyed. The sprawling Avdiivka Coke Plant complex is likely to be seen as particularly defendable key terrain as the battle progresses.

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“Technically, the situation is similar to that in Bakhmut, farther north. Ukrainian forces continue organized defense, but their supply lines to the west are increasingly threatened by the Russian envelopment operation.”

The Institute for the Study of War’s March 19 daily assessment covers a multitude of topics, most notably:

·      Ukrainian forces likely conducted a localized counterattack southwest of Bakhmut amid growing Russian discussion about a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Bakhmut area.

·      Statements made by Ukrainian military officials on the pace and prospects of current Russian offensive operations may suggest that the overall Russian spring offensive may be nearing culmination.

·      Former Russian officer, convicted war criminal, and prominent critical nationalist milblogger Igor Girkin indicated that there are likely deepening fractures within the top levels of Russian military leadership.

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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