Good morning from Kyiv.

Three people were killed and seven others wounded in a Russian drone attack overnight in the Kyiv region, authorities have said.

“A civilian site was damaged as a result of the night drone attack in the Kyiv region,” which caused a fire, the regional military administration said.

Air raid sirens sounded across northern Ukraine just after midnight with the alert lasting more than four hours. According to the Ukrainian military, 16 out of 21 drones were shot down.

What’s happening today?

China’s leader Xi Jinping departed Moscow this morning after a two-day summit with Vladimir Putin marked with pomp, ceremony and some stern words for the West.

Without any sense of irony whatsoever, the Russian and Chinese leaders signed a declaration saying it was important to “respect the legitimate concerns of all countries.”

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Kyiv Post has a guide to the 7 most important takeaways from the trip which you can read here.

What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?

In response to Russia’s overnight drone attack, President Zelensky has this morning highlighted the gaping chasm between talk of “peace” in Moscow between Putin and Xi, and the reality on the ground in Ukraine.

What’s the latest military situation?

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on March 22 focuses on a small counterattack launched by Ukrainian forces around Bakhmut.

It says: “Over recent days Ukrainian forces initiated a local counterattack to the west of the Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut, which is likely to relieve pressure on the threatened H-32 supply route.

President of Republika Srpska Says Serbs Will Always Be on Russia’s Side
Other Topics of Interest

President of Republika Srpska Says Serbs Will Always Be on Russia’s Side

While most in the Balkans were appalled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it also highlighted that many of the divisions that beset the former Yugoslavia still exist.

“Fighting continues around the town center and the Ukrainian defense remains at risk from envelopment from the north and south.

“However, there is a realistic possibility that the Russian assault on the town is losing the limited momentum it had obtained, partially because some Russian MoD units have been reallocated to other sectors.”

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The Institute for the Study of War’s March 21 daily assessment covers an array of topics, most notably:

·      Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be setting conditions to weaponize the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a method of Russian power projection in advance of Russia’s accession to the rotating UNSC presidency in April.

·      The second day of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to suggest that Putin has not been able to secure the no-limits bilateral partnership with China that he likely hoped for.

·      Putin portrayed the Western provision of depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine as a significant escalation in order to bolster information operations aiming to deter Western security assistance to Ukraine and to place the onus for negotiations on the West.

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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