Good morning from Kyiv where spring continues “unsprung”. It’s cold and wet, but to complain is silly. In Ukraine’s east, snow has been covering the already brutal battlefields.
Indeed, while there is much discussion about an Ukrainian major offensive, the fact of on-going conflict across different parts of Ukraine should not be ignored on this 406th day of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Here’s a rundown of the last 24 hours to 6am Kyiv time today:
· Ukraine’s military repelled more than 40 Russian attacks, according to Ukraine’s armed forces. The hottest spots of conflict remain the Donetsk regional population centers of Avdiyivka, Bakhmut and Mariinka, but there was also action in the Kharkiv (northeast), Kherson (south), Zaporizhia (south) and Chernihiv (north). In Sumy (northeast) alone, local authorities reported 17 artillery attacks involving 229 projectiles.
· Russia also launched 21 aviation strikes. Kyiv reports, in turn, that it carried out 12 aviation strikes on its enemy during the same period and shot down a Russian K-52 Alligator assault helicopter.
· The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine also came out yesterday and said that about 2,000 Russian soldiers currently deployed in Belarus are being moved to fight in eastern Ukraine. That represents about half the Russian troops that are currently stationed in Belarus, according to the Service.
In general, Ukrainian authorities said this morning that the 1800 attacks by Russia during March represents an 11% increase.
What’s Happening Today?
For starters, Kyiv Post will feature an exclusive today about information that it received prior to the assassination last Sunday of Vladlen Tatarsky, a pro-Kremlin activist, in a St Petersburg café owned by Wagner Group’s warlord.
You will have the chance to read about the contact we had before the bombing from a source affiliated with the National Republican Army (NRA) of Russia. The NRA has taken responsibility for the assassination and claims that Russian authorities have arrested the wrong person.
Also, there will be discussion of President Zelenskyy’s visit to Warsaw yesterday – his first international trip to be announced in advance since the full-scale war commenced. As part predicted by Kyiv Post, there was a wide range of results including: more MiG-29s, a further military aid agreement, a “neighbor relations” agreement to open the joint border, and Polish assurances of support for Ukraine’s bids for NATO and EU membership.
And, Zelenskyy became a White Eagle, Poland’s highest honor.
What was in President Zelenskyy’s latest message?
Like you, Kyiv Post always looks forward to this daily milestone. Yesterday, though, marked a departure from tradition. Instead of his nightly address, Zelenskyy, together with President Duda of Poland, spoke at a public rally for regular Poles and regular Ukrainians at the end of their packed day, which you can view here.
Zelenskyy told the crowd: “There are no such moments anymore when we would be divided, when we would not be united. Ukrainian and Polish hearts are fighting for one freedom, for the mutual independence of our states, for our native Europe – our common home, and we will be victorious!”
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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