• Putin makes accusation that ISIS linked to Kyiv after terrorist attack in Moscow suburb
  • Poland stands idle as Russian projectile enters airspace for almost one minute
  • Russia has three landings ships left in Black Sea fleet after latest ship sinks
  • Former US Gen. Ben Hodges says attacks on Russian oil refineries should continue
  • UK sends additional $75.5 million aid package to Ukraine

Ukraine “has never used terrorist methods,” presidential advisor says

Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an accusation linking Kyiv to the ISIS terrorist group that has taken responsibility in two separate statements, with pictures, for the attack at a suburban Moscow concert hall on March 22 and killed more than 130 people.

More than 100 civilians were also wounded in the attack that Putin described as “a bloody and barbaric terrorist act.”

He and Russian state media reported that four of the 11 suspects were apprehended near the Ukrainian border trying to escape, whereas, open-source intelligence groups geolocated the vehicle in which they were allegedly captured 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the Belarusian border.

Advertisement

“ISIS bears the sole responsibility for this attack,” said US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson. “There was no Ukrainian involvement whatsoever.”

The attack in Russia is the deadliest in two decades as Putin solidified his Kremlin seat for another six years in what was widely deemed a sham election this month.

In turn, Kyiv vehemently denied any connection to the attack, senior presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on March 22.

He emphasized that Ukraine has “never used terrorist methods” as it continues to withstand the unprovoked Russian invasion.

A US embassy statement in Russia on March 7 that preceded the concert hall attack warned “that extremists have imminent plans to target gatherings in Moscow, to include concert halls...”

No Russian Missile Carriers Spotted Off Crimea Coast
Other Topics of Interest

No Russian Missile Carriers Spotted Off Crimea Coast

Ukrainian Navy says there are no safe locations left for Russian warships in or around Crimea. One Kremlin combat vessel out of range in the Mediterranean with eight Kalibr missiles.

The ongoing war has killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians in what is considered Europe’s largest ground war since World War II.

NATO lets Russian missile fly through Poland for 39 seconds

Russia’s third biggest projectile strike on Ukraine in the past four days included a missile that crossed Polish airspace “for 39 seconds,” prompting Warsaw for an explanation from Moscow on the incident.

Advertisement

“Armed Forces Operational Command of Poland, a member of NATO, said in a statement that there was a violation of Polish airspace at 4:23 a.m. (0323 UTC) [overnight on March 24] by one of the cruise missiles launched by Russia against towns in western Ukraine,” the Associated Press reported.

In 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24M aircraft, “which violated the country’s airspace for only 17 seconds…” said Jurgen Nauditt, managing director of Franchisor International Education Company. “And according to the version of the Russian Federation, the plane was in the airspace of Turkey for only six seconds. Therefore, 39 seconds, which the Polish military says, is a very long time to make a decision.”

The hardest hit in the Russian bombardment was Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second most populous city, with more than a million people, suffering power blackouts, water shortages and heat outages for more than 24 hours.

Black Sea fleet continues to dwindle

Three landing ships remain in Russia’s Black Sea fleet after Kyiv sunk two of them over this weekend’s surface-drone attack. They are: the Orsk, the Korolev and the Nikolai Filchenkov.

Advertisement

About one-third of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been rendered inoperable due to Ukrainian strikes, mostly due to unmanned surface drones, according to British defense intelligence daily statements on X (formerly Twitter).

A third of UK’s latest aid package to be spent on air defenses

Britain announced a £60 million ($75.5 million) military assistance package to Ukraine over the weekend. A third of the money will be spent on air defense systems, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers said on its website.

“I am grateful to the UK and Minister of State Grant Shapps for another package of military assistance for Ukraine. Drones and air defense systems are key in the fight against Russian evil. The strength of our unity brings Ukraine’s victory closer,” said Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov.

He added that the aid will “help secure Ukraine’s skies.” The package also includes “advanced new surveillance drones,” the statement said.

Kyiv's rationing of munitions may be limiting Ukrainian air defenses

Ukraine managed to intercept only 62 percent of aerial attacks launched by Russia on March 22 that led to power blackouts in seven regions and caused multiple civilian deaths and more wounded.

Advertisement

The Ukrainian Air Force reported that 55 of 62 Iranian-provided Shahed drones were intercepted. None of the 12 Iskander ballistic missiles were intercepted, nor were any of the seven Kinzhal ballistic projectiles launched.

Thirty-five of 40 Kh-101 cruise missiles were shot down, while none of the 22 S-300 and S-400 projectiles were.

Kyiv has had to ration its munitions since the United States has lagged on military aid and has relied on European Union countries for more weaponry.

Former US general says Kyiv should ignore calls to stop refinery attacks

The former US general who led American forces based in Europe, said that Kyiv should continue its campaign of striking Russian oil refineries, Moscow’s main source of foreign currency earnings, despite the US administration’s asking for the practice to stop.

Retired Lt.-Gen. Ben Hodges said that Kyiv should ignore “calls to stop such attacks,” referring to a Financial Times article that said Washington had advised to the contrary, while anonymously citing senior-level officials.

“We understand the calls of the US partners, but at the same time we are fighting with the capabilities, resources, and practices that we have,” Olha Stefanishyna, a deputy prime minister, told the same Kyiv Security Forum where Hodges spoke.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter