All the latest updates and news from Ukraine today.
Today the people of Moldova and I stand with the global community in remembering the terror inflicted on the civilians in Bucha one year ago.— Maia Sandu (@sandumaiamd) March 31, 2023
We honor and grieve the innocent.
Democracies must work together to ensure that these atrocities are investigated and punished. pic.twitter.com/O1NieaqYfH
Russian forces are running out of manpower to carry out assault operations and advance in some sectors of the front-line, the commander of the Ground Forces, Colonel-General Oleksander Syrsky, reported on his Telegram channel.
Read the full story here.
President #Zelensky, together with the leaders of Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia and Moldova, arrived in #Bucha to honor the memory those killed during the Russian occupation.— KyivPost (@KyivPost) March 31, 2023
📷: @sandumaiamd pic.twitter.com/44R7hsOUAT
Belarusian dictator and close Kremlin ally Alexander Lukashenko called Friday for a "truce" in Ukraine and for talks "without preconditions" between Moscow and Kyiv.
"We must stop now, before an escalation begins. I'll take the risk of suggesting an end of hostilities... a declaration of a truce," Lukashenko said during a televised state of the nation address.
"All territorial, reconstruction, security and other issues can and should be settled at the negotiation table, without preconditions," added Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994.
He also said that Western support for Kyiv was increasing the likelihood of a nuclear war breaking out in Ukraine.
"As a result of the efforts of the United States and its satellites, a full-scale war has been unleashed in (Ukraine)... a third world war with nuclear fires looms on the horizon," he said.
Belarus has allowed Russian forces to use its territory as a launchpad for Moscow's offensive, but Lukashenko has so far refused to send troops over the border.
Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in the Moscow-allied country, drawing condemnation from the West.
Belarus said it was forced to host Russian nuclear weapons because of "unprecedented" Western pressure, insisting their deployment did not violate international agreements.
🇫🇮 #Finland will officially join NATO in the coming days, #NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg said. pic.twitter.com/8uUspAHPnG— KyivPost (@KyivPost) March 31, 2023
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday. March 31, that Ukraine would "never forgive" Moscow for its occupation of Bucha, a year after the town became a symbol of alleged Russian war crimes.
Watch his speech below and read more here.
When Bucha was de-occupied, the heinous truth about what was happening in the temporarily occupied territories was revealed to the world.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 31, 2023
We will never forget the victims of this war, and we will certainly bring all Russian murderers to justice. pic.twitter.com/jyuVQ8VMvB
The debris found after recent bombing attacks on two Ukrainian cities suggests Russia is running out of air-launched missiles and fears getting too close to western air defense systems.
Russian FAB-500M-62 bomb fitted with pop-out wings.Photo: Telegram
The above photograph, which first appeared on the pro-Russian Fighterbomber Telegram channel on Jan. 4, had technical experts both scratching their heads and mocking the apparent “Heath Robinson” nature of the attached wings– was it real or just a mock-up?
The photo shows a “FAB-500M-62” 500-kilogram general-purpose air-dropped bomb, suspended below a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter/bomber, to which a kit had been attached that seems to have pop-out wings.
It is known that Russia has been working on, what has been described as an analog of the U.S. Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) system, for some time. The JDAM is extremely sophisticated (and comparatively expensive). It converts a dumb bomb into a "smart", all-weather munition that contains an inertial navigational system and a global positioning system guidance control unit which gives an accuracy of 5 meters over a range of around 25-30 kilometers.
You can read more here.
Bucha – a word that sounds like a cry of pain and a horror that burns the soul. A word that does not need to be explained. One year ago, 🇺🇦 defenders liberated the city from the ru-occupiers. World saw what it has no right to forget. We remember everyone. We will never forgive. pic.twitter.com/R5F9Mzbze0— Олена Зеленська (@ZelenskaUA) March 31, 2023
They all had different paths to death on Yablunska Street in Bucha: A risky evacuation, a borrowed bicycle, a wounded parent. One among them was even Russian born.
But at the end of it all, at least 20 people in civilian clothes were found on a stretch of the street -- victims of what are widely alleged to be war crimes by Russian forces.
AFP and other outlets' images of the dead -- who were mostly shot and left to decompose on the road for weeks -- fueled fresh outrage and sanctions against Russia as well as more aid for Ukraine's fight to save itself.
You can read more here.
In a historic and consequential development, Turkey last night became the final member of NATO to ratify Finland’s membership in the military alliance, paving the way for the Finns to finalize their membership in the coming days.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the ratification, saying on Twitter it would “make the whole NATO family stronger and safer.”
After decades of staying out of military alliances, Finland and neighboring Sweden announced bids to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
Here are five things to know about the two countries’ membership bids:
You can read more here.