Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – MARCH 27 – APRIL 2, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on April 03, 2023.  

  • Fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut and in the Avdiivka areas (Donetsk region). Despite significant losses, Russian troops are unable to break through the defense of the Armed Forces. In general, in March 2023, Russian troops managed to capture only about 70 km² of Ukrainian territory.
  • The IMF has approved a new extended financing program for Ukraine worth more than $15 billion. This loan will be the first major financing package approved by the IMF for a country being in active conflict.
  • On March 31, the first Bucha summit was held, dedicated to the issue of holding the Russian Federation accountable for the war crimes committed in Ukraine.


Despite the intensive attacks of the Russian troops, which are unsuccessfully trying to break through the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and take control of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, the front line remains stable. Fierce street confrontations remain in Bakhmut itself. Russian troops are gradually moving forward, approaching the central part of the city. At the same time, Ukrainian units were able to regain several lost positions south of this settlement.

On the night of March 28, Russian troops attacked the territory of Ukraine using kamikaze drones. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the air defense forces managed to shoot down 14 UAVs. As a result of the attack, a large-scale fire broke out at one of the private enterprises in Dnipro; the destruction of an administrative building in Kyiv is recorded. On the night of March 31, the UAV attack was repeated, but the air defense destroyed 9 out of 10 devices involved in it.

The troops of the Russian Federation strike the frontline and border regions of Ukraine. As a result, during the last week, the loss of civilians was at least: in the Donetsk region – 12 people were killed and 72 people were wounded (most of the losses were due to the shelling of Sloviansk on March 27 and Kostiantynivka on April 2); in the Kherson region – 4 people died and 12 people were injured. On the territory of the Kharkiv region, 1 civilian was killed, 7 people were injured. Russian troops continue to launch missile attacks on Kharkiv itself (where 3 people were injured as a result of an attack on the evening of March 30) and Zaporizhzhia. Shelling and airstrikes continue in the Sumy region, where at least 1 person was injured.

The mine threat remains relevant. In the Kharkiv region, as a result of a mine explosion, 1 person died, and 1 civilian was injured. In the Kherson region, 2 people were killed by landmines, and 1 other person was injured.


On March 29, IAEA Director General Raphael Grossi visited the occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP for the second time in order to assess the security situation at the plant. According to the conclusions of the visit, the head of the IAEA confirmed the seriousness of the nuclear safety situation at the ZNPP, in particular in the context of increased military activity in the region. Also, the IAEA will continue its work to ensure the protection of the station and prevent an attack on it.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi implemented the decision of the NSDC dated April 1 on the application of a new package of sanctions against more than 220 Russian companies and enterprises (in particular, the Military Industry, Instrumentation and Radio Electronics), as well as the Federation Council of Russia, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, the Federal Security Service and Federal Security Service of Russia. In addition, Russian and Ukrainian citizens were sanctioned, including the ex-president of “Motor Sich” Viacheslav Bohuslaiev, who is accused of treason in Ukraine.

On April 1, the Shevchenkivskyi District Court of the city of Kyiv sent under house arrest for 60 days the former vicegerent of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Pavel (Lebid) on suspicion of inciting inter-religious enmity and justifying the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Lebed’s home was also searched by law enforcement agencies of Ukraine as part of the investigation. Metropolitan Pavel headed the largest monastic complex in Ukraine – Kyiv Pechersk Lavra – since 1994, representing a branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church loyal to the Moscow clergy (Moscow Patriarchate). On March 29, the agreement on the lease of premises between the national reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate expired, as a result of which the latter had to leave the territory of the monastery, but refused to do so.


On March 31, the Bucha Summit Faces of Justice took place in the capital of Ukraine. It was held on the anniversary of the liberation of the city of Bucha, which witnessed numerous war crimes by the Russian army, from the occupation. The summit was dedicated to discussing the mechanisms of bringing the Russian Federation to international responsibility for crimes against the Ukrainian people. About 50 heads of state, other representatives of partner countries and international organizations joined the forum in a mixed format. After the summit, the Bucha Declaration was adopted.

According to the results of the meeting of the Permanent Council of the OSCE on March 30, after consultations with Ukraine, the “Moscow mechanism” of the OSCE was initiated, which will focus on the issue of deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia, including illegal adoption and assimilation in the aggressor country.

Partner countries and international organizations continue to provide military and financial assistance to Ukraine to strengthen its capabilities on the battlefield. At the meeting, the International Monetary Fund approved a new program of expanded financing for Ukraine in the amount of $15.6 billion. Japan will provide Ukraine with $400 million to restore critical infrastructure.

Germany announced the transfer of Bergepanzer 3 armored evacuation vehicles, Wisent 1 demining vehicles, Zetros trucks and other equipment to Ukraine. The government of North Macedonia approved the transfer of Mi-24 combat helicopters to Ukraine.

This week, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi held talks with the President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu, with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, with the Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger, with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Robert Golob, who arrived from a visit to Ukraine to participate in the Bucha Summit. In addition, during the week, the head of state held a meeting with the delegation of the German defense and industrial concern Rheinmetall AG, which in particular is the manufacturer of the main battle tanks “Leopard-2”, led by the head of the board Armin Papperger, and as part of a working trip to the Zaporizhzhia region, the president met with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi also had telephone conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Polish President Andrzej Duda. He also participated in a virtual Summit for Democracy with 85 world leaders, calling for increased arms supplies to Ukraine to help defeat Russia.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.