Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on March 13, 2023
- City battles continue in Bakhmut, where Russian troops are advancing from the east, north and south. Ukrainian Army Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi stated that every effort is being made to hold the city. The strategy of the Ukrainian command is to exhaust Russian troops before the upcoming counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
- On 9 March, Russian troops launched another massive missile attack on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure (81 missiles and 8 kamikaze drones). A special feature was the simultaneous use of 6 supersonic Kinzhal missiles, with Ukrainian air defense systems being powerless against them. Power supply in all affected regions was restored within a few days.
The heaviest fighting continues around and in Bakhmut. The territory of the city east of the Bakhmutka River is currently controlled by the Russian military. However, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are holding the defense in the western part of Bakhmut. The situation on this section of the front is under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ high command.
On the morning of March 9, Russian troops launched a massive attack on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, using a wide range of weapons, from kamikaze drones to ballistic missiles. According to the Ukrainian military, 81 missiles were used in the attack, including 6 supersonic Kinzhal missiles. Kyiv (where 3 people were injured), Kharkiv (where 2 people were injured), Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Mykolaiv, Lviv (where 5 people were killed), Kirovohrad, Odesa, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhzhia regions were hit. Three thermal power plants were damaged in the attack; there were serious problems with the power supply in Kharkiv and Zhytomyr.
Russian troops continue to strike civilian objects in the frontline and border regions of Ukraine. Over the past week, these attacks resulted in the following civilian casualties: in Donetsk region – 8 people killed and 38 people wounded; in Kherson region – 11 people killed and 19 people wounded. On March 8-9, at least 1 person was killed and 8 people were wounded in the shelling in Dnipropetrovsk region (Nikopol district). In addition, shelling continues in Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions (at least 1 person was injured in the latter).
The threat of mines in the liberated territories of Ukraine remains relevant. On March 6, 1 person died and 3 others were injured in Mykolaiv region as a result of a mine explosion. Also, 1 person was injured in Kharkiv region.
A video posted on social media on March 6 showed the execution of a captured Ukrainian soldier, Oleksandr Matsiievskyi, by Russian troops after he had given a patriotic greeting of “Glory to Ukraine!”. On March 12, the President of Ukraine awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine” to the Ukrainian soldier shot by the Russians.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
On March 6, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine appointed Semen Kryvonos as director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. In 2021–2023, Kryvonos headed the State Inspectorate of Architecture and Urban Development of Ukraine, an institution that issues construction licenses. The NABU’s task is to counteract corruption and other criminal offenses committed by senior officials.
On March 7, Ukraine and Russia conducted another exchange of prisoners of war, as a result of which the Ukrainian side brought back 130 representatives of the Armed Forces, the National Guard and border guards. Most of the returned soldiers are seriously injured.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a mechanism for the forced evacuation of children from the area of active hostilities, which will be carried out by the decision of regional military administrations and the approval of the military command. The mandatory evacuation of children will be carried out with the accompaniment of one of their parents or other legal representative. Currently, the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, falls under the criteria for the forced evacuation of children.
On March 10, President Zelenskyi enacted the National Security and Defense Council’s decision to impose a new package of sanctions against 120 individuals and 287 legal entities, including Russian and Ukrainian betting companies, lottery organizers, investment and entertainment companies, and others. These companies are suspected of tax evasion (UAH 10 to 15 billion of shadow turnover per month). After the sanctions were imposed, Parimatch, the largest betting company in Ukraine, suspended its operations.
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
International partners reinforce military and financial assistance to the Ukrainian government. Norway, in cooperation with the United States, will provide Ukraine with two NASAMS air defense systems. The German government announced the transfer of two more Gepard air defense systems and other military aid, and announced the transfer of 18 Leopard tanks by the end of March. In addition, EU ambassadors approved the allocation of an additional €2 billion for the European Peace Facility, which confirms the EU’s commitment to military support for Ukraine. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the total cost of assistance to Ukraine from the allies is about €150 billion, of which €65 billion is military aid.
Restrictive measures against the Russian Federation are intensifying, in particular, Canada imposed a trade embargo on Russian steel and aluminum, banning imports of these products. In addition, the Indian government announced that it would not violate Western sanctions on the purchase of Russian oil. Türkiye stopped transiting goods to Russia that are subject to EU or U.S. sanctions.
At a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, EU members and 10 other countries adopted a statement on nuclear safety, calling on Russia to withdraw its military and equipment, as well as Rosatom personnel, from the Zaporizhzhia NPP and return it to full control of Ukraine.
During the week, President Zelenskyi held talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin, Minister of Defense of Norway Bjørn Arild Gram, and met with the co-chair of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Lars Klingbeil, and the chair of the SPD faction in the Bundestag, Rolf Mützenich, who were all on a visit to Ukraine. The main topics of the talks included increasing the volume and speeding up the supply of weapons to Ukraine, extending the grain deal, bringing Russia to justice, and restoring Ukraine.
In a joint statement following a March 10 meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the leaders pledged that the U.S. and EU “are working to ensure that Ukraine has the security, economic, and humanitarian support it needs for as long as it takes.”
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.