March 30, 2023

On the 387th day of the full-scale Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, on Friday, March 17, Russian troops continue their attempts to keep the captured settlements of the neighboring country under control. The armed forces and units of the territorial defense of Ukraine resist aggression. It is impossible to verify the statements of representatives of both sides from independent sources. According to the UN, about 16 million Ukrainians have already left their homes.

ICC warrant for Putin’s arrest

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the Commissioner for Children’s Rights under the President of the Russian Federation Maria Lvova-Belova. They are suspected of war crimes, in particular the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Moscow denies any involvement in war crimescommitted in Ukraine after the military RF attacks to this country on February 24, 2022. Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and does not participate in its work. Since 2016, it has not been a party to the Rome Statute, which determines the actions of the court. In turn, the ICC does not recognize the immunity of heads of state in the case of investigation and punishment of war crimes.

For Vladimir Putin, the ICC warrant for his arrest means that he will no longer be able to enter countries that have ratified the Rome Statute and also recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. These are 123 states of the world, including all the countries of Europe and South America, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, South Africa, the Central African Republic and Nigeria.

Authorities of the EU, UK, Canada and Ukraine welcomed the issuance of an arrest warrant by the ICC for Putin. “The decision of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for the war crime of illegally deporting and sending children from Ukraine to Russia is the beginning of a process to bring those responsible to justice. We appreciate and support the work of the ICCJosep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in this regard.

Turkey ready to ratify Finland’s accession to NATO

Turkey will support Finland’s application for NATO membershipPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

Erdogan promised that the Turkish parliament would begin the process of ratifying Helsinki’s application. He noted that the case of Finland differs from the situation with Sweden, which refused to extradite “terrorists” to Turkey. By “terrorists” Ankara means primarily Kurdish activists and Turks suspected of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt. Erdogan recalled that his country handed over to Stockholm a list of 120 “terrorists” demanding their extradition, but the authorities of the Scandinavian kingdom did not take this step.

Sauli Niinistö welcomed Turkey’s decision to ratify Finland’s bid, but added that without Sweden’s admission to the alliance, it “would be incomplete.” The Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, expressed the same opinion. “Finland will do everything to make Sweden a member of NATO as soon as possible. Together we are stronger,” she stressed on Twitter.

Positional battles continue near Bakhmut

During the day, Russian troops launched 19 air strikes on the territory of Ukraine and fired at it 26 times from multiple launch rocket systems, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports. Over the past day, Ukrainian aviation has inflicted 6 strikes on the areas of concentration of personnel and military equipment of the Russian Federation, according to the evening report.

It is also noted there that constant positional battles continue near Bakhmut. At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine repelled enemy attacks in the areas of the settlements of Klishchievka and Ivanovskoye. Minkovka, Orekhovo-Vasilovka, Zheleznyanskoye, Vasyukovka, Bakhmut, Grigorovka, Ivanovskoye, Ozaryanovka and Aleksandro-Shultino of the Donetsk region were subjected to shelling, in particular.

It is also alleged that in the Avdeevka, Maryinsky and Shakhtyorsky directions, the enemy carried out “unsuccessful offensive actions” in the direction of Kamenka, Nevelskoye, Avdeevka and Maryinka of the Donetsk region.

According to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak, Russian aircraft inflicted four strikes on Avdiivka. In turn, the head of the Avdiivka city military-civilian administration, Vitaliy Barabash, indicated that, according to preliminary data, the X-59 missile hit a residential multi-storey building.

The Kherson OVA reported that on March 16, Russians launched drone strikes on the territory of a medical facility, damaging vehicles and buildings nearby. Patients and doctors were not injured.

In the evening report of the Russian Defense Ministry, it is noted that over the past day Russian troops “successfully attacked a number of targets” in the Kupyansky, Limansky, Donetsk, Yuzhno-Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson directions, “destroying a large number of military equipment and manpower of the enemy.”

According to British intelligence, the Russian Armed Forces achieved success in the battles for Bakhmut. In recent days, separate units of the Russian army and fighters of the Wagner PMC have entrenched themselves on the left bank of the Bakhmutka River, the British Ministry of Defense reports. Previously, the front line ran along the river. The report notes that Ukrainian troops continue to defend the western part of Bakhmut.

On the remaining sectors of the front, Russia reduced offensive operations to a minimum. British intelligence believes that this is due to the exhaustion of forces. The resumption of offensive operations is expected after the receipt of reinforcements, and until then, Russian commanders will be forced to choose between conducting offensive operations and providing reliable defense along the entire front line, the British Ministry of Defense said in a summary.

EU macro-financial assistance to Ukraine

Next week, Kyiv will receive the second tranche of macro-financial assistance in the amount of 1.5 billion euros, said European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. According to him, this emergency assistance is designed to help Ukraine meet urgent needs. In total, the EU has planned to provide Kyiv with macro-financial assistance for 18 billion euros.

Western military assistance to Ukraine

Slovakia approved the delivery Ukraine 13 MiG-29 fighters. This was announced by the Prime Minister of the country Eduard Heger. Earlier, Slovak Defense Minister Yaroslav Nagy said that Bratislava is ready to transfer 10 MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine, which were decommissioned last summer. Most of them are not in working order, Reuters notes. According to the Slovak agency TASR, together with the fighters, Bratislava will hand over several Kub anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Belgian publication De Standaard wrote that Belgium will send 240 military trucks to Ukraine., and the first of them will be sent there next week. Together with the trucks, the necessary spare parts will also be sent to Ukraine.

Poland is preparing to deploy MLRS HIMARS near the border with the Kaliningrad region

By the end of this year, Poland will deploy the first American HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems near the border with the Kaliningrad region, Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said at a briefing. In addition, the 16th Mechanized Division stationed there will receive South Korean K2 tanks and K9 self-propelled howitzers. “Russia seeks to restore its evil empire and attacks its neighbors. Our task is to create a strong and reliable armed forces of Poland so that Russia does not dare to attack our country,” the politician stressed. In total, the United States will supply Poland with 500 HIMARS MLRS.

Earlier Blaszczak said that the US State Department approved the supply of 800 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Warsaw., with which the Polish AW149 fire support helicopters will be equipped.

Latvia expands list of Russians subject to entry ban

Latvia contributed 35 more Russians to the list of persona non grata for supporting the war in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riga, these are artists, journalists, bloggers and other public figures. They were banned from entering the country for an indefinite period.

See also:

What is happening in Bucha: how houses are being restored

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