25 March, 10:15 AM
Day 30 of Putin's war. Russians seize Ukrainian humanitarian aid in Melitopol, more than 16,000 invaders killed in action
UPDATE (1950): Russian invaders have begun shelling Slavutych, a town they encircled earlier on March 25, Ukraine's MoD has reported.
Slavutych is a town near Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant mostly inhabited by families of Chornobyl NPP workers.
UPDATE (1841): Galyna Danilchenko, Russian collaborator and self-proclaimed acting mayor of Melitopol, a city in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, occupied by Russian invaders, has halted the distribution of Ukrainian humanitarian aid to Melitopol residents.
Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, now operating in exile after he was released from Russian captivity, has stated that all 15 tons of Ukrainian humanitarian aid that was delivered to the city this morning, are currently blocked by the occupiers.
"They do not let us distribute the food and other supplies. I have information that they have been planning to seize it and use part of it to feed Russian soldiers and sell another part for money in local stores," Fedorov wrote on Facebook. He said that Danilchenko supported the illegal arrest of the Ukrainian humanitarian aid.
UPDATE (1820): Russian naval forces attacking Ukraine from the Black Sea have announced they are opening a humanitarian corridor in the sea to let foreign cargo vessels safely leave Ukrainian ports.
The Ukrainian Navy has disputed this claim, as Russian warships have previously attacked several foreign cargo vessels in Ukrainian ports.
The Russians have sunk the vessel Helt, sailing under the flag of Panama, and seized the Ukrainian rescue ship the Saphir. The invaders have also opened fire against a Moldovan vessel, the Millennial Spirit, and damaged two other Panama-owned vessels - the Namura Queen and the Lord Nelson.
"The Russian general who has promised a humanitarian corridor for foreign vessels is the same one who ordered the shelling of Mariupol from the sea while residents were evacuating through land humanitarian corridors," a Ukrainian Navy statement reads.
At the same time that the Russians were offering a ceasefire at sea, another Russian warship opened fire against the coastal village of Sandzheyka in Odesa Oblast.
UPDATE (1634): Several dozen Russian soldiers refused to follow the orders of their commanders and go into battle in Zaporizhzhia Oblast on March 24, Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration spokesman Ivan Arefiev said in a statement.
"We've received information that 70 Russian servicemen staged a riot in the units of the occupation forces of the Russian Federation stationed in Melitopol and refused to follow the orders of their commanders and participate in hostilities against the defenders of Zaporizhzhia," Arefiev said.
Meanwhile in Kyiv Oblast Ukrainian artillery destroyed Russian tanks and other armored vehicles that were very well hidden in a forest area. U.S. military expert Rob Lee published a video of the attack.
UPDATE (1520): The Russian army was planning to take Kyiv in five days and occupy Ukraine in two weeks, Victoria Nuland, the U.S. undersecretary of state, said during an online discussion at a Kyiv security forum.
“When we first learned about Putin’s military plans for this war – and this was back in the fall – his military told him that he would be in Kyiv, take Kyiv, in five days. His military commanders told him that he would have complete control over all of Ukraine in two weeks,” Nuland said.
Meanwhile the Russian army has lost 16,100 soldiers in Ukraine, Ukraine's Defense Ministry has said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated that Russian loses are no more than 4,500 soldiers dead and wounded.
UPDATE (1412): The local council in Slavutych, a town in Kyiv Oblast, has called on residents not to leave their homes as enemy snipers have been firing on people in the streets.
Slavutych is located not far from the Chornobyl Zone, which is currently controlled by Russian troops.
"Locals must stay home. Do not move across the town. Snipers are working," the local council has said in a statement.
- More and more collaborators are appearing in Ukraine. Local Opposition Bloc lawmaker Halyna Danilchenko has agreed to become the acting mayor of Melitopol, calling locals to adjust to the new reality of Russia's rule over the occupied Ukrainian city in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Oleksandr Bozhkov, the former mayor of Izyum, a besieged city in Kharkiv Oblast, has also started collaborating with the Russians, local council head Valeriy Marchenko has said in a statement.
- Former Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev has publicly claimed that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin was the sole decision-maker Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have reacted to that claim by saying that Russian officials have started distancing themselves from Putin.
After the EU Summit on March 25 in Brussels, European Union countries promised to support Ukraine's restoration and decided to create a Solidarity Trust Fund in order to do so.
NATO countries promised to provide more anti-tank weapons to Ukraine and help the country to protect itself from possible chemical and cyber attacks from Russia.
The second month of Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine has started. The invaders continue to attack Ukrainian cities and towns. Heavy fighting is going on in Kyiv Oblast, Mariupol, Kharkiv Oblast and around the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine.
Mariupol City Council has reported more than 300 people died under the rubble of the destroyed drama theater that the Russians attacked on March 16.
"We can restore buildings, but we will never get friends, neighbors, relatives, and loved ones back," city council said.
Earlier Mariupol authorities reported that only 130 people managed to escape from the destroyed drama theater after the attack, while 1,300 remained trapped under rubble.
The invaders have also opened an office of the United Russia Party in a Metro shopping mall on the outskirts of Mariupol.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army has destroyed Russian forces that entered Chornobaivka, in Kherson Oblast, for the 10th time this month.
Overnight, Russian forces opened fire against an evacuation train heading from Kyiv to Ivano-Frankivsk. Although the windows of three wagons were broken, no casualties were reported.
Ukraine's Army General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces counterattack in several areas in Kyiv Oblast and that they are maintaining a firm defense of Ukraine's capital.
In Dnipro the enemy fired two missiles against a military unit. The number of casualties is still unknown. An oil depot in the village of Kalynivka in Kyiv Oblast is still on fire following yesterday's attacks by Russians.
In Chernihiv, Russian artillery has destroyed a strategic bridge, cutting the city off logistically.
The enemy continues to shell residential districts of Kharkiv. A morning attack killed four civilians and wounded seven, local police have reported.
Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, invading forces have killed more than 135 children and wounded more than 180, Ukraine's Prosecutor's General Office has reported.