Center for Defense Strategies: Russia's war against Ukraine. March 7th Overview
Center for Defense Strategies is a Ukrainian security think tank focused on stopping the ongoing Putin’s war. Here's the Center's latest update on Russia's war against Ukraine.
Main issue: a humanitarian disaster
Ukraine continues to do everything possible to open humanitarian corridors for the
evacuation of civilians from the surrounded or occupied locations. After deliberately
disrupting previous evacuations, Russia expressed its readiness to open humanitarian corridors, but only in the direction of the Russian Federation and the Belarus Republic.
Ukraine responded with its sight of possible humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians inside the territory of Ukraine. Despite the statements of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation about the announcement of a cease-fire, humanitarian corridors are not open.
Another evacuation of children, women and senior citizens from Irpin near Kyiv has begun, where fighting has been going on for the sixth day. In two hours, the town left about 2,000 people.
Due to the night shelling of Mykolaiv, part of the city was left without a heat supply.
The occupants continue to shell Ukrainian settlements: in the village of Ovruch, Zhytomyr Oblast, because of shelling by the Russian occupants, more than 15 residential buildings were damaged, of which five were destroyed completely. Because of a rocket attack on the private sector, one person died in Korosten, Zhytomyr Oblast, two others were injured, and 10 residential buildings were destroyed.
The situation in the cities of Okhtyrka and Trostyanets in Sumy Oblast and Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.
Russian invaders do not allow to deliver Ukrainian humanitarian aid to the residents of the Kherson region.
The occupants murdered the head of the Gostomel community, who was distributing food and medicine to the civilians. In Makariv they have shelled a bread factory killing 13 civilians.
During the 12 days of the Russian invasion, 211 Ukrainian schools were destroyed or
According to the Ukrainian Health Center, 16 hospitals were damaged in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, six doctors have died, and 18 others have been injured.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported, that at least 1,207 civilians have been killed or injured in Ukraine since 24 February.
The OSCE Mission office in Mariupol came under fire. The OSCE Mission is finally leaving Ukraine, evacuating the last group – the head of the Mission and the highest leadership.
Developments in Ukraine
The Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine created a special unit of the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine. There are already more than 20,000 appeals from foreigners from 52 countries who are ready to come to Ukraine and fight on the Ukrainian front. According to the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the Legion is already performing combat missions.
Energy security: while the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station is under the control of the Russian Armed Forces, Ukrainian staff of the station monitor the condition of power units and ensure their operation. The occupants are interfering with the rotation of the next shifts, the staff is physically exhausted, but continues to operate the reactors. The European Union has appealed to the IAEA to protect Ukraine's nuclear power plants and mobilize international assistance in the event of an emergency.
Over the past 24 hours, DTEK's energy company has returned electricity to about 30,000 homes in 32 settlements in the Donetsk and Kyiv regions.
In 2022, the Government of Ukraine introduced zero quotas for licensed exports of rye, oats, buckwheat, millet, sugar, and salt suitable for human consumption.
The national roaming is announced in Ukraine by all mobile operators together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, and the National Commission for State Regulation in the Fields of Electronic Communications. This will allow Ukrainians to stay connected by switching to another available network.
International developments: On the 7th of March, the first hearing of Ukrainian evidence was held in the UN International Court of Justice at the request of Ukraine within The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Aside from the consideration of the case on the merits, the Ukrainian side demands implementing temporary measures against the Russian Federation, in particular, a cessation of hostilities against Ukraine.
One of the reasons for the “justification” of Russian aggression against Ukraine was the accusation of “committing genocide.” However, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands claimed that “his government did not intend to participate in the oral proceedings.”
The success of Ukraine’s request will depend on whether the court accepts
it has “prima facie jurisdiction” in the case, which is not a guarantee that the court ultimately would proceed with the suit. Regardless of the outcome of the hearings, gathering evidence and its disclosure as part of the case will serve as essential legal and diplomatic arguments. The Prime Minister of Hungary signed a decree allowing NATO forces and assets to be stationed in the country but prohibiting the transit of lethal weapons through its territory.
These obviously unfriendly steps of the government’s leader signal Moscow that there are still certain cracks in international community unity that can be exploited.
The Prime Minister of India addressed the President of the Russian Federation, calling for direct negotiations with the President of Ukraine. India continues to maintain a balance between Moscow and Washington despite the active efforts of the Biden Administration to get New Delhi involved in imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Russia's economy continues to plunge as a result of unprecedented sanctions. Moody's downgraded Russia's rating from B3 to pre-default Ca. The agency questions the fulfilment by Russia of their debt obligations. Rosneft could not repay their $2 billion debt with obligations. Gazprom is yet expected to repay $1.3 billion in debt. Today the Russian Cabinet of Ministers approved the list of “unfriendly countries”. It includes, among others, the United States, members of the EU, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Switzerland and a number of other countries that have voiced their dissatisfaction with the actions of the Russian authorities: Australia, Albania, Andorra, Ireland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia. Russian business can pay back their debts in Russian roubles.
Western businesses continue to leave Russia. Notable are the "Big Four" audit
companies PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte, which announced they were suspending their operations in Russia. Also Boeing had stopped purchasing titanium in Russia, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Russian government started actively preparing to disconnect from the global Internet starting on March 11 (this scenario was first tested back in 2019). All servers and domains available to Russians will be transferred to the Russian zone.
For the first time in a long time, mass protests broke out again. They have been quelled with incredible ferocity, which is also an attempt to turn people off protesting.
Bloomberg reports that the EU has started preparing new sanctions that may affect ports and ships, military technology and individuals. The EU will announce new sanctions against Russia tomorrow. It is likely that the new list will also include Belarusian individuals and legal entities. The sanctions are not only intended to continue sinking the Russian economy, but also to make it difficult to find effective tools to recover from the crisis.
Situation in Ukraine
The enemy continues its offensive operation, focusing its efforts on encircling Kyiv,
Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Mariupol and Mykolaiv. Keeps attempting to reach the
administrative borders of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
The occupation forces concentrate their main efforts in attempts to encircle Kyiv. In the occupied territories, the enemy attempts to establish an administrative and political regime by means of undisguised terror directed at the local population. The occupants continue to prepare for an attack on Vyshgorod, for a renewed offensive in the directions of Gostomel, Irpen, and Stoyanka.
The enemy has concentrated its main efforts in the direction of Brovary and in the districts of Semenivka, Mena, Bobrovitsa (Chernihiv region), and Boryspil (Kyiv region).
The Russian invader is trying to secure tactical superiority in the Brovary and Boryspil districts. The invaders attempt to establish control over Chernihiv and concentrate units near its southern outskirts.
Continues the advance of troops to Dnipro. The main efforts are concentrated in the
directions of Kaniv, Dnipro and Severodonetsk. Reported regrouping to continue the offensive in order to take control of the Kaniv HPP.
Despite heavy losses, the enemy continues its offensive in the direction of Dnipro and Zaporizhia cities in order to reach the administrative boundaries of the Donetsk region, advancing in the direction of Volnovakha. The occupants made repeated attempts to break through the defenses near Staromlinovka and seize Zachatovka, but suffered significant losses and withdrew to the Lyubimovka area.
At the same time, the enemy tried to break the city's defenses in the areas of the western outskirts of Mariupol and Stary Krym but had no success. Mariupol siege continues with 400,000 of citizens held as hostage. The OSCE office was shelled in Mariupol.
The evacuation of members of the monitoring mission is almost finished. Mariupol is fully under control of Ukrainian forces, which eliminated today a Russian tank company with tanks, armored vehicles and 40 Russian soldiers.
The invader holds the borders of Kherson Oblast. The main efforts are concentrated in the directions of Mykolaiv, Voznesensk, Zaporizhzhya, and Mariupol. The enemy is regrouping troops for a further offensive on Zaporizhzhia. The runway at the Melitopol airfield is being urgently restored.
No active enemy action, though soldiers of the operational group of Russian troops in the security zone of Transnistria are in full combat readiness.
Despite a large number of troops, the occupants have low morale and psychological
condition. Enemy units suffer losses and lose their offensive potential, surrendering en masse to the defenders of Ukraine and the civilian population.
Kyiv and Kyiv region
Kyiv is firmly controlled by Ukrainian government. Russian troops are still preventing the evacuation of civilians from Bucha and Irpin.
The Chernihiv energy company continues the restoration of gas pipelines and power grids.
Chernihiv is controlled by Ukrainian forces despite the constant attempts to attack it by Russians.
- From the beginning of the Russian invasion at least 194 people, including 5 children, died, the Kharkiv Oblast police reports. 433 people were wounded by artillery shelling and airstrikes, 312 of them are civilians.
- (being updated) The Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated Chuguyev in the course of combat operations. The occupants suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment. Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, commander of the 61st Independent Marines Brigade and Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov, deputy commander of the 11th Independent Airborne Assault Brigade of the RF Armed Forces were killed.
- On the Chornobaivka airfield, more than 30 enemy helicopters were destroyed by the strike of the group of marines of Armed forces of Ukraine;
- A large pro-Ukrainian demonstration takes place in temporarily occupied Novaya
Kakhovka in the Kherson region. Generally the last few days were characterized by a whole chain of peaceful demonstrations of unarmed civilians protesting against Russian occupation. The courage of the regular citizens, which were not afraid to protest in front of armed Russian soldiers was outstanding.
- The city was hit by a Smerch MLRS. Fires continue to rage in residential neighborhoods.
- Near Mykolaiv, Ukrainian security forces defeated a battalion-tactical group of occupants.
Most of its personnel were former Ukrainian soldiers who had betrayed our state in 2014 and defected to the Russian side in Crimea.
- The artillery of the Navy of the AFU sunk the Russian patrol corvette of project 22160 "Vasily Bykov".
- The Odessa region was attacked from the sea near Tuzla village. The critical infrastructure
facilities were struck. For now, no casualties reported.
The SBU detained an entire "unit" of militants from the so-called DNR, numbering 13
terrorists, who were shooting at civilians, residential areas and critical infrastructure in Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Volnovakha, Sartana and Talakivka.
In Energodar, hundreds of people came publicly to pay the tribute to the killed defenders of the power plant.
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