Day 27 of Putin's war. Russians use phosphorous weapons in Kramatorsk, authorities detain 150 saboteurs in Kyiv (UPDATED)

22 March, 11:05 AM
The shopping mall and nearby block that Russia destroyed in an airstrike in Kyiv on March 20. (Photo:Reuters)

The shopping mall and nearby block that Russia destroyed in an airstrike in Kyiv on March 20. (Photo:Reuters)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost four weeks. Today, March 22nd, is the 27th day of Putin's war. 

UPDATE (1911): Russian forces shelled a railway station in Pavlohrad, a city in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, local governor Valentin Reznichenko has reported. 

One person has been killed, and the Pavlohrad-2 railway station has been completely destroyed. Fifteen cargo wagons have been derailed in the attack, the governor said. 

Видео дня

UPDATE (1757): Mariupol city council reported that the Ukrainian military defending the city have shot down a Russian fighter jet that had been bombing Mariupol for several days. 

"Very good news for us. One of the bombers that have been destroying our city was shot down near the Neptune public pool area," the city council wrote. 

Meanwhile in Kyiv two residential buildings and a truck were set on fire as a result of Russian shelling of the Obolon district of Kyiv, the State Emergency Service has reported.

Ukrainians are hiding in a bomb shelter in Mariupol, a city Russia has been destroying for more than two weeks (Фото: Mariupol City Council/Telegram)
Ukrainians are hiding in a bomb shelter in Mariupol, a city Russia has been destroying for more than two weeks / Фото: Mariupol City Council/Telegram

UPDATE (1704): Russian invading troops have released Hromadske International journalist Viktoria Roshchyna, Hromadske has reported. She is now heading to Zaporizhzhia, where she will be met by her relatives.

Roshchyna was abducted two days ago in Berdyansk, a city, occupied by Russian troops. She was released only after she recorded a video in which she thanks Russian special forces for saving her life. Hromadske said Roshchyna recorded the video praising the Russians under duress.

Meanwhile, the Department of Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography of the Turkish Navy has issued a warning that sea mines may be adrift in the Black Sea, including near the ports of Odesa, Ochakiv, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. 

Heavy fighting in the village of Makariv in Kyiv Oblast has caused a massive fire in a warehouse of Ukrainian pharmaceutical company Pharmak, causing UAH 1.5 billion ($51 million) in damage.

Ukraine's SBU security service has reported there's a high risk of Belarusian military intervention in Ukraine on the side of Russia. According to the SBU, some 15,000 troops could invade Ukraine's Volyn Oblast. Belarusian President in exile  Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on Belarusian soldiers to surrender to Ukrainians if forced to fight in Ukraine. She said they would not be subject to any punishment. 

Previously Belarusian territory has been used as a jumping-off point for Russian forces attacking Kyiv Oblast.

Meanwhile, in Kyiv Oblast the Russians have been trying to restart their offensive towards Kyiv. The occupiers shelled the town of Brovary. The shells hit the territory of a local factory. No casualties have been reported. 

In Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, the Russians shelled a children's hospital. The shelling has caused massive fire in the roof area of the hospital building, Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai has reported.

"We managed to evacuate seven little patients and 15 adults, eight of whom were doctors," Haidai said.

UPDATE (1521): Residents of Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine occupied by Russian invaders, have gone on a protest again despite the fact that on March 21 Russian military police violently dispersed a peaceful rally, beating and shooting city residents. Today the occupiers also tried to disperse the protest using tear gas. However, Ukrainian protestors have returned to the city's squares again.

The occupied port city is also on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Russian forces have not been letting humanitarian aid from Ukraine enter the city, nor have they let the people evacuate from Kherson anywhere except Russian-occupied Crimea.

UPDATE (1304): Kyiv remains the main target of the invaders.  Kyiv oblast's governor has said that the Ukrainian army must not let the invaderst ford the Irpin River, as for now it helps Ukrainians to hold Russian forces in Hostomel and Bucha, both of which have been occupied by the invaders. If the Russians cross the Irpin River, they would get the chance to continue their offensive operation against Kyiv from the north-west

“Kyiv remains on the list of priority targets, it's true. Their main directions are Kherson, Mykolayiv, although the Russians have already stood up on the defensive there," Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Oleksiy Arestovych has said at a briefing. "Active fighting is going on in the JFO zone, from Izyum to Volovakha, and Mariupol. And of course in Kyiv's outskirts. where yesterday they tried to mess around in the Brovarsky direction,” he added.

Meanwhile in Kharkiv, a Russian tank opened fire against a civilian car with a family inside. "The parents and a 19-year-old young woman were killed. A 17-year-old young man was seriously injured," the Prosecutor's General Office of Ukraine has said in a statement. "The family was waiving white flags, screaming they were civilians. But that didn't stop the invaders."

UPDATE (1242): Ukraine's Defense Minister Olexii Reznikov has called Ukrainians living on the Russian-occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea to evade the illegal conscription Russian has started there.

In recent days, the Ukrainian army has been capturing people whom the Russian occupiers forcibly mobilized and threw into battle like cannon fodder, the minister said in a statement.

"We know and you know that the scale of forced mobilization is on the rise. Those mobilized from the (non-government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) are not included in the statistics of the losses of the Russian army, because for Moscow you are only expendable material," Reznikov said.

At the same time Ukraine's Army General Staff has reported that the number of Russian soldiers killed in action in Ukraine has risen to 15,300.

One Russian soldier reportedly surrendered to Ukrainian military, bringing a tank with him, Viktor Andrusiv, an advisor to the interior minister of Ukraine, has said in a statement.

Andrusiv claims Russian invading troops have been using the services of Ukrainian mobile phone operators in Ukraine, and national police of Ukraine have been sending them messages suggesting that they surrender.  Several days ago a soldier named Misha called back and said he was ready. Then he came to a place of a meeting and surrendered a tank too. After the war he might get a $10,000 reward, as promised by the Ukrainian government.

Short Digest

As of March 22, more than 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country due to the Russian invasion. Russia has lost more than 15,000 soldiers killed in Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine says. 

Another long curfew has started in Kyiv. Residents of the Ukrainian capital are not allowed to go on the streets for at least 36 hours because the law enforcers have been hunting Russian sabotage groups that have infiltrated the capital. Kyiv authorities reported on March 22 they have managed to arrest 150 saboteurs and demined 10 explosive traps in the past 24 hours alone.

Overnight the occupiers used deadly phosphorous weapons in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast. Such weapons are banned under the Geneva Conventions.

In Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, the invaders have destroyed food storage warehouse, leaving people without food supplies. However, the local council has assured residents that they will have food, as humanitarian aid is on the way to the besieged oblast. In the morning, invading Russian forces opened fire on a local store in Severodonetsk, where dozens of people were trying to buy food , local governor Serhiy Haidai has reported. "We have casualties. People were killed and wounded," Haidai said in a Facebook post on March 22. This is the third time the Russians have attacked and killed people waiting in lines for food. Previously they killed people waiting in line for bread in Chernihiv, and they also shelled a local grocery store in Kharkiv.

Invading Russian forces have shelled the outskirts of Kryvyi Rih, the  home city of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, twice during the last 24 hours using Grad multiple rocket launcher systems. 

Meanwhile Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported the Russian army only has enough supplies and ammunition left for three days of active fighting. The Russians have been looting the apartments and houses of Ukrainians in occupied towns, even stealing carpets.

Ukraine has once again organized humanitarian corridors for the residents of Mariupol. However, due to active shelling, people are forced to leave Mariupol by themselves and only those who manage to get to Berdyansk and nearby villages are able to board the evacuation buses that are waiting for them there. In the morning, Mariupol City Council reported that more than 1,114 Mariupol residents had left Berdyansk for Zaporizhzia.

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