Ukrainians training in the UK, the hryvnia forecast for March, and 130 soldiers return

8 March, 03:20 PM

Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Wednesday, March 8th, 2023.

•    Engaged in protracted urban battles around Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, the Russian military is losing five times more troops than the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to NATO, this five-to-one casualty ratio was based on intelligence reports. Nevertheless, they added that Ukraine still suffers significant losses defending the city.

Video of day

•    The decision to continue and reinforce Ukraine’s efforts to defend Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, was unanimously supported by the country’s top military leadership.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Bakhmut was the main topic at the recent Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief meeting, where he directly asked Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, how they see the defense operation near the city should proceed.

•    The United Kingdom’s military training facilities are full of Ukrainian soldiers.

NV travelled across the English Channel to see what is being taught here and how the Ukrainians are being trained.

•    The hryvnia exchange rate is strengthening thanks to the National Bank of Ukraine’s actions to increase the attractiveness of hryvnia assets, reduce the risk of blackouts, and prepare farmers for sowing.

Bankers spoke to NV Business about what will happen to the dollar and euro exchange rate in March.

•    The Ukrainian animated movie “Mavka. The Forest Song” collected UAH 24.9 million ($680,912) over its first weekend of screening.

Over 189,000 tickets were sold for the movie on March 4-5. In comparison, the Ukrainian historical drama “Shchedryk” (released on Jan. 5, 2023, during emergency blackouts in Ukraine), which Group considers to be successful in cinema distribution, sold over 84,000 tickets and earned UAH 10.6 million ($289,866) in eight weeks of screening.

•    Stray dogs living in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine may have been observed undergoing evolution, Ukrainian scientists say.

The scientists have found that not only the habits, but also the genetic structure of the stray dogs in the exclusion zone have changed. The animals have been monitored since 2017 as part of the Chornobyl Dog Research Initiative.

•    Russia is trying to sow discord among Ukrainians by spreading rumours about an alleged “conflict” between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhnyi.

That’s according to a statement by National Security and Defense Council secretary Oleksiy Danilov. “I want to say that someone really wants us to have discord here,” Danilov said. “I’d (also) would like to point out that internal destabilization has always been one of Russia’s goals.”

•    Ukraine returned 130 of its soldiers from Russian captivity on March 7.

The personnel returned include members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, Border Guard Service, Navy, Territorial Defense, and State Special Transport Service. 87 of those returned were defenders of Mariupol, 71 of whom fought at Azovstal.

•    The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) so far cannot confirm that former Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Kobolyev has posted bail of UAH 229.2 million ($6.2 million).

“On March 1, 2023, the Appeals Chamber of the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) imposed a pre-trial restriction against former Chairman of the Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine in the form of bail of UAH 229.2 million,” the prosecutors said. “According to the court’s decision, the suspect had to post bail within five days of the announcement of the court ruling, i.e. by March 3, 2023.”

•    Danish brewing company Carlsberg plans to sell its Russian business by the end of this spring.

“Staying on board for another half a year will allow me and the team to continue delivering on our challenging plans for 2023 and accomplishing the sale of the Russian business before the summer,” said Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart.

•    The day’s long read: The Ukrainian business holdings of Russia’s oligarchs

Russian business has invested in almost all spheres of the Ukrainian economy for the past 30 years, from energy to metallurgy to the consumer goods sector. What did Mikhail Fridman, Roman Abramovich, Alexey Mordashov, and Alisher Usmanov own?

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•    Don’t miss: More than hell. What is going on in Bakhmut and how long will the defense last?

Military Correspondent for TV channel 1+1 talks about the challenges of Bakhmut, and how he believes the situation in the city will evolve in the coming days and weeks.

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