As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 381st day, we take a look at the main developments.
This is the state of affairs on Saturday, March 11, 2023:
- Ukraine will continue to fight for the devastated city of Bakhmut as the battle pinned down Russia’s best forces ahead of a planned Ukrainian counter-offensive in the spring, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
- Russian forces captured the eastern part of Bakhmut and its suburbs to the north and south, but failed to cut supply lines and completely encircle Ukrainian forces holding out in the city.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner’s mercenary force that led the Russian attack on Bakhmut, said he had opened recruiting centers in 42 cities as his private army needs to replenish its ranks after heavy losses in the battle for the city.
- Power and water have been restored to most of Ukraine’s capital, Kyv, after Friday morning’s barrage of Russian missiles and drones targeting critical infrastructure, though about 30 percent of consumers still awaited repairs to keep heating in the capital to recover. Power in the southern region of Odessa has been fully restored after Friday’s attacks, private provider DTEK said.
- Ukrainian firefighters in the Donetsk region said they are overwhelmed by Russian attacks on towns near Bakhmut as barrages of cluster bombs and rockets set several houses on fire in the town of Kostyantynivka.
- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron said new aid measures would strengthen Ukrainian troops and allow them to “mount a successful counter-offensive” against Russia. Leaders signed their signature to jointly train Ukrainian marines and supply more weapons at a summit on Friday.
- The European Union could soon replenish the fund used to buy arms for Ukraine with €3.5 billion, a senior EU official said on Friday. According to the plan drawn up by Josep Borrell, Europe’s foreign policy chief, EU countries would receive financial incentives worth €1 billion to send more of their artillery rounds to Kiev, while a further €1 billion would support the joint purchase of new grenades, the Reuters news agency reported. .
- Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin paid an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Friday, accompanying Zelenskyy and senior military officers to the funeral of one of Ukraine’s best-known fighters and commanders who died near Bakhmut.
- Macron will meet Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday to discuss the war in Ukraine and other issues ahead of a European Council meeting on March 23-24. Orban has been an outspoken critic of Europe’s stance on the war, accusing Europe of waging an “indirect war” against Russia.
- The United States has said there is no immediate military threat from Russia against Moldova, but Moscow may be trying to destabilize the country and install a pro-Russian government.
- Canada has announced an import ban on Russian aluminum and steel products to deny Moscow revenue to fund its war in Ukraine. According to the latest government data, Russian imports in 2021 amounted to nearly 250 million Canadian dollars ($180 million).
- Zelenskyy has dismissed all suggestions of Ukrainian involvement in the September 2022 Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions as “ridiculous” and accused an unnamed Western media outlet of playing on Russian plans to delay aid to Kiev. “I find it very dangerous that some independent media, for whom I have always had great respect, take such steps,” he said.