As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 385th day, we take a look at the main developments.
This is the state of affairs on Wednesday, March 15, 2023:
- An MQ-9 US military drone has crashed into the Black Sea after being intercepted by Russian fighter jets. The United States called this a “brutal violation of international law”.
- Russia said its fighter jets rushed to intercept the US drone, but the spy craft crashed due to “sharp maneuvers”.
- The state news agency RIA quoted the Russian ambassador to the United States as saying that Moscow viewed the drone incident as a provocation.
- The US said it would summon the Russian ambassador over the incident.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the country’s top military leadership is unanimous in favor of defending eastern Ukraine, including the besieged city of Bakhmut, to inflict maximum casualties on Russian troops.
- A Russian missile hit an apartment building in the center of the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, killing at least one person and injuring three, Zelenskyy said.
- Russian-installed acting governor Yevgeny Balitsky of the occupied Zaporizhia region said the frontline in the region is stable, but Russian troops are on alert awaiting an attack.
- According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, 32 countries have joined a coalition supporting the creation of a special tribunal against Russia for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
- Last year’s blasts on the Nord Stream gas pipelines were carried out at the “state level,” Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Tuesday.
- Russia’s lower house, the State Duma, has voted in favor of an amendment to punish those found guilty of discrediting ‘volunteer’ groups fighting in Ukraine.
- A peaceful solution in Ukraine will not be possible without taking into account the “new realities” on the ground, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
- The Lithuanian parliament voted unanimously to label Wagner’s Russian mercenaries as “a terrorist organization” and charge it with “systematic, serious crimes of aggression” in Ukraine, the Reuters news agency reported.
- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a possible Republican presidential nominee, has described the war in Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” that is not of top concern to US national security.
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a top Russian weapons manufacturer to double production of high-precision missiles, the TASS news agency reported.
- Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says the country can deliver MIG fighter jets to Ukraine in the next four to six weeks.
- According to British intelligence, Russia has so little artillery ammunition in many areas of Ukraine’s frontline that “punitive shell rationing” is taking place.
- Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren says the Netherlands will give Ukraine two minesweepers, drone radars and an M3 amphibious bridge-building system.