The Ukraine update: what happened last night
For the first time in months, Ukraine has reported no fighting in Bakhmut
Ukraine reported no fighting in Bakhmut late Tuesday night for the first time since December 2022. This is reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its update.
Accordingly, there were no reports of hostilities in Bakhmut in the situation report of the Ukrainian General Staff. According to the ISW, this indicates that the Wagner group has made further progress in the embattled city. In addition, the General Staff of Ukraine reported unsuccessful Russian attacks near Khromove just west of Bakhmut.
However, Ukraine continues to insist on having parts of Bakhmut under control. “Our troops control the south-western outskirts of the city in the ‘Plane’ district,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar told Telegram.
The Russian units would continue to comb the neighborhoods they controlled for Ukrainian soldiers. Fighting continues in the suburbs. There, the Russian troops had partly gone over to the defense. The Ukrainians gained “insignificant” territory north and south of Bakhmut.
EU military aid to Ukraine: 220,000 shells delivered
The Ukrainian armed forces have already received about 220,000 artillery shells and mortar shells through the new EU ammunition supply initiative. This was announced by a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell after a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels. In addition, according to their information, around 1,300 missiles were delivered, including anti-tank missiles, anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft missiles.
In March, the EU states promised Ukraine to provide a million new artillery shells and missiles for the defensive war against Russia within twelve months. They are to be organized from the stocks of the Member States, but in future also via new joint procurement projects.
Zelenskyj plans to have more marines
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to expand the country’s marine infantry. With the formation of a Marian infantry corps, new brigades are to be added to existing units, Zelenskyy said in his evening video address on Tuesday. “And we will equip them with modern weapons and equipment,” he added. Zelenskyj had previously visited Ukrainian marines at the front.
According to official information, Selenskyj was traveling between the towns of Wuhledar and Marjinka when he visited the front on Tuesday. Both places are considered focal points of the war and are heavily contested. Ukraine has been fighting the Russian war of aggression for 15 months.
What will be important on Wednesday
There may be new information on the situation in Russia’s Belgorod region and the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is expected in Beijing on his visit to China, after attending an economic forum. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is traveling to Romania, which borders Ukraine, for a three-day state visit.
The Ukraine update: what happened today
Moscow announces: Two US bombers intercepted over the Baltic Sea
Russia says it has intercepted two US Air Force bombers over the Baltic Sea. The two B-1B machines were “approaching the Russian border,” the Ministry of Defense in Moscow said on Tuesday in the Telegram online service.
“After the withdrawal of the foreign warplanes from the Russian border, the Russian warplane has returned to its base,” the Russian Defense Ministry wrote. The flight of the Russian machine took place in “strict compliance with international airspace rules,” according to the ministry. The Russian news agency Itar-Tass reports that the incident is said to have occurred on March 23.
The Pentagon spoke of a long-planned exercise in Europe. Interaction with the crew of the Russian plane was “safe and professional,” a US Department of Defense spokesman said in Washington.
A week ago, Russia announced that it had intercepted a German and a French military aircraft that had tried to “violate” Russian airspace. In mid-April, Moscow sent a fighter jet to escort a German naval plane across the Baltic Sea.
In March, a US drone crashed over the Black Sea after colliding with a Russian fighter jet. The Russian Defense Ministry denied responsibility for the crash, saying the drone lost control.
Selenskyj visits the front again
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Ukrainian marines at the front. “I’m here today to congratulate our warriors on their Marine Day,” the head of state said on social media on Tuesday.
According to official information, Selenskyj was traveling in the region between the towns of Wuhledar and Marjinka. Both places are considered focal points of the war and are heavily contested. According to official information, the Ukrainian President has repeatedly visited places at the front during the almost 15 months of the Russian invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, has so far only inspected the hinterland of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Moscow.
Russian military spokesman: “More than 70 Ukrainian terrorists” killed
“More than 70 Ukrainian terrorists, four armored vehicles and five SUVs were killed,” military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday. In addition to border guards, air force and artillery units were also deployed to combat the intruders. In a video, the ministry showed suspected aerial strikes against the attackers. The information cannot be verified independently. Moscow did not provide any information about its own losses. According to Konashenkov, some attackers had withdrawn to Ukrainian territory. But they were fought until they were completely liquidated.
According to Kiev, it still controls parts of Bakhmut
“Our troops control the south-western outskirts of the city in the ‘Plane’ district,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar told Telegram. The Russian units would continue to comb the neighborhoods they controlled for Ukrainian soldiers. Fighting continues in the suburbs. There, the Russian troops had partly gone over to the defense. The Ukrainians gained “insignificant” territory north and south of Bakhmut. At the weekend, Moscow announced that it would take the city, which had been heavily fought over for months and had now been completely destroyed. The strategic value of the heavily destroyed city is low. But for the Russian military leadership, the receipt has great symbolic power, since it has to show successes.
EU pays more billions in aid to Ukraine
The EU has paid 1.5 billion euros in aid to Ukraine. This is already the fourth tranche of Ukraine aid, as the EU Commission announced in Brussels on Tuesday. Up to 18 billion euros are planned as part of the macro-financial assistance package. “Since the beginning of this year, the EU has already disbursed €7.5 billion in macro-financial assistance. These funds will contribute significantly to Ukraine’s immediate financial needs. And there will be more to come,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. This should continue to pay wages and pensions and maintain hospitals, schools and accommodation for resettled people. The aid is tied to Ukraine meeting certain conditions. Among other things, the rule of law should be strengthened.
Pistorius reticent about possible Taurus delivery to Ukraine
He did not want to go into every weapon system and give a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question, the minister said on Tuesday on the sidelines of the EU defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels. “I think it’s proven that we don’t always do this or draw red or white lines,” said Pistorius, referring to the German Taurus cruise missiles.
Ukraine should be given significant support and dealt with responsibly. At the same time, Pistorius declared that he “believed that we should support Ukraine with all the systems permissible under international law that it takes to win this war and that we are able to provide”. When asked whether he also saw a danger in a possible delivery of F-16 fighter jets, he explained: “I see no risk of escalation at this point.”
Russian authorities lift state of alarm in Belgorod
The authorities in the Russian border region of Belgorod have lifted the state of alert that had been imposed with reference to fighting. The legal status of an “anti-terrorist operation” has ended, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced on Tuesday.
According to the Russian account, fighting has been going on in the Belgorod region since Monday against dozens of “representatives of Ukrainian military units”. Ukraine denied having anything to do with attacks in the region. In Kiev, it was pointed out that volunteer corps made up of Russian citizens claimed responsibility for the attacks. Russia has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine for 15 months.