WAR BULLETIN 26
March 8, 11.00 am EST
D.Kuleba: Russia holds 300 000 civilians hostage in Mariupol, prevents humanitarian evacuation despite agreements with ICRC mediation. One child died of dehydration yesterday. War crimes are part of Russia’s deliberate strategy.
Russians are attacking foreign journalists and took 2000 foreign students hostage.
FSB is setting up task forces to work with the population, in particular, to identify resistance.
The invaders bombed Sumy with air bombs.
Ukraine requests global businesses to stop or suspend operations with or in Russia, therefore refusing to finance its violence, murders, and crimes against humanity.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The total combat losses of the Russian forces from 24.02 to 08.03:
personnel - almost 12 000
tanks ‒ 303
APV ‒ 1036
artillery systems – 120
MLRS - 56
anti-aircraft warfare systems - 27
aircrafts – 48
helicopters – 80
vehicles - 474
boats / cutters - 3
fuel tanks - 60
UAV operational-tactical level – 7.
General Staff of the Armed Forces
Pace of the enemy`s advance has slowed significantly.
The Defense Forces of Ukraine continue to conduct an operation within the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Operational Zones along defined boundaries.
The heroic defense of Chernihiv continues in the Seversky direction.
The Defense Forces of Kyiv continue to protect the capital along the outer border of the defense and in additionally defined areas.
Defensive fights are conducted in the suburbs of Mykolaiv.
Russians are demoralized and increasingly marauding and violating the Rules of International Humanitarian Law on military conflict.
In Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kyiv regions, in the territories temporarily occupied by the Russian forces, there are documented facts of: robberies, acts of violence against local residents, seizure of civilian housing, use of agricultural hangars for parking of military equipment, setting up firing positions in the heavily populated areas and close to civil infrastructure facilities.
In the territories of Kherson and Mykolayiv regions, which are temporarily occupied by the enemy, the occupiers use units of psychological influence to harm the local population. According to the available information, up to 10 tactical groups of psychological influence have been created to carry out Russian propaganda amongst the local population.
The occupiers are intimidating the population of the northern part of the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea with the possibility of an offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In addition, the FSB is setting up task forces to work with the population, in particular, to identify resistance.
Statement of the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov
Today I am addressing not only the leaders of the free world. But also to people all over the world.
Two weeks ago, the world changed. Everything has changed, although not everyone realizes it yet.
Russia has explicitly attacked Ukraine. Eight years ago in Crimea and in Donbass they said “we are not here”. Now the Kremlin is demonstratively waging war against my people. This is happening in the heart of Europe. Rockets fly hundreds of kilometers. And peaceful cities are impressive. Today they are our cities. Tomorrow it can be anyone's. Yours.
No warnings, attempts at dialogue or concerns had any influence. No international rules and mechanisms.
The Kremlin couldn't care less about your attempts to communicate. It is not concerned with the UN, PACE or any other institution, where you are attempting to keep its presence. Russian soldiers behave like terrorists and cowards.
During 11 days’ Russian occupants have ruined more than 200 Ukrainian schools, 34 hospitals, more than 1500 residential buildings. It has already been recorded that 38 Ukrainian children were killed by the Russian military, more than 70 are wounded. In total, data on more than 400 civilians killed and more than 800 wounded are confirmed. These data are definitely incomplete. After all, the enemy staged a real act of genocide against Ukraine. In Mariupol alone, 400,000 Ukrainians have been taken hostage. They are constantly shelled by aircraft, jet artillery, and missiles.
Russian invaders fire on humanitarian corridors through which civilians are trying to escape. They kill those they promised to let go. They kill those who try to save terrorist hostages from injury or starvation. These are war crimes. This is such a terrible grief for Ukraine. And still, let me remind you that Russian soldiers kill residents of a European country.
Where are your values and ideals? Where is the work of international organizations that costs billions of dollars? Where are the UN, International Red Cross, OSCE? They hid.
I bring to your attention that about 10 000 students from other countries in Ukraine are targets of Putin’s terrorists today. Over 2 000 of them have been taken hostage by Russian soldiers. Many of them are from India, China, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf countries.
Young people are staying in the cities blocked by the Russian military – i.e. Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, Mariupol. Russians shell these cities. They are actually at war with the whole world. Even with those who try to stay neutral.
Let me remind you that Ukraine was and is home to representatives of more than 100 nations. We have always lived in peace. We have many mixed marriages in which beautiful children were born. And these children are now being killed by the occupiers.
Russians are attacking foreign journalists: it is currently known about British citizens in the town of Stoyanka-2. The group was fired upon and another journalist, a British citizen, was wounded. The journalist, a citizen of Switzerland, was shot and robbed by occupiers in the Mykolaiv region. Unfortunately, you still allow the occupiers to do that.
In 11 days, Ukraine debunked the myth of Russia's military power. During 11 days Ukrainian warriors destroyed over 11 thousands of Russian soldiers. This is more than during the two Chechen wars, which lasted 6 years. A few more days, and Russia’s losses of killed and wounded will outnumber the losses of 10 years of war in Afghanistan. Russia has lost hundreds of elite paratroopers and special forces members. The ones horrifying Africa, the Middle East. But not Ukraine.
Do not be afraid! Same as our young boys and girls who are not afraid to stop the enemy. Same as our farmers who are not afraid to seize the enemy's armored vehicles. Same as the employee of the postal company who was not afraid to shoot down the Russian plane with MPADS.
Today, Europe has a chance to defeat a tyrant who has been intimidating everyone around for decades.Russia will not be able to defeat us in an open battle. It will not be able to intimidate us by the criminal shelling of our cities.
In order to win we need help - closed sky and weapons. We will protect ourselves and you. We are not afraid of the Russians. They are the ones fleeing and surrendering by hundreds.
In addition to weapons, the question of general endurance arises every day.
We need resources to provide our army with uniforms, to feed our people. To quickly restore the destroyed infrastructure.
You need to increase the pressure on Russia. Because they will bring war to your homes.
The world has changed. You have to make decisions very quickly. I mean, the war is going on in Europe. The Kremlin may start new fires.
We will fight and we will win. But at what cost. Every day of the war means dozens of deaths of civilians. Of Europeans.
I thank all those who are already helping.
I urge everyone to show that the free world is not afraid of a single tyrant hiding in a bunker.
Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed Decree №114/2022 on the withdrawal of Ukrainian contingents participating in international peacekeeping operations.
"In connection with the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, in order to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, in accordance with Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine "On Ukraine's participation in international peacekeeping operations" I decide to withdraw national contingent and national personnel, who take part in international operations, to maintain peace and security in order to participate in the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state ", - said in the Decree. The document enters into force on the day of its publication.
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk
Humanitarian corridor in Mariupol
Today in the morning the humanitarian corridor, which was agreed the day before with the Russian Federation, started working. Instead, there are reports that Russia is shelling the direction of humanitarian aid. Iryna Vereshchuk announced this in her video address.
"We appeal to all leaders of the free world to monitor the situation in the Mariupol area, where literally 300,000 people have been taken hostage. Among them are insulin-dependent, cancer patients, young children. That is why it is a humanitarian catastrophe that needs the attention of the whole world, " - she urged.
Humanitarian corridor in Sumy
Deputy Prime Minister - Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk announced the launch of a humanitarian corridor for the city of Sumy. This was officially approved by the Russian Ministry of Defense in a letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
We call on the Russian side not to resort to manipulative actions and fulfil the documented promise. We are talking about the evacuation of civilians from Sumy to Poltava, including students from China and India. The Ukrainian side is ready to fully provide the entire route along the agreed route. The Red Cross and the Russian side have been informed about it, - the head of the Ministry of Reintegration declared.
All obstacles to the movement of convoys must be removed along the entire route, both with people traveling from Sumy and with humanitarian goods moving to this city.
State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES)
Over the past few days infrastructure in Chernihiv city, Kharkiv city, Mykolayiv city, Kharkiv region, Zhytomyr region and Vinnytsya region experienced extensive consequences of Russian invasion. SES pyrotechnicians continued demining explosive objects left after the shelling.
The city of Mykolayiv was massively shelled. As a result, there were 5 fires in the residential sector and in industrial buildings. 11 SES vehicles and 32 rescuers were involved in the elimination of the consequences.
The SES rescuers continued searching for survivors under the rubble at the destroyed Vinnytsia Airport near the village of Gavryshivka (Vinnytsia region). 15 people have been released from the rubble of buildings, 9 of them were found dead (5 civilians, 4 military).
In Ovruch (Zhytomyr region) airstrike damaged residential buildings. In the houses, rescuers together with citizens are fixing the windows which were damaged by the blast wave.
In Zhytomyr region two air strikes hit oil depots in Zhytomyr and Chernyakhiv. In Zhytomyr, a tank with a capacity of 10 cubic meters caught fire. In the village of Chernyakhiv two half-empty tanks caught fire.
SES continue providing assistance to people who are fleeing the areas of active hostilities, heading to the Western regions of Ukraine. In order to help people at checkpoints on the state border in Zakarpattia, Odesa, Lviv and Chernivtsi regions, the SES in cooperation with the Red Cross of Ukraine and local authorities set up 45 tents for heating and helping the citizens. More than 122,000 people have been assisted.
SES Pyrotechnics have neutralized 74 explosive devices during the day.
Since the beginning of war, SES pyrotechnicians neutralized 1,403 explosive objects.
Evacuation of civilians and unloading of humanitarian aid are continuing in Sumy.
As of 15:30, the second column of 35 buses (over 600 people) left the city of Sumy in assistance with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the National Police, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, local authorities and volunteers.
Sumy District Prosecutor’s Office
Bodies of 21 people, including 2 children, were previously found during an inspection of the site of the air strike as of 7 a.m. The number of victims is being determined.
Under the procedural guidance of the Sumy District Prosecutor's Office, criminal proceedings have been instituted for violating the laws and customs of war.
According to the investigation, servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, violating the rules of war.
Ministry of internal affairs of Ukraine
Appeal of the Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn to the entire international community
There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Irpin and neighboring towns and villages.
In Vorzel, Bucha, Hostomel, Zabuchchia, and Mykhailivka-Rubezhivka, the RF troops do not allow the civilian locals to leave their houses. From time to time, people's houses are being fired at by invaders. Russian troops bombed the Irpin City Hospital and the new medical center; medical staff and parts of medical equipment were evacuated. The aggressors seized some of the medicines and the previously imported humanitarian aid. Russians threatened to kill the mayor of Irpin and demanded the surrender of Irpin. But Irpin does not give in.
In all the above settlements, there is no mobile communication, light and water supply. Because of the fires in many neighborhoods, the gas supply had to be cut off.
There are corpses in basements and on the streets all over the Irpin area; the occupiers do not allow even the Red Cross to take away bodies; they fire at humanitarian aid vehicles.
Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel, Vorzel, Mykhailivka-Rubezhivka, Zabuchchia are already the epicenter of the humanitarian catastrophe.
A safe green corridor is urgently needed to reach Irpin and further evacuate through Kyiv for residents of Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel, Vorzel, Mykhailivka-Rubezhivka.
The occupiers do not allow to transport humanitarian aid to these settlements!
The local population is being starved and kept cold in the basements, held hostage.
We call on the entire international community to make efforts to save civilians from death.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
The invaders bombed Sumy again. With air bombs. Our peaceful city that has never threatened Russia in its history! Good, quiet, soulful Sumshchyna! Which is turned into hell.
Mariupol. Peaceful and hard-working city without any internal malice. It was surrounded. Blocked. And is being deliberately exhausted. Deliberately tortured. The invaders deliberately cut off communication. Deliberately block the delivery of food, water supply. Turn off the electricity.
Hear me, today, dear partners!
A child died of dehydration. In 2022!
We have been fighting for the thirteenth day. We destroy the invaders wherever we can. Everywhere. But there is a sky. Hundreds of Russian cruise missiles. Hundreds of fighter jets of the invaders. Hundreds of helicopters. Yes, we destroy them.
Russia has not lost as much aircraft in the past 30 years as in these 13 days in Ukraine.
But they still have enough machinery to kill. There are still enough missiles for terror. They still have enough 500 kg bombs to drop them on us, ordinary people. On Chernihiv and Kyiv. Odesa and Kharkiv. Poltava and Zhytomyr. Dozens and dozens of Ukrainian cities. On millions of peaceful Ukrainian people.
It has been 13 days of promises. 13 days when we are told that there will soon be help in the sky. There will be planes. They will be handed over to us...
The blame for every death of every person in Ukraine from air strikes and in blocked cities, of course, lies with the Russian state, the Russian military, those who give and those who carry out criminal orders, who violate all the rules of warfare, who deliberately exterminate the Ukrainian people.
The fault lies with the invaders. But the responsibility for this lies also with those who have not been able to make an obviously necessary decision somewhere in the West, somewhere in the offices for 13 days. Those who have not yet secured the Ukrainian sky from Russian murderers.
Those who did not save our cities from air strikes. From these bombs, missiles. Although they can.
Those who do not help in lifting the blockade.
Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in the cities are on the verge of life and death. Literally.
Not as it sounds in the comments of politicians about providing Ukraine with vital combat aircraft. Vital missile defense.
We have heard many assurances and seen many agreements. In particular, on the creation of humanitarian corridors. To save our citizens in Mariupol. But they didn't work. All of them didn’t work. Yet. And I have no more time to wait. We do not have. Mariupol doesn’t have time to wait.
It is the invaders who want our people to die. Not us. We sent columns with humanitarian aid to Mariupol. Everything necessary is there! We sent vehicles to rescue people. Drivers understand everything. They are heroes. Brave people! They understand that Russian troops can simply destroy these vehicles on the road. Just as they did, killing people who were just trying to get to a safe territory from the war zone.
But if you fire at these vehicles, these people, you should know that it will be before the eyes of the whole world.
Everyone will be witnesses. And everyone will testify.
When everyone, I repeat this, everyone who gives and fulfills inhuman orders will be severely judged and convicted.
We have seen the concrete consent of the Russian side to organize an evacuation corridor from the city of Sumy. And not just for our people. For hundreds of foreigners. Citizens of India, China. These are students who studied in Sumy.
You know, I was told that the Red Cross, the International Red Cross, forbids us to use the emblem on vehicles carrying out humanitarian missions. The Red Cross prohibits it as if it is their property.
And this is indicative. This says a lot about the fact that some people, very influential, have decided to give up Ukrainians.
But we will not allow it. And I will not allow it.
Our friends. They are next to us.
I will appeal directly to the nations of the world if the leaders of the world do not make every effort to stop this war, this genocide.
Of course, we continue to talk to our partners, to the leaders, parliamentarians of all countries who know how to help Ukraine. We have a very busy negotiation period.
I spoke with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda. The people of Lithuania always stand by Ukrainians in this struggle. We feel this help and appreciate it.
I spoke with President of the European Council, our friend Charles Michel. I also spoke with Prime Minister of India, Mr. Modi.
But there are things that are not decided in negotiations, that depend not directly on us, but on humanity, which must win in the leading capitals, must overcome fear, must overcome any benefits.
And then we will see that the Ukrainian sky is safe and the Ukrainian cities are unblocked.
We can do this together as people of the world. And if the world stands aloof, it will lose itself. Forever. Because there are unconditional values. The same for everyone. First of all, this is life. The right to life for everyone.
This is exactly what we are fighting for in Ukraine. Very fiercely, together with our military. This is exactly what these weak invaders want to deprive us of.
This is exactly what the whole world must protect.
Glory to Ukraine!
Office of the President of Ukraine, briefing of Mykhailo Arestovych
The Armed Forced of Ukraine continue the defense operation to hold the enemy on the following operative directions: Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia. The enemy is making attempts to advance in these directions but suffers losses by rocket and artillery forces, as well as aviation and infantry of Ukraine. The information that the enemy took Izyum city is not correct, the fight is on-going there.
Due to the lack of success on land and in the air, they have redirected their main efforts to the information and psychological attacks against the residents of Ukraine. That is why for 2-3 days in a row we witness the spread of information on seizure of new cities, advancement, threat, massive attacks and so on. The aim is to decrease the resistance from our side. Our task remains to stand and not to believe their disinformation.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine control the situation and down the aircrafts and rockets of the enemy, do not allow the enemy to advance and to settle at those places the enemy wants. Yesterday the Armed Forces of Ukraine together with other forces of Ukraine conducted no less than seven counter-attacks.
Mariupol is standing heroically. Moreover, during yesterday’s counter-attack the enemy’s tank column was destroyed. The Joint Forces Operation’s area is standing. One of Ukraine’s airborne divisions destroyed the enemy’s column. Kharkiv is conducting counter-attacks.
The leadership of Ukraine does everything in its power to attract military, diplomatic, economic, humanitarian support.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemns the shelling of the premises of foreign diplomatic missions in Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
The Russian military's missile and bombings damaged the building in Mariupol where the Greek Consulate General and the office of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine were located. Honored consulates of Slovenia, Azerbaijan and Albania in Kharkiv were also destroyed.
Russia's armed attacks on the premises of diplomatic missions represent gross violation of international humanitarian law, the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.
We call on the international community to condemn Russia for its barbaric shelling of civilian objects in Ukraine, which results in murders and injuries of civilians, including children.
The Ukrainian side will add the facts of the destruction of premises of foreign diplomatic missions in Ukraine to the lawsuits against Russia in international courts to bring Russia to maximum responsibility for its crimes.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ukraine requests the ethically and socially responsible global businesses to stop or suspend operations with or in Russia, therefore refusing to finance its violence, murders, and crimes against humanity. Please read and share my full appeal to global business community below.
Russia holds 300k civilians hostage in Mariupol, prevents humanitarian evacuation despite agreements with ICRC mediation. One child died of dehydration (!) yesterday! War crimes are part of Russia’s deliberate strategy. I urge all states to publicly demand: Russia, Let People Go!
Minister of Digital Transformation
VMware is the world's top cloud and virtualization company. Today, most large IT systems (banks, energy, etc.) use public or private clouds based on VMware. The company's exit from Russia will mean stopping support in resolving incidents and important upgrades, which will ultimately make it impossible to use modern cloud solutions.
Ministry of energy of Ukraine
The main task of our ongoing dialogue and previous appeals to the IAEA is for the international mission to officially record the seizures of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by the Russian military.
Hopefully, this will be an incentive to make tough decisions to ensure the security of Ukraine's nuclear energy, and the nuclear security of Europe and the whole world. Top priority is to close the sky over Ukraine.
We have already sent official requests to the IAEA outlining our vision for security in the context of Russia's hostilities on our territory. In particular, we emphasize the following actions:
- immediate ceasefire and prohibition of occupying forces from approaching closer than 30 km to nuclear power facilities;
- IAEA should apply to NATO for the introduction of A2/AD zone (closed sky) over the territory of Ukraine, given the geography of the NPPs location in Ukraine;
- intensification of IAEA activities to coordinate the prevention of acts of nuclear terrorism at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and on humanitarian and psychological assistance to its personnel with detailed documentation of events;
- banning Russia's access to IAEA intellectual and technological resources, severing relations with Russian citizens employed in UN structures related to nuclear energy;
- immediate strengthening of IAEA-led monitoring and control over the situation at Zaporizhzhya NPP (Energodar), South Ukrainian NPP (Pivdennoukrainsk), Rivne NPP (Varash), Khmelnitsky NPP (Netishyn) and other nuclear facilities of Ukraine, involving international organizations nuclear security and other international organizations, including the WHO and the Red Cross.
Ukraine also appealed to the European Commission, the UN to lauch special missions to ensure nuclear security in Ukraine and globally, as well as to identify all crimes of Russian military aggression that threaten the safe operation of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
In addition, Ukraine insists that a special OSCE monitoring mission in our country establish round-the-clock monitoring and analysis of the situation at all domestic nuclear facilities, including the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants, as well as other Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
Information on damage of energy infrastructure due to hostilities as of 17:00 CET 7 March
According to operational data, as of 17:00 CET 7 March 2022, more than 1,133 settlements and 8,074 transformer substations in Ukraine remained without electricity (completely or partially) due to damage caused by hostilities. In total, more than 742 thousand consumers.
The most difficult situation with electricity supply is observed in the Donetsk region - more than 233 thousand consumers remain without electricity supply, Mariupol is completely disconnected.
Over the past 24hrs, about 71,000 consumers have been able to restore electricity, but new fighting has left new grid damage and power outages due to active hostilities.
About 238,2 thousand consumers remain without gas supply. At the same time, gas supply to 7,529 consumers was restored during the day.
Ukrainian power engineers work around the clock to ensure a reliable energy supply to all consumers, despite the efforts of the enemy!