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UKRAINE WAR BULLETIN - March 27, 2022 - 5 p.m. EST
Embassy of Ukraine in the USA
President V. Zelenskyy: A global historical and cultural split between Ukraine and Russia took place during this month of war.
Deputy Prime Minister I.Vereshchuk expressed hope that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) would consider Ukraine's appeal on the fate of Ukrainian citizens forcibly displaced to Russia.
In the exclusion zone near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant due to hostilities are burning more than 10 thousand hectares of forests.
The illegitimate occupation authorities in the Luhansk region intend to hold a "referendum" on accession to Russia.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 27.03:
personnel - 16600,
tanks ‒ 582,
APVs ‒ 1664,
artillery systems – 294,
MLRS - 93,
anti-aircraft warfare systems - 52,
aircrafts – 121,
helicopters – 127,
vehicles - 1144,
vessels - 7,
fuel tanks - 73,
UAVs operational-tactical level - 56.
special equipment - 21.
mobile SRBM systems - 4.
The operational update
The thirty-third day of the heroic withstand of the Ukrainian people to the Russian military invasion continues.
The enemy continues conducting full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine.
The units of the Russian Federation are moving to the territory of the Republic of Belarus. These measures are carried out in order to rotate the units that have suffered significant losses, strengthen existing groups, replenish food, fuel, and ammunition, organize the evacuation of wounded and sick servicemen.
Some units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belaruscontinue to be on the training grounds.
In Polissya, the enemy, under cover of artillery and aircraft fire, continues consolidating on the achieved frontiers, preparing for the rotation of units.
In the northern direction, the enemy continues the blockade of Slavutych, does not stop trying to take control of Chernihiv. In the Lukyanivka and Rudnytske districts, the enemy suffered losses and withdrew.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy is trying to regroup in the Sumy region. Near Kharkiv, the focus of efforts is on replenishment of current losses. In the area of Slovyansk, the enemy is improving the engineering equipment of the occupied positions. The Ukrainian Defense Forces restored control over the settlements of Trostyanets and Husarivka.
In the Donetsk direction, with no success, occupation units are trying to capture Popasna, Rubizhne, Severodonetsk, and Mariupol. An unsuccessful attempt was made to storm Krasnohorivka.
In the Tavriya operational area, the occupiers of the Rosguardcontinue to fight resistance centers in the temporarily occupied territory.
The enemy continues violating the requirements of the International humanitarian law in the temporarily occupied territories, commits kidnapping and intimidates local residents, holds Ukrainian civilians hostage.
The militarization of the exclusion zone of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant by the Russian occupation forces continues. This seriously increases the risk of damage to the insulation structures built over the station's fourth power unit after its explosion in 1986. Such damage will inevitably lead to a significant amount of radioactive dust entering the atmosphere and contaminating not only Ukraine but also other European countries. The occupying forces of the Russian federation ignore threats and warnings and continue to transport and store a significant amount of ammunition in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear power plant.
Dozens of tons of rockets, artillery shells, and mortar ammunition are transported daily by units of the Eastern military district of the armed forces of the Russian federation from the logistics base deployed in the Narovlya district of the Gomel region of Belarus. The transport corridor of the invaders passes through the city of Pripyat and a few hundred meters from the isolation facilities of the nuclear power plant. Further ammunition is stored in the city of Chornobyl, near the city of Pripyat, there is also a short distance from the nuclear power plant. In the city of Chornobyl the occupiers deployed a temporary command post of the Eastern military district, as well as a command post of the 38th separate motorized rifle brigade.
According to available information, the Russian fascists are increasingly using old and substandard ammunition. Thus, the 165th artillery brigade from Belogorsk, Amur region, received permission to use these ammunition. This increases the risk of their detonation even when loading and transporting. The facts of such self-detonation of ammunition in Russian military depots and arsenals are well known and occur regularly.
The defense forces of Ukraine continue systematically inflicting losses on the enemy in all directions.
Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine
In the Kharkiv region, Russian fascists opened fire at a car with small children and their parents inside.
On March 27, 2022, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, ignoring the norms of international humanitarian law, carried out a prohibited rocket-propelled artillery shelling of one of the settlements of the Kryvyi Rih with Tornado-C MLRS.
Occupation troops continue shelling settlements in Kyiv region. Two civilians were wounded in the shelling in Irpin. A 74-year-old woman died of her injuries the day before due to mortar fire at a medical facility.
Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights
The invaders of the Russian Federation are carrying out a mass deportation of the population of the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Over the past day alone, more than 19.6 thousand civilians, including 3,300 children, were deported from the temporarily uncontrolled territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions!!
In total, Russians note the removal of 439,420 civilians "from dangerous areas of Ukraine," of whom 91,673 are children. 98,081 people were displaced from Mariupol "due to nationalist arbitrariness,".
The illegitimate occupation authorities in the Luhansk region intend to hold a "referendum" on accession to Russia.
Realizing the strengthening of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the war and fearing the liberation of Luhansk, which was temporarily occupied by Russia, the terrorist leadership of the so called Luhansk People's Republic is trying to hold a referendum on joining aggressor country as soon as possible.
After the "referendum", the occupying country will be able to cynically call the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbas "an attack on Russia."
In the exclusion zone near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant due to hostilities are burning more than 10 thousand hectares of forests, 31 fires were recorded, causing increased levels of radioactive air pollution.
President of Ukraine
Interview of the President of Ukraine for Russian media from "Zygar" YouTube channel, "Rain" TV channel, "Meduza" portal, "Kommersant" and "Novaya Gazeta"
The Russian Federation has been trying to destabilize the political situation in Ukraine for several years, but these attempts have failed, so the armed aggression against our state has not achieved its goals. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for Russian media from "Zygar" YouTube channel, "Rain" TV channel, "Meduza" portal, "Kommersant" and "Novaya Gazeta".
The Head of State stressed that Russia was making efforts to destabilize the situation in Ukraine through the activities of certain political parties, which, among other things, participated in local elections.
The President noted that Russia has chosen the tactics of victory of pro-Russian forces in the regions of our state and even bought local organizations of some of them.
"After that, we saw the first steps - in certain local, district or regional councils, they came up with ultimatums: to block, to remove representatives of the ruling party somewhere. Somewhere they insisted that certain reforms should not be applied, as they are moving towards decentralization of power and will figure it out themselves," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Head of State noted that these forces of Russian influence were trying to initiate early elections to the Verkhovna Rada to provoke political chaos in Ukraine.
"This destabilization was necessary in order to split the majority with strong regional governance. Chaos in the economy and instability of the political spirit in Ukraine would lead to escalation on the part of the Russian Federation," the President said.
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, such destabilization could have greatly simplified Russia's plans to occupy Ukraine, but destabilization has not taken place.
According to the President, the political leadership of the Russian Federation may have received false predictions that the Ukrainian people will meet the occupiers "with flowers and smiles" and the current government allegedly has no support in society.
"And then, when they saw that things were going a little wrong, of course, the parallel solution was to neutralize those who stabilize the situation in power. And when there is a war, who can guarantee stability? During martial law, only the President can by virtue of his powers," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, explaining why there were forceful attempts to eliminate him.
The Ukrainian side is ready to exchange Russian prisoners of war for Ukrainian prisoners of war before the end of hostilities.
"Lists are being compiled. Our military, I know, made lists. There are lists of all those who are in captivity. I don't know if everyone is interested in them. Politicians, I think, are not very interested in them. I'm just not sure that the Russian side needs these lists," the Head of State said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that he stood for exchanging prisoners of war without waiting for the end of the war.
"It is not necessary to act according to some generally accepted canons: like let’s wait until the end of the war, or let’s capture more... I do not understand that. I believe that there is an agreement to exchange everyone for everyone, we have this number - let's exchange for this number. Let’s not measure: 10 for 10, 11 for 11,” the President said.
He also noted that Ukraine does not want to leave the corpses of Russian soldiers on its territory, but wants to hand them over to the relatives of the dead.
"They (the Russian side - ed.) first refused, then offered us some bags... It all looks like... You know, even when a dog or a cat dies, people don't do so. These are garbage bags. I don't understand what people think, what the parents of these children think," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that for him, as the President of a warring country, such an attitude is unacceptable even towards soldiers of an enemy state.
"It's not cattle. And why is it dreadful? Because if this is the attitude towards their own people, then what is the attitude towards everyone else? And we are definitely not “friends” for the Russian government," he concluded.
The Head of State stressed that after February 24, Ukrainians began to treat Russians much worse, losing the emotional component of attitude not only to Russia itself, but also to the people of this country.
The President noted that some Russians were forced to leave their country in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the majority of the population supports the actions of the Russian authorities.
"I think this is the worst disappointment that has happened. Disappointment that turned into hatred of the nations. I have no answer as to how it can be returned, there is no answer as to whether it will ever return," the head of state said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that the Russian occupiers are committing horrific crimes, destroying the cities and villages of Ukraine, leaving no infrastructure.
"They enter. If the local government or someone does not want that - the local government is abducted. People are starting to shout something - everything is burned out," the President said.
According to the President, such actions will provoke the growing hatred of Ukrainians for everything related to Russia, including the culture and language of this country.
"Vladimir Putin has done the worst for the Russian language. I believe the damage is irreparable. Of course, people outside of Russia will sometimes be embarrassed to speak Russian in any society. This was the case after the war, as a result of which a specific aggressor was recognized in the world," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President of Ukraine stressed that before the war some Ukrainians were loyal to Russia, but now, when the aggressor destroyed their cities and killed their relatives, this attitude has changed to hatred.
Address to Ukrainian people
The Russian invaders entered Slavutych and faced the same reaction there as in the south of our state, as in the east of our country.
Every day of our struggle for Ukraine, every manifestation of our resistance in all areas the occupiers have entered so far proves that Ukraine is a state full of life, which has historical roots and moral foundations throughout its territory.
Nothing they do will help the occupiers in the Ukrainian territory they temporarily entered. Neither propaganda, nor bribing.
Everyone in Ukraine has united and has been devoting all their energy to the defense of our state for more than a month already. Together with the Armed Forces and the National Guard.
I also spoke today twice with Polish President Andrzej Dudaabout our people who found protection in Poland and the need to strengthen our common security. Security for all Europeans actually.
What is the price of this security? These are planes, tanks, anti-missile defense, anti-ship weaponry for Ukraine. This is what is covered with dust at their storage facilities.
Because it cannot be acceptable for everyone on the continent if the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia and the whole of Eastern Europe are at risk of a clash with the Russian invaders.
At risk only because they left only one percent of all NATO aircraft and tanks somewhere in their hangars. We did not and we do not ask for more. And we have already been waiting for 31 days!
So who runs the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it still Moscow because of intimidation?
Partners need to step up assistance to Ukraine because this is the security of Europe. This is exactly what we agreed on in Kyiv when the three prime ministers of Eastern European countries. Today, immediately after the conversation with the President of Poland, I contacted the defenders of Mariupol. I am grateful to each of them! I wish at least a percentage of their courage to those who have been thinking for 31 days how to transfer a dozen or two of planes or tanks…
By the way, we talked today with our military in Mariupol in Russian. Because there is no language problem in Ukraine and there never was.
Now you, the Russian occupiers, are creating this problem. You are doing everything to make our people stop speaking Russian themselves, because the Russian language will be associated with you and your crimes.
Our representatives - the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense of Ukraine - met today in Poland with colleagues from the United States. They were joined by US President Joseph Biden. As I was informed, the negotiations concerned, in particular, these vital interests, which I mentioned above.
It is impossible to unblock Mariupol without a sufficient number of tanks, other armored vehicles and, of course, aircraft. All defenders of Ukraine, in particular in Mariupol, know that.
This should be known as soon as possible by as many people on earth as possible, so that everyone understands who and why was afraid to prevent this tragedy. Afraid to simply make a vital decision.
We have already seized a number of Russian tanks, which the military command of this country keeps sending to be burned here. However, the nations of the world will not understand for sure if the battlefield in Ukraine will be a larger supplier of tanks to protect freedom in Europe than our partners.
Ukraine's position must be heard. I want to emphasize: this is the position is of the vast majority of Europe's population, the majority of Europeans.
If you do not want to hear the opinion of the people, then hear the strikes of Russian missiles hitting right next to the Polish border. Are you waiting for the roar of Russian tanks?
I also spoke with Prime Minister of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov. In particular, about the humanitarian catastrophe due to the actions of Russian troops and how to save our people.
I spoke today at the Doha Forum - a respectable meeting that is important not only for the Islamic world, but also for many other countries in Latin America and Africa - the regions where Russian propaganda still has great influence, but we are working against lies all over the world. To let every nation in the world,feel the depth of Russia's injustice against Ukraine and everything that keeps the world within morality and humanity.
The occupiers committed another crime against history. Near Kharkiv, Russian troops in their branded inhuman style "denazified" the Holocaust Memorial in Drobytsky Yar, where during World War II, the Nazis executed about 20,000 people.
The menorah in Drobytsky Yar destroyed by Russianprojectiles today is another question to the entire Jewish community of the world: how many more crimes against our common memory of the Holocaust will be allowed to be committed by Russia on our Ukrainian land?
Russian troops are destroying everything that makes us a nation, but they will be held accountable for that.
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories
The new procedure for importing bulletproof vests, helmets and other material equipment for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was explained by Deputy Prime Minister-Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk. This equipment was equated with humanitarian aid.
"We demand from Russia to return the deported residents of Mariupol and we hope for the help of the Red Cross!" - Iryna Vereshchuk
In the appeal, our country strongly condemns the forced deportation of civilians by Russia. She also expresses her concern at the Red Cross's intention to open an office in Rostov-na-Donuto work with forced Ukrainians deported to Russia.
Ukrainian citizens are separated from their families and forcibly relocated to remote regions of Russia, the appeal said. The Ukrainian government is aware that Russian troops have abducted more than 2,000 Ukrainian children and their whereabouts are unknown. There are numerous abduction cases, hostage-taking, and ill-treatment of civilians by the occupiers. In particular, in the Russian Federation, Ukrainian passports are taken away.
Such actions of the Russian Federation are a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the removal of individual or mass forcible transfer of protected persons from the occupied territories to the territory of the occupying state or any other country, regardless of the reasons for evacuation/resettlement. In international armed conflicts, such acts are war crimes.
Therefore, the Ukrainian Government is concerned about the information about the ICRC's intention to open an office in Rostov-on-Don to work with Ukrainian citizens forcibly displaced in Russia. After all, strengthening the institutional presence of the committee in Russia may be misinterpreted by Russia to legitimize such forceful movements. And this step may encourage the aggressor state to intensify this resettlement, which will worsen the already dramatic situation.
The Ukrainian side urges the ICRC to focus primarily on resolving the problem of the forced relocation of Ukrainian citizens and facilitating their rapid return. Russia should provide information about our citizens, particularly prisoners of war held by Russia, and protect them from cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
"Ukraine has officially appealed to President of the ICRC Peter Maurer to obtain from Russia lists of all our citizens whom the occupiers forcibly deported from Mariupol and to provide them with the opportunity to return to Ukraine," Iryna Vereshchuksaid.
She assured that she would inform the public about the results of the consideration of the appeal as soon as they became known.
Ukraine also asks the ICRC to intensify its efforts to ensure the safe operation of humanitarian corridors agreed with the Ukrainian government for civilians to pass from besieged cities to secure areas.