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UKRAINE WAR BULLETIN - March 31, 2022 - 7 p.m. EDT
Embassy of Ukraine in the USA
President V.Zelenskyy: We are grateful to the United States for a new package of sanctions against Russia as it will limit the work of sensitive sectors of the Russian economy - its defense sector.
Minister of Defence O.Reznikov provided the leader of the Turkish state with detailed information on the war crimes committed by Russia against Ukraine.
Prime Minister D.Shmigal: The state creates conditions to restart the economy and put it on military rails. We see thousands of small and large businesses across the country returning to work.
The main efforts of the Russian forces are focused on maintaining the occupied borders, preparing for the resumption of offensive operations and establishing full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The thirty-sixth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to the Russian military invasion continues.
Russian occupying forces are trying to create a new group of troops in the Slobozhansky direction in order to establish control over parts of the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions, including the blockade of the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
The Russian enemy continues to attack the city of Popasna, presumably in order to divert the attention of Ukraine's military leadership from attempts to establish control over Izyum and Mariupol.
Mercenaries from the Middle East have been transferred to the Belarusian city of Gomel in the Siversky direction.
According to the information received, on March 29, 200 mercenaries were transferred to the Gomel military airfield. In addition, Russia continues to transfer missile units to the republic of belarus in order to increase the intensity of ballistic missile attacks on settlements and infrastructure in Ukraine. Thus, in the Gomel region, three Iskander missile systems and two S-300 air defense systems were detected to cover them.
Leaving military equipment on the territory of Ukraine, the occupiers are increasingly resorting to its mining. In addition, the use of mine traps by the enemy has become more frequent.
In the territories temporarily occupied by the enemy, it continues to restrict the movement of the local population, Russian invaders take Ukrainian citizens hostage and export goods looted from civilians.
The practice of submitting applications to the judiciary for military leadership by relatives of Russian servicemen killed in the war with Ukraine has begun in the Russian federation. In particular, a similar case of filing a lawsuit against the commander was recorded in the 752nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division of the 20th All-Military Army of the Western Military District.
Ukraine's Defense Forces continue to successfully carry out their tasks, pursue the retreating enemy, break through the occupiers' defensive positions and gradually liberate Ukrainian lands.
The enemy, having suffered significant losses in personnel and equipment, did not succeed in blocking and capturing the city of Kyiv. The occupiers were forced to temporarily abandon this task.
The enemy continues to strengthen groups of troops at the expense of units of the Eastern Military District. It is trying to form occupation administrations within the temporarily occupied districts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts.
After the combat capability of the withdrawn units is restored, they are expected to be moved to other areas.
In the northern direction, the occupiers are withdrawing part of the troops under the cover of individual units of the 1st Tank Army.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy continues to blockade the city of Kharkiv, launching artillery shelling to destroy the city's infrastructure and residential areas. In the area south of the city of Izyum, it is trying to break the resistance of Ukrainian defenders, expel units of the Defence Forces from their positions and continue the offensive in the direction of Slovyansk. It is not successful.
Russians did not conduct active offensive operations in the Donetsk direction. The enemy focused on continuing the assault on the city of Mariupol. It expanded the grouping of the 58th All-Military Army by introducing the BTGr, which was made up of servicemen transferred from the 7th Military Base (Abkhazia).
In the South Bug direction, the enemy tried to carry out offensive actions in the direction of the settlement of Alexandrovka in the Mykolayiv area.
The Defensive Forces of Ukraine continues to conduct a defence operation in the Eastern, Southeastern and Northeastern directions.
The enemy continues to fire, which is scattered in the area of the settlements of Izyum, Kamyanka, Tykhotske, in order to prevent its further advance in the directions of the settlements of Slovyansk and Barvinkove.
Attempts by the enemy to bypass the positions of our troops in the areas of Popasna and Novotoshkivske were repulsed.
The forces of the 36th Independent Marines Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with units of other components of the Defence Forces of Ukraine, maintain the circular defence of the Hero city of Mariupol.
The enemy's offensive in the area of Marinka was repulsed.
The group of forces and means of defence of the city of Kyiv continues to conduct search operations in the Zhytomyr and Nizhyn areas.
Stabilization operations are being carried out in other areas, and territorial defence tasks are being carried out.
Ukraine's Defence Forces continue to successfully carry out their tasks, pursue the retreating enemy, break through the occupiers' defensive positions and gradually liberate Ukrainian lands.
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
Russians opened fire at a column of volunteers near Chernihiv.
Five buses were attacked as they tried to enter the besieged city to evacuate people. Only civilian volunteers were in the vehicles.
As a result of the shelling, one person was killed and four were seriously injured.
20,000 residents of the city of Izyum in Kharkiv region remain under Russian fire.
Heavy fighting continues inside the city, it is impossible to safely deliver any humanitarian aid, as well as to leave Izyum. Russians have repeatedly refused to open humanitarian corridors, covering their positions with civilians.
There is no connection with the residents of the city. It is also impossible to count the number of victims of enemy shelling and airstrikes.
Reports of unhuman atrocities by Russians against Ukrainian women are on the rise. They are not stopped even by children who witness these crimes.
In Mariupol, the Russians took turns raping a woman in front of her 6-year-old son for several days. The woman died of her wounds. Her little son turned gray.
In the occupied territories, women do not even have the opportunity to report crimes committed against them, as they do not allow law enforcement officers, rescuers and doctors to work fully.
Violations of women's rights in armed conflict, including sexual violence, violate fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Russians are shooting civilians en masse.
On the highway near the village of Mala Rohan near Kharkiv, the occupiers shot more than 20 civilian cars with people. This became known after the liberation of the village.
There are no military vehicles on the road, only civilians. People tried to turn around. Unfortunately, many failed to escape.
The bodies of some killed Ukrainian citizens were left unattained to rot in the destroyed vehicles for days.
Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine
Servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, on March 30, 2022, illegally detained and forcibly deported from Ukraine a 42-year-old resident of Ryzhivka of the Bilopil united territorial community.
On the same day, the Russian military carried out artillery shelling of the territory of the Ryzhivka border checkpoint.
Attorney General Irina Venediktova held an online meeting with Beth Van Shaak, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, as well as representatives of other responsible units of the US State Department. During the meeting the parties discussed further cooperation.
President of Ukraine
Speech by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Federal Parliament of Belgium
Eight years of war and 36 days of full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. Did many people expect that our state and our people would be able to resist Russian troops for so long?
Let's be honest: No. few. They thought we would fall under the blows of Russian troops. But we withstood. Our people endured. We are fighting. We are defending our freedom, amazing the world with the courage of Ukrainian heroes, our Armed Forces of Ukraine and all citizens of Ukraine who do not surrender, who believe in victory.
In the south of our state there is a city of Mariupol, which you mentioned today. I am very grateful to you, Madam Speaker. One of the most promising and economically powerful cities in Ukraine. That was before this war. And now more than 90% of all buildings in this city are completely destroyed by Russian strikes - aircraft, artillery, mortars, tanks. Thousands of peaceful Mariupol residents died. People are buried just in the city. In the courtyards of high-rise buildings. Or rather, what is left of the high-rise buildings.
Mariupol has been under complete blockade for more than three weeks. The Russian military closed all entrances to the city and blocked access from the sea. There is nothing in the city: no water, no food, no medicine, no life. There is nothing you need to sustain any life.
But Mariupol does not give up. Mariupol continues to fight the occupiers. Its defenders had a choice - they could leave the city and give it to the Russian invaders. They did not.
Every day we try to do everything to make the humanitarian corridors from Mariupol work! To save civilians who still remain in the city. Women and children, the elderly… In part, we succeed. But in most cases, the Russian military does not release people into the free territory of Ukraine. And does not allow any humanitarian cargo into Mariupol. Today it is the most horrific place in Europe. It is hell. It is a catastrophe that everyone knows about, the whole world. But no one is determined enough to help stop the catastrophe in this city and in other cities in our country.
These are completely different worlds. The world of those who really fight for freedom. Here and now. Against tyranny. Against a tyranny that wants to split Europe and destroy everything that unites us. Everything that unites you... And the world of those who are so used to freedom that they don't even want to notice what the struggle for it is worth. The world of those who believe that Russian diamonds in Antwerp, for example, are more important than the war in Eastern Europe. Or the world of those who believe that the accessibility of European ports to Russian ships is more important than the Russian military machine's attempt to destroy the entire nation around you. 40 million Ukrainians!
We are grateful to you, very grateful to your state for the support you have already provided. Belgium was one of the first to provide us with defensive assistance. This is a historical moment, a historical gratitude. We will never forget that.
You have already warmly welcomed more than 30,000 Ukrainians who left their homes because of this war. But it is you, as the heart of Europe, who can inspire all other Europeans to do more. To help us drive the occupiers out of Ukraine and restore the precious peace.
Peace that is worth more than anything, more than any values, more than any diamonds. More than any agreements with Russia. More than any Russian vessel in European ports. More than any barrel of Russian oil. Each of you knows what needs to be done to restore peace. To be truly worthy of Europe. So help us, do it! Weapons. Sanctions. EU membership.
We all equally want to win, but there will be battles ahead - address by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
The 36th day of our nationwide defense after eight years of war in Donbas is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe that, but March has already passed. Absolutely imperceptible!
The passage of time is somehow not even noticed. Every day and every night has become virtually the same for us. The same day, the same night.
They said - three or five days. They thought that this would be enough for them to seize our entire state. And it’s already 36. And we are standing. And we will continue to fight. Until the end.
I am sure that it is extremely pleasant for each of you to read and watch the news that Ukrainian cities are gradually being liberated from the occupiers.
To the north of Kyiv, in the Chernihiv direction, in the Sumy region, the expulsion of the occupiers continues. They themselves are aware that they can no longer withstand the intensity of hostilities they could have maintained in the first half of March.
And today another decision was made. Regarding antiheroes. Now I do not have time to deal with all the traitors. But gradually they will all be punished.
That is why the ex-chief of the Main Department of Internal Security of the Security Service of Ukraine Naumov Andriy Olehovych and the former head of the Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kherson region Kryvoruchko Serhiy Oleksandrovych are no longer generals.
The situation in the south and in Donbas remains extremely difficult. The invaders are allocating their sick creativity to the temporarily occupied areas of the Kherson region. They are trying to organize some of their incomprehensible structures there, they are trying to figure out how to consolidate their presence there.
Also in Donbas, in Mariupol, in the Kharkiv direction, Russian troops are accumulating the potential for strikes. Powerful strikes. We will defend ourselves. We will do everything we can to stop the occupiers and clear our land of their evil and foolish chimeras.
Today I addressed the parliaments of our partner countries: Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium. I felt total support. I am waiting for concrete steps. I called for tougher sanctions against Russia. We have to put pressure on the aggressor until the aggression is over.
I also spoke about this with President of the European Council Charles Michel. We need more support from our partners right now. When the Russian military is concentrating additional forces in certain areas.
The sanctions policy was one of the topics of conversation between Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak and US National Security Advisor Jacob Sullivan.
The United States has imposed a new package of sanctions against Russia. We are grateful. It will not allow the current sanctions to be circumvented - we have already noticed such attempts. It will also limit the work of sensitive sectors of the Russian economy - its defense sector.
I also held talks with President of Turkey Erdoğan today. We spoke very specifically. In particular, about the prospects of negotiations in Turkey with the Russian Federation. And also about the creation of an effective system of guarantees for our state. About the security we have always needed and to the real provision of which we have come closer. I am grateful for Turkey's readiness to become a guarantor of security for Ukraine.
No matter what, we all have to think about the future. About what Ukraine will be like after this war. How we will live. Because this is a war for our future. This is a war for our lives, in which we have only one way - to gain peace for Ukraine. To gain Ukraine's security.
Prime Minister of Ukraine
The liberation war of the Ukrainian people has been going on for five weeks. Our defense forces continue to demilitarize the Russian army, destroying more than 4,000 units of various enemy equipment.
We can state that the country began to return to work during the last week. The business starts to recover after the first shock. The set of decisions in tax, regulatory, customs, and credit policy has undoubtedly contributed to this. At once, several of the most significant plants start operating. More than 120,000 entrepreneurs applied for the transition to a new 2% turnover tax system in a couple of days. In the last 24 hours, a thousand new entrepreneurs have been registered through the “Diia” portal. Almost 1,500 manufacturing companies have already applied for relocation. Several hundred have already moved or are currently moving from combat areas to continue working.
We are cautiously optimistic about the area under spring crops. According to available data, sowing can be carried out on 6 million hectares of land. This is 80% of the area sown last year. Today, our farmers are no less courageous and loyal to their front. Behind them is the future food security of the country and the world. We thank them for their courage and dedication.
Thanks to the state order for social products, our food industry will expand new capacities and hire new employees. We are talking about 300 such companies.
Let me remind you that the state buys 10 million food kits for Ukrainians in frontline cities and then distributes them to people for free. These are sets of more than ten essential products. So far, 100% of cereals, pasta, oil, milk, and sugar have been purchased. We also continue to buy canned food, grain, bakery products, tea and coffee, and other food.
Ukrzaliznytsia and Ukrposhta, together with Civil-Military Administrations, are already delivering and distributing all these kits to people. We see thousands of small and large businesses across the country returning to work.
That is why I appeal to the heads of banks. Lend more actively and boldly to Ukrainian business within the support program "5-7-9". Today, the country needs your determination.
The Government will also soon consider and approve a separate loan product for retail chains to revive their cooperation with Ukrainian producers.
The state creates conditions to restart the economy and put it on military rails. This will give us a reserve of strength and resources to defeat the enemy.
The world continues to support Ukraine.
Yesterday I had talks with the Prime Ministers of Poland and Norway. Thank you for your support.
Norway allocates 20 million to the budget to be issued by the Government to essential programs. Before that, Norway also gave 200 million euros for humanitarian aid.
The Council of Ministers of Poland has adopted a provision blocking the import of coal from Russia at the national level. In addition, the country plans to abandon Russian oil this year.
A worthy position that the other EU countries should follow.
Agreed on support from France for 300 million euros. And about the grant from the European Union for 120 million euros. These funds will go directly to the budget.
Yesterday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also agreed to allocate $ 500 million to Ukraine as direct budget assistance from the U.S. Government.
Thank you to everyone who supports Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
We continue to receive thousands of tons of humanitarian aid from around the world. Its total volume is already over 163 thousand tons. Of these, Ukrzaliznytsia has already delivered 41,000 tons to the regions. Most in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
We are working on a Ukraine restoration plan. To do this, we systematically calculate all losses.
Yesterday in the “Diia” portal, the opportunity to provide information about the destroyed property was launched. More than 20,000 such applications have been received in one day. All applications will be carefully processed so that after our victory, the reconstruction will be systematic.
I would like to inform you that Ukraine is negotiating with the International Atomic Energy Agency to keep the international organization's staff staying at Ukrainian nuclear power plants. This should contribute to the additional safety of our Nuclear Power Plants and demonstrate Ukraine's openness to such vital issues. We also have agreements to provide various equipment for our nuclear facilities as international aid. Important support.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses a protest against conscription by Russia of Ukrainian citizens of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and city Sevastopol, as well as mobilization of citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories.
From April 1 to July 15, 2022, another spring conscription campaign is taking place in Russia, which happens in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in violation of international humanitarian law. Since 2014, the Russian occupation administration has recruited about 34,000 Crimean residents, some of whom were forcibly involved in hostilities against Ukraine.
We draw your attention to the fact that during the ongoing war with Ukraine, Russia has increased the number of people who will be called up as part of the spring conscription campaign.
We emphasize that under international humanitarian law the occupying power is prohibited from forcing protected persons to serve in its armed forces or auxiliary forces, as well as pressuring or spreading propaganda in favor of voluntary enlistment in the army.
The Russian Federation must abolish the illegal conscription in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, stop mobilizing the population of Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions, eliminate all the resulting consequences, and ensure strict compliance with its international obligations as the occupying power.
We call on the international community to condemn these Russian actions, to demand that it withdraws its forces from the territory of Ukraine and to demonstrate a constructive stand in the negotiations with a goal of restoring peace as soon as possible.
Ministry of Defence of Ukraine
Today Minister of Defence of Ukraine O.Reznikov was hosted by the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He took this opportunity to thank the Republic of Turkey for the support of Ukraine, including political and diplomatic support.
The parties discussed the situation at the front line. Minister of Defence provided the leader of the Turkish state with detailed information on the war crimes committed by Russia against the Ukrainian civilian population and on the destruction of infrastructure.
Particular attention was paid to matters of humanitarian aid and the possibility of evacuating civilians from Mariupol, first of all those who are wounded.
Minister of Defence of Ukraine
Thanks to Norway for its assistance and its firm commitment to supporting Ukraine. Especially - for the quantity and quality of their assistance. Personal thanks to the Minister of Defence of Norwegian, Mr Odd Roger Enoksen, for an informative conversation. We will continue our cooperation as agreed during the communication!