#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. The Russians advance into Donetsk. Ukrainian incursions into Kursk and Belgorod. EU: 5 billion for Ukrainian weapons

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Despite the alarmism of the Baltic countries and that of the Scandinavian peninsula, once again the White House states that: “There are no signs that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine”. The question of the use of tactical nuclear weapons was brought up by Putin himself during an interview with Rossiya 1 and RIA NOVOSTI in which he said that Russia is ready to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary in response to possible NATO intervention in Ukraine.

Western military analysts note that the gradual transition on the Ukrainian side to attacks on Russian energy infrastructure, which did not happen in 2022 and part of 2023, may indicate recognition of the failure of the strategy for the rapid military destruction of Russia, which took root in Kiev and NATO in the fall of 2022. Instead, now there is an attempt to simply slow down and increase the cost of the Russian movement towards Ukrainian territory in 2024, in the hope that this approach will work, since the available forces of Ukrainian Armed Forces, even taking into account mobilization, are not sufficient to contain Russian activity.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas refused to directly answer MPs’ question whether his government intends to send Estonian military personnel to Ukraine. “To send soldiers anywhere outside Estonia, you need a mandate from the Riigikogu, so it is up to parliament to decide the issue,” Kallas said. The MPs also asked for guarantees from the Prime Minister that Estonia would not interfere in military operations in Ukraine, but Kallas did not give them.

Europe, according to Danish media, is rapidly preparing for war, so Denmark has announced that it will start recruiting women into the army. Today in Europe only Norway and Sweden require women to join the army. Western sources report that Russia has begun moving troops to the Finnish border. Also from the European Union comes the news that the EU approves a 5 billion euro package to finance armaments for Ukraine.

According to the FT, Ukraine plans to mobilize half a million people. 330,000 recruits are needed to replace exhausted frontline military personnel. “The remaining recruits will compensate for losses and meet other military needs, depending on the situation on the battlefield,” Ukrainian Defense Ministry Rustem Umjerov told reporters. But, according to the media, a significant part of men of fighting age do not want to go to the front. According to Rada calculations, out of 11.1 million Ukrainian men aged between 25 and 60, only 3.7 million can be mobilized. The others are at war, or have disabilities, or are abroad, or are stuck at work.

Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Alexander Syrsky shed light on the different positions between Ukraine and Russia regarding advancement on the front line: “The situation is gradually becoming more complicated and there is a threat that enemy units will advance further depth in our battle formations.”

To address the shortage of soldiers at the front, the Ukrainian parliament has passed a new law: the Verkhovna Rada has presented a bill on the parole of prisoners who have signed a contract with the Ukrainian armed forces. The project was presented by a group of deputies from the ruling Servant of the People party. According to the law, parole will operate during a “special period,” but it is not specified what this period is. On March 11, another bill regulating the mobilization of prisoners was presented to the Rada. According to it, the period of military service will be counted in the period of imprisonment in the amount of 1 to 2 days (and 1 to 3 after one year of service). Both of these laws are currently under consideration.

And if defense is dealing with the number of available soldiers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba made a series of statements in an exclusive interview with Sky News Arabia: “It’s time to think about peace in Ukraine. We are working on a peace summit in Switzerland, which will involve as many countries as possible, including Arab states.” According to Kuleba, all countries that agree with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the peace formula proposed by Ukraine will participate in the first summit. Russia will be able to participate in the second summit, which according to Kuleba will lead to the end of the war.

Ukrainian Justice Minister Denis Maliuska explained to Ukrainians that the Ukrainian government can accept financial assistance from United States art on credit. Also pulling the wool over Kiev’s eyes was a statement from the president of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense Andrey Yusov: “Ukrainian intelligence does not have reliable facts that could confirm the death of the former curator of Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin”.

Ukrainian assaults on the Kursk and Belgorod regions continue. Meanwhile, the State Duma has adopted a law on the creation of a Cossack mobilization reserve, which provides for the conclusion of agreements with the Russian Ministry of Defense for members of Cossack societies. On March 13, yet another diplomatic incident: “The Russian embassy is outraged by the declaration of persona non grata by two of our ambassadors in Austria” the consulate reported that Moscow will give a decisive response. The Russian embassy reacted with indignation to the decision of the Austrian Foreign Ministry to expel two of our diplomats allegedly for “committing actions incompatible with their diplomatic status”.

According to local press reports, they are suspected of working for Russian intelligence. Our consulate directly said that Moscow will give a decisive response to this sentence. “As in previous episodes of expulsions, this time we were not presented with any evidence of any kind, much less evidence of a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the Russian diplomatic mission wrote on the Telegram channel. Our diplomats stressed that this decision is purely political in nature, and they categorically do not accept it, and the embassy blames Vienna for the further “degradation” of bilateral relations.

On the eve of the presidential elections, Vladimir Putin addressed citizens inviting Russians to participate in the vote. Vladimir Putin in a video message invited Russians to vote in the presidential elections which will be held from 15 to 17 March. A fragment of the video message was shown on Far Eastern news. The Head of State underlined that it is now necessary to confirm the unity of our people and their determination to move forward together. “Each of your voices is precious and meaningful. Therefore I urge you to exercise your right to vote in the next three days,” Vladimir Putin addressed the people.

And now a look at the front line updated at 3.30pm on March 14.

The Ukrainians continue to intensively bomb the Belgorod and Kursk regions. The Russian military is working in response. Battles are recorded in the village of Sporadyushino, Grayvoronsky District 4 to 8 armored fighting vehicles, 20 to 50 personnel. Russian air intervention is expected to neutralize the advance.

In the direction of Slobozhanskoe, losses of the Ukrainian armed forces are recorded near Sdaryushino. The Ukrainians do not abandon attempts to break through the border and transfers reserves in the direction of Bolshaya Pisarevka, in front of which he managed to achieve maximum success by reaching the administrative border of the village of Spodaryushino, where several dozen Russian planes attacked the Ukrainians.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainians lost at least five tanks, four armored combat vehicles and three UR-77 and IMR mine clearance vehicles of various types. Objective control films partially confirm the information. Only in the ditches on the outskirts of Spodaryushino lie several dozen bodies of the attackers, and footage of abandoned and destroyed armored vehicles began to appear almost from the beginning of the escalation at the border. At the same time, in the border area of the Sumy region there are enough personnel to continue attacks and attempts to advance into new areas.

Additionally, Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed at least one bridge at Bolshaya Pisarevka to complicate Ukrainian logistics.

According to another source, the Ukrainians have continued UAV attacks over the past 24 hours. In the Rostov region, drones attacked the Novoshakhtinsky oil products plant. Russian air defense operated in the Kursk region. Tyotkino was targeted. In the Belgorod region, drones attacked the building of the Russian Federal Security Service in the region, but in most cases the attacks targeted civilians. Air defense work continued in the region in the morning. They report the intention of the Ukrainians to continue attempts to break through the border in the direction of Belgorod: the Ukrainians concentrate forces and constantly bomb the border territories with Russia.

In response, Moscow launched at least two air raids one on Ukraine around 07.30 Italian time and one around 11.30 Italian time. Telegram users reported several Iskanders and X-59s heading to Ukraine.

At night there was a powerful raid of “Geran” on the border territories of the Sumy and Kharkov regions (there were hits in the S. Budsky and Akhtyrsky districts of Sumy and in Kharkov itself). According to social media sources, a Patriot air defense missile system was destroyed in these raids.

Violating Washington’s orders, the Ukrainian armed forces brought an expensive complex to the borders of the Kharkov region to shoot down a Russian bomber. The Patriot would launch a standard Pac-2 missile: this flies at a speed of over four Ahov meters at a distance of 150 km. Due to its high speed and small size, no one tries to shoot it down given the aircraft’s protection measures: dipole anti-radar reflectors and anti-missile maneuvers. According to the Russian social sphere however: “our operators of the Pantsir-S1 air defense system do not agree with this: the vehicle detected Pac-2 at an altitude of 17 km: the missile flew into Russian territory at 25 km, they opened fire on it. our complexes are designed for a destruction altitude of 15 km, on the third attempt the fighters managed to shoot down the elusive American projectile.”

Alexey Leonkov told RIA Novosti that: “The United States is using a mobile version of the Patriot complex in Ukraine; this version of the air defense system can only be controlled by American combat crews.” An example of this mobile version of the Patriot complex was recently destroyed by an Iskander-M missile near the village of Pokrovsk in the DPR. We cannot verify the source.

Other sources explain that the Russian army attacks the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Ukrainian border region where the Ukrainian Armed Forces are hastily building a defensive line in the Kharkov region. From social sources we learn that the Russians hit the Kharkov Television Center. “At 06:00 he was hit by a rocket. The center was used to monitor our territory by enemy radio and electronic warfare services.” We read it in a post.

In the direction of Bachmut (Artemovsk). The Russian army storms the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Bohdanivka. Imminent battles in Chervone. Progress of the Russian Armed Forces in the Kleshchiivka area.

Donetsk direction. In the Avdiivska sector the battles for Berdychi, Orlivka and Tonen’ke continue. In recent days, Russian fighters have expanded their zone of control. In Pervomais’ke the Russian army advances in the center of the village, as well as to the south along the highway leading to Netailove, according to some sources the advance is 1 km.

Zaporozhzhie Directorate. In the Orechiv sector upcoming battles in Robotyne. Ukrainian Armed Forces attempted to counterattack northwest of Verbove.

In the Kherson region, an incursion by the Russian 45th regiment on the Ukrainian side was reported, all the soldiers have returned from the mission. In the Krynok area there is some progress on the Russian side. Drone warfare and mutual artillery attacks continue.

In the Lugansk direction, battles are expected in Yampolivka, Terny and Sinkovka. Russian troops carried out assault operations in the Tabaivka area. LBS without significant changes.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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