Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, March 19

Taurus missiles: Why Ukraine wants what Germany is reluctant to give -- Ukrainian government allocating $128 million for procurement of attack drones -- Unmanned systems 'priority,' seeks solutions for advantage over Russia -- Ammunition suppliers for Czech-led initiative to aid Ukraine include Russian allies -- and more

Tuesday, March 19

Russia’s war against Ukraine

As a result of the blast waves from Russian shelling in the evening of March 17, residential houses were damaged in one of the villages of the Starokostiantyniv community in Khmelnytskyi Oblast. Windows, doors, walls, and roof were damaged in this house. The woman, the owner of the house, is in the hospital with minor injuries. The destruction of the house is shown by her son Oleh. (Svitlana Krentovska/Suspilne Ukraine/JSC “UA:PBC”/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Deputy minister: Russia fires 7 times more shells than Ukraine. “(Ukraine’s) stocks of ammunition of certain types are falling to a critical level,” Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, said.

US Senator Graham in Kyiv: ‘If you want aid to Ukraine, you’d better start talking to American taxpayers.’ At a press conference in Kyiv, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said 70% of Republicans in the Senate understand the need for aid for Ukraine, adding that if Russian President Vladimir Putin is not to be stopped now, there will be “a war between Russia and NATO.” Yet, he added that as political leaders, they need to address their own people, too.

Putin holds rally on Red Square following elections, promises to continue the war. Putin took the stage in the company of his “rivals,” Kremlin-friendly lawmakers Vladislav Davankov, Nikolai Kharitonov, and Leonid Slutsky, who ran against Putin in the election. All three praised Putin and offered their support.

Syrskyi calls unmanned systems ‘priority,’ seeks solutions for advantage over Russia. “The most important task that technology and innovation must fulfill is to save the lives of our soldiers,” Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said.

Ukrainian government allocating $128 million for procurement of attack drones. The Ukrainian government is allocating an additional Hr 5 billion (around $128 million) to purchase attack drones for the military, Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko announced on March 18.

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Kyiv adopts plan for ‘Ukraine Facility,’ structural reforms to be implemented. Ukraine has adopted a plan for a series of reforms that will allow the EU to provide up to €50 billion over the next four years, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on March 18.

PM Shmyhal: Ukraine hopes EU accession talks will begin in first half of 2024. The Ukrainian government believes the negotiations on the country’s accession to the European Union can start in the first half of 2024, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told Euractiv in an interview published on March 18.

WSJ: Ammunition suppliers for Czech-led initiative to aid Ukraine include Russian allies, Czech officials say. The ammunition suppliers taking part in the Czech-led initiative to provide Ukraine with artillery shells include “some allies of Russia,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing unnamed Czech officials.

Military intelligence: Mobilization in Russia can occur more ‘openly’ with election over. At the same time, Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence said that mobilization has continued in Russia throughout the campaign and election.

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Ukraine war latest: EU gives final approval of $5.5 billion in defense aid to Kyiv

EU foreign ministers agreed to allocate additional 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in defense assistance for Ukraine in 2024 within the framework of the European Peace Facility, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on March 18.

Photo: Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Ukrainian drones hit one Russian oil refinery after another

According to The Insider, there have been 15 drone attacks against 13 oil refineries in nine regions of Russia in 2024. Multiple refineries reportedly lost some capacity after the attacks, with the latest series continuing for the majority of March.

Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Taurus missiles: Why Ukraine wants what Germany is reluctant to give

Ukraine officially asked Berlin to provide one of the most powerful long-range missiles at the end of May 2023. Taurus is a joint German-Swedish-made cruise missile that can travel up to over 500 kilometers.

Photo: Leonhard Simon/Getty Images

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Human cost of war

3 men killed in Kherson Oblast while disassembling found drone. According to the local governor, three men aged 45, 55, and 67 found a first-person view (FPV) kamikaze drone in a yard and began to disassemble it when the munition detonated.

Russian March 17 attack on Mykolaiv kills 1, injures 9, including 2 children.

Russia’s March 17 missile attack against Ukraine’s southern city of Mykolaiv killed one person and injured nine, including two children, according to the latest update by the regional governor published on March 18.

International response

Senator Graham: US should designate Russia state sponsor of terrorism. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has called on the U.S. presidential administration to support Russia’s inclusion in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

‘It was not unpredictable’ – While House condemns Putin’s sham election victory. There was “nothing free or fair” about Vladimir Putin’s presidential election victory, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on March 18, highlighting the extreme lengths the Kremlin went to to get the result it needed.

EU condemns Russia’s illegal election in occupied Ukraine, organizers to ‘face consequences.’ The results of Russia’s election in occupied territories of Ukraine are “null and void,” and the election organizers “will face consequences of these illegal actions,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, said in a statement on behalf of EU member states on March 18.

EU gives final approval to $5.5 billion for military aid to Ukraine. EU foreign ministers finally agreed to allocate an additional 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in defense assistance for Ukraine in 2024 within the European Peace Facility (EPF) framework, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on March 18.

Charles Michel: ‘Europe must prepare for war.’ If Europe wants to exist in peace it must shift to a “war economy” mode and significantly bolster defense capabilities in the face of the threat posed by Russia, European Council President Charles Michel said on March 18.

In other news

Bloomberg: China on track to receive record levels of Russian oil imports in March. While India has also remained a critical market for Russian oil, payment issues, in part related to Western sanctions, have caused delays in the trade of oil between the two countries.

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