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Russo-Ukraine War - 19 March 2023 - Day 389

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A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]

The UK Ministry of Defence reported that on 3 March 2023, authorities in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast published a decree that declared occupied Melitopol as the oblast capital. The Russian-installed head of the oblast, Evgeniy Balitskiy, said that this was a temporary measure until the city of Zaporizhzhia was controlled by Russia.

Zaporizhzhia is one of the four oblasts President Putin claimed to have annexed as part of the Russian Federation on 30 September 2022. Russia has never occupied Zaporizhzhia city, a major industrial centre of 700,000 people, which is approximately 35km from the current front line.

The quiet declaration of an alternative capital is likely tacit acknowledgement within the Russian system that its forces are highly unlikely to seize previously planned major objectives in the near future.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of March 19, Russian forces launched 1x missile and 7x air strikes, as well as 9x MLRS attacks. The Russian occupiers cynically attacked a residential building in Vasylivs'kyi district and civilian infrastructure in Kam'yans'ke (Zaporizhzhia oblast). The Russian army also shelled civilian infrastructure in the Donetsk oblast. There are dead and wounded, high-rise buildings, private homes, and schools have been damaged.

The probability of attacks across Ukraine remains high.

    Volyn, Polissya, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna axes: no significant changes. During the day of March 19, Russian forces shelled the vicinities of settlements of Klyusy, Oleksandrivka (Chernihiv oblast), Kharkivka, Starykove, Volfyne, Stepok (Sumy oblast), Hlyboke, Krasne, Vovchans'k, Kolodyazne, Kam'yanka, Krasne Pershe, Dvorichna, Zapadne, and Kindrashivka (Kharkiv oblast).
    Kup'yans'k and Lyman axes: Russia continues its attempts to break through the defense of Ukrainian troops. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in the vicinities of settlement of Novoselivs'ke. The Russian invaders fired artillery at the vicinities of settlements of Vesele, Kup'yans'k, Krokhmal'ne, Pishchane, Berestove (Kharkiv oblast), Novoselivs'ke, Nevs'ke, and Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast).
    Bakhmut axis: Russia continues attempts to capture the city of Bakhmut. Russian attacks were repelled in the vicinities of Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Bohdanivka, and Hryhorivka. Vasyukivka, Bakhmut, Hryhorivka, Ivanivske, Kostyantynivka, Zalizne, and a number of other settlements in Donetsk oblast came under Russian fire.
    Avdiivka, Mar'inka, Shakhtars'ke axes: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations towards the settlements of Kam'yanka, Avdiivka, Sjeverne, Berdychi, and Mar'inka. Kam'yanka, Avdiivka, Nevel's'ke, Krasnohorivka, Heorhiivka, Mar'inka, Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, and Neskuchne (Donetsk oblast) came under Russian fire.
    Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russia is defending. The vicinities of Hulyaipole, Bilohir'ya, Mala Tokmachka, Kam'yans'ke (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Kherson, Mykhailivka, Havrylivka, Dudchany, Ivanivka, and Dniprovs'ke were shelled, among others.

The Russian occupiers continue to exert psychological pressure on the civilians to force them to obtain Russian passports. Thus, counterintelligence regime has been strengthened in the village of Azovske (temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia oblast). The regime implies that the local residents undergo active checks for Russian citizenship. Those having no Russian passport have to put up with additional checks, along with interim custody.

In addition, the Russian occupiers continue their looting practices and take the homes of civilian Ukrainians. In particular, an instruction is being drafted to the force illegal alienation of the houses of Ukrainian citizens who have been forced to leave the village in the village of Strilkove (temporarily occupied territory of Kherson oblast). The draft is made in the village council, under the lobbying of the village head and backed with the forcibly collected signatures of local deputies. The housing is to be transferred to the servicemen of the Russian occupation army.

During the day of March 19, Ukrainian Air Force launched 1x air strike at the Russian forces' anti-aircraft missile system (its type is being finalized), as well as 6x air strikes at the concentrations of personnel and military equipment, and 1x ammunition depot. Missile troops and artillery units hit 1x Russian Tor anti-aircraft missile system and 2x Russian concentrations.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that, over the past 24 hours, the Russian military hit 92 artillery positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), as well as enemy personnel and equipment in 114 districts.

In Otradokamenka, Kherson region, two hangars of the 122nd Terodefense Brigade were destroyed, in which there were weapons. Fighters shot down a Mi-8 helicopter of the Ukrainian Air Force over Kupyansk. Over the past day, nine rockets from HIMARS and Vilkha were also intercepted, and seven Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were also destroyed.

In general, up to 20 soldiers, 3 vehicles and 2 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers were eliminated in the course of strikes against the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kherson direction. Meanwhile, near Kupyansk, enemy losses amounted to 50 people, 2 armored vehicles and 2 cars.

Also today, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the fact of blowing up the car of the commander of the Novokakhovka platoon of the PPS in the Kherson region. The man at that moment was traveling with his family and died, his wife and daughter were injured. A search is underway for those involved in planting the explosive device.

The situation in the Donbass

Russian subdivisions delivered strikes against the enemy's manpower and equipment in the areas of the settlements of Nevskoye, Belogorovka, Yampolovka and Grigorovka in the Liman direction. Over 90 Ukrainian servicemen, as well as three armored combat vehicles, three vehicles, a Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer, and D-20 and D-30 guns were killed here in a day.

In the Donetsk direction, as a result of the fighting, 80 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 3 armored combat vehicles, 4 pickup trucks, 3 Grad rocket launchers, an Msta-B howitzer, as well as an AN / TPQ-36 counter-battery combat radar were liquidated.

Meanwhile, in the southern sector of the front, more than 50 Ukrainian servicemen, as well as one D-30 howitzer, were destroyed during attacks on Novomikhailovka, Vuhledar, Prechistovka, Privolnoye and Orekhovo.

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Page last modified: 20-03-2023 20:27:35 ZULU