Russo-Ukraine War - 29 March 2023 - Day 399
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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 fighting continues in the Donbas town of Bakhmut, though Russian assaults are still at a reduced level compared to recent weeks.
One of the key achievements of recent Ukrainian operations has likely been to push Russian Wagner Group fighters back from the 0506 route. This minor country road has become a critical supply line for Ukrainian defenders. Wagner had previously been within a few hundred metres of the route.
On 26 March 2023, Russian media claimed Wagner had taken full control of the Azom factory complex to the north of Bakhmut town centre. However, the area likely remains contested, as it has been for the past fortnight. With Wagner having now confirmed the release of at least 5000 prisoner fighters, personnel shortages are likely hampering Russian offensive efforts in the sector.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of March 29, Russian forces launched 1x missile and 16x air strikes, and conducted 4x MLRS attacks.
The likelihood of missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high, as Russia continues to ignore the laws and customs of war, and use terror tactics against civilians. Today's air strike on the infrastructure of Beryslav (Kherson oblast) wounded civilians and damaged private houses and civilian infrastructure.
Russia is focusing its main efforts on the offensive operations on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka axes. The towns of Bilohorivka, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka remain at the epicenter of the fighting. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 48x Russian attacks on these axes.
Volyn, Polissya, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna axes: no significant changes in the operational situation, no signs of the formation of Russian offensive groups were found. Russia continues to maintain military presence in the border areas of Kursk and Belgorod oblasts (Russia). During the day of March 29, Russian forces shelled the vicinities of settlements of Chernats'ke, Esman, Kucherivka, Bilopillya, Volfyne, Basivka (Sumy oblast), Tymofiivka, Veterynarne, Hlyboke, Pishchane, Hatyshche, Vovchans'k, and Bochkove (Kharkiv oblast).
Lyman axis: during the day of March 29, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensives in the vicinity of Vyimka. The vicinities of settlements on Kup'yans'k and Lyman axes were shelled with artillery. They include Kolodyazne, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Petropavlivka, Kup'yans'k, Kyslivka, Kam'yanka (Kharkiv oblast), Stel'makhivka, Nevs'ke, Kuz'myne, Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast), Kolodyazi, Spirne, and Sivers'k (Donetsk oblast).
Bakhmut axis: Russia makes further attempts to seize the city of Bakhmut, having partial success. However, Ukrainian defenders are courageously holding the city as they repel numerous Russian attacks. During the day of March 29, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in the vicinity of Orikhovo-Vasylivka (Donetsk oblast). The Russian invaders shelled Min'kivka, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bakhmut, Chasiv Yar, and Toretsk (Donetsk oblast).
Avdiivka and Mar'inka axes: Russian forces attempted to advance towards Novokalynove, Stepove, Avdiivka, Sjeverne, Pervomais'ke, and Mar'inka. All attacks have failed. Russian forces shelled the following settlements: Novokalynove, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Karlivka, Krasnohorivka, Mar'inka, Heorhiivka, and Novomykhailivka (Donetsk oblast).
Shakhtars'ke axis: during the day of 29 March, Russian forces shelled the vicinities of Vuhledar, Prechystivka, and Velyka Novosilka (Donetsk oblast).
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russia continues to defend. The invaders shelled the settlements of Vremivka (Donetsk oblast), Malynivka, Hulyaipole, Staroukrainka, Charivne (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Vesele, Beryslav, Kozats'ke, Zelenivka, Antonivka, Dniprovs'ke (Kherson oblast), and the city of Kherson.
Russia continues to build fortifications and trenches in Armiansk and Dzhankoy districts of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Local civilian population is actively involved in the fortification works.
During the day of March 29, Ukrainian Air Force launched 5x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian troops and military equipment. In addition, Ukrainian Air Force shot down 1x Russian Su-24M bomber.
During the day of March 29, our missile and artillery troops hit 2x concentrations of Russian troops, weapons, and military equipment, 1x ammunition depot, and 2x Russian fuel and lubricant depots.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that, during the day, Russian units attacked the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas of Grigorovka, Minkovka, Chasov Yar, Toretsk, as well as on the territory of Bakhmut itself.
Units of the Wagner PMC completely control the Sobachevka and Budenovka districts in Bakhmut, military commander Alexander Simonov said. Fierce fighting, according to him, is taking place in the central region, in the Vodokanal region, in the AZOM industrial zone, and also in the Northern Headquarters region.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recognizes the advancement of PMC units within the city, declaring "partial success." In the vicinity, oncoming battles for Krasnoe continue, the "orchestra" is advancing in the areas of Bogdanovka, Khromovo and Orekhovo-Vasilevka.
The head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Oleksiy Reznikov, explained Kyiv's decision to continue the defense of Bakhmut. He referred to the losses of Russian units in this direction, as well as "convenient terrain that allows you to hold the city." At the same time, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine asks Kiev for permission to use Western tanks to organize a strike in the Krasnoye area in order to unblock one of the supply roads and remove the operational encirclement from the Bakhmut group.
The situation in other directions
During the day, Ukrainian troops opened fire on Donetsk, Makiivka, Dokuchaevsk and Yasinovataya. As a result of the attacks, a civilian was injured in Makiivka, residential buildings were damaged in Donetsk, as well as a gas pipeline and a car.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that during the day Ukrainian troops lost about 360 servicemen in the Donetsk, South-Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions. A communication center was destroyed in the Semyonovka area, and a command post of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was destroyed in Avdeevka. Air defense systems shot down unmanned aerial vehicles of the Ukrainian troops in the areas of Zeleny Gay and Leninsky.
The main supply route for the APU grouping in Marinka is under the fire control of Russian artillery, follows from the RT report. In addition, it is reported about the advancement of units of the allied forces in the area of Druzhby Avenue: presumably, the territory to the east of it is completely cleared of enemy troops.
According to the RF Ministry of Defense, during the day strikes were carried out on enemy positions in the areas of Novoselovsky and Artemovka, as well as Nevsky and Chervonaya Dibrova. Air defense systems destroyed Ukrainian drones in the areas of Chervonopopovka and Kovalivka.
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi visited the Zaporozhye NPP. He said that the organization is developing a new concept for the protection of the object, the program is being discussed with Moscow and Kiev. The head of the IAEA also noted that hostilities around the station are intensifying, and called for protecting the Zaporizhzhya NPP from attacks.
Adviser to the head of Rosatom, Renat Karchaa, said that he had agreed with Grossi to pay additional attention to employees of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, who are under pressure from Ukraine.
In the Kherson direction, the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost up to 40 military personnel, 3 vehicles, the Gvozdika howitzer and the US-made M777 artillery system per day. Russian units defeated the command post of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Novoberislav.
In the Simferopol region of Crimea, a Ukrainian drone was shot down in the evening, head of the republic Sergei Aksenov said. There are no casualties or destruction. Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the official, suggested that they tried to strike "on the coordinates."
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