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Russo-Ukraine War - 31 March 2023 - Day 401

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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 as of 23 March 2023, Ukrainian Special Operation Forces released footage of a Russian ZOOPARK-1M counter-battery radar being destroyed in the Donetsk area.

Efforts by both sides to neutralise their opponent's counter-battery radars have been a constant element of the conflict. These systems are relatively few in number but are a significant force multiplier. They allow commanders to rapidly locate and strike enemy artillery.

However, because they have an active electromagnetic signature, they are vulnerable to being detected and destroyed. Russia has lost at least six ZOOPARK-1M and likely only has a very limited number left in Ukraine. Regenerating counter-battery radar fleets is likely a key priority for both sides, but Russia will likely struggle because the systems rely on supplies of high-tech electronics which have been disrupted by sanctions.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of March 31, Russian forces launched 5x missile and 12x air strikes, more than 20x MLRS attacks.

Having no desired results on the battlefield, Russia continues to cynically terrorize civilians in Ukraine. Today, the Russian Federation launched yet another attack using ballistic missiles on civilian targets in Zaporizhzhia and other settlements in Ukraine. Russian forces also employed 6x Shahed-136 attack UAVs for air strikes, all of which were destroyed by Ukrainian defenders.

The likelihood of further missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high.

Russia continues to focus its main efforts on the offensive operations on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka axes. During the day of March 31, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled more than 30x Russian attacks. The fiercest battles remain to be for the settlements of Bilohorivka, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka.

Volyn, Polissya, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna axes: no significant changes. As part of the combat training activities, the training of the Special Forces units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus has been completed. At the same time, the top political leadership of Belarus continues to support the Russian aggression, allowing the adversary to use its airspace and territory. The training of units of the territorial troops of the Russian Federation's armed forces continues at belarusian training grounds. However, no signs of the formation of adversary offensive groups were found.

Russia continues to maintain a military presence in the border areas of Kursk and Belgorod oblasts (russia).

During the day of March 31, the adversary shelled the settlements of Baranivka (Chernihiv oblast), Sosnivka, Volfyne, Kindrativka, Novomykolaivka, Popivka, Oleksandrivka (Sumy oblast), Veterynarne, Hoptivka, Strilecha, Hlyboke, Bochkove, and Budarky (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup'yans'k axis: Kam'yanka, Fyholivka, Syn'kivka, Krokhmal'ne (Kharkiv oblast), and Novoselivs'ke (Luhansk oblast) came under Russian fire.
Lyman axis: during the day of March 31, Russian forces made futile attempts to advance near the settlements of Makiivka, Kreminna, Dibrova, Bilohorivka, and in the vicinity of Serebryans'ke forestry. Settlements near the front line were shelled with artillery, namely: Nevs'ke, Dibrova, Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast), and Spirne (Donetsk oblast).
Bakhmut axis: Russia does not cease its assault on the city of Bakhmut, in attempts to take it under full control. During the day of March 31, Russian forces shelled the settlements of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Novomarkove, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Ozarianivka, and Maiors'k (Donetsk oblast).
Avdiivka and Mar'inka axes: Russian forces conducted offensive operations towards the settlements of Novobakhmutivka, Avdiivka, and Pervomais'ke. To no success. The Russian invaders shelled the settlements of Stepove, Tonen'ke, Mar'inka, Novomykhailivka (Donetsk oblast).
Shakhtars'ke axis: Russian forces intensified the use of UAVs to spot for artillery fire, shelled the settlements of Vodyane, Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, Krasnohorivka, and Novosilka (Donetsk oblast).
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: with no active operations, Russia was improving defensive lines and fortifications of its positions. In particular, the Russian invaders shelled the settlements of Vremivka, Novosilka (Donetsk oblast), Ol'hivs'ke, Hulyaipole, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanylivka, Orikhiv, Mali Shcherbaky, Stepnohirs'k (Zaporizhzhia oblast), and Kherson.

There is a continuing trend of increased number of cases when groups of Russian personnel escape from their units. Thus, the Russian occupiers are looking for 50x deserters in the Starobil's'kyi district (temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk oblast).

During the day of March 31, Ukrainian Air Force launched 6x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian troops and military equipment. Ukrainian missile and artillery troops hit 8x concentrations of Russian troops, weapons, and military equipment, 1x fuel and lubricants warehouse, 2x anti-aircraft missile systems, 1x artillery unit at its firing position, and 1x electronic warfare station.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reporeted that, for more than a day, heavy snowfalls were observed in the Bakhmut area, due to which a thick layer of snow quickly formed. As a result, the fighting for both sides became more difficult, and the transport situation became even worse than before.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais published an interview with one of the Ukrainian soldiers fighting near the city. He said that Kyiv retains experienced military personnel for the future at the cost of the defense, which rushes to the front line. The fighter sees no reason to hold Bakhmut and says that the inhabitants who remained there are waiting for the arrival of Russian attack aircraft.

Fierce fighting continues for the city. The forces of PMC "Wagner" in the amount of 15 thousand fighters tie down the Ukrainian grouping in the amount of 70-80 thousand people in these battles, said military expert Boris Rozhin.

The Wagnerites were able to cut off most of the roads leading to Bakhmut and fire on the remaining ones, complicating the position of the enemy garrison. In the city itself, they are successfully advancing from several directions. At the same time, the "musicians" are waiting for cover from the allied forces from the flanks.

The situation on other sectors of the front

Ukraine shelled the border areas of the Kursk region, namely the villages of Tetkino, Gordeevka and Krasnooktyabrsky. As a result, a private garage was destroyed, one fire broke out and the power supply line was interrupted.

During the day, the RF Armed Forces liquidated or wounded about 450 Ukrainian soldiers, and also disabled 7 armored vehicles, 4 infantry fighting vehicles, 4 armored personnel carriers, 32 vehicles, 3 D-20 and 2 D-30 howitzers, as well as Gvozdika and Akatsiya self-propelled guns ".

Artillery and aviation hit 74 enemy artillery positions and 76 areas of accumulation of equipment and personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Air defense systems intercepted three shells from the HIMARS MLRS and three drones.

A fuel depot of the 126th Ukrainian Territorial Defense Brigade was destroyed near Otradokamenka, Kherson region.

Russian forces have advanced northeast of the city.

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Page last modified: 31-03-2023 19:36:49 ZULU