Prepared by Denis Bogush, military and political expert, International Headquarters for Assistance to Ukrainians
General description of the situation. Russia launched a war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022 (24th day of the war). They began with a rocket-bomb attack on 17 Ukrainian cities, first on military infrastructure and now on civilian infrastructure.
Today, March 21, the twenty-sixth day of the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian people to the Russian military invasion has begun.
The occupiers’ tasks of defeating groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reaching the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, encircling Kyiv, and establishing control over the left-bank part of Ukraine have not been fulfilled. The enemy partially managed to reach the goal in the Donetsk operational area and keep the land corridor in the southern part of Kherson, Zaporizhia and Donetsk regions.
During the day, the enemy fired missiles and bombs, and actively used air strikes. It should be noted that the occupiers focused their attacks on important civilian infrastructure and residential areas of settlements in order to intimidate the civilian population and reduce the economic potential of Ukraine.
In the Volyn direction, there were signs of preparation by the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus for a direct invasion of Ukraine. There is still a high probability of provocations by the special services of the Russian Federation at Belarusian facilities.
In the Polissya direction (Chernobyl), the enemy is consolidating on the captured frontiers and preparing for the attack on Kyiv. According to intelligence, Russian troops plan to try to force the Irpin River to launch an attack on the Ukrainian capital.
In the evening, as a result of shelling in Kyiv, a shopping center in the Podilskyi district and cars in the parking lot next to it caught fire. The fire killed 4 people and injured one.
Two missile strikes were fired at one military training ground in Rivne region that night.
In the Seversky (Chernihiv) and Slobozhansky (Kharkiv) areas, the enemy continues to regroup and concentrate forces and means to resume offensive operations. But it cannot organize high- quality logistical support of divisions and equipment of occupied positions.
The occupiers cannot take control of Sumy, but they do not stop trying to shell its suburbs. At night, ammonia leaked as a result of shelling by the occupier of the Sumykhimprom chemical enterprise, located at the exit from Sumy towards Okhtyrka and Kharkiv. The radius of the affected area is about 2.5 km.
In the Donetsk and Luhansk directions, thanks to the skilful and skillful actions of Ukrainian soldiers, seven enemy attacks were successfully repulsed, 12 tanks, 9 infantry fighting vehicles, 3 cars, and about 170 manpower were destroyed. Air defense units shot down 1 enemy Su-34 and 1 helicopter of the occupiers.
The enemy continues the task of air strikes on the objects of civil infrastructure of Mariupol, in particular, the metallurgical plant “Azovstal”. Conducts assault operations on the western and eastern outskirts, in the direction of the central part of the city. Last night Mariupol was fired upon with heavy weapons from 4 ships of the Russian Navy.
Also, cases of deportation of Ukrainians to Russia have been reported. There is evidence that the Russians forcibly deported more than a thousand people from Mariupol.
There are no significant changes in the Tavriya direction. In order to prevent rallies in the occupied settlements, Rosguard units were relocated, which are trying to carry out punitive measures against civilians in the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions.
As a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, as of the morning of March 20, 2022, 115 children were killed and more than 140 were injured.
Losses of military personnel and military equipment of the RF Armed Forces
- Military personnel – about 15,000 people,
- tanks – 498 units,
- armored combat vehicles – 1535 units,
- artillery systems – 240 units,
- means of air defense – 45 units,
- aircraft – 97 units,
- helicopters – 121 units,
- ships / boats – 3 units,
Cases of resistance from the local population
Hundreds of people came to the rally on Sunday, March 20, in Kherson, Berdyansk and Nova Kakhovka. And residents of Energodar gathered for a rally demanding the return of the abducted first deputy mayor of Energodar Ivan Samoidyuk. The locals demanded that Samoidyuk be released immediately and removed from the city. At least one and a half thousand energy donors took part in the rally.