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War in Ukraine, day 21: Russians lost 40% of units, killed 97 children

War in Ukraine, day 21: Russians lost 40% of units, killed 97 children
Ukraine reports that in the 21 days of war, Russia lost up to 40% of units invading Ukraine as Russian forces struggle to overcome the challenges posed by Ukraine’s terrain. At the same time, Ukraine’s losses amount to $565 billion, and Russia has destroyed roughly 2700 residential buildings and killed a minimum of 97 children.

The report is based on media reports, expert analyses and official information posted online.

Morning report, day 21 – March 16

According to information from the General Staff as of 06.00 16.03.2022, supplemented by its [noon assessment]:

The state, position, and nature of the actions of the defence forces have not changed significantly during the last day. The Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to inflict devastating blows on groups of occupying troops in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and, in some areas, to counterattack.

The occupying forces continue to launch missile and bomb strikes on the infrastructure and densely populated areas of Ukrainian cities.

[An offensive operation against Ukraine continues. The enemy has not fulfilled the tasks of defeating the groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reaching the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and other tasks. At the same time, occupiers are stopped in the Mykolayiv direction.]

[The enemy is trying to strengthen the grouping of troops by additionally transferring to the territory of Ukraine battalion tactical groups formed of consolidated units that suffered losses during the first ten days of the operation, and military mercenaries from among foreign nationals. In addition, according to available information, the Russian military leadership has decided to release early cadets of higher military educational institutions in the Russian Federation with their subsequent involvement in hostilities against Ukraine.]

[In the Volyn direction, the enemy’s actions have not changed, the main efforts are focused on strengthening the protection of the Ukrainian-Belarusian border. Units of the 120th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (MINSK) of the North-Western Operational Command of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus were transferred to the border areas with Ukraine.]

[The enemy did not conduct active offensive operations in the Polissia direction. Having suffered losses, the enemy, in violation of international humanitarian law, carries out chaotic mining of the area, creating dangerous living conditions for the civilian population of Ukraine. Along with this, the enemy regrouped, restoring the combat capability of the units defeated in previous battles. As a result of effective actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the enemy suffers significant losses in manpower and equipment.]

[In the northern direction, the enemy concentrated its efforts during the day on reconnaissance. Has problems with providing troops with ammunition.]

[In the Slobozhanskyi direction, the enemy is trying to strengthen the existing group by concentrating reserves near the state border, blocking access to the city of Sumy from the south and blocking the city of Izium. He has no success.]

[In the Donetsk direction, the enemy made an unsuccessful attempt to advance in the directions of the settlements of Rubizhne, Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk, as a result of which the occupiers suffered significant losses and were forced to retreat. In the area of Popasna the enemy tries to keep the occupied position. Has no success in the area of Avdiivka.]

[The worst situation remains in the Mariupol area, where the enemy is trying to block the city on the western and eastern outskirts of the city. [Russiann forces] have significant losses, forced to introduce reserves from the 810th Separate Marine Brigade.]

[In the Pivdennyi Buh directions, the enemy concentrated its efforts on maintaining the occupied frontiers and improving the engineering equipment of the existing positions. He does not abandon the idea of continuing the offensive in the direction of Kryvyi Rih. As a result of the effective work of units of the Defence Forces of Ukraine in the area of Chornobaivka, the enemy lost seven combat helicopters.]

The enemy continues to bear losses on retreats in certain areas. The main efforts of the occupiers are focused on consolidating and maintaining previously occupied borders and defence areas.

According to the results of the previous day, due to the actions of the air defence of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, three planes (two of them – Su-34) were destroyed. In addition, one helicopter, three operational-tactical UAVs and two cruise missiles were shot down. Additional information is currently being clarified.

[Ukrainian] Air Force aircraft continued to launch missile and bomb strikes on ground targets. Nine airstrikes were carried out on columns of equipment and clusters of occupying troops.

[In general, as of March 15, 2022, the enemy lost (destroyed completely, or lost combat capability) up to 40% of units involved in the so-called “Operations” on the territory of Ukraine.]”

President Zelenskyy has decided to dismiss general Oleksandr Pavliuk from the post of Commander of the Ukrainian forces operating in Donbas, which RUSI recently feared might be about to be encircled by Russian forces. General Eduard Moskalov has been appointed as the new Commander of the Joint Forces.

According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 24 hours):

  • Russian forces are struggling to overcome the challenges posed by Ukraine’s terrain.
  • Russian forces have remained largely tied to Ukraine’s road network and have demonstrated a reluctance to conduct off-road manoeuvres. The destruction of bridges by Ukrainian forces has also played a key role in stalling Russia’s advance.
  • Russia’s continued failure to gain control of the air has drastically limited their ability to effectively use air manoeuvre, further limiting their options.
  • The tactics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have adeptly exploited Russia’s lack of manoeuvre, frustrating the Russian advance and inflicting heavy losses on the invading forces.
  • Russia is increasingly seeking to generate additional troops to bolster and replace its personnel losses in Ukraine. As a result of these losses, it is likely Russian is struggling to conduct offensive operations in the face of sustained Ukrainian resistance. Continued personnel losses will also make it difficult for Russia to secure occupied territory.
  • Russia is redeploying forces from as far afield as its Eastern Military District, Pacific Fleet and Armenia. It is also increasingly seeking to exploit irregular sources such as Private Military Companies, Syrian and other mercenaries.
  • Russia will likely attempt to use these forces to hold captured territory and free up its combat power to renew stalled offensive operations.

As of 16.03.2022 morning, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

  • personnel – more than 13,800 people (+300),
  • tanks – 430 units (+26),
  • armoured combat vehicles – 1380 units (+96),
  • artillery systems – 190 (+40),
  • multiple rocket launchers – 70 (+6),
  • air defence means – 43 (+7),
  • aircraft – 84 (+3),
  • helicopters – 108 (+13);
  • automotive technology – 819 (+178),
  • light speedboats – 3 units (no change),
  • fuel and lubricant tanks – 60 (no change),
  • UAV operational and tactical level – 11 (+2)
  • Special equipment – 10.


According to UNHCR 3,000,381 refugees has been registered as of 15 March.

The UN says that so far Poland has taken in 1,830,711 refugees, Hungary 267,570, Slovakia 213,000, Moldova 337,215, Romania 459,485, Russia 142,994 and Belarus 1,475.

The updated information does not include the 304,156 people that previously had been listed as having moved on to other countries in Europe.

PACE unanimously votes to expel Russia, declares Transnistria occupied by Russia

The PACE report “Consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine” as of 14 March, stresses that:

The war in Ukraine is provoking a high number of civilian casualties due to Russia’s recourse to heavy artillery, multi-launch rocket systems and airstrikes against populated areas. Landmines are causing victims.

The use of cluster munitions against civilian targets and thermobaric weapons has also been reported. It is a matter of grave concern that Russian troops have been laying siege to civilian areas, attacking them with continuous shelling and depriving people of electricity, heating, access to water, food, and health care. All these actions should be documented and investigated as they represent serious breaches of international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes. […]

The Assembly supports all efforts aimed at ensuring accountability, including the decision by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the situation in Ukraine and the establishment of a special investigation commission by the United Nations Human Rights Council. It also welcomes other efforts to document possible crimes under international law committed in Ukraine, including through the publication of commercial satellite imagery, the analysis of this imagery and other forms of open-source intelligence by private actors.

Similarly, it takes note of the application filed by Ukraine before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation concerning a dispute relating to the interpretation, application, and fulfilment of the United Nations Genocide Convention.”

As of 10 a.m. on March 15, 2022, since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 97 children have died and more than 100 children have been injured according to Ukrainian authorities. The actual number of dead and wounded children cannot be determined due to the inability to inspect the scene and the active hostilities of the occupying forces in Ukrainian cities.

Ukraine’s losses due to the Russian invasion amounted to $ 565 billion, Prime Minister Shmyhal said during the press conference with the Prime Ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, Ukrainska Pravda reports. Russia has so far destroyed 3,500 infrastructure facilities in whole or in part, including 72 educational institutions and 21 health care facilities, according to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, Denys Monastyrskyi.

Currently, more than 2,700 residential buildings are completely or partially destroyed. The Russian invasion is destroying churches, mosques, synagogues, and religious educational institutions in various regions of Ukraine. At least 28 buildings of spiritual significance have been damaged in at least six oblasts of Ukraine: Kyiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Chernihiv. Most of them are Orthodox churches.


NATO defence ministers will discuss stepping up defences along their eastern front as Russian attacks inch closer to the alliance’s doorstep, the New York Times reports. The ministers were set to meet on Wednesday ahead of next week’s extraordinary NATO summit, where President Biden is scheduled to discuss how to respond to Russia’s invasion.

President Biden plans to announce an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, according to White House officials, New York Times reports. This will be only hours after President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to deliver a virtual address to Congress.

White House is under pressure from Congress to find ways to deliver Soviet-made weapons (including MiG fighter jets and S-300 surface-to-air missile systems) to Ukraine, CNN reports.

The EU has adopted a fourth package of restrictive measures against Russia These sanctions will further contribute to ramping up economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine.

New developments

  1. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) unanimously voted for the exclusion of Russia, Ukrinform reports. “If you cross the red line, you have no place in this organization”. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will make a final decision on Russia’s exclusion from the organization today.
  2. Türkiye’s foreign minister is travelling to Moscow as part of efforts to secure a cease-fire, Boston Herald reports. Mevlut Cavusoglu would hold talks in Moscow on Wednesday before travelling to Ukraine for talks on Thursday, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.
  3. NATO is holding an Extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence Wednesday 16 March.
  4. “I have convened an extraordinary Summit on 24 March at NATO HQ. We will address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our strong support for Ukraine, and further strengthen NATO’s deterrence & defence. At this critical time, North America and Europe must continue to stand together”, NATO Secretary General posted on Twitter this afternoon.
A previous version of this article mistakenly said Russia killed 4000 civilians. That has been deleted.

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