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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 748: Russian anti-Kremlin militia breaks into Russia, claims to have taken control of village in Kursk Oblast

On 12 March, the coalition of Russian battalions fighting alongside Ukraine reported that they had entered Russia’s border territory to liberate it from the “criminal dictatorial regime” in the Russian Federation. The Freedom of Russia Legion claims to have taken control of the village of Tyotkino in Kursk Oblast.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 748: Russian anti-Kremlin militia breaks into Russia, claims to have taken control of village in Kursk Oblast

Exclusives

EU unveils sweeping strategy to get “defense ready” amid Ukraine war. EU will ramp up arms production, boost cooperation, and strengthen its defense industrial might in the face of rising geopolitical threats.
In the blood: fallen Ukrainian sniper is third generation to oppose Russia. Decades after the KGB dragged his defiant father away just days before his planned marriage, dissident descendant Roman Chornomaz dies fighting Russian forces near Bakhmut.

Military

Anti-Kremlin battalions announce offensive operation inside Russia against Putin’s regime. The battalions launched an offensive before the presidential election in Russia, reportedly against “the criminal dictatorial regime in the Russian Federation.”

Freedom of Russia claims it took control of Tyotkino in Kursk Oblast. The battalion accuses Putin’s army of fleeing positions & abandoning heavy equipment as their forces advance into Kursk & Belgorod, engaging Russian troops.

Russian authorities say Ukrainian drone crashed into Belgorod administration building. The city’s governor said two people were injured in the attack on the city’s administration buildings.

Drone attacks cause fires at two oil facilities in Russia (updates). Ukraine carried out coordinated drone offensive hitting and damaging at least two Russian oil assets – a refinery in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and a fuel depot in Oryol, the assault spread across multiple Russian regions overnight.

As of 12 Mar 2024, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 425890 (+910)
      • Tanks: 6747 (+8)
      • APV: 12901 (+27)
      • Artillery systems: 10522 (+23)
      • MLRS: 1016
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 713 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 8184 (+43)
      • Cruise missiles : 1920 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 13870 (+44)

Intelligence and technology

Minister: Ukraine to mass-produce versatile robotic platforms for frontline missions. Ground robotic platforms are set to be the next game-changer in the war, according to Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation.

ISW: Russia’s defense industrial base not sustainable in long term. Labor shortages, decreased weapons and equipment stockpiles, and an inability to compensate for sanctioned military and dual-use items are hampering Russia’s defense industrial base, reports indicate.

ISW: Russia aims for mass production of advanced glider bombs. Improved guided glide bombs could allow Russian forces to conduct deeper strikes in Ukraine with less risk.

International

US announces first military aid package for Ukraine in 2024 amid stalled funding in Congress. Amidst a standoff in Congress, the US commits $300 million in defense aid to Ukraine, featuring GLMRS projectiles for HIMARS systems.

Danish new $ 337 million military aid package for Ukraine includes Caesar howitzers, ammunition. “With the 16th donation package, we underline our long-term commitment to Ukraine. Their fight for freedom is also Europe’s fight, and we cannot afford to fail the Ukrainians now,” Danish Defense Minister said.

Reuters: US set to announce new military aid package for Ukraine. A new military aid package for Ukraine, worth up to $400 million, is expected to be announced on March 12, according to Reuters, citing unnamed US officials.

German FM says Taurus missile “ring exchange” with UK is “an option,” a move to free up more Storm Shadows for Ukraine. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock supports transferring Taurus missiles to Ukraine and considers a Taurus/Storm Shadow “ring exchange” with the UK to provide more Storm Shadows for Ukraine “an option,” despite Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s opposition to sending Tauruses to Ukraine.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russia launches 22 drones, 2 guided missiles against 7 Ukraine’s oblasts overnight. Ukraine’s Air Forces destroyed 17 out of 22 Russian drones overnight into 12 March, according to Ukraine’s military

Three civilians killed, over 30 injured in Russian attack on Kryvyi Rih. Seven children are among the injured.

Russia kills 3, injures 12 in its attacks over past day. Over the past day, the Russian military attacked Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts, damaging residential buildings, cars, a shop, and outbuildings.

Ukrainian “toy therapy” project helps 30,000 war-affected children cope with trauma. The therapy spaces, 55 in total across the nation, offer a nurturing environment where trained therapists use toys to help children express and process their emotions.

UNESCO: $ 1.26 billion cost to restore Ukraine’s damaged science sector. Over 1,400 buildings and 750 pieces of scientific equipment have been damaged or destroyed in Ukraine. Besides, the displacement of researchers & budget cuts have dealt a severe blow to Ukraine’s scientific output.

European Parliament votes to criminalize violation and circumvention of EU sanctions. The European Parliament has passed a directive to criminalise the violation and circumvention of EU sanctions, seeking to close existing enforcement gaps.

EU aims to fast-track up to €3 billion for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets this July. The European Union is embarking on a initiative to expedite the release of up to €3 billion in funding for Ukraine, generated from frozen Russian assets.

Lithuania seizes car with Russian license plates at border for first time. A Moldovan citizen attempted to exit to Belarus with a Russian-owned car.

SBU exposes FSB-backed disinformation group linked to Moscow-affiliated church in Kyiv. The SBU has uncovered one of the largest FSB-backed disinformation operations in Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

New developments

Disney cuts awarding of Ukrainian film “20 Days in Mariupol” in Best Documentary nomination from international TV version of Oscars. The Walt Disney Company Limited company, the broadcaster of the 2024 Oscars, cut the awarding of the Ukrainian film “20 Days in Mariupol” in the Best Documentary nomination and an acceptance speech of director Mstyslav Chernov from the international TV version of the Oscars.

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