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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 753: Russian oil refinery ablaze after alleged Ukrainian drone attack

Russian sources confirmed the drone attack but claimed the drones were “neutralized,” although the footage showed drone an oil refinery in Krasnodar in flames.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 753: Russian oil refinery ablaze after alleged Ukrainian drone attack


Dueling discharge petitions aim to force vote on stalled US foreign aid bill. Frustrated by months of delays, a bipartisan group of House members have filed competing discharge petitions to bring a long-awaited foreign aid package to the floor, potentially circumventing Speaker Johnson’s opposition.
Czech, Polish FMs: Defeat Russia in Ukraine or face emboldened threat at NATO’s door. We are moving in the right direction but too slow and too late, say two top diplomats, urging three essential steps to help Ukraine
“Welcome to hell”: UN report exposes Russia’s systematic torture, killings, and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. “No creature alive deserves to be treated like Russians treat Ukrainians in their detention facilities,” a Ukrainian POW told the UN commission


Russian missile strike on Mykolaiv kills one, injures eight civilians, including a child. Russia mirrors its Odesa missile attack in Mykolaiv, targeting the same site twice to maximize casualties, killing one, injuring eight civilians.

Drone attack destroyed Russian helicopter in Moldova’s Transnistria (photos, video). Initial reports indicate a drone attack targeted a Russian military unit in Transnistria, Moldova, resulting in the destruction of a Russian Mi-8 helicopter.

Russian shelling of Kharkiv Oblast destroys emergency medical center. A 36-year-old paramedic and a 56-year-old ambulance driver were injured in the shelling.

Anti-Kremlin Siberian Battalion claims to have entered village, captured local administration in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. Anti-Kremlin Russian battalions have “entered the settlement of Gorkovsky in the Russian Federation and captured the building of the local administration,” the Siberian Battalion’s statement reads.

Russian Shahed drones damage agricultural enterprises in Odesa Oblast as Ukraine downs 14/16 UAVs. Both targeted enterprises were mothballed, and there were no casualties.

Intelligence and technology

Russia’s Krasnodar Krai oil refinery set on fire following nighttime drone attack. Russian sources confirmed the drone attack but claimed the drones were “neutralized,” although the footage showed drone strikes.


Czechia to propose ban on Russian grain imports into EU. The Czech Republic plans to propose an EU-wide ban on Russian and Belarusian grain imports at the European Council meeting to reduce support for the aggressor.

Russia’s imperial pretensions will continue to menace Europe after Putin gone, Latvian FM says. Latvian foreign minister states Russia’s imperialist mentality, evident in Ukraine, will outlast Putin necessitating continued NATO deterrence against its ambitions.

Macron vows “concrete decisions” for future Ukraine visit, details his shift from dove to hawk on Russia. Macron plans to visit Ukraine with “concrete” proposals for greater support against Russian aggression, outlining upcoming military aid to bolster Ukraine’s defenses, asserts that Russia must not win, is ready for possible escalation, and distinguishes between the Russian regime and its people.

Putin “afraid” of war with NATO, Estonian PM says. In a BBC interview, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas claims that Russia’s President Putin is trying to intimidate the West but is himself “afraid” of a war with NATO.

Politico: Finnish foreign minister claims Western countries shouldn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine. Western countries, including the US, shouldn’t be entirely opposed to the idea of sending troops to Ukraine if conditions there worsen, said Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, according to Politico.

Reuters: Russia will be asked for ceasefire during Olympics, Macron says. Russia will be asked to observe a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Paris Olympics, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview from Paris shown on Ukrainian television and posted by a Ukrainian journalist on her YouTube channel, as per Reuters.

Humanitarian and social impact

ISW: Russia seeks to incite protests among Ukrainian POWs’ relatives. Russian actors are encouraging relatives of Ukrainian POWs to protest, claiming that the Ukrainian leadership is blocking their return.

UK Defense Secretary cancels visit to Ukraine for security reasons. Grant Shapps was scheduled to visit Odesa but had to scrap the visit after UK intelligence reportedly warned that Russia had become aware of his travel plans.

German volunteer killed in action in Ukraine. A German volunteer, a former soldier of the Bundeswehr, has been killed on the front lines in Ukraine, according to RND 

Ukraine honors victims of Mariupol theater bombing by Russia, demands Russian accountability. Every Russian murderer must be held accountable for their crimes, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, marking the second anniversary of the Russian bombing of the Mariupol Drama Theater.

Read the daily review for Sat 16 March 2024 here

As of 17 March 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: 430740 (+1160)
  • Tanks: 6790 (+11)
  • APV: 12997 (+24)
  • Artillery systems: 10634 (+28)
  • MLRS: 1017
  • Anti-aircraft systems: 720 (+1)
  • Aircraft: 347
  • Helicopters: 325
  • UAV: 8272 (+4)
  • Cruise missiles: 1922
  • Warships/boats: 26
  • Submarines: 1
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 14073 (+49)
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