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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 754: Czech-led ammunition initiative for Ukraine backed by Germany, Finland and Canada

Germany will finance the purchase of 180,000 artillery shells through the Czech-led ammunition initiative, while Finland and Canada will each contribute an estimated $30 million.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 754: Czech-led ammunition initiative for Ukraine backed by Germany, Finland and Canada

Exclusive

Fraud, coercion, 90%+ for Putin: how Russia staged a sham election in occupied Ukraine. After Russia reported impossible turnouts amid “voting” under gunpoint in a land that is not it own, Ukraine is calling on the world to declare Putin an illegitimate president

Military

Frontline report: Russian forces regroup but face setbacks in renewed Kupiansk offensive near Synkivka. Renewing failed Kupiansk offensive, Russian troops attacked Synkivka village but underestimated Ukrainian forest defenses, suffering setbacks with only marginal territorial gains.

The Atlantic: Ukrainian insider suggests Russia’s precision strikes rely on US satellite imagery. A Ukrainian military source claims Russia’s long-range missile strikes are guided using satellite imagery from US companies, with patterns of pre-strike and post-strike satellite tasking coinciding with actual attacks, suggesting a strategic use of commercial satellite imagery in warfare.

As of 19 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: 432390 (+840)
      • Tanks: 6819 (+10)
      • APV: 13049 (+35)
      • Artillery systems: 10698 (+30)
      • MLRS: 1017
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 721 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 8318 (+10)
      • Cruise missiles : 1922
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 14191 (+50)

Intelligence and technology

Zelenskyy says Ukraine to boost defense production. President Zelenskyy announces plans to boost Ukraine’s defense production and emphasizes the need for military support, including F-16 jets and Patriot missiles, amid a months-long delay in US aid stalled by Congressional Republicans.

International

Canada to provide Ukraine with night vision equipment, allocate nearly $30 million for shell initiative. Canada will donate a package of night vision devices worth approximately $5.5 million to assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces in nighttime operations.

Belgium to deploy two F-16s and 50 military personnel to train Ukrainian pilots in Denmark. Belgium commits to an eight-week F-16 training program in Denmark to aid Ukrainian pilots, technicians, and mission planners.

Finland pledges €30 million to Czech-led ammunition initiative for Ukraine. The Czech Republic continues to rally allies to collect the necessary funds to purchase 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine as the country faces an ammunition shortage.

“US will not let Ukraine fail,” Austin pledges in Ramstein. “Ukraine’s survival is in danger,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “Our allies and partners continue to step up, the United States must also,” he added.

German Defense Minister announces €500 million military aid package for Ukraine. Germany will also finance the purchase of 180,000 artillery shells through the Czech-led initiative to supply ammunition to Ukraine, Boris Pistorius revealed.

Politico: France joins Poland in push for further restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural imports. Despite their public solidarity, Polish and French leaders agreed to push for measures that could significantly impact Ukraine’s trade revenue, with European Commission estimates indicating a potential loss of €1.2 billion.

Polish president says NATO must urgently ramp up defense spending. Polish President Andrzej Duda calls for NATO to urgently boost defense spending to 3% amid concerns of a potential Russian attack in the coming years, with Poland already spending 4% of its GDP on defense, surpassing the US.

50 Ukrainian pilots to train on F-16 jets in Romania. Romanian President has approved the transit of equipment donated by Finland to Ukraine and the training of 50 Ukrainian pilots on F-16 jets at the Fetești military base, with training expected to end by the year’s end.

Pentagon launches website for oversight of US aid to Ukraine. The Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General has launched a new website to improve transparency in the oversight of US aid to Ukraine and “keep American taxpayers informed.”

Speaker Johnson faces pressure as US House reconvenes with Ukraine aid on the line. The US House reconvenes with pressure to pass military aid for Ukraine, but Speaker Johnson prioritizes government funding over the aid, potentially further delaying the assistance and benefitting Russia on the battlefield.

Borrelll to submit plan for using frozen Russian asset revenues for Ukraine weapons. The EU’s foreign policy chief proposed taking 90% of profits from Russian assets frozen in Europe to fund weapons for Ukraine.

EU to “impose tariffs” on Russian grain imports. The EU plans to levy tariffs on grain imports from Russia and Belarus to placate farmers and member states, FT reports citing its sources.

New developments

Finland enacts Russian car ban amid border crisis and war in Ukraine. On 16 March, Finland banned cars registered in Russia within its territory amid a migrant crisis orchestrated by the Kremlin and the ongoing war in Ukraine. According to the Finnish Customs Service, drivers who own vehicles with Russian registration plates and did not take out their cars from Finland until 15 March will face fines.

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