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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 755: Russia kills 5 in Kharkiv, as Ukraine develops homegrown HIMARS

The deadly Russian attack on a Kharkiv printing facility, which claimed 5 lives, comes as Ukraine works on creating a domestic version of the HIMARS and long-range missiles.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 755: Russia kills 5 in Kharkiv, as Ukraine develops homegrown HIMARS

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Military

Russian missile strikes Kharkiv printing house, killing 5 and injuring 7. 10 people may be trapped under the rubble.

Russia’s Belgorod restricts entry to settlements border with Ukraine. There will reportedly be checkpoints only allowing residents brief entry to feed animals. Spring holidays also start early in border regions

Ukrainian intelligence drones attack Russian airbase of strategic bombers in Engels overnight. Engels, about 850 km from Ukraine, is the Russian Aerospace Forces’ major bomber operations base. It’s reportedly Russia’s sole operating location for the Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO: Blackjack) strategic bomber.

Russian attacks kill 1, injure 17 over past day. In the attack on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast overnight into 20 March, the Russian military hit a private house, injuring an entire family: a 12-year-old brother, a 19-year-old sister, a 57-year-old father, and a 47-year-old mother.

As of 20 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: 433090 (+700)
      • Tanks: 6828 (+9)
      • APV: 13058 (+9)
      • Artillery systems: 10714 (+16)
      • MLRS: 1017
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 721
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 8355 (+37)
      • Cruise missiles : 1922
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 14198 (+7)

Intelligence and technology

WP: Ukraine creating domestic HIMARS alternative, long-range missiles. Ukraine is set to start production of NATO-standard 155mm shells this year as well.

Ukraine begins using FPV drones with post-target-lock autonomous homing. Ukraine deploys FPV drones equipped with autonomous guidance systems to ensure precise target engagement amid Russian electronic warfare, while Russia develops similar drone technology.

British intel: Russia uses deception techniques in Black Sea Fleet to protect forces, obscure operational plans. Despite Russia’s attempts, the British Defense Ministry assesses that Russian aircraft remain vulnerable while on operations in the Black Sea

International

Politico: European ambassadors stumble on Ukraine trade deal extension, risking EU summit tensions. This setback risks overshadowing the upcoming EU summit, where leaders had hoped to reaffirm their united backing for Ukraine.

EU provisionally extend duty-free exports of Ukrainian agricultural products. The new agreement reportedly allow the Commission to swiftly impose measures deemed necessary if Ukrainian imports “significantly disrupt” the EU market or markets of one or more member states.

Netherlands pledges €350 mln to Ukraine for F-16 munitions and drones. The Netherlands, Denmark, and the US are spearheading the air force coalition in support of Ukraine.

Passenger buses barred at Ukraine border by Polish farmer blockade. Also today, Polish farmers launched a nationwide protest involving around 70,000 people at nearly 600 locations.

EU aims to send €3bn annually for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets profit. The first payment could be made as early as July 2024.

Borrelll: European Commission provides $ 4.8 bn in its first macro-finance tranche to Ukraine. The European Commission transferred the first tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine from the large €50 billion ($ 54 billion) support package, the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josef Borell said on 20 March at a briefing in Brussels following the Ukraine-EU Association Council meeting.

Kosovo announces its first-ever military aid packages for Ukraine. Kosovo will send two military aid packages to Ukraine, including armored vehicles, trucks, and mortar shells. The first package will be delivered to Ukraine next week, according to Kosovo’s Defense Minister

ISW: Putin’s post-election speech signals continued reliance on FSB. Putin’s appeals to the FSB likely indicate that Russian security services and siloviki (Russian strongmen with political influence) will continue representing his core constituency in his fifth presidential term, following the challenge posed by deceased Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin.

White House adviser Sullivan: “We will get this done” on Ukraine aid. However, he offered no updates on the provision of long-range ATACMS missiles.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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