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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 757: Russian strikes cut power for 1M Ukrainians, PM vows repair in 24h

In the largest attack since invasion, Russia fired 151 missiles and drones at Ukrainian cities, damaging critical energy infrastructure and causing casualties.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 757: Russian strikes cut power for 1M Ukrainians, PM vows repair in 24h

Exclusives

Inside Russia’s “Special liberation operation”: how expat rebels raid Putin’s borderlands. Adopting the Kremlin’s euphemism for its Ukraine invasion, Russian rebel battalions have launched a 10-day ‘special liberation operation of Russia from Putin’ in Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk oblasts, asserting they have seized villages, destroyed military equipment and diverted Russian forces from the front
FPV drone tactics reshape conventional trench warfare in Russo-Ukrainian War. Russia is working hard to catch up with the Ukrainian progress and has almost reached the number of Ukrainian FPV drone strikes. With the total number of only FPV drone strikes on both sides now approaching 2,000 per month, previous types of trench fortifications are becoming increasingly vulnerable.

Military

Russia fired 151 drones and missiles, Ukraine downed 92 aerial targets this morning. In a large-scale strike, Russia launched 151 missiles and drones targeting Ukrainian infrastructure, but Ukraine’s air defense forces successfully destroyed 92 of the incoming threats, as per Ukraine’s Air Force.

Russia targets Ukraine’s energy infrastructure: explosions rock multiple cities in Ukraine (updates). Russia launched a massive air assault against Ukrainian cities using over 60 drones and nearly 90 missiles, damaging energy infrastructure, and causing casualties.

Russia massing 100.000 troops for potential summer offensive – Ukraine Ground Forces Chief. Meanwhile, Ukraine is preparing for different scenarios.

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

UK intel: Sanctions and aircraft fleet issues behind Russia’s 44-day pause in aviation strikes on Ukraine. Russia’s resumption of major long-range aviation strikes against Kyiv after a prolonged 44-day pause is likely due to aircraft fleet management issues, per UK intelligence.

Ten Ukrainian pilots complete basic F-16 training in the UK. Ten Ukrainian pilots completed RAF flight training to prepare for advanced instruction on operating F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine’s air force.

International

US sees no link between Ukraine and Moscow concert hall shooting, says White House. Ukrainian intelligence called the Moscow shooting a deliberate provocation by Putin’s regime.

FT sources: US urged Ukraine to halt strikes on Russian oil refineries. FT claims that the US has warned Ukraine against continuing drone strikes on Russia’s energy infrastructure, citing concerns about rising oil prices and possible retaliation. The warnings were reportedly issued to senior officials in Ukraine’s security agencies.

NATO ready if war with Russia erupts – Admiral Bauer, Military Committee Chief. Admiral Bauer also confirmed Ukraine’s eventual NATO membership but said the ongoing war prevents it from joining at this year’s Washington summit.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukrainian PM: “We need 24 hours” to restore power for 1 million left in dark by Russian strikes. Seven regions in Ukraine are experiencing widespread power outages following a targeted Russian airstrike on the country’s energy grid.

Ukrenergo: Power outages in Ukraine’s seven regions due to Russian air attack on energy grid. Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was targeted in a significant Russian air attack, resulting in damage and emergency power outages in seven regions, per Ukrenergo. Repair efforts are underway, supported by international aid from three countries.

Dnipro hydroelectric plant out of service after Russian missile attack. The Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, was struck by Russian missiles, severely damaging its HPP-1 and HPP-2 stations. Ukrhydroenergo’s CEO reported HPP-2 as critically damaged, HPP-1 offline, and highlighted significant challenges for restoration, despite no risk of a dam breach.

Official Kremlin admits it’s “in a state of war” with Ukraine for first time. Kremlin spokesperson Peskov has referred to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine as a “state of war” for the first time, diverging from the term “special military operation,” according to AFP.

Moscow concert hall shooting a provocation by Putin’s FSB – Ukrainian Intel. According to Russian officials, 40 people are dead, and more than 100 others are injured. The building is still burning.

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