Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 755

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As the war enters its 755th day, these are the main developments.

Here is the situation on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

Fighting

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to Kyiv’s allies to supply more air defences, saying Russia had launched 130 missiles, more than 320 attack drones and almost 900 guided bombs on the country so far this month.
  • Russia named Admiral Alexander Moiseyev as acting commander-in-chief of its navy. Moscow fired his predecessor Nikolai Yevmenov amid repeated Ukrainian attacks on the Black Sea Fleet. Ukrainian forces claim to have destroyed more than two dozen Russian ships since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
  • The Russian Defence Ministry claimed its forces had captured the village of Orlivka in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, 9.5km (5.9 miles) from Avdiivka, which Russian troops seized last month. The Ukrainian General Staff said earlier that its forces had repelled nine Russian army attacks in the vicinity of Orlivka.
  • Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Russia planned to evacuate about 9,000 children from the border region because of Ukraine shelling. Separately, Russia’s Defence Ministry said air defence units had intercepted 10 projectiles and one missile over the region.

Politics and diplomacy

  • US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin warned that Ukraine’s survival was in danger as he sought to convince allies at the monthly Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) that the United States was committed to supporting Kyiv even as Republicans hold up a $60bn funding package.
  • Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kyiv was working to secure “a strong and far-reaching step” towards membership of NATO at the military alliance’s Washington summit in July.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, to help Russian companies beat Western sanctions imposed over the Ukraine invasion.
  • Putin will travel to China in May for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Reuters news agency reported.
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Russians and Belarusians would not join the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics in July. The athletes are competing as independents without their flags and anthems as a result of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
  • German prosecutors charged an officer in the military procurement agency with attempting to pass secret information to Russia. The German, identified only as Thomas H, has been in custody since August.

Weapons

  • Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said drones were the key that would give Kyiv an advantage over “numerically superior” Russian forces.
  • German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius announced a 500 million euro ($542.6 million) aid package for Ukraine, including 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
  • Canada’s Defence Minister Bill Blair said the country would give more than 40 million Canadian dollars ($29.4 million) to a Czech-led initiative aimed at buying 800,000 artillery shells from third nations for Ukraine.
  • Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the country hoped to have enough ammunition to repel Russian troops on the battlefield starting from April.
  • EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell proposed the European Union take 90 percent of revenues from Russian assets frozen in Europe and transfer them to an EU-run fund to finance weapons for Ukraine.

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