what to remember on the 388th day of the russian invasion


L’Ukraine, including the Lviv region in the west, was the target of a night attack by Iranian-made drones, the Ukrainian Air Force said on Saturday. There Russiawhich launched an invasion of Ukraine just over a year ago, regularly pounded the country’s infrastructure, depriving the population of electricity and water.

Information to remember:

  • Ukraine has been the target of a new drone attack
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Russia
  • Putin arrived in Crimea on the anniversary of the annexation
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the extension of the international agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain. A decision hailed by Ukraine

“Around 9:00 p.m. on March 17, 2023, the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 type kamikaze attack drones,” according to a statement broadcast on Telegram. Eleven out of 16 drones were “destroyed”, assured the army. The attacks were launched from the Sea of ​​Azov and from the Russian region of Bryansk, which borders Ukraine to the north, she added.

The Lviv region (west) was particularly targeted. “Around 1 a.m., our region was attacked by Shahed 136-type suicide drones,” regional governor Maksym Kozytski said. Three drones were shot down, three others “hit non-residential buildings” in the Yavoriv district, causing damage but no casualties, he added.

In the Dnipro region (southeast), three drones were shot down by air defense, said the head of the regional council, Mykola Lukashuk. “Two others hit critical infrastructure in Novomoskovsk”, north of Dnipro, which caused a fire and “significant” damage, four houses destroyed and six others damaged, but no injuries, he added. .

The drones launched on Kiev were “all” “destroyed” by “our air defense forces”, without causing any casualties or damage, the city administration said on social networks.

Two killed and eight injured in strikes in Kramatorsk

Two people were killed and eight injured by Russian strikes with “cluster munitions” on Saturday afternoon in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, the city’s mayor announced. “Russia continues to reign terror. Consequences of the bombardment of Kramatorsk with cluster munitions: 2 people were killed and 8 injured, 3 of them seriously,” Mayor Alexander Gontcharenko said on his Facebook page.

A dozen residential buildings and 14 municipal facilities were damaged, he said. AFP journalists heard a dozen near-simultaneous explosions shortly before 4:00 p.m. and saw smoke rising in a park in the south of the city. Shortly after, another dozen explosions of the same type were heard in a residential area about 2 km from the first strike. In the park, a woman died on the spot as a result of her injuries caused by shrapnel ammunition, AFP journalists noted.

Russia agrees to extend Ukrainian grain deal for just 60 days

Moscow has accepted an extension of the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain for only 60 days and not 120 as indicated by Kiev, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

“We see statements from different parties that + the grain agreement + has been extended by 120 days,” said Maria Zakharova, quoted by the Russian agency Interfax. “We have repeated several times that (…) the Russian side has informed all the stakeholders that the agreement has been extended for 60 days”.

Putin visits Crimea on annexation anniversary

The Russian President Vladimir Poutine arrived Saturday in Crimea, the day of the ninth anniversary of the annexation of this Ukrainian peninsula by Russia in 2014, announced Russian public television.

On a surprise trip to Sevastopol, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in CrimeaVladimir Putin visited a school of the arts in the company of the local governor, Mikhail Razvojayev, according to the images broadcast by the Rossia-1 television channel.

“Our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin knows how to surprise. In the good sense of the word,” Razvojayev wrote on Telegram. According to him, a school of arts for children was to be inaugurated on Saturday with the participation of the Russian leader by videoconference. “But Vladimir Vladimirovich came in person. Himself. At the wheel. Because on a historic day like today, he is always with Sevastopol and its people,” said Mikhail Razvojayev.

Russia annexed Crimea on March 18, 2014, following a referendum not recognized by kyiv and the international community.

Erdogan announces extension of Ukrainian grain deal

President Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Saturday the extension of the international agreement on the export of Ukrainian cereals, during a televised speech, without specifying the duration. “Following talks with both parties, we ensured the extension of the agreement which was to end on March 19,” said the Turkish head of state. Ankara had previously said it hoped for a 120-day extension while Russia insisted on a 60-day deal.

“This agreement is of vital importance for the world food supply. I thank Russia and Ukraine, who have spared no effort for a further extension of the agreement, as well as the Secretary General of the United Nations”, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in July 2022 by Ukraine, Russia and Turkey, with the help of the UN, has alleviated the global food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine by allowing the export of almost 25 million tonnes of corn, wheat and other cereals. According to its terms, the agreement was to be “automatically extended for the same period (of 120 days, editor’s note) unless one of the parties notifies the other of its intention to terminate or modify it”. It was effectively extended by 120 days in November, until Saturday March 18 at 11:59 p.m. Istanbul time (8:59 p.m. GMT).

But on March 13, Russia, unhappy with the application of a second agreement to facilitate its own fertilizer exports, had indicated that it only accepted a 60-day extension. Since then, the UN has done everything possible to save this mechanism which has helped to calm the soaring prices since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Turkey, where the joint coordination center of the agreement which organizes the control of ships is located, had indicated on Friday that it still hoped for an extension of 120 days.

Ukraine thanks UN and Turkey for extension of grain deal

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister on Saturday thanked the UN and Turkey for the extension of the international agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain.

“The Black Sea Grain Initiative is extended for 120 days. We thank United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and (Turkish Defense Minister) Hulusi Akar and all our partners, for confirming this agreement,” Oleksandr Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.

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