RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE -SITUATION REPORT 0800 HRS WEDNESDAY 16TH MARCH 2022
The report of overnight developments up to 0800 hrs today, plus 24 hrs up to 1800 hrs yesterday, summarized under various headings, can be downloaded here:
Early this morning sirens were activated in Cherkasy, Dnipro, Lviv, Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts, as well as in the cities of Kyiv, Izyum, Kremenchuk, Bila Tserkva, Nikopol, Mykolaiv, Kyiv, Izmail, Odesa, Poltava, and the Kryve Ozero area. (KI). CNN reports that according to their team on the ground, loud explosions were heard in Kyiv’s suburbs.
Bombardment of the capital city continued overnight, with plumes of smoke seen rising above a large residential building in western Kyiv this morning. Shrapnel from an artillery shell hit the 12-story building, obliterating the top floor and igniting a fire. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said two people were injured and work is ongoing to search for any victims.
Russian troops seize hospital and take 500 hostage in southern port city of Mariupol (BBC);
According to a senior US Defence official, Russian forces have fired more than 950 missiles since the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
The United States “continues to assess the limited or no progress of Russian ground forces towards achieving their objectives,” the same official said, noting that invading troops have not advanced further into Kiev and estimating that they are still around 15 to 30 kms away from the capital.
Two people have been injured, according to Odesa authorities. Satellite images showed 14 ships of the Russian fleet sailing towards the city of Odesa on March 15, among them a 120-meter landing ship Pyotr Morgunov of Russia’s northern fleet. (See map)
As of the morning of March 16, the Armed Forces of Ukraine delivered a devastating blow to groups of invading Russian forces in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and launched a counter-attack in some areas. “The state, situation and nature of the actions of defence forces have not changed significantly over the past 24 hours. The Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to deliver a devastating blow to groups of occupiers’ troops in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and launched a counter-attack in some areas,” the statement reads. (Ukrinform)
US – The US Senate has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal. The conviction was passed unanimously. It was a rare show of unity in the US Congress, which is heavily divided between Republicans and Democrats. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the US Congress this Wednesday.
PEACE TALKS – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said peace talks with Russia were beginning to sound “more realistic” but that more time was needed to ensure the outcome of the negotiations were in Kyiv’s interests. Zelenskyy’s comments early on Wednesday came as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine neared the three-week mark and Russian forces continued their bombardment of Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, and the southern port city of Mariupol. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy and member of the Ukrainian delegation, has described the negotiations as “very difficult and viscous”. The two sides are expected to speak again on Wednesday. (Aljazeera)
REFUGEES TO PORTUGAL – Portugal has already granted more than 10,000 requests for temporary protection to people coming from Ukraine as a result of the war situation, according to an updated balance sheet to Lusa by a source from the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).