Ukraine targeted by new drone attacks, according to its army

On the 388th day of the Russian invasion, several Ukrainian regions were the target of nighttime drone attacks. This Saturday, while Chinese leader Xi Jinping is visiting Russia, Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the annexation of this Ukrainian peninsula.


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

“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,” said regional governor Maksym Kozytski. 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.

Putin visits Crimea on annexation anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Crimea on Saturday, 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 Crimea, Vladimir Putin visited a school of the arts in the company of the local governor, Mikhail Razvojayev, according to images broadcast by the Rossia television channel. 1.

“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

Turkish President 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 UN 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.

Source: Europe1

Leave a Reply