Day 394 since the beginning of the war: Russia accuses Slovakia of breaching a treaty. Kiev has denied the arbitrary execution of prisoners of war. All information in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Zelenskyj on counter-offensive: “We can’t start yet”
11:12 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the military situation in the embattled east of his country as “not good”. The reason is the “lack of ammunition,” Selenskyj said in an interview with the Japanese daily “Yomiuri Shimbun” published on Saturday. About the start of a possible counter-offensive, he said: “We can’t start yet.” Without tanks and artillery, “no brave soldiers” could be sent to the front.
According to the newspaper, Selenskyj made the serious shortage of weapons clear. “We are waiting for ammunition to arrive from our partners,” he said, adding that the Russian military fires three times more ammunition than Ukrainian forces every day. The newspaper conducted the interview on March 23 on the train, when Zelenskyy was on his way back to the capital Kiev after visiting the southern region of Cherson close to the front. He had previously visited the eastern regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv.
Ukraine: Putin’s allies flee Crimea
10.50 a.m.: Russia is said to have started evacuating Russia’s annexed Crimea peninsula from Ukraine. This is reported by the Ukrainian online medium Kyiv Independent, citing the Ukrainian military intelligence service. According to this, the Russian command and Moscow-appointed deputies began selling their properties and moving their families away.
On Wednesday, Crimean residents heard a warning over radio stations urging them to prepare to leave Crimea, a military intelligence spokesman said. He suspected the announcement was intended for those working with the Russian occupation authorities, the spokesman said. This information cannot be independently verified.
London: Russian attack near Bachmut halts
10:29 am: The defenders of the heavily contested city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine have strengthened their positions, according to the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Army, Valery Zalushny. “Thanks to the titanic efforts of the defensive forces, the situation has been stabilized,” said Zalushnyj on his Facebook account after a phone call with his British counterpart Tony Radakin on Saturday night. The section around Bachmut is still one of the most difficult front sections.
According to British secret services, the reason for the current situation in Bakhmut lies elsewhere. Accordingly, the Russian attack on Bakhmut has largely come to a standstill. “This is probably primarily a result of the significant losses suffered by Russian forces,” the British Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.
“The Russians’ situation is also likely to have worsened due to tensions between the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Wagner Group, both of which are deploying units to this sector of the front.” The Ukraine also suffered heavy losses in the month-long battle for Bakhmut, it was emphasized in London.
Medvedev wants to ban “foreign agents” from earning money in Russia
9:14 a.m.: Ex-President Dmitry Medvedev believes that anyone who is classified as a “foreign agent” in Russia should no longer be allowed to earn money in the country itself. In the future, this must be recorded directly in legislation, the 57-year-old told Russian media on Saturday. The controversial law on “foreign agents” in Russia serves to stigmatize people, the media and non-governmental organizations who are not loyal to the line.