The Russian military on Wednesday escalated its use of air and missile strikes against major Ukrainian cities where local military and civilians have mounted a more formidable defense than the Kremlin may have anticipated. So far, however, the Alliance and its member states have been extremely reluctant. Calls for a no-fly zone to be imposed by NATO forces over Ukraine have been rejected by several nations. However, voices in support are also heard.
Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have so far not yielded any results. Based on the experience from the last 8 years, no breakthrough is expected. Russia sees negotiations from the position of strength as a tool to impose its will on Ukraine. Russia does not itself compromise.
For the first time, Russian war criminals have acknowledged the mass deaths and wounds of their own soldiers. During the evening briefing, the official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian federation published his own information about the losses of the Russian occupational forces in Ukraine: 498 dead and 1,597 wounded.
The Ukrainian numbers of Russian losses are completely different, needless to say.
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine claims that the Russian forces continue to suffer losses from airstrikes by the Air Force. On March 2, the crews of the Su-24m and Su-25 combat aircraft provided air support to units of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, destroying columns of Russian military equipment and manpower in Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv oblasts. This information is not verified.
The General Staff claims that during the day, anti-aircraft missile units destroyed three enemy planes and two helicopters of the occupiers.
During a speech tonight, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said:
- Belarusian troops transferred to readiness #1
- Horlivka (which has been under occupation by Russian proxy forces for 8 years) is a Ukrainian city. We take ours.
- Everything is done according to the plan that is in our structures. If the enemy thinks that we will only defend ourselves, they are wrong.
- Occupiers do not understand where they got and are disoriented, scared, and without fuel. They just want to get home.
- Ukrainians will go out and defend their country.
- Ukraine is working on closing the sky over Ukraine. If we don’t, our children will be vulnerable. This is now # 1.
The war crimes investigation accusing Vladimir Putin of committing atrocities in his process of invading Ukraine, bombarding civilian infrastructure, and killing civilians has begun. The investigation by the International Criminal Court opened on Wednesday night after Britain and 37 allies took Russia to the court over invading a sovereign country and carrying out “abhorrent” attacks.
The invasion has come “just as the growth and planting season starts” in Ukraine and Russia, said Thomas Ølholm, a regional food security adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). “Many fields [in Ukraine] will not be maintained or planted. Many agricultural smallholders will be affected and lose their livelihoods for a period of time, or permanently.”
The White House on Wednesday detailed a new slate of economic measures levied against Russia and its ally Belarus. According to CNN, these includes new restrictions extending export control policies to Belarus and preventing diversion of tech and software to Russia through the country,
In addition, the US and allies are identifying 22 Russian “defense-related entities,” including firms that provide technological and material support for Russia’s military.
Read more in the situational brief War in Ukraine, Day 7: Russia escalates air and missile strikes against major cities