As many as 15,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine, NATO says; US accuses Russia of war crimes: Live updates

Written by on March 23, 2022

As many as 15,000 Russian troops have been killed because the invasion of Ukraine started 4 weeks in the past, based on NATO’s first estimate.

Russia has suffered 30,000 to 40,000 battlefield casualties, together with 7,000 to 15,000 killed, a senior NATO army officer mentioned in a briefing Wednesday from the alliance’s army headquarters in Belgium. 

Additionally Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the U.S. has decided Russian army forces have dedicated struggle crimes in Ukraine.

The senior army officer, talking on situation of anonymity below floor guidelines set by NATO, mentioned the estimated deaths are based mostly on data from the Ukrainian authorities, indications from Russia and open-source data. The officer mentioned the variety of fatalities got here from a calculation of three wounded troopers for each soldier killed. Casualties embody killed, wounded or lacking in motion in addition to these taken prisoner.

Earlier this week, a senior Pentagon official estimated the Russian army had misplaced greater than 10% of the fight pressure in Ukraine. 

Russia is starting to dig into defensive positions exterior Kyiv within the face of fierce Ukrainian opposition, a senior Protection official mentioned. The Russian advance from the north stays stalled about 10 miles from town middle, mentioned the official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate intelligence assessments. To the east of Kyiv, the Ukrainians have pushed again the entrance line about 15 miles to 30 miles exterior town.

The Russians seem like attacking extra aggressively in japanese Ukraine, the official mentioned. Combating between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists has been ongoing within the area since 2014.

The Ukraine Protection Ministry claims its forces have pushed occupying Russian troops out of Makariv – a small Kyiv suburb that is essential as a result of it offers management of a freeway to the west. The trouble additionally blocked Russian troops from surrounding Kyiv from the northwest and supplied the Ukrainian army with a much-needed success story.

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President Joe Biden embarked Wednesday on a multi-day journey to Europe, the place he’ll speak with allies in regards to the ongoing response to Russia’s invasion, together with army help for Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, mentioned the president is engaged on long-term efforts to spice up defenses in Japanese Europe and scale back the continent’s reliance on Russian vitality.

Residents clean up a street outside apartments damaged by shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 23, 2022.

Newest developments

►Putin aide Anatoly Chubais resigned, left Russia due to the struggle and has no intention of returning, based on a number of media retailers. Chubais, a particular envoy for ties with worldwide organizations, is the highest-profile determine to step down because the struggle started, Reuters reported.

►Oksana Baulina, a journalist with the unbiased Russian outlet The Insider, was killed by shelling Wednesday in Kyiv whereas documenting the harm of Russian bombardment within the capital, the information group mentioned.

►European Union nations signed off on one other 500 million euros ($550 million) in army support for Ukraine, a beforehand introduced dedication that doubles the EU’s army contributions to the nation since Russia invaded Feb. 24.

►Poland says it is in search of to expel 45 Russian intelligence officers utilizing diplomatic standing as cowl to remain in nation. Tweeted Inside Minister Mariusz Kamiński: “We’re breaking apart the brokers of the Russian secret providers in our nation.”

►In a nightly handle to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned 100,000 civilians remained within the port metropolis of Mariupol, which has additionally come below naval assault after weeks of air and land strikes.

Blinken: US has decided Russia dedicated struggle crimes

Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Wednesday the USA has decided Russian forces have dedicated struggle crimes in Ukraine.

“As we speak, I can announce that, based mostly on data at the moment obtainable, the U.S. authorities assesses that members of Russia’s forces have dedicated struggle crimes in Ukraine,” Blinken mentioned in a press release.

He mentioned the evaluation relies on “a cautious assessment of obtainable data from public and intelligence sources.”

Blinken mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion has unleashed “unrelenting violence that has brought on loss of life and destruction throughout Ukraine.” He cited experiences of indiscriminate assaults, together with these intentionally concentrating on civilians, amongst different atrocities. 

“Russia’s forces have destroyed house buildings, faculties, hospitals, essential infrastructure, civilian automobiles, procuring facilities and ambulances, leaving hundreds of harmless civilians killed or wounded,” Blinken mentioned, pointing to the assault on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, amongst different incidents.

“As with all alleged crime, a courtroom of regulation with jurisdiction over the crime is finally liable for figuring out felony guilt in particular circumstances,” Blinken mentioned. “The U.S. authorities will proceed to trace experiences of struggle crimes and can share data we collect with allies, companions and worldwide establishments and organizations, as acceptable. We’re dedicated to pursuing accountability utilizing each instrument obtainable, together with felony prosecutions.”

– Deirdre Shesgreen

Zelenskyy urges international present of assist as struggle reaches four-week mark

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy desires the entire world to acknowledge the four-week mark of the Russian invasion. 

In a video handle shot close to his workplaces in Kyiv late Wednesday, Zelenskyy urged residents across the globe to take to the streets Thursday and exhibit assist for his nation, which has been below a brutal, unprovoked assault since Feb. 24.

“Come out of your workplaces, your properties, your faculties and universities,” Zelenskyy mentioned. “Come within the identify of peace. Include Ukrainian symbols to assist Ukraine, to assist freedom, to assist life. Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourselves seen and heard. Say that folks matter. Freedom issues. Peace issues. Ukraine issues.” 

Abramovich escapes US sanctions due to potential position as peacemaker, WSJ experiences

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, proprietor of the Chelsea soccer membership within the British Premier League, has been sanctioned by the U.Okay. and the European Union due to his shut ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However to date Abramovich has prevented penalties from the USA, and the rationale stems from a request made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who sees Abramovich as a possible key determine in negotiating a peace deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper mentioned Zelenskyy made the request to President Joe Biden shortly earlier than the U.S. was about to impose sanctions on Abramovich, a former oil tycoon.

A spokesperson for Abramovich declined to supply particulars however mentioned in a press release to the WSJ that, “Based mostly on requests, together with from Jewish organizations in Ukraine, he has been doing all he can to assist efforts aimed toward restoring peace as quickly as potential.”  

NATO leaders to name out China for not condemning Russia’s invasion

NATO leaders will strain China to sentence Russia’s invasion and never present army assist to its ally, NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Wednesday. 

“I count on leaders will name on China to stay as much as its tasks as a member of the U.N. Safety Council,” Stoltenberg mentioned at a information convention previewing Thursday’s emergency NATO assembly on Ukraine in Brussels, which President Joe Biden will attend.

Stoltenberg mentioned Beijing has joined Moscow in questioning the appropriate of unbiased nations to decide on their very own path. And he charged China with offering political assist to Russia by “spreading blatant lies and disinformation” in regards to the struggle.

“China has not been in a position to condemn the invasion,” he mentioned.

Stoltenberg mentioned China ought to accomplish that now and “have interaction in diplomatic efforts to discover a peaceable option to finish this struggle as quickly as potential.”

Maureen Groppe

Treasury, legislators look into freezing Russia’s gold

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. lawmakers are discussing the opportunity of freezing Russia’s gold reserves, estimated at a worth of $130 billion, after legislators launched a invoice concentrating on Russia’s capability to promote its gold to keep away from the influence of sanctions.

President Vladimir Putin has for years constructed Russia’s stockpile of gold, which isn’t topic to the sanctions imposed by the West because the early levels of the Ukraine invasion.

“We can’t permit Putin to reap the benefits of a loophole that would assist finance his unconscionable assault on Ukraine,” mentioned Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

WNBA star Brittney Griner in ‘good situation’ in Russian custody

State Division spokesman Ned Worth mentioned U.S. Embassy officers in Russia had been lastly granted consular entry to Brittney Griner and that the WNBA star was in “good situation.” Griner, who additionally performs professionally in Russia, has been in custody since final month after Russian officers accused her of attempting to enter the nation with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. A conviction might maintain her in a Russian jail for 10 years. Griner has been ordered held in pre-trial detention till Could 19.

Volunteers load a vehicle with sandbags to defend the city, in Odesa, southern Ukraine, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Western officials say that Ukrainian resistance has halted much of Russia's advance. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) ORG XMIT: NYAG503

‘Individuals are being killed day and night time,’ refugee from Kharkiv says

The Russian assault on Kharkiv has left the northeastern metropolis with Ukraine’s second-largest inhabitants in a “horrible” scenario. That is the evaluation of Natalia Savchenko, 37, a Ukrainian who left town and sought refuge in Medyka, Poland.

“Individuals are being killed day and night time,” Savchenko mentioned. “They’re taking pictures with all the pieces they’ve. There’s nearly nobody left in Kharkiv. There isn’t a electrical energy, water. The town is sort of empty. They don’t provide youngsters with drugs and meals. They’re simply killing individuals.”

Savchenko mentioned the army helped her escape by prepare.

“It’s horrible, so horrible,” she mentioned. “We left, however within the district the place we lived, my grandmother stayed, my mother and my husband. As we speak our district was bombed, Shevchenkivsky district. We’re working away.”

NATO so as to add four battlegroups

President Joe Biden and different NATO leaders assembly Thursday in Brussels will seemingly conform to strengthen the alliance’s place on land, at sea and within the air, NATO’s  Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Wednesday. 

Stoltenberg mentioned NATO will deploy 4 new battlegroups, which normally concerned greater than 1,000 troops every, in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Added to present forces within the Baltics and Poland, NATO can have eight multinational NATO battlegroups alongside the japanese flank from the Baltic to the Black Sea, he mentioned.

“We face a brand new actuality for our safety,” Stoltenberg mentioned. “So we should reset our deterrence and protection for the long term.”

Rising variety of Ukrainian refugees returning residence: ‘All the pieces now we have is there’

Amid the greater than 3.5 million refugees who’ve left their properties in Ukraine for the protection of different nations due to the Russian invasion, a small but growing number are heading back.

Many plan to remain solely briefly, to verify on their properties or to gather clothes extra suited to the approaching spring climate. Others say they’re uninterested in dwelling in worry and are assured the Ukrainian army will finally prevail, thanks partly to the weapons, provides and intelligence being supplied by the USA and its allies.

Worldwide support staff mentioned the variety of eastbound returnees to Ukraine is growing each day, most of them ladies and youngsters as a result of males of combating age needed to keep behind to defend the nation.

“All the pieces now we have is there,” mentioned Karina Hoderan, an engineer who was heading residence to Odesa together with her household to choose up garments and wasn’t certain whether or not they would return to Moldova for refuge. “And we’re too drained to be nervous.”

 Trevor Hughes

Biden warns of ‘actual menace’ of chemical warfare

President Joe Biden warned Wednesday of the specter of chemical warfare in Ukraine as he departed for a four-day journey to Europe for conferences with key U.S. allies.

“I believe it’s an actual menace,” Biden advised reporters on the White Home South Garden.

Biden is heading to Brussels for a summit of NATO leaders and a gathering with the European Council as leaders search to reaffirm their unity amid Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine. Biden is anticipated to coordinate with allies on army help for Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia.

On Friday, Biden will journey to Warsaw, Poland, for a bilateral assembly with President Andrzej Duda. The 2 leaders are anticipated to debate how allies are responding to the humanitarian disaster sparked by the struggle.

– Michael Collins

Ukraine says Russia seized reduction staff in Mariupol convoy

Ukrainian leaders accused Russia of seizing 15 rescue staff and drivers from a humanitarian convoy of 11 buses that had been anticipated to evacuate residents.

“Workers of the state emergency service and bus drivers have been taken captive,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned. “We are attempting to prepare secure humanitarian corridors for Mariupol residents, however nearly all of our makes an attempt, sadly, are foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling or deliberate terror.”

He estimated 100,000 civilians remained in Mariupol, as soon as residence to greater than 400,000 individuals, after weeks of shelling which have battered town.

“They bombed us for the previous 20 days,” mentioned Viktoria Totsen, 39, who fled into Poland. “Over the past 5 days, the planes had been flying over us each 5 seconds and dropped bombs all over the place – on residential buildings, kindergartens, artwork faculties, all over the place.”

Ukrainian company: Russian forces destroyed laboratory at Chernobyl

A laboratory on the Chernobyl nuclear plant that works to enhance the administration of radioactive waste was destroyed, based on the Ukrainian company accountable for the realm surrounding the plant.

The laboratory contained “extremely energetic samples and samples of radionuclides that are actually within the arms of the enemy, which we hope will hurt itself and never the civilized world,” the company mentioned in its assertion.

Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory company additionally mentioned Monday that radiation displays across the plant had stopped working.

Russia seized management of the Chernobyl plant early in its invasion of Ukraine, together with the Zaporizhzhia plant. Chernobyl is the location of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe in 1986 when a reactor exploded. The exclusion zone is the contaminated space across the plant.

Putin will not rule out utilizing nuclear weapons, spokesperson says

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not dominated out the opportunity of utilizing nuclear weapons within the practically four-week-long struggle with Ukraine, his longtime spokesman mentioned Tuesday in a CNN interview.

Requested by CNN’s chief worldwide anchor, Christiane Amanpour, whether or not he is satisfied Putin will not take that drastic step, press secretary Dmitry Peskov declined to dismiss that choice.

“Properly, now we have an idea of home safety, and, effectively, it is public,” Peskov responded. “You possibly can learn all the explanations for nuclear arms for use. So, whether it is an existential menace for our nation, then it may be used, in accordance with our idea.”

It is not the primary time a high-ranking Russian official has dangled a nuclear menace, prone to sow worry amongst adversaries. Three days after launching the Ukraine invasion Feb. 24, Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces placed on excessive alert in response to robust sanctions from the West.

Contributing: The Related Press

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