Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 748

As the war enters its 748th day, these are the main developments.

Galyna Tolstolutska, head of the department of radiation damage and radiation materials science at the National Scientific Center stands in her damaged lab.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says more than $1bn is needed to restore the scientific infrastructure damaged or destroyed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine [Oleksandr Brynza/AP]

Here is the situation on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.


  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the situation along the front line in the east was “much better” and that Ukraine had “recovered” its strategic position with Russian troops no longer advancing after their capture last month of the eastern city of Avdiivka.
  • The Kremlin declined to comment on Russian media reports that it had sacked Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, the commander-in-chief of its navy, after losing a string of warships to Ukrainian attacks in the Black Sea. Several news outlets including the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper reported over the weekend that Yevmenov had been replaced by Northern Fleet commander Alexander Moiseyev.
  • Ukraine said its air defences shot down 15 out of 25 Russian drones launched in an overnight attack on the southern Odesa region but an infrastructure facility and some commercial buildings were hit. Ten of the Shahed drones were destroyed in the skies above the Black Sea port of Odesa.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said more than 1,400 buildings belonging to scientific institutions in Ukraine had been damaged in Russia’s invasion and their restoration would cost $1.26bn.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Pope Francis’s call for Ukraine to “show the courage of the white flag” and begin talks to end the war continued to create ructions. Russia, which began its full-scale invasion in February 2022, said the call was “quite understandable” while NATO, a Ukraine ally, said it was not the time to talk about “surrender”. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, summoned the Vatican ambassador, known as the papal nuncio.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that former US President Donald Trump had told him he would “not give a penny” to the war in Ukraine. Orban met Trump, who is running to become US president again, in Florida. He added that it was “hard not to agree with” Trump’s position.
  • 20 Days in Mariupol took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Associated Press journalist Mstyslav Chernov captured the brutal siege and fight for the Black Sea city in the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Hailing the win, the first ever for Ukraine, Zelenskyy said the documentary showed “the truth about Russian terrorism”.
  • Russian lawmakers submitted a draft bill to the State Duma that would rewrite a chapter of history by nullifying the 1954 Soviet decision to transfer Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. The draft describes the handover as arbitrary and illegal.


  • The US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines urged lawmakers to approve more military assistance for Ukraine, telling a key Senate committee it was “hard to imagine how Ukraine” could hold territory it has recaptured from Russia without more assistance from Washington.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies