Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 744

As the war enters its 744th day, these are the main developments.

An Orthodox priest officiates at a funeral ceremony for a Ukrainian commander. He is wearing a red robe with golden embroidery. The ceremony is in a forest.
A Ukrainian priest leads a memorial service next to a grave of a Ukrainian commander killed a year ago near Bakhmut [Roman Pilipey/AFP]

Here is the situation on Friday, March 8, 2024.


  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a decree authorising the demobilisation of conscripts who joined the army before Russia’s invasion and whose service has come to an end.
  • At least two people were killed in Russian rocket attacks on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region and another man was killed further west in Chernihiv region, local officials said.

  • Ihor Zhovkva, a top diplomatic adviser for Ukraine, told broadcaster CNN he could not exclude the possibility that a Russian missile had deliberately targeted the delegations of Zelenskyy and the visiting prime minister of Greece when they visited Odesa earlier this week. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council and a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, denied the accusation.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Sweden became the 32nd member of NATO, abandoning its long-held neutrality in a process that started as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
  • China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China sees itself as a “force for peace” in the world, but would continue to deepen its ties with Russia. “In the face of complex turmoil in the international environment, China will persist in being a force for peace, a force for stability, and a force for progress in the world,” Wang told reporters.
  • Ukraine named Valerii Zaluzhnyi its new envoy to the United Kingdom a month after he was removed from his position as the country’s military commander-in-chief.
  • Zelenskyy is scheduled to visit Turkey on Friday for a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two are likely to discuss the ongoing war, the Black Sea grain deal and bilateral relations.
  • Speaking in Prague, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Ukraine’s allies not to be “cowards”, after being criticised for his proposal to send Western soldiers to fight on the ground in Ukraine.
  • A new poll conducted by the Associated Press showed few Americans want the country to take a more active role in solving the world’s problems, including in Ukraine where the latest round of funding is tied up in Congress. The poll showed only about a quarter think the US should take a more active role. About one-third say its current role is about right.


  • Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said it was critical to US credibility to provide US military aid to Ukraine, and if the US withdrew from its leadership role, it would take time to develop European capacity to fill the gap.
  • The UK said it would provide 10,000 drones to arm Ukraine, the weaponry will include 1,000 one-way attack – or kamikaze – drones and models that target ships.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies