- 12 Mar 2023 - 17:50(17:50 GMT)
Destruction in Russian-shelled Donetsk region
Images are emerging from the Donetsk region in Ukraine, which has been subject to more Russian shelling.
Large parts of the eastern region are controlled by Russia.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 16:56(16:56 GMT)
Zelenskyy talks security with Czech Republic’s new president
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has tweeted about holding talks today with the Czech Republic’s new President Petr Pavel.
Had a call with 🇨🇿 President @prezidentpavel. Congratulated him on officially taking office. Outlined the situation at the front & our security needs. We discussed 🇺🇦’s EU integration & agreed to further cooperate. 🇨🇿 support is crucial for 🇺🇦 in fighting against RF's aggression!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 12, 2023
- 12 Mar 2023 - 16:34(16:34 GMT)
Ukraine will continue fight in Bakhmut: FM Kuleba
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says Ukraine will fight on in the city of Bakhmut, comparing the Russians’ advance to a thief breaking into one’s house and trying to “steal everything”.
He made the comments in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper on Sunday.
“When someone breaks into your house, you don’t ask yourself how long you can resist the guy who broke into your house and is trying to kill you and your family and steal everything in the house, right?
“You think what else can you do to evict him from your home and get the police to arrest him.”
- 12 Mar 2023 - 16:01(16:01 GMT)
Who controls what?
Here are four maps we update daily, charting the latest war developments.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 15:44(15:44 GMT)
Ukraine police: Russia launched 48 attacks in Donetsk region
Ukraine’s national police have said that Russia launched 48 attacks against civilians in the Donetsk region over the past day.
Police said 15 cities and towns, including Bakhmut, Konstyantynivka, and Avdiivka, came under attack, the Kyiv Independent reported.
Russia attacked the region with missiles, aircraft, rocket launchers, artillery, mortars, and tanks, according to the report.
Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in his daily briefing that two civilians were killed and four were wounded over the past day.
⚡️Police: Russia launches 48 attacks against civilians in Donetsk Oblast over the past day.
The police said 15 cities and towns, including Bakhmut, Konstyantynivka, and Avdiivka, came under attack.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 12, 2023
- 12 Mar 2023 - 15:28(15:28 GMT)
Amnesty slams Aramco for ‘surplus amassed’ by crisis, including Ukraine war
Amnesty International has criticised Saudi Aramco’s “record” profits, which the company said totalled $161.1bn last year.
“It is shocking for a company to make a profit of more than $161 billion in a single year through the sale of fossil fuel – the single largest driver of the climate crisis,” Agnes Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, said in a statement.
“It is all the more shocking because this surplus was amassed during a global cost-of-living crisis and aided by the increase in energy prices resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
Global energy prices surged after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Saudi Aramco – a mostly state-owned energy giant, and the world’s second most valuable company behind Apple – said in a filing with the Saudi stock market that net income for 2022 was up 46 percent from $110bn in 2021.
The results, the strongest since Aramco became a listed company in 2019, were “predominantly due to the impact of higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and stronger refining margins,” it said.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 14:58(14:58 GMT)
President defends position on ban to transfer Swiss arms to Ukraine
Swiss neutrality is more important than ever, President Alain Berset has said, defending the controversial ban on transferring Swiss-made arms to Ukraine.
“Swiss weapons must not be used in wars,” he told the NZZ am Sonntag weekly.
The long tradition of neutrality has been hotly debated since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Despite pressure from Kyiv and its allies, Switzerland has continued to block countries that hold Swiss-made weaponry from re-exporting it to Ukraine.
To date, requests from Germany, Spain and Denmark have been rejected under the War Materiel Act, which bars all re-export if the recipient country is in an international armed conflict.
Berset told NZZ the policy was based on “commitment to peace, to humanitarian law, to mediation where possible”.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 14:38(14:38 GMT)
Switzerland dismantling missiles instead of sending them to Ukraine: Report
Switzerland is scrapping outdated Rapier surface-to-air missiles that could have been used by Ukraine to shoot down low-flying targets, Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) reports.
A spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurement (Armasuisse) said that all Rapier short-range anti-aircraft missile systems would be dismantled, NZZ reported on Saturday.
The Swiss government prohibits countries that purchase Swiss arms from re-exporting them without permission. In February, the Swiss government refused to let Spain transfer Swiss-made anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine.
⚡️Media: Switzerland to dismantle outdated missiles instead of sending them to Ukraine.
Switzerland is getting rid of outdated Rapier surface-to-air missiles that could have been used by Ukraine to shoot down low-flying targets, Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 12, 2023
- 12 Mar 2023 - 14:23(14:23 GMT)
Moldova arrests ‘destabilising’ pro-Moscow network
Moldovan police have said they arrested members of a network “orchestrated by Moscow” in a bid to destabilise the small ex-Soviet nation via anti-government protests.
The White House on Friday accused Russia of seeking to destabilise the Romanian-speaking country of 2.6 million people bordering Ukraine with the aim of installing a pro-Russian government.
Moldova, formerly part of Russia’s sphere of influence, is now governed by authorities who are firmly focused on European integration.
This comes just days after Pro-Moscow separatists in Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova, say they had thwarted an assassination attempt on their leader, which they accuse Ukrainian security services of organising.
Kyiv rejected the accusations as a Kremlin “provocation” in the latest in a series of claims and counterclaims over the territory.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 14:05(14:05 GMT)
Russia’s Ukraine war casualties mainly not from Moscow, St Petersburg
The impact of the heavy casualties Russia continues to take varies dramatically across its regions, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update.
In proportion to the size of their population, the richest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been left relatively unscathed.
This is especially true for the families of the country’s elite.
In many of the eastern regions, deaths are likely running, as a percentage of the population, at a rate 30 or more times higher than in Moscow. In some places, ethnic minorities take the biggest hit; in Astrakhan, some 75 percent of casualties come from the minority Kazakh and Tartar populations.
The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 11 March 2023.
Find out more about Defence Intelligence's use of language: https://t.co/Q556veYzIS
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/RTRuEc0HP5
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 12, 2023
- 12 Mar 2023 - 13:51(13:51 GMT)
Ukraine’s military claims to have repelled more than 90 Russian assaults in a day
Ukraine’s military repelled more than 92 Russian assaults in five areas over the past day, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces claimed in its morning briefing, the Kyiv Independent reports.
According to the general staff report, Russian forces are concentrating their efforts on conducting offensives toward Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mariinka, and Shakhtarsk in Donetsk oblast.
⚡️General Staff: Ukrainian forces repel over 90 Russian attacks.
Ukraine’s military repelled over 92 Russian assaults in five areas over the past day, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported in its morning briefing on March 12.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 12, 2023
- 12 Mar 2023 - 13:33(13:33 GMT)
Russia cannot control country’s information space: FM spokeswoman
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has reportedly said there is infighting in the Kremlin inner circle, that the Kremlin has ceded centralised control over the Russian information space, and that President Vladimir Putin apparently cannot readily fix it.
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a policy research organisation focused on United States national security, Zakharova made these comments during a panel discussion attended by Kremlin journalists and academics about the “information and cognitive warfare in modern realities” in Moscow on March 11.
In the forum, Zakharova reportedly stated that the Kremlin cannot replicate the Stalinist approach of establishing a modern equivalent to the Soviet Information Bureau due to fighting among unspecified Kremlin “elites”.
The ISW said Zakharova’s statement is noteworthy and supports several of its own long-standing assessments: “that there is Kremlin infighting between key members of Putin’s inner circle; that Putin has largely ceded the Russian information space over time to a variety of quasi-independent actors; and that Putin is apparently unable to take decisive action to regain control over the Russian information space”.
#Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova confirmed that there is infighting in the #Kremlin inner circle, that the Kremlin has ceded centralized control over the Russian information space, and that #Putin apparently cannot readily fix it. https://t.co/faLSmaGT1S https://t.co/I0thozklaH
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) March 12, 2023
- 12 Mar 2023 - 13:19(13:19 GMT)
Ukraine PM thanks Canada for banning Russian steel products imports
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has thanked Canada for its decision to ban imports of Russian aluminium and steel products, and urged other countries to follow suit.
Eliminating russia's ability to finance the war is one of the steps to 🇺🇦’s victory. Grateful to 🇨🇦 government, @JustinTrudeau, @cafreeland, for banning imports of aluminium & steel from rf. We hope for similar decisions from other countries. We must stop russian war machine.
— Denys Shmyhal (@Denys_Shmyhal) March 12, 2023
Canada had announced a ban on imports of Russian aluminium and steel products on Friday to decrease Moscow’s revenues, which it uses to fund its war in Ukraine. The imports were worth almost $180m in 2021, according to the latest government data.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 12:51(12:51 GMT)
Turkish minister believes Black Sea grain deal will be extended
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said he believes that a deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea will be extended from its current March 18 deadline.
The deal was extended for 120 days in November and will renew on March 18 if no party objects. However, Russia has already signalled it will only agree to an extension if restrictions affecting its own exports are lifted.
Turkey has said previously that it is working hard to extend the deal.
“In separate talks with the Russian and Ukrainian sides, we saw that both sides are approaching this positively. We believe it will conclude positively,” Akar said in an interview with the state-owned news outlet Anadolu Agency.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 11:25(11:25 GMT)
Russia says it has not taken part in grain deal renewal talks
Russia’s foreign ministry has said that Russian representatives had not yet taken part in negotiations on extending the Black Sea grain deal.
“There have been no negotiations on this subject, especially with the participation of Russian representatives,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
The next round of talks on extending the deal will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 13 between Russia’s delegation and top United Nations trade official Rebeca Grynspan, Zakharova said.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 10:33(10:33 GMT)
Russian advance stalls in Ukraine’s Bakhmut: Report
Russia’s advance seems to have stalled in Moscow’s campaign to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, according to a leading think tank in an assessment of the longest ground battle of the war.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said there were no confirmed advances by Russian forces in Bakhmut.
Russian forces and units from the Kremlin-controlled paramilitary Wagner Group continued to launch ground attacks in the city, but there was no evidence that they were able to make any progress, ISW said.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 09:45(09:45 GMT)
Ukraine slams decision to reject Zelenskyy’s Oscars speech request
The Ukrainian foreign minister has “sharply” criticised the decision to reject President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to speak at the Oscars ceremony, according to a report.
“The decision not to invite Zelenskyy to deliver a speech during the Oscars ceremony, where one of the leading Best Foreign Language Film nominees is an antiwar Picture, is highly hypocritical,” Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 08:48(08:48 GMT)
Ukraine readies for counteroffensive in Bakhmut: Commander
A top Ukrainian commander has said his forces’ ongoing defence of Bakhmut in the face of fierce and sustained Russian attacks was necessary to “buy time” for a planned counteroffensive.
“The real heroes now are the defenders who are holding the eastern front on their shoulders, and inflicting the heaviest possible losses, sparing neither themselves nor the enemy,” the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, said.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 08:16(08:16 GMT)
Ukraine Deputy PM stresses human cost of Russian attack on Bakhmut
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna has said there is a high human cost to Russia’s assault on Bakhmut.
“Thousands of Russian soldiers died at a considerable rate in this battle,” she said in an interview with the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
“The human mass of its infantry is a formidable weapon, it seems inexhaustible in volume and in time.”
However, even if it did capture the “small town”, she added, “it will not impact the strategic corridors we still control in the region”.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 07:16(07:16 GMT)
Ukraine FM Kuleba urges Germany to send more ammunition, train up pilots
Ukraine’s foreign minister has urged Germany to speed up supplies of ammunition and to start training Ukrainian pilots on Western fighter jets.
Dmytro Kuleba told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview that ammunition shortages were the “number one” problem in Ukraine’s fight against Russia.
He said German weapons manufacturers had told him at the Munich Security Conference last month they were ready to deliver but were waiting for the government to sign contracts.
“So the problem lies with the government,” Kuleba was quoted as saying.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 06:47(06:47 GMT)
Russian shelling kills Kherson residents: Zelenskyy
Russian shelling has killed three civilians in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Ukrainian leader said they were killed while going to a store to buy groceries.
Ukraine recaptured Kherson in November after nearly eight months of occupation by Russian forces, who had seized it soon after the start of the large-scale invasion.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 06:44(06:44 GMT)
Russian Orthodox head appeals against eviction of church from Kyiv
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has asked Pope Francis and other religious leaders to persuade Ukraine to stop a crackdown against a historically Russian-aligned wing of the church.
On Friday, Kyiv ordered the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to leave a monastery complex where it is based, the latest move against a denomination the government says is pro-Russian and collaborating with Moscow.
Kirill urged religious leaders and international organisations to “make every effort to prevent the forced closure of the monastery, which will lead to a violation of the rights of millions of Ukrainian believers”, said a statement posted on the church’s website.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 06:41(06:41 GMT)
Russia says about 210 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donetsk region
Russia’s defence ministry says that up to 210 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the Donetsk region, where clashes have been ongoing.
Moscow did not specify the casualties in Bakhmut, the eastern Donetsk town that is now nearly deserted.
- 12 Mar 2023 - 06:36(06:36 GMT)
More than 500 pro-Russia troops killed, injured in Bakhmut: Kyiv
Serhiy Cherevatyi, a Ukrainian military spokesperson, has said that 221 pro-Moscow troops were killed in the clashes in the contested city of Bakhmut. The official added that more than 300 troops were injured in the fighting in the city.
Russia-Ukraine updates: Hundreds killed in battle for Bakhmut
All the updates as they happened on March 12.
This blog is now closed. Thank you for joining us. These were the updates on the Russia-Ukraine war on Sunday, March 12.
- Ukraine says that 221 pro-Moscow soldiers have been killed and more than 300 wounded in 24 hours in the front-line city of Bakhmut.
- Russia’s defence ministry says up to 210 Ukrainian soldiers have died in clashes in the broader Donetsk front line.
- The Russian Orthodox Church has asked Pope Francis and other religious leaders to persuade Ukraine to stop a crackdown against a Russian-aligned wing of the church.
- Russian shelling has killed three civilians in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies