Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, March 8

Ukrainian forces have 'likely stabilized' their defensive perimeter in Bakhmut -- Zelensky says capture of Bakhmut would give Russia 'open road' to other cities of Donetsk Oblast -- Ukrainian pilots ready to be trained on Western fighter jets in any country -- Ukrainian pilots ready to be trained on Western fighter jets in any country -- and more

Wednesday, March 8

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen fire at Russian positions on the frontline rear Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on March 5, 2023. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Media: Boat used for Nord Stream attacks connected to Ukraine. German investigators have identified a boat allegedly used to sabotage Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines, suggesting it had been rented from a company owned by Ukrainians, according to a joint investigation by the German publications ARD, Kontraste, SWR, and Die Zeit published on March 7.

UK Defense Ministry: Ukrainian forces have ‘likely stabilized’ their defensive perimeter in Bakhmut. The report comes a day after President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to Ukrainians that there was consensus between him and Ukraine’s top military leadership that Ukrainian forces should continue to hold the city.

Zelensky says capture of Bakhmut would give Russia ‘open road’ to other cities of Donetsk Oblast. “This is tactical for us… after Bakhmut, they could go further. They could go to Kramatorsk, they could go to Sloviansk,” President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN. “That’s why our guys are standing there.”

Official: Less than 4,000 civilians remain in Bakhmut. Less than 4,000 civilians — including 38 children — remain in the city in Donetsk Oblast, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on national television on March 7.

Ukraine returns 130 more POWs from Russian captivity. Most of the released soldiers were defending ​​the now-occupied port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, according to President’s Office Head Andrii Yermak.

Stand with the Kyiv Independent. Become a member today.

Lawmaker submits draft law providing legal rights to same-sex couples. Lawmaker Inna Sovsun, who is part of the Holos political faction, announced on March 7 that she had submitted a draft law on the registration of same-sex couples and that her fellow deputies, set to be read by parliament within the next five days.

Air force: Ukrainian pilots ready to be trained on Western fighter jets in any country. The best Ukrainian pilots have been selected and are prepared to start training in any country that is ready to receive them, according to Air Force spokesperson Yuri Ihnat.

Cabinet of Ministers approves mandatory evacuation of families with children from active combat zones. Children being evacuated from active combat zones must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, the Ministry of Integration clarified. Currently, only the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast falls under the criteria for mandatory evacuations.

Governor: Situation ‘stable and under control’ in Luhansk Oblast as Russia pauses attacks. Russian forces in Luhansk Oblast have largely ceased attacking over the past 24 hours to replenish their reserves, according to Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai.

Read our exclusives

Ukraine war latest: ‘After Bakhmut, they could go further,’ says Zelensky backing decision not to withdraw

Check out the key developments from March 7.

Photo: Ignacio Marin Fernandez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Learn More

Search ongoing for identity of Ukrainian POW allegedly executed by Russia

The search for the identity of the alleged Ukrainian prisoner of war executed in a video that emerged on March 6 appears to be coming to an end.

Photo: Screenshot of social media video.

Learn More

Season of offensives: What to expect from the spring campaign in Ukraine

Though the mud may present a brief challenge to both Russian and Ukrainian operations for a few weeks, it also marks the beginning of the spring 2023 campaign in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Photo: Borrazas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Learn More

The human cost of Russia’s war

Hero of Ukraine Dmytro Kotsiubailo killed in action near Bakhmut. Dmytro Kotsiubailo, commander of the First Mechanized Battalion “Da Vinci Wolves” and Hero of Ukraine, was killed in action near Bakhmut, President Volodymyr Zelensky reported on March 7. Kotsiubailo (call sign Da Vinci) became one of the youngest Ukrainian servicemen to receive the Hero of Ukraine national title in 2021. He was 27.

1 killed, 11 injured in Russian attacks across four Ukrainian regions over past day. Local officials reported Russian attacks in several Oblasts including Kharkiv, Kherson, Donetsk, and Zaporizhzhia over the last 24 hours, resulting in property damage but minor civilian casualties.

General Staff: Russia has lost 154,830 troops in Ukraine as of March 7. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on March 7 that Russia had lost 154,830 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 last year. This number includes 1,060 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

International response

CNN: China’s Foreign Minister compares hypothetical military aid for Russia to US aid for Taiwan. “Why does the US ask China not to provide weapons to Russia while it keeps selling arms to Taiwan?” Qin Gang said during a news conference on March 7.

Minister: Poland to send 10 more Leopard tanks to Ukraine this week. Poland has led Western efforts in providing Ukraine with modern Leopard main battle tanks, having delivered the first batch on Feb. 24. In total, Warsaw pledged to supply 14 Leopard 2 tanks.

Zaluzhnyi meets with top military officials of UK, US, Poland. Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi reported that he met with four military leaders of Western countries on March 7.

In other news

Protests erupt in Georgia over Kremlin-inspired ‘foreign agents’ legislation. Georgian police used tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters who rallied after the parliament passed the first reading of the Russian-inspired “foreign agents” draft law on March 7.

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Francis Farrell, Kate Tsurkan, Oleg Sukhov, Dinara Khalilova, Anastasiya Gordiychuk, Teah Pelechaty, and Anastasiia Malenko.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming our patron on Patreon or donating via GoFundMe. Start supporting independent journalism today.