After the first month of Russian military operations in Ukraine left, their second stage began. The Russian military claimed the main military goal to be the complete liberation of the DPR and the LPR territories from the AFU grouping. In order to fulfill this task, the joint Russian, DPR and LPR troops continue their offensive on the Donbass front lines, and the Russian cruise missiles are targeting the AFU military facilities all around Ukraine in order to disrupt the Ukrainian military supplies to the front lines.
So far, one of the most important battlefields in Eastern Ukraine has been the city of Mariupol. Half of the nationalist forces in the city have been reportedly destroyed. Ukrainian servicemen including members of the Azov nationalist battalion were repelled from all the outskirts and most of them were blocked in the facilities of the Azovstal plant. At the same time, the large assault of the industrial facilities is yet to be launched. Mop up operations continue in the city’s central regions.
A lot of the Ukrainian militants, are hiding in residential buildings under the guise of civilians, some are trying to leave the city on humanitarian corridors.
On the Donbass front lines, no advances were reported on March 26.
During the morning briefing, the Ministry of Defense of Russia reported that units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue fighting near the settlements of Novobakhmutovka and Novomikhailovka, inflicting fire damage to the enemy in strong points and on its reserves. During the day, no advances were reported. The Russian military is still attempting to inflict as more losses to the enemy positions as possible using its artillery and aviation.
In the evening briefing, the Ministry of Defense reported that more than 30 servicemen of the 54 mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces, 6 armored vehicles and a battery of field artillery of the 46th separate assault battalion were destroyed near Novomikhailovka during a day.
In its turn, the DPR claimed that 132 settlements of the republic have been liberated. The battles for Marinka continue and Verkhnetoretsky is being moped up. Battles are also taking place in the area of Troitsky that is under the DPR control.
In the LPR, the People’s Militia continues to attack the positions of the Ukrainian military on the outskirts of Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, as well as in the area of Popasna. No advances of LPR forces were reported for several days.
As the AFU are holding their positions near the civilian areas in the DPR and the LPR, shelling on civilians continues aon a daily basis. In the DPR, fire was opened in the direction of Donetsk, as well as the settlements of Elenovka, Yasinovataya, Gorlovka, Zaitsevo Yuzhnoye, Alexandrovka, Staromikhailovka, Makeyevka. As a result of the shelling, one civilian was killed, 54 people were injured, including four children. Damage was caused to the civil infrastructure.
In the LPR, fire was opened on two settlements, including Pervomaisk, where 9 residential buildings and the central library building were damaged.
In the Zaporozhye direction, the front line has not changed between Vasilyevka and Volnovakha -. Fighting is taking place in the area between Velikaya Novoselka and Ugledar which are under the AFU control.
In the Kiev region, Russian forces took control over the city of Slavutich after the agreement with the local administration on the demilitarization of the city. To the West of Kiev, fighting continues in Irpen and in the Makarov districts. In the eastern direction, the Russian army are holding their positions in Brovary and Boryspil. Attempts of the AFU to counter-attacks were reported ear the village of Lukyanovka.
On the suburbs of Kiev, the Russian military reportedly took control of the AFU command post in Nikolaevka. 61 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily surrendered, more than half of them are senior officers.
The local authorities in the Sumy region confirmed the ongoing fighting in the villages of Konotop, Akhtyrsky and Sumy districts. The AFU continue their attempts to counter attack.
Situation near Kharkov and Chuguev remain unchanged. Izyum are not completely controlled by Russian troops, the mop up operation is ending on the southern outskirts. Meanwhile the front lines were pushed towards Slavyansk and Barvenkovo.
In the south of Ukraine, in areas controlled by the Russian military, civil-military administrations have begun to be created. Their tasks include the management of territories and settlements, as well as the solution of issues of vital activity of the population. In particular, in the Kherson region and the south of Zaporozhye, where Russian television is already operating and rubles are widely used.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, on March 25 and 26, Russian air defense systems shot down three Ukrainian Air Force planes in the air over the village of Vishnevoye — two Su-25 and one Su-24, and another Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter was shot down by Russian air defense over the village of Staraya Basan.
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