Eastern Ukraine: Russian forces take small towns west of Izium to outflank Ukrainian defensive positions. Ukrainian media reports that Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov will take personal command of the Russian offensive in Izium, which aims to encircle Ukrainian forces in the Donbas.
Russia struggles to make headway against Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovtsal plant, despite continued indiscriminate bombardment, and prepares to advance on parts of Kherson oblast still held by Ukrainian forces.
Transnistria: Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of preparing false flag operations in Transnistria, a Russian-controlled slave of neighbor Moldova, to involve that country in the war.
Russia: An explosion sets an ammunition store on fire in the Russian region of Belgorod bordering Ukraine. Russian anti-aircraft fire purportedly shoots down two drones in Kursk and Voronezh, two other Russian provinces bordering Ukraine.
Eastern Ukraine: Russian forces continue ground attacks and shelling along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, but fail to make any significant advances.
The Ukrainian general staff says Russian forces are intensifying attacks against the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and dropping heavy bombs on a local hospital.
Russian forces launch several successful attacks from Kherson in the direction of Mykolaiv in the southwest.
Ukrainian defense intelligence says Russian occupiers in Kharkiv are forcing local merchants to buy goods from Russian wholesalers in an effort to take control of the local economy. It also reports that farmers are threatened with land seizure unless they work their fields, despite dangers from unexploded shells and a lack of working machinery.
Kyiv: Russia launches a missile attack on Kyiv during UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s visit to the Ukrainian capital. Russia says it destroyed anti-tank missile production facilities at the Artem defense factory.
“This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude towards global institutions, about attempts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything the organization represents,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says.
The missile attack also destroys an apartment building, killing Radio Liberty journalist Vira Hyrych in her home.
Weapons: US Congress revives lend-lease facilities to speed up weapons shipments to Ukraine. The program allows US defense contractors to bypass usual bureaucratic channels and send weapons with a technical requirement to be paid at a later date.
US President Joe Biden asks Congress to approve a $33bn spending package for Ukraine. Congress previously approved $13.6bn in military and humanitarian spending for the country.
Biden also asks Congress to create new powers . the US to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs and use them to help Ukraine, as Canada announced it will do a day before, and to make it a criminal offense for anyone to knowingly profit from dealings with the Kremlin. The US has already frozen oligarchs’ assets held in the country.
Eastern Ukraine: Russian forces shell along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, taking the town of Yampil west of Severdonetsk, while Ukrainian forces repel two other Russian advances. Ukrainian forces also repel Russian attacks near Izium.
Ukrainian defense intelligence says its forces have regained control of Ruska Lozova, a strategic village near Kharkiv, from which Russians had been shelling the city centre.
The Ukrainian general staff says Russian units are redeploying from Mariupol to join the main battlefront to take Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in eastern Ukraine.
A US defense official says some of the units are heading for Zaporizhzhia in southwestern Ukraine.
Mariupol mayoral adviser Petro Andryushchenko says Russian forces are taking an inventory of residences in the city in preparation for seizing them. Russian forces continue to bomb the Azovstal plant.
EU: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says Russia’s decision to cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria because they refused to pay for it in roubles is “blackmail” and proves Russia is an unreliable supplier.
Eastern Ukraine: Russian forces continue artillery and air attacks along the Luhansk-Donetsk front line without making any advances.
In Mariupol, Andryushchenko says Russian forces are forcibly resettling some city residents and plan to re-home people forcibly evacuated to Russia.
Ukrainian forces continue counteroffensives northeast of Kharkiv. Over 72 hours, Russian forces captured a string of suburbs north of the city and towns including Verkhnya Rohanka, Ruska Lozova, Slobidske, and Prelesne.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov reiterates his call to the US and NATO to stop supplying arms to Ukraine, during an interview with the Chinese state wire service Xinhua.
Eastern Ukraine: Russian forces maintain pressure on the Luhansk-Donetsk front line with shelling. Russian forces make limited gains in the direction of Lyman and Yampil.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Aristovych says a missile attack in Izium may have killed Russian Major-General Andrei Simonov and the chief of staff of Russian airborne forces. A US defense official says the attack narrowly missed Gerasimov, who is a battlefield review to familiarize himself with conditions at the front.
Odesa: Russian forces conduct a missile attack on Odesa, destroying its airport runway, a possible sign that Russia is preparing for an assault on the city.
Transnistria: Ukraine’s defense intelligence says a Transnistrian newspaper has published a request, purportedly from the people of Transnistria, supporting “the involvement of the armed forces of Transnistria in the actions of the Russian army” in Ukraine.
The newspaper reports that mobilisation points are being set up throughout Transnistria for people to enlist. Russia maintains 1,500 troops in the region, which declared its independence in 1992.
EU: In a reversal of its position, Germany says it now supports banning Russian oil from the EU as part of an upcoming sixth round of EU sanctions against Russia.
Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde says neighbor Finland will “quite surely” apply to join NATO in the coming weeks. Sweden’s government has said it, too, would join NATO if Finland, which neighbors Russia, does.
Eastern Ukraine: Russian forces shell Ukrainian front-line positions on the eastern front, but conduct no ground assaults other than to try to complete their capture of Popasna and Rubizhne.
Russian troops appear to be positioning to attack Severdonetsk from Popasna, and Sloviansk from Lyman.
More than 100 civilians are evacuated from the Azovstal plant to Zaporizhzhia.
Odesa: Odesa regional government spokesman Serhoy Bratchuk says Russian missiles struck the only bridge connecting Ukraine’s last remaining port by road and rail to Kyiv.
EU: Hungarian state secretary for international communications Zoltán Kovács tells the BBC that Hungary will not lift its EU veto on a ban on Russian energy because Hungary depends on Russia for 65 percent of its oil and 85 percent of its gas.
Hungary is the only EU member to agree to pay for Russian gas in roubles and is one of two EU members blocking a ban on Russian oil – along with Slovakia.
Eastern Ukraine: Russian shelling along the eastern front kills 21 civilians and wounds 27, the highest civilian death toll in a Russian attack for a month.
EU: In a speech to the European Parliament, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi calls for a “pragmatic federalism” in which majorities of member states can override vetoes to collective action – a clear reference to Hungary and Slovakia.
He also calls for rapid EU expansion to include Albania and North Macedonia, whose candidacies have been stalled by the EU, and Ukraine, which applied for membership on February 28. Draghi also calls for rapid defense integration and more efficient spending defence across the bloc.