Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis walk past buildings damaged by Russian strikes on Odesa in southern Ukraine, March 6, 2024

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Wednesday’s Coverage: Kyiv Sinks Another Russian Warship

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Sweden has officially become the 32nd member of NATO.

Stockholm’s membership was confirmed in Washington when the “instrument of accession” was officially deposited at the US State Department, in a ceremony led by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The official Nato ceremony is expected within the next week.

Sweden and Finland applied for membership in May 2022. Helsinki joined in April 2023, after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew his objection. However, Ankara continued to seek leverage over Sweden’s Kurdish population, and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin — put up barriers.

See also “Never Again Alone”: Finland’s Path to NATO

The Turkish Parliament approved Swedish accession in January, and Orbán finally gave way last week.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement:

This is a historic day. Sweden will now take its rightful place at Nato’s table, with an equal say in shaping Nato policies and decisions.

After over 200 years of non-alignment, Sweden now enjoys the protection granted under Article 5, the ultimate guarantee of allies’ freedom and security.


After his visit to Odesa in southern Ukraine, including hearing a nearby Russian missile strike, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has emphasized the urgent need to aid Ukraine.

Addressing European conservative party leaders in Romania’s capital Bucharest, Mitsotakis said: “I think that we all have a message for the Kremlin: we will not be intimidated, we will continue to support Ukraine and its brave citizens for as long as necessary. And we remain united on this issue.”

Mitsotakis said the missile struck as he and aides were about to get into their motorcade. Greek Minister of State Stavros Papastavrou, who was in the delegation, said he believed the attack was “within 200 meters” of the convoy.


Moldova and France have signed a defense and cooperation agreement.

Meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Moldovan President Maia Sandu noted the renewal of Russia’s efforts to destabilize her country.

If the aggressor is not stopped, he will keep going, and the frontline will keep moving closer. Closer to us. Closer to you. Europe must therefore present a united front. Aggression must be repelled by a strong force.

“Moldova’s democratic reality and its inspiration about a European future, like Ukraine, are, in fact, a challenge for the Russia of Vladimir Putin,” Macron said, pledging to repel “hybrid attacks”.

Russia has occupied Moldova’s Transnistria region since 1992 and is trying to unsettle the rest of the country with support of “protests” and interference in elections, according to Moldovan officials.

Earlier this week, Moldova’s head of intelligence said Russia was planning new operations ahead of the Presidential election in late 2024.

Like Ukraine, Moldova opened accession negotiations with the European Union in December.


The Czech Republic suspending inter-governmental consultations with Slovakia, as Bratislava’s Fico Government shifts away from Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

The two parts were part of the former Czechoslovakia and have close economic links.

However, Robert Fico, who became Slovakia’s Prime Minister in October, has suspended aid to Kyiv and is amplifying the propaganda lines of the Kremlin.

A recent meeting between Slovakia’s Foreign inister Juraj Blanár and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Turkey further unsettled Prague.

“There is no disguising that there are differences of opinion on several very important issues. We consider the meeting between the Slovak foreign minister and the Russian foreign minister to be problematic,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said Wednesday.


Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has been added to Russia’s State list of “terrorists and extremists”.

The financial agency Rosfinmonitoring did not explain Kasparov’s addition. However, the exiled grandmaster is a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin — once calling him “the world’s most dangerous man” — and of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine since 2014.

Kasparov responded:

“As Goldwater said, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! But all opposition, or simple decency, must be called an extremist by the dictatorship,” Kasparov wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Being added to Russia’s lists of “extremists and terrorists” allows the authorities to freeze designees’ bank accounts without a court order.


Seven young men from India have appealed for help from Indian authorities, saying they were deceived into fighting for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dressed in military attire, the men said they left for Russia on December 27 for New Year celebrations. Their travel agent offered to take them to Belarus without visas, where he abandoned them. Local police handed them over to Russian authorities, who made them sign documents to join the military and fight in Ukraine.

A relative of one of the men said, “The documents which they signed in Belarus were in the Russian language. They said they either accept imprisonment for 10 years or join the Russian army.”

The Indian outlet NDTV says almost two dozen men from India are stranded in Russia or on the frontline in Ukraine. Some estimates put the numbers in the hundreds.

Earlier this year, Hemil Mangukiya, 23, was killed in a missile strike in Ukraine. He had left for Russia last December to look for work.

“I think he hid from us the danger he was in,” said his father Ashwin. “Our entire family is devastated by this. We are still trying to get back his dead body.”

Mohammad Afsan died on the frontline after traveling for a job in Moscow last November. “He had no idea he was being sent to a war zone,” said his brother.

An Indian Government spokesperson said, “The Indian Embassy has taken up their early discharge with the relevant Russian authorities. We urge all Indians to stay away from this conflict.”

Nepal stopped issuing work permits for its citizens to work in Russia in January, after Nepalese fighters were reportedly killed on the frontline.


Russia has enough resources to pursue its invasion of Ukraine for at least two more years, assess Lithuania’s intelligence agencies.

A report cited high oil prices, sanctions evasion, and state investment. It noted that only Iran and North Korea are supplying weapons and ammunition; however, China is now Moscow’s largest supplier of microchips. The yuan is the main currency for Russia’s international transactions.


A car bomb killed a Russian proxy official in occupied Berdyansk in southern Ukraine on Wednesday.

“A homemade explosive device was planted under the vehicle of a member of the precinct election commission,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement. “The victim died from her injuries.”

A video showed a destroyed small beige car parked on a dirt track.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: A Russian missile strike killed five people in Odesa in southern Ukraine on Wednesday, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the city.

The strike on port infrastructure also wounded several people.

A “source familiar with the situation” said the missile landed about 500 meters from Zelenskiy and Mitsotakis’s convoy.

Mitsotakis said:

We heard the sound of sirens and explosions that took place near us. We did not have time to get to a shelter. It is a very intense experience.

The strike came four days after a Russian missile killed 12 civilians, including five children, when it destroyed a high-rise apartment block in the city center.

Ukraine War, Day 739: Zelenskiy Appeals for Air Defenses After Russia Kills 10, Including 3 Children, In Odesa

Zelenskiy said on Wednesday, “[Russian forces] don’t care whether [targets] are military or civilians. Whoever they are, whether they are international guests, these people don’t care.”

The Russian Defense Ministry insisted, without presenting any evidence, that the strike was on a “hangar in a commercial port area of Odesa in which crewless cutters were being prepared for combat use by the Ukrainian armed forces”.

“Air Defense Is An Absolute Priority”

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy spoke of the significance of the strike.

Air defense is an absolute priority. Just like in negotiations with other partners. The world has enough air defense systems and capabilities to produce weapons for defense. Weapons are needed here to save lives.

Decisions are needed now – not someday, but for the people who endure terrorist attacks every day and night.

As Trumpists and hard-right Republicans continue to block $60.1 billion in US aid to Ukraine, a National Security Council spokesperson said, “This strike is yet another reminder of how Russia is continuing to attack Ukraine recklessly every single day.”