Lukoil’s NORSI refinery in the Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia, on fire after a Ukrainian drone strike, March 12, 2024

Tuesday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy — “We Have Recovered in Our Situation in the East”

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The European Union has agreed in principle to the provision of €5 billion in military assistance to Ukraine this year.


Two civilians have been killed in Russia’s drone attack on Sumy in northern Ukraine this morning (see 0817 GMT).

A second body was recovered in the afternoon from the rubble of a five-story residential building.

At least 10 people were injured.

The death toll from Tuesday’s Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih (see 0807 GMT) has risen to five, with 49 wounded.

Ten adults are hospitalized with severe injuries, and seven children with moderate injuries.


Vladimir Putin has betrayed his anger and concern over the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Both countries had a centuries-long history of neutrality before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Finland joined NATO in April 2023, and Sweden — overcoming obstacles from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and long-time Putin ally Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor orban — became the bloc’s 32nd member last week.

In an interview with State media, Putin complained, “This is an absolutely meaningless step [by Finland and Sweden] from the point of view of ensuring their own national interests.<"

He postured, “We didn’t have troops there (at the Finnish border), now they will be there. There were no systems of destruction there, now they will appear.”


Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has warned US House Speaker Mike Johnson that “the fate of millions of people” and “thousands of lives” depends on whether Johnson allows a vote on $60.1 billion in American aid to Ukraine.

For five months, Trumpists and hard-right Republicans in the House have prevented the assistance. Johnson, installed by the faction as Speaker in October, has enabled the blockade.

Tusk said on Tuesday after he and Polish President Andrzej Duda met US President Joe Biden at the White House:

Mr Johnson, he must be aware, and I hope that he is already aware, that on his individual decision depends the fate of millions of people, in fact on his decision depends thousands of lives in Ukraine.

This is not some political skirmish that matters on the American political scene. Mr Johnson’s failure to make a positive decision will cost thousands of lives. He takes personal responsibility for that.


Francis Scarr of BBC Monitoring reports on efforts to increase the turnout in Russia’s managed Presidential election this week.


Another Russian oil refinery was set on fire by Ukrainian drones early Wednesday.

Local Telegram channels reported explosions at the refinery in the Ryazan region in western Russia, as eyewitnesses saw drones in the area.

Ryazan Governor Pavel Malkov confirmed, “The Ryazan oil refinery was attacked by a UAV. There are injuries.”

Russian State news agency RIA later said four Ukrainian drones caused a blaze of 175 square meters, extinguished several hours later.

The refinery, owned by the State company Rosneft, is Russia’s seventh-largest. Its output is about 12.7 million tons of oil a year, 4.6% of the Russian total; 6.4% of gasoline; 4.1% of diesel; 7.7% of fuel oil; and 8.0% of aviation fuel.

A Ukrainian official said drones attacked refineries in the Ryazan, Kstovo, and Kirishi regions: “Judging by the videos online, the consequences were fairly significant.”

The officials said a Russian airbase in Buturlinovka and a military airfield in the Voronezh region were also attacked.

Leningrad Governor Alexander Drozdenko said a drone was destroyed by air defenses on its approach to the Kirishi refinery, Russia’s second-largest.


Video of fighters of the Freedom of Russia Legion inside the town of Tetkino in the Kursk region in southwest Russia on Tuesday:


Two people have been killed and five injured in Russia’s bombing of a five-story apartment building in Myrnohrad in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

The Russians attacked about 11 p.m., damaging four houses. One person is in serious condition and three were moderately injured.

There are also casualties from a Russian drone strike on a five-story residential building in Sumy in northern Ukraine. The number of dead is being established, with at least 10 people injured.


In his nightly video address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke about the Russian missile strike that killed four civilians and injured 44, including 10 children, in his hometown of Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine.

We will inflict losses on the Russian state in response – quite rightly. They in the Kremlin must get used to the fact that terror does not go unpunished for them. Nothing will cure these sick men of their evil, but they will feel the losses. The Russian state will lose, and only this can make it safe for its neighbors.

Not only for Ukraine — For different nations, our actions are now life-saving.

The Russians struck a nine-story residential building and two other civilian sites on Tuesday evening.

The death toll rose to four on Wednesday morning when a 47-year-old woman passed away. She was one of five victims who were seriously wounded and underwent surgery.


Leonid Volkov, a long-time advisor of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was attacked with a hammer outside his home in Lithuania on Tuesday.

Volkov was briefly hospitalized with a broken arm.

He later spoke in a video on Telegram about the “characteristic bandit hello” from Vladimir Putin’s enforcers.

The man attacked me in the yard, hit me on the leg about 15 times. The leg somehow is OK. It hurts to walk….However, I broke my arm.

They literally wanted to make a schnitzel out of me.

He vowed, “We will work and we will not give up.”

See also UPDATES: Alexei Navalny’s Funeral in Moscow

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine and its supporters dealt a heavy blow to Russia on Tuesday, with strikes on refineries cutting national oil production by 3% and cross-border raids attacking three Russian regions.

Drone strikes in the morning crippled the NORSI refinery in Nizhny Novgorod, about 1,000 km (621 miles) from the Ukraine border, which produces 6% of Russia’s refined crude. Output was halved when the main crude distillation unit was damaged.

Nizhny Novgorod Governor Gleb Nikitin played down the damage, posting, “The special services are working at the site, using all the necessary force and means to localise the fire at one of the oil refining installations.”

An oil depot in the Oryol region in western Russia was also set ablaze.

“A Russia Freed from Putin’s Dictatorship”

About the same time, three pro-Ukraine Russian militias — the Freedom of Russia Legion, the Siberia Battalion, and the Russian Volunteer Corps — crossed the border in their first significant raids since December.

The Legion claimed the capture of the town of Tetkino in the Kursk region in southwest Russia.

Video showed an assault with at least one tank and other armored vehicles involved. The footage from bodycams and drones included the overrunning of Russian border checkpoints and fighting in settlements.

The militias issued video statements setting out their objective of toppling the Kremlin.

Like all our fellow citizens, in the Legion we dream of a Russia freed from Putin’s dictatorship. But we don’t just limit ourselves to dreaming: we do everything we can to make these dreams come true.

Russians will sleep soundly, will no longer be afraid of the ringing of the doorbell and will be able to say what they think without fear.

Russians will vote for who they want, not who they dictate.

Russians will live freely.

Kursk Governor Roman Starovoit confirmed the forces had approached Tetkino and shelled the town.

He maintained, “There was an attempt by a sabotage and reconnaissance group to break through. There was a shooting battle, but there was no breakthrough.”

Starovoit’s testimony dismantled the claim of Russia’s State security service FSB and the Defense Ministry that the pro-Ukraine forces had been stopped from crossing the border. The FSB declared that 100 fighters were killed and multiple armored vehicles destroyed.