An officer of Russian security forces outside the damaged Crocus City concert hall, March 23, 2024 (Stringer/AFP/Getty)

Monday’s Coverage: Islamic State Confirms It Killed 137+ In Moscow Attack

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine’s daily electricity imports surged to their highest point this year, as repairs are carried out following last Friday’s Russian missile and drone strikes on energy infrastructure.

See also Ukraine War, Day 758: Russian Missile Strike Threatens Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

More than a million Ukrainians were blacked out as the Russians damaged facilities such as the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant, the country’s largest.

Power imports are expected to reach 18,649 megawatt hours (MWh) on Tuesday, up from 14,900 MWh on Sunday. Last Thursday, Ukraine was a net exporter of power, sending 3,300 MWh.

In the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine and parts of the Zaporizhzhia region in the south, 200,000 residents are still without electricity.

Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, head of Ukrenergo, said, “It’s still hard to guarantee any timeline, but we’re talking about a period of 7-10 days, maybe two weeks when we can restore normal power supplies to the city. Provided there is no new destruction.”

In Odesa city in the south, 23,000 residents were without electricity as of Tuesday noon, but “the transport system was almost completely restored”.


A Moscow court has extended the pre-trial detention of Wall Street Journal reporter and US citizen Evan Gershkovich to June 30.

Gershkovich was seized by Russian security forces at the end of March 2023 as he was working on a story from Yekaterinburg the Urals in west-central Russia. He has been charged with espionage, with no public presentation of any evidence.

US Ambassador Lynne Tracy said, “Evan’s case is not about evidence, due process, or rule of law. It is about using American citizens as pawns to achieve political ends, as the Kremlin is also doing in the case of Paul Whelan.”

Whelan, a director of security for a Michigan-based international automotive parts manufacturer, was seized in 2018. He is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage.


The Ukraine Navy says it damaged a third landing ship in a weekend attack on Russian’s Black Sea Fleet in occupied Crimea.

Spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said a missile hit the Konstantin Olshansky, which Russia captured from Ukraine in 2014:

Currently, this ship is not combat-capable….

It had gone through a renovation and was being prepared for use against Ukraine, so unfortunately the decision was taken to strike this.

Built in 1985, the Konstantin Olshansky was transferred to the Ukrainian Navy in 1996 when the naval fleet of the Soviet Union was divided up.

On Sunday, the Ukraine military claimed attacks on two landing ships, infrastructure, and a communications center of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in occupied Crimea.

The landing ship Yamal was “critically damaged”.

Ukraine has now claimed the sinking or damage of six large landing ships.

The Navy also said today that it damaged the espionage ship Ivan Kurs in the weekend strikes.


Thousands of railroad cars are queued, some for as long as six months, at the entrance of the Kerch Bridge between southwest Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea.

The Russian outlet Kommersant posted on Monday that the bridge, a flagship project of Vladimir Putin opened in 2018, has been affected by security restrictions after Ukrainian strikes in October 2022 and August 2023.

The Russian North Caucasian Railway has accumulated 2,500 loaded tankers carrying oil products, due to restrictions on the passage of dangerous goods and the wait for ferries and tankers to arrive.

The head of Ukraine’s State security service SBU, Vasyl Malyuk, said Monday, “Before our successful strikes, daily traffic ranged from 42 to 46 trains carrying weapons and ammunition.

Now there are only four to five [train] per day. Four are passenger trains and one carries general goods.


Ukraine’s air defenses downed all 12 Iran-type attack drones launched by Russia overnight, says the Ukrainian Air Force.

Two S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles were also fired.


Three women were injured in a Russian missile strike on Odesa in southern Ukraine on Monday night.

None of the injuries were serious, said Governor Oleh Kiper.

Infrastructure was damaged, leaving more than 300,000 customers without electricity.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy noted in his nightly address that repairs are still being carried out after Friday’s Russian missile and drone assault — its largest in 2024 — knocked out power to more than a million Ukrainians.

He said that Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv is “still in a particularly challenging situation, but every day energy supply to the city is being gradually restored”.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ridiculed Vladimir Putin’s latest disinformation trying to tie Kyiv to Friday’s deadly attack on the Crocus City concert hall near Moscow.

At least 139 people were slain were four members of the Islamic State carried out a mass shooting and explosions. ISIS has repeatedly claimed responsibility, but Putin and Russian officials — trying to deflect any criticism of a security failure and to bolster the 25-month invasion of Ukraine — have insisted that Kyiv was behind the assault.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy referred to Putin’s appearance on State TV earlier in the evening:

Today, Putin was talking to himself again, and it was again broadcast on television. Again, he accuses Ukraine. A sick and cynical creature.

Everyone is a terrorist to him, except for himself, although he has been fueled by terror for two decades already. He is the biggest opening for terror. He and his special services.

And when he is gone, the demand for terror and violence will disappear with him, because it is his demand. No one else’s.

After a meeting with his officials, Putin finally acknowledged, “We know that the crime was committed by the hands of radical Islamists.”

But, without any evidence, he immediately put out his invective and propaganda lines:

We are interested in who ordered it….

This atrocity may be just one part in a whole series of attempts by those who have been at war with our country since 2014 by the hands of the neo-Nazi Kyiv regime.

Putin did not mention by name Islamic State-Khorasan, the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan which claimed responsibility, let alone the series of videos put out by the Islamic State showing the gunmen storming the concert hall, pursuing victims, and firing at them at point-blank range.

US officials have said since Friday that they have intelligence confirming ISIS responsibility. They added that they told Russian official on March 7 of the possibility of an imminent attack, a day after Russia’s State security service FSB said it had foiled an Islamic State attempt to storm a Moscow mosque.

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron said, “The information available to us … as well as to our main partners, indicates indeed that it was an entity of the Islamic State that instigated this attack.” He noted that the Islamic State recently made “several attempts” at attacks on French soil.

Macron added that it is “cynical and counterproductive” of Moscow to suggest Ukraine was to blame.

On Sunday, four men appeared in a Moscow court, all of them showing signs of beating and abuse by Russian security personnel. The men, identified as Tajik nationals, pleaded guilty and were remanded in custody for two months.