War in Ukraine: March 16 and 17

Here’s all you need to know about the last two days of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine. Please, read about the main events of March 16 and 17 in our review.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the U.S. Congress on March 16. In his speech, he proposed to create a fundamentally new international alliance under the conventional name of U-24. U – Ukraine or United for Peace. Twenty-four means February 24 or the date of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and 24 hours in which, according to Zelensky, the war can be ended.

On the same day in Kyiv, Zelensky met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Czech Prime Minister Piotr Fiala and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa. During the talks, they discussed security guarantees for Ukraine, the strengthening of the sanctions policy against the aggressor state, as well as the prospects for Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said that the process of preparing a peace agreement with Russia might take several days or a week and a half. After that, preparations for a possible meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia will begin.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that more than three million people have left Ukraine since February 24, the day Russia attacked. Most of the refugees are going to Poland and westward, but some are also moving to the aggressor country.

Since the war began, 108 children have died in Ukraine.

On March 16, the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague decided that Russia must end the war in Ukraine. However, how these decisions will be regulated is unknown. In addition, Russia completely ignored participation in the process.

The New York Times wrote that since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has already lost more than 7,000 people. From 14,000 to 21,000 have been injured, according to the publication’s sources in the U.S. intelligence services. It is a conservative estimate of Russia’s losses. In its turn, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that as of March 16, Russia had lost about 13,800 people.

On the morning of March 16, Russian troops in Chernihiv opened fire on people standing in line to buy bread. As a result, at least 10 people were killed.

On the afternoon of March 16, a powerful Russian air bomb hit the Mariupol Drama Theater. The theater temporarily housed several hundred residents who had lost their homes after the shelling. Among them were many women and children. As a result of the bomb hit, the central part of the building was destroyed and debris blocked the entrance to the bomb shelter. On March 17, it emerged that civilians who had been hiding in the theater were still alive. They were staying under the rubble.

At the same time, the deputy mayor of Mariupol Serhiy Orlov reported that Russia had bombed about 80-90% of the city’s buildings.

On March 17, Russian troops entered the town of Alyoshki in the Kherson region, Mayor Yevgeny Ryshchuk said. The city is home to about 25,000 people.