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Story: Russia-Ukraine war updates; 23-03-2023;

Russia Ukraine war update day 393: Russian threats to ICC, Poland to be the first to send Jets to Ukraine and reports of Bakhmut fighting.

Key Developments March:

• Russian advance in Bakhmut are stalling, analysts say.

• Russia launches deadly strikes across Ukraine as China’s Xi departs Moscow. Russia unleashed a wave of deadly attacks on towns and cities across Ukraine on Wednesday as Chinese leader Xi Jinping departed from Moscow following talks with President Vladimir Putin.

• The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, alongside one another top Russian official.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for two days – on Monday and Tuesday.

• At least eight people were killed, and seven others injured, in an overnight drone attack in the Kyiv region yesterday;

International Criminal Court and Russia:

• The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin alongside Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova for the alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.

The court said there “are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged crimes, for having committed them directly alongside others, and for “his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.”

The charges, which relate to an alleged practice that news outlets like CNN and others have reported on, are the first to be formally lodged against officials in Moscow since it began its unprovoked attack on Ukraine last year.

It remains unlikely that a trial at The Hague will go ahead; Russia is not a member of the ICC and the court does not conduct trials in absentia, so any Russian officials charged would either have to be handed over by Moscow or arrested outside of Russia.

According to official Ukrainian statistics, 345 Ukrainian children have disappeared since Russia’s February 2022 invasion.

ICC expressed concern over Threats:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has expressed concern over “threats” from Russia following its issuing of a war crimes arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin.

The statement came after the former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to hit the war crimes court in The Hague with hypersonic missiles. It also followed Russia’s top investigative body opening a criminal case against ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, as well as the judges who issued the warrant for Putin.

Russian advances are stalling in Bakhmut alongside Wagner group:

Both the Russian forces and the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner offensive in Bakhmut appears to have stalled, though continuous assaults are being made by the Russians: analysis.

“Ukrainian forces have more or less stabilized the situation in Bakhmut – and Russian forces are unable to do anything,” Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said in a YouTube presentation.

“They may have advanced a couple of hundred metres to the north or south of the city, but this has really achieved nothing.”

The statement seems to support an assessment yesterday by British military intelligence that the Russian offensive in the town is running out of steam.

However, it had said there was still a danger the Ukrainian garrison could be surrounded.

Both the Russian forces and Ukrainian forces are suffering major casualties, and losing significant amount of weapons and military equipment, the Wagner group is the one with high number of casualties among others according to various reports.

Poland becomes first to pledge fighter jets to Ukraine:

• Poland will be the first NATO member to send Jets to Ukraine.

President Andrzej Duda said the planes – from about a dozen that it had inherited from the former German Democratic Republic – would be handed over in the coming days after being serviced.

“When it comes to the MiG-29 aircraft, which are still operating in the defense of Polish airspace, a decision has been taken at the highest levels, we can say confidently that we are sending MiGs to Ukraine,” Duda said.


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