March 19,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 755

Austin at Ramstein: The United States and the coalition will not allow Ukraine to lose

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has expressed strong support for Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression. In a meeting held at Ramstein, Austin stated that the United States and the coalition would not allow Ukraine to fail. He emphasized that the free world as a whole would also not allow Ukraine to fail. 

Austin highlighted the heavy price that Russia has paid in the war, with estimates suggesting that at least 315,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded, costing Russia up to $211 billion. He acknowledged the challenging conditions faced by Ukrainian troops and the constant shelling suffered by the civilian population. However, Austin assured Ukraine would not back down and the United States would stand resolute in providing the necessary resources to counter Kremlin aggression. 

Last week, the US announced an additional $300 million in security support for Ukraine, specifically for air defense, artillery, and anti-tank capabilities. Austin referred to this measure as “extraordinary” support for Ukraine’s urgent needs.


Symbolic number of the Day


Ukraine is facing a severe shortage of ammunition, with Russia consuming artillery shells at a rate of seven to one. The delay in U.S. military aid due to congressional controversy has directly impacted the battlefield, resulting in the loss of Avdiivka. To address this shortage, several European countries are joining a Czech-led initiative to purchase 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine. Russia shows no signs of reducing its firepower, with the support of North Korea in supplying weapons. Moscow has reportedly received at least 1 million shells, short-range ballistic missiles, and other weapons from Pyongyang. 


War in Pictures


Police in Vinnytsia Oblast found an unexploded drone and the wreckage of three other drones in different locations after four reports of UAV wreckage. Fortunately, no one was injured or property damaged as a result of these incidents. Police explosive experts have examined the crash sites and will continue to work on recovering and destroying the drone wreckage.


Video of the Day

One of the Special Forces units worked effectively in the Zaporizhzhia sector. The operators inflicted a number of fire strikes with FPV drones on enemy targets. As a result, the following were damaged or destroyed: SAU 2S7 ” Piony”, SAU 2S1 “Gvozdika”, two 122-mm D-30 howitzers, one armored personnel carrier and five vehicles.


ISW report


Russian occupation authorities have consistently oppressed Ukrainians on the peninsula — the same charge of which Putin accused the Ukrainian government to justify his invasion — and Russia has since militarized Crimea to support its broader territorial ambitions against Ukraine. Putin militarized Crimea for eight years and used it to launch a large-scale invasion of southern Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia also began efforts in 2014 to materially change the ethnic demographics of Crimea by resettling thousands of Russians in the peninsula and sought to eradicate both the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar national identities to further integrate Crimea into Russia and secure Russia’s control over the peninsula. Amnesty International released a report commemorating the 10th anniversary of Crimean occupation on March 18 stating that Russian authorities have systematically tried to eradicate the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar national identities in Ukraine over the past 10 years by interrupting, limiting, and prohibiting the use of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages.

Amnesty International also reported that Russian occupation authorities have suppressed religious and cultural rights in Crimea, and extensively restricted freedom of speech. ISW has previously assessed that Russia is using a similar occupation playbook to establish permanent control over newly occupied territories in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts.

Putin’s aims were never limited to the annexation of Crimea, and his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 under the amorphous stated goals of “demilitarizing,” “denazifying,” and rendering Ukraine “neutral,” indicates that Putin sought nothing less than regaining full Russian control of Ukraine and still maintains this objective today. The conditions of occupied Ukraine suggest, however, that prolonged Russian occupation of already occupied territories or the rest of Ukraine will be accompanied by oppression and ethnic cleansing to consolidate permanent Russian control.


War heroes

Vitalii Alymov, a firefighter driver at the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Odesa Oblast, died as a result of the Russian missile attack on Odesa on March 15, 2024.  He and his colleagues, as well as police officers and medics, arrived at the scene of the attack, and the enemy hit them a second time. For almost a day, the man fought for his life, but the injuries he sustained during the second attack were incompatible with life.

Vitalii Alymov was 39 years old. He had the rank of Master Sergeant of the Civil Defense Service. “His son lost his loving father, his wife lost her beloved husband, and the rescue team of Odesa Oblast lost their faithful colleague and friend. Vitalii will always remain in our memory as a good friend, a sensitive and kind person, a professional in his field,” colleagues said about the deceased. Vitalii Alymov is survived by his wife, son, and other relatives.

*Vitalii’s story on the Heroes Memorial – a platform for stories about the fallen defenders of Ukraine.


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