This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (March 31)

a fireball erupts out of a tank barrel

Leopard 2A5 tank fires at its target during a training exercise. Image – U.S. Army

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The first batch of German Leopard 2 main battle tanks have arrived in Ukraine.  All told, 18 tanks, 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, and two armored recovery vehicles have been provided by Germany to assist in the conflict.

Russia announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move was a response to the United Kingdom’s decision to send armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium to Ukraine.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has warned that intensified fighting in southeastern Ukraine poses a risk to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, arguing that an agreement needs to be put in place to keep the plant safe.

U.K. intelligence reports that Russia is suffering heavy losses to its tank fleet as it tries to surround the city of Avdiivka, located in the Donetsk region. The U.K. Ministry of Defence said Moscow appeared to be reusing tactics that have already failed earlier in the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping to visit Ukraine. Xi recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that meeting ended without any announcements of Chinese aid to Moscow.

Ukraine’s use of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) in the Black Sea has helped to restrict Russian Navy operations.  Kyiv has used USVs equipped with explosive warheads to attack Russian naval assets on multiple occasions.

Russia recently launched another wave of Iranian-made attack drones at targets in and around Kyiv. This attack took place on March 27.  Russia fired 15 Shahed-136 attack drones during this strike.

The Taiwanese government is denying media reports it delivered attack drones to Ukraine.  Stories appeared online that Taipei had sent 1,000 attack drones to Ukraine.

Ukrainian soldiers have completed their training in the operation of the Patriot air defense system, according to a Pentagon announcement.  The training took place at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  The Ukrainian soldiers have returned to Europe.

Russia is accusing Ukraine of using its Grom 2 theater ballistic missile system in combat.  The Russian Ministry of Defense said on March 30 that Russian air defense systems shot down a Grom 2.



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