March 17, 2022

Russia Claims Military Advances in Donbass

Russian Defense Ministry

(Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry)
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation.
The grouping of troops of the Lugansk People’s Republic with the fire support of the
Russian Armed Forces liberated more than 90 percent of the territory of the republic.
Currently, the units of the Lugansk People’s Republic are eliminating scattered groups of
nationalists on the southern outskirts of Rubezhnoye liberated settlement.
In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue
their successful offensive in the northern direction.
During the day, they took control of Zolotaya Niva, Novodonetsky, Novomayorskoye and
Prechistovka. The advance was 16 kilometers.
In Mariupol, units of the Donetsk People’s Republic, with the support of the Russian
Armed Forces, narrow the encirclement and fighting against nationalists in the city center.
During the night, aviation and air defence means of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot
down 6 more Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, including 1 Bayraktar TB-2.
Operational-tactical and army aviation hit 81 military assets of the Ukrainian Armed
Forces. Among them: 4 multiple launch rocket system, 3 command posts, 8 ammunition
depots and 28 areas of military equipment concentration.
In total, 183 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,406 tanks and other armored combat vehicles,
138 multiple launch rocket systems, 535 field artillery and mortars, as well as 1,197 units of
special military vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed during the
operation.

Putin holds Concert to celebrate 2014 Annexation of Crimea
Concert marking the anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia
Vladimir Putin attended a concert marking eight years since Crimea’s reunification with
the Russia, at the Luzhniki Sports Centre in Moscow.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: “We, the multi-ethnic nation of the Russian
Federation, united by common fate on our land…” These are the first words of our
fundamental law, the Russian Constitution. Each word has deep meaning and enormous
significance.
On our land, united by common fate. This is what the people of Crimea and Sevastopol
must have been thinking as they went to the referendum on March 18, 2014. They lived and
continue to live on their land, and they wanted to have a common fate with their historical
motherland, Russia. They had every right to it and they achieved their goal. Let’s
congratulate them first because it is their holiday. Happy anniversary!
Over these years, Russia has done a great deal to help Crimea and Sevastopol grow.
There were things that needed to be done that were not immediately obvious to the unaided
eye. These were essential things such as gas and power supply, utility infrastructure,
restoring the road network, and construction of new roads, motorways and bridges.
We needed to drag Crimea out of that humiliating position and state that Crimea and
Sevastopol had been pushed into when they were part of another state that had only
provided leftover financing to these territories.

There is more to it. The fact is we know what needs to be done next, how it needs to be
done, and at what cost – and we will fulfil all these plans, absolutely.
These decisions are not even as important as the fact that the residents of Crimea and
Sevastopol made the right choice when they put up a firm barrier against neo-Nazis and
ultra-nationalists. What was and is still happening on other territories is the best indication
that they did the right thing.
People who lived and live in Donbass did not agree with this coup d’état, either. Several
punitive military operations were instantly staged against them; they were besieged and
subjected to systemic shelling with artillery and bombing by aircraft – and this is actually
what is called “genocide.”
The main goal and motive of the military operation that we launched in Donbass and
Ukraine is to relieve these people of suffering, of this genocide. At this point, I recall the
words from the Holy Scripture: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his
life for his friends.” And we are seeing how heroically our military are fighting during this
operation.
These words come from the Holy Scripture of Christianity, from what is cherished by
those who profess this religion. But the bottom line is that this is a universal value for all
nations and those of all religions in Russia, and primarily for our people. The best evidence
of this is how our fellows are fighting and acting in this operation: shoulder to shoulder,
helping and supporting each other. If they have to, they will cover each other with their
bodies to protect their comrade from a bullet in the battlefield, as they would to save their
brother. It has been a long time since we had such unity.
It so happened that, by sheer coincidence, the start of the operation was same day as
the birthday of one of our outstanding military leaders who was canonised – Fedor
Ushakov. He did not lose a single battle throughout his brilliant career. He once said that
these thunderstorms would glorify Russia. This is how it was in his time; this is how it is
today and will always be!
Thank you!

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