Russia ramps up mobilization, Ukraine receives ‘optimistic’ news following Ramstein meeting

Key Developments on March 15:

As Ukraine reaffirms its willingness to continue fighting for the city of Bakhmut, Russia is reportedly planning to conscript 400,000 people into the war against Ukraine.

According to a March 14 report by the Russian service Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, citing several regional media outlets, the Russian Defense Ministry will launch a new recruitment campaign on April 1, aiming to sign 400,000 soldiers.

The ministry has sent contracts with recruitment quotas to regions of Russia, RFE/RL reported.

Residents of Russia’s Voronezh Oblast have received subpoenas for military service, as they did in September last year after the so-called “partial” mobilization announced by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, the publication said.

At the same time, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington, DC-based think tank, confirmed that Russia “continues actions to mobilize Russia’s struggling defense industrial base (DIB) for a protracted war effort.”

In its latest update, the ISW referred to Putin’s March 14 announcement about the list of specialties that could be deferred from military service. Such a move by the Russian leadership “suggests that the Kremlin is prioritizing the use of skilled workers in the manufacture of Russian weapons, rather than allowing skilled soldiers to fight in the Russian military,” according to the ISW.

Russian occupying forces are also intensifying their mobilization efforts in the occupied Crimea peninsula, the National Resistance Center of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported March 14.

At the same time, fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, which has been under Russian siege for months. On March 15, soldiers of Ukraine’s 93rd Independent Mechanized Brigade shot down a Russian Su-24 supersonic tactical bomber near Bakhmut, brigade spokeswoman Iryna Rybakova told Hromadske news agency on March 15.

The bulk of the funds will be spent on military assistance, which consists of weapons, other military equipment and training efforts, the ministry wrote.

Denmark will also provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, help the country with long-term reconstruction and support business initiatives so that Danish companies can contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction.

“Ukrainians are fighting not only for their own freedom, but also for the security of all of Europe. With the Ukraine fund, we are taking Danish support to a new level,” said Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

In addition, Denmark has allocated funds for the next few years that could help cover the cost of replacing military equipment donated to Ukraine in 2022-2023.

“Your fight is our fight,” said Denmark’s acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.

Russian attacks

According to the governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region Serhiy Lysak, on March 15 Russian troops attacked the town of Marhanets in the Dnepropetrovsk region, killing two women.

According to the governor, four women and one man were injured in the attack.

Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported that the Russian military attacked three districts in Kharkiv Oblast, killing two people and injuring two.

The attacks also damaged a fire station and shops in Vovchansk, and homes and infrastructure in the village of Kolodiazne.

Russian shelling killed one civilian in Kramatorsk and wounded 16 others in Donetsk Oblast, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported in his morning update.

According to the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, Russian forces made 78 attacks on Kherson Oblast in the past day, reportedly wounding four and damaging critical infrastructure.

According to the regional administration, Russian forces shelled the municipality of Znob-Nowhorodske, which borders Russia in Sumy Oblast.

In addition, Russia shelled Zaporizhia, Chernihiv, Mykolayiv and Luhansk oblasts.


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