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Russian mass attack on Ukraine, shooting at shopping mall near Moscow - Friday brief

Russian mass attack on Ukraine, shooting at shopping mall near Moscow - Friday brief RBC-Ukraine collage

Yesterday, March 22, Russia launched strikes against Ukraine using missiles and drones. Meanwhile, a shooting occurred in a shopping center near Moscow.

RBC-Ukraine has gathered the main news for March 22.

Massive attack on Ukraine

During the night of March 22, Russian terrorists launched a combined missile and aviation strike against Ukraine. Overall, the enemy used 151 means of aerial attack.

Anti-aircraft missile units and mobile fire groups were involved in repelling the attack. In total, 92 aerial targets were destroyed, including:

  • 55 Shahed drones;
  • 35 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles;
  • 2 guided aviation missiles Kh-59.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Russian terror is only possible because Ukraine lacks an adequate number of modern air defense systems.

For more details about Russia's massive combined attack against Ukraine and its consequences, read RBC-Ukraine's coverage.

Shooting at shopping center near Moscow

Yesterday, March 22, unknown assailants armed with weapons stormed the Crocus City Hall shopping center located near Moscow and began shooting at visitors.

It happened during a Picnic band concert at the shopping center. Its lead singer supported the Russian occupiers.

According to the latest unofficial data, dozens were killed, and over a hundred were injured. After the shooting at the shopping center, a fire broke out, with several explosions.

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby stated that the US Embassy's warning about terrorist threats in Russia was not related to the shooting at the Crocus City Hall near Moscow.

For more details about the incident, refer to RBC-Ukraine's report.

Euro Council rejects Russia's sham election in occupied Ukrainian territories

The European Council strongly condemned Russia's conduct of illegal pseudo-elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. The results of such fake voting will never be recognized by the leaders of the European Union.

In the document, conclusions of the European Council, adopted at a two-day summit in Brussels, were presented, particularly regarding the situation in Ukraine and the ongoing Russian aggression.

In the resolution, point #8 concerned the EU's position on the Kremlin-organized fake election in the occupied territories of Ukraine. It also addressed the abduction of children practiced by Russian occupiers.

"The European Council strongly condemns Russia’s continuous human rights violations in the occupied Ukrainian territories, including the deportation of children. It firmly rejects and will never recognize the illegal so-called ‘elections’ organized by Russia in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories of Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, nor their results," the document states.

UK announces military aid package for Ukraine: Drones and air defense included

Britain will provide Ukraine with a new military aid package worth £60 million (over $75 million), including drones and air defense systems.

The UK Ministry of Defense emphasized that the package would be provided by the International Fund for Ukraine, overseen by Britain.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the package will include modern reconnaissance drones to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Additionally, £20 million (over $25 million) will be allocated for the supply of air defense systems to ensure the security of Ukrainian airspace.

Russia may launch offensive in summer, creates formation of over 100,000 soldiers

Russia is mobilizing a new military formation of over 100,000 troops, raising concerns that the occupiers may attempt a fresh offensive on one of the fronts in the summer.

"The full extent of Russian plans is unknown to us. All we know is that they are assembling a force of over 100,000. It may not necessarily signify an offensive, perhaps they are reinforcing their units that have lost combat effectiveness," commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Pavliuk said.

According to him, there is a possibility that by the beginning of summer, the Russians may amass sufficient forces to conduct respective offensive operations on one of the fronts.

"These are currently the worst-case scenarios suggesting an offensive. We will do everything possible to inflict maximum losses on the enemy, to ensure that all their resources being marshaled are engaged in combat by that time. However, we are preparing for various developments," the commander added.

France and Germany agree to allow tank producer KNDS to set up branch in Ukraine

Paris and Berlin have reached an agreement allowing the Franco-German company KNDS, which manufactures tanks among other things, to establish a branch in Ukraine.

"We are announcing that KNDS, a German-French company, will take a foothold in Ukraine with a local unit," French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said.

According to him, the company's division will be involved in producing spare parts and training local personnel.

Eight Russian missiles hit Dnipro HPP - Prosecutor General's Office

On March 22, eight Russian missiles struck the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant, leaving it incapacitated, but fortunately without any imminent threat of breach.

"Without a doubt, today witnessed the most concentrated attack on energy infrastructure objects in the past year. Along with today's assault, the Russians have repeatedly targeted 136 energy infrastructure objects in Ukraine, starting from the massive invasion," said Yurii Bielousov, the head of the Department for Combating Crimes in Armed Conflict Conditions of the Prosecutor General's Office.

The representative of the Prosecutor General's Office emphasized that the station was disabled after an attack by Russian occupiers, with eight missiles hitting the HPP.

"Today, Zaporizhzhia was under a massive attack. The hydroelectric power plant was hit eight times, meaning eight missiles struck this crucial object for Ukraine, which performs not only energy but also other functions," Bielousov said.

He added that there is currently no threat of breaching the Dnipro HPP dam.