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Russians massively attacked Ukraine, France to strength Ukraine's air defense - Weekend brief

Russians massively attacked Ukraine, France to strength Ukraine's air defense - Weekend brief Collage by RBC-Ukraine

The Russian occupiers have once again launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine, in particular, attacking energy facilities. France is preparing a new package of military aid for Ukraine that includes hundreds of armored vehicles and Aster anti-aircraft missiles

Find more about what happened over the weekend on RBC-Ukraine.

Russia's war against Ukraine

News for March 30:

News for March 31:

Massive air strike on March 31

Russia once again attacked Ukraine with rockets and kamikaze drones overnight on March 31. In total, the Russians launched 14 cruise missiles Kh-101/Kh-555 from Tu-95MS strategic aircraft (launch areas in Saratov region), 11 Shahed attack drones (launch areas in Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Crimea), an Iskander-M ballistic missile (Crimea), a guided aviation missile Kh-59 (Zaporizhzhia region).

Air defense systems shot down 18 enemy targets: nine Kh-101/Kh-555 missiles and nine Shahed drones.

Enemy missiles reached as far as western Ukraine. The Air Force reported the movement of missiles toward Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

Poland has raised its military aviation because of this missile attack on Ukraine. Ukrenergo also said that Russian terrorists attacked high-voltage substations in the southern region of Ukraine. The strikes resulted in emergency blackouts in Odesa and the surrounding areas, and caused water problems in parts of the city. The falling wreckage of a downed Shahed in the Odesa region caused a power facility to burn.

The debris of one of the air targets damaged an electricity pole in the Rivne region. A critical infrastructure facility was attacked in the Lviv region, killing two people.

All the consequences of the enemy's night attack on March 31 - in the RBC-Ukraine article.

France to send hundreds of armored vehicles and missiles to Ukraine - Ministry of Defense

France is preparing a new package of military aid for Ukraine. It will include hundreds of armored vehicles and Aster anti-aircraft missiles, according to the French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

He noted that the focus is on armored vehicles currently in France's inventory, but they are planning to replace them with newer ones.

According to Lecornu, France also aims to assist in strengthening Ukraine's air defense, thus preparing a new batch of Aster 30 anti-aircraft missiles for the SAMP/T air defense system. These SAM systems are counterparts to the Patriot system.

The minister added that France is developing remotely controlled munitions. It is likely that they could be delivered to Ukraine as early as this summer.

Finland doesn't rule out possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine in future

Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen does not rule out the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine in the future, but there is no need for that now.

According to the foreign minister, French President Emmanuel Macron did the right thing by forcing Russia to consider the "red lines" in the West's support for Ukraine.

"Now's not the time to send boots on the ground, and we are not even willing to discuss it at this stage. But for the long term, of course, we shouldn't be ruling anything out," Valtonen said.

The President of the National Assembly of France, Yael Braun-Pivet, said during a press briefing in Odesa that the country's parliament still considers sending its troops to Ukraine a possibility.

Russia again accused Ukraine of 'terrorist attacks' and demanded Maliuk's arrest. Ukraine retorts

On March 31, the Russian Foreign Ministry officially demanded that Ukraine extradite the head of the Security Service, Vasyl Maliuk, who, according to the Kremlin, is allegedly responsible for the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall near Moscow. The Ukrainian security service itself responded sharply to the absurd statement.

"Trying to appeal to the norms of international law, namely the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, the Russian Foreign Ministry forgets that it is Putin who is officially on the international wanted list - in particular, he is expected at the Hague Tribunal for the abduction of Ukrainian children," the special service said.

The SSU also drew attention to the fact that such statements by the aggressor country's ministry regarding the events in the Moscow region are made on the second anniversary of the liberation of Bucha from the occupiers by Ukrainian defenders, where numerous facts of mass killings of civilians were revealed.

"It is especially cynical to hear statements about terrorism from the terrorist country itself against the backdrop of the anniversary of the liberation of Bucha and the atrocities committed by the Russians there. We remember every Ukrainian who died and will do everything to ensure that the enemy receives a just retribution," the Security Service's press service told RBC-Ukraine.

The SSU emphasizes that any words of the Russian Foreign Ministry "are worthless."

Russia stockpiled Kalibr missiles and can use them soon: Ukrainian intel chief

The Russian fleet has been amassing Kalibr cruise missiles. It's likely that the adversary could use them to strike Ukraine, according to Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.

"Kalibr missiles have been accumulating throughout this period. They are fully ready for use," stated the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate.

According to him, Russia has decided to use the Kh-101 cruise missiles instead of Kalibrs as they are more effective.

Johnson promised to put aid to Ukraine to vote

US House Speaker Mike Johnson has promised to put the issue of funding for Ukraine to a vote. This will happen after Congress returns from Easter vacation, states Mike Turner, Chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee.

The congressman noted that Speaker Johnson has made it clear that he supports Ukraine, both directly to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and publicly.

Turner expressed hope that the US Congress will be able to approve assistance to Ukraine before the House of Representatives goes on recess again on April 22.

Lack of funds for Ukraine shell purchase initiated by Czechia, Estonia claims

Some countries have already contributed funds for the purchase of artillery ammunition at the initiative of Czechia. However, there is still a shortage of money, states the Minister of Defense of Estonia, Hanno Pevkur.

He noted that there are places in the world where shells can be purchased, but the issue is money.

According to the Minister of Defense of Estonia, the shortfall is primarily being sought in the countries of Northern and Central Europe. France, which has stated that it is ready to make a larger contribution, still needs to be discussed separately.