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Shelling of Odesa during Zelenskyy's visit and Sweden accession to NATO - Wednesday brief

Shelling of Odesa during Zelenskyy's visit and Sweden accession to NATO - Wednesday brief Collage by RBC-Ukraine

Russian occupants fired a missile at Odesa during the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Meanwhile, the media announced the date of Sweden's official accession to NATO.

RBC-Ukraine collected the main news for March 6.

Russians strike at Odesa during visit of Zelenskнy and Greek PM

Yesterday, March 6, Russians launched a missile strike on Odesa. This occurred during the visit of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who witnessed the explosion, according to a joint press conference of Zelenskyy and Mitsotakis.

"We saw this strike today (in Odesa). You see who we are dealing with. They don't care where to strike. I know there were casualties. I don't know the details, but I know there are dead and wounded," emphasized the head of state.

According to him, the Russians struck Odesa during the visit of international guests from Greece. But it doesn't matter to the occupiers - either they have lost their minds or don't control their army.

Zelenskyy stressed that such strikes indicate the need to strengthen defense, primarily regarding air defense.

He said Ukraine is "gradually strengthening, but slower than we would like."

In turn, the Greek Prime Minister said that Russia launched a missile strike while he and Zelenskyy were in the port of Odesa.

"At the end of the visit (to the port), we heard an air raid siren and powerful explosions nearby. This is a striking experience; we understand that this war concerns everyone and does not spare anyone," Mitsotakis emphasized.

Front to stabilize soon, Ukraine plans counteroffensive actions, top commander states

The situation on the front remains difficult but controlled. Ukraine plans to conduct counteroffensive operations this year, according to the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Pavliuk.

According to Pavliuk, Russian terrorists are currently doing everything possible to maximize the occupation of territories before the presidential elections in Russia. According to intercepted conversations, even those who came to the front without training a week or two ago are being thrown into enemy assaults.

"Everything is being done to seize the initiative. Our task is to stabilize the front line, maximize enemy destruction, make maximum regrouping for the withdrawal of units that need restoration, create a striking force, and conduct counteroffensive operations this year. We are succeeding in this. The situation is stabilizing," Pavliuk said.

Destruction of ship Sergei Kotov: Ukrainian Defense Intelligence clarifies Russian losses

As a result of the destruction of the Russian ship Sergei Kotov, 27 crew members were injured. There are also casualties, according to the Telegram channel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

"According to updated information, at least 27 crew members of the destroyed Russian ship Sergei Kotov near the Kerch Strait have suffered injuries of varying degrees of severity," the intelligence press service writes.

According to preliminary data, 7 Russian sailors were killed.

Intelligence adds that information regarding Russian losses is still being clarified.

Sweden to officially become NATO member: Date announced

On Monday, March 11, the flag of Sweden will be raised above NATO headquarters in Brussels, marking the beginning of the accession process, according to TV4 Nyheterna.

The following offcials will arrive in the Belgian capital, Brussels:

  • Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson;
  • Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces, Micael Bydén;
  • Other high-ranking politicians of the country.

"NATO ambassadors will be invited and ceremonies are planned. Press conferences will also be held in connection with the raising of the Swedish flag," TV4 Nyheterna says.

UK ready to offer Ukraine loan using frozen Russian assets - Foreign Secretary

London is ready to lend Ukraine the amount of the frozen assets of the Russian central bank in the UK because Russia will be forced to pay reparations to Ukraine after the war, according to UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

"There is an opportunity to use something like a syndicated loan or a bond that effectively uses the frozen Russian assets as a surety to give that money to the Ukrainians knowing that we will recoup it when reparations are paid by Russia. That may be a better way of doing it," he says.

Cameron notes that London seeks maximum unity in the G7 and with the EU on this issue. "but if we cannot get it I think we will have to move ahead with allies that want to take this action," the Secretary adds.

Cameron says he does not think the bond plan would in any way undermine the reputation of the City of London.

Western allies almost fully fund 800,000 shells for Ukraine, Bloomberg

Ukraine's allies have allocated almost all the necessary funds for the purchase of 800,000 artillery shells as part of the Czechia initiative, according to Bloomberg.

According to unnamed sources cited by the news agency, the shells could be delivered to Ukraine within a few weeks. The exact timing will depend on contracts and delivery schedules and may be subject to change.

Bloomberg specifies that Czechia will act as an intermediary with countries willing to finance the purchase of ammunition for Ukraine.