US set to announce new military aid package for Ukraine

The United States is potentially set to announce a military aid package for Ukraine worth up to $400 million, as reported by Reuters on March 12, citing two unnamed American officials. This would mark the first such package since last December, following disputes within Congress that had blocked U.S. funds for Kyiv.

According to one of the sources cited by Reuters, the funding for this package is derived from credits refunded to the Pentagon for recent purchases.

Delays in U.S. aid to Ukraine have persisted since autumn 2023 due to disagreements over border security within Congress, stalling various versions of a foreign aid bill. Although a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan received bipartisan support and passed in the Senate, House Speaker Mike Johnson has reportedly refrained from bringing it to a vote in the House of Representatives.

It's noted that Johnson is allowing Republicans who support Ukrainian aid to work on an alternative bill, anticipated to be finalized by late March or early April.

The delays prompted Washington to explore alternative methods of providing assistance to Ukraine, such as accessing the U.S. Army's own funds.

The urgency for aid is underscored by equipment and weapons shortages, contributing to recent Russian territorial advances, including the capture of Avdiivka—a critical city near occupied Donetsk—that had been the site of heavy fighting for an extended period.

Russian anti-Kremlin militia broke into Russia and claim to occupy villages

On March 12, the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Siberian Battalion, as reported by Russian anti-Kremlin armed groups, crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia to engage in combat operations. Subsequently, the Freedom of Russia Legion claimed to have taken control of the village of Tyotkino in Russia's Kursk Oblast, asserting that Russian forces had retreated and left behind equipment.

According to Ukraine’s military intelligence spokesperson, Andrii Yusov, these units consist of Russian citizens who are part of Ukraine’s “security and defense forces” and are aiding in the effort to liberate Ukraine from Russian invaders. Yusov emphasized that these individuals, being citizens of the Russian Federation, have the right to take action to protect their civil rights and oppose the Putin regime in Russia.

The Russian Defense Ministry countered, stating that it had thwarted attempts by Kyiv to breach Russian territory in the Belgorod and Kursk oblasts, asserting that the incursion occurred simultaneously in three directions. The ministry did not directly reference the Freedom of Russia Legion or the Siberian Battalion but claimed to have targeted "Ukrainian terrorists" attempting to infiltrate Russian territory.

Ilya Ponomarev, a former member of the Russian parliament now living in exile in Ukraine, claimed that the Russian militia groups entered Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk oblasts for a “joint operation.” He reported that the border town of Lozovaya Rudka in Belgorod Oblast was under the control of the "liberation forces," while a skirmish was ongoing in Tyotkino in Kursk Oblast. However, these claims couldn't be independently verified.

Both the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Siberian Battalion posted videos on social media purportedly showing their operations in Russia. The groups expressed their aspirations for a Russia liberated from Putin’s dictatorship, emphasizing their determination to work towards that goal.

The Siberian Battalion also urged Russians to disregard the upcoming presidential elections, dismissing them as "fiction."

This incursion isn't the first of its kind; in May 2023, the Freedom of Russia Legion crossed into Russia’s Belgorod Oblast with the aim of liberating territories from the Putin regime and creating a safe zone for Ukrainian civilians, as per Yusov's statement.

Ukraine downs 17 Russian drones overnight

On March 12, Ukraine successfully intercepted 17 out of the 22 Shahed-type attack drones launched by Russia, according to the General Staff's morning update. The Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine reported the destruction of two drones over Kherson Oblast, two over Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, and four more over Mykolaiv Oblast.

Additionally, Ukraine's defense forces successfully intercepted an X-59 missile launched by Russia from the Black Sea toward Odesa Oblast.

Throughout the night, Russian drones were also detected in Ukraine's western regions, with four drones being shot down over Khmelnytskyi Oblast, as reported by local authorities.

In a separate incident, Russian aircraft targeted the city of Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast, dropping a guided bomb on a residential area. This attack resulted in three apartments catching fire in a five-story residential building. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties from this incident.

The developments indicate ongoing hostilities and attempts by Russia to target various regions within Ukraine, prompting continued defensive actions by Ukrainian forces to intercept and neutralize threats.

Zelenskyy signs draft law giving soldiers a chance to have children after death

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed draft law No. 10448, which guarantees soldiers the right to biological paternity or maternity. This development comes after the Ukrainian Parliament approved the Law On Amending Certain Legal Acts of Ukraine on Preserving the Gene Pool of the Ukrainian People on February 7.

Under the updated draft law, the biological material of fallen soldiers will be stored free of charge for three years after their death. This is a significant change from the previous version of the law, which stated that the biological material would be disposed of, leading to public outcry. With this amendment, soldiers and their families can now have access to their biological material for a specified period, which can be crucial for determining paternity or maternity.

Doctors in Lviv made Ukrainian soldier's dream come true and is able to run

Doctors in Lviv make Ukrainian soldier's dream come true: he can run again – photo

Hennadii Tamulevych, a courageous soldier from Luhansk Oblast, has shown incredible resilience and determination in his journey toward recovery. Despite facing adversity, including the loss of his limb, he has remained steadfast in his determination to overcome his injuries.

Born and raised in a region affected by the conflict with Russia, Hennadii made the decision to become a professional soldier after witnessing the occupation of his hometown of Pervomaisk. His commitment to defending his country led him to enroll in the military academy in Odesa after completing his schooling.

Throughout his service, Hennadii demonstrated bravery and leadership, particularly during the intense battles for Kyiv and subsequent deployments to other conflict zones. It was during one such mission in Zaporizhzhia that he sustained severe injuries, resulting in the loss of his leg.

Despite the challenges he faced, Hennadii remained resilient and determined to recover. His journey took him through various medical facilities, including those in Dnipro, Vinnytsia, and Lviv, as well as to Germany, where he received his first prosthesis. With unwavering perseverance and the support of medical professionals, Hennadii has now taken a significant step forward in his rehabilitation journey by receiving a sports prosthesis and successfully running his first 300 meters.

Hennadii's story serves as an inspiration to many, demonstrating the power of resilience, courage, and determination in the face of adversity. He embodies the spirit of resilience that defines the Ukrainian people, and his accomplishments stand as a testament to his strength and perseverance.