Accessibility links

Breaking News

Latest Developments in Ukraine: March 10

People receive food at a humanitarian aid distribution spot in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 9, 2023.
People receive food at a humanitarian aid distribution spot in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 9, 2023.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia's war on Ukraine. All times EST.

8:12 p.m.: Switzerland's government said on Friday it will not change its long-standing policy banning the transfer of Swiss-made arms to a third country despite growing pressure from European nations to export them to Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Calls for Switzerland to break with centuries of tradition as a neutral state have been growing both internally and externally since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a year ago.

"The Federal Council is committed to the values of Swiss neutrality and will continue to work to ensure the benefits of neutrality are realized," it said in a statement. However, it said it would continue to monitor the debates and make a further statement "if necessary."

Since the war began, Switzerland has received requests from Germany, Denmark and Spain for the re-export of Swiss war material to Ukraine but those requests were all denied.

It has however adopted the European Union's sanctions and has repeatedly called for a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

7:27 p.m.: Canada on Friday banned the import of all Russian aluminum and steel products in a move that Ottawa said was aimed at denying Moscow the ability to fund its war against Ukraine, Reuters reported.

"Ukraine can and must win this war. We continue to do everything we can to cut off or limit the revenue used to fund Putin's illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine," Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

The ban covers both finished and unfinished products, and would impact the import of products such as aluminum sheets, aluminum containers as well steel tubes and pipes, according to the statement.

Canada, along with its Western allies, has taken coordinated actions against Russia over its invasion in Ukraine. Ottawa has placed sanctions on more than 1,600 individuals and entities over the invasion and supported Kyiv with more than $3.6 billion in financial, military and other aid.

6:47 p.m.: Ukraine has decided to fight on in the ruined city of Bakhmut because the battle is pinning down Russia's best units and degrading them ahead of a planned Ukrainian spring counter-offensive, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Russia has made Bakhmut the main target of a winter push involving hundreds of thousands of reservists and mercenaries.

Russia "has converged on Bakhmut with a large part of its trained military personnel, the remnants of its professional army, as well as the private companies," Mykhailo Podolyak said in an interview published by Italy's La Stampa newspaper.

"We, therefore, have two objectives: to reduce their capable personnel as much as possible, and to fix them in a few key wearisome battles, to disrupt their offensive and concentrate our resources elsewhere, for the spring counter-offensive. So, today Bakhmut is completely effective, even exceeding its key tasks," he added.

5:55 p.m.: Kremlin-installed courts in Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine have sentenced three Ukrainian servicemen, including a human rights activist, to lengthy prison terms for allegedly mistreating civilians, Russian investigators said Friday, according to Agence France-Presse.

"The supreme courts of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics issued sentences in three criminal cases against Ukrainian citizens Viktor Pokhozey, Maksym Butkevych and Vladislav Shel," Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Moscow last year declared the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine part of Russia following referendums denounced by Kyiv and the West.

"All of them were found guilty of mistreating the civilian population and using prohibited methods (of fighting) in an armed conflict," the statement added.

Butkevych, a Ukrainian rights activist and co-founder of the independent Hromadske radio, and Shel were also convicted of attempted murder.

Ukraine's foreign ministry denounced the verdicts as "illegal and void", calling on the international community to "condemn" the trials and "demand" the soldiers' release.

5:19 p.m.: Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Friday his Wagner private army had opened recruitment centers in 42 cities as he seeks to replenish its ranks after heavy losses in fighting for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Reuters reported.

In an upbeat audio message, Prigozhin said new fighters were coming forward but gave no indication of the numbers involved. He also said ammunition supplies had improved, but remained a concern.

"In spite of the colossal resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces, we will go forward," he said. "Despite the sticks in the wheels that are thrown at us at every step, we will overcome this together."

Wagner has led some of the fiercest fighting in Russia's attempt to take Bakhmut, where the Ukrainian army is still holding out after more than seven months of attritional warfare - a bloody campaign that Prigozhin calls "the meat grinder."

4:36 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy led tributes on Friday to Dmytro Kotsiubailo, a renowned commander known as "Da Vinci" who won public affection for committing his entire adult life to fighting Russia and its proxies, Reuters reported.

The 27-year-old, whose unit is called Da Vinci's Wolves, was killed this week in Bakhmut, the eastern Ukrainian city that has since August experienced the deadliest fighting of the war and remains fiercely contested.

Zelenskyy appeared with the visiting Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin at the ornate, golden-domed St. Michael's Cathedral in central Kyiv to lay flowers on Kotsiubailo's coffin.

"It hurts to lose our heroes. Brave, courageous, strong. Loyal to themselves and to the state," Zelenskyy said on the Telegram app.

"I handed over to Oksana Kotsiubailo, Da Vinci's mother, the Cross of Military Merit, which her son was posthumously awarded. We will never forget. And we will always be grateful."

3:57 p.m.: The Group of Seven and other like-minded organizations renewed their pledge to support Ukraine's energy sector, Japan's foreign ministry said after the group convened for a meeting on Friday.

Japan's foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan intends to provide about 10 autotransformers and 140 units of power-related equipment to Ukraine, according to a statement released by the Japanese foreign ministry.

During the meeting, which was co-hosted by Hayashi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Hayashi also praised Ukraine for overcoming "the harsh winter despite repeated Russian attacks on energy infrastructure."

Although Ukraine is currently meeting its energy needs, it has seen between 40% and 50% of its energy system damaged by Russian missile and drone strikes during the winter, according to Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal.

3 p.m.: The United States on Friday accused Russia of trying to destabilize the ex-Soviet republic of Moldova, including through the use of street protests, with the goal of eventually bringing in a pro-Moscow government, Agence France-Presse reported.

"We believe Russia is pursuing options to weaken the Moldovan government, probably with the eventual goal of seeing a more Russia-friendly administration," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Moldova's government is seeking closer ties to Western institutions and is close to the pro-Western government of neighboring Ukraine, which has been battling a Russian invasion for more than a year.

A slice of Moldovan territory, Transnistria, is controlled by Russian-backed separatists and Washington believes Moscow is seeking to stir wider instability.

2:10 p.m.: Anti-corruption authorities in Ukraine are seeking the pretrial detention of the former head of a state oil and gas giant in a case at the forefront of Kyiv's battle against corruption, which has also attracted public criticism, Reuters reported.

Prosecutors on Friday asked the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine to place Andriy Kobolyev, who is suspected of embezzlement while leading Naftogaz, in custody unless he posts around $10 million in bail.

Investigators from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine believe he may have broken the law by effectively awarding himself a $10 million bonus in 2018 after winning an arbitration case in Stockholm against Russia's state gas monopoly.

He has denied wrongdoing and the case has sparked divisions among Ukrainians closely following Kyiv's battle to root out graft, which its Western partners have prioritized as the country pushes to join the European Union.

His supporters claim the case is shaky and could taint Ukraine's prized anti-graft institutions at a crucial moment.

1:20 p.m.: Moscow on Friday accused foreign countries of fomenting mass protests in Georgia, likening them to an attempted coup designed to sow tension on Russia's borders, Agence France-Presse reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that several days of demonstrations in the Georgian capital Tbilisi reminded him of a Ukrainian uprising that ousted a Kremlin-friendly government in 2014.

Hundreds of Georgians rallied for a fourth day outside parliament, as lawmakers dropped controversial "foreign agent" legislation that had triggered violent clashes between police and protesters this week.

The demonstrations point to turmoil over the future of Georgia, which aims to join the EU and NATO, much to the frustration of Moscow, which invaded in 2008 and recognized two separatist territories in the north of the country as independent.

"There is no doubt that the law on the registration of non-governmental organizations was used as an excuse to start, generally speaking, an attempt to change the government by force," said Lavrov.

Critics of the Georgian bill say it resembles Russian legislation used to silence dissenters.

12:09 a.m.: Ukraine was not involved in the explosions on Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday, cited by Suspilne news outlet, The Kyiv Independent reported.

"It's funny, to be honest," Zelensky told reporters about recent media reports suggesting Ukraine was linked to the pipelines' sabotage. "We are interested in weapons being supplied, sanctions being introduced, and our victory."

According to Ukraine's president, information about Kyiv's alleged connection with Nord Stream attacks is being spread to slow down Western aid to Ukraine.

"I think it is very dangerous that some independent media, which I always treated with great respect, take such steps. I think it is wrong, it only plays into the hands of Russia," Zelenskyy said at a press conference, as quoted by Suspilne.

The New York Times reported on March 7, citing unidentified U.S. officials who reviewed new intelligence, that a "pro-Ukrainian group" likely consisting of Russian or/and Ukrainian nationals might have carried out the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. The intelligence suggests that the group included opponents of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, but there is no evidence of any government's involvement in the sabotage.

11:00 a.m.: In a dramatic turn of events, Georgian lawmakers have voted to drop a controversial "foreign agents" bill just days after its first reading sparked massive protests over fears the legislation, which mirrored a similar law in Russia, and would have severely restricted dissent and the activity of civil society groups in the country and push it toward authoritarianism, Radio Free Europe / Radio Libery reported.

Parliament on March 10 voted in the second reading of the draft, a day after the ruling Georgian Dream party announced it was withdrawing the proposed legislation in the face of the protests.

Lawmakers voted 35-1 against the bill, thus canceling it. The legislation can be brought back within 30 days, but only if it contains changes.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Georgian capital over the legislation, and another gathering is planned for March 10, though it is likely to be more of a celebration than a protest.

10:20 a.m.: Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Friday,The Kyiv Independent reported.

The two visited wounded soldiers in a Kyiv hospital and attended the funeral of fallen soldier Dmytro Kotsiubailo, killed in action on Tuesday.

Zelenskyy thanked Finland for supplying aid to Ukraine's energy sector following Russia's mass missile strike.

Marin noted that Finland had just delivered its 14th defense aid package to Ukraine, which included heavy weaponry, and pledged to continue providing support.

Apart from defense and security, Zelenskyy and Marin also discussed the significance of halting Russia's attempts to evade sanctions by trading with third-party nations, particularly with regard to products that hold significance for the Russian military industry.

9:12 a.m.: A car drove over a mine in the village of Ishchenka in Kherson Oblast, causing two deaths and two injuries, the Kherson Oblast military administration reported, The Kyiv Independent reported.

A man and a woman were taken to the hospital with "serious" injuries, including burns and fractures, the report said.

The administration issued a warning to civilians, advising them against entering areas that have not yet been confirmed as demined by emergency services.

They emphasized that places such as fields, roadsides, and forests are at a higher risk of being mined.

8:35 a.m.: Officials in Kyiv say Ukraine's capital has restored most of its power supply as the country again responds swiftly and defiantly to the latest Russian barrage targeting critical infrastructure, The AP reported.

The Kremlin’s forces bombarded Ukraine from afar in what has become a familiar Russian tactic since last fall. It comes amid months of a grinding battlefield stalemate on the front line in eastern areas.

The apparent aim is to weaken Ukraine’s resolve and compel Kyiv to negotiate peace on Moscow’s terms. Kyiv's military administration said power and water were restored Friday with about 30% of consumers still without heating.

7:30 a.m.: As many as 20,000 Ukrainians who were granted permission to remain in the U.S. for one year after fleeing the early fighting in their native country are facing the expiration of their humanitarian parole, The Associated Press reported.

Advocates say the Biden administration has said it's working on a fix but has not issued guidance on how to extend their legal status, which is also tied to benefits including housing assistance and food stamps.

Most of the Ukrainians were granted the one-year humanitarian parole after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the early months of the war. Many say the uncertainty is causing them stress. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.

6:25 a.m.: The European Union wants to hold joint naval exercises as part of plans published on Friday to step up its efforts to protect critical infrastructure at sea, Reuters reported.

Concerns about threats to Europe's maritime infrastructure were heightened by attacks in September on the Nord Stream pipelines, which left them spewing natural gas into the Baltic Sea.

The EU has updated its maritime security strategy, outlining plans to hold an annual naval exercise from 2024 and coordinate member countries' national efforts to protect gas pipelines, undersea data cables, offshore wind farms and other critical maritime infrastructure.

5:17 a.m.: The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said in its latest Ukraine assessment that Russian forces continued ground attacks throughout the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
They also continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut but have not completed a turning movement or encircled the city.
Russian forces also continued offensive operations along the outskirts of Donetsk City and near Vuhledar.

4 a.m.: A major new investigative report by the team of imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny charges that the Moscow mayor's office has spent billions of rubles since 2018 through a "slush fund" to promote the image of Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

But in addition to pro-Kremlin media personalities such as RT chief editor Margarita Simonyan and her husband, pro-Kremlin commentator and producer Tigran Keosayan, the report revealed that millions of dollars from the fund went to prominent figures in liberal Russian circles, including television personality and former presidential candidate Ksenya Sobchak and Aleksei Venediktov, the former chief editor of the shuttered Ekho Moskvy radio station.

2:31 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said that Russia's Thursday bombardment of Ukraine included cruise missiles, Iranian attack drones, and "an unusually large number of hypersonic air-launched ballistic missiles." It was one of the largest strikes since December.

1:19 a.m.: The Kyiv Independent reported that the Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs mulitlateral task force, made of of the US. and international partners, has frozen more than $58 billion in Russian assets.

12:02 a.m.: An Italian navy captain was found guilty Thursday of selling secrets to Russia and sentenced by a military tribunal to 30 years in jail, Reuters reported.

Walter Biot, 56, was arrested in 2021 as he was handing information to a Russian embassy employee in a Rome car park.

Italy subsequently expelled two Russian diplomats and accused Biot of selling documents, including classified NATO documents, for $5,280.

His lawyer has said Biot did not hand over any sensitive material and announced Thursday he would appeal the verdict. The military prosecutor had sought a life term.

"Biot traded in secrets and was caught in the act," the prosecutor said Thursday. "He displayed a high degree of disloyalty and criminal ability, but also sorry greed."

Some information in this report came from Reuters.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.