Day 394 of the Invasion of Ukraine: The West must Prepare for a Long War, according to NATO Chief
24.03.2023 / 12:07

Day 394 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:


EU summit: Missiles and 1 million projectiles for Ukraine, plan for new sanctions

Medvedev said Russian troops would reach Kyiv if necessary

Stoltenberg: The West must prepare for a long war in Ukraine

An explosion and fire at the plant where engines for Russia's Topol-M nuclear missiles are produced

Girkin: Putin, pull yourself together. Don't end up like Gaddafi with a bayonet in the ass


EU summit: Missiles and 1 million projectiles for Ukraine, plan for new sanctions

The EU summit reaffirmed its pledge to provide Ukraine with 1 million shells as well as surface-to-surface missiles if requested. This was stated in a statement published by the heads of state and government of the community who met in Brussels.

"The European Council welcomes the agreement in the Council of the EU for the urgent provision of surface-to-surface ammunition and artillery shells to Ukraine and, upon request, missiles. These will be purchased, including through joint procurement, by mobilizing appropriate funds from the European peace mechanism with the goal of jointly delivering 1 million shells over the next 12 months," the document said. The type of missiles is not specified.

At the summit, the European Union announced new sanctions against Russia and increased information warfare, and called for tougher enforcement of old sanctions and a cap on oil prices. The heads of state and government from the EU, gathered at the summit in Brussels today, indicated this in a joint statement.

"The EU remains committed to maintaining and increasing collective pressure on Russia, including through new restrictive measures, as well as continuing work on the oil price ceiling together with partners," the statement said. "The European Council emphasizes the importance and urgency of intensifying the work on the effective implementation of already adopted sanctions at the European and national level. The EU will also step up work with its partners to counter false Russian narratives and disinformation about the war."

No concrete decisions on sanctions were made at the summit.


Medvedev said Russian troops would reach Kyiv if necessary

The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that all scenarios are possible in the so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine.

"If we have to go to Kyiv, then we will go to Kyiv, if we have to go to Lviv, we will go to eradicate this infection," Medvedev said in an interview with several Russian media.

He deflected a question about the duration of the hostilities, pointing out that only the supreme commander can give an assessment of the timing and progress of the operation.

Medvedev also said that if military specialists arrived in Ukraine along with arms shipments, they would be a legitimate target for Russian forces and would be "subject to destruction."

Yesterday, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, called on the European leaders in a video message to accelerate the delivery of weapons to his country. Otherwise, the war will drag on, Zelensky warned.


Stoltenberg: The West must prepare for a long war in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has no immediate plans for peace in Ukraine, and therefore the West must prepare to provide lethal aid to Kyiv for a long time to come, the NATO Secretary General warned in an interview with the Guardian.

Jens Stoltenberg said he would demand at the next summit of the alliance in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius that the allies spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP on defense.

Fierce fighting currently centered around Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine shows that Russia is ready "to just throw in thousands and thousands more troops, take a lot of casualties for minimal gains," the NATO chief said.

According to him, Russia is "reaching out to authoritarian regimes like Iran or North Korea and others to try to get more weapons."

Equally important, the NATO chief said, will be to dissuade China from supplying arms to Russia, which is short of key munitions. China, whose leader Xi Jinping visited Moscow earlier in the week, has been told by NATO members that there will be "consequences" if it provides lethal aid to Moscow.

An explosion and fire at the plant where engines for Russia's Topol-M nuclear missiles are produced

The Ministry of Emergencies in Russia announced that it had located a fire on the territory of the Yaroslavl Motor Plant 280 kilometers from Moscow and not far from Kostroma.

According to RIA Novosti, the fire brigade was activated at 13:30 p.m. Moscow time yesterday after a signal from the automatic fire alarm at the plant, known by the abbreviation YAMZ (ЯМЗ). In the city, they noticed thick black smoke coming from the plant in the three-story administrative building of the plant, and according to the rescuers, transformer oil was burning. Seven people were rescued from the burning building, and another 218 were evacuated.

The seriousness of the accident is evidenced by the dispatch of 15 fire engines and 52 firefighters, which does not correspond to the authorities' claims of a fire with an area of about 30 square meters.

Much of the attention to the accident is probably due to the production specifics of the plant. In the past, the plant produced YaMZ engines for the Kraz, Kamaz, and MAZ, but according to Russian and Ukrainian sources, YaMZ now produces engines for ICBMs, in particular the Topol-M, which can carry nuclear warheads. Ural truck engines are also produced for the needs of the Russian army. According to Ukrainian sources, there was an explosion at the plant.

The Israeli Russian-language publication CursorInfo draws attention to the fact that this is not the first case of a fire at an enterprise related to Russia's defense industry in the last year. In April 2022, RII-2, an enterprise of the Ministry of Defense that produces components for strategic missile weapons, burned in Tver. In June, there was a similar fire in Nizhny Novgorod at a factory for fuel elements for military products.

Due to the specifics of the sites, there is a lack of information on the causes of such incidents in defense plants.


Girkin: Putin, pull yourself together. Don't end up like Gaddafi with a bayonet in the ass

“Putin, pull yourself together. Don't end up like Gaddafi with a bayonet in the ass.”

This was announced by the most popular Russian military blogger, former Minister of Defense of the DPR and declared a terrorist by the Ukrainian authorities, Igor Girkin, in a video shared on his Telegram channel.

"We need to ask the advisers and politicians who launched the ‘special military operation’ a year ago, for which we are not prepared at all. And if we don't ask them, then there is no reason to blame everything on the respected Kyiv and dear Western partners. You are fools yourself. If a man has lied to himself for 8 years, then the fault lies not only with those who deceived him, but also with the fools who allowed deceivers to mislead them for so long."

Girkin then addressed the Russian president personally.

"So, pull yourself together, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Less telling people about your long-suffering nose. Try to understand that you still have a chance to lead the country into the war and not repeat the fate of Muammar Gaddafi, who, as we well know , got a bayonet in his ass as a result of his reckless actions."

Girkin assures that if the president begins to make the right decisions (for months, for example, Girkin has been calling on the Kremlin to announce a full mobilization), then he will win the support not only of his "comrade" and the Russian population, but also of "those who you don’t like, like me".

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