Espreso. Global

Victorious news of 758th day of war: Belgorod under fire, Russian equipment destroyed in Mariupol

22 March, 2024 Friday

Lithuania has provided Ukraine with systems to combat drones, and Ukrainian partisans are operating in Mariupol

IMF approves $880 million tranche for Ukraine

The IMF Executive Board today completed the third review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program for Ukraine, approving a tranche of about $880 million.

This was announced during a press conference in Washington by the head of the IMF mission to Ukraine, Gavin Gray, Ukrinform reports.

"The IMF Executive Board today finalized the third review of the EFF program for Ukraine. This will make it possible to disburse a tranche of about $880 million," Gray said.

According to him, together with previous tranches, Ukraine will receive $5.4 billion under the program.

He added that a new funding package could arrive in Ukraine within the next two to three days.

The IMF representative emphasized that the Ukrainian side had met all but one of the quantitative performance criteria and benchmarks set out in the review.

Gray noted that the Ukrainian economy demonstrated extraordinary resilience in 2023 despite martial law, although certain war-related challenges remain.

The Fund emphasized the need for Ukraine to maintain a steady reform momentum to preserve macroeconomic stability, restore fiscal and debt sustainability, strengthen institutional reforms, and lay the groundwork for reconstruction efforts and European integration.

Russia reports alleged shelling of Belgorod

On the morning of March 22, Russia announced an alleged attack on Belgorod. They say that there is a dead man, wounded, and damage to infrastructure.

The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, wrote about this on Telegram.

According to him, on the morning of March 22, Belgorod was allegedly shelled, killing one person.

He added that there were allegedly injuries and damage to four medical facilities and residential buildings. Gladkov said that 12 cars were damaged, 4 of which were allegedly completely burned.

"According to preliminary data, two people were injured: a woman has a shrapnel wound of the lower limb, and a man has a closed head injury," Gladkov wrote.

Russian publics Zhest Belgorod and Go31 Novosti Belgorod posted photos and videos of the alleged aftermath of the strike. They say that a fire broke out in the city on Yunosti Boulevard, with cars allegedly burning.

First Ukrainian pilots graduate from F-16 training in UK

This was reported by the press service of the UK government.

"The 10 pilots received basic flying, ground school and language training in the UK and will one day form the first line of defence in protecting Ukraine’s skies from Putin’s forces," the statement says.

As part of the training, experienced UK Air Force instructors taught the pilots general flying, instrument flying, and basic and advanced navigation. They also took English language courses to help with their training and improve their interaction with NATO air forces, as English is the standardized language of flight.

The group of pilots will now move on to advanced flight training provided by the French Air Force.

"I would like to congratulate these brave pilots on completing their initial training here in the UK. Thanks to the world-renowned skills of RAF, these pilots have received some of the best training available and are now a step closer to joining the fight against Putin’s illegal invasion," said UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps.

Lithuania hands over anti-drone systems to Ukraine

This is stated on the ministry's website.

"Lithuania continues to provide continuous military support to Ukraine, in particular, on March 22, the delivery of Lithuanian anti-drone systems took place," the statement says.

The ministry reminded that the assistance provided to Ukraine within the framework of the national defense system covers a wide range of weapons, ammunition, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-drone systems, training of troops, repair of heavy equipment, and "all other assistance provided in accordance with the stated needs of Ukraine."

In particular, the ministry noted that Lithuania has developed a long-term plan to support Ukraine with a package of military assistance to Ukraine worth €200 million for 2024-2026.

"We are doing everything possible for Ukraine's victory, as this is the only way to ensure lasting peace in Europe," the Lithuanian defense ministry's press service emphasized.

In Mariupol, guerrillas burn Russian equipment 

Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, reported this.

"The Mariupol resistance burned Russian construction equipment, including a 60-ton truck crane that was used for dismantling, building housing for Russians and fortifications," he said.

Ukraine returns 9 children from occupied territories

The head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, wrote this on Telegram.

According to Yermak, 9 Ukrainian children were returned to the government-controlled territory as part of the president's action plan Bring Kids Back UA.

"Our team, together with representatives of the Ombudsman's Office, has completed another task. Today we met 5 children abducted by Russia: 4 of them are from orphanages (aged 3 to 10) and one 12-year-old girl. Another 4 children had returned from the temporarily occupied territories earlier and had already visited the Center for the Protection of Children's Rights, where they told law enforcement officers about the crimes of the Russians they had witnessed," Yermak wrote.

Ukrainian children were forced to go to Russian schools and were told that there was no independent state of Ukraine.

"I am grateful to the entire team, as well as to the State of Qatar for mediation. The International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children is working. The President's task is to return all of them. We will continue to work," emphasized Yermak.

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