‘It’s a Victory for Freedom Today’ – War in Ukraine Update for March 8

Overview:

  • Black Sea shipping corridor in the center of the meeting in Istanbul
  • NATO applauds Sweden as it becomes its 32nd member
  • Lithuania prepares aid for Kiev, including artillery shells
  • Britain is footing a $416 million bill for more British-made drones for Ukraine
  • The Russians continue to make marginal progress in the Luhansk region

Peace talks and grain corridor are on the agenda for Zelensky in Turkey on Friday

President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Istanbul on Friday to discuss the resumption of a safe shipping corridor in the Black Sea in talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan’s office said in a statement that the summit will take place at Dolmabahce Palace on Friday afternoon and will also discuss the topic of peace talks.

“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his guest Zelensky will discuss in detail the course of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, the latest developments regarding the continuation of the Grain Corridor Agreement, the search for permanent peace in the region, and Türkiye relations and Russia. Ukraine,” the statement read.

Zelensky last visited Turkey in July 2023. Ukraine’s relationship with Turkey is complicated, as Ankara maintains diplomatic contacts with Moscow and is heavily dependent on Russian energy. However, Erdogan managed to conclude a grain corridor deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin until Russia withdrew from the agreement in July 2023.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Says He’s a Small Country But Understands Geopolitical Stability “More Than Most”

“Today is a victory for freedom. Sweden has made a free, democratic, sovereign and united choice to join NATO,” said Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, as his country officially became the Alliance’s 32nd member.


Other interesting topics

Zelensky visits Turkey and meets Erdogan for talks on Friday

As the Turkish presidency stated on Thursday, the focus of the discussion will be on Russia’s war against Ukraine, including efforts to establish a secure corridor in the Black Sea.

Entirely as a result of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden broke some 80 years of neutrality (towards the Kremlin) and decided to apply to become a NATO member, after witnessing Moscow’s expansionism.

After overcoming initial resistance from Russia-friendly member states Hungary and Turkey (the latter of whom was also concerned about Sweden’s alleged protection of Kurdish residents considered terrorists by Ankara), Sweden’s prime minister on Thursday ceremonially handed over the latter NATO documentation. at the State Department in Washington.

“It is a big step, but at the same time a very natural step,” Kristersson said at the Foreign Ministry during a televised address to his Swedish audience. “We are a small country,” he said, “but we understand better than anyone the importance of the larger world beyond our borders.”

Lithuania will sell much-needed artillery

State news agency Ukrinform on Thursday highlighted an announcement from the Lithuanian Defense Ministry that the Baltic nation is now sending a shipment of aid to Kiev, including 155mm artillery ammunition, which Ukraine said is seriously needed.

“We are sending the supplies that Ukraine currently needs most. We hear them and our assistance continues,” said Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas.

“In addition to military equipment and weapons, Lithuania also contributes to Ukrainian defense through active training of its military personnel, medical treatment and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, consultations with experts and contributions to Ukrainian relief funds,” the ministry statement said .

The UK Ministry of Defense is allocating funding for around 10,000 next-generation drones

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps announced Thursday that London is spending £325 million ($416 million) on purchasing 10,000 of the latest drones for Ukraine. The announcement was made during a meeting with President Zelensky in Kiev, the British government website reported.

“I am increasing our commitment to arming Ukraine with cutting-edge new drones sourced directly from Britain’s leading defense industry – straight from the factory floor to the frontline. I encourage international partners to join Britain in this effort,” Shapps said.

The total package will deliver 1,000 attack versions researched and developed in Britain, as well as surveillance and maritime drones.

Operations: Luhansk region

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Thursday that Russian forces advanced marginally northeast of Kupyansk on Thursday, amid ongoing positional fighting on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.

Geolocation images published on March 7 appear to show Moscow’s forces moving forward in the northern outskirts of Synkivka (northeast of Kupjansk), while fighting continued southeast of Kupjansk near Tabaivka; west of Kreminna near Terny and Yampolivka; and south of Kreminna near Bilohorivka.

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