The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine reached a new level of violence on March 3rd, 2023, as both sides reported significant casualties and losses. The situation in the besieged city of Bakhmut, a strategic location in northern Donetsk, is critical, with Russian forces advancing towards the city to control the highway that connects Kyiv and Kharkiv.

The Ukrainian military reported downing a Russian Su-34 Fullback fighter-bomber with a Buk-M2 surface-to-air missile over the separatist-held city of Donetsk, but Russia denied it, claiming it could have been friendly fire. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are resisting fiercely in Bakhmut against the Russian army and Wagner mercenaries.

The international community has expressed deep concern and urged both sides to respect the 2015 Minsk ceasefire agreement. US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have discussed their response to the crisis, calling for support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also discussed imposing new sanctions on Russia if it does not de-escalate its aggression. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 meeting in Riyadh and urged him to seek a peaceful solution through dialogue.

The war between Russia and Ukraine began on February 24th, 2023, when Russia launched a surprise invasion across the border, accusing Ukraine of fascist forces backed by NATO. The conflict has resulted in the displacement of millions of people and the death of over 10,000 civilians and military personnel.