Rockets launched from Russia's Belgorod region streak across the sky at dawn in Kharkiv, Ukraine, early on March 24.
Russia launched a drone attack overnight on the city of Kryviy Rih in Ukraine's south-central region of Dnipropetrovsk, the region's governor said on March 24, as an air-raid alert was declared in several regions while heavy fighting continued in and around the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Five Iranian-made drones were launched on Kryviy Rih at night but there were no casualties, Serhiy Lysak said on Telegram, adding that one Shahed drone and several Russian missiles were downed.
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In the east, Russian forces pressed on with their offensive, launching 79 assaults on Bakhmut and the surrounding areas over the past 24 hours, despite some reports of signs of exhaustion among Moscow's troops, Ukraine's General Staff said in its morning summary on March 24.
Most of Russia's assaults targeted Bakhmut, the largely destroyed city in the Donetsk region that has been the epicenter of Moscow's efforts for months. The enemy continued to launch unsuccessful attacks in other areas of Donetsk -- Lyman, Avdiyivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk, the General Staff said, adding that fighting was also under way in parts of the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions. General Oleksandr Syrskiy, commander of Ukraine's ground forces, said on March 23 that the Russians' relentless push in Bakhmut was beginning to take its toll on their strength, and that the Ukrainians were preparing to take advantage of their enemy's perceived weakness "very soon."
But Serhiy Cherevatiy, a spokesman for the Eastern Group of Ukraine's forces, cautioned that Bakhmut was still seeing intense combat.
On March 23, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy implored European leaders to speed up and increase the supply of weapons, including long-range missiles and fighter jets. Zelenskiy, who earlier in the day, visited the Kherson region, said delays in the delivery of long-range missiles and fighter jets could extend the war. "Time is of the essence. Not just months and weeks, but days. The sooner we act together, the more lives we save," Zelenskiy said. "If Europe hesitates, the evil may have time to regroup and prepare itself for years of war," he added, speaking in a video address on March 23 to European leaders that he recorded as he traveled by train to Kherson, which was recaptured by Kyiv in November. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said any new sanctions against Russia would mostly crack down on evasion of previously imposed sanctions. She also said the EU would work with other organizations to find Ukrainian children deported to Russia and press for their return. "It is a horrible reminder of the darkest times of our history...to deport children. This is a war crime," she said. The International Criminal Court last week issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, a Russian children's rights official, for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children. Zelenskiy also welcomed the endorsement by EU foreign and defense ministers of a plan for sending Ukraine 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition within the next 12 months.