March 11, 2023 - Russia's war in Ukraine

By Joshua Berlinger, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT) March 11, 2023
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8:12 a.m. ET, March 11, 2023

Power to infrastructure in Kharkiv has been fully restored, but 15,000 customers are still without power

From CNN's Kostan Nechyporenko and Radina Gigova 

Local residents charge their phones powered via generator during a power outage after energy infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks in Kharkiv on Thursday.
Local residents charge their phones powered via generator during a power outage after energy infrastructure was hit by Russian missile attacks in Kharkiv on Thursday. (Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters)

Engineers in Ukraine's Kharkiv region continue to work on restoring the power system damaged by Thursday's massive Russian attack, Oleh Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv region military administration, said Saturday.

Power was restored Friday night to all private households in the city Kharkiv, and work is underway to fix the city's electric public transportation system, according to Synehubov.

Synehubov said 15,000 customers in Vovchansk, Stary Saltiv, and Slatyne in the region of Kharkiv are still without electricity, but "power companies will restore the power supply there in the near future."

On Friday, Synehubov said nearly half a million consumers were without power in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city. 

National energy company Ukrenergo said Saturday that the entire power system in the city of Kharkiv is still being restored. One of the thermal power plants in Kharkiv has been partially restored after emergency repairs, and one of the trunk power grid facilities of Ukrenergo is back online, the company said.

Ukrenergo did not disclose how many households remain without power, but it said the city's critical infrastructure is fully powered. Work continues to restore the full power supply to the city and the region, the company said.

Russia has for months been trying to cripple Ukraine's power network, but as we have previously reported, the efforts have failed.

5:52 a.m. ET, March 11, 2023

Russia fired a rarely-used missile during its aerial assault on Thursday

From CNN's Rob Picheta

Russia’s overnight missile attack on Thursday showered Ukraine with an array of missiles, in one of Moscow’s biggest aerial assaults for months.

Russia launched a total of 95 missiles of various types over the past day, 34 of which were intercepted, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a morning update on Friday, as well as a number of Iranian-made Shahed drones.

That array included cruise missiles that were launched from both the sea and the air; six different kinds were used in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander in chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Much attention has been focused on the six launches of Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles, which are especially difficult to stop.

The powerful weapon has rarely been seen over the country’s skies. Its first known use in Ukraine was last March and occasionally used since, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Read more about the missile here:

10:11 a.m. ET, March 11, 2023

UK: Ukraine turned Bakhmut into a "killing zone," but Russian forces control most of the city's east

Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery towards Russian positions near the Bakhmut frontline on Friday.
Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery towards Russian positions near the Bakhmut frontline on Friday. (Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Forces fighting for the Russian government have now taken control of most of the eastern part of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, where intense fighting has raged for months, according to the latest intelligence update from the UK Defense Ministry posted on Twitter.

The ministry said the river in the town center now marks the front line of the conflict.

Ukrainian forces still hold the west of Bakhmut. By demolishing key bridges and taking firing positions in fortified buildings, Ukraine's military has made it difficult for Russian-aligned troops to move forward — even turning one strip of open ground into a "killing zone," the ministry said.

However, the British assessment said Ukrainian supply lines still remain vulnerable to attacks.

A change of tactics: Mykhailo Podolyak, a key aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Russia appears to be changing tactics in Bakhmut.

Russia "has converged on Bakhmut with a large part of its trained military personnel, the remnants of its professional army, as well as the private companies," Podolyak told Italy's La Stampa newspaper

Troops from the Russian mercenary group Wagner have been heavily involved in the fight for Bakhmut.

Podolyak said Kyiv is fighting in Bakhmut, a city largely already abandoned and destroyed, to eliminate and bog down Russian troops.

Reuters contributed to this post.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated to whom Mykhailo Podolyak serves as an aide. It is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

4:11 a.m. ET, March 11, 2023

Ukrainian presidential office petitions for executed Ukrainian POW to be given hero award

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Jennifer Hauser

Ukraine's presidential office released a petition Friday on its website to posthumously award Oleksandr Matsiyevsky, a Ukrainian prisoner of war who shouted, "Glory to Ukraine!" before he was executed on camera by Russian forces, as a Hero of Ukraine.

Earlier this week there were differing reports of the identity of the serviceman whose execution was shared widely on social media, but Matsiyevsky's identity was confirmed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine Regional Territorial Defense "North" in a post on its Facebook page. The post said that Matsiyevsky was identified by his family and soldiers in his unit. The soldier's commander told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne he has "no doubt" the man executed in the video is Matsiyevsky.

The capture: Matsiyevsky was believed to have been captured on December 30, when he and four other servicemen were engaged in a counterattack against enemy forces. Ukrainian authorities said, however, they do not have the "full details of that battle," nor do they know who died or how Matsiyevsky was captured.

There were no witnesses left," the post read. "All are dead or missing." 

Matsiyevsky's mother told the broadcaster Suspilne said watching the video has left her traumatized but proud of her son's resilience.

"I didn't sleep the entire night," she said.

She continued:

"But I felt some kind of lightness and some kind of ray of light when I saw how my son died. And it's so hard, but I really felt like I saw my son's character, so resilient, so unbreakable, because he said, mom, I will never surrender to captivity. I kept hearing him repeat Glory to Ukraine throughout the night. He was such a warrior, so brave and fearless, you wouldn't even imagine."
4:13 a.m. ET, March 11, 2023

Russia capturing some US-provided weapons to Ukraine and sending them to Iran, sources say

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand

A Ukrainian Army soldier places a US-made Javelin missile in a fighting position on the frontline on May 20, 2022, in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine.
A Ukrainian Army soldier places a US-made Javelin missile in a fighting position on the frontline on May 20, 2022, in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Russia has been capturing some of the US and NATO-provided weapons and equipment left on the battlefield in Ukraine and sending them to Iran, where the US believes Tehran will try to reverse-engineer the systems, four sources familiar with the matter told CNN.��

Over the last year, US, NATO and other Western officials have seen several instances of Russian forces seizing smaller, shoulder-fired weapons equipment, including Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft systems that Ukrainian forces have at times been forced to leave behind on the battlefield, the sources told CNN.

In many of those cases, Russia has then flown the equipment to Iran to dismantle and analyze, likely so the Iranian military can attempt to make their own version of the weapons, sources said. Russia believes that continuing to provide captured Western weapons to Iran will incentivize Tehran to maintain its support for Russia's war in Ukraine, the sources said. 

US officials don't believe that the issue is widespread or systematic, and the Ukrainian military has made it a habit since the beginning of the war to report to the Pentagon any losses of US-provided equipment to Russian forces, officials said. Still, US officials acknowledge that the issue is difficult to track.