Thursday, 14 April 2022
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Russia’s war against Ukraine
General Staff: Crimea, four Russian regions on security alert. According to Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces, the authorities in Belgorod, Voronezh, Bryansk and Krasnodar and in Russian-controlled Crimea said they were stepping up security measures on April 11 over what they said were “possible provocations” from the Ukrainian side. “These measures are probably carried out in order to organize the movement of military equipment, weapons and personnel into the territory of Ukraine,” Ukraine’s General Staff reports.
Zelensky: Russian occupiers forcibly enlist Ukrainians in southern Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was applying similar tactics in the temporarily occupied areas of southern Ukraine as Russia’s proxies in eastern Ukraine. This forced so-called “mobilization” is a display of Russia’s uncertainty, Zelensky said.
Russia threatens to strike at Ukraine’s command centers in Kyiv. The Russian Defense Ministry said that it had “so far refrained” from doing so. Starting on Feb. 24, Russia systematically launched missiles against both Ukraine’s civilian and military infrastructure. Most missiles launched at Kyiv were intercepted by Ukraine’s air defense.
Defense minister says Ukraine needs long-range weapons to prevent encirclement in Donbas. Russia is trying to encircle Ukrainian troops in the Donbas, and Ukraine’s partners should supply long-range missiles and other offensive weapons to prevent this and push Russian troops out of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov said on April 13.
WSJ: US to provide Ukraine with additional intelligence to target Russian military units in Russian-occupied Donbas and Crimea. The intelligence assistance comes as the White House announced it would send $800 million in additional weapons to Ukraine to help it fight Russian offenses in eastern Ukraine that is expected in the upcoming days.
Highway connecting Chernihiv and Kyiv being cleaned up. According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelensky, eight kilometers of “important logistic route” M-01 highway that connects Chernihiv and Kyiv have been cleaned up so far from burnt vehicles and debris left by fighting. Temporary passages are being built to replace the destroyed bridges in Chernihiv Oblast.
National Guard discovers Russian ammunition depot in Kyiv Oblast. Around 100 boxes of 125-caliber shells were found in Korolivtsi, a village in Kyiv Oblast, the National Guard of Ukraine reported on April 13.
State Border Guard Service: Ukraine nationalizes 10 Russian ships. Ukraine seized eight Russian cargo ships and two tankers that were in Odesa ports for maintenance. These Russian ships will now “serve in the interests of Ukraine to restore its economy,” the State Border Guard Service said on April 13.
Ministry of Internal Affairs: Negotiations ongoing for the exchange of 169 servicemen of Ukraine’s National Guard captured at Chornobyl. According to the Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky, Russian forces held the soldiers captive without access to light or communications and have taken the soldiers to Russia and Belarus.
Klitschko: Two-thirds of Kyiv residents return home. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told residents to wait before returning to the Ukrainian capital due to the threat of bombing.
Foreign Ministry: Ukraine disappointed by Macron’s refusal to call Russia’s actions genocide. The ministry’s spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko told Interfax Ukraine that French President Emmanuel Macron calling Ukrainians and Russians “brothers” was disappointing. “The ‘brotherly’ people don’t kill children, don’t shoot civilians, don’t rape women, don’t mutilate the elderly, and don’t destroy the homes of other ‘brotherly’ people. Even the fiercest enemies don’t commit atrocities against defenseless people,” he said.
Zelensky denies having received a request from Steinmeier to visit Ukraine. German newspaper Bild earlier reported that President Volodymyr Zelensky was against German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s visit because of his close ties to Russia in the past.
UN voices concern about UK ‘Homes for Ukraine’ initiative. The U.N.’s refugee agency said the scheme, which allows U.K. residents to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees, may be exploited without appropriate safeguards. They noted a rising number of reports of Ukrainian women feeling unsafe while staying with male sponsors, as well as concerns about the sustainability of such a project.
Governor says Russia’s Kursk Oblast shelled from Ukraine. Kursk Oblast Governor Roman Starovoit said on April 13 that the region had been fired at with small arms, and there were no casualties or ruins. Russia has repeatedly accused Ukraine of attacking its territory, which Kyiv denied.
Putin’s spokesman dismisses offer to exchange Medvedchuk for Ukrainian POWs. The Russian dictator’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that captured lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk is not a citizen of Russia, and the Kremlin does not know whether he wants Russia to interfere in his situation. The pro-Kremlin lawmaker suspected of treason fled from house arrest in February and was captured by Ukraine on April 12. Kyiv has proposed exchanging him for Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Read our exclusive, on the ground stories
Nearly 2 weeks after liberation, search for dead bodies continues in Bucha. After Kyiv Oblast was liberated from Russian troops on April 1, local authorities found a large mass grave in Bucha, once a cozy suburb northwest of Kyiv, where Russians brutally killed hundreds of civilians. On April 13, authorities exhumed 17 bodies, putting the total count at 72. Dozens more are presumed to be under the ground.
Who is Viktor Medvedchuk and why is his arrest is a big deal? On April 12, the Security Service of Ukraine captured the country’s most high-profile pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who had fled from house arrest in February after Russia launched its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Read our explainer here.
The human cost of Russia’s war
Russian forces kill 7 people, blow up house with bodies inside in Kherson Oblast. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Russian troops shot six men and one woman in the Pravdyne village on April 12 and then blew up a house with the dead bodies of the victims to destroy the evidence of their crimes.
Governor says Russian troops killed more than 100 civilians in Sumy Oblast. Bodies of civilians with tied hands and signs of torture, as well as ones shot in the head, have been found, Sumy Oblast Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said on April 13. The official said the number of victims is growing every day as rescuers continue to discover dead bodies. He added that many civilians went missing.
Deputy mayor: ‘More than 1,500 dead Russian soldiers in Dnipro morgues.’ The bodies of Russian soldiers remain in mortuary refrigerators as “no one wants to take them away,” deputy mayor Mykhailo Lysenko told Current Time on April 13.
Prosecutor General: Russia’s war kills at least 191 children, wounds 349 others. According to the Prosecutor General’s office, on April 11 a one-and-a-half-month-old child and a 12-year-old teenager died in Kharkiv and another four children were injured as a result of Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure. In Kherson Oblast, a 15-year-old girl was seriously injured. The actual number of child casualties is expected to be higher due to the lack of information from front-line areas.
Armed Forces: Russia lost 19,800 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. According to Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Russia has lost around 19,800 troops, 739 tanks, 1,964 armored combat vehicles, 358 pieces of artillery, 115 rocket launcher systems, 64 air defense systems, 158 aircraft, 143 helicopters, 1,429 vehicles, 76 fuel tanks, and seven ships during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Presidents of Poland, Baltic countries visit in Kyiv. Photos of Polish President Andrzej Duda, Lithiuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Latvian leader Egils Levits and their Estonian counterpart Alar Karis arriving by train in Kyiv were published by Duda’s press service on April 13.
US announces new $800 million worth of military assistance to Ukraine. The latest aid includes artillery systems, artillery rounds, armored personnel carriers, and helicopters. “As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself,” U.S. President Joe Biden stated on April 13.
Politico: U.S. weighs sending top-level official to meet Zelensky in Ukraine. Two U.S. officials told Politico the Biden administration is currently discussing sending a high-level official to Kyiv to show further support to Ukraine. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris remain candidates to represent the U.S., but it is more likely an official like Secretary of State Antony Blinken or Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will go, the officials said.
EU to provide additional $540 million to Ukraine. The European Council said on April 13 that the funds are to “further support the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, and protect the civilian population against the ongoing Russian military aggression.” The total EU aid for Ukraine will now amount to $1.6 billion.
France provides over $108 million in military equipment to Ukraine, plans to contribute more. France’s Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said on Twitter on April 13 that France has also “worked towards the release of 1.5 million euros by the EU to help Ukraine defend itself.” Parly added that it is “it’s [Ukraine’s] right. It’s security. And also ours.”
Canadian Prime Minister says it’s ‘right’ to label Russia’s actions in Ukraine genocide. Justin Trudeau said at a news conference on April 13 he “thinks it’s absolutely right that more people be talking and using the word genocide in terms of what Russia is doing, what Vladimir Putin has done.”
UK sanctions additional 206 Russian individuals. The measures target six oligarchs, Russia’s proxies in the occupied territories of Ukraine and others. The list includes Viktor Medvedchuk, the most high-profile pro-Kremlin Ukrainian lawmaker and the crony of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who was captured by Ukraine’s Security Service on April 12.
Australia extends sanctions on Russian state-owned enterprises. Australia imposed sanctions on 14 Russian state-owned enterprises in order to undercut Russia’s ability to “continue funding Putin’s war,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said on April 13. The list of sanctioned entities include Russian truck-maker Kamaz and shipping firms SEVMASH and United Shipbuilding Corp, as well as Ruselectronics.
Russia loses membership in numerous UN bodies. Russia lost its position on the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues to which Ukraine was elected by an overwhelming majority, said Ukraine’s Representative to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya. Ukraine will be represented by Suleiman Mamutov, a Crimean Tatar. Additionally, Russia lost its seat on the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, UNICEF and UN-Women.
Bloomberg: Jersey court freezes more than $7 billion of assets linked to Abramovich. The police of Jersey, an English Channel tax haven, have raided the assets of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who was sanctioned by the EU and the U.K. in March, Bloomberg reported on April 13.
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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Asami Terajima, Alexander Query, Oleg Sukhov, Sergiy Slipchenko, Teah Pelechaty, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina, Lili Bivings.