Bucha, Irpin, Motyzhyn. This war has made some Ukrainian cities known to the whole world. Unfortunately, not because of their beauty or history, but because of the atrocities that happen there. Bucha, Irpin, Motyzhyn — these are the names that circulated across all the global news outlets during the weekend. Three cities, some less than 30 km away from Kyiv. Just think for a moment of the suburbs of your capitals in less than 30 min drive. In 2022, in just one month, nearly 400 people were murdered just 30 km outside of a European capital. Some call it a ‘war crime’, ‘massacre’ or ‘genocide’. The truth is – these are someone’s family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Real people killed. There are no words to describe the pain. More pain will come when the truth is revealed about Mariupol and other temporarily occupied cities.
On Saturday, everyone was discussing the liberation of the Kyiv region. One could think of celebrating a little victory. On the contrary – retreat of the Russian troops revealed the atrocities committed by them in a month of occupation. People shot on the sides of the roads, next to their houses, inside of the shelters. Many had had their hands tied. Men, women, children. The photo of the mass grave with nearly 280 people inside, later followed by a satellite image. As of Sunday evening, the General Prosecutor of Ukraine informed that 410 bodies have been sent for the forensic examination.
Russia obviously denies the fact of these killings, calling it a provocation, while rushing to address the UN Security Council about the ‘provocations by the Ukrainian radicals’. Russia claims that the murders are the responsibility of Ukrainian army, which allegedly shelled the city after Russian troops had retreated.
President Zelenskyi in his daily address called the situation a ‘genocide, destruction of the nation, destruction of the people – all because of Ukraine’s unwillingness to be subject to Russian politics’. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, called on the International Criminal Court to come to Bucha for evidence gathering. ‘I call on the International Criminal Court and international organizations to send their missions to Bucha and other liberated towns and villages of the Kyiv region to collect all evidence of Russian war crimes as closely as possible in cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies’, — he said.
EU leaders have expressed their shock at atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha and other recently liberated areas of Ukraine, assuring further sanctions were on their way. More sanctions were also announced by the President of the European Council. Refusal from Russian gas remains the most critical and the most awaited sanction. However, there is still a lack of a unified position in the EU. Germany’s defense minister said that the European Union must discuss banning the import of Russian gas, however the rest of the German leadership is less outspoken on energy independence. On Wednesday, a potential fifth round of sanctions will be on the table for the discussion.
‘We can’t normalize this. This is the reality of what’s going on every single day as long as Russia’s brutality against Ukraine continues,’ — US secretary of state Antony Blinken.
Human rights violations. More truth about human rights violations comes out as Human Rights Watch release one of their first investigation reports. The report presents evidence of laws-of-war violations by the Russian military forces including a case of repeated rape, two cases of summary execution, cases of unlawful violence and threats against civilians in first three weeks of the war. Soldiers were also implicated in looting civilian property, including food, clothing, and firewood. The report presents findings from the interviews in the occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv regions.
Cities under attack. The entire Kyiv region and reportedly Chernihiv region have been liberated from the Russian troops over the weekend. After more than a month of resistance, Kyiv has remained under Ukrainian control. Have a look at the interactive map of Russia’s attacks upon the capital. Chernihiv, according to the city’s mayor, is 70% destroyed or damaged.
The Russian occupiers struck the Balakliya district hospital, in Kharkiv region, about 70 patients and medical staff were present at the premises. Later, Russian troops fired on a convoy that was going to evacuate people from the destroyed hospital, there were casualties. Series of missile attacks continue upon the industrial infrastructure. Izyum, Kharkiv region, remains one of the most active hotspots. Currently, 80% of the residential buildings are destroyed. In Izyum and the villages near the city, 15 to 20 thousand people are blocked and in need of humanitarian assistance. Russian troops fired on residential buildings in the Slobodsky district of Kharkiv, damaging about ten houses and a trolleybus depot. 7 people died, 34 people were injured, including 3 children. A missile hit the industrial facility near Shepetivka and Slavuta in Khmelnytskyi region. Over the weekend, sea-port cities Odesa and Mykolaiv were subjects of the missile attacks. Late Sunday evening, explosions were heard in Ternopil, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kherson. Frequency of attacks in Luhansk and Donetsk remains high. The same apartment block in downtown Severodonetsk was hit for the third time in a week. Gas pipeline has been damaged in the city, leaving all of the Luhansk region without gas supply. In Konotop, Sumy region, the number of Russian troops has significantly increased over the weekend. Allegedly, they are creating corridors for withdrawal of Russian troops, however shootings continue in the meantime. The invaders blew up the bridge over the Seym River. It was connecting the town of Putivl with Sumy city.
Resistance in Southern regions of Ukraine continues. Local residents had organized peaceful rallies against the Russian occupation in Energodar, Kakhovka, Kherson. However, loud explosions were heard in Energodar, and the protesters were fired at in Kakhovka. Later four activists were detained by Russian forces after the rally there. Currently, there is no information about their whereabouts. Here is an approximate map of the current situation in Ukraine.
Foreign policy. Greek Foreign Minister visited Odesa on Saturday, heading humanitarian aid mission to the southern regions. The visit carried the reopening of the Greek consulate in Odesa in support of the humanitarian efforts, as well as assistance to the Greek ethnic community. Significant Greek ethnic community has previously lived in Mariupol, however at the moment Odesa seem the next possible area for relocation. The UK Ministry of Defense warns that Mariupol is one the key strategic goals for Russia to achieve, as it will secure a land corridor to Crimea. The UN Security Council will meet on Tuesday to consider Russia’s reported war crimes in Bucha and other cities.
Energy security. Since the beginning of April, Lithuania has completely stopped importing gas from Russia, becoming the first EU country to take such a step. The decision has been followed by Latvia and Estonia, which will halt importing of the Russian gas as well. A Ukrainian think-tank prepared an overview of the energy-related crimes and threats committed by Russia. Among the key ones – frequency of the attacks at the critical gas and oil infrastructure, remaining threats to the nuclear power plants, and electricity disruptions due to active shelling.
Digital security. On Sunday, Anonymous leaked personal data of 120 000 Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine with a caption: ‘All soldiers participating in the invasion of Ukraine should be subjected to a war crime tribunal’. The information appeared after the reports about the massacre Russian troops committed in the Kyiv region.
Media. After a long search for photojournalist Max Levin, who disappeared on March 13, the police has found his body near the village of Guta Mezhyhirska, Kyiv region. Photojournalist was killed with two shots from a small-caliber firearm. He was one of the prominent war photographers reporting from Donbas hotspots and supporting and photographing various social initiatives. One of his projects documented Ilovaysk tragedy and preserving its memory — AfterIlovaysk. Reporters without Borders inform it is the sixth confirmed murder of the media representative since the beginning of the war. On April 2, the famous Lithuanian director and documentary filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius was killed in Mariupol. He is the author of the documentary ‘Mariupolis’, depicting life of the strategic sea-port city.
- 10 years of silence | Tamara Zlobina, Ukrainian philosopher, Editor-in-Chief “Gender in Details” elaborates on Bucha tragedy and silence of Russia’s atrocities In her article, Tamara calls the break the silence!.
- Ukraine’s film-makers can’t pick up guns, but their cameras are vital weapons | Darya Bassel | The Guardian
- Not all criticism is Russophobic: on decolonial approach to Russian culture | Lia Dostlieva, Ukrainian artist, cultural anthropologist and Andrii Dostliev, Ukrainian artist, researcher
- What makes biological weapons so dangerous, and does Russia have them? | The Economist
- 158 children died in Ukraine due to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation. About 258 were injured.
- The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine reports that Ukraine spends about $10 bln UAH per month on hostilities.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., April 4, 2022: personnel – around 18 300, tanks ‒ 647, APV ‒ 1844, artillery systems – 330, MLRS – 107, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 54, fixed-wing aircraft – 147, helicopters – 134, soft-skinned vehicles – 1273, boats and light speed boats – 7, fuel tankers – 76, operational-tactical level UAV – 92, special equipment – 25, mobile SRBM system – 4. Also follow the interactive counter of Russian losses.
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