Cities under attack. In Rubizhne, Luhansk region, the Russians hit a cistern with nitric acid, local authorities warned residents to remain at home to avoid exposure. Over the night, 11 houses were destroyed in the Luhansk region. In Izium, Kharkiv region, local citizens are forcibly deported to Russia. According to Ombudswoman Denisova, the occupiers are creating filtration camps and corridors through which Ukrainians are being deported to Russia. Similar actions were previously reported in Mariupol, where thousands were deported to Russia as well. In the Dnipropetrovsk region, Russia shelled the oil depot and one of the factories. The oil depot was destroyed. Rescuers are still trying to bring the fire at the factories under control. In Kharkiv, private-owned zoo Feldman Ecopark has been destroyed to the extent that the surviving animals cannot safely remain there. Animals are going to be evacuated to Dnipro city. Over the night, infrastructure objects were destroyed during the missile shelling in Koziatyn, Vinnytsia region. In the Kherson region, most of the settlements are on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe due to active fights nearby and a lack of resources.
Bucha massacre. Russian servicemen who committed war crimes in Bucha are reported to return to Ukraine, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade will be thrown back to the front line without rotation by the Russian command. The report says this decision comes in order to ‘eliminate’ unnecessary witnesses. Potential redeployment to a section of the front where they will have no chance of surviving makes it impossible for the troops to testify in future court hearings. Slidstvo.Info, an independent Ukrainian NGO, reports that the third of the Russian troops who took part in the Bucha Massacre were previously deployed and fought in Syria.
Human rights violations. In the liberated Hostomel, Kyiv region, around 400 civilians are still currently missing, according to the city’s mayor. Released Ukrainian female soldiers from Russian captivity had been tortured and mistreated by the invaders, according to Ukraine’s Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Liudmyla Denisova, Ukrinform reports. ICRC evacuation and the humanitarian aid convoy have been blocked from entering Mariupol.
Foreign policy. UN. President Zelenskyi addressed the UN Security Council meeting on April 5, 2022. In his address, President Zelenskyy sharply criticized the failure of the Security Council to take any actions to end Russia’s aggression: ‘Either remove Russia as an aggressor and a source of war so it cannot veto decisions about its own aggression, its own war, and then do everything that we can do to establish peace. Or the other option is, please show how we can reform or change, dissolve yourself and work for peace’. He indicated that Ukraine is ready to host a global conference on the further global security system. The UK and US are raising the idea of expelling Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. The discussion of this issue will continue today.
The EU launches a process to cut Hungary’s funds in the light of the continuous rule-of-law breaches. Hungary is the first country to face proceedings under this new policy. The decision comes a few days after the results of the recent elections and is explained as a response of the Fidesz and close circles directly benefiting from the EU funds.
EU allies have expelled 200 Russian diplomats in two days after the Bucha killings. More than 325 diplomats and embassy workers total have now been expelled since Moscow invaded Ukraine. On Tuesday, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Romania joined the number of countries expelling diplomats. Latvia closed the two Russian consular posts in Daugavpils and Liepāja, and Estonia closed the Russian consulate in Narva.
EU President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative Josep Borrell will visit Kyiv to meet President Zelenskyi on Friday. This visit will be followed by the event StandUpForUkraine, which will take place in Warsaw on Saturday, April 9. Along with the EU leaders, the President of Poland and Prime Minister of Canada will join. The event will be an opportunity for world leaders and corporations to step up their humanitarian funding for vulnerable civilians impacted by the conflict and for other global humanitarian priorities. The Federal Chancellor of Austria has announced his visit to Ukraine after the phone conversation with President Zelenskyi.
The Economist’s Intelligence Unit released the latest overview of the world divide in regard to the war in Ukraine. The analysis shows that a total of 131 countries do not support Russia, including most of the rich ones from North America and Europe. But two-thirds of the world’s population live in countries that are neutral or Russia-leaning, including China, Venezuela, Myanmar.
Sanctions. The EU has announced the fifth sanction package against Russia. The upcoming package targets different areas but not Russian oil which remains one of the key EU imports from Russia – see the chart. Germany, Austria, and Hungary avoid supporting the ban on Russian oil, justifying it by the fear of high inflation. Therefore the upcoming sanctions package will only include ban on coal from Russia, a full transaction ban on four key Russian banks, among them VTB, a ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports, further targeted export bans on quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, on products from wood to cement, from seafood to liquor, EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in the Member States, and an exclusion of all financial support to Russian public bodies.
The US prepares another round of sanctions for Russia as well as Russian government officials, their family members, Russian-owned financial institutions, and state-owned enterprises.
New Zealand joined with the sanctions as well. It will apply 35% tariffs to all imports from Russia, and extend the existing export prohibitions to industrial products closely connected to strategic Russian industries.
Media. Raising concerns emerge in Ukraine regarding freedom of media. The National Concern of Radio Broadcasting, Radio and Television (RRT) shut down digital broadcasting for TV channels Pryamyi, Espresso, Channel 5 on the night of April 4. At the moment, the channels are available only on Youtube. Overall, the channels were considered oppositional. Civil society and the media regard the decision to limit the freedom of expression in times of war as unacceptable.
Disinformation. Russia is preparing a new fake campaign in order to whitewash itself from the reported atrocities in Bucha, says the Security Service Unit (SSU). Russian media disseminates more information about alleged crimes of the Ukrainian army in Mariupol. According to the data available to SSU, the Russian troops are preparing to gather the bodies of Mariupol residents killed by the Russians themselves in one place and present them as mass victims of Ukrainian troops. This will allow them to divert the attention of the audience away from the Bucha Massacre. Although this is an outright delusion. In fact, non-stop shelling of Mariupol continues with frequent disruptions of evacuation efforts.
Recent poll: According to a recent poll by the sociological group ‘Rating’ in Ukraine, 95% of the respondents believe that Ukraine will be able to repel Russia’s attack, but the confidence in the quick victory ‘over a few weeks’ has decreased: from 47% to 35%. Now, the share of those who expect ‘over a few months or up to a year’ of war has increased. The level of support for NATO membership has decreased. In the first days of the full-scale war, support for Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance increased from 62% to 76%. Now it has dropped again to 62% At the same time, the support for EU accession is growing. In the first days of the war, it increased from 68% to 86%, then its growth continued, and as of the end of March, 91% support Ukraine’s membership in the EU – an absolute record over all the years of surveys.
Learn more about Ukraine:
- Free History Tutorial – Ukraine: History, Culture and Identities | Udemy – short multilingual introductory course on the history, culture, and society of Ukraine from the Middle Ages to the present day.
- Learn Ukrainian with Duolingo. Duolingo reports that since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion the number of people willing to learn Ukrainian in the world through the Duolingo app has increased by 577%. In the US the number of learners increased by 554% and in Poland – by 2677% since February 24 [data gathered up to March 20, 2022].
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., April 6, 2022: personnel – around 18 600, tanks ‒ 684, APV ‒ 1861, artillery systems – 332, MLRS – 107, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 55, fixed-wing aircraft – 150, helicopters – 134, soft-skinned vehicles – 1324, boats and light speed boats – 7, fuel tankers – 76, operational-tactical level UAV – 94, special equipment – 25, mobile SRBM system – 4. Also follow the interactive counter of Russian losses.
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