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Mariupol. The Mayor of Mariupol informed that since the beginning of the war around 10 000 civilians have been killed in the city. Ukrainian authorities, as well as the Azov battalion fighting in Mariupol, reported that a Russian drone dropped a toxic substance on civilians in Mariupol late on Monday night. Three people from Azov Battalion are reported to have poisoning from some chemical substance. The substance caused breathing and moving difficulties. President Zelenskyi says that it is likely that Russian troops are using chemical weapons. Deputy Minister of Defence reported on the ongoing investigation to clarify whether the substance has been a phosporus bomb or something else. British intelligence reports that Russia may use phosphorus shells to bombard Mariupol after its previous attempts to deploy them.
Cities under attack. Kharkiv came under heavy shelling on Monday – shelling targeted residential areas, park Horkoho, and objects of infrastructure, killing eight people, including one child. In a temporarily occupied Kherson, the Russian military seized a humanitarian aid distribution center organized by medical staff. In the Luhansk region active shelling continues – 12 residential houses were heavily damaged. The most affected are Rubizhne, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, and Novodruzhesk settlements. In Lysychansk, one person died and three were injured. A critical infrastructure object was hit with a missile in Khmelnytskyi region.
Another mass grave has been found in the village of Buzova near Kyiv after one month of Russian occupation. Currently, bodies of civilians are collected and sent for identification. The New York Times released their investigative analysis of the one month of terror in Bucha.
The UK Ministry of Defense reports Russian attacks remain focused on Ukrainian positions near Donetsk and Luhansk with further fighting around Kherson and Mykolaiv and a renewed push towards Kramatorsk.
Foreign policy. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met with Vladimir Putin on Monday. The tet-a-tet meeting took place behind closed doors without a joint follow-up press conference. Chancellor Nehammer informed that the goal was to inform about the actual ongoing situation, including his own evidence from Bucha, as well as further sanctions. However, the conversation was ‘very direct, open and tough’ and did not lead to a major breakthrough. The Austrian Chancellor was the first international leader to meet Putin in person since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte visited Ukraine. Together with Ukraine’s Prime Minister they visited Borodyanka, Kyiv region which was occupied by Russian forces for a month. Not a single untouched building was left there.
Croatia expels 18 diplomats and six members of the administrative staff. Meanwhile, France sends out six Russian agents working under diplomatic cover, after previously expelling 35 Russian diplomats.
France dispatched a team of 17 technical and scientific gendarmes to investigate Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The team arrived in Lviv on Monday and will further proceed to Kyiv.
Poland accused Russia of being responsible for the Smolensk tragedy. The accusation comes in the light of the 12th Anniversary of the Smolensk catastrophe, where around 90 Polish top officials died.
The EU is discussing further sanctions. EU Foreign Ministers discuss further sanctions on Russia. Ban of Russian oil remains one of the hottest issues on the table. Following reported atrocities in Bucha and Kramatorsk, more calls are coming to ban Russian crude oil. The suggestion to include oil on the list of the next sanctions package comes from foreign ministers of Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands.
Economic security. Due to the war, Ukraine’s GDP will fall by 45.1% in 2022 — the World Bank forecasts. The scale of the contraction will depend to much extent on the duration of the war, as well as the scale of the damages. This potentially includes the blockade of Black Sea ports in the south of Ukraine and the havoc caused to the industry in the east. Due to the existing sanctions, in fact, Russia’s GDP in 2022 will fall by 11.2%. The Kyiv School of Economics estimated total economic losses from the war to reach up to $600bn. Currently, the direct losses to the Ukrainian economy due to the war have grown to around $80 bln.
Reading list: ‘Ukraine Fatigue’ Is Taking Over Markets, But This War Can’t Be Ignored. Bloomberg analyzed the spike of the interest in the situation in Ukraine, as well as its global decline. The decline can be explained by the lack of an imminent direct threat beyond Ukraine. However, the perception of ‘safety’ can be misleading as the lasting impact of the war will have a solid effect on the world economy.
Human rights. Currently, around 1700 soldiers and civilians are held captive by Russia and pro-Russian separatists, reports Deputy Prime Minister Vereshchuk. Torture and inhuman treatment is constantly applied to POW. Vershchuk also informed that priests, journalists, activists, mayors, and in general civilians are often imprisoned outside of Ukraine, in regions of Russia, like Kursk, Bryansk, or Rostov. Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova reports on the capture of a SMARTA cargo ship by the Russian troops on the territory of the Mariupol Sea Commercial Port. 18 citizens, including 1 citizen of Egypt were taken hostages and moved in the direction of the temporarily occupied Donetsk. During the UN hearing, Ukraine’s human rights NGO La Strada, reported on the growing cases of sexual violence, namely rape, by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Also, Ombudswoman Denisova informed at least of 25 documented cases of rape in Bucha.
Unwelcomed in Russia. The Ministry of Justice of Russia revoked the registration of 15 foreign organizations operating in Russia. The list includes Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as nine German organizations, as well as three from the United States, one from Britain, one from Poland and one from Switzerland.
Brave like Ukraine. Ukraine has launched a global communication campaign Brave. The website provides visual materials, like short videos, layouts of posters, stickers and merchandise to download, share and display. #braveUkraine.
- Russia’s genocide handbook – by Timothy Snyder (substack.com) Some weeks ago, RIA Novosti published its scandalous article justifying its cleansing policy towards Ukraine. Yale historian Timothy Snyder analyzes why ‘denazification’ in official Russian usage just means the destruction of the Ukrainian state and nation. ‘Legally, genocide means both actions that destroy a group in whole or in part, combined with some intention to do so. Russia has done the deed and confessed to the intention’.
- Zelenskyi: ‘This is not a movie. This is real life’ – POLITICO
- Research in Ukraine: Where has it gone? Ukrainian Scholars in Times of War Listen to talk with Dr. Natalia Otrishchenko a sociologist and researcher at the Center for Urban History located in Lviv, Ukraine. She has shifted her attention from leading the Urban Media Archive’s ‘Urban Stories’ project to working on an oral history of the war.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., April 12, 2022: personnel – around 19 600, tanks ‒ 732, APV ‒ 1946, artillery systems – 349, MLRS – 111, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 63, fixed-wing aircraft – 157, helicopters – 140, soft-skinned vehicles – 1406, boats and light speed boats – 7, fuel tankers – 76, operational-tactical level UAV – 124, special equipment – 25, mobile SRBM system – 4. Also follow the interactive counter of Russian losses.
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