Photo/ Andrew Marienko
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Battle for the Donbas. ‘Now we can state that the Russian forces have started the battle for the Donbas that they have been getting ready for a long time’, said President Zelenskiy in his evening address. The statement followed a previous report of the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, indicating the offensive has set off almost along the entire front line. Particular escalation was observed in the direction of Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions. After two weeks of regrouping of the troops, the offensive in the Donbas is expected to be one of the fiercest battles yet. Zelenskyi informed that after the regrouping Russian troops are more vigilant in their next steps and act more strategically. Reports come that just within a day, the Russian troops engaged all types of different weapons simultaneously to advance further. Urban battlefield will switch mainly to the flatlands and open fields. More heavy weapons are needed now as never before.
Cities under attack. Intense fighting for Mariupol around one of the biggest steel plants ‘Azovstal’ continues. Heavy-weight bombs were dropped at the premises of the plant. There are at least 1000 civilians in the underground shelters of the metallurgical plant. Mostly women with children and the elderly. Commanders of the battalions present in Mariupol called for the launch of humanitarian corridors to allow at least civilians to leave the city. Aid to the Mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andriushchenko, reports that Russian troops continue shelling residential neighborhoods, where civilians were allowed to return earlier. In the Luhansk region the main battles continue for Rubizhne, Lysychanska, Severodonetsk, reports regional governor. Heavy continuous fighting took place in the Kreminna, Luhansk region on Monday. After the advancement of Russian troops, Kreminna is temporarily occupied by Russian forces. Four people were shot dead by Russian troops while trying to leave the city. Rubizhne and Popasna are the next main goals in the region. In the Donetsk region, the battles proceeded around Lyman, Marinka, Kramatorsk, Toretsk. In the Kharkiv region, the heaviest battles continue in the direction of Izium. Just in the last day, 15 people were injured and 5 people killed. Settlements in Kryvorizkyi district, Dnipropetrovsk region were shelled with BM-21 Grad. Active fights continue in Hulaypole, Zaporizhzhia region. The settlement is shelled not only by the artillery, but also with the banned phosphorus bombs. In Irpin, police recorded that the Russian occupiers killed 269 civilians after examination. Dozens of new graves appeared on the outskirts of the city. Several explosions were heard in Mykolaiv tonight.
Here is a current map of the situation on the frontline.
Human rights. Children from the occupied territories continue to be deported to Russia. The Ombusdwoman of Ukraine reports about another 13 orphans and children deprived of parental care moved illegally to Russia. Six children from a family-type orphanage were taken from Mariupol to Rostov-on-Don in Russia. One of the children from the orphanage was able to get to Zaporizhzhia and reported that the children were being taken to Russia.
Around 155 cases of abduction of civilians have been recorded in Zaporizhzhia region since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.
Humanitarian corridors from the areas of hostilities and the temporarily occupied territories were blocked for two days in the row due to constant shelling and will not take place today as well.
Foreing policy. 16 Embassies renewed their work in Kyiv, including EU Delegation, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, the Vatican, Moldova, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Environmental security. The leakage of the chemicals, namely ammonium, exceeded the limits by 163 times in the river Ikva, after the remnants of the Russian missile damaged the reservoir with mineral fertilizers in the Ternopil region. The missile wreckage caused leakage into the river, which goes through the parts of Ternopil, Rivne and Lviv regions. After dead fish was noticed in the river on the territories of Dubno, Rivne region, on April 6, the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine took the sample and later confirmed the environmental crime.
Media. The Committee on Freedom of Speech of the Ukrainian Parliament reported 21 documented cases of death of the media representatives since the beginning of the full-scale war. Previously, Reuters Institute has prepared an overview of the profiles of some of the media representatives that were killed.
Digital security. Google maps opened a view of the Russian military infrastructure. Usually such views are blurred on the maps or served in worse quality. However, now it is possible to observe the details of the military bases.
The annual cyber wargames, known as the Locked Shields exercise, started on April 19 in Tallinn, Estonia. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence organizes the event, which includes fictional cyberattack exercises that test teams have to fend off under time pressure. This year, experts from Ukraine and Estonia are participating in the same team. ‘Like-minded countries have to work together in order to protect themselves’, said Anett Numa, an international policy adviser in the cyber policy unit of Estonia’s ministry of defense.
Decolonisation reading. The Russian orthodox church has been one of the loudest voices of the ‘brotherly nations’ narrative for years. This week, Anna Melnychenko, theologian, reflects on how the Moscow Patriarchate does not remain ‘beyond’ the politics, but rather is one of the closest allies of Kremlin. Find out more about Russian Orthodox Church in our new article: ‘Third Rome’ or The story about the Russian Orthodox Church as a weapon of ‘Russian world’ and its love of nuclear bomb.
- Lonely Anatoly: The Russian ambassador is Washington’s least popular man | POLITICO – ‘Russia’s goal is much grander than reining in its neighbor. It’s about preventing the domination of the world by any one country’.
- Patriarch Kirill backs Putin’s war, causing rift in Russian Orthodox Church | The Washington Post
- UNHCR OHCA reports 2072 civilians were killed and 2818 were injured between February 24 and April 18. However the real numbers are potentially higher due to current lack of access to the data on the territories of the intense battles.
- $ 84.8 billion, whereas the total loss reaches $600 billion, is a total amount of direct damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure as a result of the war started by Russia.
- 91 education facilities have been destroyed and 923 have been damaged since the beginning of the war.
- Damages to the civilian infrastructure have already reached $270 billion, according to the Minister of Finance.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., April 19, 2022: personnel – around 20 800, tanks ‒ 802, APV ‒ 2063, artillery systems – 386, MLRS – 132, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 67, fixed-wing aircraft – 169, helicopters – 150, soft-skinned vehicles – 1495, boats and light speed boats – 8, fuel tankers – 76, operational-tactical level UAV – 158, special equipment – 27, mobile SRBM system – 4. Also follow the interactive counter of Russian losses.
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