Russo-Ukraine War - 04 April 2022 - Day 39
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (TFR) is investigating a criminal case under Art. 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) due to fake news about the massacre of civilians in Bucha. The department said that, according to available information, "in order to discredit the Russian military personnel, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine distributed to the Western media video recordings filmed in the city of Bucha, Kiev region, as evidence of the mass destruction of civilians." The ICR said in a telegram "According to the data of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, all the materials published by the Kiev regime about the crimes of Russian military personnel in the specified settlement are not true and are of a provocative nature".
The head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, "instructed the investigators to take comprehensive measures to expose all the persons involved and give a procedural assessment of their actions on the grounds of a crime under Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation)," the report says.
The Kremlin does not trust the videos of civilians killed in Bucha, as they contain forgeries and fakes, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation said. "This information should be seriously questioned," he told reporters when asked for comment about dozens of civilians killed in the Ukrainian city. “From what we have seen, video materials cannot be trusted in many ways, because our specialists from the Ministry of Defense have identified signs of video forgery and various fakes there,” the Kremlin spokesman continued.
According to him, "factology, the calendar sequence of events also does not speak in favor of the reliability of these statements." Peskov's attention was also drawn to the fact that international media journalists were present in Bucha and used personally filmed video materials in their reports. He was asked if the Kremlin also considers these videos to be fake. The presidential spokesman said he did not know what videos he was being asked about. Hearing that it was about footage taken by a BBC correspondent, Peskov said: "I am not familiar with this report. We are talking about the footage that formed the basis of the accusations that began to sound."
London refused to agree to a meeting of the UN Security Council on the events in Ukrainian Bucha, but Moscow will again demand it, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. "Yesterday, in the worst English tradition, the British presidency of the UN Security Council did not give consent to holding a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Bucha. Russia today will again demand the convening of the UN Security Council in connection with the criminal provocations of the Ukrainian military and radicals in this city," Zakharova wrote in her telegram -channel. Deputy Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said that the Russian side had asked to hold a meeting of the UN Security Council because of the situation in Bucha.
Igor Korotchenko , editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, “The provocation in Bucha will be used for large-scale discrediting of the Russian Federation by Western countries, and above all by the United States, Great Britain and their European satellites. In this situation, we can talk about tougher pressure on Russia, as well as on those countries that have not joined and do not intend to impose economic sanctions against our country. Also, the provocation will be used to try to knock out new deliveries of deadly weapons to Ukraine from NATO countries. And most importantly, why this provocation was needed - for the Western inhabitants to "tighten their belts" and meekly be silent. They will be proved that in order to punish such a “terrible and criminal” Russia, economic sanctions are introduced, and everyone must endure that this is a payment for keeping Russia.”
“As for the peace talks with Ukraine, I am skeptical about them. Those positions put forward by Vladimir Zelensky are absolutely incapable of negotiating, they do not take into account the interests of the Russian Federation. And therefore, I believe that until the back of the armed forces of Ukraine is broken, there can be no talk of any productive negotiations in principle,” Igor Korotchenko concluded his comment.
“I suppose that the choice of this particular city for organizing the provocation is connected with the statement of the President of the United States, who called the President of Russia “butcher”. It became a meme, Bucha was immediately found,” said State Duma deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov in the telegram channel. This is a political, propaganda, PR technology, the parliamentarian pointed out. “Our former Western partners and the Kyiv regime are great masters in the production of fakes. The US and the West started the war in Yugoslavia using the well-known fake in Srebrenica. And now the comparison with Srebrenica has become a controlling metaphor for a provocation in Bucha,” the parliamentarian noted.
In the city of Bucha, Kiev region, a staging was arranged. This was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “The attack was launched in the city of Bucha, Kiev region, after the Russian military personnel left from there in accordance with the plans and agreements reached. A staging was staged there a few days later, which is dispersed through all channels and social networks by Ukrainian representatives and their Western representatives,” Lavrov said. “Russian servicemen completely withdrew from this year on March 30th. On March 31, the mayor of the city solemnly said that everything was in order, and two days later we saw how the same production was organized on the streets, which they are trying to use for anti-Russian purposes, ”he said.
Satellite images of the Ukrainian town of Bucha show an approximately 45-foot-long (14-metre) trench dug into the grounds of a church where a mass grave has been identified, a private US company has said. The images, captured on March 31, followed previous imagery from March 10 that show signs of excavation on the grounds of the Church of St Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, Maxar Technologies said.
The fake about Bucha is not the last, a fake about a chemical attack is possible, suggested State Duma deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov (United Russia). “It is no coincidence that President Biden has repeatedly said that he has every reason to believe that Russia will carry out a chemical attack in Ukraine. It can be assumed that the next provocations are already being prepared, as was the case in Syria with the White Helmets,” Nikonov argues in his Telegram channel.
The enterprises of the Ukrainian city of Pavlograd have a complete set for a large-scale chemical provocation with toxic substances, residents of the city reported on social networks. In particular, employees of the Pavlograd Mechanical Plant claim that there are at least four RT-23 UTTKh Scalpel-type ballistic missiles ready for launch on the territory of the enterprise. In addition, sources from the Pavlograd Chemical Plant will report the presence in warehouses of 38 stages from ballistic missiles, designated in NATO as "Satan", containing more than 1,500 liters of highly toxic rocket fuel. The specialists of the plant note that if one such stage is blown up, at least two tons of toxic substances will be released into the environment.
In the city of Pavlograd, Dnepropetrovsk region of Ukraine, on the territory of a local mechanical plant, as it turned out, four Scalpel intercontinental ballistic missiles prepared for launch are stored. This was announced by a military expert, editor of the magazine "Arsenal of the Fatherland" Alexei Leonkov in the telegram channel "Mudaro is not a fool." “ By the way, in the same place, on the territory of the Pavlograd chemical plant, according to another source, another 38 stages from ballistic missiles of the RS-22 type according to the NATO classification “Scalpel” are stored. They are filled with more than 2,000 tons of rocket fuel, which is utterly toxic , ”the expert writes.
He believes that this is highly likely to be a preparation for another provocation after Bucha and asks the competent authorities to pay attention to this information. Leonkov notes that the four ready-made Scalpels are “proof of the reality of the US-Ukraine nuclear missile program,” and the launched special military operation in Ukraine is “timely prevention.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called for an international investigation into what he termed a “genocide” carried out by Russian troops in Ukraine, including in Bucha. “These bloody massacres committed by Russians, by Russian soldiers, deserve to be called what they are. This is genocide and it must be judged,” Morawiecki told reporters. He also addressed French President Emmanuel Macron, saying: “How many times have you negotiated with Putin and what have you achieved? We do not discuss, we do not negotiate with criminals. Criminals have to be fought against.” “Nobody negotiated with Hitler. Would you negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot?” Addressing German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Morawiecki said: “It is not the voices of German business leaders, of German billionaires who are probably stopping you from taking action, that should be listened to in Berlin today but the voices of innocent women and children.”
Ukraine’s president said it had become harder for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia because of the scale of alleged atrocities carried out by Moscow’s troops. “It’s very difficult to conduct negotiations when you see what they did here,” Zelenskyy said during a visit to Bucha. He added that in the town and other places “dead people have been found in barrels, basements, strangled, [and] tortured.” Zelenskyy said “These are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide”.
The US president called for his Russian counterpart to be put on trial for war crimes charges and said the United States will impose more sanctions on Moscow in response to the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha. “What’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone has seen it,” Biden told reporters, before again calling Putin “a war criminal”.
The UN’s high commissioner for human rights has called for “independent and effective investigations” into the reports of Russian forces killing civilians in Bucha. Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that she was “horrified by the images of civilians lying dead on the streets and in improvised graves.” Bachelet added that “It is vital that all efforts are made to ensure there are independent and effective investigations into what happened in Bucha to ensure truth, justice and accountability, as well as reparations and remedy for victims and their families”. She said “reports emerging from this and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law.”
The UK Ministry of Defence reported "Russian forces are continuing to consolidate and reorganise as they refocus their offensive into the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine. Russian troops, including mercenaries from the Russian state-linked Wagner private military company, are being moved into the area."
U.S. national-security adviser Jake Sullivan says Russian forces are repositioning to regions of Ukraine in the east and south after meeting stronger Ukrainian resistance than they expected near Kyiv. “At this juncture we believe Russia is revising its war aims” to focus on “eastern and parts of southern Ukraine rather than target most of the territory," Sullivan said at a briefing. The goal is likely to "surround and overwhelm" Ukrainian forces in the region, he said. “Russia could then use any tactical success it achieves to propagate a narrative of progress and mask...prior military failure.”
The Russian army completely left the north of Ukraine. The entire Sumy region again came under the control of the Ukrainian side and the northern front ceased to exist. The RF Armed Forces continue to transfer all forces to the east. There were local battles on the border with the Kherson region, and that the frequency of shelling of Nikolaev and the region was increasing. Local publics report that as a result of Russian strikes in Nikolaev, the Ukrainian military suffered heavy losses among soldiers and foreign mercenaries. The activity of the Russian army in this direction is intensifying. At night, the Russian Navy added targeted arrivals in Odessa.
The intensity of shelling on the outskirts of Kharkiv increased. Attacks were made on objects in Chuguev. Movements begin in the Izyum direction: the Russian military was moving in the direction of Barvenkovo. It is reported that a counter tank battle took place near the village of Brazhkovka, between Barvenkovo and Izyum. Tankers of the 13th Regiment of the First Tank Army attacked the tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and destroyed 6 tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a short-lived battle, losing only one of their own tanks. At the moment, fierce battles continued for the village.
The people's militia of the LPR knocked out Ukrainian nationalists from the depot of the city of Popasnaya. The battles for Popasnaya were in full swing, the NM of the LPR is slowly moving forward with heavy fighting. The DPR army, with the support of the Russian Armed Forces, took Novobakhmutovka and went to the road going from Konstantinovka to Avdeevka. The battles with the enemy for this village went on for 3 days.
DPR troops also reached the outskirts of New York. Fighting is going on northwest of Ugledar. There are rumors that the released units from Mariupol have already begun to be transferred to this direction (Gulyaipole-Ugledar-Avdeevka).
In Mariupol, a cauldron is shrinking in the Primorsky district, an active offensive has begun there from the south-west, battles are going on. On the left bank, fighting is going on near the Azovstal plant. This night in Mariupol surrendered Ukrainian marines of the 501st separate battalion of the Marine Corps of the Ukrainian Navy in full (how many survived) composition. Namely - 267 people.
Russia’s relentless bombardment of Mariupol in recent weeks has destroyed nearly all of the city’s infrastructure, its mayor has said. “The sad news is that 90 percent of the infrastructure in the city is destroyed and 40 percent is unrecoverable,” Vadym Boichenko told a news conference. He added that about 130,000 people remain trapped in the city, where they face increasingly desperate conditions as stocks of vital supplies dwindle.
Favorable circumstances for the establishment of international relations will appear at the end of the acute phase of the special military operation in Ukraine, the restoration of contacts will begin with the cultural sphere. Such an opinion was expressed at the opening of the International Conference "Russian Theater Abroad as an Institute of Russian Culture" on Monday by the President's Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy. “Believe me that the Russian theater cannot be isolated, since Russia is a huge country, and the need for theatrical art is extremely high,” TASS quotes Shvydkoy. According to his forecasts, "some time will pass, and when relations are established, they will begin to improve precisely from cultural contacts."
The administration of US President Joe Biden will allocate $70 million to Moldova against the backdrop of an influx of refugees from Ukraine into the country, US Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during a joint press conference with Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilitsa.
More than 4.21 million refugees from Ukraine have arrived in its neighboring countries since the beginning of the Russian military special operation. Their number increased by more than 38,000 in a day, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported.
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