Russo-Ukraine War - 05 April 2022 - Day 40
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 order to investigate the circumstances of the murders of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian Nazis was given by the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin. It is clarified that a video has appeared on the Internet recording the murder of prisoners of war by Ukrainian Nazis in the Kiev region of the Russian Armed Forces, which also captures the moment of execution of a dying Russian prisoner. At the same time, one of the dead had their hands tied, which suggests that he died while already in captivity. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the West of trying to derail negotiations between Russia and Ukraine by fuelling “hysteria” over alleged war crimes by Moscow’s forces. Lavrov said, without providing evidence, that Moscow believed the accusations were timed to wreck the negotiating process after what he described as progress when Ukrainian and Russian representatives met in Turkey. Russia claimed that images presented by Ukrainian authorities to show there had been a massacre in Bucha were fake, or that the deaths occurred after Russian soldiers pulled out of the areas.
The Kyiv regime, which has circulated footage of supposedly “dead” civilians in Bucha that impressed the Western world, is trying to present false information as reality. In this regard, the Russian side calls on the West to "think with your head" and objectively analyze the facts. This was announced on April 5 by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov. “This is a forgery in order to try to denigrate the Russian army,” the Kremlin spokesman said. Peskov urged, first of all, the members of the Security Council, the leaders of Western countries "to abstract from emotional perception, which is not based on anything, and just think with your head and try to compare the facts." The press secretary of the head of state said“In order to understand what a monstrous forgery we are talking about”.
A well orchestrated and monstrous forgery took place in the city of Bucha near Kiev. It was used to make baseless accusations against the Russian military, Peskov told reporters. “We still insist that any accusations against the Russian side, against the Russian military, are not just groundless, but this is a well-directed show ,” Peskov said.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia in his remarks to Zelenskyy at the UN Security Council (UNSC) said Moscow places “on your conscience the ungrounded accusations against the Russian military, which are not confirmed by any eyewitnesses”. The ambassador told the UNSC “You only saw what they showed you. You couldn’t ignore the flagrant inconsistencies in the version of events which are being promoted by Ukrainian and Western media”.
Nebenzya said Russia will present “empirical evidence” to the UNSC that its forces had not been killing civilians in Ukraine and were not involved in events in Bucha. “We have empirical evidence to support this,” Nebenzya said at a press conference. “We intend to submit them to the Security Council as soon as possible so that the international community is not misled by the false plot of Kyiv and its Western sponsors.” Nebenzya said that not a single civilian was injured during the stay of the Russian military in Bucha.
The Russian permanent representative to the OSCE called fake allegations about "mass graves of executed civilians" in the cities of the Kiev region Irpin and Borodianka. “These are fakes that matured in the cynical imagination of Ukrainian propaganda,” Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said on Telegram.
Meanwhile, Russia’s defence ministry said it had evidence that the 72nd Ukrainian Main Center for Psychological Operations had helped stage such propaganda in a village 23km (14 miles) northwest of Kyiv as well as in Sumy, Konotop, and other places. “Soldiers of the 72nd Ukrainian Main Center for Psychological Operations conducted another staged filming of civilians allegedly killed by the violent actions of the Russian armed forces,” the ministry said. It gave no further details.
Similar events are now organized by the Ukrainian special services in Sumy, Konotop and other cities, the Russian military department adds. Igor Konashenkov, official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, spoke about them at a briefing: "On the evening of April 4, in the village of Moshchun (near Gostomel, - ed.), Another staged shooting was carried out allegedly killed from the violent actions of the Russian Armed Forces," he said. According to Konashenkov, similar provocations are planned in Sumy, Konotop and other cities. They are prepared by employees of the Center for Information and Psychological Operations of Ukraine.
Russian invaders destroyed a cemetery near Mariupol in tanks. The cemetery in the Old Crimean village was considered one of the largest in Europe. They had been buried for more than 50 years. On March 10-12, the Russian army entered the Old Crimea and settled in a country house near the cemetery. It was here that the occupiers built their tanks and other military equipment. They are said to have broken crosses and drove tanks through graves several times. And the locals witnessed this barbaric act.
A set of satellite images of a Bucha street appear to show several bodies in or just off the road where Ukraine officials have accused the Russians of killing civilians. The imagery, acquired in mid-March by Maxar Technologies, seem to rebut Russian assertions that the bodies in civilian clothing appeared after its forces had retreated. “High-resolution Maxar satellite imagery collected over Bucha, Ukraine (northwest of Kyiv) verifies and corroborates recent social media videos and photos that reveal bodies lying in the streets and left out in the open for weeks,” Maxar Technologies spokesman Stephen Wood said.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Russian forces are obviously responsible for the atrocities in Bucha. “I think it’s fairly obvious, not just to us but to the world,” Kirby told a news briefing, acknowledging that it was not yet clear exactly which units were operating in the area. “Now exactly who – what units, whether they’re contractors or Chechens – I don’t think we’re able to say right now. But we’re certainly not refuting that these atrocities occurred and occurred at the hands of Russians.”
Zelensky, addressing the Spanish parliament , compared Russia's devastating attack on his country to that of the Nazis in 1937 - the bombing of the city of Guernica in northern Spain. "It simply came to our notice then. April, but it looks like 1937. In April, when the whole world heard about one of your cities, Guernica, "he told lawmakers, referring to the carpet bombing of Hitler's" Condor Legion "aircraft during the 1936-1939 period. Spanish Civil War in support of Francisco Franco's nationalist forces. Hundreds of people were killed, many at a weekly market in the heart of the city - this atrocity shocked the world and was immortalized in an unforgettable anti-war painting by Pablo Picasso.
Ukraine’s president accused Russian forces of committing the “most terrible war crimes” since World War II in his country. Describing their alleged atrocities in Bucha, Zelenskyy said they had “killed entire families … and tried to burn the bodies”. He claimed civilians were shot in the town’s streets and in their own homes. He added others had been thrown into wells to die, or blown up by grenades. Some, Zelenskyy alleged, had been crushed by tanks “just for the pleasure” of the Russian soldiers. “There is not a single crime that they would not commit,” he said, adding he was speaking to the UNSC for the first time since Russia launched its invasion on behalf of the victims of Moscow’s troops.
“After the revealed mass killings of civilians in the Kyiv region, the occupiers may have a different attitude to their crimes in another part of our country,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “They are already launching a false campaign to conceal their guilt in the mass killings of civilians in Mariupol,” he added.
Zelenskiy said there is "no other choice" than to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, even if it's difficult to do amid signs that Russian forces may have committed atrocities against civilians that have sparked widespread condemnation and calls for war crimes investigations. Speaking with Ukrainian journalists broadcast on state television on April 5, Zelenskiy called the events in Bucha "unforgiveable," and that "all of us, including myself, will perceive even the possibility of negotiations as a challenge." He added "The challenge is internal, first of all, one's own human challenge. Then, when you pull yourself together, and you have to do it, I think that we have no other choice".
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of waging a deliberate campaign to commit atrocities in Bucha. “What we’ve seen in Bucha is not the random act of a rogue unit,” Blinken told reporters before departing for Brussels for a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting at the transatlantic alliance’s headquarters. “It’s a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities,” he added.
Moral outrage over images of apparent war atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine is understandable, but the calls to turn Russia into a pariah state are ill-advised, a former US ambassador to the Soviet Union warned on 04 Aprl 2022, during an appearance on CNN. Jack Matlock held various positions during the height of the Cold War and was Washington’s representative to the USSR in the final years of the communist powerhouse. The veteran diplomat warned CNN audiences that the drive to further antagonize Russia, which prevails in the West, is ill-advised, especially since it’s driven by emotions rather than reason. “I share many of these emotions, but to the idea that we can make a major nuclear weapon state a pariah, that by our actions we actually are destroying those elements in that society that could bring a positive change in the future. I think that is not wise,” he said. “To think that the world would benefit from making Russia, a nuclear power equivalent to the United States, a pariah, I think, does not really represent our interests in the future. I fear a world of that sort,” he said. “We do not know for sure exactly what happened with these apparent atrocities. And, certainly, we don’t know that they were ordered from Moscow”.
Lithuania's Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte believes that Western leaders already understood what Russia is really worth as a state. However, according to her, their main choice remains whether to react to Russia's actions from a pragmatic point of view, thinking that this situation and the war in Ukraine do not affect them, or to react from a value position. The Prime Minister emphasizes that Lithuania's task in the Western discussions on the threat posed by Russia is to "press the speed pedal" so that the attitude and policy towards the Kremlin would be particularly strict. "I think they understood and I dare say that many people have understood before. The only question is how to react to it: do you react to it from such a pragmatic point, thinking that it does not touch you, or do you react to it from a value point, thinking that it also affects you very much, ” she said in an interview with LRT television.
The UN’s undersecretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs says the world body has received “credible” allegations that Russian forces have used indiscriminate cluster munitions at least 24 times in populated parts of Ukraine. Rosemary DiCarlo told the UNSC the global body was “gravely concerned by the persistent use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area,” saying such weapons are causing the most civilian casualties in the war. She said that claims that Ukrainian forces have used such weapons were also being investigated. DiCarlo added that allegations of “conflict-related sexual violence perpetrated by Russian forces” had also emerged. “These include gang rape and rapes in front of children,” she added. “There are also claims of sexual violence by Ukrainian forces and civil defense militias.”
Russian aviation hit 17 Ukrainian military facilities in a day , said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. According to him, units of the People's Militia of the LPR advanced two kilometers in a day, blocking Novotoshkovskoye, Borovskoye and Metelkino, and the Russian Armed Forces continued to strike at Ukrainian military facilities.
The denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine are not one-time tasks, and they will be solved not only on the battlefields. Dmitry Medvedev , Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, wrote about this in his telegram channel. “Russian President Vladimir Putin firmly set the goal of demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. These complex tasks do not happen all at once. And they will be resolved not only on the battlefields , ”Medvedev wrote. He called the most important goal to change the "bloody and full of false myths consciousness of part of today's Ukrainians": "The goal is for the sake of the peace of future generations of Ukrainians themselves and the opportunity to finally build an open Eurasia - from Lisbon to Vladivostok."
The Nazi symbols found on the territory of Ukraine by the Russian military indicate that this is not a game of fascist aesthetics, but a formed ideology. “The passionate part of Ukrainians has been praying for the Third Reich for the last 30 years. Literally. Disgust is caused by photographs in which Nazi symbols are found in almost every military unit of Ukraine taken by our army - standards, literature, posters. Even cups with swastikas! This is not a game of fascist aesthetics, as Westerners are trying to prove to us. This is an ideology” Medvedev wrote.
"The current Ukrainian radical also grew up behind a student's bench. In beautiful embroidered shirts and with thoughts of hatred for everything Russian. Instead of being proud of the joint achievements of their ancestors, since 1991, a pseudo-history of Ukrainian statehood has been written "on the knee": the generational connection of Kievan Rus with the lands of Novgorod, Pskov and Vladimir-Suzdal Rus. For the sake of the mythical "history of Ukraine" of the XIV-XVII centuries, the idea of a single Russian people was destroyed , "Medvedev wrote.
"Ghost of Kyiv", an image of an aircraft, which is taken from a computer game. A drone shot down by a can of cucumbers. Surrendered to the Russian warship "dead heroes". Mariupol maternity hospital, now - Bucha. What unites them? These are fakes, ripened in the cynical imagination of Ukrainian propaganda. Numerous PR agencies, “troll factories” supervised by Western governments and their “manual” NGOs and NGOs, cook them for huge money ,” Medvedev wrote. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov , said that a second group of volunteers is being formed in the republic to participate in a special operation in Ukraine. The "fighting" in Mariupol, in which "kadyrovcai" took part, seems to be staged. Soldiers from the Chechen leader on the outskirts of the city filmed several videos pretending to take the city into their own hands. They shared this post on the social platform Tik-tok. Kadyrov himself spoke about the alleged "hijacking" of Mariupol. Reporters are said to have studied Chechen videos and found places where they were filmed. One of the videos in which Kadyrov allegedly boasted of occupying Mariupol was filmed on the outskirts of the city, in the Levoberezhn district, near the Russian border. And a video depicting Kadyrovans shooting into an empty dwelling house was also filmed in the same location. Kadyrov said that the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine are going quite well.
Ramzan Kadyrov announced the wounding of one of the Chechen fighters in Ukraine. “In one of the settlements, our fighters stumbled upon the fortified positions of the enemy. In the ensuing battle, one of our soldiers was slightly wounded. Thanks to the prompt actions of the platoon medic, all possible threats to the health of the wounded security officer were eliminated. But the situation with Bandera is just the opposite. The Nazis are suffering significant losses.”
The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been mostly destroyed after being besieged by Russian forces for weeks, Mayor Vadym Boychenko has said. “Ninety percent of the infrastructure in the city is destroyed and 40 percent is unrecoverable,” Boychenko said during a news conference. About 130,000 people remained trapped in the city, which is still being pounded by Russian bombardments, he said. Approximately half a million people lived in the city on the coast of the Sea of Azov before the outbreak of the war.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said because Ukrainians “held firm”, Russia’s initial plans of swiftly capturing the capital, Kyiv, failed. “We assess Russia will focus on defeating Ukrainian forces in the broader Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, which encompasses significantly more territory than Russian proxies already controlled before the new invasion began in late February,” Sullivan said.
A senior US defence official said about two-thirds of the roughly 20 Russian battalions that had been around Kyiv have now left and are either in Belarus or on their way there. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a military assessment, said Russian forces were being resupplied and reinforced in Belarus to go back into Ukraine, potentially to Donbas, and that they have been moving out of Sumy and back into Russia.
Russia is not giving up on its offensive in Ukraine but will try to refocus on taking complete control of the country’s eastern Donbas region in the coming weeks, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. “We now see a significant movement of [Russian] troops away from Kyiv to regroup, re-arm and re-supply and shift their focus to the east,” Stoltenberg told a news conference before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “In the coming weeks, we expect a further Russian push in eastern and southern Ukraine to try to take the entire Donbas and to create a land bridge to occupied Crimea,” he added.
The UK’s defence ministry said Ukrainian forces had retaken key northern terrain, forcing Russian forces to retreat from areas around the city of Chernihiv and north of the capital, Kyiv. Low-level fighting is likely to continue in some of the recaptured areas, but taper off this week as the rest of the Russian forces withdraw, the ministry said in its latest intelligence update. “Many Russian units withdrawing from northern Ukraine are likely to require significant re-equipping and refurbishment before being available to redeploy for operations in eastern Ukraine.”
There was silence in the entire north of Ukraine , where the Russian troops left the previously occupied territory. The forces of Army V have been deployed to sectors of the eastern front. On the Southern front, from the reports of the Ukrainian side, it became known that in the direction of the Yuzhnobuzh direction, Russian troops were conducting assault operations with the support of artillery in order to occupy the village of Aleksandrovka, and reportedly have a partial success. In the area of the settlements of Lyubino, Mirnoye and Kopani, Russian artillery fired at the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Aleksey Arestovich , adviser to the head of Vladimir Zelensky 's office , said that the Russian army had left the territory of the Nikolaev region and was preparing Kherson "for surrender". Information, presumably fake, since such a situation is not beneficial for Russian troops. According to comrades from the fields, the Russian Armed Forces are also in the Nikolaev region.
On the Eastern front, in Kharkov, no changes. According to Izyum: it is reported that in the direction of Barvenkovo, Russian troops advanced seven kilometers and occupied the village of Brazhkovka. The village of Malaya Kamyshevatka was taken, the road to Barvenkovo was opened. The attack on Dolgonkoye continues, after the capture of which the road to Slavyansk will open. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are now firing at Izyum, destroying the private sector. Fighting continued in Rubizhne and Popasnaya, and the LNR has local successes. The LPR army reports an explosion APU of a tank with chemicals (a tank with nitric acid) in the village of Rubizhne. In Mariupol, the nationalists are divided into three boilers. At the same time, there is strong resistance from the Ukrainian side. In particular, it is reported that right now there is an assault on the checkpoint of Azovmash. Many wounded among the RF Armed Forces. At the same time, it became known that more than 30 military servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrendered in Mariupol in a day. They came out with their hands up in the area of kindergarten No. 91 on the Left Bank.
Kyiv said it needed tanks if it is to push Russia out of its territory rather than just defend existing lines of contact. Asked by reporters about Ukraine’s request for tanks, Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said that the EU’s members were open to exporting further weapons systems to the country.
Dozens of T-72 tanks (40 pieces) and infantry fighting vehicles (about 50) were transferred to Ukraine by the Czech Republic, Mladá fronta Dnes reported. The Czech Republic sent several dozen T-72 tanks and combat vehicles to be used by the Ukrainian military in its fight with Russia. The tanks are a gift from Czechia agreed with the country's NATO allies. The tanks are older items from the Czech army's arsenal, of which around 90 are in stock.
The United States intends to send Switchblade-600 drones to Kiev, which weigh almost 23 kilograms, can fly a distance of 39 kilometers and hover in the air for 40 minutes. In March, the United States decided to supply Ukraine with 100 Switchblade drones. These drones belong to the 300 series, weigh about 2.5 kilograms and can attack infantry or vehicles.
The Russian Embassy in the USA wrote: We paid attention to the statements of US Deputy Secretary of State B. Jenkins regarding the threat posed by Russian unexploded ordnance allegedly left by the RF Armed Forces on the territory of Ukraine. Such accusations are absurd against the background of the continuous supply of lethal weapons to the Kiev regime from the United States. Among them are MANPADS and ATGMs, which the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the national battalions leave in their positions in whole batches during the retreat. Of no less concern is the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to distribute the weapons received from the Americans to the radicals and yesterday's criminals who joined the defense units. The inability of the Kiev regime to ensure proper control and protection of weapons led to rampant spontaneous gangs engaged in looting, robbery and terror. We call on Washington to stop pumping Ukraine with lethal weapons. It is the United States that provokes more and more victims.""
Melinda Haring of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council told Al Jazeera that atrocities in Bucha are likely to persuade the West to take greater action against Russia. “I think there is a lot of outrage. I think people are shocked. And this may motivate the West to actually do more,” she said from Washington, DC. “So in Washington, there’s a lot of reluctance to send higher-end weapon systems. The White House is making this distinction between escalatory weapons and defensive weapons.”
“I think this distinction that might make sense in law school is going to go away and the US is going to finally start sending some of these weapons systems to the Ukrainians. On the justice side, I think it’s too early to say. Remember that Russia is on the Security Council, and it’s going to block every single attempt to bring justice to Ukraine,” Haring said.
The United States prioritizes the delivery of drones, Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger man-portable air defense systems when sending military aid to the Kiev authorities, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “In these deliveries, we give priority to the means that, as we know, the Ukrainians need the most: Javelins, Stingers, drones. All this is a priority ,” he said. Kirby noted that the total amount of military assistance is $ 800 million. It is expected that in the next day the Kiev authorities will receive another batch of American weapons.
In a letter to Biden, 30 members of the US Congress demand that the White House expand the list of weapons and their quantity intended for delivery to the Kiev authorities. In particular, congressmen demand that Biden transfer fighters, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine. The requirements of lawmakers are based on the list of desired weapons that Kyiv provided to the United States.
The US Department of Defense approved the potential sale of up to eight F-16 aircraft and related equipment to Bulgaria, in a deal valued at $1.673bn. US officials said the agreement was not directly related to Russia’s month-long invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government had asked countries that have Russian-made MiG aircraft – including Bulgaria – to turn them over for use in the fight against Russian forces.
Central European governments, including the Czech Republic, are considering a possibility of offering their facilities to Ukraine to repair its damaged military equipment. “If the war is going to get longer and longer, the war equipment that is being damaged needs to get serviced,” a Czech defense ministry official told the Wall Street Journal, adding that “Ukrainian repair houses are 100% busy, and they are asking other nearby allies to help them with repairs.” Earlier, Russia warned that it would consider arms deliveries to Ukraine legitimate military targets but has never targeted any arms convoys outside of the Ukrainian territory so far.
v Ukraine estimated that 20,000 people had died in Europe's biggest conflict in decades. people. Almost 4.25 million people fled the country during the Russian invasion. Over 7.1 million people have been internally displaced since the invasion of Ukraine, according to the second Ukraine Internal Displacement Report issued by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This represents a 10 per cent increase in number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine since the first round of the survey on 16 March.
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