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Russo-Ukraine War - 07 April 2022 - Day 43

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A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

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.

“As long as the West… continues buying Russian gas and oil, it is supporting Ukraine with one hand, while supporting Russia's war machine with another," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no sign that Russian President Vladimir Putin had dropped “his ambition to control the whole of Ukraine”. Russia is likely to renew its attack on Kyiv if its forces succeed in taking full control of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, the deputy chief of staff of Ukraine’s ground forces said. “It is likely the enemy has not given up the goal of a second attack on Kyiv – there is such a threat,” Oleksandr Gruzevich said at an online briefing about efforts to defend the capital.

On April 6, Kyiv presented its draft agreements to the negotiating group, which clearly shows a departure from the most important provisions recorded at the meeting in Istanbul on March 29, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. "Yesterday, the Ukrainian side presented its draft agreements to the negotiating group, which is a departure from the most important provisions fixed at the meeting in Istanbul on March 29, moreover, fixed in the document signed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation of Arakhamia," he said. The provision on conducting military exercises in the draft agreement with Russia was changed by Kiev, it does not mention the need to obtain the consent of the Russian Federation for such. "However, in the draft agreement received yesterday, this unambiguous provision has also been replaced. Now, it speaks about the possibility of conducting exercises with the consent of only the majority of guarantor states, without any mention of Russia," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister recalled that in the Istanbul text, the Ukrainian side agreed that the future security guarantees for Ukraine would not be applicable to Crimea and Sevastopol. However, "the draft presented yesterday does not contain this clear statement. Instead, it offers vague formulations about some kind of 'effective control', and 'as of 23 February'," Lavrov said, referring to the day before the Russian military operation in Ukraine began.

Lavrov said the Ukrainian side put forth the demand that the issues of Crimea and Donbass be discussed at the level of the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. "We all remember how President Zelensky repeatedly said that such a meeting could take place only after the end of the conflict. It's likely that at the next stage, the Ukrainian side will ask for the withdrawal of troops, and pile up more and more preconditions. This plan is understandable, but it is unacceptable," the minister stressed.

The foreign minister suggested that such intractability on Kiev's part "once again characterises Kiev's true intentions - it's line of stretching out and even undermining negotiations by departing from understandings which have already been reached. We see this as a manifestation of the fact that the regime in Kiev is controlled by Washington and its allies, who are pushing President Zelensky to continue hostilities."

Ukraine’s foreign minister warned that the anticipated battle for control of the country’s eastern Donbas region will be reminiscent of the Great Pariotic War. Dmytro Kuleba told reporters at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels that the fight would see large operations manoeuvres involving thousands of tanks, planes and armored vehicles.

The eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk are seeing the worst of the fighting after Russian forces withdrew from around the capital, Kyiv. Ukraine’s government told residents in the country’s east to evacuate “now” or “risk death” ahead of a feared Russian onslaught on the Donbas region. Ukrainian authorities cannot help people evacuate from the eastern front-line town of Izyum or send humanitarian aid because it is completely under Russian control, the Kharkiv regional governor has said. An International Committee of the Red Cross team led a convoy of buses and private cars carrying more than 1,000 people to Zaporizhzhia after they fled the besieged southern port of Mariupol on their own.

A video posted online and verified by the New York Times appears to show troops fighting under a Ukrainian banner shooting what is believed to be a captured Russian soldier outside a village west of Kyiv. Three other apparent Russian soldiers can be seen dead nearby, one with a head wound and his hands tied behind his back. Executing captured enemy soldiers would constitute a war crime. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg called for an investigation into all reports of war crimes in Ukraine, but declined to comment on videos of the killings of Russian prisoners of war, as he knows nothing specifically about this incident.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it is likely that Russian forces are carrying out more "atrocities" in parts of Ukraine after bodies were found in the town of Bucha. "For every Bucha there are many more towns Russia has occupied and more towns that it is still occupying, places where we must assume Russian soldiers are committing more atrocities right now," Blinken told journalists after meeting foreign ministers from NATO and Ukraine in Brussels. He said the US had warned ahead of Russia's invasion that part of the Kremlin's "campaign plan was to inflict atrocities, was to target individuals, was to commit the kinds of crimes that we're now seeing to terrorise civilian populations".

German intelligence services have intercepted radio traffic of Russian soldiers discussing the killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Spiegel reported, in what would be new evidence linking Moscow troops to the deaths. Some of the audio material collected appears to relate to victims found dead along a main street in Bucha, the magazine said, citing a closed-door parliamentary briefing given by Germany's foreign intelligence service BND. Among the intercepts was a soldier's description of how he and his platoon mates shot a person on a bicycle.

Russia’s defence ministry said its forces destroyed four fuel storage facilities in the Ukrainian cities of Mykolayiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Chuhuiv overnight. The ministry said the facilities were used by Ukraine to supply its troops near the cities of Mykolaiv and Kharkiv, as well as in the Donbas region. Russian air defense systems shot down three unmanned aerial vehicles in the air, including two Bayraktar TB-2s, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Since the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine, the RF Armed Forces have destroyed 416 drones, 220 MLRS installations and 2,003 tanks and armored vehicles. Russian air defense systems shot down two Ukrainian military helicopters in the air: Mi-8 and Mi-24 near the city of Kherson, the Russian Defense Ministry reported. The RF Armed Forces hit 42 Ukrainian ground military targets.

The Ukrainian military department said that nearly Russian 700 tanks and 1,900 other armored vehicles had been destroyed, as well as about 285 planes and helictopters.

The UK Ministry of Defence reported "Progressing offensive operations in eastern Ukraine is the main focus of Russian military forces. Russian artillery and air strikes continue along the Donbas line of control. Russian strikes against infrastructure targets within the Ukrainian interior are likely intended to degrade the ability of the Ukrainian military to resupply and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government. Despite refocussing forces and logistics capabilities to support operations in the Donbas, Russian forces are likely to continue facing morale issues and shortages of supplies and personnel."

The US assessed that Russia had completed its withdrawal from around Kyiv and was refitting and resupplying its troops for an expected redeployment into Ukraine, a senior US defence official said. “We are assessing that all the Russians have left,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that the US assessment was completed in the past 24 hours. But the official said Kyiv remained under threat, even if Russian ground troops had left the area. “The threat of [a] ground invasion [of Kyiv] is clearly gone for the moment … but it’s not clear what their longer-range goals are,” the official said.

A criminal case against unidentified servicemen of the armed forces of Ukraine was initiated by the Military Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Voronezh garrison after the shelling of the Belgorod region, according to the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee. It was established that on March 29, 2022, at about 20:00, Ukrainian servicemen, using the Tochka-U tactical missile system, fired at least three missiles from the territory of the Kharkiv region in the direction of the Belgorod region. The ammunition was loaded with cluster submunitions, the use of which is prohibited by international conventions. As a result of the incident, eight citizens of the Russian Federation received various injuries. All of them were promptly hospitalized, according to doctors, the victims suffered serious harm to their health. 21 vehicles were also damaged. As a result of the shelling, a fire broke out, and then a warehouse deployed at the place of temporary deployment of the military unit was destroyed by explosions.

In the Orenburg region, the Cossacks were preparing to be sent to the Donbass. The volunteer unit is currently being recruited. This was reported by the press service of the Orenburg Cossack army. Cossacks from the Cossack societies of the First Department of the Orenburg Cossack Army enter into contracts for service with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Contract soldiers will arrive in Orenburg to receive uniforms and equipment. From the capital of the Orenburg region will be sent to the destination to participate in a special military operation in Ukraine, to assist in the protection of public order and social infrastructure, as well as the formation of military-civilian administrations in the liberated territories.

Nathan Ruser reported that video showed that Ukrainian troops were still able to operate armor in the very outskirts of Mariupol. Not only did they still have working BTR-4s despite a nearly month-long siege, but they still operate in large parts of the suburbs.

It is pointless to name the timeframe for the complete liberation of Mariupol, because the assault on the Azovstal plant is complicated by the catacombs under the plant, which shelter the Ukrainian military from bombing, said Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the People's Militia Department of the Donetsk People's Republic. “What is an industrial zone like? Firstly, it is a city within a city, plus there are several floors underground, built back in the Soviet Union. It is impossible to bomb from above, you need to clean up underground. This will also take time. they know this territory better than we do, so it makes no sense to name any dates and deadlines. The most important thing is to block them in this territory, find all the entrances and exits to this dungeon and then wait until they start to surrender," he said.

Arrivals and explosions in Nikolaev. The Armed Forces of Ukraine made an attempt to strike the Russian Armed Forces with aviation. In all likelihood, the Ukrainian army still has a few more combat-ready aircraft. It is reported about a fire in the Kherson region after the attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On the border of the Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk regions without changes. Despite the information stuffing Alexei Arestovich , Kherson is calm and stable.

From Kharkov to Slavyansk . Powerful explosions were reported north of Kharkov. From the direction of Bolshaya Danilovka in the north-east, automatic bursts were heard - there were rifle battles. Explosions again in Lozovaya, the Russian Aerospace Forces are finishing off the transport and logistics center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, the Ukrainian side reported strikes on the bridge on the railway from Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine again fired at Izyum all night with MLRS. The Russian military is now fighting near the village of Suligovka, breaking through the enemy's defenses in the direction of Slavyansk. The Suligovka area is very well fortified, Russian artillery works non-stop. Yesterday, the intelligence of the Russian Federation took five prisoners, right on the positions of the Ukrainian artillery. They said that they had been mobilized a month ago from the Zhytomyr and Chernihiv regions.

In Kramatorsk, Artemovsk, Druzhkovka, an armada is now gathering from the Armed Forces of the National Battalions and the remaining units from the Izyum direction. In Kramatorsk, the national battalions are massively placed in schools and vocational schools. On the highway through the city towards Konstantinovka, heavy equipment and trucks with the Ukrainian military are constantly moving. The second hospital was completely given over to receive the wounded, camouflaged cars with a sign “cargo 200” drive around the city. The base of the Kramatorsk border detachment on the street. Marata, 16, has been turned into a fortified area equipped with chambers, earth embankments, with underground warehouses of weapons and ammunition. Representatives of Ukrainian state structures - the pension fund, banks, archives, etc. - are leaving the city en masse. From the Kramatorsk airfield, despite its partial destruction by pinpoint strikes, air defense and artillery fire is being fired.

From Ugledar to the LPR active operations began from the south of the eastern front. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports that, while pursuing the retreating units of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation blocked Ugledar and are now fighting for its release from the nationalists, while destroying a reinforced motorized infantry company and a tank platoon of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They also blocked Novomikhailovka and began to storm it. Elsewhere, no change. Fighting is going on all along the front. Armed Forces of Ukraine are shelling Rubizhne, there are casualties among civilians. To the north of Rubizhne, the Armed Forces of Ukraine even launched a counterattack.

By Mariupol. Eduard Basurin said that the main battles in the central part of Mariupol are over. There are fights in Azovstal. Artillery and aviation of the Allied Forces inflict intensive strikes on the positions of militants on the territory of the plant. “Fighting is now taking place on the periphery of the industrial zone, there are fewer and fewer residential areas under the control of nationalists, which means that there is less and less human shield from local residents. As the hostilities move into the industrial zone, Russian artillery will have more capabilities and play a greater role, ”writes Murad Gazdiev. On the right bank, the encirclement around the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, blocked around the park in the Primorsky district, is shrinking.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on NATO member states to provide Kyiv with more weaponry as it faces down Russia’s offensive. “My agenda is very simple. It has only three items on it. It’s weapons, weapons, and weapons,” Kuleba told reporters at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels as its member states’ foreign ministers gathered to discuss ways to shore up support for Kyiv. “We know how to fight. We know how to win. But without sustainable and sufficient supplies requested by Ukraine, these wins will be accompanied by enormous sacrifices. The more weapons we get and the sooner they arrive in Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved.” , Kuleba had urged Germany, in particular, to do more in terms of arms supplies to Ukraine, "given its reserves and capacities" and that decision-making was taking too long. "While Berlin has time, Kyiv has none," he said.

NATO supplies Ukraine with a wide range of weapons, not dividing them into defensive and offensive ones, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said. NATO member countries supply Ukraine with weapons of different years of production - both Soviet-era and modern, without dividing them into offensive and defensive ones, Stoltenberg said following a meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries of the alliance. "Everything that Ukraine does with the support of NATO allies is defensive in nature," he added.

Re-export or transfer of Russian and Soviet weapons to Ukraine by third parties is possible only with the consent of Russia. Moscow will take action if this provision is violated, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said . This comment came in response to reports that, under persistent pressure from the United States, representatives of a number of states are considering options for transferring Russian or Soviet-made weapons and military equipment in these countries to Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington will not let anything stand in the way of sending Ukraine the weapons it needs in its fight against Russia. Speaking to reporters at NATO following a meeting of foreign ministers, Blinken said the United States is looking at what new weapons it can send Ukraine.

"We ourselves, the United States, and collectively with partners in more than 30 countries, provide Ukraine with weapons and systems that, in our opinion, it can most effectively use <...>. We will not allow anything to prevent Ukrainians from getting what they necessary and what we think can be effective, so we are now looking across the board, not only about what we have provided and continue to provide, but also whether there are additional systems that could change situation that we can provide them. We do this in close consultation with the Ukrainians, as well as with our allies and partners," he said.

Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in the US to operate the Switchblade drones that Washington is supplying to Kyiv, a Pentagon official said. Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby said a “very small” number of Ukrainian troops – less than a dozen – who were already present in the US before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, are being trained. “We took the opportunity, having them still in the country, to give them a couple of days’ worth of training on the Switchblades, so they can go back … to train others in the Ukrainian military,” Kirby said, adding that 100 drones have been sent to Ukraine.

Ukraine has received about 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons systems from the United States and its allies, helping Kyiv prevent Russia from establishing air superiority that would have aided Moscow’s ground invasion, the top US general has said. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States and its allies had also supplied Ukraine with 60,000 anti-tank systems.

Ukraine is effectively using landmines in the conflict with Russia, forcing Russian armored vehicles into engagement areas where they are vulnerable to US-supplied anti-tank weaponry. “That’s one of the reasons why you see column after column of Russian vehicles that are destroyed. So anti-tank or anti-personnel mines are very effective,” Army General Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of a US-initiated resolution to suspend Russia from the world body’s Human Rights Council. Of the 193 members of the UN assembly, 93 voted in favor of Russia’s suspension while 24 voted against and 58 abstained. It was the second ever suspension of a country from the council. Libya was the first, in 2011.

Ukraine’s foreign minister welcomed a decision by the UNGA to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over reports of violations and abuses of human rights by its troops in Ukraine. “War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights. Grateful to all member states which supported the relevant UNGA resolution and chose the right side of history,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote.

The US House of Representatives passed legislation calling on the federal government to detail its efforts to collect evidence of war crimes committed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Legislators backed the measure by a vote of 418-7 after gruesome reports of atrocities in towns around Kyiv, particularly Bucha. US President Joe Biden previously said a “war crimes trial” could be held over the civilian deaths in Bucha. Six GOP House members voted against the bill: Tom Massie (KY); Scott Perry (PA); Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA); Warren Davidson (OH); Andy Biggs (AZ); and Paul Gosar (AZ).

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that Russia’s aggression will have “enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond” and that President Joe Biden wants Moscow expelled from the Group of 20. “President Biden’s made it clear, and I certainly agree with him, that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in any of the financial institutions,” Yellen said. “He’s asked that Russia be removed from the G20, and I’ve made clear to my colleagues in Indonesia that we will not be participating in a number of meetings if the Russians are there.”

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,319,494 Ukrainians had fled across the border since the war began on February 24 – a figure up 40,705 since Wednesday. The agency says it is Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. The UN's International Organisation for Migration estimates that 7.1 million internally displaced people had fled their homes but were still in Ukraine.

About 18,900 Russian troops have been killed since Moscow launched its offensive, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine says. Russia suffered significant losses in the course of a special military operation in Ukraine. This was stated by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov on Sky News. "We have suffered significant losses of troops, this is a huge tragedy for us," he said in an interview in English. Russia’s last official death toll, announced on March 25, put the number of its casualties at 1,351.

Carl Quintanilla [ co-anchor and anchor, respectively, of Squawk on the Street and Squawk Alley, morning programs on CNBC] stated “Our data science team .. has been tracking the casualties and losses associated with the Russia-Ukraine war. .. #Ukraine has lost 1,969 tanks, or 91% of its equipment .. the armament of that army is rapidly depleting. I am not sure if this is a well known fact.”

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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:34 ZULU