Russo-Ukraine War - 09 April 2022 - Day 45
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.
Ukrainian media said the bodies of 132 civilians had been found in the town of Makariv, about 50 kilometers west of Kyiv. Reports quote local sources as saying the residents were shot and killed by Russian soldiers. The sources said Makariv was without electricity, gas or water for more than a month, and 40 percent of the town had been destroyed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson met President Zelenskyy in Kyiv and pledged to stand by the Ukrainian people. Johnson said: "It is a privilege to be able to travel to Ukraine and meet President Zelenskyy in person in Kyiv today. Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed back Russian forces from the gates of Kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century. It is because of President Zelenskyy’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted."
Johnson said that the discovery of civilian bodies in Ukrainian towns had “permanently polluted” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reputation. “What Putin has done in places like Bucha and Irpin is war crimes that have permanently polluted his reputation and the reputation of his government,” Johnson said, standing next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, referring to towns in the Kyiv region where bodies have been discovered.
The Prime Minister set out new military assistance of 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems, to support Ukraine in this crucial phase while Russia’s illegal assault continues. This is in addition to the £100 million worth of high-grade military equipment announced yesterday, including more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles, and high-tech loitering munitions for precision strikes.
The German Chancellor postponed the decision to supply modern battle tanks to Kiev. Active supporters of such supplies were Vice-Chancellor Robert Habek and Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock. They insisted on sending up to a hundred German combat vehicles to Ukraine. Scholz is being cautious, he wanted to develop a common strategy for the supply of such weapons.
Germany has reached the limit in terms of arms supplies to Kiev from the stocks of the Bundeswehr, but the issue of supplies directly from defense enterprises has been discussed. This was announced by German Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht. “In terms of deliveries from the stocks of the Bundeswehr, we have reached the limit. After all, the troops must remain able to guarantee the defense of the country and the allies. But this does not mean that we can do nothing more for Ukraine. Therefore, we also clarified what exactly the industry can supply directly, ”she said in an interview with Augsburger Allgemeine.
French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that it is necessary to take a balanced position in the situation around Ukraine. She believes that Paris does not need to impose sanctions against Moscow that harm France itself. Le Pen called for a "common sense" because "everything that happens in Ukraine cannot be divided into black and white."
War to the last Ukrainian has become the official policy of the EU and NATO countries, said State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin. “Today, the West has openly declared its goal — what they have been working towards for years, supplying weapons to Ukraine and supporting the Nazi ideology,” Volodin said in a telegram channel. So he reacted to the statement of the head of the EU diplomatic service, Josep Barrell, who, commenting on the events in Ukraine, said that "this war must be won on the battlefield." For the first time in the history of the European Union, such a high-status official wished for a military victory instead of a diplomatic settlement of the conflict situation. Such statements have not been made by EU leaders during other conflicts, including the wars in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
Biden 's ability to participate in hostilities has been questioned due to the fact that he will soon turn 80 years old. American TV presenter Tucker Carlson questioned the validity of the head of state's statement on Fox News. Biden said he would go along with the Americans if the US had to send troops to Ukraine. “No, Mr. President, you won’t go, because in the fall you will be eighty,” Tucker Carlson is sure.
Ukraine must be demilitarized and denazified, and its non-nuclear status secured. This was stated by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov during an online conference of the Schiller Institute. “Today, it is extremely important to achieve the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine in order to secure the non-nuclear status of Kyiv and its commitment to international agreements on the non-proliferation of WMD,” he said. Antonov stated that Russia’s conditions for “the settlement of the conflict” have remained unchanged: The demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, official neutral and non-nuclear status for the country, recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea, and the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Western countries, by “pumping” weapons into Ukraine, risk leading the US and Russia “onto the path of direct military confrontation,” Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said earlier. Since the launch of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, NATO countries and their allies have refrained from direct military involvement in the conflict, but have been actively providing Kiev with weapons and ammunition. By doing so, the ambassador said in an interview with Newsweek, Western states are “directly involved in the current events” and are inciting “further bloodshed.” Antonov called these actions “dangerous” and “provocative.”
“They can lead the US and the Russian Federation onto the path of direct military confrontation. Any supply of weapons and military equipment from the West, performed by transport convoys through the territory of Ukraine, is a legitimate military target for our Armed Forces.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russian forces appear to have committed war crimes by targeting civilians in Ukraine, adding that lawyers must investigate the alleged incidents. “My instinct says: if this is not a war crime, what is a war crime? But I am a medical doctor by training and lawyers have to investigate carefully,” von der Leyen told reporters on board a train leaving Ukraine. “I saw the photos, [Ukrainian prime minister] Denys Shmyhal showed me: killing people as they are walking by. We could also see with our own eyes, that the destruction in the city is targeted into the civilian lives. Residential buildings are no military target,” she said, referring to Bucha.
Russia continued to hit Ukrainian non-combatants, such as the civilians killed in Friday’s rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine, according to British military intelligence. “Russian operations continue to focus on the Donbas region, Mariupol and Mykolaiv, supported by continued cruise missile launches into Ukraine by Russian naval forces,” the Ministry of Defence said, adding that Russia’s ambitions to establish a land corridor between Crimea and the Donbas continue to be thwarted by Ukrainian resistance.
The Investigative Committee of Russia will pin down the Ukrainian missilemen involved in the strike on the Kramatorsk railway station. "A criminal case has been initiated against the commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine brigade and other unidentified persons. The investigation sees signs of a crime under Part 1 of Article 356 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (ill-treatment of the civilian population, the use of means and methods in an armed conflict prohibited by an international treaty of the Russian Federation)".
The head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, said that Russian-Ukrainian negotiations are underway. “They are not going easy, but we will ensure that all the tasks that these negotiations face are fulfilled,” he said. The head of the Russian delegation, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky , said that the talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul were constructive, pointing out that two steps had been taken to de-escalate the conflict. In addition, he said that Moscow had received written proposals from the Kiev authorities, confirming the desire for a neutral and non-nuclear status. According to him, the proposals include a refusal to produce and deploy all types of weapons of mass destruction, as well as a refusal to join military blocs.
Jerome at Military Land reported Russian troops basically ceased all offensive operations in most directions, limiting itself to just small scale attacks and shelling of Ukrainian positions and towns. In Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian forces reportedly repelled Russian attacks in the direction of Barvinkove and Slavyansk. However, the situation in the area remains critical. Rubizhne, Novotoshkivkse and Popasna remains the hottest points in Luhansk Oblast. The situation in Mariupol remains covered by the fog of war.
The Institute for the Study of War said Ukrainian forces are continuing to hold out against Russian attacks in eastern and southwestern Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks. They were also threatening Russian positions in Kherson, and appear to have taken more territory west of the city, the institute said. It said Russia is attempting to regroup its forces for an offensive in the east but could be hindered by “poor morale” with the Ukrainian General Staff reporting that 80 percent of personnel in some Russian units are refusing to fight.
A senior US defence official said the Pentagon had determined that some of the Russian combat units that retreated from the Kyiv area in recent days were so heavily damaged and depleted that their combat utility is in question. The official described these units as “for all intents and purposes eradicated”, with only a small number of functioning troops and weapons remaining. The official, who spoke to The Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity, said that the US believes Russia had lost 15 to 20 percent of the combat power it had assembled along Ukraine’s borders before launching its invasion.
The statement of the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov , that the analysis of the radius of destruction of the warhead and the position of the body of the tail section of the Tochka-U missile confirm that it was launched by the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the southwestern direction from Kramatorsk, in which, as a result, attacks on the civilian population of the city killed 50 people, including five children, became a reason for discussion on the Internet.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia, commenting on the shelling of the station in Kramatorsk by Ukrainian troops, noted that the analysis of the radius of destruction of the rocket, as well as the characteristic position of the fallen tail of the Tochka-U rocket, unequivocally confirm that its launch was carried out from the south-western direction from Kramatorsk. “This area is still under the full control of the Ukrainian group of troops in the Donbass,” the Defense Ministry said.
According to Russian intelligence, one of the divisions of the 19th missile brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, armed with missile systems "Tochka-U", at the time of the strike on Kramatorsk was in the area of the settlement of Dobropolye, Donetsk region, 45 km southwest of Kramatorsk.
Operational-tactical aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces and missile forces hit 85 military facilities of Ukraine. This was announced by the official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Major General Igor Konashenkov. Among them: 2 command posts, 3 installations of multiple launch rocket systems, 4 self-propelled artillery guns, a field ammunition depot with an ammunition supply point, 2 logistics depots, 4 strong points and areas of concentration of Ukrainian military equipment. At the Mirgorod military airfield in the Poltava region, a MiG-29 fighter jet and a Mi-8 helicopter of the Ukrainian Air Force, as well as a warehouse with aviation weapons, were destroyed during aerial reconnaissance. Also, high-precision air-launched missiles destroyed a large ammunition depot of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Novomoskovsk region of the Dnipropetrovsk region.
The Apache, a dry cargo ship sailing under the Maltese flag, abruptly changed course while en route through the Azov Sea and attempted to break through the naval blockade of Mariupol enforced by ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and border patrol, Konashenkov announced. "On the evening of 8 April, the regime in Kiev made a new unsuccessful attempt to evacuate the neo-Nazi fighters' leaders [trapped in Mariupol] by sea. In the evening darkness the Ukrainian dry cargo vessel Apache, assigned to the Maltese port of Valletta and flying the Maltese flag, followed a caravan of ships from Taganrog Bay to the Kerch Strait," Konashenkov said in a briefing.
On the front line between Kherson and Nikolaev, positional battles were going on - howitzers and MLRS are used. In the cities themselves, residents hear cannonade and explosions. Also, strikes are carried out by high-precision missiles in Odessa and Chernomorsk.
On the Front East, massive strikes were inflicted on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the outskirts of Kharkov. Under Izyum on the south coast, the Russian bridgehead was being expanded as much as possible. Heavy fighting is going on in Rubezhnoye and Novobakhmutovka, intense blows are being dealt to Popasnaya. They are also hitting Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, where strong fires are observed after shelling. Armed Forces of Ukraine shelling residential areas of Rubizhne with heavy artillery and MLRS.
In Mariupol, more and more Ukrainian military reportedly surrendered to the troops of the DPR and the Russian Federation. Pockets of resistance remained in administrative buildings in the west of the boiler and high-rise buildings along Lunin Street. There are active battles in the area of Azovstal and Azovmash. One of the main events is the cleaning of the seaport by the military personnel of the Russian Federation and the DPR.
A container with nitric acid in the city of Rubizhne, Luhansk People's Republic, was blown up by the Ukrainian military. This was stated by the representative of the People's Militia of the LPR Ivan Filiponenko. It is assumed that the time of the cistern explosion was chosen with the expectation that nitric acid would get into the liberated village of Kudryashovka, Severodonetsk region of the Luhansk People's Republic. The Ukrainian military blame the people's militia of the LPR for the explosion. “Ukrainian nationalist formations continue to use terrorist methods against civilians of the Luhansk People's Republic and Ukraine, and also destroy civilian infrastructure. So, today, once again, a nitric acid tank was blown up on the territory of the Zarya chemical enterprise in the village of Rubizhnoye, as a result of which the sending substances were released into the environment, ”said Ivan Filiponenko.
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