Russo-Ukraine War - 16 April 2022 - Day 52
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.
April 16 marked the beginning of the 52nd full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian invaders concentrated up to 22 battalion tactical groups in the area of occupied Izyum. Russia attempted an assault on the village of Dovhen'ke in southern Kharkiv region. They were unsuccessful and suffered significant losses. A Russian offensive against Barvinkove and Slovyansk was expected.
The Armed Forces inflict losses on the Russian army and gradually liberate settlements from Russian invaders, leaving behind hundreds of kilometers of mined territory. It may take at least a year to clean up Ukrainian land from explosive contamination. Ukraine has already cleared 240 km of roads and cleared more than 80,000 mines, shells and bombs. Meanwhile, Russian troops are completing preparations for an offensive in the East. They are concentrating their weapons, military equipment, personnel, and preparing medical infrastructure to help the wounded.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told his European allies , Washington believes that the conflict in Ukraine could drag on until the end of 2022. This was reported on April 16 by CNN, citing two EU officials. According to the TV channel, such statements indicate a change in the position of the American authorities, who previously believed that the special operation of the Armed Forces (AF) of the Russian Federation would end quickly.
After meeting Russia's Vladimir Putin earlier this week, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer told US broadcaster NBC that the Russian president was "in his own war logic." Nehammer said "I think he believes he is winning the war". During his visit to Moscow, the Austrian chancellor also formed an impression that Putin believed the war in Ukraine was necessary to ensure Russia's security. Nehammer added that "we have to look in his eyes and we have to confront him with that, what we see in Ukraine."
Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says an armored vehicle plant was among the infrastructure targeted. He did not specify where the plant is located, but there is one in Kyiv’s Darnytskyi district. Konashenkov says the plant was among multiple Ukrainian military sites hit with “air-launched high-precision long-range weapons”. As the US and European nations send new arms to Ukraine, the strategy could be aimed at hobbling Ukraine’s defences ahead of what is expected to be a full-scale Russian assault in the east.
FSB arrested the commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet vice admiral Igor Ossipov. Obviously for the bad weather and an accidental fire on board of Moskva. He is the 8th general out of commission by Ukraine action in this war. Russian ministry of Defense reported the commander of Navy admiral Nikolay Evmenov and command of Black Sea navy met with crew of Moskva cruiser in Sevastopol. The video shows about 50 sailor in first row, and some sailors in the 2nd row. The Moskva could crew around 500 sailors meaning roughly 350-400 are not present due to either being MIA, KIA, or WIA.
Russia faced a dilemma over how to spin the sinking of the Moskva missile cruiser, Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, has said. “Because on the one hand it’s claiming that the sinking of the Moskva had nothing to do with Ukraine,” Giles told Al Jazeera. “But at the same time they seized on this as an excuse to wreak revenge on Kyiv and they are linking this to the attack on the capital now. So Russian propaganda is tying itself in knots but at the same time whipping up even more hysteria.”
The military registration and enlistment offices of the Central Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are agitating conscripts who are in reserve to sign short-term contracts for a period of 3 months to 1 year.
Ruslan Leviyev, the founder of the Conflict Intelligence Team, a Russian NGO that monitors open-source information about the Russian military, told Current Time that the actual number of contract soldiers who have refused to either fight in Ukraine in the first place or who have fought and do not want to return could be severely hampering Russia’s efforts to regroup and renew its military operations in eastern Ukraine. The government’s unwillingness to call the invasion of Ukraine a “war” or to declare war or martial law could give dissenting servicemen some protection from the worst consequences of refusing to fight.
“The phenomenon of refusal is becoming systemic,” Leviyev said. “Such soldiers are found in practically every unit that has returned from Ukraine. According to our estimates, from 20 to 40 percent of the contract servicemen that returned from Ukraine and that are being readied to be sent back are refusing to return to combat.”
In Poland, “thieves” are believed to have made off with 100 (one hundred, to be sure) T-72 tanks, all modernized and upgraded to T-72M1R standards just recently. Polish authorities have reportedly confirmed the “theft” and said that an investigation would be carried out after the summer holidays. Poland was the closest and ideal candidate for a fresh supply – particularly for the fact that it had over 400 T-72M1s, all of them undergoing modernization as of 2020. That said, if the tanks did go missing, it would mean thieves were somehow able to drive off with a quarter of the Polish military’s supply of T-72s.
The German government late on 15 April said it plans to release more than a billion euros in military aid for Ukraine, amid complaints by Kyiv it is not receiving heavy weapons from Berlin. The funds will feature in a supplementary budget for this year. In total, taking into account all countries, Berlin decided to increase its international aid in the defence sector "to two billion euros" with "the largest part being planned in the form of military aid in favour of Ukraine", a government spokeswoman said. This envelope of two billion euros "will go mainly to Ukraine", Finance Minister Christian Lindner confirmed. The funds must be used by Ukraine to mainly finance purchases of military equipment.
The leader of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (formerly led by Angela Merkel) Friedrich Merz criticized the country's leadership for its indecisive actions against Ukraine. He stated this in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In particular, Merz considers it wrong for Chancellor Olaf Scholz to delay the supply of heavy equipment to Ukraine, and criticizes him for not visiting Ukraine yet. At the same time, Mertz called Kyiv's refusal to accept German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (formerly pro-Russian) an "emotional exaggeration of the Ukrainian government that does not help either side."
German Federal Minister of Justice Marko Bushman noted that the supply of weapons to Ukraine does not mean entering the war against Russia. "Ukraine is waging a defensive war against Russia. So, if they exercise their legitimate right to self-defense, supporting them with arms supplies cannot lead to them participating in the war," Bushman said, adding that it was not just his personal point of view. but also the position of the German government as a whole.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk criticized the lack of information about increasing military aid to Kyiv. "The announcement of increased military aid to Ukraine sounds good at first glance. However, the Ukrainian government has not been informed of the details," Melnyk told Welt am Sonntag. He added that no consultations had been held with Ukraine on this issue: "We do not know the scale of further arms supplies, procedures or temporary horizons. All this remains in the dark."
President Zelensky in an interview with Ukrainian media said that it is extremely important for Ukraine to speed up the supply of weapons: "The rhetoric of some countries has changed, it has warmed in our direction. We have changed this rhetoric. We now get weapons. I think we get few. Russia thinks we get a lot. also a good result, I think. I think that the United States, Britain, Poland and several countries support us very well today, but can be stronger, much stronger.
In an interview with Ukrainian media, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the war crimes committed by Russian soldiers could put an end to the talks. "The more Beards there are, the less chances there will be that there will be no chances. The destruction of all our guys in Mariupol, what they are doing now, can finally put an end to any format of negotiations. I think this is their great "If they really want to end the war," Zelensky said. He noted that Ukraine does not trade territories: "We understand that negotiations are needed to defend the state and end the war. But the price of these talks ... That's all. We constantly offered a meeting of leaders at any time during the war. They They want to meet when all the points are final. With all due respect to all the negotiators, to all the negotiation processes, I can't decide everything for me. We need to prepare everything for us to meet. Yes, some things can be agreed. But finally - I do not understand how."
He added that the first step in establishing a dialogue with Russia could be a ceasefire in southern Ukraine, in Mariupol, in order to take humanitarian steps. "To be honest, there is no trust in the Russian negotiators. We agreed that we would have a humanitarian corridor and Turkey and President Erdogan would mediate. We agreed that he could pick up our wounded from Mariupol, the wounded and killed, and those civilians through Berdyansk. local - first of all women and children. We agreed that it will be these then at some point Russia refused. Therefore I tell that there is no big trust ", - the president told.
In Kharkiv, missiles “arrived” less often about the city itself, the main blows fall on the suburbs, but methodically and often “thunders” in the district, battles go on every day. There are large-scale clashes in Rogan , the Ukrainian side announced the occupation of the village, the Russian side is still silent - the fighting continues. In Izyum-Slavyansk, the border between Kharkiv region and the DPR was currently the hottest point of the common front. Serious and fierce battles are going on, artillery was working from both sides, tank, sabotage battles, aviation was working. Comrades on the ground shared their observations that the pressure and scale of fighting is growing in this direction. Russian troops manage to advance towards Slavyansk. A little to the east of this direction is the last front of the LPR, an agglomeration of many settlements that are very close to each other. The main cities of Severodonetsk, Lisichansk, Rubizhnoye, Kremennaya, and the key-city to them - Popasnaya . The Armed Forces of Ukraine here very thoroughly dug in and fortified for 8 years, organized excellent artillery positions on a hill. They talk about concrete shelters connected by kilometer-long tunnels. The Russian military has taken Rubizhne , but the "cleansing" is still going on there. In Severodonetsk on the outskirts of the fighting. At the Kremennaya battle. There are great successes in Popasna - yesterday the Russian flag was hoisted on the City Council. Moving on, Russian tanks entered the city, helping with firepower. From Gorlovka to Gulyai-Polye without changes, positional battles do not stop, there are active breakthroughs in several areas, in Marinka and in the Ugledar region. Mariupol is practically under the control of Russian troops. The remnants of the Azov Regiment (banned in Russia) and the Armed Forces of Ukraine settled in the industrial metropolis of Azovstal. In other parts of the city, mopping-up operations are underway from isolated attempts to break out of the encirclement. Captivity continues. On the southern front, no changes, periodic skirmishes on the border of the Nikolaev and Kherson regions . Yesterday it was reported that there was a small exchange of prisoners: five Ukrainians were exchanged for four Russians. "Arrivals" continue in Nikolaev and Odessa region . Both sides have increased their forces here, perhaps more serious battles will begin. The Russians did not take active action in the Volyn and Polissya areas. During the regrouping of troops, the movement of units of the 83rd separate assault brigade of the armed forces of the Russian Federation from the territory of the Republic of Belarus (Gomel-Novobilitskaya railway station) was recorded.
The threat of missile strikes on critical infrastructure from the territory of Belarus remains. In the northern direction, the Russians completed the regrouping of troops of the Central Military District. It is possible that the occupiers will continue rocket attacks and artillery shelling from the territory of Russia on military and civilian infrastructure of Ukraine. In the Slobozhansky direction, the main efforts of the Russians were focused on regrouping, strengthening the grouping of their troops and continuing to maintain positions near the city of Kharkiv.
Russia amassed 22 battalion-tactical groups (should be roughly 15,000 troops) near Izium in Kharkiv Oblast. An offensive towards Sloviansk from Izium is possible. In the Izyum direction, the main efforts of the occupiers were focused on maintaining the occupied borders and positions in the area of the settlements of Sukha Kamyanka, Sulyhivka, Brazhkivka, Mala Komyshuvakha and Andriyivka. The Russians were trying to improve the tactical situation, during the day made an attempt to conduct offensive and assault operations and tried to advance deep into the village Dovgenke. Unsuccessful, suffered significant losses. To strengthen the group in this direction from the territory of the Russian Federation moved units from the 106th Airborne Division.
Ukrainian counter-attacks threatened to cut-off the Russian salient at Izyum in southern Kharkiv region. To the east of Izyum, the invaders have been pushed back approximately 30 km. Ukrainian defenders advanced almost to the strategic town of Borova. Michael MacKay noted that all the major roads to Izyum are controlled by Ukraine except one: the crossing of the Oskil's'ke reservoir at Borova.
After the creation of the strike group and the formation of reserves, the Russians would try to resume the offensive in the direction of Barvinkove and Slavyansk. In the Donetsk and Tavriya directions, the occupiers are trying to fire and carry out assault operations in most areas. The Russians strengthened the grouping of troops by moving from the territory of the Belgorod region to the area of the settlement of Svatovo separate units of the Central Military District.
With weeks-long fighting in Mariupol seemingly drawing to a close, Russian officials said Ukrainian forces have been pushed out of the port city. "The entire urban area of Mariupol has been completely cleared ... remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blockaded on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant," the Russian defense ministry said. According to Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashev, some 2,500 fighters might still be barricaded in the steelworks plant. The last soldiers guarding the port city said this week they were running out of ammunition and expected to be captured or killed within days.
It is likely that the Russians will continue to storm along the entire line of contact in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It will focus its efforts on capturing the settlements of Popasna, Rubizhne, the city of Mariupol, as well as reaching the areas of Vugledar and Marinka. It will also prepare for the offensive in the Kurakhiv and Avdiivka directions.
At the same time, there is a decrease in the level of moral and psychological condition of units of the 1st Army Corps operating in the Donetsk direction. This is due to the significant losses of units, which were replenished at the expense of the mobilized. In the South Bug area, the main efforts of the Russians focused on trying to establish full control over the territory of the Kherson region and maintaining the occupied positions. In the city of Kherson, the Russian occupation administration distributed propaganda leaflets calling for peaceful coexistence with the occupiers. At the same time, intimidation and terror of the civilian population continues.
Russia formed its own "black list" in response to London's sanctions. Key members of the British government and politicians got there. This is stated in a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry. In particular, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Minister Elizabeth Trass, Justice Minister Dominique Raab, Defense Minister Ben Wallace, Transport Minister Grant Schapps, Interior Minister Priti Patel, Finance Minister Rishti Patel, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, former prime minister Theresa May were declared non grata.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the total combat losses of the Russians as of April 16 were approximately: personnel - about 20,100 people, tanks - 762 units, armored combat vehicles - 1982 units, artillery systems - 371 units, MLRS - 125 units, air defense means - 66 units, aircraft - 163 units, helicopters - 145 units, automotive equipment - 1458 units, ships / boats - 8 units, fuel tanks - 76, UAV operational and tactical level - 138. Special equipment - 26. OTRK / TRK launchers - 4.
Ukraine has suffered 23,367 "irretrievable" personnel losses since the fighting started, Russian officials said. This includes regular members of the Ukrainian army, its National Guard, and also "foreign mercenaries," according to Russia's Defense Ministry. The ministry did not specify if the toll includes only deaths, or if it also accounted for injured soldiers. Ukraine provided a much lower death toll for its troops. On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine had lost between 2,500 and 3,000 soldiers. The two warring sides have also provided conflicting tallies on Russian losses, with Kyiv saying around 20,000 Russian soldiers have been killed while Russia's most recent update, on March 25, put the death toll at 1,351.
Jerome at Military Land reported
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