UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Russo-Ukraine War - 21 April 2022 - Day 57

Su M Tu W Th F Sa
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
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.

"The Ukrainians have more tanks available to them right now in Ukraine than the Russians do," thanks to European deliveries of Soviet-era T-72 tanks, according to a "senior US Defense official". On 18 April 2022 Russia launched an offensive along an arc-shaped front line stretching for more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) from the northeast to the southeast. The Pentagon described the stepped-up campaign as “shaping operations” setting the stage for a broader offensive. Russia is expected to try to encircle Ukrainian forces into a "cauldron" by advancing from Izyum in the north and Mariupol in the south. Forces freed up from Mariupol would enable the offensive to gain its full tempo. Rain has made off-road movement difficult, though as the ground dries, armor will have more options to maneuver.

The Institute for the Study of War said that the eastern campaign is “unlikely to be dramatically more successful than previous major offensives around Kyiv.” It would be hampered by the same “poor coordination, the inability to conduct cross-country operations and low morale that impeded prior offensives,” it said.

The ability to deliver massive strikes with long-range weapons will play a huge role in the success of the battle for Donbass. Indiscriminate massive fire is a key element of the Soviet / Russian military doctrine. The purpose of such shelling is the destruction, disorientation and destabilization of the enemy before the offensive.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin about the "complete liberation" of Mariupol from the enemy. To save the lives of the Russian military, Vladimir Putin ordered to cancel the assault on Azovstal, the industrial zone in Mariupol, where the Ukrainian military, soldiers of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries who remained in the city settled. Instead of a frontal attack, there will be blocking of the territory. This decision may seem unexpected against the background of statements by our military that the enemy can be finished within 3-4 days, and even more so against the background of the statement of Ramzan Kadyrov, who promised that Azovstal would be taken on April 21.

Putin's body language normally presents non-verbal postures suggesting power bordering on omnipotence. The footage released by the Kremlin showed Putin hunched over during the briefing with his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, had Putin tightly gripping the table with his right hand as soon as he sat down and keeping it there throughout the 12-minute clip. Putin sat with hunched shoulders and regularly fidgeted and tapped his toes, as he just grabbed the table, his whole body tense. He sat like this for the entire meeting with Shoigu. His back didn’t move once and he held the desk all the time, grimacing, so it seemed that something is very painful for him. Anders Åslund wrote "Putin's meeting with Shoigu today shows both depressed & seemingly in bad health. Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin & slurs badly, suggesting that the rumors of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly." But of the two, it is Shoigu who leans forward [the active dominant position], and Putin who slouches back [the passive submissive posture].

The President, accepting the report of Sergei Shoigu, said that he considered the storming of the industrial zone "inappropriate." Since Mariupol had already been liberated, it made no sense from a military point of view to crush the last local center of resistance. As Putin noted: “This is the case when we must think - we must always do this - about preserving the life and health of our soldiers and officers. There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl there underground through industrial facilities.” Instead, there will be perimeter blocking. “Lock off this industrial area so that the fly doesn't come through. Once again, invite everyone who has not yet laid down their arms to do this,” the President ordered.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu “Completion of combat work to liberate Mariupol is a success. Congratulations. Send your thanks to the troops. Please submit proposals for awarding our distinguished soldiers for state awards. It is clear that in such cases it cannot be otherwise, these are different awards, but I want them all to know: in our understanding, they are all heroes, in the understanding of all of Russia. They are all heroes. In this regard, in addition to fulfilling all social obligations to our servicemen, especially to those who were injured, to the families of our dead comrades, it is necessary to ensure the unconditional fulfillment of all social guarantees.

"But it seems to me that this is not enough. We need to think about additional support measures, and in some cases think about perpetuating the memory of those of our comrades who really showed heroism and sacrificed their lives for the peaceful life of our people in the Donbass and to ensure the peaceful life and existence of Russia itself, the peaceful existence of our country. These people deserve it with their actions and their attitude to the oath. On the line of the Ministry of Defense, please work it out. I will give the corresponding instructions to the Presidential Administration, I will talk with colleagues in the regions, and they will carry out the corresponding work in the municipalities of Russia.”

"The decision to abandon the frontal assault is the right and expedient decision from all points of view," Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, believes. "Because we are minimizing losses among Russian servicemen and servicemen of the LPR and DPR. To conduct military operations in underground communications is to put them at risk. And also expose civilians, possibly held hostage by Ukrainian nationalist battalions, to the risk of accidental death. Therefore, perimeter blockade is an effective solution."

Kadyrov spoke about Putin's cancellation of the assault on Azovstal. According to him, "...even yesterday they planned to storm the Azovstal plant. But Thursday, Vladimir Putin canceled it, instructing them to focus on other tasks. At the same time, the main goal has already been achieved, as Kadyrov pointed out. According to him, "Bandera and nationalists are blocked in industrial zones and will not go anywhere." "Their only way out is to surrender. I hope they have enough prudence for this," Kadyrov emphasized.

The administrative building of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and the territory adjacent to it have been taken under the control of the Russian military, the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov said in his Telegram channel. "Mariupol is ours!.. The city has been taken completely and irrevocably... The administrative building of the Azovstal metallurgical plant, which is of particular strategic importance, has been taken under control, and the entire adjacent territory has been cleared," Kadyrov wrote, adding that the remnants of Ukrainian nationalists "are blocked under thickness of concrete and iron on the territory of the plant.

Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine can be finished with direct negotiations between the two heads of state, and the Ukrainian side's position in these negotiations must be strong, well-thought-out and legally sound. This was stated by Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak. "They have enough resources, enough missiles, they unfortunately continue to bomb our cities. They still have manpower and equipment that they do not mind destroying in our fields. Therefore, let's wait a while, and then we will be able to talk about the positions of the parties, first of all the President of Ukraine, at future bilateral meetings," Mykhailo Podolyak said. According to him, in the next week and a half it will be clear how things will develop. "The Armed Forces of Ukraine have no choice but to gain tactical victories in the east of the country today. It is fundamentally important for us to remain free, not live in the camp," said Mykhailo Podolyak.

The latest intelligence update from the UK defense ministry said that Russia likely wants "significant successes" ahead of its May Victory Day holiday. "This could affect how quickly and forcefully they attempt to conduct operations in the run-up to this date," the update says. The update goes on to say that Russian forces are advancing toward Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine and that Russia continues to attempt to destroy Ukraine's air defenses.

The RF Armed Forces launched a strike with precision-guided missiles at 14 facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, killing up to 120 nationalists, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces during the day hit 64 military facilities of Ukraine, including two depots of rocket and artillery weapons. Russian air defense systems destroyed 13 drones and shot down a Ukrainian tactical missile "Tochka-U" near Donetsk, the Russian Defense Ministry said. During the day, missile forces and artillery struck more than 1,000 military facilities in Ukraine, aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 20 areas of concentration of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment during the night, the ministry said.

Rocket troops and artillery hit 450 enemy targets during the day. Including: 14 control points, as well as 429 strongholds and places of accumulation of manpower and equipment in the settlements of Velyka Kamyshevakha, Chervonoe, Pashkovo, Novaya Dmitrovka, Kharkiv region. The operational-tactical aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 64 military facilities of Ukraine during the day. Among them: 17 areas of concentration of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment in the areas of Krasny Liman and Drobyshevo, as well as two depots of rocket and artillery weapons in the area of the city of Zaporozhye.

April 21 was a truly fruitful day for Ukrainian air defense, as 15 air targets were claimed to have been destroyed. Nine of them are Orlan-10 operational-tactical drones. The anti-aircraft missile units of the Land Forces destroyed six such aircraft, two more "Eagles" from MANPADS hit the Airborne Assault Forces and one UAV - at the expense of the Air Force. Almost simultaneously, anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force East Command destroyed two Russian planes in the Izyum direction. Previously - Su-34 and Su-35. Assault troops supplement the statistics of downed enemy aircraft with a Su-25 attack aircraft and a Mi-8 helicopter. Another Mi-8 was shot down by Marines.

The fact that soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine are joining the demilitarization of Russian aircraft and the destruction of killer pilots, who report the downing of a Ka-52 Alligator helicopter, was also gratifying. The Air Force aircraft continues to perform special tasks in the airspace of Ukraine, covers ground troops and inflicts fire damage on the positions of the Russian occupation forces. Thus, by the end of the day on April 21, 15 air targets were hit:

  • 3 aircraft (previously Su-34, Su-35, Su-25);
  • 3 helicopters (two Mi-8 and one Ka-52);
  • 9 UAV UAVs (Orlan-10).

In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, the following have been destroyed: 140 aircraft, 106 helicopters, 512 unmanned aerial vehicles, 254 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2422 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 266 multiple rocket launchers, 1051 field artillery guns and mortars, as well as 2274 units of special military vehicles.

Since February 24, the number of Ukrainian soldiers who have surrendered in Donbass has exceeded three thousand. Such data was provided by the first deputy head of the Ministry of Information of the DPR Daniil Bezsonov.

Several crews of the Bal coastal missile system carried out launches against ground targets in Ukraine the day before, the RF Ministry of Defense informed. The agency also clarified that the shooting was carried out from a site on the Black Sea coast. It follows from the published video that the “Ball”, so to speak, “took place” at night, and in total four rockets were fired in succession. This is the first case of using the named powerful coastal missile system as part of the special military operation.

The Russians continued offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone in order to establish full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. At the same time, missile and bomb strikes on military and civilian infrastructure throughout Ukraine continued. In the Volyn, Polissya and Siversky directions the Russians did not take active actions, no signs of formation of offensive groups were found.

There is a significant reduction in the intensity of the movement of columns of Russian military equipment on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. Some units of the Belarusian Armed Forces continue to carry out tasks to cover the Ukrainian-Belarusian border in Brest and Gomel regions. The situation in Slobozhanshchyna has not changed significantly. The partial blockade of Kharkiv and the destruction of the city's infrastructure by artillery continued. In the temporarily occupied territory of Kharkiv region, the occupying forces prohibit the movement of the local population towards the territory controlled by the Defense Forces of Ukraine, the delivery of humanitarian aid from the Ukrainian side is blocked.

In the Donetsk and Tavriya directions, the Russians tried to take full control of Mariupol. He continued to carry out air strikes and attempted assaults in the area of the seaport and the Azovstal plant.

In the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region, the self-proclaimed occupation authorities announced the mobilization of males. In addition, according to available information, a so-called "referendum" is planned for May 1 in the Russian-occupied part of the Kherson region. And in the period May 2-10 - "census". Locals are prohibited from moving between settlements.

The shelling of Mykolayiv continued in the South Bug direction, the Russians trying to improve its tactical position and get closer to the city, but had no success. The Russians continued to suffer significant losses in personnel and military equipment.

According to updated data, Lieutenant Colonel Denis Mezhuyev, commander of the First Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Second Motorized Rifle Division of the First Tank Army of the Western Military District, was eliminated. Two members of the leadership of the same unit, Colonel Kharitonov and Lieutenant Colonel Smirnov, were also seriously injured and are being treated in Moscow.

In addition, the mobilization of the occupying units is significantly demoralized by the forced mobilization in unrecognized territorial formations of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, poor nutrition, low financial and material support of the personnel who arrived to replenish regular units of the Russian Federation.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Danilov said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will hit the Crimean bridge at the first opportunity. According to him, the Russian Federation is transferring reinforcements to the peninsula for the forces participating in the special operation through this structure.

Russia considers shipments of foreign weapons on the territory of Ukraine as legitimate military targets, said Sergei Koshelev, deputy director of the North American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. "We tell US representatives directly that the US-NATO transports with weapons passing through Ukrainian territory, the Russian Armed Forces have the right to consider as legitimate military targets," he said at a round table organized by the Diplomatic Academy of the department on the topic "Crisis in Russian-American relations."

Germany wants to provide Slovenia with APCs in return for Slovenia providing Ukraine with T-72 tanks. Ljubljana will receive Marder infantry fighting vehicles and Fuchs wheeled armored vehicles from Germany. Slovenia is demanding not only Marder and Fuchs, but also modern Leopard 2 tanks, Boxer and Puma armored personnel carriers as compensation.

In Germany, the ruling party is very afraid of becoming a belligerent in Putin's eyes. The Scholz government proposed a “circular exchange” scheme: Eastern European countries would share Soviet-style heavy weapons, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, with Ukraine, while Germany would produce and supply modern analogues in return. However, judging by the growing attacks on the chancellor, the palliative option made no impression on his domestic political opponents.

The Government of the Netherlands intends to hand over the 155 mm PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. Militarnyi informs about it, citing a statement of an unnamed German official to Bloomberg. Germany will in turn provide Ukraine with 155-mm ammunition and will offer training for heavy artillery. The training could be provided in Poland or Germany. PzH-2000 is a 155-mm closed-type gun on a crawler chassis, built on the basis of components and units of the “Leopard-2” tank. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced that the German side would train Ukrainian soldiers in handling type 2000 tank howitzers. German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock said that Kiev needs heavy weapons and that now is not the time for excuses in this matter.

“We believe that the Bundeswehr [Germany army] would be capable of supplying us with the weapons we need right now,” Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, told broadcaster ZDF. “We do not know why this is not happening.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki criticized the ambivalent, in his opinion, position of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is reserved about the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine. As the head of the Polish government said at a briefing, "Poland supplies Ukraine with a lot of defensive weapons," and "Germany takes an ambivalent position here." "I will speak with Chancellor Scholz and convince him that this is a turning point in the history of Europe and the world. I will convince him that we must act together to preserve freedom, increase the chances of returning peace and security," Morawiecki said. "This return of security should mean a decisive rejection of Russian gas, oil and coal. Poland has the most radical plan compared to other countries that also buy Russian hydrocarbons," he said.

"You also need to emphasize the importance of arms supplies to Ukraine. To defend yourself, you need to have something. Therefore, it is important to transfer shells, heavy weapons. Germany's ambivalent position certainly does not help. This position is extremely difficult to understand. I will try to contact Chancellor Scholz as soon as possible to this approach change," he concluded.

Oslo, as part of the struggle for democracy, sent 100 Mistral portable air defense systems to Kiev. "Their transfer will not affect the operational capabilities of our army in any way," Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram reassures fellow citizens. Previously, anti-aircraft missile systems were used in the Norwegian fleet, and they were planned to be replaced anyway.

US President Joe Biden announced the adoption of a new $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, as well as providing direct support to the Ukrainian economy. "This package includes heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition," Biden said in a short White House speech. He said the new arms shipment was particularly aimed at helping Ukraine's forces fight in the Donbas region, which is flatter, more open terrain than where earlier fighting had occurred to the west. The weaponry in this package includes 72 155mm howitzers and 144,000 artillery shells, 72 155mm howitzer towing vehicles, more than 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial systems, field equipment, and spare parts. “Phoenix Ghost was developed in a short time by the Air Force specifically for the requirements of Ukraine.

At the same time, the US President announced a new measure of support for Ukrainian refugees - the Unite for Ukraine program. It implies that those Ukrainians in Europe who want to migrate to the United States will be able to do so legally if they have sponsors who can provide them with accommodation in the country, whether they be relatives or non-governmental organizations.

The mayor of the besieged port city of Mariupol said Russian troops are burying Ukrainian civilians killed in the conflict in order to cover up “military crimes,” The Associated Press reported. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that the Russians dug huge trenches near Manhush, 12 miles west of Mariupol. “They are taking the bodies of the dead residents of Mariupol in trucks and throw them into those trenches,” he said during an online briefing. Boychenko said that “the bodies started disappearing from the streets in the city,” charging that the Russians were “hiding the trace of their crimes and using mass graves as one of the instruments for that.”

Maxar imagery from April 3rd showed approximately 300 freshly dug graves in the Manhush village cemetery. This is considerably more than the (very approximate) ~170 graves visible in the March 29th Planet imagery. Satellite imagery from Planet from March 29th showed two bulldozers digging what appears to be long lines of graves near the Manhush village cemetery. More recent (lower resolution) imagery suggested this digging had continued.

The U.N. International Organization for Migration released a report saying the number of displaced persons inside Ukraine has swelled to 7.7 million, which represents 17 percent of the total population, or one in six Ukrainians. Women represent at least 60 percent of those displaced, and more than half of internally displaced persons – mainly in the east of Ukraine – reported a lack of some food products, it said. Most need financial support and medical supplies.

More than 5.08 million refugees from Ukraine have arrived in neighboring countries since the beginning of the special military operation of the Russian Federation. During the day, this number increased by more than 72 thousand, reported the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. According to information posted on its website, from February 24 to April 20, the number of people who left Ukraine reached 5,085,219. During the day, 72,511 people crossed the borders of neighboring states. According to the UNHCR, from February 24 to April 20, 563,266 refugees arrived in Russia, 2,847,540 arrived in Poland, 763,769 arrived in Romania, and 476,213 arrived in Hungary.

Jerome at Military Land reported

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:38 ZULU