Russo-Ukraine War - 23 April 2022 - Day 59
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 war in Ukraine entered its third month on Sunday – the day that Orthodox Christians, the largest religious group in Russia and Ukraine, celebrate Easter. Easter cakes and eggs were made and consecrated for servicemen performing tasks during a special military operation. The Russian Defense Ministry reported a chemical attack on the position of Russian troops in Ukraine from a drone. Hopes for a weekend truce in Ukraine to celebrate the Orthodox Easter faded with talks between Moscow and Kyiv stalled and Russia intensifying attacks in the east of the country.
Zelenskyy used his nightly address to warn of Russian ambitions beyond Ukraine. Referring to comments made by a senior Russian general saying that Moscow wants to control southern Ukraine to give it access to the separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova, Zelenskyy said the statement showed Russia would invade other countries, too. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine was intended only as the beginning,” he said. “All nations that, like us, believe in the victory of life over death must fight with us. They have to help us, because we are the first on this path. Who is next?”
Ukraine will be victorious very soon, the country’s prime minister has said, after the United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson said it remained a realistic possibility that Russia could still win. “We are absolutely sure that Ukraine will win in this war and victory will be in [a] very short period,” Denys Shmyhal told CNN when asked about Johnson’s comment.
The Russian Ministry of Defense admitted that one crew member died and 27 were missing as a result of a fire on the Moskva missile cruiser 14 April 2022. The remaining 396 crew members were evacuated to other ships of the Black Sea Fleet, Interfax said, quoting a statement from the ministry. Since the ship sank there had been reports quoting relatives of sailors who served on the cruiser about the dead and missing. The ministry said that it has been providing assistance to the relatives of the deceased and the missing. The ministry initially claimed that the entire crew of 500 was evacuated from the ship. The new report accounts for 424 crew members, with some 75 out of 500 not accounted for.
The United States plans to use three scenarios to accuse the Russian Federation of using chemical, biological or tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, said Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, head of the Russian Defense Ministry's RKhBZ troops. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have information about the preparation by the United States of America of provocations with the aim of accusing the Russian Armed Forces of using chemical, biological or tactical nuclear weapons. This plan has already been developed and is a reaction to Russia's success in conducting a special military operation. So far, no one has been held accountable for these provocations.
Now it was claimed the USA planned to use three scenarios to accuse the Russian Federation. Of course, these are simply the scenarios in which Russia itself might use chemical weapons, and statements by the Russian MOD are laying the groundwork to claim that such attackes are simply false flag operations.
The first is a "staging incident under a false flag", which was claimed to be the most likely. This would entail the real use of chemical and biological weapons with casualties among the population, or the staging of "sabotage" by Russia at facilities belonging to Ukraine that were involved in the development of components of weapons of mass destruction. Such a scenario was claimed the USA planned to be implemented at chemical and biological facilities in Kharkov and Kyiv. A provocation was not ruled out at nuclear power facilities, primarily at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under the control of the Russian Federation. So, on April 21, at a checkpoint of the National Guard troops, a convoy of 10 vehicles with dangerous cargo was stopped and returned to the city of Zaporozhye, heading to the nuclear power plant.
In addition, it was claimed the leadership of Ukraine is seriously considering the issue of attacking the storage of radioactive waste at the former enterprise "Pridnestrovian Chemical Plant" in the village of Kamenskoye, Dnepropetrovsk region. The Ministry of Defense claimed to have a document confirming the critical state of storage facilities and misappropriation of funds allocated by the European Union for the maintenance of the facility.
The second one is "Maximum covert use of weapons of mass destruction in small volumes" to suppress the will and ability to resist in the framework of solving a specific operational task. Russia claimed such a scenario was considered at the Azovstal enterprise. But the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief canceled the assault on the enterprise and frustrated the Pentagon's plans for its implementation.
The third is the least likely scenario, "overt use of weapons of mass destruction on the battlefield" in the event that conventional weapons fail to succeed, most likely in a war zone. Such a scenario was claimed to be considered for Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, which have been turned into fortress cities.
With regard to chemical incidents, "the attributive mechanism of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be used, which allows fabricating the necessary evidence and appointing the perpetrators at one's discretion, which has already been repeatedly implemented during investigations of chemical incidents in Syria."
Three fires in 48 hours. All at strategic objectives linked to the environments of the Russian military defense. And now it is increasingly difficult to think of “mere coincidences”, even if the “attack hypothesis”, at the moment, is not confirmed. Yet more than a few analysts suspect that the two fires one day (the research institute in Tver and the solvent plant in Dmitrievsky) and then another at an aerospace plant in Korolyov. At this point, any fire near Moscow will be treated as suspicious.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that "Despite increased activity, Russian forces have made no major gains in the last 24 hours as Ukrainian counter-attacks continue to hinder their efforts. Russian air and maritime forces have not established control in either domain owing to the effectiveness of Ukraine’s air and sea defence reducing their ability to make notable progress. Despite their stated conquest of Mariupol, heavy fighting continues to take place frustrating Russian attempts to capture the city thus further slowing their desired progress in the Donbas."
Jerome at Military Land reported "Russian forces have captured a dozen of settlements in the direction of Slovyansk. Ukrainian reinforcements and guns supplied by the west are being moved to eastern Ukraine in mass. Most noticeable are manpads, Ukrainian soldiers downed at least five air targets during the last two days, including Ka-52 attack helicopter. Russian army shelled Udy (north of Zolochiv), which indicates the town is under Ukrainian control. It seems that Ukrainian troops are slowly and quietly advancing alongside the Russian border in the north. Russian elements assaulted Ukrainian positions near Zavody and Diborvne. The defenders repulsed both attacks. The enemy have advanced south of Borova and captured Lozove and Zelena Dolyna, securing the northern gap. Heavy fighting was reported from Zarichne, where Russian army is attacking from two sides – Terny and Kreminna. Ukrainian command is aware of the worsening situation in the area and prepares to withdraw its forces behind Siverskyi Donets river if needed."
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych says Russian forces have resumed air strikes on and are trying to storm the Azovstal steel works where Ukraine’s remaining forces in Mariupol are holding out. “The enemy is trying to strangle the final resistance of the defenders of Mariupol in the Azovstal area,” Arestovych said on national television.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation held an evening briefing on the situation in Donbas. During the day, high-precision airborne missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 22 military facilities in Ukraine. In the districts of Ilyichevka and Kramatorsk, 3 warehouses of weapons, military equipment and ammunition were destroyed. Near the settlement of Novaya Dmitrovka, a Buk M1 anti-aircraft missile system and three radar stations were destroyed as a result of the strike. The losses of the nationalists amounted to 200 personnel. High-precision missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces this afternoon disabled a logistics terminal at a military airfield near Odessa, where a large batch of foreign weapons received from the United States and European countries was stored.
Russian air defense systems in the areas of the settlements of Izyum and Kherson destroyed 3 Ukrainian UAVs, including one "Bayraktar TB-2" over the settlement of Lozovaya in the Kharkiv region; 4 anti-aircraft missile systems were destroyed: three Buk-M1 in the area of the settlements of Kurakhovka and Romanovka, as well as one Tor air defense system in the Sergeevka area. During the day, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 79 military facilities of Ukraine: 6 command posts, 52 areas of concentration of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment, as well as 16 warehouses of rocket and artillery weapons, ammunition and fuel; Rocket troops and artillery completed 102 fire missions during the day. Destroyed: 6 command posts, 84 strongholds and areas of accumulation of manpower and military equipment, as well as 10 artillery batteries.
During the night, high-precision airborne missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 11 military facilities in Ukraine. Among them: 7 strongholds and places of concentration of manpower and military equipment. As a result of the strikes, the enemy lost up to two companies of personnel, 25 armored vehicles and vehicles. Also, in the area of the village of Chervonnoye, three depots of rocket and artillery weapons were destroyed.
The operational-tactical and army aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 66 military facilities of Ukraine during the night. Among them: three command posts, 58 areas of concentration of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment, as well as three warehouses of missile and artillery weapons in the areas of the settlements of Aleksandrovka, Komar and Bogatyr.
Rocket troops and artillery carried out 1098 fire missions during the day. As a result of the strikes , the following were destroyed: three Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters at a site near the settlement of Chuguev, three installations of the Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system on the outskirts of the settlement of Barvenkovo, 16 warehouses of weapons and military equipment, as well as 33 command posts of Ukrainian units. Affected: 919 strongholds and areas of accumulation of manpower and military equipment, as well as 124 firing positions of Ukrainian artillery.
Russian air defense systems in the Novaya Dmitrovka area of the Kharkiv region claimed to have shot down a Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force in the air . Also during the night, fifteen Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed, including one Bayraktar TB-2 over the settlement of Novaya Zarya, Mykolaiv region. In the Chernobaevka area, crews of Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile and cannon systems claimed to have shot down two Tochka-U tactical missiles and three shells of a multiple launch rocket system in the air.
In total , since the beginning of the special military operation, it was claimed the following have been destroyed: 141 aircraft, 110 helicopters, 538 unmanned aerial vehicles, 261 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2471 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 274 multiple rocket launchers, 1075 field artillery guns and mortars, as well as 2311 units of special military vehicles.
After the defeats of the russian occupation forces on the land and destruction of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the russian federation ‘Moscow’, another phase of repression against the command of the army and fleet began. This was stated by Vadym Skibitskyi, the representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, on the air of the national telethon. According to Ukraine’s military intelligence, Admiral I.Osipov, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet has been removed from the position and arrested. Investigative actions are being carried out regarding the Chief of Staff - First Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Vice Admiral S. Pinchuk.
In view of unsatisfactory preparation for hostilities and heavy losses of personnel, weapons and military equipment, Lieutenant General V. Yershov, the commander of the 6th Army, Lieutenat General S. Kysel, the commander of the 1st Tank Army of the Western Military District, and one his deputies commanders were removed from the positions. Also, due to unsatisfactory fulfillment of the assigned tasks, Major General A. Marzoiev was removed from the post of commander of the 22nd Army Corps of the Southern Military District.
The Kremlin's repression has also affected the logistics units. In view of the unsatisfactory organization of material and technical support of the grouping of forces of Eastern Military District, Colonel M. Ponomariov was removed from the position of commander of 103rd separate material and technical maintenance brigade.
The Polish authorities have supplied Ukraine with weapons worth more than $1.6 billion, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said. "Poland transferred to Ukraine military equipment worth about 7 billion zlotys," he wrote. "That's more than $1.6 billion," he informed.
Slovakia is reportedly considering donating its entire fleet of MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine. Stijn Mitzer and Joost Olieman reported "The Slovak Air Force officially operates nine single-seat MiG-29AS fighters and two MiG-29UBS trainers out of Sliac air base in Central Slovakia. Only five MiG-29AS' and one MiG-29UBS are currently believed to be operational... "
The Ministry of Defense of Russia claimed that as of March 29, 2022 alone, more than 860 servicemen of the National Guard of Ukraine refused to follow the criminal orders of their command and left their military units without permission. Most desertions were confirmed in military unit 3056 (16th separate battalion, Kherson) - 152 people . Also, a large number of deserters were noted in military unit 3014 ( 84 people ), military unit 3033 ( 82 people ) and military unit 3030 ( 79 people ). Another 37 servicemen refused to follow orders and left military unit 3057, which includes the Azov punitive detachment.
In a now deleted VK post, the pro-Kremlin media outlet reportedy Readovka claimed that Russia’s Defense Ministry stated at a “closed briefing” that it’s lost 13,414 soldiers in Ukraine *plus* another 7,000 who are missing. There were said to be 116 sailors killed aboard the Moskva, with 100+ still missing. This report about a closed briefing never appeared on Readovka’s Telegram channel (which has more than twice as many subscribers), suggesting some funny business of some kind.
The publication reported that his VKontakte account had been hacked. "Yesterday late in the evening, our community in VK was hacked, a record was published from the territory of a neighboring state about a certain “closed” briefing of the Ministry of Defense. The post was promptly deleted, the source of the hack was identified. The authors were not interested in the fact that closed briefings of the Defense Ministry do not exist in principle, the main thing was to report on the 3 million losses of our army - in general, the usual routine episode of that very information war, to which we did not even attach importance."
A total of 5,186,744 refugees have left Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided such data on April 23. Over 1,151,000 Ukrainians left in April and 3.4 million in March. Most Ukrainians - 2.9 million people - went to Poland. Romania has 774,094 Ukrainians now, Hungary - 489,754, Moldova - 433,214, and Slovakia - 354,329 Ukrainians.
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