Russo-Ukraine War - 29 April 2022 - Day 65
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 sixty-sixth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a Russian military invasion continued. The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russia hoped to rectify issues that have previously constrained its invasion by geographically concentrating combat power, shortening supply lines and simplifying command and control. Russia still faced considerable challenges. It had been forced to merge and redeploy depleted and disparate units from the failed advances in north-east Ukraine. Many of these units were likely suffering from weakened morale. Shortcomings in Russian tactical co-ordination remained. A lack of unit-level skills and inconsistent air support left Russia unable to fully leverage its combat mass, despite localised improvements.
The Ukraine Ministry of Defense does not rule out the possibility of full mobilization in Russia, said at a briefing spokesman Alexander Motuzyanyk: "Whether the Russian Federation will announce full mobilization will, of course, depend on the ongoing hostilities in the eastern operational zone. If the Russians fails to achieve his plans in the near future, such a scenario is quite possible, we do not rule it out."
It is also known that the "mobilization" continues in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Men are caught on the streets and sent to the front. According to Motuzyanyk, the occupiers are stepping up the offensive in the east: "Russian troops are gradually increasing the intensity of the offensive in eastern Ukraine simultaneously in all directions, and their greatest activity in Slobozhansky and Donetsk. Signs of the aggressor's preparation for even greater intensification of hostilities were noted."
The Russians really were trying to push south from Izyum in an attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces in the Kramatorsk region. Most analysts have said this is a terrible idea as it will leave a large flank, but sound military strategy hasn't been a Russisan strong point.
Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit five ammunition and fuel depots in a day, over 200 nationalists and 23 armored vehicles were destroyed. Russian air defense systems shot down a Su-25 of the Ukrainian Air Force in the air near the village of Chervony Yar, Kherson region, also destroyed two Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the village of Vladimirovka and intercepted 12 rockets of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system in the Kamenka area of the Donetsk People's Republic , reported the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
More than 140 planes, 110 helicopters, 650 UAVs of Ukraine have been destroyed since the start of the special military operation. Also destroyed were 279 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,656 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 307 multiple rocket launchers, 1,189 field artillery pieces and mortars, and 2,492 units of special military vehicles, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
Armed Forces of Ukraine killed another Russian General: In Izyum as a result of the attack by the Ukrainian forces on the command post of the Russian army, Major General Andrei Simonov was eliminated. This is at least the 9th general. In addition, Ukraine claimed to have killed two generals in Kherson oblast, but they were never named.
Spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Shtupun) reported that Russia continued to conduct full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine and offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone. In the Slobozhansky direction, a group of Russian troops continues to launch air strikes and artillery shelling on the city of Kharkiv.
In the Izium direction, Russian occupiers, with the help of independent units of the 1st Tank Army and the 20th Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District, the 35th Combined Arms Army and the 68th Army Corps of the Eastern Military District, and airborne troops were trying to advance in the direction Izium - Barvinkove and Izium - Slovyansk.
Russians continued to concentrate forces and resources both in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kharkiv oblast and in the Belgorod region, in the immediate vicinity of the state border of Ukraine. Thus, the occupiers moved units of the 55th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District to the Volokhiv Yar settlement, and units of the 5th Independent Tank Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District to Izyum.
Russia was increasing the air defense system, conducting air reconnaissance of the positions of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the use of UAVs in the settlements of Velyka Komyshuvakha, Ivanivka, Chervone, Kurulka, Dovhenke, Nova Dmytrivka and Barvinkove.
Russian forces continued to carry out illegal actions in the occupied territories of Kharkiv region. According to available information, Russia was forcibly deporting the population to the territory of the Russian Federation. Russians were spreading misinformation about the capture of Kharkiv, Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia.
In the Donetsk direction, Russia was conducting active hostilities along almost the entire line of contact. Air strikes and artillery shelling of Ukrainian defenders' positions continue. The main efforts of the Russians are focused on offensive operations in the Lyman, Severodonetsk, Popasna and Kurakhiv areas in order to take full control of the settlements of Rubizhne, Popasna and, probably, further attack on the Lyman, Slovyansk and Barvinkove.
In the Mariupol direction, Russians continued to launch air strikes on the city of Mariupol. The main efforts are focused on blocking units of the Defence Forces in the area of the Azovstal plant. In the Zaporizhzhia direction, Russian forces regrouped and increased artillery units in order to continue the offensive. In the Tavriya direction, Russians continued to demonstrative actions in order to prevent the transfer of units of Ukrainian troops to other areas, replenishes stocks of ammunition and fuel and lubricants.
In the South Buh direction, Russian forces of the 8th and 49th Combined Arms Armies, the 22nd Army Corps, the coastal units of the Black Sea Fleet of the Southern Military District and airborne troops are fighting to improve their tactical position. The Russians continued to regroup units, take measures to replenish supplies. Preparatory measures of the Russians to carry out the offensive and reach the administrative border of the Kherson region are underway.
In the Mykolayiv direction Russians continued attempts of fire destruction of positions of Ukrainian troops. In the Bessarabian direction, Russians were spreading misinformation about the threat to the population of the transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova from Ukraine.
In the Volyn and Polissya directions, units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus continue to perform tasks to strengthen the section of the Ukrainian-belarusian border in the Brest and Gomel regions. It is possible that Russians will provoke in the border areas. Russians remains in danger of launching missile and bomb strikes on military and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. According to the available information, the Russian mobile short range ballistic missile systems Iskander-M are still deployed in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, and some aviation units of the Russian Air Force continue to be based at certain airfields.
In the Siversky direction, Russians continued artillery shelling of units of Ukrainian troops and infrastructure in the border areas of Ukraine with the Russian Federation. Russians were launching missile and bomb attacks and carrying out artillery shelling of civilian infrastructure and residential areas in the settlements of Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts. Russians also continue to illegally detain Ukrainian citizens and torture and torment them. As a result of the offensive of the Ukrainian Defence Forces in the Kharkiv oblast, control over the settlements of Verkhnya Rohanka, Ruska Lozova, Slobidske and Prilesne was restored.
Scott Ritter argued that: 1) Most of Ukraine’s heavy artillery & rocket systems have been neutralized by the Russian military; 2) US weapons to Ukraine is too little too late; 3) Ukraine has effectively already lost. Scott Ritter expressed his opinion : “The Russians are advancing very slowly, deliberately slow and just grinding the Ukrainians. The game is over and the US goal now is to inflict maximum damage on Russia, to bleed Russia. Blinken can say anything, but Ukraine has already suffered a strategic defeat. If I could, I would say to Zelensky: “To continue this war is to guarantee defeat, the loss of territorial integrity and the lives of thousands of our inhabitants. Call Putin, get it over with right now. If you surrender, guarantee neutrality from NATO and denazification, then maybe Russia will stop, taking only Crimea, Donbass and Mariupol. But you will still get most of the country intact, save tens of thousands of lives of your soldiers and civilians.""
According to The Times of London, The Ukrainian pilot hailed as the “Ghost of Kyiv” was killed in battle on March 13. He was identified as Major Stepan Tarabalka, a 29 yr-old father of one. Tarabalka had been widely praised on social media for his actions, with some Ukrainians describing him as a “hero” and the nation’s “guardian angel”. He first came to international attention after a tweet from the Ukrainian government highlighted his skills in the sky: “People call him the Ghost of Kyiv. And rightly so — this UAF [Ukrainian Air Force] ace dominates the skies over our capital and country, and has already become a nightmare for invading Russian aircraft.” The inability to confirm his identity led to some accusations that his story was a myth, simply designed to boost the national mood in a country under invasion. For most internet sleuths, the story seemed too Hollywood to be true.
The Command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine urged citizens not to disseminate unverified information of a military nature and not to pretend to be real on the Internet. "We ask the Ukrainian community not to neglect the basic rules of information hygiene, not to pretend to be real, to check the sources of information before disseminating it. The hero of Ukraine Stepan Tarabalka is not a "ghost of Kyiv" and he did not shoot down 40 planes. On March 13, 2022, Major Stepan Tarabalka died heroically in an air battle with the overwhelming forces of the Russian occupiers ... The ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend, whose figure was created by Ukrainians. Rather, it is a collective image of the pilots of the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Air Force, which protects the sky of the capital. Which suddenly appear where they are not expected."
Nathan Ruser reported "This afternoon Ukraine announced that it had liberated four more villages (Ruska Lozova, Slobidske, Prelesne and Verkhnia Rohanka) from the outskirts of Kharkiv. This follows the recapture of Momotove yesterday. Ukrainian forces continue to push Russia back from Kharkiv city."
According to Andrey Safonov, deputy of the Supreme Council of Transnistria, the danger that the conflict in Ukraine will spread to the territory of the unrecognized republic has receded. He noted that "an important role here was played by the statement of the Russian authorities, who warned the provocateurs that their actions would not go unpunished."
As the conflict continues to escalate, invading forces of Russia have been alleged to have stolen "several hundred thousand tonnes" of grain from areas under their control. The allegations have been made by Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister. Around 1.5 million tonnes of grain, which was stored in occupied territory, may have been stolen by Russian forces, said Taras Vysotskiy, while speaking to Ukrainian national TV. In the last two weeks, grain theft has increased, said agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi. "I personally hear this from many silo owners in the occupied territory. This is outright robbery. And this is happening everywhere in occupied territory. There will soon be a wheat harvest in the south. But farmers in this situation may well say: 'Here are the keys to the tractor - go collect it yourself, if you want'," the ministry quoted Solskyi as saying.
Denmark sent Ukraine 25 Piranha III armored personnel carriers, 50 M113G3DK armored personnel carriers, 120-mm M / 10 mortars together with thousands of mines and anti-tank mines.
Poland has provided neighboring Ukraine with a whopping $7 billion worth of military aid since the outbreak of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, the local state broadcaster has reported. The weapon deliveries to Ukraine included 200 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks, dozens of Gvozdika howitzers, Grad multiple rocket launchers, missiles for MIG-29 and Su-27 warplanes, as well as other munitions and Polish-made reconnaissance drones, according to Polskie Radio.
Its journalists pointed out that the NATO country had around 400 tanks in its arsenal before the Ukrainian conflict, meaning that Warsaw has already parted with around half of its armor fleet in favor of Kiev. Some of the Polish tanks were upgraded in 2019, but Ukraine only got the vehicles that weren’t covered by the modernization program, the report outlined.
In a move that could presage the transfer of its MiG-29 warplanes to Ukraine, Slovakia has reached an agreement with neighboring Poland for Polish F-16 jets to patrol its skies so as to free up a Slovak fleet of Soviet-made fighters.
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