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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 2

By Jonathan Landay

KYIV, Ukraine, May 6 (Reuters) - Amnesty International said on Friday there was compelling evidence that Russian troops had committed war crimes, including extrajudicial executions of civilians, when they occupied an area outside Ukraine's capital in February and March. Civilians also suffered abuses such as "reckless shootings and torture" at the hands of Russian forces during their failed onslaught on Kyiv in the early stages of the invasion launched by the Kremlin on Feb. 24, the rights group said in a report. "These are not isolated incidents. These are very much part of a pattern wherever Russian forces were in control of a town or a village," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser, told a news conference in Kyiv. Information collected by the group "can be used, hopefully, for holding the perpetrators to account, if not today, one day in the future", she said. Russia, which calls its invasion a "special operation" to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists, denies its forces committed abuses. Kyiv and its Western backers say the fascism claim is a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression.

Reuters

SLIAC, Slovakia, May 6 (Reuters) - Germany will deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Friday, in a further reversal of a longtime policy not to send heavy weapons to war zones due to the country's Nazi past. The howitzer delivery, on top of five such artillery systems the Netherlands had already pledged, was another sign of Berlin heeding pressure at home and abroad for it to help Ukraine fend off a Russian invasion. The heavy weapons will come out of Bundeswehr inventories and be delivered as soon as they emerge from maintenance over the next weeks, Lambrecht and her chief of defence, general Eberhard Zorn, told reporters in the Slovak town of Sliac.

Isabel van Brugen

Another mysterious large-scale fire has broken out in Russia, this time in the city of Kursk, bordering Ukraine. Videos circulating on social media on Thursday show a huge blaze and black plumes of smoke engulfing a building, in what appears to be the latest major unexplained fire in Russia in recent weeks. The fire was confirmed by Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ukrainian news outlet TSN reported. Local news outlets first reported that a residential building was on fire, but the ministry said the reports were false, and that non-residential premises were on fire.

By ELENA BECATOROS and JON GAMBRELL

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — A new international effort raced Friday to rescue more civilians from the tunnels under a besieged steel plant in Mariupol and the city at large, even as fighters holed up at the sprawling complex made their last stand to prevent Moscow’s complete takeover of the strategic port. The fight in the last Ukrainian stronghold of a city reduced to ruins by the Russian onslaught appeared increasingly desperate amid growing speculation that President Vladimir Putin wants to finish the battle for Mariupol so he can present a triumph to the Russian people in time for Monday’s Victory Day, the biggest patriotic holiday on the Russian calendar. Some 2,000 Ukrainian fighters, by Russia’s most recent estimate, are holed up in a vast maze of tunnels and bunkers beneath Azovstal steelworks — and they have repeatedly refused to surrender. Ukraine has said a few hundred civilians were also trapped there — and as the battle has ramped up in recent days, fears for their safety have only grown.

Sources tell IStories that Ramzan Kadyrov’s carefully cultivated image on social media masks dysfunction behind the scenes.
Allison Quinn News Editor

Chechen troops in Ukraine loyal to Ramzan Kadyrov have claimed a reputation for being the most brutal in Putin’s war, but a new report says they’re actually suffering major losses and going to great lengths to cover them up. According to an investigation by Russia’s independent news outlet IStories, the official figure of 13 Chechen soldiers killed in Ukraine is a major undercount; a source in the Chechen Health Ministry tells the outlet the true death toll of the so-called Kadyrovtsy at least matches that of the Dagestani troops killed in Ukraine, which totals 123. A source involved in sending the bodies of Chechen fighters back home told IStories the Chechen battalions are incurring injuries and deaths every single day. One would never know that from looking at the social media chronicles of Kadyrov, who has sought to cultivate an image of Chechen troops as both fearsome fighters and compassionate rescuers, with images and videos shared to Telegram and the social networking site VK that often seem blatantly staged, showing troops being greeted with open arms by elderly villagers and firing weapons at invisible targets. Kadyrov’s troops have also been accused of some of the most heinous war crimes in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with many survivors of the Bucha massacre identifying the soldiers who indiscriminately murdered and tortured civilians as members of Chechen battalions.

By Tim Lister and Paul P. Murphy, CNN

(CNN) A 22-minute video shot by a surveillance drone over the Ukrainian town of Popasna has illustrated the stunning destruction being inflicted on settlements across the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. It's also another insight into the importance of drones in modern warfare, as well as the Russian approach to combat and the last-ditch resistance of Ukrainian units. The drone video shows that every property in the middle of the town is destroyed or damaged. Most appear to have been hit by Russian artillery or rocket fire.

Erin Snodgrass

Ukrainian witnesses to the deadly Mariupol theater strike earlier this year believe the ongoing demolition of the building, which was serving as a bomb shelter for hundreds of people, including many children, may be evidence of Russia's attempts to "hide" the extent of their war crimes in the embattled city. An Associated Press investigation found that roughly 600 people were killed in the March airstrike — nearly double the previous death toll cited — making it the single deadliest attack on civilians in the war thus far. The outlet used witness accounts from 23 survivors, rescuers, and people familiar with the building as a shelter to recreate what happened inside the theater that day. On March 16, Russian forces bombed the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol in a shocking attack that quickly garnered international condemnation. Ukraine's government has opened a war crimes investigation in the aftermath of the strike, according to the AP.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s progress in eastern and southern Ukraine is being closely monitored as its forces appear to have escalated assaults on those regions. Having re-focused its attacks away from northern Ukraine and the capital Kyiv, Russian forces are now looking to take full control of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine in order to create a land bridge from Russia to Crimea, territory it annexed in 2014. In the latest update from the Ukrainian military, its spokesman said Russian forces “are focusing their efforts on blocking and trying to destroy Ukrainians units in the Azovstal” steelworks where soldiers and civilians have been holed up for up to two months. “With the support of aircraft, the enemy resumed the offensive in order to take control of the plant,” Ukraine said in its update Thursday morning.

An extensive AP investigation puts the real death toll at 600—and debunks Russian claims the theater was being used as a Ukrainian military base.
Allison Quinn

Russian forces killed twice as many people as originally thought in its March 16 bombing of a theater that served as a shelter in Ukraine’s besieged port city of Mariupol. That’s according to an extensive investigation by the Associated Press out Wednesday, which puts the real death toll of the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater bombing at about 600. Ukrainian authorities had initially said an estimated 300 people were killed. The investigation also debunks Moscow’s earlier claims that the theater had been serving as a Ukrainian military base at the time of the airstrike, with survivors confirming they never saw any Ukrainian soldiers on the premises. Russian forces lobbed bombs on the building despite the word “children” being painted in huge, white letters on the pavement outside, large enough to be visible even by satellite.

South Ossetian troops sent into Ukraine to “defend Russia” say it’s a lost cause.
Allison Quinn

Troops sent into Ukraine to back up Russian forces say they had no choice but to leave because Russian military was in shambles and “they deceived us at every step.” Soldiers from the breakaway state of South Ossetia—speaking to South Ossetian leader Anatoly Bibilov at a meeting publicized by the independent news outlet MediaZona—rattled off a list of complaints about faulty equipment, lack of leadership and intel, and brainless tactics. South Ossetia, which relies heavily on military and financial aid from Russia, sent troops to Ukraine in late March to “defend Russia.” Ukrainian military officials said at the time that some 150 South Ossetian troops were joining forces with Russia, but Tskhinvali never gave any official figures. Many of the soldiers are said to be part of Russian military units based in South Ossetia; Moscow and Tskhinvali struck a deal in 2017 to partially incorporate their armed forces.

By Mick Krever and Olha Konovalova, CNN

Bakhmut, Ukraine (CNN) The warm spring air is coming to eastern Ukraine. The roads are lined with red tulips, and people are reopening their summer kitchens, small buildings outside traditional homes used to isolate the heat and smells of cooking in the hotter months. It was in her elderly mother's wood-frame summer kitchen that Ludmilla, 69, was chatting to her brother Victor, 72, who went by Vitya, in the eastern city of Lysychansk last week. Despite near-constant bombardment from Russian troops just a few kilometers away, they had stayed in their family home since the invasion of Ukraine in late February. "My brother and I were talking," said Ludmilla, who asked CNN to use only her first name out of privacy concerns. "All at once, Grads started falling down one by one." The windows were blown from their frames. "Everything was cracking."

Yahoo News

The figures were given by the head of the National Defense Management Center of Russia, Mikhail Mizintsev, Russian news agency Interfax Russia reports. “11,550 people, including 1,847 children, have been evacuated from the dangerous areas of the ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics’ and Ukraine to the territory of the Russian Federation, without the involvement of the Ukrainian authorities over the past 24 hours,” Mizintsev said. “A total of 1,092,137 people have been evacuated since the beginning of the special military operation (Russia’s term for the most recent stage of its war on Ukraine), including 196,356 children,” he said.

UN chief on sexual violence warns dozens of cases under investigation are ‘tip of the iceberg’
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kyiv

Men and boys are among the alleged victims of rape by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, where dozens of cases of sexual violence by the invading forces are already under investigation, UN and Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday. “I have received reports, not yet verified … about sexual violence cases against men and boys in Ukraine,” said Pramila Patten, UN special representative on sexual violence in war, at a press conference in Kyiv. Patten added that it can be particularly challenging for male rape survivors to report the crime. “It’s hard for women and girls to report [rape] because of stigma amongst other reasons, but it’s often even harder for men and boys to report … we have to create that safe space for all victims to report cases of sexual violence.”

Lawrence Richard

The civilians who arrived in Zaporizhzhia Tuesday were not the ones who were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol days earlier, according to its mayor. The buses allegedly carrying Ukrainian civilians from the Azovstal steel plant were not actually from Mariupol but from "other cities," Mayor Vadym Boichenko said during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine. "The previous evacuation, which took place yesterday, which was presented by a number of media outlets as information that those were the residents of Mariupol who left, is not true. These people who were evacuated had nothing to do with the residents of Mariupol, they are from other cities," Boichenko said.

Rebecca Falconer

United Nations officials have been "blocked" from accessing "besieged cities like Mariupol, Mykolaiv and Kherson" — raising concerns of mass starvation in the Ukrainian cities that have been devastated by Russia's military invasion. Driving the news: That's according to UN World Food Program chief David Beasley, who told CBS' "60 Minutes" journalist Scott Pelley in an interview broadcast Sunday that denying civilians in the eastern Ukrainian cities access to food was "just wrong, evil."

Claiming Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson would be an attempt to control of much of the country’s east despite setbacks on battlefield
By Missy Ryan, John Hudson, Louisa Loveluck and David Stern

Moscow is preparing to annex vast new swaths of Ukrainian territory in coming days, the United States said on Monday, potentially moving to cement control of much of the country’s east even as Russian forces struggle to capture key areas on the battlefield. A move by the Kremlin to formally claim as part of Russia the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, along with the southern city of Kherson, amid an intense ongoing military battle could thrust the conflict into an unpredictable, even more explosive phase. It is not clear how Ukrainian forces and their allies would respond to such an attempt, which would echo the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 but, in a crucial difference, occur as forces loyal to Ukraine fight to retain control of their territory.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

Ukraine’s navy, which after scuttling its flagship no longer has a single large vessel, continues to chip away at Russia’s own naval power in the Black Sea. With a big assist from Ukraine’s army, of course. On Monday, a TB-2 armed drone apparently belonging to the Ukrainian sea service struck two Russian patrol boats with laser-guided missiles, heavily damaging if not destroying both boats. Add the two 55-foot, gun-armed Raptor-class vessels to the growing list of Russian boats and ships the Ukrainians have sunk or so heavily damaged that they’re no longer relevant to the current conflict. Moscow’s naval losses of course include the 612-foot missile cruiser Moskva, holed by two Ukrainian navy Neptune coastal anti-ship missiles on April 13. Moskva was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet with its, at the time, two dozen or so major warships. Three weeks earlier on March 24, an Alligator-class landing ship belonging to the Black Sea Fleet’s reinforced amphibious flotilla burst into flames while pier-side in Russian-occupied Berdyansk in southern Ukraine. It seems an accurate hit by a Ukrainian army Tochka ballistic missile started the chain reaction.

Brendan Cole

Explosions have been heard in the sky over Belgorod, the Russian city near the Ukrainian border where Kyiv's forces have previously been accused of hitting military targets. Night footage in which the sound of explosions and car alarms are prominent was posted on social media. Users reported that air defense systems had been deployed during the blasts on Tuesday, although this has not been confirmed. "A loud bang, similar to the sound of an explosion of medium strength, was heard in the center of Belgorod," state news agency RIA Novosti reported. On Monday, one person was injured in a fire at a Russian defense ministry facility in the city that lies around 20 miles from the Ukrainian border and a series of explosions were also reported. However, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov rejected speculation that Monday's blasts were due to Ukrainian forces, saying on his Telegram channel that Russia's "military aviation carried out combat missions as part of a special military operation," referring to the official Russian description of the Ukraine war.

ukrpravda@gmail.com (Ukrayinska Pravda)
VALENTYNA ROMANENKO —  MONDAY, 2 MAY 2022

The Security Service of Ukraine has evidence that the Russian occupiers are breaking their own equipment in order not to fight with Ukrainian defenders. Source: Security Service of Ukraine press centre Details: This is evidenced by new telephone conversations between the invaders which were intercepted by the special services. On the released recording, the occupier says that his regiment has suffered many losses and that the soldiers had broken the only tank which remained intact to avoid going to the front.

By FELIPE DANA, Associated Press

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — The outskirts of Kharkiv have the feel of an open-air morgue, where the dead lie unclaimed and unexplained, sometimes for weeks on end, as Ukrainian and Russian forces fight for control of slivers of land. There is the charred body of a man, unidentifiable, propped on an anti-tank barrier made of crossed I-beams outside a town that has been under the control of both sides in recent days. There are the dead soldiers, apparently Russian, four of them arranged in a Z like the military symbol found on Russian armored vehicles, visible to the Russian drones that continuously buzz overhead. The door to an apartment opens to three bodies inside. Precisely how any of this happened will likely never be known. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has been under sustained Russian attack since the beginning of the war in late February. With the Russian offensive intensifying in the east, the Russian onslaught has grown fiercer.

Two Russian Raptor patrol boats were destroyed near Snake Island by a Ukrainian Bayraktar drone, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense reported, citing the head of the Armed Forces General. Video of the drone targeting one of the Raptor patrol boats near the island in the Black Sea was included in the MOD post. Moscow is yet to confirm or react to the claim.

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, May 1 (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Sunday described the war in Ukraine as a "macabre regression of humanity" that makes him "suffer and cry", calling for humanitarian corridors to evacuate people trapped in the Mariupol steelworks.

Peter Weber

Ukrainian officials said an attack on a key Russian command center in the eastern city of Izyum on Saturday evening killed about 200 Russian troops, including Maj. Gen. Andrei Simonov, but just missed hitting the chief of the general staff of the Russian military, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, who had just concluded a secret visit to the army and airborne command center. Earlier, unconfirmed reports suggested Gerasimov was wounded in the strike. Two U.S. officials tell The New York Times that Gerasimov had been in eastern Ukraine for the past couple of days, a rare step for Russia's top uniformed officer, but could not provide any information on the attack on School No. 12, Russia's Izyum command center. A senior Ukrainian official told the Times his country had learned of Gerasimov's visit to the front lines, but that the general was already returning to Russia when the rockets struck School No. 12.

Charles Ventura and John Bacon, USA TODAY

The mass evacuation of Mariupol began Monday with Ukrainian authorities hoping thousands more residents would escape the devastated city that once was home to almost 500,000 people. Mayoral adviser Petro Andryushchenko told Radio Svoboda that buses were rolling toward Zaporizhia, about 140 miles west of Mariupol. People were also encouraged to join the exodus in their own cars. "We hope that thousands of our Mariupol residents ... will get to Zaporizhia tonight or tomorrow morning," Andryushchenko said Monday.

By Associated Press

An explosive device damaged a railway bridge Sunday in the Kursk region of Russia, which borders Ukraine, and a criminal investigation has been started. The region’s government reported the blast in a post on Telegram. Recent weeks have seen a number of fires and explosions in Russian regions near the border, including Kursk. An ammunition depot in the Belgorod region burned after explosions were heard, and authorities in the Voronezh region said an air defense system shot down a drone. An oil storage facility in Bryansk was engulfed by fire a week ago.

By Lateshia Beachum

The “Ghost of Kyiv.” That’s what admirers called a Ukrainian fighter pilot who was said to have shot down 40 enemy planes. Over the weekend, Ukrainian officials admitted that the ghost, in fact, never existed. “Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend whose character was created by Ukrainians,” Ukraine’s air force said Saturday, confirming that it was all a bit of mythmaking. The news came two days after the Times of London identified the ghost as Maj. Stepan Tarabalka, a pilot who died March 13 in an air battle with Russian forces. The Ghost of Kyiv is one of the most successful pieces of propaganda promoting the prowess of the nation’s fighting forces and lifting morale. Although Ukrainian officials and former president Petro Poroshenko promoted the myth, the air force warned people to not “neglect the basic rules of information hygiene” and to “check the sources of information, before spreading it.”

ukrpravda@gmail.com (Ukrayinska Pravda)

Svitlana Kizilova - Monday, 2 May 2022, 00:22 Ukrainian Air Defences eliminated ten Russian "Orlan" UAVs on 1 May. Source: Air Force Command of Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook Details: The cost of one "Orlan-10" is about $80,000-120,000, depending on the configuration. On Sunday, Ukrainian Armed Forces eliminated 10 such "Orlan" drones, which the aggressors were deploying for intelligence gathering and fire correction. Russian UAVs "Orlan-10" are currently the most common targets for Ukrainian Armed Forces Air Defence units. After all, helicopters are rare, and the aggressors' aircraft avoid close combat with Ukrainian fighters and stay away from the strike zone of the Ukrainian Air Force's anti-aircraft missile systems.

Reuters

April 30 (Reuters) - Russia's armed forces said they had hit 17 Ukrainian military facilities with high-precision missiles on Saturday and also destroyed a command post and a warehouse used to store rockets and artillery.

By Olexsandr Fylyppov and Tim Lister, CNN

(CNN) Russian troops in the occupied city of Melitopol have stolen all the equipment from a farm equipment dealership -- and shipped it to Chechnya, according to a Ukrainian businessman in the area. But after a journey of more than 700 miles, the thieves were unable to use any of the equipment -- because it had been locked remotely. Over the past few weeks there's been a growing number of reports of Russian troops stealing farm equipment, grain and even building materials - beyond widespread looting of residences. But the removal of valuable agricultural equipment from a John Deere dealership in Melitopol speaks to an increasingly organized operation, one that even uses Russian military transport as part of the heist. CNN has learned that the equipment was removed from an Agrotek dealership in Melitopol, which has been occupied by Russian forces since early March. Altogether it's valued at nearly $5 million. The combine harvesters alone are worth $300,000 each.

Caroline Vakil

Mariupol’s city council alleged on Thursday that Russian forces had seized thousands of artifacts and works of art from the besieged port city and said it was preparing to initiate criminal proceedings. “The occupiers ‘liberated’ Mariupol from historical and cultural heritage. The racists confirmed the theft and removal to Donetsk of more than 2,000 unique exhibits from the museums of Mariupol,” the city council said in a statement over Telegram. “These are original works by Arkhip Kuindzhi and Ivan Aivazovsky. Ancient icons and unique handwritten Tory scroll,” it added. “Made by the Venetian printing house for the Greeks of Mariupol Gospel of 1811 and more than 200 medals from the Museum of Medallion Art Harabet.”

Alia Shoaib

Russia has lost another general in Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, according to top Ukrainian officials, The Kyiv Post has reported. Maj. Gen. Andrei Simonov was killed near the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region, which is currently occupied by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities said. The Ukrainian military attacked a field command post of the Russian 2nd Army on Saturday, striking more than 30 Russian armored vehicles, including tanks, according to the paper. Footage posted on social media appears to show the command post being bombarded by rockets, said the Kyiv Post.

Reuters

BEZIMENNE, Ukraine, May 1 (Reuters) - Civilians were evacuated on Sunday from the bunkers of Mariupol's Azovstal steel works after the United Nations and the International Red Cross led a deal to ease the ordeal of the most destructive siege of the Russia-Ukraine war. The siege of Mariupol, in which Russian forces have pummelled the port city for nearly two months, has turned into a wasteland with an unknown death toll and thousands trying to survive without water, sanitation or food. The city is under Russian control but some fighters and civilians sheltered underground in the Azovstal works - a vast Soviet-era plant founded under Josef Stalin and designed with a labyrinth of bunkers and tunnels to withstand attack. After a Reuters photographer on Sunday saw dozens of civilians arriving at a temporary accommodation centre, the United Nations confirmed what it called a safe passage operation to evacuate people from the steel works had been underway from Saturday.

Reuters

May 1 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry said on Sunday it had struck at weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries and destroyed a runway at a military airfield near the Ukrainian city of Odesa. The ministry said it used high-precision Onyx missiles to strike the airfield, after Ukraine accused Russia of knocking out a newly-constructed runway at the main airport of Odesa.

ukrpravda@gmail.com (Ukrayinska Pravda)

Olha Hluschenko - Sunday, 1 May 2022, 01:50 The Ukrainian Armed Forces have destroyed a Russian Repellent-1 radio-electronic combat station, 3 anti-aircraft installations, a Strela-10 rocket launcher, a communications system, and have killed 42 personnel in the southern operational area. Source: Southern Operational Command Quote: "In the Mykolayiv-Kherson area, active fighting continues. The enemy, having failed to any progress, has dug in in its positions and is continuing to employ artillery and mortar fire. "Its renewed attempts at reconnaissance with the use of drones has resulted in the loss of two more Orlan-10s in the Mykolayiv region. Our units' aimed strikes were destructive. "In the Kherson region, our defenders destroyed a 'Repellent-1' enemy radioelectronic combat station with artillery fire '. "Another attack on enemy installations on Zmiyinyy Island destroyed three anti-aircraft installations, a Strela-10 rocket launcher, and a communications system - a server room containing telecommunications equipment."

About 20 women and children manage to leave besieged Azovstal plant, says senior Ukrainian soldier at site
Jennifer Rankin

The first group of civilians who have been sheltering under a steel plant that is the last redoubt for Ukrainian forces in the destroyed city of Mariupol have managed to get out. A senior Ukrainian soldier inside the Azovstal steelworks said about 20 women and children had left, as the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, met Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv, where she pledged support for his country’s “fight for freedom”. Pelosi, whose visit was not announced beforehand, is the highest-level US official to meet the Ukrainian president since the war began. About 1,000 civilians and 2,000 Ukrainian fighters are believed to be sheltering underneath the Azovstal steel works, the only part of the ruined city not taken by Russian forces. Late on Saturday, a senior soldier with the Azov regiment at the Soviet-era steelworks said 20 women and children had managed to get out. “We are getting civilians out of the rubble with ropes – it’s the elderly, women and children,” Sviatoslav Palamar told Reuters. On his Telegram channel, Palamar called for the evacuation of the wounded: “We don’t know why they are not taken away and their evacuation to the territory controlled by Ukraine is not being discussed.”

Alia Shoaib

A famed Ukrainian fighter pilot nicknamed the Ghost of Kyiv has died in battle, local sources told The Times of London. The Ghost of Kyiv first emerged when the Ukrainian government tweeted a video crediting the then-unnamed pilot with shooting down six Russian aircraft on the first day of the war. It has been claimed he went on to shoot down up to 40 Russian aircraft. His identity has now been revealed as Major Stepan Tarabalka, 29, killed on March 13 when "overwhelming" Russian forces shot down the MiG-29 he was flying, The Times said. Ukrainian sources told the paper that his helmet and goggles are expected to go on sale at auction in London.

Laurel Wamsley

Accounts of alleged sexual violence coming out of Ukraine in recent weeks have been grim. A woman raped repeatedly by a Russian soldier after her husband was killed outside Kyiv. A mother of four gang raped by Russian soldiers in Kherson. The body of a Ukrainian woman found dead — naked and branded with a swastika. A woman raped by a Russian commander on the day tanks entered the village of Kalyta. The number of reports that have emerged since the start of the war in late February suggests that rape in Ukraine at the hands of Russian soldiers may be widespread. Those fears were further crystallized earlier this month following the Russian withdrawal from Bucha, a suburb of the capital Kyiv, where some two dozen women and girls were "systematically raped" by Russian forces, according to Ukraine's ombudswoman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova.

By DAVID KEYTON and INNA VARENYTSIA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to humiliate the United Nations by raining missiles on Kyiv during a visit to the city by the U.N. chief, a deadly attack that shattered weeks of relative calm in the capital. Ukraine’s forces, meanwhile, fought to hold off Russian attempts to advance in the south and east, Zelenskyy reported. And U.N.-backed efforts to arrange safe passage for residents trapped in the ruins of Mariupol continued. Numerous previous attempts to evacuate civilians have fallen through. Russia pounded targets all over Ukraine on Thursday, hitting a residential high-rise and another building in Kyiv just as life seemed to be getting a little closer to normal. U.S.-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said one of its journalists was killed.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

As Russia’s wider war in Ukraine enters its third month, Ukraine’s small force of Turkish-made TB-2 armed drones continue to pluck at Russian forces in eastern and southern Ukraine. The 1,400-pound, propeller-driven unmanned aerial vehicles, armed with 14-pound laser-guided missiles, have targeted air-defenses, artillery batteries, supply convoys and command posts. There’s even some evidence the drones, operated via satellite by controllers on the ground, have slipped across the Russia-Ukraine border to strike logistical infrastructure inside Russia. It makes sense that the multi-million TB-2 has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. By the same token, it makes sense that the drone also has become a target of Russian propaganda. Most recently, Russian forces apparently tried to create the impression they’ve shot down more of Ukraine’s original three dozen or so TB-2s than they actually have, by staging old drone wreckage in a very sloppy mimicry of a recent crash.

By Michael Wasiura in Tbilisi, Georgia

The Kremlin thought Russian troops would be greeted as liberators in Ukraine's predominantly Russian speaking south and east. Instead, Ukrainians of all linguistic backgrounds have rallied against the Kremlin's invasion. This should not have come as a surprise, least of all to the men in Moscow. Russian speaking Ukrainians have been organizing to defend the Ukrainian state from Russian aggression since at least April 2014, when Moscow-backed forces first began seizing administrative buildings in the Ukrainian Donbas region. "In the first week after those events started, ordinary steelworkers in Mariupol were organizing on the grassroots level to form local patrols," Dr. Olga Onuch, an associate professor at the University of Manchester, told Newsweek. "These were Russian speaking Ukrainians getting together to defend their neighborhoods and their families from Russia itself."

Caitlin McFall

German lawmakers on Thursday voted to send "heavy weapons and complex machinery" to Ukraine just one week after claiming its arms reserves were tapped. The vote in the lower house of parliament signifies a completed stance reversal after it passed with 586 votes in favor, 100 against, and seven abstentions first reported German news outlet DW. Germany has faced criticism for its reservations on sending significant defensive support to Ukraine, notoriously sending 5,000 helmets in the lead up to the invasion. Just last week German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock claimed that Berlin’s armed services have said it "can no longer supply weapons from its own reserves."

Experts say there is a design flaw in some Russian tanks that the Ukrainians have been able to exploit. Military analyst Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton explains the "jack-in-the-box" effect.

ukrpravda@gmail.com (Ukrayinska Pravda)

IRYNA BALACHUK - THURSDAY, 28 APRIL 2022, 11:04 The "Azov" Regiment has said that last night Russian occupiers conducted about 50 air strikes and dropped a large number of phosphorus bombs on Mariupol. "Azov" called on the authorities to take decisive measures to lift the blockade of the city or evacuate residents and defenders. Source: Address by the Deputy Commander of the "Azov" Regiment, Captain Sviatoslav Palamar on Telegram Palamar's quote: "Last night there was just a huge number of phosphorous bombs:

By Brendan Cole

Russia will not be able to replace the sunken flagship of its Black Sea fleet, the British Defense Ministry has said, as the U.K announced it would send anti-ship missiles to Ukraine to bolster Kyiv's defensive capabilities. British defense officials said on Thursday that around 20 Russian Navy vessels, including submarines, were still in the Black Sea operational zone but the Bosporus Strait remained closed to all non-Turkish warships. This meant that Russia was "unable to replace its lost cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea."

Seref Isler

The Montreux Convention of 1936 gave Turkey control over access to key straits of the Black Sea — an agreement that's considered a big win for the country's foreign policy to this day. But the agreement was thrust into the limelight after Russia's invasion, when Ukraine asked Turkey at the end of February to apply the 1936 agreement to stop Russian ships from the crossing the straits into the Black Sea to attack Ukraine. There's a Turkish saying, "Did your ships sink in the Black Sea?" The expression is asked when a person is lost in thought, trying to resolve a seemingly unsolvable problem. As it turns out, that's the very body of water that has Turkey on a geopolitical tightrope since Russia invaded Ukraine and began military operations from those waters — because Turkey controls access to the Black Sea. After Turkey's War of Independence officially ended with the Lausanne Treaty in 1923, the straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles were demilitarized. Access to and from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean was brought under the control of an International Straits Commission.

Celina Tebor, Jorge L. Ortiz, John Bacon, Rebecca Morin | USA TODAY

The U.S. has reliable information that Russian military forces executed Ukrainians who were trying to surrender near Donetsk, U.S. officials say. The U.S. has credible reports and photos of individuals killed "execution-style" with their hands bound, including bodies showing signs of torture and accounts of sexual violence against women and girls, according to Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack, “These images and reports suggest that atrocities are not the result of rogue units or individuals; they, rather, reveal a deeply disturbing pattern of systematic abuse across all areas where Russia’s forces are engaged,” she said at a United Nations meeting Wednesday.

William McGee, Zenger News

Video released by Russia purports to show one of its warships in the Black Sea launching a salvo of missiles at unseen targets in Ukraine. Newsflash obtained the footage from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday. The Russian MoD said (in English): "The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue a special military operation in Ukraine.

Giulia Carbonaro

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the U.S. wanted to see Russia so "weakened" that it won't be able to support another war like the one it initiated in Ukraine. Now, analysts suggest Moscow might have already reached that point. In an article published on Wednesday, analysts told The Times they believe Russia already burned through so much of its military strength in the past two months of war that it could be "years" before the Kremlin is able to order another such invasion of a neighboring country. Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at Washington think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the British newspaper that, according to estimates, Russia might have already lost the equivalent of two years of tank production, one year's supply of aircraft and likely several year's worth of missile production since the beginning of the invasion on February 24.

aljazeera

Russian authorities said explosions hit three border provinces, including an ammunition depot, in the Belgorod province. A series of explosions were heard in the early hours of Wednesday in three Russian provinces bordering Ukraine, authorities said, and an ammunition depot in the Belgorod province caught fire around the same time. Belgorod regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said no civilians had been injured in the fire, which broke out at a facility near Staraya Nelidovka village and was subsequently extinguished.

Julie Coleman

One Ukrainian anti-tank weapon, Stugna-P, destroyed four Russian tanks in a row in Kharkiv, according to videos shared on social media. The videos were posted by Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a group that follows and records weapons used and damaged in the war between Russia and Ukraine. From a first-person perspective, the videos show the viewfinder of the Stugna-P as it is being aimed and fired, weapons that along with shoulder-fired missiles, drones and artillery are destroying Russia's armored vehicles in droves.

ukrpravda@gmail.com (Ukrayinska Pravda)

Kateryna Tyshchenko - Tuesday, 26 April 2022, 23:13 The Armed Forces of Ukraine terminated an ammunition depot and a large number of aggressors’ military personnel in Kherson region. Ukrainian fighters took three "very talkative" Russian soldiers prisoner in one of the clashes. Source: Head of Kryvyi Rih Military Administration, Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Oleksandr Vilkul in Telegram Quote: "The Armed Forces of Ukraine terminated an ammunition depot and a large number of enemy military personnel near Velyka Oleksandrivka, Kherson oblast - over 70 people. Orcs [Russian troops -ed.] have suffered losses in other locations."

Reuters

April 26 (Reuters) - The Russian-backed separatist leader of the Ukrainian breakaway region of Donetsk said on Tuesday that Moscow should launch the next stage of its military campaign in Ukraine after reaching the region's frontiers.

Ukrainian forces have used specific coordinates shared by the U.S. to direct fire on Russian positions and aircraft, current and former officials tell NBC News.
By Ken Dilanian, Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee and Dan De Luce

As Russia launched its invasion, the U.S. gave Ukrainian forces detailed intelligence about exactly when and where Russian missiles and bombs were intended to strike, prompting Ukraine to move air defenses and aircraft out of harm’s way, current and former U.S. officials told NBC News. That near real-time intelligence-sharing also paved the way for Ukraine to shoot down a Russian transport plane carrying hundreds of troops in the early days of the war, the officials say, helping repel a Russian assault on a key airport near Kyiv. It was part of what American officials call a massive and unprecedented intelligence-sharing operation with a non-NATO partner that they say has played a crucial role in Ukraine’s success to date against the larger and better-equipped Russian military.

Forensic specialists carrying out autopsies north of Kyiv say they ‘still have hundreds of bodies to examine’
Lorenzo Tondo and Isobel Koshiw in Kyiv

Forensic doctors carrying out postmortem examinations on bodies in mass graves north of Kyiv say they have found evidence some women were raped before being killed by Russian forces. “We already have a few cases which suggest that these women had been raped before being shot to death,” said Vladyslav Perovskyi, a Ukrainian forensic doctor who with a team of coroners has carried out dozens of autopsies on residents from Bucha, Irpin and Borodianka who died during Russia’s month-long occupation of the area. “We can’t give more details as my colleagues are still collecting the data and we still have hundreds of bodies to examine,” he said.

Morgue staff are struggling to keep up with the number of casualties, with bodies piled in refrigerated trucks
Lorenzo Tondo

The first body arrived in late February, a few days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. The next day, two more. By the beginning of March, the morgue, on the outskirts of Kyiv, had no more space for the dead who, every day, arrived by the dozen from the cities of Bucha and Borodyanka – at the time occupied by the Russian forces. When Moscow’s withdrawal from the areas north of the capital early in April unveiled the brutality of mass graves, with hundreds of civilian corpses buried in residential districts, every morgue in the Kyiv region was already at breaking point. Today, more than two months after the war began, bodies are being piled in refrigerated trucks in front of the morgues, as authorities struggle to handle the number of dead.

By Brendan Cole

Comments made on a Russian news program about the destruction of the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky have been described as the latest example of "vitriol" being broadcast on Kremlin-backed television in an attempt to justify Russia's invasion. During a discussion on Tuesday's episode of Vremya Pakazhet (Time will Tell) on Russia's Channel One, Mikhail Konev said that "as soon as the criminal Kyiv regime is wiped off the face of the earth, harmony will return." He said there would be "international trade again" and that "sanctions will be lifted" because the war, described on the program as the "special military operation," "will only exist while there are Ukrainians willing to spill blood for unclear aims."

By Aila Slisco

The aftermath of the Ukrainian village Novotoshkivske being almost completely destroyed by Russian forces has been captured in images shared online. Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai confirmed that Russian forces had seized Novotoshkivske on Monday, while noting that the village had been largely destroyed. The destruction included multiple residential buildings, educational facilities and "all hospitals," according to the Ukrainian state-run news agency Ukrinform. A video released to social media on the same day appeared to show buildings in the village either entirely reduced to rubble or severely damaged.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

By now it’s pretty clear that Ukraine has been bombarding Russia as part of the former’s defensive campaign. As Russia’s wider war on Ukraine enters its second month, the Ukrainians at least four times appear to have lobbed Tochka ballistic missiles at military targets on the Russian side of the Russia-Ukraine border. The latest possible strike took place in the early morning hours Sunday. A pair of oil depots in Bryansk, in western Russia 70 miles from Ukraine, exploded and burned through the following day. While it’s always possible the blazes were the result of industrial accidents, it’s telling that the two explosions occurred nearly simultaneously, miles apart. The Tochka attacks are just one of Kyiv’s methods of disrupting Russian operations on the far side of the border. It also seems Ukrainian attack helicopters have slipped across the border to attack Russian oil infrastructure. And there are the unconfirmed reports of saboteurs targeting rail lines leading toward Ukraine.

Zeleb.es

Documenting the unthinkable: Pathologists and coroners are trying their best to quickly document the atrocities committed in Ukraine, particularly in Bucha, by the Russian army before evidence can be disposed of.

"The fight for Donbas will be won or lost primarily on logistics," a former Pentagon official said.
By Paul McLeary and Lara Seligman

Russia is making good on promises to attack U.S. and allied weapons shipment points and fuel depots in Ukraine, launching rockets at five railway facilities used to funnel critical supplies into the country on Monday. The attacks across western and central Ukraine targeting supply lines and infrastructure come as billions worth of heavy artillery systems, tanks and armored vehicles begin arriving to help Ukraine face off against what is expected to be a full-scale Russian assault in Donbas. On Monday, the U.S. secretaries of State and Defense huddled with top Ukrainian officials in Kyiv, where they pledged hundreds of millions more in military aid for the coming fight.

If the war in Ukraine is going as planned, why did Russia have to hire 20,000 mercenaries to fight the war?

Matthew Loh

The Kremlin has hired between 10,000 to 20,000 mercenaries to fight in eastern Ukraine, including infantry fighters from Syria and Libya, a European official said, according to multiple media reports. The official, who spoke to reporters at a briefing in Washington on condition of anonymity, said it is difficult to break down the number of fighters from each country but noted that they were all hired by the private military company Wagner Group, The Guardian reported on Tuesday. "What I can tell you is that we did see some transfer from these areas, Syria and Libya, to the eastern Donbas region, and these guys are mainly used as a mass against the Ukrainian resistance," the official said.

Taiyler Simone Mitchell

In nearly nine weeks, Russia lost as many troops during its invasion of Ukraine as it did in the nine years of the Soviet War in Afghanistan. "It is our assessment that approximately 15,000 Russian personnel have been killed during their offensive," Ben Wallace, UK's Secretary of State for Defense said in a statement released by the British embassy in Washington on Monday. He also estimated that approximately a quarter of the battalion tactical groups were "not combat effective." The Soviet War in Afghanistan lasted from 1979 to 1989. Many scholars partially attributed the Soviet Union's 1991 collapse to the military failure in the war. About 14,500 Soviet soldiers died then — along with 90,000 Mujahideen soldiers, 18,000 Afghan soldiers, and approximately one million civilians, The Atlantic reported in 2014.

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