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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 3

Ukraine is defending itself against an unprovoked Russian invasion, if Russia had not invaded Ukraine in the first place there would not be a possibility of World War III.

Russia’s top diplomat warned Ukraine against provoking World War III and said the threat of a nuclear conflict “should not be underestimated” as his country unleashed attacks against rail and fuel installations far from the front lines of Moscow’s new eastern offensive.

Reuters

BERLIN, April 26 (Reuters) - Germany will officially approve the delivery of Gepard anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine, a senior lawmaker from one of the ruling coalition parties said on Tuesday.

cneilan@insider.com (Catherine Neilan)

It is "completely legitimate" for Ukraine to attack Russian territory, a British defence minister has said, as Russia accused the NATO military alliance of waging a proxy war. James Heappey, the UK armed forces minister, told Times Radio on Tuesday that Ukraine was justified in seeking to disrupt Russian supplies. "In war, Ukraine needs to strike into its opponents' depth to attack its logistics lines, its fuel supplies, its ammunition depots, and that's part of it," he said. "It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia's depth in order to disrupt the logistics, that if they weren't disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil." Heappey acknowledged the weapons provided by the West to Ukraine "have the range to be used over the borders" in Russia, but stressed: "That is not necessarily a problem."

AJ McDougall Breaking News Reporter

Russian forces used small arrow-like projectiles rarely seen in modern warfare to kill dozens of Ukrainian civilians in the city of Bucha, according to a new report by Ukrainian forensic doctors. “We found several really thin, nail-like objects in the bodies of men and women and so did others of my colleagues in the region,” Vladyslav Priovskyi told The Guardian. “It is very hard to find those in the body, they are too thin. The majority of these bodies come from the Bucha-Irpin region.”

William McGee, Zenger News

Brutal footage of Russian infantrymen unwittingly entering the crosshairs of an armored car's deadly cannon has been released by Ukrainian officials. Newsflash obtained the footage from the Strategic Communications Directorate, Office of the Chief of Defence, Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) on Sunday. It reportedly shows a BTR-4E infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) letting rip as Russian forces enter its field of fire. The directorate wrote: "BTR-4E 'Bucephalus' destroys Russia. Beautiful." The BTR-4E is a version of the BTR-4 amphibious 8x8 wheeled IFV. It is designed by the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau, a state-owned company in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Its main armament is a 30 mm (1.2 inch) autocannon. Its secondary armaments are a 7.62 mm (0.3 inch) coaxial machine gun and either four anti-tank missiles or two anti-tank missiles and a 30mm (1.2 inch) automatic grenade launcher.

By DAVID KEYTON

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia unleashed a string of attacks against Ukrainian rail and fuel installations Monday, striking crucial infrastructure far from the front line of its eastern offensive. Meanwhile, two fires were reported at oil facilities in western Russia, not far from the Ukrainian border. It was not clear what caused the blazes. As both sides in the 2-month-old war brace for what could be a grinding battle of attrition in the country’s eastern industrial heartland, top U.S. officials pledged more help to ensure Ukraine prevails. In a bold visit to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday, the American secretaries of state and defense said Washington had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition — non-U.S. ammo, mainly if not entirely to fit Ukraine’s Soviet-era weapons — along with more than $300 million in financing to buy more supplies.

Ukraine again asks Russia for talks as new footage reportedly shot at Azovstal shows women saying they are running out of water and food.
Aljazeera

Ukraine has urged Russia to hold a “special round of talks” on evacuating fighters and civilians holding out in a vast steel plant in the shattered port city of Mariupol. The call from an adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday came as new footage of people purportedly sheltering at the Azovstal steel plant showed women saying they only had water and food to last a few more days. The steelworks is the last remaining pocket of resistance in southern Mariupol, and hundreds of Ukrainian fighters and some 1,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding in underground tunnels there. Oleksiy Arestovych said Mariupol’s defences were “on the brink of collapse” and appealed to the Russians to hold talks at Azovstal.

Casualties unknown after morning airstrikes fell within one hour of each other, say officials. A train station in Krasne, near Lviv in western Ukraine, was reportedly hit by an airstrike at about 8.30am on Lorenzo Tondo in Kyiv, Pjotr Sauer and agencies

Five railway stations in central and western Ukraine were hit by Russian airstrikes in the space of one hour on Monday, as the war grinds on relentlessly in the south and east of the country. Oleksander Kamyshin, the head of Ukrainian Railways, said five train stations came under fire causing an unspecified number of casualties, as most of Ukraine was placed under an unusually long air raid warning for two hours on Monday morning. Kamyshin said one of the attacks took place at about 8.30am in Krasne, near Lviv in western Ukraine, at what the governor of the region described as a “traction substation” that handled power supply to other lines. He said emergency workers were at the scene.

By Toby Luckhurst & Olga Pona | BBC News, Lviv

"You can't imagine how horrible the conditions were." Oleksandr and Olena are two of the lucky few who recently managed to escape from Mariupol, which is now almost under full Russian control after weeks of bombardment. The city is effectively sealed off from the world, and information about what is happening inside is difficult to confirm independently. But the pair, and others, have given chilling accounts of life in Russia's so-called filtration camps, set up outside Mariupol to house civilians before they are evacuated. Oleksandr and Olena, speaking from the relatively safe western city of Lviv, say they ended up at one of the centres when they tried to escape the city. After walking from their home to an evacuation point, they were driven to a Russian refugee hub at a former school in the village of Nikolske, north-west of Mariupol. "It was like a true concentration camp," Oleksandr, 49, says.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region have captured a very rare Ukrainian T-64BM Bulat tank. The roughly 100 Bulats that Ukraine’s tank plant in Kharkiv produced starting in the 1990s never really work as advertised. Into storage they went ... until the Ukrainian army apparently got desperate enough to send some of them to the front line. The Ukrainians seem to have reached that point before late April, as mounting losses of armored vehicles strained the growing roster of Ukrainian brigades. The T-64BM is an oddity. Kyiv’s two active tank brigades and 11 other active heavy brigades generally use T-64BVs, while reserve brigades mostly have T-72s. The 1960s-vintage T-64BV is an older but more sophisticated tank than the ’70s-vintage T-72 is. The T-64BM in theory is more advanced than the T-64BV is, but the army reportedly was unhappy with the type’s new explosive reactive armor.

Reuters

April 23 (Reuters) - Russia used high precision missiles on Saturday to destroy a logistics terminal in Odesa where a large number of weapons supplied by the United States and European nations were being stored, the defence ministry said. In an online post, it also said Russian forces had on Saturday killed up to 200 Ukrainian troops and destroyed more than 30 vehicles, some of them armoured.

By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Russia told the United States to stop sending more arms to Ukraine, warning that large Western deliveries of weapons were inflaming the conflict and would lead to more losses, Moscow's ambassador to Washington said. Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions more and raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States - by far the world's two biggest nuclear powers. The United States has ruled out sending its own or NATO forces to Ukraine but Washington and its European allies have supplied weapons to Kyiv such as drones, Howitzer heavy artillery, anti-aircraft Stinger and anti-tank Javelin missiles.

By Kylie Atwood and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

(CNN) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an unannounced trip to Kyiv on Sunday that US diplomats would return to Ukraine this week, a senior State Department official said, characterizing the move as a strong message of solidarity from the United States. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to the Ukrainian capital, where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, making them the highest-level US officials to have traveled to the country since the Russian invasion began in late February. While in Kyiv, Blinken and Austin met with Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Interior Minister Denys Monastrysky for an extended, roughly 90-minute bilateral meeting, the senior State Department official said.

By John Hudson / The Washington Post

When the United States wanted to purchase a fleet of helicopters for the Afghan government in the early 2010s, it chose the Mi-17 sold by a Russian state-owned arms exporter. The decision infuriated lawmakers who felt the Pentagon should choose an American manufacturer. But the Defense Department stayed the course, saying the Russian helicopters were relatively inexpensive, functioned well in Afghanistan’s desert expanses and high altitudes, and Afghan pilots knew how to fly them. A decade later, neither Congress nor the Kremlin could have anticipated that those helicopters would be used against Russian forces by way of arms transfers engineered by the United States in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The Mi-17s’ unusual journey went unmentioned in the announcement earlier this month by President Joe Biden touting his approval of an $800 million security package dramatically expanding the scope of military aid Washington is supplying to Kyiv.

By DAVID KEYTON, Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia unleashed a string of attacks against Ukrainian rail and fuel facilities Monday, striking crucial infrastructure far from the frontline of its eastern offensive, which Britain said has yet to achieve a significant breakthrough. Meanwhile, two fires were reported at oil facilities in western Russia. It was not clear what caused the blazes. As both sides in the 2-month-old war brace for what could be a grinding battle of attrition in the country’s eastern industrial heartland, top American officials pledged more help to ensure Ukraine prevails. In meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Sunday, the American secretaries of state and defense said Washington had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition for Ukraine’s war effort, along with more than $300 million in foreign military financing.

Reuters

April 24 (Reuters) - Ukraine has repelled numerous Russian assaults along the line of contact in Donbas this week, a British military update said on Sunday. Despite Russia making some territorial gains, Ukrainian resistance has been strong across all axes and inflicted a significant cost on Russian forces, the UK Ministry of Defence tweeted in a regular bulletin. "Poor Russian morale and limited time to reconstitute, re-equip and reorganise forces from prior offensives are likely hindering Russian combat effectiveness," the update added.

More than 400 people in this small suburb outside Kyiv were killed or died when the Russians invaded. Now, the macabre work of identifying and burying the dead begins.
By Phil McCausland

BUCHA, Ukraine — After hiding for weeks in the basement of her apartment complex in this community just outside of Kyiv with her mother and son, Inna Leschenko, 45, dashed out on March 19 to find clean water. She never made it home. Leschenko died after being struck by shrapnel when Russian forces shelled the area. Her family waited until it was safe and then retrieved her body from the courtyard hundreds of feet away. They later buried her there in a small grass island bordered by sidewalks. Once Ukrainian forces liberated the city, the police exhumed Leschenko and took her to the morgue. On Friday, her mother, Mariya Kovalenko, 66, identified her remains and finally laid her to rest about a month after she died.

Reuters

ZURICH, April 24 (Reuters) - Neutral Switzerland has held up German arms deliveries to Ukraine by blocking the re-export of Swiss-made ammunition used in Marder infantry fighting vehicles that Kyiv would like to get, Swiss paper SonntagsZeitung reported. The news comes as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz faces growing criticism for his government's failure to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine to help it fend off Russian attacks, even as other Western allies step up shipments. The Marder, made by German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE), uses ammunition manufactured in Switzerland, the paper said. Switzerland restricts the re-export of such war materiel to conflict zones. The paper quoted a spokesperson for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) as saying it had received two inquiries from Germany about transferring to Ukraine munitions it had got from Switzerland.

Marc Santora

The Ukrainian military claimed on Saturday that it destroyed a Russian command post in the southern region of Kherson, which has been largely under Russian control since the early days of the war. The intelligence agency of the Ukrainian defense ministry said in a statement that the Russian command center was located near a location of active clashes between the two forces and two high-ranking Russian officers were present at the time of the strike. The claim could not be independently verified and there was no immediate comment from Russia’s military, which rarely acknowledges battlefield setbacks. In a separate statement, Oleksiy Arestovych, a former Ukrainian military intelligence officer who is now an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s office, said that about 50 senior Russian officers were in the command center at the time of the attack. “Their fate is unknown, but I think it must be miserable,” he said in an interview with a well-known Russian human rights activist. The Ukrainian military claimed later that two Russian generals were killed and another critically injured and had to be evacuated.

CBS News

A 3-month-old baby was among six people Saturday killed when Russia fired cruise missiles at the Black Sea port city of Odesa, Ukrainian officials said. Andriy Yermak, chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a Telegram post that two missile strikes from Russian troops struck a residential area in the city. "Nothing is sacred," Yermak wrote. "Evil will be punished."

by ASSOCIATED PRESS | DAVID KEYTON AND YESICA FISCH

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces in Ukraine tried to storm a steel plant housing soldiers and civilians in the southern city of Mariupol on Saturday while attempting to crush the last corner of resistance in a location of high symbolic and strategic value to Moscow, Ukrainian officials said. The reported assault on the eve of Orthodox Easter came after the Kremlin claimed its military had seized all of Mariupol except for the Azovstal plant and as Russia’s military pounded other cities and towns in southern and eastern Ukraine. Officials reported that Russia fired at least six cruise missiles at the Black Sea port city of Odesa, killing five people. The fate of the Ukrainians holed up in the sprawling seaside steel mill wasn’t immediately clear; earlier Saturday, a Ukrainian military unit released a video reportedly taken two days earlier in which women and children holed up underground, some for as long as two months, said they longed to see the sun.

Mo Abbas and Matt Bradley and Yelyzaveta Kovtun

HAVRONSHCHYNA, Ukraine — Driving past nondescript fields in the countryside near Kyiv, it’s easy to miss a small family car abandoned by the side of the road. But the vehicle — riddled with bullet holes, strewn with baby clothes and spattered with human remains — is a microcosm of the horror that has befallen Ukraine. It’s also an example of the heroism that has allowed it to endure. “It was chaos. I couldn’t feel anything. I was numb. Some people were trying to hide in my house. I was trying to pick up wounded people,” said Yuriy Patsan, 42, a mechanic, in describing the incident on March 15 that ended with the car being stranded outside his house on the edge of this small village of about 1,000 residents around 30 miles west of the capital, Kyiv.  

Caitlin McFall

AUkrainian official on Saturday said Russia had resumed its attempts to storm the resistance stronghold under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers remain holed up. "The enemy is trying to strangle the final resistance of the defenders of Mariupol in the Azovstal area," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a televised address according to Reuters. The advisor's comments come just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he didn’t believe a ground assault on the plant was "necessary." Putin instead called on his troops to instate a blockade to put pressure on Ukrainian forces to surrender as supplies to civilians run short. "One does not have to climb into these catacombs and crawl there underground around these industrial objects," he said. "Block this industrial zone in such a way that even a fly could not fly through." But despite Putin’s claims, Russian forces continued to pummel the steel plant with a barrage of heavy bombing.

Liz Sly

When Russian troops first streamed across the Belarusian border into Ukraine for what they had assumed would be a lightning assault on Kyiv, they were intending to rely on the region’s extensive rail network for supplies and reinforcements. The Russians hadn’t taken into account the railway saboteurs of Belarus. Starting in the earliest days of the invasion in February, a clandestine network of railway workers, hackers and dissident security forces went into action to disable or disrupt the railway links connecting Russia to Ukraine through Belarus, wreaking havoc on Russian supply lines. The attacks have drawn little attention outside Belarus amid the drama of the Russian onslaught and the bloody aftermath of Russia’s humiliating retreat. Fierce Ukrainian resistance and tactical errors by an ill-prepared Russian force were likely enough to thwart Russia’s plans, analysts say.

Brendan Cole

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky namechecked a Russian film in condemning the actions of Vladimir Putin's forces, as he issued a warning that they would be sent to invade other countries. In a video address drawing on the imagery of Easter, whose Orthodox variant is celebrated this weekend, Zelensky started by saying "we believe in the victory of life over death" and that "we hope for a resurrection." He referred to comments by Russia's acting commander of the central military district, that Moscow planned to establish control over the south of Ukraine and reach the Moldova border. Rustam Minnekayev had said on Friday that control over southern Ukraine "is another exit into Transnistria," the Moscow-aligned breakaway region unrecognized internationally and considered part of Moldova. It was the first indication by a high-ranking official about the Russian military's goals to occupy territory before an anticipated "battle for Donbas" in Ukraine's east.  Chechnya, Georgia, the North Caucasus, Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Ukraine's east.

Brendan Cole

An explosive was attached to a carton of milk which formed part of a Russian humanitarian aid package received by a woman in Kherson, according to a local report. Russian forces managed to capture the southern city in the first days of their invasion of Ukraine, and soon after Kremlin-backed state media reported that Russian troops were distributing aid to residents. But, according to an account published on the local news website, In Kherson, one woman had a narrow escape when she opened one of the provisions that she had been given. An unnamed man said his retired mother had brought an aid package home, despite his recommendation not to. Residents in the city had been rejecting the packages since the occupation by Russian troops but are taking them more frequently because of the increasingly desperate circumstances. He said that among the products, which included oil and cereal, was a milk package which his mother said looked like it had already been opened.

By Giulia Carbonaro

Two Russian oligarchs were found dead this week alongside their family in luxurious homes in Russia and Spain, with the two cases discovered within 24 hours of each other. Both deaths are believed by police to be cases of murder-suicide, but the evidence supporting these theories is muddled by the fact that the events happened so close together, with the two oligarchs the last of several who have been found to have died by suicide since the beginning of the year. Here's a list of all the Russian oligarch who have been found dead in mysterious circumstance since January.

Reuters

April 22 (Reuters) - Russia plans to take full control of Donbas and southern Ukraine during the second phase of what it calls its special military operation, the deputy commander of Russia's central military district said on Friday, Russian news agencies reported. The statement from Rustam Minnekayev, the deputy commander, is one of the most detailed about Moscow's latest ambitions in Ukraine and suggests Russia does not plan to wind down its offensive there anytime soon. Minnekayev did not mention them by name, but two major Ukrainian cities in southern Ukraine, Odesa and Mykolayiv, remain under Ukrainian control. The Interfax and TASS news agencies cited him as saying that full control of southern Ukraine would improve Russian access to Moldova's pro-Russian breakaway region of Transdniestria, which borders Ukraine and which Kyiv fears could be used as a launch pad for new attacks against it.

Rebecca Cohen

A Ukrainian woman who escaped Russia's assault on Mariupol said that she witnessed Russian troops targeting apartment buildings "as if they were playing a computer game." Alina Beskrovna lived in a basement in Mariupol for a month as Russian troops destroyed her city outside. In a first-person account to UN News, she detailed how she went into hiding the morning of February 24 — the day Russia first invaded Ukraine — and stayed there until March 23. She said people who could not get out within the first few days of the invasion were forced to stay because of active fighting in the streets. "Those who tried to flee found themselves in a battlefield," she said. She described hope during the second week of the war when rumors spread on Telegram that there would be a humanitarian corridor opening up for civilians to go west to Manhush, but it turned out to be a false rumor, she said.

Victor I. Nava

Apro-Kremlin media outlet published and then deleted a post on social media Thursday that reported over 13,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in Ukraine, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense. The publication, Readovka, posted on the Russian social media platform VK that the Defense Ministry had announced in a closed briefing that 13,414 Russian soldiers had been killed and 7,000 more were missing in Ukraine. Additionally, the post claimed that the sinking of the Moskva warship had left 116 dead and more than 100 missing. The post was quickly deleted by Readovka. The outlet claimed its VK page had been hacked.

Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the battle for Mariupol on Thursday, even as he ordered his troops not to take the risk of storming the giant steel plant where the last Ukrainian defenders in the city were holed up. Instead, he directed his forces to seal off the Azovstal plant “so that not even a fly comes through.” After nearly two lethal months of bombardment that have largely reduced Mariupol to a smoking ruin, Russian forces appear to control the rest of the strategic southern city, including its vital but now badly damaged port. But the Ukrainian troops have stubbornly held out. Putin’s comments came as satellite images showed more than 200 new graves in a town where Ukrainian officials say the Russians have been burying Mariupol residents killed in the fighting. The imagery, from Maxar Technologies, shows long rows of graves stretching away from an existing cemetery in the town of Manhush, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mariupol.

Sudiksha Kochi | USA TODAY

Nearly 4.8 million Ukrainian children have been displaced amid the Russian invasion, but some online claim the attack is a "special operation" to help save their lives. A Facebook post shared April 16 shows an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin kissing a child's hand. "President Vladimir Putin released 35,000 children from tunnels and subways in Ukraine," reads the caption of the post. The post includes a link to an April 5 article from Real Raw News, a website that has previously published false claims. Citing an unnamed Mar-a-Lago source, the article claims Putin told former President Donald Trump about this rescue effort in a phone call.

Fatima Tlis

On April 16, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that a large number of Ukrainian troops had surrendered in the city of Mariupol as of April 13. “1,464 Ukrainian servicemen laid down their arms and surrendered. They are not subjected to violence or psychological pressure,” the ministry claimed. Ukraine contests the claim, which is only supported by sketchy video evidence. Meantime, former Ukrainian POWs say they were mistreated and beaten while in Russian captivity. The Russian ministry said 1,209 of the POWs who purportedly surrendered in Mariupol were from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade. The group included 162 officers who surrendered sometime between April 12-13, Reuters reported.

John Psaropoulos

The war in Ukraine massively intensified during its eighth week. Ukraine sank Russia’s flagship in the Black Sea, Russia launched a new phase of the war with a concerted bid to take over the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, and the United States began to ship heavy artillery to Ukraine. This military escalation stood in contrast to the lack of diplomatic or economic developments. Russian-Ukrainian talks have stalled and the West has stopped escalating sanctions, instead shipping more weapons to Ukraine. “This morning, almost along the whole front line of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions, the occupiers attempted to break through our defences,” said Oleksiy Davilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security council, told Ukrainian media on April 18. “Fortunately our military is holding out. They passed through only two towns – Kreminna and another small one.”

Alia Shoaib

Following its invasion of Ukraine several weeks ago, Russia's once-feared military has faced fierce resistance. Some experts believe that Russia may have overreached, as it has struggled to make the quick progress it expected to and has reportedly lost a slew of high-profile military figures. Six Russian major generals are said to have been killed in the fighting, along with numerous other senior officers, according to reports. Russian commanders are moving up towards the frontline in an attempt to restore momentum to the invasion of Ukraine according to western officials, said Gordon Corera, a BBC security correspondent, in a tweet.

Natalie Musumeci

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry claimed on Wednesday that Russia's domestic security forces arrested a pro-Russian separatist leader in the eastern region of Ukraine in the latest fallout over its failed invasion of the eastern European country. Ukrainian intelligence said in a statement that Russia's Federal Security Service arrested the "Minister of the Interior Major General" Igor Aleksandrovich Kornet of the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic [LPR] in the pro-Moscow Donbas region of Ukraine, citing information it had obtained. Kornet, 49, was allegedly being held at a pre-trial detention center in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Ukraine's eastern border, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Some in the elite fear the invasion was a catastrophic mistake — but say the Russian president won't relent and is in no danger of losing power.
Bloomberg News

Almost eight weeks after Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, with military losses mounting and Russia facing unprecedented international isolation, a small but growing number of senior Kremlin insiders are quietly questioning his decision to go to war. The ranks of the critics at the pinnacle of power remain limited, spread across high-level posts in government and state-run business. They believe the invasion was a catastrophic mistake that will set the country back for years, according to ten people with direct knowledge of the situation. All spoke on condition of anonymity, too fearful of retribution to comment publicly. So far, these people see no chance the Russian president will change course and no prospect of any challenge to him at home. More and more reliant on a narrowing circle of hardline advisers, Putin has dismissed attempts by other officials to warn him of the crippling economic and political cost, they said.

Caitlin McFall

Germany said it has maxed out its ability to send arms to Ukraine on Wednesday and instead pledged to provide training to Ukrainian forces and maintain its military equipment. "While other partners supply artillery, we will help with training and maintenance," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during a press conference. Baerbock renewed Germany’s support for Baltic states in a three-day trip to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania but reportedly claimed that Germany’s armed services have said it "can no longer supply weapons from its own reserves." Germany will look to continue helping the war effort by providing spare parts, reported Interfax.

Erin Burnett Out Front

The Pentagon says it is unknown how many of the estimated 500 crew members on the Russian cruiser Moskva actually survived. The ship sunk after Ukraine struck it with two missiles, according to the US. This comes as the father of one Russian sailor aboard the Moskva is demanding answers about his son.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

Amazingly considering the odds against them, Ukraine’s airmen have more flyable fighters today than they did in early April, according to U.S. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby. Kyiv’s air force has “more operable fighter aircraft than they had two weeks ago,” Kirby told reporters Tuesday. Donations of airplanes, and airplane parts, made it possible. “I would just say, without getting into what other nations are providing, that they have received additional platforms and parts to be able to increase their fleet size,” Kirby said. It’s not hard to guess what Kirby was referring to. The governments of Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia weeks ago all signaled some degree of willingness to transfer to Ukraine old MiG-29s or spares for the same.

BBC News

The final Ukrainian holdouts, reportedly accompanied by 1,000 civilians, have taken shelter in the city's massive Azovstal steel plant. Moscow's ultimatum comes as the local Ukrainian commander warned his troops can hold out for just "days or hours". But Kyiv says there is a tentative deal to rescue some civilians from the city. Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, wrote on Facebook that women, children and the elderly would be allowed to leave Mariupol under the deal. The city's mayor, Vadym Boichenko, told national TV that Ukraine hopes to send 90 buses to evacuate about 6,000 people on Wednesday. He said around 100,000 people remain trapped in Mariupol.

By Hannah Ritchie, Masha Angelova and Rob Picheta, CNN

(CNN) A brigade accused of committing war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha has been awarded an honorary title by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Troops in the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade were named by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense as war criminals earlier this month, after mass graves containing murdered civilians were discovered and dead bodies lay in the street following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kyiv region. In a signed letter on Monday, Putin congratulated the unit for their "great heroism and courage" and awarded the unit the title of "Guards" for "protecting Russia's sovereignty." "Through astute and bold actions during the special military operation in Ukraine, the unit's staff became a role model in fulfilling its military duty, valor, dedication and professionalism," the president's congratulatory statement read.

As more and more families call BS on the Kremlin’s claims that all sailors survived, Dmitry Peskov says “we are not authorized to release anything.”
Allison Quinn

The Kremlin refused to answer mounting questions on Tuesday about the fate of sailors on board its most powerful warship after it was reportedly sunk by Ukrainian missiles last week, claiming it is “not authorized” to do so. While Ukraine said several crew members on board the Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, were killed, Moscow has denied that its ship was downed by Ukraine, claiming it was badly damaged after an “ammunition” fire, and repeatedly insisted that all 500 crew members were safely evacuated before it went down “in a storm.” Amid numerous reports of Moskva crew members’ families searching for their missing loved ones and publicly mourning dead sailors on social media, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, immediately shut down all questioning on Tuesday. “All communication is only through the Defense Ministry,” he said, adding that “we are not authorized to release anything.”

Sinéad Baker

Relatives of crew members aboard the sunken Russian warship Moskva say they haven't been able to locate their loved ones in the days since it went down. The Moskva, a missile cruiser that was the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, sank on Thursday. Russian state media blamed an on-board explosion but Ukraine said it struck the ship with missiles, something the Pentagon later confirmed. The Moskva is thought to have had around 500 crew on board. Russia said the ship was completely evacuated but the families of some crew members have begun questioning that claim. Yulia Tsyvova, whose son Andrei was on board, told The Guardian she didn't receive an update about his whereabouts until Monday, when she received a call from Russia's defence ministry to say he was dead.

Will Stewart

The captain of a large Russian landing ship has been killed in the war in Ukraine, according to reports. Captain Alexander Chirva died from wounds sustained in a battle with Ukrainian defenders, said the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev. Capt Chirva was commander of the large landing ship Caesar Kunikov, part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. “His courage, professionalism and experience saved the lives of the crew members,” said Razvozhayev without giving more detail of the circumstances of his death. There were reports the Caesar Kunikov was damaged under Ukrainian fire on March 24, but it is unclear if this was the incident which led to the captain’s death. The announcement follows the sinking of the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship, Moskva, reportedly after it was hit by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles.

By Pavel Polityuk and James Mackenzie

KYIV/KHARKIV, April 19 (Reuters) - Thousands of Russian troops backed by artillery and rocket barrages began a long-anticipated offensive in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, prompting Western countries to pledge more arms and money to the Kyiv government. Ukrainian officials said their soldiers would withstand the assault, calling it the Battle of the Donbas. But the Russians pressed an advance across almost the entire stretch of the eastern front and, hours after its start, seized a frontline city. In the ruins of Mariupol, the southeastern port that has suffered nearly eight weeks of siege, Russia gave the last Ukrainian defenders holed up in a steel works an ultimatum to surrender by noon (0900 GMT) or die. The deadline passed without word of their fate. Kyiv's lead negotiator said it was hard to predict when peace talks might resume because of the Mariupol siege and the new offensive.

The network analyst said he had joined a foreign military unit of Ukraine's armed forces.
By Josephine Harvey

Clad in combat gear and armed with an assault rifle, longtime MSNBC intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance revealed Monday that he had joined Ukrainian forces fighting on the ground against the Russian invasion. “I spent quite a bit of time here in the pre-war period,” Nance, a U.S. Navy veteran, told MSNBC’s Joy Reid via video link from Ukraine. “And when the invasion happened, I had friends who were in Donetsk, who were in the Ukrainian army, who were writing to us and telling us, ‘We are not going to survive tonight. We have been hit 500 times.’”

By Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed back against concerns from US and NATO officials that his military would need significant training before receiving advanced weapons from other countries, telling CNN his forces need weapons quickly -- and can learn to use them just as fast. "I've heard these tall tales that we would need months to train our troops to use new tanks. OK, give us a Soviet-era tank," Zelensky said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Friday. "We are prepared to use any type of equipment, but it needs to be delivered very quickly. And we have the ability to learn how to use new equipment. But it needs to come fast."

Rebecca Cohen

Captured Russian ally Viktor Medvedchuk pleaded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to trade him for safe passage for Ukrainian citizens. In a video posted on Twitter by the Security Service of Ukraine, Medvedchuk asked the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia to exchange him for defenders and residents of Mariupol.  "I, Viktor Volodymyrovych Medvedchuk, want to appeal to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a request that the Ukrainian side exchange me for the defenders of Mariupol and the residents who are there today and do not have the possibility of a safe exit through humanitarian corridors," he asked in the video.

By Isabel van Brugen

The relatives of "missing" crew members of Russia's sunken missile cruiser Moskva have taken to social media to challenge Moscow's narrative on the fate of the Black Sea fleet vessel and its hundreds of personnel. The Moskva missile cruiser, Russia's flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, sank hours after Ukraine claimed to have dealt significant damage to the vessel with a missile strike. Russia denied the claims, saying that any damage was caused by fire on board that led to some ammunition detonating. The Kremlin claimed the Soviet-era vessel's roughly 500 personnel were successfully evacuated to other ships before being returned to the port of Sevastopol in Crimea on Friday.

By Isabel van Brugen

New footage purportedly showing the Russian missile warship Moskva, shortly before it sank in the Black Sea, has emerged online. The short video appears to show the Moskva missile cruiser, Russia's flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, shrouded by a plume of black smoke. Ukraine claims it struck the Soviet-era vessel with a pair of missiles. Moscow has maintained that the cruiser was damaged after a fire on board caused ammunition to detonate. The Pentagon has been unable to confirm yet how the Russian warship was destroyed.

By Alex Horton, The Washington Post

BUCHA, Ukraine - At Svitlana Chmut’s house outside Kyiv, there are carrots in her garden and deadly Russian mini-arrows in her yard. A pile of the sharp, finned projectiles rounded up by Chmut are now gathering rust in the spring’s fine mist. She combed her walled courtyard for them, she said, after a Russian artillery shell carrying them burst somewhere overhead days before the Russians withdrew late last month, seeding the area with thousands of potentially lethal darts. Some were embedded in the tarp that covered her vehicle, as if someone nailed them to her car. “If you look closely on the ground around my house, you will find a lot more of them,” said Chmut, 54.

Russians are rounding up Ukrainians in “filtration” camps, as Ukrainians fight for their lives in the besieged city of Mariupol, local authorities warn.
Shannon Vavra

Russian forces are holding approximately 27,000 Ukrainians in “filtration camps” near the besieged city of Mariupol, according to local authorities. The filtration camps along the Mangush-Nikolske-Yalta line are aimed at preparing the Ukrainians for deportation to Russia, according to Petro Andriuschenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol. The report coincides with alerts from the Mariupol City Council and the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine that have warned that Russians are using screening camps in the Donetsk region from Bezimenne to Dokuchaevsk, forcing civilians there en masse and taking away their documents. The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, has been working to ferret out the Ukrainians’ allegiances in the filtration camps, such as whether they’ve worked with law enforcement or with the Joint Forces Operations, the directorate said. Some reports show the Russians have been downloading data from the Ukrainians’ phones and taking their fingerprints at the filtration camps before shipping them off to Russia.

By Tierney Sneed

(CNN) A federal judge in Florida struck down on Monday the Biden administration's mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods. US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the mandate was unlawful because it exceeded the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and because its implementation violated administrative law. It is unclear clear how quickly the ruling will be implemented at airports or train stations across the country, or if the Justice Department will seek an order halting the ruling and file an appeal. Just last week, the CDC extended this mask mandate through May 3. The masking requirement applied to airplanes, trains, and other forms of public transportation.

By Anders Anglesey

A video where a Russian TV pundit called on the Kremlin to end the war in Ukraine and instead pursue diplomacy with Kyiv has resurfaced as Vladimir Putin looks to consolidate his position. The clip featured Semyon Bagdasarov, a member of the left-leaning A Just Russia party calling for an end to the war in Ukraine and re-emerged after the Kremlin suffered a humiliating loss. His comments, originally made on a March 9 edition of The Evening with Vladimir Solovyov on TV channel Russia-1, resurfaced after Russia's Black Sea flagship the Moskva sank.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Natalia Yermak

HUSARIVKA, Ukraine — The cows wouldn’t stop screaming. Russian soldiers had occupied this remote village in eastern Ukraine for about two weeks and were using a farm as a base. But the animals at the farm hadn’t been fed. Their incessant bleating was wearing on both occupiers and townspeople. A group of five residents from Husarivka, an unassuming agricultural village of around 1,000 people, went to tend the cattle. They were never heard from again. “My two nephews disappeared. They went to feed the cows on the farm,” said Svitlana Tarusyna, 70. “They are gone, vanished.” What transpired in Husarivka has all the horrifying elements of the more publicized incidents involving Russian brutality: indiscriminate killings, abuse and torture, taking place over the better part of a month.

Reuters

April 18 (Reuters) - Two British fighters captured in Ukraine by Russian forces appeared on Russian state TV on Monday and asked to be exchanged for a Ukrainian ally of President Vladimir Putin who is being held by the Ukrainian authorities. It was unclear how freely the two men - Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin - were able to talk. Both spoke separately after being prompted by an unidentified man. The footage was broadcast on the Rossiya 24 state TV channel. The two men asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to exchange them for pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. Medvedchuk was shown asking to be swapped too in a video released around the same time on Monday by Ukraine's SBU intelligence service via social media.

Images and video, which have not been independently confirmed, show plume of black smoke rising from heavily-damaged vessel
Andrew Roth

Photos and a video have emerged purporting to show the Russian cruiser Moskva shortly before the ship sank in the Black Sea. In the images, which have not been independently confirmed, a plume of black smoke is seen rising from the heavily damaged Moskva, which was reported to have been hit by a Ukrainian missile strike last week. The images show that the ship’s lifeboats have been deployed and there are no sailors visible on deck, suggesting the ship may have been abandoned. In the images, the Moskva is listing to port as two fire-hoses shoot streams of water into the air. A three-second video filmed from a nearby ship appears to show a rescue tug approaching the burning Moskva. The short recording ends abruptly as a man nearby yells: “What the fuck are you doing?”

The Insider
The mother of Egor Shkrebets, a conscripted sailor who had served on the cruiser Moscow and went missing, told The Insider she and her husband were at a hospital in Rocky Bay, where the wounded from the cruiser were brought. There were about 200 injured sailors, she said. In all, according to Schkrebets' mother, there had been over 500 people on board the ship. We looked at every burnt kid. I can't tell you how hard it was, but I couldn't find mine. There were only two hundred people, and there were more than five hundred on board the cruiser. Where were the others? We looked in Krasnodar, and everywhere else, we called every place, but we couldn't find him», Irina Shkrebets said.

By AARON REICH

Russian military officers are reportedly inflating the number of troops they have amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed on Saturday. The claim specifically cited an incident in three motorized infantry brigades experiencing shortages. According to the GUR, the units were reported by the commanders as being fully staffed before the invasion had begun. But once the invasion started, it soon became apparent that the units were actually just around 55% staffed. Two battalion commanders were arrested by individuals, believed by the GUR to be operatives of Russia's Federal Security Services (FSB), shortly after this inconsistency was established. The idea that officers would inflate the number of troops under their command isn't unprecedented.

by Caroline Vakil

The governor of St. Petersburg confirmed that another Russian general has been killed amid the invasion of Ukraine, honoring him in a ceremony on Saturday, Russian media reported. The deputy commander of the 8th Army, Maj. Gen. Vladimir Petrovich Frolov, died while fighting against Ukraine, a Russian news outlets reported, citing St. Petersburg’s administration’s press service. “Today we say goodbye to a real hero. Vladimir Petrovich Frolov died a heroic death in battle with Ukrainian nationalists,” Gov. Alexander Beglov said, Russian state news agency Tass reported, citing the press service. “He sacrificed his life so that children, women and the elderly in the Donbas would no longer hear bomb explosions. To stop waiting for death and leaving home, to say goodbye as if it were the last time.”

By AARON REICH

Russian forces in Ukraine are capturing Ukrainian military vehicles, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, and restoring them to put them back in fighting condition, according to Russia's Defense Ministry. This is reportedly being done at a new repair facility set up by Russian troops located "practically on the front line," giving them time to repair and restore vehicles with what the Defense Ministry claims are high-quality servicemen and modern maintenance and repair equipment. According to the Defense Ministry, it takes these servicemen just eight hours to replace the engine of a BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.

By Jessie Yeung, Tim Lister, Darya Tarasova and Julia Kesaieva, CNN

CNN — Russia’s Ministry of Defense confirmed Sunday that an ultimatum for Ukrainian soldiers still resisting an unrelenting assault in parts of the devastated southeastern city to surrender had been ignored. In a statement, it said that the surrounded Ukrainian soldiers at the Azovstal plant “were offered to voluntarily lay down arms and surrender in order to save their lives.” “However, the Kiev nationalist regime, according to the radio intercept, forbade negotiations about surrendering,” the Ministry claimed.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

The Russian army that rolled into Ukraine on the morning of Feb. 24 brought with it some of the world’s most powerful, and indiscriminate, artillery. Now the Ukrainian army has captured at least five of these TOS-1 thermobaric rocket-launchers—and reportedly has fired one of them back at the Russians. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the administration of Odessa, told Victor Kovalenko, a former Ukrainian soldier and journalist, that Ukrainian troops aimed one of their ex-Russian TOS-1s at Russian positions around Izium, in eastern Ukraine near Kharkiv, on or before April 5. TOS-1 with its 220-millimeter “flamethrowing” rockets is a uniquely destructive system, but one barrage from one captured launcher isn’t militarily significant. As a statement, however, the purported reversal—Ukraine pointing one of Russia’s most fearsome weapons back at it—is striking.

Caroline Vakil

The governor of St. Petersburg confirmed that another Russian general has been killed amid the invasion of Ukraine, honoring him in a ceremony on Saturday, Russian media reported. The deputy commander of the 8th Army, Maj. Gen. Vladimir Petrovich Frolov, died while fighting against Ukraine, Russian news outlets reported, citing St. Petersburg’s administration’s press service. “Today we say goodbye to a real hero. Vladimir Petrovich Frolov died a heroic death in battle with Ukrainian nationalists,” Governor Alexander Beglov said, Russian state news agency Tass reported, citing the press service. “He sacrificed his life so that children, women and the elderly in the Donbas would no longer hear bomb explosions. To stop waiting for death and leaving home , to say goodbye as if it were the last time.”

Abbie Shull

The Russian Black Fleet flagship, Moskva, that sank on Thursday, was hit by a new type of Ukrainian missile, according to a senior U.S. defense official who briefed reporters on Friday. Russia has maintained the Moskva was damaged in a fire. The senior U.S. defense official said the ship was hit by at least one Neptune missile and that there are likely casualties — Russian authorities said the crew, believed to be around 500 sailors, was evacuated when a fire broke out and triggered ammunition explosions. The extent of the injuries and deaths is not publicly known. This would be the first known use of the Neptune missile system and Ukraine's most significant naval strike in the war against Russia.

By Joseph Campbell and Zohra Bensemra

TROSTYANETS, Ukraine (Reuters) - The handmade sign on the gate warns "The cemetery is mined. Danger." but residents of the formerly occupied town of Trostyanets in northern Ukraine still come to visit the fresh graves of family killed in the war. The graveyard in this town in Sumy region has only been partly made safe since Russian forces planted mines there as they pulled back in early April, cemetery manager Olena Matvienko said. "De-mining teams came later and de-mined it partially. Then they didn't go further inside," Matvienko said on Saturday, standing in the cemetery where a number of gravestones were shattered or riddled with bullet holes. Some areas were still dangerous for people, she said.

After two weeks of relative calm, mayor of city warns residents who have left that it is not safe to return
Lorenzo Tondo

An arms plant in Kyiv destroyed by Russian long-range air-launched rockets allegedly produced at least one of the missiles used to sink the Moskva warship. The attack on Friday was widely regarded by both parties as the most significant revenge strike by the Kremlin after the sinking of Russia’s flagship vessel in the Black Sea and a reminder that, despite being liberated from the occupants, the war in the Ukrainian capital is far from over. According to Ukraine’s state weapons manufacturer, the Vizar factory, located near Kyiv’s international airport, produced Neptune cruise missiles, at least one of which Ukraine says was used to sink the Moskva. The strikes on Friday were followed by other explosions early on Saturday, after a military hardware factory in the capital’s Darnytsky district was bombed by Russian forces.

Reuters

Ukraine’s richest man has pledged to help rebuild the besieged city of Mariupol, a place close to his heart where he owns two vast steelworks that he says will once again compete globally. Rinat Akhmetov has seen his business empire shattered by eight years of fighting in Ukraine’s east but remains defiant, sure that what he calls “our brave soldiers” will defend the Sea of Azov city reduced to a wasteland by seven weeks of bombardment. For now, though, his Metinvest company, Ukraine’s biggest steelmaker, has announced it cannot deliver its supply contracts, and while his financial and industrial SCM Group is servicing its debt obligations, his private power producer DTEK “has optimized payment of its debts” in an agreement with creditors.

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