Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, April 26

Russian forces set up concentration camp in Kharkiv Oblast, torture civilians -- Satellite images reveal another mass grave near Mariupol -- Russian occupiers seize Kherson City Council building -- Russia claims [again] it will let civilians exit Azovstal -- Sumy region shelled from across Russian border -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


Dmytro Sadofiev stands with some of his family belongings in a apartment block that has been destroyed by Russian air strike in the town of Borodyanka in Kyiv Oblast on April 6, 2022. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)

Mayor: Russian occupiers seize Kherson City Council building. Ukraine’s flag was removed from the building on April 25, according to Kherson Mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev. U.K. intelligence previously stated that Russia is planning a staged referendum to “legitimize” the Russian occupation of Kherson, a regional capital in southern Ukraine.

Russia claims it will let civilians exit Azovstal. The Russian Defense Ministry claims their troops won’t attack civilians sheltering at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol if they leave the plant on April 25. Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova earlier said that about 1,000 civilians were trapped at Azovstal, the last Ukrainian stronghold in the largely destroyed and partly occupied city.

Satellite images reveal another mass grave near Mariupol. RFE/RL’s investigative program Schemes published satellite images that show a 200-meter-long mass grave at a cemetery in Staryi Krym, a village five kilometers from Mariupol. The besieged city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko confirmed that Russian forces bury the bodies of Mariupol residents in the village.

Lavrov: ‘Real risk’ of nuclear war. The risk of a nuclear war shouldn’t be underestimated, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state-controlled media on April 25. Lavrov already said on March 2 that if World War III were to take place, it would involve nuclear weapons and be destructive.

UK intelligence: Russian invasion significantly disrupts Ukraine’s grain production. The Ukrainian grain harvest for 2022 is likely to be around 20% lower than 2021 due to reduced sowing areas following the invasion which will increase the global grain price, most heavily affecting economically developing countries. Ukraine is the fourth largest producer and exporter of agricultural goods in the world.

Zelensky: 931 settlements liberated from Russian forces. In his daily address, President Volodymyr Zelensky also said that it was only a matter of time before Ukrainians liberate all their lands from Russian troops.

Humanitarian corridors save around one million people. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on April 25 that it became possible thanks to buses organized by authorities that transported at least 350,000 people while the rest got out by private cars.

Ukraine destroys 10 Russian aerial targets. Yuriy Ignat, a Ukrainian air force spokesman, said Russia lost three aircraft, three cruise missiles and four UAVs.

Russian air strike hits Zaporizhzhia Oblast. According to Zaporizhzhia Oblast military administration, at 6:50 a.m. local time a few missile strikes were reported in the region. There is no information about casualties at time of publication.

Russia launches missile strikes on Ochakiv, shells Mykolaiv with heavy multiple rocket launchers. The regional military administration reports that Russian troops used the Smerch rocket launchers to hit civilian infrastructure in Mykolayiv including a grocery store and residential buildings, one civilian sustained injuries. X-35 anti-ship missiles hit residential property along the coast of southern city of Ochakiv.

Sumy region shelled from across Russian border. The village of Rivne in Konotop district of Sumy Oblast was fired upon at least 15 times from heavy weapons, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service reports. There are no casualties among the soldiers.

More than 9,000 Ukrainians invest in Ukraine’s military bonds. The National Bank has so far raised Hr 5.8 billion ($192 million), $36 million, and 25 million euros to replenish the budget and support the economy during the war. In total, Ukraine aims to raise the equivalent of $13 billion through military bonds.

Denisova: Russian forces set up concentration camp in Kharkiv Oblast, torture civilians. According to Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova, Russian troops created an internment camp in a factory building in Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast. “Residents of Kharkiv Oblast are tortured and forced to cooperate,” she said, adding that similar actions are carried out in occupied Izyum.

General Staff: Russia lost 21,900 troops in Ukraine in two months of invasion. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that Russia also lost 884 tanks, 2,258 armored personnel carriers, 1,566 vehicles, 411 artillery systems, 149 multiple launch rocket systems, 69 anti-aircraft defense systems, 154 helicopters, 181 aircraft, 76 fuel tankers, 201 UAVs, and eight boats.

Russian intelligence claims Ukraine plotted murder of Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on April 25 that it had arrested members of National Socialism/White Power, an alleged neo-Nazi group that is virtually unknown in Ukraine, which had tried to kill him. In what was widely perceived as a propaganda move without any substantial evidence, the FSB said that the assassination had been ordered by the Security Service of Ukraine.

Ukrainian intelligence: Russia behind false-flag operation in Transnistria. Russia’s secret service plans to continue such operations to draw the Russian-occupied Moldovan territory bordering Ukraine into war, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s Intelligence. Local Russian-controlled media reported explosions in an “administrative” building in Tiraspol on April 25. Moldova called the incident “a pretext for creating tensions” in the area.

Kyiv to change street names linked to Russia, Belarus. The Kyiv city council has identified 279 names that could be renamed, Volodymyr Bondarenko, the secretary of the council, told Ukrainska Pravda, an online newspaper, on April 25.

Poll: 84% of Ukrainians believe ‘ordinary Russians’ are responsible for the war. According to a new poll by the Info Sapiens agency published on April 25, 93% of respondents also believe in an eventual Ukrainian victory over Russia, while 72% are absolutely sure of it.

Official says 26,397 internally displaced persons registered in Kyiv. The number of IDPs in Kyiv has risen by more than 9,000 people over the past week, Kyiv Deputy Mayor Maryna Khonda said on April 25.

Read our exclusive, on the ground stories

Ukrainian law enforcement search for collaborators who helped Russia. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is working with the national and local police, Territorial Defense units and the State Emergency Service to find suspected collaborators and prosecute them for treason. Read our story here.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Prosecutor General’s Office: Russia’s war kills 217 children since Feb. 24, injures 391. The figures are expected to be higher since they do not include child casualties in the areas where hostilities are ongoing and in the occupied areas. On April 25, two children aged 9 and 13 were killed as a result of Russia’s shelling of Lyman city in Donetsk Oblast.

Prosecutor General: Russian forces kill 3,818 Ukrainians, injure over 4,000 in two months of invasion. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova told Interfax news agency that this figure is as inaccurate as the one provided by the UN, as it doesn’t include the surrounded Mariupol and temporarily occupied territories. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian troops killed tens of thousands of people in Mariupol city alone.

1 person killed, 7 injured in Russian shelling of Kremenchuk, Poltava Oblast. Poltava Oblast Governor Dmytro Lunin said nine missiles were launched at Kremenchuk on the evening of April 24, the day when many Ukrainians celebrate Orthodox Easter. He added that several buildings were severely damaged, and almost all city districts were left without hot water due to the shelling of the thermal power station.

Governor: 4 people killed, 9 wounded in Kharkiv Oblast on April 25. Russian forces continue to shell residential neighborhoods in the regional capital, Kharkiv, according to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov.

5 people killed by Russian missile strikes in Vinnytsya Oblast. Meanwhile, 18 people were injured on April 25 as a result of strikes against railway infrastructure near Zhmerynka and Kozyatyn in the region, Vinnytsya Oblast’s administration said.

International response

Biden nominates ambassador to Ukraine after nearly 3 year vacancy. U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Bridget Brink as new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. There has not been a Ukraine ambassador since former President Donald Trump removed Marie Yovanovitch from the post in 2019. Brink is the current ambassador to Slovakia and has over 25 years of diplomatic experience including her work in the State Department.

EU official expects 6th package of sanctions against Russia this week. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said on April 25 that the most significant discussions are on banning Russian oil imports. Jourova added that banking sector sanctions are highly likely to be accepted.

US approves sale of $165 million worth of Soviet-era munitions to Ukraine. The sale came at the request of Ukraine’s government and includes rounds for mortars, automatic grenade launchers and howitzers.

Poland confirms sending tanks to Ukraine. Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed it on April 25 without disclosing the quantity. The U.K. previously confirmed sending tanks to Poland, allowing Warsaw to supply Kyiv with Soviet T-72 tanks.

German opposition party proposes sending heavy weapons to Ukraine. Germany’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) has suggested adding to a parliamentary resolution that German weapons supplies should be immediately intensified. Meanwhile, the German government, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has blocked the supplies of heavy weapons to Ukraine.

UK to send Stormer armored vehicles to Ukraine. The U.K. will send a “small number” of such vehicles, fitted with Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles used to target planes and helicopters, U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on April 25.

Bulgarian PM launches fundraising campaign for Ukraine. Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said on April 25 that he donated his monthly salary and urged Bulgarian citizens to do the same. “Sending military aid to Ukraine requires political, but also public unity,” Petkov said. Petkov earlier announced he plans to visit Kyiv shortly.

UK bans export of spy equipment to Russia, removes tariffs on Ukrainian goods. The UK will no longer export electronic equipment that might be used to intercept and monitor communications to Russia. Additionally, to support Ukraine’s economy, the UK will remove all trade tariffs and quotes on Ukrainian goods.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Alexander Query, Oleg Sukhov, Thaisa Semenova, Sergiy Slipchenko, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina and Brad LaFoy.

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