Ihor Zhdanov, Information Defence
Informational Defence of Ukraine provides a daily review of the military-political situation in Ukraine as of April 5th, based on an analysis of open sources.
1. The Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions and continue the counterattacks.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the main aim of russian troops was to capture the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The enemy advanced in the direction of Sloviansk, blocked Kharkiv and rebuilt the bridge in Izium.
The enemy is regrouping troops and forces of individual units of the 6th and 20th Armies, 1st Panzer Army, Baltic and Northern Fleets and is preparing for an offensive attack in the east of our country. The goal is to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In the direction of Sloviansk (the Donetsk region) the enemy is trying to resume offensive operations. In the direction of the city of Barvinkove, the invader has had partial success, advancing 7 km the enemy took control of the village of Brazhkivka (Kharkiv region).
The total combat losses of the enemy from February 24 to April 5 were approximately: 18,500 combatants, tanks – 676 units, armoured combat vehicles – 1,858 units, artillery systems – 332 units, MLRS – 107 units, air defence equipment – 55 units, aircraft – 150 units, helicopters – 134 units, motor vehicles – 1322 units, ships / boats – 7 units, fuel tanks – 76, operational-tactical level UAVs – 94, special equipment – 25, TBM / BRBM (actical ballistic missile / battlefield range ballistic missile) – 4.
Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military has shot down three more planes and one means of russian air defence – in just 40 days of the war, the Armed Forces destroyed 55 air defence equipment, 150 aircrafts and 134 enemy helicopters.
Deputy Prime Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk has said that about 600 Russian prisoners of war are currently in Ukraine.
2. Information summaries and assessments of foreign and Ukrainian intelligence.
Jake Sullivan, the US President’s National Security Adviser, with reference to US intelligence (source – Washington Post) said Russia was “reviewing its military objectives” in order to focus the attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine, rather than attacking most of Ukraine as it has so far.
russian troops are retreating from Kyiv to Belarus, and it is likely according to our information, “that dozens of additional russian battalion tactical groups will be deployed on the front line in eastern Ukraine which means that even more territories will be involved in the war than the russian puppets already controlled before the start of the new invasion in late February.”
russia is likely to invade Kherson in order to control water supplies to occupied Crimea.
According to UK intelligence in the review of April 5th, russian units withdrawn from northern Ukraine require significant re-equipment and repair of their equipment before they can be redeployed to eastern Ukraine.
The sluggish fighting is likely to continue in some parts of the recently recaptured regions, according to the UK Ministry of Defence, but will weaken significantly this week due to the withdrawal of russian forces that still remain there.
According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, representatives of the Georgian special services were instructed by the political leadership not to interfere with the activities of smugglers.
Georgia has rejected allegations that the russians are establishing channels for smuggling counterfeit goods through Georgian territory.
3. Genocide of the Ukrainian people, shocking tragedy in Bucha – “Bucha massacre”.
The Mayor of Bucha Anatolii Fedoruk asks local deputies, communal workers, and social workers to return to the city, as the city’s critical infrastructure needs to be restored and humanitarian work needs to be established. Anatolii Fedoruk hopes that in a week and a half the residents of Bucha will be able to get gas and electricity supplies.
Satellite images demonstrate (source – The New York Times) that the bodies of those killed people on the streets of Bucha began to appear there on March 9th, shortly after the city came under russian occupation. This refutes russia’s false claims that people were allegedly killed after the withdrawal of russian troops.
The reaction of the international community to the mass killings of Ukrainians in Bucha. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly called the killings of civilians in Bucha a war crime: “This weekend the world saw disgusting and insane attacks on civilians in Bucha. These terrorist acts will not go unpunished. They are clearly committed war crimes.”
The Canadian Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning crimes against humanity and war crimes in Bucha and calling for increased defence support for Ukraine.
4. The russian occupiers continue to violate international humanitarian law.
russian aggressors continue to kill Ukrainian children. As of the morning of April 5th, 165 children died in Ukraine due to russian armed aggression, another 266 were injured, these data do not include those killed in Mariupol, the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Luhansk regions.
Most children were affected in the Kyiv (77), Donetsk (78), Kharkiv (61), Chernihiv (49), Mykolaiiv (35), Luhansk (31), Zaporizhzhia (22), Kherson (29), Sumy (16), Zhytomyr (15) regions, and in Kyiv City (16).
On April 4th, as a result of attack by armed forces of russia on Mykolaiiv, a child was lost. It also became known that during the occupation of Vorzel of the Kyiv region, the russian military threw a smoke grenade into the basement of a house where a 14-year-old child and a woman were staying, after which they fired on the child and killed the mother two days later in the same basement. In Bucha, the Kyiv region, one shelling killed six people, including one child.
Bombing and shelling in Ukraine has damaged 869 educational institutions, 83 of which have been completely destroyed.
russian invaders continue to attack civilians daily. On the night of April 5th, the russian occupiers continued to shell the Kherson, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions with various types of weapons, resulting in numerous casualties.
On Monday, russian troops struck 54 times in the Kharkiv region and Kharkiv, killing 6 people and wounding 8.
As a result of the shelling of Mykolaiiv by russian troops on Monday, April 4th, 12 people were killed and 41 wounded, including four children.
In the village Velyka Dymerka, the Brovary district, in the Kyiv region, the enemy killed 11 civilians with firearms and artillery.
A resident of a village in the Kyiv region, not waiting for the deoccupied territory to be cleared, went there to pick up his car, but the russians mined the car and the man died due to the explosion.
The abduction of Ukrainian civilians, the tasking of hostages and torture continues. The head of the Sumy military administration Dmytro Zhyvytskyi reported on the finding of three tortured people in the Konotop district.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region, in the settlements of Velykyi Burluk, Prykolotne, and Fedorivka, the occupiers are searching for pro-Ukrainian residents and illegally detaining them.
In the temporarily occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhia region, in Berdiansk, local residents are being detained.
In the city of Tokmak, medical staff of local health care institutions are forced to sign so-called “agreements” with the Ministry of Health of the russian federation.
The Association of Ukrainian Cities reports that the head of the Bekhter community of the Kherson region, Mykhailo Burak, has been released from captivity.
Ukraine needs humanitarian demining. According to preliminary estimates, 80,000 square kilometers of Ukraine’s mines are one of the highest in the world. According to the UN, “Ukraine is one of the most mined countries in the world. Even before the ongoing military attack, more than 1.8 million people had lived surrounded by mines for eight years.”
5. Political and socio-economic situation in Ukraine, losses due to the russian aggression.
Society demonstrates solidarity, patriotism, and faith in victory. According to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center, 89% of Ukrainian citizens believe that Ukraine will win this war, only 1% do not believe (10% – hesitate to answer).
79% of refugees plan to return to Ukraine after the war, only 10% do not plan to return, and 11% are hesitant to make a decision.
Through the “Diia” service, UAH 235 million has already been raised for the army – more than 230,000 Ukrainians have joined the fundraiser.
Ukraine’s economy is sustaining losses from the war; the largest Ukrainian companies are sustaining heavy losses due to the russian aggression. The State Food and Consumer Service of Ukraine stated that as of April 4th, compared to February 23rd, that there has been a significant increase in prices for almost all food products.
In particular, there was an increase in the price of wheat bread – by 28.5%, rye-wheat bread – 12.5%, buckwheat – 25.5%, pasta – 24.5%, sunflower oil – by 11.9%, onions – 27.2%.
At the Boryspil airport, according to preliminary estimates, during the war the loss of income amounted to 3.5 billion, at Ukrposhta – more than UAH 500 million.
russia’s war against Ukraine has led to a drop in Ukrainian grain exports, but even shifting supplies from other countries will not be able to compensate for the loss of supplies from Ukraine. This is stated in an article by Bloomberg.
6. International support and assistance to Ukraine.
Political support for Ukraine and security guarantees. According to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine has not yet received a list of countries with their confirmed agreement to provide security guarantees, but obviously different countries are ready to provide different forms of guarantee.
Speaking at a remote meeting of the UN Security Council, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stressed that the organsation could be disbanded if it fails to stop the war and war crimes committed in Ukraine.
Military assistance to Ukraine. CNN reports that Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced the arrival of the first batch of US military aid in Ukraine over the weekend, from a new $800 million aid package. Another security aid will arrive in Ukraine “within the next 24 hours.”
“We give priority to those types of opportunities in those deliveries that we know Ukrainians need mostly: Javelins, Stingers, drones, so this is a priority,” the Pentagon spokesman said.
He recalled that last Friday the United States announced another package of “additional assistance” – $300 million. John Kirby has added that this equipment will not come from American stocks – it will be purchased from the contractors.
Three dozen US congressmen are demanding that US President Joe Biden provide more weapons to Ukraine, including surface-to-air missiles, fighter jets and anti-ship missiles.
The letter was initiated by the Democratic representatives Andy Kim of New Jersey and Jason Crow of Colorado and the Republican Peter Meijer of Michigan.
The Czech Republic has donated several dozen non-modernised Soviet T-72 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine free of charge to help defend against russian attacks.
The Czech army had about 90 tanks in stock, but only about 30 modernised vehicles are in active use.
NATO expects an intensified russian attack in eastern and southern Ukraine and declares its readiness to continue its armed support for Kyiv.
Humanitarian aid to Ukraine. During the Epic Games charity initiative (developer of Fortnite) and Xbox, users of the game managed to raise $144 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
7. Provocations and fakes of russian aggressors.
According to the Security Service of Ukraine, russia is preparing a large-scale provocation in Mariupol to accuse Ukraine of it. The main task of russian propaganda today is to divert the public’s attention to the mass murder of civilians in the Kyiv region by the occupiers.
According to available data, the occupiers are preparing a large-scale falsification: they plan to gather in one place the bodies of Mariupol residents killed by the russians and present them as massacre victims of Ukrainian troops.
In Rubizhne, in the Luhansk region, russian troops hit a storage tank containing nitric acid, the vapours of which hit the airways. Gas masks are being used to protect against nitric acid vapours and mists.
In the Ternopil region, six storage tanks containing organic fertilisers were damaged and chemicals leaked on Tuesday night due to falling fragments of an enemy cruise missile.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in Izium, the russian occupiers are fabricating evidence on the alleged crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Besides, they carry out shelling of the settlement and create a kind of “documentation”.
8. Political and socio-economic situation in russia, the impact of international sanctions on it.
The EU will impose a fifth package of sanctions, including a coal embargo. The European Union has announced a fifth package of sanctions against russia in response to the atrocities in Bucha, which included a coal embargo against the aggressor and a ban on transactions with four leading russian banks.
Despite all calls, the EU has failed to disconnect most russian banks from SWIFT or the oil and gas embargo against the aggressor country. The fifth sanction package consists of six parts.
Firstly, the EU bans russian coal imports, which will cost russia 4 billion euros a year.
Secondly, the European Union is banning transactions with russia’s four largest banks, including VTB Bank. Together, they make up 23% of the russian market.
Thirdly, The EU is banning russian ships and operators from entering the ports of the union, except for agricultural and food products, humanitarian, and energy cargo.
Fourth, EU countries are extending a ban on exports to russia worth 10 billion euros annually. The list includes such elements as quantum computers, high-tech semiconductors, transport components, etc.
Fifth, the European Union refuses to import a number of goods and raw materials from russia such as wood, seeds, seafood, and alcohol. It will cost the aggressor another 5.5 billion euros.
And the last part of the sanctions package prohibits russian companies from participating in European public procurement and deprives russian government agencies of financial support from the EU.
At present, such a package of sanctions has yet to be voted on by all bloc countries in the coming days for it to take effect. It is expected to receive unanimous support.
The United States will announce new sanctions against russia tomorrow in coordination with the G7 and the European Union. The United States will ban all new investments in russia, tighten sanctions against financial institutions and state-owned enterprises in russia, and impose restrictions on russian government officials and their families.
There is a decline in prices for russian oil. International trader Trafigura offers russian Urals oil on April 20-24 with a record discount of $ 34.8 per barrel to the Dated Brent benchmark. This was reported by Bloomberg with reference to the data agency Platts.
The Ministry of Finance of the russian federation stated that it did not receive 302 billion rubles of oil and gas revenues from the expected volume in March this year.
New sanctions and restrictions are being imposed on russia, which is having a negative impact on the russian economy. The United States has suspended the exchange of information with russian tax authorities to complicate tax collection in russia.
The Australian government will ban the export of luxury goods to russia. These sanctions are reportedly aimed at russian president putin and his wealthy aides, not at ordinary russian consumers, including wine, expensive cosmetics, and luxury car parts.
Imports of imported fish to russia due to sanctions will be reduced by 28-35% year on year – primarily salmon, tuna, shrimp, and other products.
Irish building materials manufacturer Kingspan has announced its withdrawal from the russian market.