Ukraine Daily Summary - Sunday, 3 April 2022

As towns of Bucha & Irpin were retaken from withdrawing Russian forces, horrific photos and videos flow in -- Entire Kyiv Oblast free from Russian occupiers -- Evidence of war crimes in Bucha -- Russian air strike hits Odesa -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Sunday, 3 April 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


Dead bodies lie on a street in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on April 2, 2022, as Ukraine says Russian forces are making a “rapid retreat” from northern areas around Kyiv and the city of Chernihiv. The bodies of at least 20 men in civilian clothes were found lying in a single street after Ukrainian forces retook the town of Bucha. (AFP via Getty Images)

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar: Entire Kyiv Oblast free from Russian occupiers as of April 2. The region sustained some of the most intense fighting as Russians tried to reach the capital.

As towns of Bucha and Irpin were retaken from withdrawing Russian forces, horrific photos and videos began to flow in. Ruined houses, burned-down cars, and bodies of civilians scattered around the streets.The photos appear to prove that the Russian forces carried out targeted, organized killings of civilians in Bucha, particularly of men: They are often found shot dead, with their hands tied behind their backs. Read our story here. (GRAPHIC IMAGES).

Rescuers deactivate more than 640 explosive devices in one day in liberated town of Irpin near Kyiv. On March 28, the Ukrainian military retook Irpin from the Russian forces. According to Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn, residents won’t be able to return to the city for a month, as the military will be clearing it from explosives left by Russians.

Human Rights Watch: Evidence of war crimes in Bucha. The rights group said it interviewed a woman in Bucha who witnessed Russian troops round up five men and shoot one of them in the back of the head, killing him. “We have documented an unmistakable case of summary execution by Russian Federation forces in Bucha on March 4,” a Human Rights Watch spokeswoman said.

Early in the morning on April 3, Russian air strike hits Odesa. According to Suspilne news outlet, some of the Russian missiles were shot down by Ukraine’s air defense. A spokesman for the Odesa regional military administration, Serhiy Bratchuk confirmed the shelling. Fires were also recorded in some areas. Local authorities have instructed residents to close their windows.

Russians hit Dnipro, Poltava and Kremenchuk overnight. Late on April 1, at least 10 explosions were reported in eastern Ukraine’s city of Dnipro. Russian missiles also hit two cities in central Ukraine – Poltava and Kremenchuk – early on April 2, damaging infrastructure and residential buildings, the head of the Poltava region Dmytro Lunin reported. There is no immediate information about possible casualties.

Russian military destroy Ukraine’s biggest oil refinery in Kremenchuk. The capacity of the plant, which was co-owned by the state and the oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, was 18.6 million tons per year.

Russian missiles hit railroad in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, train traffic halted. According to Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko, in the eastern Pavlohrad district, tracks and carriages were severely damaged as a result of the attack. No casualties were reported.

Russian missile strikes industrial facility near Shepetivka in Khmelnytsky Oblast. According to Governor Serhiy Hamaliy, 15 people were on the site during the attack, but no one was injured.

Russia continues to shell Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Rubizhne in Luhansk region. According to Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Gaidai, Russian forces on April 2 continued their strikes on the large cities and hit one residential building for third time in one week. Gaidai believes Russia is trying to break through the front line and will intensify shelling.

Governor: Russian forces shell hospital in Kharkiv Oblast. According to Governor Oleh Synehubov, Russia shelled a hospital in occupied Balakliia to frame Ukraine’s Armed Forces. The governor says the building is partly destroyed, and about 70 hospital workers and patients require immediate evacuation. The Kyiv Independent can’t confirm this information at the moment.

Russian occupiers attack rally in Enerhodar, loud explosions heard in the city. According to Energoatom, Ukraine’s state nuclear energy сompany, Russian forces arrested an unknown number of people opposing the Russian occupation in a peaceful rally in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Locals heard loud explosions and “massive shelling” sounds in the city soon after.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces: Ukraine destroys 8 aerial targets of the Russian air force. Ukraine’s Air Command reported in an online post that Russia lost four missiles, two Su-34 fighter-bombers, one helicopter, and one UAV in the last 24 hours.

No launches of Russian missiles, fighter jet take-offs from Belarus reported the whole day of April 2. According to Belarusian opposition journalists who crowdsource information about military movements in Belarus, for the first time in a while no missiles have been shot at Ukraine from Belarus.

More than 4,200 people evacuated on April 2. 2,650 people left Luhansk Oblast. Almost 1,300 people traveled from Mariupol and Berdiansk to the city of Zaporizhia in their own cars. Ten evacuation buses with more than 300 Mariupol residents are on the way to Zaporizhzhia.

The Times: Ukraine’s military shoot down Russian helicopter with UK Starstreak portable missile system. According to the Times’ sources, Starstreak, Britain’s most advanced portable missile system provided to Ukraine a week ago, was filmed “cutting the aircraft in two over the Luhansk region in the east of the country.”

Ukraine’s intelligence: Russian military set up bazaar in Belarus to sell looted Ukrainian goods. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Intelligence Directorate reported that Russian troops set up an open-air marketplace in the Belarus town of Naroulia, close to the Ukrainian border, where they sell everything they stole in Ukraine, including children’s toys, jewelry, cars, cosmetics, and currency.

CNN: Russia shifting strategy to early May victory in eastern Ukraine. Russia has revised its strategy in Ukraine to focus on capturing Donbas and other areas in eastern Ukraine by early May, CNN reports, citing U.S. officials. According to the officials, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is under pressure to demonstrate a victory and intercepted US intelligence suggests Putin is focused on May 9, Russia’s “Victory Day.”

Conflict Intelligence Team: Missile hitting Belgorod Oblast came from Russia. Observers from the CIT report that the missile that fell in the village of Nikolskoye in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast on April 1 came from the country’s northeast or east, ruling out Ukraine’s involvement. Russian media and authorities earlier accused Ukraine of attacking Belgorod Oblast.

Zelensky: Not admitting Ukraine is NATO’s mistake. In an interview with Fox News, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine would make NATO much stronger as a member. “We are not a weak state. We are not proposing to make us stronger at the expense of NATO. We are not an addition, we are a locomotive.”

About 620,000 Ukrainians have returned to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion. “In the first weeks of the war, most Ukrainians returning home were men, but now we see increasing numbers of women and children coming back to Ukraine,” Andriy Demchenko, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service, told Ukrainska Pravda.

Ukraine’s economy shrinks by estimated 16% between January and April. Ukraine’s economy may shrink by 40% by the end of the year due to the war, according to Denys Kudin, the first deputy minister of economy. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on March 29 that economic losses due to the war could exceed $1 trillion.

Ukrainian electronic musician Heinali to perform live from bomb shelter. Ukrainian musician Oleh Shpudeiko will perform a short live DJ set live from a Lviv bomb shelter at 7 p.m. Shpudeiko says, during the set, a fundraiser will be launched in support of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Read our exclusive, on the ground stories.

Natalia Datskevych: My rescue mission to flee Russia’s war with three kids. My life, together with the lives of millions of Ukrainians, turned into hell when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This is the story of how I was trapped near the Russian border with my husband and my three daughters and how we were able to finally escape.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Ukrainian photographer Maks Levin found dead in Kyiv Oblast. The Institute of Mass Information announced the news citing the Prosecutor General’s Office. Levin went missing on March 13 when he traveled to Vyshhorod district in Kyiv Oblast to document hostilities there. His body was found on April 1. Levin had been shot twice with small arms, according to preliminary findings. The 40-year-old photographer who worked with Reuters, BBC, and Associated Press left behind four children, his wife and parents.

Death toll in Russia’s missile strike on regional state administration in Mykolaiv rises to 36 people. On the morning of March 29, Russian forces hit and destroyed the central section of the 9-story building. Many employees have already come to work at the time.

Kyiv City Council: 154 residential buildings, 20 private estates, 27 kindergartens, 44 schools damaged by Russia’s war. The administration said that there is a group of experts who assess the estimated cost of repairing the damage and provides proposal plans for the city council.

Ukraine’s military: Russia has lost 17,800 soldiers as of April 2. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that Russia also lost 631 tanks, 1,776 armored personnel carriers, 1,236 vehicles, 317 artillery systems, 100 multiple launch rocket systems, 54 anti-aircraft defense systems, 134 helicopters, 143 aircraft, 76 fuel tanks, 87 UAVs and 7 boats.

International response

Lithuania becomes first EU country to ban Russian gas. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that starting in April, the country will not import Russian gas. “Years ago, my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the aggressor,” he wrote, adding that other European countries should follow the Lithuanian example.

EU says it eyes further sanctions that won’t affect Russian energy sector. The EU’s Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said that the Union is working on further sanctions on Russia, but any additional measures will not affect the energy sector.

Podolyak calls for embargo on Russian energy. Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the president’s chief of staff, says the sanctions imposed on Russia aren’t enough. “To ruin the Russian economy and stop the killing of Ukrainians, a direct embargo on all Russian energy resources is needed,” he wrote. He added that the closure of ports for all Russian goods can serve as an alternative.

Italy says it’s ready to guarantee Ukraine’s neutrality. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Mayo said the government “is ready to contribute to the peace process and act as a guarantor of Ukraine’s neutrality.” After the peace talks in Istanbul on March 29, Ukrainian negotiator Oleksander Chalyi explained that Ukraine seeks NATO-style security guarantees from the West.

Pope Francis finally criticizes Putin over invasion of Ukraine. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church said in an address to Maltese officials that a “potentate” was waging conflicts for nationalist interests. The pope also told reporters a trip to Ukraine is “on the table.”

Turkey ready to provide ships to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told journalists that the country can provide ship support for the evacuation of civilians and those wounded in Mariupol. “Coordination with Russian and Ukrainian officials in this regard is continuing,” he said.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Natalia Datskevych, Alexander Query, Asami Terajima, Sergiy Slipchenko, Thaisa Semenova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina and Lili Bivings.

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