The situation in the morning: fighting for cities in eastern Ukraine – Kyiv is preparing for a major offensive
Berlin For 50 days Ukraine has been resisting Russian aggression. And shortly before Easter, a ceasefire seems a long way off. On the night of Good Friday, sirens could be heard in several regions announcing attacks from the air.
Massive explosions were also reported Friday morning from Kyiv, southern Kherson, Kharkiv to the east and Ivano-Frankivsk to the west. Ukrainian media reports about power outages in parts of the capital Kyiv.
to the military situation
According to the morning report of the Ukrainian general staff, Russian units are currently trying to take the cities of Popasna and Rubishne in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. However, they are not successful in doing so. The government in Kyiv expects a major offensive by Russian units in the east of the country in the coming days.
Within 24 hours, attacks were repelled in eight places in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, destroying several Russian tanks and an artillery system, the general staff report said. Ukraine has particularly strong troops there, which have held the front line against the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are controlled and equipped by Moscow, since 2014.
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At the same time, Moscow has been increasing its troops in the area for several days. The Ukrainian general staff announced on Thursday that elements of Russian troops previously deployed to the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv were now stationed around the large city of Sievarodonetsk, which borders Rubyzhne.
If this is confirmed, it will be the first unit to be withdrawn after fighting in northeastern Ukraine and relocated back to eastern Ukraine, the US war research institute Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its report on Ukraine on Friday night . The Russian armed forces would probably face the challenge of bringing together units from several military districts to form a uniformly acting combat force.
50 days resistance
The Ukrainian President used his nightly video message to say thank you to his compatriots. “Thank God, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our people – we defended most of our country,” Zelensky said in the video published on Telegram. “50 days of our defense is an achievement. A feat by millions of Ukrainians.”
Zelensky said he remembered the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “To put it mildly, nobody was convinced that we would survive.” Many would have recommended him to leave the country. “They advised that we surrender de facto to tyranny.” But they didn’t know the Ukrainians and didn’t know how brave they were and how much they value freedom.
Black Sea Fleet flagship sunk
Meanwhile, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has to cope with the loss of the missile cruiser Moskva. The ship went down during a storm while it was being towed to its destination, the state agency TASS reports, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.
Because of a “fire caused by the detonation of ammunition”, the “Moskva” had previously been damaged on the hull and thus became unstable. The Russian side did not give any information about the cause of the fire. Kyiv, on the other hand, said the ship had been hit by one or two anti-ship missiles.
According to experts, the incident has more than just symbolic significance. The missile cruiser was the linchpin of the air defense of the Black Sea Fleet. The fact that the ship sank – whether by accident or a missile – will boost the morale of the Ukrainian armed forces and is also a propaganda victory for Kyiv.
CIA: Don’t take Russian nuclear threat lightly
CIA chief Bill Burns warned against taking the threat of Russia’s possible use of tactical nuclear bombs seriously. “Given the possible desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the military setbacks experienced so far, none of us can take lightly the threat of the possible use of tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons. We don’t do it,” Burns said.
Habeck: Must deliver more weapons to Ukraine
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck is campaigning for an increase in arms deliveries to Ukraine. “More weapons must come,” said the Green politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “We cannot leave Ukraine alone in the war. She fights for us too. Ukraine must not lose, Putin must not win.” Above all, politicians from the Greens and the FDP in the traffic light coalition are pushing for further aid for Kyiv, also in the form of heavy weapons.
The CSU in the Bundestag is also demanding swift decisions from the federal government on the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. “The time for lengthy traffic lights is over,” said CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “Germany can and must provide significantly more military support.”
>> Read about this: German tanks in Ukraine? Heavy equipment would probably only be ready for use in winter
On the other hand, the first parliamentary secretary of the left-wing faction in the Bundestag, Jan Korte, accuses the FDP and Greens of war rhetoric and “demands for excess weapons”. The “path of increasing military interference, promoted in particular by the Greens and the FDP” is taking on increasingly threatening proportions, Korte told the German Press Agency. “It is high time to end this dangerous game with fire.”
Kyiv: Flixbus resumes trips to Ukraine
According to information from Kyiv, the bus operator FlixBus is resuming connections to Ukraine. The capital Kyiv and a number of other Ukrainian cities would be served again, according to a statement by the Ukrainian government portal on the state of the country’s transport infrastructure. In addition to Kyiv, the stops that have been resumed include Zhytomyr, Rivne, Vinnytsja, Uman, Khmelnytskyj and Ternopil.
Read more about the Ukraine war here:
That’s going to be important today
Pope Francis will celebrate the traditional Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome this Good Friday. To speak out against the war in Ukraine and against gun violence, the Vatican decided that at the 13th Station Ukrainians and Russians will jointly carry the crucifix as a sign of peace. However, criticism came from the Ukraine in advance – this was a contradictory signal that did not put the Russian war of aggression in the right context. Easter marches for peace are planned in Chemnitz and Biberach, among others. In Berlin, the discussion about the delivery of heavy weapons from Germany to Ukraine continues.
More: You can follow the latest developments in our news blog