War in Ukraine – Latest news
This major incident page is created to record in summarized format the Russian attack on Ukraine, which began on 24th February following the announcement of a Military Operation earlier in the day. The page highlights those issues and actions relevant to, and undertaken by Portugal in response. The information comes from multiple sources both in Portugal, overseas including directly from in Ukraine itself.
This page is for situation reports wef 15th March at 1800 hrs.
Reports to 28th February can be read here.
Reports from 28th February to 5th March can be read here
Reports from 6th to 8th March can be read here
Reports from the 9th to 14th March can be read here
Reports from 15th March can be read here
Reports from 21st March to 4th April can be read here
Situation Report 2200 hrs Monday 11th April 2022
Russia claims to have destroyed several air defence systems in Ukraine over the weekend, the Associated Press reports, saying it appears to indicate a renewed push to gain air superiority and take out weapons Kyiv has described as crucial ahead of a broad new offensive in the east. Moscow claims to have hit four S-300 launchers provided by a European country it didn’t name on Monday. Slovakia gave Ukraine such a system last week, but denies it has been destroyed. Russia has previously reported two strikes on similar systems in other places. (Guardian)
Moscow will not pause its military operation in Ukraine before the next round of peace talks, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said. Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov said Vladimir Putin had ordered military actions to be suspended during the first round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators.. Moscow’s position had changed since then, he said. Lavrov said he saw no reason not to continue talks with Ukraine but insisted Moscow would not halt its military operation when the sides convene again. (Reuters)
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, has said there will be an offensive by Russian forces not only on Mariupol, but also on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities
In its latest intelligence update on Ukraine, the UK’s Ministry of Defence warns that Russia’s past use of phosphorus munitions in Donetsk “raised the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies”. (BBC)
More than 20% of Russian soldiers confirmed dead during the war in Ukraine are officers, including 10 colonels, 20 lieutenant colonels, 31 majors and 155 junior officers, the BBC reports. The BBC has been able to verify the identities of the 1,083 Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine, their deaths reported by local officials or Russian media. The BBC World correspondent Olga Ivshina said evidence showed: Russia has lost some of its best specialists, including elite spec. forces operators, highly skilled fighter pilots and some experienced commanders.
Tens of thousands of people have likely been killed in Russia’s assault on the south-eastern city of Mariupol, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the South Korean parliament this morning. “Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive,” Reuters quotes him saying in a video address this morning. (Guardian)
Bombardments around Kharkiv in north eastern Ukraine have killed at least 12 people in the past two days, according to regional governor Oleg Synegubov. “The Russian army continues to wage war on civilians due to a lack of victories at the front,” he said on Telegram.
FAKE NEWS – MARIUPOL
A naval brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced on Monday that it was preparing for a “final battle” in the south eastern port of Mariupol, which has been surrounded by Russian forces for more than 40 days. But the Municipality says that the Facebook account where the message was broadcast was hacked and the general who leads the resistance guarantees that the fight for victory continues. “Today will probably be the final battle because our ammunition is running out”, read a message posted on Facebook by the 36th brigade of the National Navy, which is part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, quoted by the France-Presse agency. (AFP).
Armed Forces: Russia lost around 19,500 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. According to Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Russia has lost around 19,500 troops, 725 tanks, 1,923 armoured combat vehicles, 347 pieces of artillery, 111 rocket launcher systems, 55 air defence systems, 154 aircraft, 137 helicopters, 76 fuel tanks, and seven ships during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (KI)
UN: Over 4.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since beginning of Russia’s all-out war. According to the most recent data from the United Nations’ refugee agency 4,503,954 refugees have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24. Poland has received the most refugees with over 2.6 million, closely followed by Romania and Hungary with over 686,000 and 419,000, respectively. (UNHCR)
The Times: Finland, Sweden set to join NATO as soon as summer. Officials are quoted as having said that Russia made a “massive strategic blunder,” as the two countries are forecasted to join the alliance in the coming months. NATO membership for Finland and Sweden was reportedly “a topic of conversation and multiple sessions” during talks last week.
Russian oil embargo could be part of sixth round of EU sanctions. The Foreign Ministers of Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands said on April 11 that the EU is drafting proposals for the bloc’s oil embargo on Russia, although there is still no agreement regarding the measure. “The EU is spending hundreds of millions of euros on importing oil from Russia, which is certainly contributing to financing this war. We need to cut off that financing. The sooner, the better,” said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, as quoted by (Reuters).
Croatia has expelled 24 Russian embassy staff over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “brutal aggression”, the Croatian foreign ministry said. In a statement, the ministry said the Russian ambassador was summoned in a protest over the “brutal aggression on Ukraine and numerous crimes committed there“.
German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall is ready to send tanks to Ukraine if government approves. Rheinmetall can send up to 50 old Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine if the German government approves the transfer, Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger told German media on April 11. The first shipment could take up to six weeks. German Armed Forces have decommissioned the old Leopard 1 tanks, using the Leopard 2 model instead.
UK PRIME MINISTER’S VISIT TO UKRAINE
The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, travelled by car, helicopter, military plane and train for his surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday, Downing Street said. On his arrival in the Ukrainian capital, Johnson held talks with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, for an hour, before they both went for a walk through the city including to Independence Square. The two leaders returned for a full bilateral meeting over a dinner with their small teams, No 10 said.
INVESTIGATION OF WAR CRIMES
The French Militarized Police – Gendarmerie – has already arrived in Lviv, in western Ukraine, to help Ukrainian authorities “in the investigation of war crimes committed in Kiev”, the French ambassador to Ukraine announced this Monday. It is the “first” foreign unit “to provide such help”. “Proud to welcome in Lviv the detachment of technical and scientific police who came to help their comrades in the investigation of war crimes committed in Kiev”, declared the ambassador. “They will be working tomorrow [Tuesday]”, said Etienne de Poncins.
World Bank predicts Ukraine’s economy to shrink by almost half in 2022. Ukraine’s economy is on course to contract by over 45% this year as Russia’s full-scale invasion and the impact of a “deep humanitarian crisis” takes its toll, the World Bank said on April 10 in a new report. The organization also forecasts Russia’s 2022 GDP output to fall 11.2% due to financial sanctions.
State Emergency Service: Almost half of Ukraine needs to be demined. Up to 300,000 square kilometers need to be examined and possibly demined, according to Oleh Bondar, representative of the State Emergency Service.
German newspaper Die Welt has hired as a correspondent Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who broke on to a live news broadcast on Russian state television in protest against the Ukraine war, its owner Axel Springer said. Ovsyannikova, 43, will report for the newspaper as well as for Die Welt’s TV news channel, including from Ukraine and Russia, Springer said.
Situation Report 0700 hrs Tuesday 5th April 2022
HEAD OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO VISIT KYIV
The Prime Minister of Slovenia has stated that the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the head of European Foreign Affairs Josep Borrel will arrive in Kyiv. This was reported by “European Truth”.
He also announced the resumption of work of several diplomatic missions in Kyiv. “Lithuanian diplomats in Kyiv will be joined by Lithuanians. An EU mission is also returning. The President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will also visit Kyiv this week. This time Slovenia set an example,” Jansa wrote on Twitter.
ZELENSKY TO ADDRESS UN SECURITY COUNCIL
President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would address the UN Security Council on Tuesday and predicted further, worse instances of mass killings of civilians by Russian forces would be discovered.
UN ATROCITIES IN BUSHA
Ukraine says 50 out of some 300 bodies, found after Russian forces withdrew from Bucha were victims of extrajudicial killings by Russian troops. Satellite images show a 14-metre-long (45 feet) trench dug into the grounds of a church where a mass grave was found. The Ukrainian city’s funeral services claim to have located and buried around 340 bodies of civilians found on the city’s streets. Bucha was besieged by Russian troops for weeks and, after his release, hundreds of bodies were discovered in the streets, some of them with their hands tied behind their backs.
The Ukrainian military intelligence services released this Monday, on the Internet, the personal data of 1,600 Russian soldiers – including name and surname, date of birth and military rank -, integrated in the troops that acted in Bucha, near Kiev.
The list corresponds to the soldiers of the 64th Independent Motorized Brigade of the Russian Army who are said to have been involved in the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha. All war criminals will be tried and prosecuted for crimes against the civilian population of Ukraine,” the intelligence said. (KI)
The release of this list, through the Ukrainian Government website, follows the publication of the identification of the 13 Russian military units last Sunday, made by an adviser to the Ukrainian President, through the social network Facebook. The Kremlin has rejected the participation of its soldiers in the alleged massacres in Bucha, near Kiev.
With my own eyes I saw Bucha, Irpin, Stoyanka after the occupation. We will do our best to bring them back to life as soon as possible. (President Zelensky picture above)
Sumy Oblast Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky reported on April 5 that in Konotop district of Sumy Oblast, the Ukrainian military found the bodies of at least three tortured civilians in places where Russian forces had been stationed. Russians withdrew from Sumy region on April 3.
REACTION TO ATROCITIES
Prime Minister Antonio Costa stated on Twitter: that “The brutality of the images that reach us from Busha is shocking. We strongly condemn these atrocities against civilians. An unacceptable barbarity that must be vehemently punished by international justice”, wrote António Costa on his official Twitter account.
The Portuguese Prime Minister thus joins the chorus of indignation caused by images of the Ukrainian city of Busha, where many bodies, including children, were found in mass graves after the withdrawal of Russian forces.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called for all bodies found in the town of Bucha to be exhumed and identified, to ensure that war crimes can be investigated. Bachelet said she was “horrified” by the images, which she said raised “serious and disturbing doubts about possible war crimes, serious violations of international law and serious violations of international human rights law. It is essential that all bodies are exhumed and identified, so that families are informed and the precise causes of death established. It is vital that every effort is made to ensure effective and independent investigations, in order to guarantee truth, justice and consequence, in addition to possible reparations to the families”.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez referred today in Madrid to the existence of a possible “genocide” in Ukraine with the massacre of civilians discovered in Busha, on the outskirts of Kiev, after the withdrawal of Russian troops.
Russian response – Russia says the footage of the massacre was staged and edited by the US and NATO and has convened a UN Security Council meeting to discuss what it called Ukraine’s “hateful provocations”.
The Russian Armed Forces have laid mines on more than 80,000 square kilometres of Ukrainian territory, more than 62,000 of which have been since the invasion of the country on February 24, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
“Following the first wave of Russian armed aggression against Ukraine in 2014, around 16,000 square kilometres of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions were contaminated with mines and remnants of war explosives,” the Ukrainian ministry said in a statement published today on the occasion of the International Landmine Hazard Awareness Day.
PLAN FOR UKRAINE’S ECONOMIC REVIVAL
The restoration of Ukrainian cities will begin immediately after their liberation from the Russian occupiers. A plan for Ukraine’s economic revival has already been prepared. This was announced by Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak in an interview for Natalia Moseichuk on 1+1 TV channel. “The President already has a plan for economic revival on the table. We do not waste a single day, we are thinking and getting ready as regards how we can start today. I think that the reconstruction of cities will begin immediately after their release,” Andriy Yermak said. (President’s office)
US TO SEEK RUSSIA’S SUSPENSION FROM HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
The US announced this Monday that it will ask the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, as confirmed by US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a press conference in Bucharest. , capital of Romania.
It is known that a two-thirds majority vote of the 193-member assembly can suspend a state for persistently committing serious and systematic human rights violations during its membership. According to the American ambassador, “Russia’s participation in the Human Rights Council is a farce. And it is wrong, so we believe it is time for the UN General Assembly to vote to remove them “.
GROWING EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Women across Ukraine are grappling with the threat of rape as a weapon of war as growing evidence of sexual violence emerges from areas retaken from retreating Russian forces. The world was horrified on Sunday by a picture taken by the photographer Mikhail Palinchak on a highway 20km outside the capital, Kyiv, in which the bodies of one man and three women were piled under a blanket. The women were naked and their bodies had been partially burned, the photographer said. The harrowing image adds to a mounting body of evidence that summary executions, rape and torture have been used against civilians in areas under Russian control since the Kremlin launched the invasion of its neighbour on 24 February. (Guardian)
Russia announced today that its military forces destroyed 14 Ukrainian military targets on Sunday night, including two command posts, two missile launchers, two artillery arsenals, three fuel depots and six fortifications.
In addition, “Russian air defence means shot down six ‘drones’ on the outskirts of the cities of Mikolaiv, Kherson, Kujarovka, Industrialnoye and Velíkoya Novselka,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashénkov said in the daily report on the evolution of the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Kyiv residents who evacuated to safer regions should wait several more days before returning to Ukraine’s capital, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said on Monday. “Firstly, there is currently a round-the-clock curfew in Kyiv region. Secondly, in certain … towns near Kyiv, its likely that Russian occupiers left landmines, and there are (likely) a lot of unexploded munitions,” Klitschko said.
Russian troops no longer occupy any part of the Sumy region, north and east of Kyiv and Chernihiv, according to the local governor.
In an information shared by the British channel SkyNews, Dmytro Zhyvytskyi reported that Ukrainian troops are working to expel the remaining units. The representative of the region also said that Russian troops abandoned a lot of equipment in the region which is very close to Belarus. Sky News also confirmed that Russian forces are leaving areas in the north, as they promised to do during peace talks, but Ukrainian authorities say they are moving to the east and south of the country. (Sky News)
Once again, the Red Cross team that was to bring humanitarian aid to the besieged city of Mariupol failed to reach the city, reports the Guardian. “Due to the lack of security conditions, our team could not reach Mariupol”, explains the team leader.
FUNDING FOR MILITARY AID
Ukrainian Canadian Congress proposes a ‘Ukraine Victory Fund.’ The UCC, a group representing over 1.3 million Ukrainian-Canadians, set forth the idea to include the fund in the federal government’s budget. If successful, the fund would provide additional financing for fighter aircraft, weapon systems and munitions along with a financing program similar to the Marshall Plan implemented after World War II.
Reported by Ukrainian General Staff: 18,300 Russian soldiers killed since Feb. 24. According to Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Russian troops have also lost 647 tanks, 1,844 armoured fighting vehicles, 330 artillery pieces, 107 multiple rocket launchers, 147 aircraft, 134 helicopters, 76 fuel tanks, 1273 vehicles, 7 boats, and 92 UAVs.
Russia today warned against the possible placement of US nuclear weapons on the territory of Poland, proposed by Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. “The proposed actions can only lead to a further increase in tension on the mainland,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said during a press conference.
In an interview published in the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Die Welt, Kaczynski said that Poland is available to receive US nuclear warheads and defended the reinforcement of troops from that country on the eastern flank of NATO, to prevent a Russian attack, after the invasion. (DW)