Dispatches from Ukraine. Day 404.
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues and the war rages on, reliable sources of information are critical. Forbes gathers information and provides updates on the situation.
Donetsk region. Six people were killed and eight injured in an attack on the city of Kostiantynivka on Apr. 2, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Russian shelling hit the downtown in the morning, leaving numerous multi-story buildings demolished.
Intense hostilities continue in eastern Ukraine, deputy minister of defense Hanna Maliar said in a social media post on Apr. 1. Russia is focused on offensives on four key fronts: Lyman, Bakhmut, Mariianka and Avdiivka. “The greatest efforts are made to establish control over Bakhmut,” Maliar continued. “The enemy is trying to advance to the central part of the city and is seeing limited success across certain areas. But capturing the city eludes Russia.”
A successful prisoner of war exchange was conducted on Apr. 3, with Ukraine repatriating 10 servicemen and two civilians, the coordinating staff at the ministry of defense announced. According to ministry data, more than two thousand Ukrainians have been released from Russian captivity since the start of the full-scale invasion trough joint efforts of the Office of the President.
Leading Orthodox priest Metropolitan Pavel was placed under house arrest on Apr. 1 after the Security Service of Ukraine (SSB) issued a notice of suspicion against him the same day for allegedly justifying Russia’s aggression. As abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery, the holiest Orthodox site in Ukraine, Metropolitan Pavel belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has historic ties to Moscow. He is being accused of public justification and denial of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine and has been sentenced by a Kyiv court to house arrest for 60 days, enforced by electronic bracelet. The SSB published intercepted tapes where the Metropolitan rejoices in the occupation of Kherson and claims there are no authentic Ukrainians in the western parts of the country.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, along with German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić visited the village of Yahidne, Chernihiv region, on Apr. 3 to see the aftermath of Russia’s spring occupation of the area. “We visited the Yahidne secondary school, in the basement of which the Russian occupiers forcibly kept 367 Ukrainian civilians in unsanitary conditions,” Zelensky said at a press-conference. “The residents of Yahidne lived through terrible ordeals. They were kept in the basement for 27 days. They survived standing and sitting. 11 people died, unfortunately. And all these people somehow lived in the dark and were waiting for Ukraine to return.” As he was leaving, Zelenskyy wished for the head of the Russian Federation to spend the rest of his life locked in a cellar to experience the suffering Russian forces caused the villagers.
The International Monetary Fund has approved a complex support program for Ukraine worth $15.6 billion, the President of Ukraine announced on Mar. 31. “I’m thankful to the IMF and Kristalina Georgieva for approving a new four-year support program for Ukraine for the total of $15.6 billion.” Zelenskyy wrote. “It is an important help in our fight against Russian aggression. Together we support the Ukrainian economy.” The program aims to establish policies that will fortify fiscal, external, price, and financial stability as well as promote the economic recovery of Ukraine. At the same time, the program seeks to elevate governance standards and reinforce institutions to foster sustainable long-term growth.
Mar. 31 marked one year since the town of Bucha, Kyiv Region, was liberated from Russian forces. The Russian army left behind hundreds of bodies of murdered civilians on the streets of the suburban town near
Ukrainians have donated 333 million hryvnias ($9 million) to the “Long Arms of Territorial Defense” project initiated by Come Back Alive, a foundation that supports the military, which will purchase reconnaissance and strike mortar systems for each regional territorial defense unit. “We do believe in the Defense Forces and want to strengthen them by giving them longer arms – reconnaissance and strike complexes with a complex system of fire power, communication, mobility, and specialized exercises by the instructors of the Foundation,” the organization wrote in a description of the fundraiser.
Russian war blogger and propagandist Vladlen Tatarsky was killed in an explosion in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia on Apr. 2, according to multiple media reports. The explosion occurred in a café where Tatarsky was giving a talk, resulting in injuries to more than 32 people in attendance.
By Daria Dzysiuk, Karina L. Tahiliani