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    Ukraine today showed a video claiming to be a military drone hit on a Russian landing ship supplying a TOR anti-aircraft missile system to Snake Island. The footage appears to show the destruction of a large Serna-type landing craft in an air strike. 'Enemy units remaining on Snake Island remain without air cover and will be destroyed and burned out like cockroaches or locusts,' said Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko. Other reports said the landing craft had been hit by a hit by a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 military drone. Black and white footage showed little human figures moving around on the landing ship moments before a white flash engulfs the craft. Figures continue to move around on the craft after it is hit. The footage also showed an attack on a building on Snake Island. What appear to be Russian personnel are seen patrolling around the building when it too is blasted from the sky. Ukraine today showed a video claiming to be a military drone hit on a Russian landing ship supplying a TOR anti-aircraft missile system to Snake Island...
    Smoke rises from the Azovstal factory complex in Mariupol. April 29, 2022. Friday was most notable in eastern Ukraine for the sheer lack of Russian attacks. Whether this was a result of the cascade of incoming overall commanders (Here comes Dvornikov! Here comes Gerasimov! Wait, here comes Putin!), a matter of being out of some sort of supplies (noticed all those burning ammo dumps lately?), or just giving the guys a break after weeks of throwing themselves on swords each day (which sounds very un-Russian), very little forward progress was even attempted. Though artillery shelling of Ukrainian towns and villages continued Friday, it was hard to find any evidence of a genuine attempt at an advance. Anywhere. The result was daily summaries that contained the phrase “no change on the ground” in area after area. Only north of Kharkiv, where Ukrainian forces are slowly pushing Russian troops back from a series of villages just a few miles from the Russian border, was there any measurable change. In their own daily update of the situation, the U.K. Ministry of Defense had something to say about...
    By The Associated Press KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s security chief said Friday that the main battles in the country are taking place in the Donbas, the industrial heartland in the east, with Russia deploying more and more troops every day. Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told The Associated Press that over 100,000 Russian troops are currently fighting in Ukraine, including mercenaries from Syria and Libya. Some of Russia’s elite military units have left the strategic Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which was declared “liberated” by the Kremlin on Thursday, and are now moving to the east of the country to participate in the fighting there, Danilov said. Danilov said a nighttime helicopter delivery brought weapons to Mariupol’s steel mill, the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces in the city. He urged Ukraine’s Western partners to speed up the delivery of weapons to his country. ___ KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: — Possible mass graves near Mariupol shown in satellite images — EXPLAINER: Why the battle for Mariupol’s steel mill matters — EXPLAINER: Why Washington...
    By DAVID KEYTON and YESICA FISCH KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia shifted a dozen crack units from the shattered port of Mariupol to eastern Ukraine and pounded away at cities across the region, Ukrainian authorities said Friday, as the two sides hurtled toward what could be an epic battle for control of the country’s industrial heartland. Russian state TV showed the Russian flag raised on what it said was Mariupol’s highest point, the city’s TV tower. It also showed what it said was the tallest building at Mariupol’s besieged Azovstal steel plant in flames. The Kremlin has thrown over 100,000 troops and mercenaries from Syria and Libya into the fighting in Ukraine and is deploying more forces in the country every day, said Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. “We have a difficult situation, but our army is defending our state,” he said. Cities came under bombardment in the Donbas — the industrial region in the east that the Kremlin has declared the new, main theater of war — as well as in the Kharkiv region...
    (CNN)Phase two of Russia's invasion of Ukraine -- an offensive in the eastern Donbas region -- is underway. The question is whether it will be any more successful and competent than phase one, and whether Ukraine will have enough troops and weapons to impede or even block it. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that the operation in the Donbas is "a very important moment of this entire special operation." The Russian goal is clear and publicly stated: to secure all of Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk -- parts of which Russian-backed separatists have controlled since 2014. A second aim is to crush the remaining resistance in the port city of Mariupol to consolidate a land bridge linking the Russian region of Rostov with Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine eight years ago. To those ends, Russian forces that were deployed to the north and east of Kyiv have been redeployed and in some cases reconstituted after suffering heavy losses. Armored personnel carriers of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic drive through a street in Mariupol on...
    Lviv, Ukraine (CNN)Russian President Vladimir Putin has a new general overseeing his war in Ukraine, and his military commanders are signaling a new phase in the war: an all-out effort to take and hold the portions of Ukraine's Donbas region still under Ukrainian control.Ukrainians seem to be taking that threat at face value. In the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, local officials have been urging many communities to evacuate, opening up humanitarian corridors for civilians to leave for safer parts of Ukraine. In northeastern Kharkiv region, authorities are evacuating the towns of Barvinkove and Lozova. In Dnipro, a regional capital in east-central Ukraine, the mayor, Borys Filatov, has requested that women, children and the elderly leave. "The situation is gradually heating up in Donbas, and we understand that April will be quite hot," Filatov said recently. "Therefore, a huge request: Everyone who has the opportunity (as I have said repeatedly) to leave -- first of all, this applies to women, children, and older people who are not involved in the work of critical infrastructure." A satellite image from Maxar Technologies...
    By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — A senior U.S. defense official says the Pentagon has determined that some of the Russian combat units that retreated from the Kyiv area in recent days are so heavily damaged and depleted that their combat utility is in question. The official described these units as “for all intents and purposes eradicated,” with only a small number of functioning troops and weapons remaining. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal U.S. military assessments, did not say how many units sustained such extensive damage. The official said some combat units that withdrew from the Kyiv area are beginning to move toward the Russian towns of Belgorod and Valuyki for refitting and resupplying before likely deploying to the Donbas region of Ukraine. The official also said the U.S. has seen thousands of additional Russian troops added to the combat force that Moscow has been using in and around the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The official says that the U.S. believes Russia has lost 15 to 20 percent of the combat power it had...
    Babushkas and Dedushkas greet Ukrainian soldiers as their town is liberated. I picked a good week to go on vacation, as Russia’s defeat at the Battle of Kyiv (and the Battles of Chernihiv and Sumy as well) led to the mass Russian withdrawal from Ukraine’s north over the past week. The horrors they left behind are beyond comprehension, though the Russians may have their own solution to the “problem” of their war-crime’ing rampaging hordes: [A]n unconfirmed Ukrainian military intelligence report suggests that Moscow could soon send the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, a unit that reportedly committed war crimes in Bucha, into the fight in eastern Ukraine in the hopes that guilty members of that brigade and witnesses of its war crimes are killed in combat with Ukrainian forces If only this single unit was guilty of all the war crimes. It wasn’t the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade that bombed hospitals, schools, residential buildings, and other residential non-combat targets in cities around Ukraine. And it’s certainly not the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade that has turned...
    Ukrainian Order for Courage medal, for individual courage and heroism while saving lives. Russia is doing … something near Kyiv. Russia claims it is withdrawing forces as a gesture of peace, even as it continues shelling civilians in several other cities around Ukraine. Everyone knows the real situation—Russia has lost the battle of Kyiv, and Russia wants to move those troops to the east, where Russia has had more success. (I explained why in this weekend piece.) The troops arrayed in northwest Kyiv are some of Russia’s best—elite airborne VDV troops. They’ve also suffered some of the highest death rates in the war. It is their presence in this region that proves that Russia truly wanted to take Kyiv. They sent their best. Those poor VDV troopers were simply so poorly supported that they never stood a chance, and never even reached the city’s gates.  Still, Russia can’t fully pull out if it wants to pin down Ukrainian forces around Kyiv. So what are its options?  1. Hold the current line Why waste their best VDV soldier on entrenched defensive emplacements, since those could...
    A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.Vadim Ghirda | AP NATO has accused Russia of increasing the number of troops it has amassed at the Ukrainian border a day after Moscow claimed it had begun withdrawing some of its military units. Western leaders have warned that they are yet to see evidence of such a move, after a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday that some units, having completed military drills near the border, were already on the move. The Russian government released video footage on Wednesday which it claimed showed military units returning to their permanent deployments after completing exercises. CNBC has not been able to verify the authenticity of the footage. Russian officials have also announced that troops engaging in military exercises in Belarus, to Ukraine's north, would also be returning to their permanent bases on Feb. 20. However, Western leaders have cast doubt on Russia's claims.Russia 'continues military buildup'NATO defense ministers are due...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden on Thursday sought to clarify his stance on a potential Russian incursion in Ukraine, cleaning up remarks from the prior day's news conference during which he suggested a "minor incursion" by Russia would elicit a lesser response than a full-scale invasion of the country."I've been absolutely clear with President Putin. He has no misunderstanding. If any -- any -- assembled Russian units move across Ukrainian border, that is an invasion. But it will be met with severe and coordinated economic response that I've discussed in detail with our allies, as well as laid out very clearly for President Putin," Biden said at the top of an event aimed at promoting the bipartisan infrastructure package passed last year.If Putin chooses to invade, Biden added, "Russia will pay a heavy price."This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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