24.04.2022, 14:38 23 min. reading time
Switzerland apparently blocks ammunition supplies to Ukraine +++ Selensky expects US ministers in Kiev +++ Ukraine reports forced recruitment in occupied territories +++ Developments in Star Ticker.
It is the 60th day of the Russian war in Ukraine: The campaign of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has been running for two months. Senior US officials could visit Kyiv today for the first time. Ukraine, meanwhile, reports recapture in the Kherson region and reports of forced levies in the occupied areas.
The most important thing about the war in Ukraine on Sunday, April 24:
14:10: Ukraine reports recovery in the south
Ukraine has regained control of eight cities in the Kherson region in the south of the country, the Ukrainian General Staff in Kiev said. He does not give details of the names of the villages or their exact location. The Russian army has previously announced that it has occupied the entire Kherson region. Ukraine fears that, as in Donbas, independence from Ukraine could be declared there, following the example of the “Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic” recognized by Russia.
The General Staff also reports that a Russian military convoy was shelled near the village of Kyselivka northwest of Kherson. “After suffering serious losses, the enemy retreated to Chornobajka,” the situation report said. Kyiv calculated the total daily losses of Russian troops in the Kherson region at 74 soldiers, 2 tanks, 1 rocket launcher, 6 armored vehicles and 4 drones.
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13:15: Italy is apparently considering further military aid to Kyiv
According to media reports, Italy is examining the possibility of supplying Ukraine with additional weapons. Rome is considering another package of military aid that could be completed in the coming days, according to several Italian newspapers. The Corriere della Sera, referring to government circles, says that heavy artillery is currently being investigated. The newspaper mentions various types of armored vehicles that could be considered. Some of them are therefore in reserve. The government does not comment on the report, pointing out that Italy has already provided military assistance. However, the list of what was delivered is secret.
13:09: Kyiv wants to negotiate with Moscow on a steel plant in Mariupol
Ukraine is offering Russia talks on the plight of fighters and civilians trapped in the Mariupol steelworks. The president’s adviser, Mykhailo Podoliak, announced on Twitter that a “special round” could discuss the exchange of military personnel. Russia should reflect on the rest of its reputation and declare a real ceasefire at Easter. Podoljak criticized that despite the Easter celebrations, the smelter would continue to be shelled by bombs and artillery. Russia is pulling troops and military equipment together to attack the industrial zone. The humanitarian corridor is needed immediately.
According to Russian sources, 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries are hidden in the Azovstal plant. According to Ukrainian sources, 1,000 civilians, including many children and women, live in bunkers built for the nuclear war.
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12:49: UN coordinator demands “immediate” ceasefire for Mariupol
The United Nations calls for a ceasefire in besieged Mariupol. “We need an immediate break from the fighting to save lives,” said UN-Ukraine Coordinator Amin Awad. Tens of thousands of people, including women, children and the elderly, are at risk and must be evacuated immediately from the city in the Sea of Azov. “The longer we wait, the more lives are in danger. It will be too late tomorrow.” According to Ukrainian sources, Russian forces continue to bomb the besieged and largely destroyed city in the Sea of Azov, and in particular the Azovstal steel plant.
11:55: Russia also attacks Ukraine with rockets at Easter
The Russian armed forces continue their rocket attacks with all the cruelty of Orthodox Easter. Dozens of military facilities and numerous positions of the Ukrainian army were shelled again, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenko. In Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk region, an underground plant for the production of ammunition for the Ukrainian Armed Forces was destroyed using high-precision weapons. In addition, four ammunition depots and troop camps in the Kharkiv region were shelled with rockets.
According to Konashenko, 150 Ukrainian militants also died in the attacks. In total, rockets and artillery were fired 423 times during the Easter Vigil. Ammunition depots were also affected in other regions in eastern Ukraine. Konashenko’s statement cannot be independently verified.
11:33: Switzerland apparently blocks ammunition supplies to Ukraine
Germany cannot supply Swiss ammunition to Ukraine due to the Bern veto. According to a report in the “Sonntagszeitung”, the Swiss Ministry of Economics (Seco) confirmed this. Seco received two requests to transfer ammunition. “Both German questions were answered in the negative with reference to Swiss neutrality and mandatory rejection criteria for legislation on war material,” the spokesman said. Under Swiss law, the export of war material is not allowed if the target country is involved in an internal or international conflict.
10:29: Ukraine warns against the collapse of Russian natural gas transit
Ukrainian state-owned company Naftogaz has warned of the collapse of Russian gas transit through Ukraine. “We estimate that a third of the volume of gas exported from Russia to the EU via Ukraine could be lost if the occupying forces do not stop disrupting the operation of our stations,” Naftogaz chief Yuri Vitrenko wrote on Twitter. Naftogaz operates the Ukrainian gas transmission system. According to the company, more than 58 million cubic meters of natural gas were transported west from Russia on Friday.
Despite the Russian attack two months ago, Ukraine did not stop the transit of gas or oil to the west. Even the brief occupation of large parts of northern Ukraine, including gas stations on the Russian border, by Russian troops at the beginning of the war did not lead to a decline.
8:55: Selensky expects US ministers in Kiev
Following the visits of a number of leading European politicians, a high-ranking US is expected to visit Kiev today. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenský, Defense Minister Lloyd Austin and Foreign Minister Antony Blinken are coming to the capital. “I don’t think it’s a big secret. Tomorrow I will have a meeting with the US Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State Blinken,” Zelenskyj said yesterday. He talks to Austin and Blinken about “the list of weapons needed and the speed with which they are delivered.”
US ministries have not commented on the trip yet. In the last few weeks, various European Prime Ministers and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have visited Kyiv.
7:01: Countries hire hundreds of teachers for Ukrainian children
According to a media report, the integration of teachers for Ukrainian students in Germany is progressing. According to the “Welt am Sonntag”, referring to state data, 200 welcome workers with knowledge of the Ukrainian language have already been accepted in Bavaria, 122 in Saxony, 30 in Berlin and 23 in Hamburg. The number of applications from Ukrainian teachers is also high. According to the Conference of Ministers of Education, 61,000 schoolchildren are being taught in Germany two months after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
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6:29: Hamburg Ballet School accepts Ukrainian children
The Hamburg Ballet School of the world-famous choreographer John Neumeier adopted ten Ukrainian children between the ages of six and thirteen. “We thought about: What we can do to help,” said Gigi Hyatt, director of ballet school education, the German news agency. It quickly became clear that the school wanted to accept some children with dance experience from Ukraine. There was also a personal connection – some dancers of the Hamburg Ballet come from Ukraine, including the first soloist …