Russia-Ukraine war. Timeline of events, April 17-19
The main front of the war is now in Donbas, in the Eastern Ukraine, after Russian troops withdrew from the Kiyv region, leaving hundreds of dead and tortured civilians behind. The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. Many Ukrainian cities have been destroyed by rocket attacks, captured, or remain under siege. New severe sanctions against Russia are destroying the Russian economy. According to UN estimates, more than 11 million refugees were forced to leave their homes.
Summary of events by 22.00: Azovstal plant in Mariupol almost completely destroyed by bombs - Azov regiment commander
Mariupol. The Azovstal plant was bombed and almost completely destroyed, said the deputy commander of the Azov regiment Svyatoslav Palamar. “Heavy-duty bombs” are being dropped on the plant, and “a lot of people are under the rubble”, Palamar said in a commentary to Radio Liberty.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny commented on the murdered resident of Bucha, his namesake, Ilya Navalny:
“Next to the dead body on the ground lies a passport with the name Navalny. He is one of those killed in the Ukrainian village of Bucha. Navalny Ilya Ivanovich. All circumstances indicate that they killed him because of his last name. – this is why his passport was thrown nearby defiantly. A completely innocent person was killed by Putin’s executioners (well, how else to call them? Not “Russian soldiers”,) because we are namesakes”.
Ilya Navalny was shot dead during the occupation of Bucha by Russian troops. A passport was lying next to his body, which is why the coincidence of the man’s surname with a politician convicted in Russia is cited as a reason for his murder. Some media outlets report that the victim is a distant relative of Alexei Navalny.
UN Secretary General António Guterres called for a humanitarian pause in the war zone in Ukraine during Orthodox Holy Week. According to Guterres, quoted by Interfax, a four-day pause – from Good Thursday to Easter – will open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians. Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk said that as of April 19, not a single humanitarian corridor had been agreed upon.
The course of the war in Ukraine. Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, said that the Russian leadership wants to “sell” access to the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luрansk regions to its people as a victory. Russian troops, he said, are trying to advance from Izyum and encircle Rubizhne, Severodonetsk and Popasnaya.
The Netherlands agreed to send armored vehicles to Ukraine. Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte announced this to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a telephone conversation.
Sanctions. Canada has imposed sanctions on 14 more Russians. Among others, the list includes the daughters of Vladimir Putin, Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, as well as the wife and daughter of Sergei Lavrov, Maria Lavrova and Ekaterina Vinokurova.
Summary of events by 15.00: New assault on the last stronghold of the defenders of Mariupol begins
Shoigu commented on the war in Ukraine for the first time in three weeks, BBC reports. Russian Defense Minister Serey Shoigu said that Russia is “consistently fulfilling the plan for the liberation” of the “DPR” and “LPR”. According to him, the United States and other Western countries are doing everything to “drag out the course of the war as much as possible”.
UN: the number of victims of the war among the civilian population exceeded 2,000 people. Since February 24, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2,072 people have died, including 169 children. Another 2,818 people were injured.
Fuel blockade of Russia: France intends to convince partners in the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil supplies. This was stated by the head of the French Ministry of Finance Bruno Le Mer.
Photo: situation in Ukraine today according to the intelligence of the British Ministry of Defense
Russia accused Ukraine of shelling the border village of the Belgorod region. Local authorities report three casualties.
Russian banks are running out of foreign currency after citizens are once again allowed to buy it. A few days ago, Russia again allowed banks to sell foreign currency to citizens. The ban on these operations was adopted at the beginning of the war.
Mariupol. Today, the authorities of the self-proclaimed DPR announced the start of a decisive assault on the Azovstal plant. It is reported that this is the last fortified defense point of Ukrainian troops in Mariupol. For the past two days, bombing and artillery strikes have been carried out on the territory of the plant. So far, the commander of “Azov” reports about a thousand civilians hiding in basements on the territory of the industrial zone. The Russian Defense Ministry invited the defenders of the city to lay down their arms and surrender.
Video: fighting near the Azovstal plant in Mariupol
Summary of events by 09.30: Russia launches new offensive in Ukraine
Zelensky: Russian troops have begun the battle for Donbass, which they have been preparing for so long:
“A significant part of the Russian troops is concentrated there for the offensive. No matter how many soldiers are driven there, we will defend ourselves. We will fight. We will not give up anything Ukrainian”, he said.
Fighting in Ukraine: Local authorities report that the Russian army is attacking the cities of Huliaipole (Zaporozhye region) and Mykolaiv. Fighting is ongoing in the suburbs, and the settlements themselves are subjected to rocket attacks, according to local media. In the east, the main efforts of Russian troops are currently directed at the cities of Rubizhne, Popasnaya and Severdonetsk, said Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the President of Ukraine. “They announced today that they took Kremennaya, in fact they took nothing, it was nothing but an ordinary street fighting. They want to take it in order to cut off the above-mentioned cities from the “mainland”. This is a ledge of the Luhansk region, they want to cut it off, isolate it and take our troops into an operational encirclement… The second direction is from Izyum in the direction of Luhansk and Kramatorsk”, Arestovich explains.
Last night, an air raid alert sounded throughout Ukraine.
Russia’s new offensive hasn’t started yet – New York Times. Military analysts describe what is happening as ongoing preparations for a much larger offensive, writes The New York Times. Russia stepped up its shelling of cities, infrastructure and combat positions along a roughly 500-kilometer front line, while ground troops went on the attack. Observers, however, note that Russia continues to move troops and weapons into the Donbass and that Monday’s troop movement fell short of the expected large-scale offensive.
13 civilians have died as a result of Russian shelling in Kharkiv over the past 24 hours, the regional department of the National Police reported.
The Russian military-industrial complex will be the next target of US sanctions, the US Treasury said.
France does not need Russian gas and intends to promote sanctions against it – Emmanuel Macron
Attacks on civilians in Ukraine have stalled successful talks between Moscow and Kyiv brokered by Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Summary of events by 19.30: Parents of conscripts from "Moskva" cruiser say their children are listed as "missing"
Assistance to Ukraine. Last week, the US provided a new $800 million military aid package to Ukraine. This was done against the background of the transfer of the epicenter of the fighting from the crowded suburbs of Kyiv to the open area of Donbass.
According to the UN, 4,934,415 people have left Ukraine since the beginning of the war. A little less than 50 thousand people left the country in a day.
The fate of sailors from the sunken cruiser Moskva. A resident of Yalta, Dmitry Shkrebets, whose conscript son “disappeared” after the crash of the cruiser Moskva, said that he was contacted by three families of conscript sailors who were also on the ship and disappeared. They have applied to the Simferopol military registration and enlistment office and are demanding to know what happened to their children.
Strategic objects of Russia can now be viewed on the Google map. Google has stopped hiding images of secret Russian objects on its maps, UNIAN writes. Military and strategic objects of Russia are now visible in Google Maps in maximum resolution. Similar objects of other countries are not available on the maps of the service.
Vladimir Putin awarded the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Ground Forces with the honorary name “Guards”. According to the Ukrainian authorities, servicemen of the 64th motorized rifle brigade participated in the occupation of the city of Bucha and may be involved in massacres of civilians and other war crimes.
Summary of events by 11.00: Several Ukrainian cities were shelled
The head of the Lugansk regional administration, Sergei Gaidai, called on residents to evacuate and warned about more shelling in the near future. On the evening of April 17, Sergei Gaidai wrote on Facebook that “the next week may be difficult, this maybe the last time we still have a chance to save you”. Gaidai suggested that the Russian army might launch an offensive on the morning of one of the following days.
Explosions went off in Kyiv and Lviv last night. In the Dnepropetrovsk region, according to the authorities, missile strikes were carried out at night, most of the missiles were shot down. Explosions also went off in Kherson.
The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reports that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, as of the morning of April 18, 205 children have died and at least 362 have been injured.
In the Zaporozhye region, the 16-year-old son of the head of the military administration of the Zaporizhzhya region, Oleg Buryak, was kidnapped. This was confirmed by the head of the Zaporizhiye OVA Oleksandr Starukh.
For the first time, a photo has been published which presumably shows the recently sunken missile cruiser Moskva is on fire.