Russia-Ukraine war. Timeline of events, April 23-25
Russia-Ukraine war, what is happening, what to expect – an overview of events, assessments of international military experts. Russia is trying to capture Donbas after after having suffered military setbacks elsewhere in Ukraine. The West continues to supply weapons to Ukraine. According to UN estimates, more than 11 million refugees were forced to leave their homes. Severe sanctions against Russia are destroying the Russian economy.
Summary of events by 22.30: "Russia lost 15,000 soldiers in Ukraine" - head of British Ministry of Defense
At least five people were killed and 18 injured after Russian missiles hit transportation infrastructure in two cities in Ukraine’s central Vinnytsia region, local authorities said. Five railways across the country were also hit, according to Ukrainian officials.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the UK is transferring a “small number” of Stormer armored personnel carriers equipped with launchers for Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. Wallace stressed that, according to the UK, a quarter of the Russian forces sent to Ukraine are currently “not combat-ready” due to the losses incurred.
The UK also said it estimated that around 15,000 Russian troops had been killed since the invasion began. 2,000 armored vehicles were destroyed or captured.
A proposed humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians under siege at a steel plant in Mariupol was not implemented.
Moscow said there would be a ceasefire near Azovstal from 2:00 pm local time, but Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said no deal had been reached and called for written security guarantees.
The UN Refugee Agency said more than 45,000 Ukrainians have fled their homeland in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of refugees to 5.2 million. In addition, the International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 7.7 million people have been displaced within Ukraine. Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children have left their homes, including those who remained in the country.
Russia “demanded an end” to US proposals to send more weapons to Ukraine. Moscow’s ambassador to Washington said an official diplomatic note had been sent to the White House. This came after the US pledged another $713 million in military aid to Ukraine.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is currently travelling to Moscow, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said on Monday. Guterres will be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday and will have a working meeting and lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He is also due to travel to Kyiv and meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday.
The Russian military occupied the building of the city council of Kherson. This was reported to Ukrayinska Pravda by the head of Kherson, Igor Kolykhaev, and employees of the City Council. On the evening of April 25, the Russian military removed the flag of Ukraine from the building and took away the keys to the building from the guards, and also asked what time the working day usually begins. The mayor and employees of the City Council were given the opportunity to leave the building.
Greenpeace activists blocked a tanker with a cargo of Russian oil that arrived in Norway in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The activists chained themselves to the anchor chain of the Ust-Luga tanker, which is parked near the Exxon Mobil oil terminal in Slagen (about 70 kilometers south of Oslo). Thus, they expect to prevent the tanker, carrying about 95,000 tons of oil, from being unloaded.
Ukraine demands from Russia guarantees for the safety of evacuation from Mariupol
Ukraine has not reached an agreement with Russia on the creation of a humanitarian corridor for civilians from southern Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. Russia has declared a ceasefire at the Azovstal steel plant from 14:00 local time to ensure the evacuation of civilians who have taken refuge inside. Vereshchuk told the BBC that Ukraine heard many times that the Russian Defense Ministry is calling for a ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor. But, she added, Russia “never fulfilled its obligations and did not open the corridor”. The Deputy Prime Minister demands security guarantees for civilians. Vereshchuk said Ukraine wants Moscow to provide UN Secretary General António Guterres with written security guarantees.
The death toll of civilians is growing in Donetsk and Kharkiv regions
The death toll of civilians is growing in Donetsk and Kharkiv regions. Five people, including two children, were killed Sunday during Russian shelling of the Donetsk region, local governor Pavel Kirilenko confirmed.
Also, during yesterday’s shelling in the Kharkiv region, three more were killed and 14 people were injured.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced the opening of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced plans to open a humanitarian corridor at 14:00 to evacuate civilians from Azovstal. “Civilians may leave Azovstal in any direction they choose”, the agency said in a statement. Ukrainian authorities say there are about 1,000 civilians, including women, children and the elderly, in addition to the remaining defenders of the city, at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. The Ukrainian side accuses Russia of not allowing civilians to leave the plant, and declares that the corridor is open only for the military, who are not going to surrender. The Russian side says that it is ready to release civilians, but the Ukrainian military stationed at Azovstal is allegedly preventing them from evacuating.
Fire at the oil depot in Bryansk
Two fires broke out early in the morning in the Russian city of Bryansk near the border with Ukraine. This is reported by Russian media with reference to emergency services. It is reported that one fire occurred at the oil depot. The location of the second is unknown. Local authorities said there were no casualties. The cause of the fires is not named, and there were no direct indications that they are related to the war in Ukraine, although Russia has previously accused Ukraine of an airstrike in the same region. Local residents told the Russian news agency RIA that they heard two explosions today, but did not see any helicopters flying over the city at the time.
Briefly on Ukraine by 10.30: US will help Ukraine with $700 million in weapons, Russia plans a referendum in Kherson
The US is promising $700 million in additional military aid. At a meeting with Zelensky, the US Secretary of State and Defense Secretary reaffirmed their support for Ukraine and pledged more than $700 million in military assistance. About half of the money will go to Ukraine, while the rest will be divided among NATO members and other regional allies who will supply arms to Ukraine. In addition, the United States will sell $165 million worth of ammunition to Kyiv.This marked the highest visit by American diplomats to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
Russia has sent a note to the United States demanding the cessation of arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov announced this on the air of the Russia 24 TV channel, Interfax reports: “$800 million – this is the cost of weapons that Washington will supply to Kyiv. This is a huge figure, it does not contribute to the search for a diplomatic solution to the situation. Have we sent a note or not? Yes, we have. Yes, we have stressed the unacceptability of the situation”. The supply of American weapons to Ukraine, the ambassador said, is “an attempt to raise the stakes even more, to aggravate the situation even more, to see more losses”.
Ukraine proposes to negotiate next to the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol. According to adviser to the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovich, the talks may be aimed at establishing a ceasefire and deciding the fate of civilians and soldiers stuck in the city. A small group of Ukrainian defenders are still blockaded at the Mariupol plant, preventing Russia from taking control of the strategically important port. Together with the defenders, civilians are hiding in the cellars of the plant.
Russia plans to stage a referendum in Kherson – British Ministry of Defense. According to the latest report, Russia plans to hold a “staged referendum” in Kherson in the south of the country to justify further occupation of that part of the country. Intelligence believes the city is key to Russia’s goal of creating a land route to the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and seizing southern Ukraine. Russia used the same tactics when seizing Crimea. Kherson is the only major city that Russia has managed to capture since the invasion in late February.
Russia has not yet made a significant breakthrough. This is stated in the intelligence report on Ukraine from the British Ministry of Defense. It reported that Russia “has made little progress in some areas since it focused on the complete occupation of Donbas…[…] but without sufficient logistics and combat support, Russia has not yet made a significant breakthrough”. The report goes on to say that due to Russia’s decision to besiege the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, many Russian units remain pinned down in the city and cannot be redeployed, and the fierce fighting outside the city has exhausted many Russian units and reduced their combat effectiveness.
The American think tank reports that the Ukrainian defenders of the plant are under constant pressure. While Russian commanders likely still want to starve out the remaining Ukrainian troops, the Russian military in the city may be forced to launch a “rushed assault” on the steel plant to meet the Kremlin’s deadline, according to the report. An attempt to completely clear Mariupol of the defenders is likely to result in heavy losses for Russia.
#Mariupol Update:#Russian forces continued to bombard #Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal Steel Plant with artillery and air strikes and may be preparing for renewed assaults on the facility which would likely sustain high casualties.https://t.co/eqQ8sfHhri pic.twitter.com/MuYvNzFvyG
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) April 24, 2022
Summary of events by 10 am: Two months since the beginning of military invasion of Russia: what does it control?
Two months have passed since the beginning of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. According to the ISW research group, the advance of Russian troops has been greatly slowed down due to the fierce resistance of the Ukrainian army and volunteer detachments. By April 21, Russia managed to take control of the following territories:
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are arriving in Kyiv today, Ukrainian President Zelensky said. The White House has not yet confirmed the visits. This will be the first visit by senior US officials to Ukraine since the start of the war.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres will first travel to Ankara on Monday, where he will meet with Turkish President Erdogan. From there, the UN Secretary General will go to Moscow and then to Kyiv. President of Ukraine Zelensky said that Guterres should have planned to visit Kiyv before visiting Moscow: “There is a war going on in Ukraine, there are no bodies of dead people on the streets of Moscow. It would be logical to first look at the consequences of this occupation”.
A three-month-old baby, along with her mother, are among eight people killed in Odessa in a Russian missile attack on a residential area. The attack occurred on the day when Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and Russia celebrate Easter. More than 20 people are in hospitals with various. wounds. “A residential building, which the Russians for some reason call a military facility. Eight people died. Among them is a three-month-old child. She hasn’t seen life yet. You [Russian] monsters, burn in hell”, Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov.
Valeria was a new mother, her baby daughter Kira was just three month old. Russia took away their lives today when its rocket hit a residential building in Odesa.
Valeria’s husband and Kira’s father Yuri posted these pictures of them. pic.twitter.com/pendbL6bi2
— Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) April 23, 2022
“Russian forces will try to starve out everyone who is currently located at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and will not allow civilians trapped there to evacuate”, said the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The last Ukrainian defenders of the city are in the bunkers of the besieged plant, about 10 thousand people are also allegedly hiding there, many of them children.
About 100,000 people remain in Mariupol, the city has been bombed, there is no water, food supplies have practically run out. The Russian military does not allow the civilian population to evacuate. At a press conference last night, President Zelensky warned that Ukraine would abandon peace talks with Moscow if Russia wiped out the last defenders of Mariupol or held an independence referendum in occupied Kherson.
The UK is increasing the supply of defensive military equipment to Ukraine: protected mobile vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons. A group of Ukrainian military personnel are now undergoing training in the UK to be able to operate this equipment. The UK will reopen its embassy in Kyiv next week.
"As soon as Ukraine has more weapons, it will liberate all its territories" - Zelensky's first big press conference
For the first time since the beginning of the war, President Zelensky of Ukraine organized a large press conference – and held it right at the metro station in Kyiv. Here are the main theses:
Negotiations. Russia has stopped issuing ultimatums, there are several key issues that are being discussed. Communication with Russian President Putin through his proxies or third countries will not give the desired result. Whether negotiations with Putin will take place in Turkey, as suggested by President Erdogan, depends on the decision of the Russian president. Zelensky is ready for negotiations.
“Can a new Mariupol happen in Odessa? Yes it can. They have thousands of tanks and equipment, they have plans for a corridor to Moldova. I don’t believe they will stop”.
Mariupol. It will not yet be possible to liberate the city under siege by military means, but there is hope that this will be done. Zelensky is trying to involve Pope Francis to organize humanitarian corridors.
Zelensky criticized UN Secretary-General António Guterres for choosing to start his peace-building mission with a trip to Moscow rather than Kyiv.
“The decision not to let Ukraine join NATO was a big strategic mistake of the West. It is now clear that this would only strengthen the Alliance, and would be a guarantee that the Russian Federation would not start a war. Nobody expected us to be so strong. Some big powers did not want to impose sanctions and said: why should they be introduced if in three days they will be occupied. But we were able to change the attitude towards us with our unity and the resistance of Russia”.
Georgia. Zelensky said that he did not understand the latest decisions of the Georgian authorities, and sharply criticised on the country’s unwillingness to impose sanctions. “So far there are no grounds to return the Ukrainian ambassador to Georgia”.
The US plays a big role. America itself provides assistance and organizes support from other countries.
Is Ukraine satisfied with the level of support? “I wish it was faster”. “Leaders who plan to visit Ukraine should not come with empty hands. We are waiting not just for presents or cakes; we are expecting specific things and specific weapons”.
Russia has not carried out such mass destruction before and has not committed such “military boorishness” (torture, rape). “Putin and his accomplices will appear before the tribunal. This is an international process, an international court, which can last for years. Whether this process will be concentrated in The Hague is not essential.”
Nuclear weapons. Zelensky does not rule out that they can be used.
As soon as Ukraine has more weapons, it will liberate all its territories.
After the war, Ukraine will become one of the strongest states in Europe.
Russian missile hit Odessa, photo
The Russian missile attack also hit residential buildings in Odessa, an important Black Sea port. Six civilians were killed, more than twenty were hospitalised. Yesterday, Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekaev, the acting commander of Russia’s Central Military District, said that the goal of the invasion of Ukraine is to take “full control” over southern Ukraine as well as the eastern Donbas region. That control over Ukraine’s south would give Russian forces access to Transnistria — a separatist statelet in Moldova, where a contingent of Russian forces has been stationed since the early 1990s.
In Vilnius, actors and dancers held a 'bloody' performance calling for tougher measures against Russia
In the center of Vilnius, near the French embassy, a morbid “party”, as its organizers describe it, took place. It all started quite peacefully and resembled an ordinary European party celebrating the weekend, writes JAMnews media partner Novaya Gazeta – Baltiya. Women in smart dresses and men wearing ties danced in the square to rhythmic music. Right on the bench, someone was pouring red wine into glasses. Suddenly, the rhythm changed to the song of Edith Piaf, the dancers began to move slowly – and just as slowly they began to spill red wine from their glasses on themselves. Then the rhythmic music started playing again, and the “bloody” people began to dance again at a frantic pace. The performance ended abruptly. All participants began chanting: “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!”
“We are dancers, actors, singers. This is our protest against the passive position of some countries regarding the war in Ukraine. In this case, the action is focused on France, where the second round of the presidential elections is about to take place. We do not understand how it is possible to speak with Putin eight or nine times? It seems that the Western community does not understand very well who they are dealing with, unlike the Baltic countries. Diplomacy doesn’t work with a dictator. This applies not only to France, but to Western countries as a whole. With our performance, we call for more decisive and tough actions against Russia”, said one of the participants in the performance.
So far, Georgian Patriarchate supported Russia's position at critical moments. Which side is it on in regards to the war in Ukraine?
How does the Georgian Church feel about the war in Ukraine? Theologian Beka Mindiashvili says its position should be assessed in the context of its historical ties with Russia. For many years, the Georgian Patriarchate shared and pursued Russian policy and supported Russia’s position at critical moments – and it is probably doing it today too. JAMnews analysis:
Negotiations stalled, UN chief and Turkish president to get involved
UN chief António Guterres will meet with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine separately – on Tuesday with Putin in Moscow and on Thursday with Zelensky in Kyiv.
Turkish President Erdogan is set to hold phone calls with Zelensky and Putin this weekend, also separately. He will offer them a meeting in Istanbul for the purpose of ending the war. Experts say Turkey is uniquely positioned to be a negotiator: it has maritime borders with both countries, and is both a member of NATO and one of Russia’s main trading partners.
Moldova is outraged by Russian Ministry of Defense statement about the desire to gain access to its territory
The Moldovan Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador after yesterday’s statement by the acting commander of the Central Military District of Russia Rustam Minnekaev who said that “the creation of a land corridor between Donbas in eastern Ukraine and Crimea will give Russian forces access to Transnistria”, a separatist territorial entity in Moldova, where from the beginning 1990s, a contingent of Russian troops is deployed. “We have taken note of these statements and express our deep concern about this”, the Moldovan Foreign Ministry said.
Summary of events by 12 pm: Russia made no major progress in the last 24 hours
Russia has announced the goals of its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine: to take full control of southern Ukraine and the eastern region of Donbas in order to establish a land corridor connecting Russia with Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Heavy fighting in the East continues. Russia launches airstrikes on Kharkiv and Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks. Fierce fighting is ongoing in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in the Nikolaev region. The Ukrainian military believes that Russia is moving troops to consolidate its positions and is preparing for a new offensive.
Russia has not made any major progress in the last 24 hours. But before that, the Russian army managed to capture dozens of cities in eastern Ukraine, the UK Department of Defense stated. It believes that the successful counterattacks of the Ukrainian army and the professional work of the Ukrainian air defense delayed the advance. Ukrainian and Western military experts say Mariupol has not yet been taken, despite Moscow’s victory claims. Ukrainian military groups continue to hold on to the huge Azovstal steel plant.
The evacuation from Mariupol will resume today, said Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk. However, she warned of a possible provocation from Russia: “Russian troops could open a parallel corridor and try to bring people into the territories it controls. “Be carefull!” she called on the inhabitants of Mariupol, exhausted by the bombing and siege. US and European officials have repeatedly said that Russian troops are forcibly deporting residents of Mariupol to separatist-held Ukrainian territory, and, in some cases, even to Russia. At the same time, telephones and passports are taken away from people, they also have to go through “filtration camps”, humiliation, beatings, many cases of executions are reported. More than 100,000 people remain in Mariupol.