Russia-Ukraine war. Timeline of events, April 30-May 1
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 is drastically increasing arms supplies to Ukraine, Moscow cuts off gas supplies to Europe and threatens with nuclear strikes. According to UN estimates, more than 13 million refugees were forced to leave their homes. Severe sanctions against Russia are destroying the Russian economy.
"NATO is interfering in the political settlement of the conflict in Ukraine" - Russian FM Lavrov
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has had some stern words to say about the west’s involvement in Ukraine in a rare interview with China’s official Xinhua news agency. The transcript from the interview was published on the Russian foreign ministry’s website early Saturday morning.
Among a string of assertions, the foreign minister accused the United States and Nato countries of using Ukraine as “one of the tools to contain Russia” while maintaining that prior to Russia’s invasion on 24 February they were “forcing Kyiv to make an artificial, false choice: either with the West or with Moscow.”
Over the past years, the United States and its allies have done nothing to stop the intra-Ukrainian conflict … they ‘pumped up’ the Kyiv regime with weapons, trained and armed the Ukrainian army and nationalist battalions, and generally carried out the military-political development of the territory of Ukraine. They encouraged the aggressive anti-Russian course pursued by the Kyiv authorities.”
Summary of events by 11:30: the United States will deliver the first batch of heavy weapons and drones to Ukraine within 24 hours
New supply of American weapons to Ukraine will include howitzers and UAVs, the batch will be delivered within 24 hours by 12 aircraft – Pentagon.
“Russia suffered colossal losses in an attempt to completely capture the Donbass. We have serious losses, but the losses of the Russians are much greater,” adviser to the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovich. The UK Ministry of Defense also said that Russia had to redeploy “depleted and scattered units due to unsuccessful offensives in the north-east of Ukraine.”
Moscow confirmed the airstrike on Kyiv during a visit by UN Secretary General António Guterres. The rocket hit a residential building, Radio Liberty journalist Vera Girich died in her apartment.
Attacks on Kharkov, a strong fire continues in the zone of industrial enterprises.
Fierce fighting in the Luhansk region in Eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine continues to beg the West to help evacuate people trapped at Azovstal. The situation inside the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol is “beyond a humanitarian catastrophe.” There are hundreds of people there, including about 60 children, the youngest is four months old, Ukrainian commander Serhiy Volyn, who is there, told CNN that there were hundreds of people, including 60 young people, the youngest of whom is four months old.
Killed 32-year-old former US Marine Willy Joseph Kansel, who fought as a volunteer alongside Ukrainian troops. He became the first US citizen who died in the war in Ukraine, which is officially known.
Russia fired $7.5 billion worth of missiles at Ukraine – Forbes.
The UK will send investigators to Ukraine to assist the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office and the international criminal court in gathering evidence of war crimes, including sexual violence.
The United States began training the Ukrainian military at facilities outside of Ukraine. A Pentagon spokesman said this is happening at three sites outside the US, including one in Germany.
Putin may announce a mass mobilization of Russians on May 9, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.
The assets of the Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman worth $15.5 million have been arrested in Ukraine. The arrest concerns the assets of Cypriot companies. In Georgia, the bottling of Borjomi has been suspended, since the company belongs to Fridman.
“Russia is trying to exchange peaceful Ukrainians for Russian prisoners of war. This is prohibited by the Geneva Convention. And we know that they have more than a thousand hostages, including almost 500 women,” Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk.
The European Union may announce an embargo on Russian oil as early as next week – NYT.
The United States allowed Russia to make a payment in dollars on sovereign debt – Bloomberg. The default has been postponed for now.
Russia has officially announced priorities for teaching history and some other subjects at school, including:
- There were certain Anglo-Saxon political interests behind every post-World War II conflict;
- Poland has been trying to destroy Russia for centuries.
- At biology lessons, schoolchildren will be taught how to sort prisoners and which wounded can still be helped, and who needs “no longer doctors, but comforters.”
- Military correspondents-propagandists are outstanding journalists who are not inferior to Leo Tolstoy. The photo lists the main tasks of the work of journalists, as the Russian Ministry of Education sees them: 1) To show Russian soldiers’ bravery and readiness for a deed; 2) To incite hatred towards the enemy; 3) To stimulate a feeling of pride for Russia and its people; 4) To capture Russia’s war achievements for posterity
Summary of events by 23.00: Zelensky announced the discovery of a new mass grave filled with 900 people in the Kyiv region
Volodymyr Zelensky announced a newly discovered mass grave in the Kyiv region for 900 people. The President of Ukraine made such a statement in an interview with the Polish media, he is quoted by Ukrayinska Pravda. Zelenskiy mentioned the burial while speculating about the possibility of holding Russian military personnel accountable. “Imagine: there were so many killed that, despite the fact that they burned [part of the bodies], they again found the grave of 900 people in the Kyiv region,” Zelensky said. From the statement of the President of Ukraine, it is not clear exactly when the burial was found. Zelensky also did not specify where this happened and did not provide any details or confirmation of his words.
The BBC has counted the names of 1,899 dead Russians. The Russian service of the BBC is compiling a list of the names of employees whose death in Ukraine is officially confirmed. Now there are 1899 names on this list. About 20% of the dead were paratroopers, with most of the dead coming from disadvantaged regions of Russia. The BBC has counted the names given by regional authorities, local media and educational institutions that have announced the death of former students. The last time the Kremlin reported its summary data was on March 25, when 1,351 dead servicemen were registered. Ukrainian officials say the real numbers are much higher. But they also acknowledge that Ukraine has also suffered serious losses.
German cultural figures asked Scholz not to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. The open letter was published in the feminist magazine Emma. It was signed by about a hundred people, including directors Alexander Kluge, Andreas Dresen, Heike Sander, writers Martin Walser, Julie Zech, musician Reinhard May. The authors of the letter emphasize that although Russia violated international law by invading Ukraine, this does not justify the “risk of escalating into a nuclear conflict” that would arise if NATO countries were involved in it. And the supply of a large number of heavy weapons, the signatories point out, could actually make Germany a participant in the war.
Zelensky said that Russia is trying to humiliate the UN with airstrikes on Kyiv. Russia launched several missile strikes on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Thursday as UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited the city to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. One of the rockets fell near the hotel where Guterres was staying. In an overnight address, Zelenskiy condemned the attack, saying it “speaks of Russia’s true attitude towards global institutions.” The President of Ukraine accused the Russian leadership of trying to “humiliate the UN and everything that constitutes an organization”, adding that this “requires a tough response.”
Russia’s slow advance to the east continues. Russian troops continue to advance to the east of the country, but the strong resistance of the Ukrainian troops slows down their advance. Russian forces continue to make small gains around the eastern city of Izyum, but a strong Ukrainian defense position in the Donbass still holds. The British Ministry of Defense said that the battle for the Donbass in the east remains Russia’s main strategic direction. Particularly fierce battles unfolded in the area of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk. Also, Russian troops are trying to break through to Slavyansk.
Radio Liberty journalist killed in rocket attack in Kyiv
A journalist died in Ukraine. Vera Girich was at home when a rocket hit her house, Radio Liberty reports. “A wonderful person has passed away,” her colleague Alexander Demchenko wrote on Facebook. Radio Liberty, also known as Radio Free Europe, is a US-funded organization that broadcasts news to regions of the world where press freedom may be limited or not yet established. Earlier, the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said that after yesterday’s rocket attack, one body was removed, but no details about the deceased were reported at that time. Moscow confirmed that it hit Ukrainian targets, but did not comment on the attack on the building.
Russia warned of upcoming missile strikes, including on Kyiv
Russia has confirmed that it carried out several missile attacks on Ukraine yesterday, including in the Kyiv region. The Russian Defense Ministry said it used “high-precision” missiles to destroy the production facilities of a rocket and space plant in the capital. The agency also said that airstrikes hit ten Ukrainian “military facilities” and destroyed three electrical substations across the country. The Defense Ministry did not mention that at least one rocket hit a residential area in the capital, where one person was reportedly killed.
Summary of events by 10.30: Russia launched a missile attack on Kyiv during the meeting of the UN Secretary General with the President of Ukraine
It could be years before the war in Ukraine ends, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said. “It is clear that the next few days and weeks may be decisive, but the war will probably last longer. It may be weeks, it may be months, it may even be years, it depends on many factors. But in the end, it will probably be a struggle and a victory, I hope Ukraine’s, is on the battlefield”.
Several rocket strikes were carried out on Kyiv on Thursday as UN chief António Guterres met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to spokesman Guterres, one of the missiles fell near the hotel where the visiting UN Secretary General was staying. The rocket fell just an hour after António Guterres held a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Guterres and his team are safe, spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told CBS News, the BBC’s US partner. He added that the UN delegation met with the Prime Minister in his office and at that time was not in the hotel. “Today I am in Kyiv. Two rockets exploded here, I was shocked when I learned that two rockets exploded in the city where I am,” Guterres told BBC News during his visit. “So this is a dramatic war and we absolutely need to end this war and we absolutely need to find a solution for this war.” Guterres also criticized the UN Security Council for failing to prevent or end the war, calling it a source of great frustration. One of the rockets hit a residential building. Dozens of people were hurt.
President Biden has asked Congress to approve a record $33 billion aid package to Ukraine, including more weapons. US President Joe Biden spoke at the White House and proposed his plan to provide more support to Ukraine. He is asking Congress for $33 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to support Ukraine “over the next five months.” The package includes more than $20 billion in military aid, $8.5 billion in economic aid, and $3 billion in humanitarian aid. Biden also warned Moscow against “empty” nuclear threats and said the country was using its gas supplies to blackmail Europe.
Ukraine today plans an “operation” to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal steel plant
Ukraine hopes to evacuate civilians from the large Azovstal steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol, according to the Office of the President of Ukraine. UN Secretary-General António Guterres discussed the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol during a meeting with Zelensky on Thursday. Guterres said intensive negotiations were underway to allow the evacuation of the Azovstal steel plant, the last part of the city not under Russian control and subject to regular shelling. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave “principled” consent to the participation of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the evacuation of people from the plant. It is believed that hundreds of men, women and children are hiding in the underground premises of the plant.
Heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine – British Ministry of Defence. A Defense Ministry intelligence briefing this morning confirms that Russia’s efforts are directed at the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, known as the Donbass. “The battle for Donbass remains Russia’s main strategic focus,” the ministry said, noting Moscow’s goal of securing control of the area where Russian forces have supported rebel leaders since 2014. Particularly fierce fighting is taking place around Lisichansk and Severodonetsk, and an attempt was made to move south towards Slavyansk.
The OSCE will suspend an eight-year monitoring mission in Ukraine. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has been conducting an observation and monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine for years, announced yesterday that it will have to end a lengthy deployment. Moscow, one of the members of the group, vetoed the extension of the mission. “This is not an easy decision… but the position of the Russian Federation left us no choice but to take steps to close the Mission,” said OSCE Chairman and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has been deployed since 2014, when conflict first broke out between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels. The OSCE was the only international organization that directly followed the conflict.